Lead Generation for Any Medium
With so many marketing platforms from which to choose, it might seem easy to find the one media channel that generates leads for your business.
But the bigger trick—and the bigger payoff—comes when you leverage a lead generation strategy that's effective for all sorts of media. Here are some common tactics that work across all media platforms:
1. Imagine your ideal client
No matter how you reach them, customers who respond to your products and services are always target number one. Don't overlook the importance of knowing precisely what makes your perfect prospect tick.
"I take my clients through a process where they create a fictional character from all of the characteristics of their most profitable clients. They even name the character," says Steve Gordon, author of the ebook 7 Deadly Marketing Sins That Will Kill Your Business. "Intimate knowledge of the target client is paramount."
2. Collect important data with something of value
One critical element of knowing your ideal client is information provided by customers themselves. Signing up for email notices or a newsletter are two ideal ways to encourage that. But, make it quid pro quo by offering something with genuine appeal in return, such as a coupon for discounted services.
"The higher the perceived value of the item you give away for free, the more easily people will be to submit their personal information or connect with your social media page to receive it," says Internet consultant Tadd Rosenfeld.
"If the value is high enough, friends may recommend that other friends get that freebie as well, in which case you can create a circle of people connecting with you and recommending more and more people do the same."
3. Build a compelling message
You may think that your software design business, however good you are at what you do, isn't particularly exciting. Instead, when looking to generate leads, dig beneath the surface to find a provocative message (maybe your software has helped other small businesses prosper in a trying economy.)
"Most businesses try to cover up the fact that they are boring and don't have much of value to offer by chasing marketing and advertising technology," says Gordon. "The real focus should be on creating something compelling. Once you do, the platform or media you use to communicate it become less important."
4. Do some social good
No matter the media, people respond to campaigns that benefit the greater good. For instance, a catering company which pledges a percentage of its profits to hunger relief can leverage that campaign via Facebook, Twitter, and any number of other vehicles. As the money goes to those who need it, prospects concerned about the issue of hunger will likely remember the caterer when it comes time to plan a holiday party.
"There was a bottled water company that recently promised a gallon of water to a drought-stricken nation per 100 people who liked their Facebook page. Pretty soon thousands of people liked their page," says Rosenfeld. "Better yet, the thousands of people also asked their friends to like the page by mentioning the giveaway on their own Facebook profile pages. Soon the water company received 100,000 likes."
5. Be ready to respond
One final element to successful lead generation is an ability to react once a prospect contacts your business. Little can hinder an otherwise successful lead generation program more than slow follow up. Make fast response part of your lead generation message: "Contact us, and we'll be in touch within 24 hours."
No matter the platform—social media, e-mail campaigns, direct mail and the like—successful lead generation campaigns share a number of common attributes. Once those are in place, you're well on your way to a focused, compelling effort to recruit new clientele for your business.