In part 1 we looked at how a blog, Facebook and Twitter can be used enable small businesses to compete with major international firms.
In this post we look at some more options.
YouTube might not seem like the ideal place to generate leads, but it can be very effective if you use it correctly. In fact, this social network is an excellent place to start building influence by offering significant value to your customers or clients. How might that work?
Let’s say your company sells a unique type of vacuum cleaner. You can easily create a video demonstrating just how powerful your cleaning tool really is. Alternatively, you can highlight something else about it – how to clean and maintain it, how to use it correctly and more. The key is to offer value in exchange for nothing. The cardinal rule of all social media is “give to get”.
LinkedIn is the best prospecting database in the world. You have access to millions of people that update their information and keep it fresh themselves. No other list has the wealth of information available on LinkedIn. You don’t even need a paid subscription to access it – although you will improve your success rate if you do have one.
One of the features of LinkedIn is called ‘saved search’. It’s like Google Alerts for people on LinkedIn. You set up a criteria, say I want to contact directors of small businesses within 15km of my address or physiotherapists in Sydney.
Your initial search will give you existing results but if someone new establishes a profile or has a change in position, you will receive an alert.
While the Internet offers myriad ways to enjoy free marketing, you might find that paid advertising is a better solution. PPC (pay per click) marketing is one of the most effective forms of online marketing, and you’ll find that it can even be relatively affordable if you target the keywords correctly. When it comes to PPC, Google’s juggernaut is the leading platform, but there are others available that might work for you.
The key to using PPC programs effectively is to target accurate keywords that have a relatively low rate of competition. The more competition there is for a keyword, the more you’ll end up paying per click. In fact, you’ll find that high-competition keywords can be extremely expensive. Target related keywords that have a lower rate of competition and you’ll see better affordability as well as better lead generation from your efforts.
There are many other ways to generate leads online, including direct email marketing, newsletters, email lists and more. However, those items listed above should be considered vital weapons in your marketing arsenal. If you’re not currently harnessing their potential, you should be. A little effort with these tools can have considerable results.
This article was written by Michael Harrison and is used with permission.