The true test of an effective small business lead generation strategy is the periodic outcome of it. In practical terms, if the outcomes you experience currently are less than desirable, it means your strategies haven’t been effective enough. Now, you need a different strategy centered around effective digital advertising.
What have you been doing to generate leads for your small business? How many leads have you been able to generate daily, weekly, or monthly?
For an interesting number of business owners, simply generating leads isn’t the problem. The real problem is quality lead generation. Hence, all leads are rarely equal, regardless of strategy, funnel, or target market.
Before we get into digital advertising as an effective lead generation strategy, let’s define some fundamentals:
Importance of Leads In Small Business
Leads are the indispensable business accessories. Depending on the current stage of your small business, lead generation might be a high or low priority for you. But why is it very important for growing a small business in any niche? Here is the first point.
Whether online or offline, the majority of potential customers that come in contact with your small business won’t convert for the very first time. In other words, it takes multiple touchpoints to convert total strangers into paying customers or clients.
Interestingly, converting prospects first into leads provides an opportunity to build trust before asking for the sale. Doing this is far better and most of the time, more effective than pushing your products or services at every first touchpoint. With the contacts of quality leads, you can always make repeat sales without spending additional money on customer acquisition.
Probably, you’ve heard the statement that people always buy from people they know, like, and trust.
Why Use Digital Advertising?
In simple terms, digital advertising is a means of reaching out to your potential customers through different digital channels. Digital channels in this regard can be viewed in terms of devices – mobile and desktop or platform type – search, social, video, website, and mobile applications.
The ones you choose for an effective lead generation strategy will be dependent on the nature of your business, target market, budget, and advertising goals.
Tell me, what would you want to accomplish through digital advertising?
- Regardless of where you stand within the spectrum of small business owners, digital advertising has been proven to deliver good results to small business owners.
- Closely related to this is the fact that around 75% of local searches that happen on mobile devices often lead to an offline visit.
- The more interesting thing is that a good percentage of these searches and eventual visits result in a purchase within 24 hours.
- Another fact is the depth of targeting capabilities and opportunities that are accessible within most of these platforms or channels. This is far deeper than what you’ll get with offline networking events, television, billboards, or newspaper advertising.
Let’s delve deeper.
Most profitable platforms for small business advertising
Paid Search Advertising:
This is a form of digital advertising in which you pay money to display your advertisements in front of potential customers searching for specific products, services, or information within preferred search engines. At this point, it may interest you to know that Google controls around 90% of the global search advertising market. Bing and others share the rest.
Why is paid search advertising effective for small business lead generation?
Here is the thing: in addition to location targeting (country, state, city, county, radius), it gives you the opportunity to attract prospects exactly the time they are actively searching for specific products, services, or related information.
Social Media Advertising:
Here is another type of digital advertising that is usually conducted on a social media platform. Perhaps, people that are interested in the role of social media in business will find this one very interesting. The most popular social media advertising platforms used in this case include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and many more.
Unlike paid search advertising, this one, like Facebook Ads makes use of deep demographic and behavioral data available on their platform. For example, you can target potential leads or customers based on location, age, gender, job title, interest, and many other demographic data sets.
Check this Facebook advertising case study for more insights. If you need specific clarifications related to Facebook Ads or social media advertising in general, consider visiting business questions and answers websites.
Content has grown to become a major part of online advertising. On major blogging platforms like WordPress and Tumblr, the audience reach is beyond imagination. In comparison with other platforms, blogging has its own set of advantages in terms of clear content parameters, favorable audience demographics, and adjoining social media channels.
More than 400 million people reach out to WordPress alone and view nearly 20 million pages every month. The blogs capture every possible topic and content category. A large number of developers are working behind the scenes to create WordPress themes for business, free BuddyPress themes, customizable layouts, plugins, and applications.
Getting noticed via content and keywords in higher ranking blogs increases your brand’s visibility and promotion. Bloggers get the advantage of the dedicated advertising space for adblocking. Advertisers and businesses sponsor the content. In return, bloggers declare their brand association and sponsorship, which eventually attracts potential customers.
Besides written content and images, video is another effective medium for effective digital advertising. For one thing, the video combines the use of text, image, audio, and motion. These things help to engage and provoke human emotion.
I’m sure you still remember that back in the early 2000s, the whole of the internet was made of written text and clunky images. Fast forward to this day and a whole lot of things have changed, including cheap hosting of video content on the internet.
In line with this, Cisco once predicted that around 82% of consumer internet traffic would flow through video content.
Sitting at the center of digital video advertising is YouTube, the monster video content platform where anyone, from anywhere in the world can upload any type of permissible content. Interestingly, smart small business owners are cashing on how affordable it is at the present moment.
With video advertising strategy focused on quality lead generation, you are only limited by your imagination. Meanwhile, you can always hire a YouTube advertising agency or expert to help put your budget on the right track. Further research may also reveal to you that it doesn’t take a big brand budget to create and start digital video advertising.
Hint – you can always do some split testing to discover what works better than others.