Every business needs sales to thrive, but success doesn’t start there. Rather, sales are the by-product of everything else you’re doing — developing a product or service offering, finding people to buy it, and proving why you’re the best choice to buy from.
Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that a product or service will automatically turn heads and earn sales, but seasoned entrepreneurs know this simply isn’t true. In 2020, the “build it and they will come” mentality is expired. Once you have a product or service in place, it’s time to start ramping up your lead generation efforts that will help you get in front of the people most likely to buy from you.
Sound complicated? You’re not alone — 61% of marketers agree that lead gen is their #1 challenge. But don’t worry, here are five tried and true ways you can amplify your standard lead gen efforts.
1. Add Live Chat to Your Landing Pages
Landing pages are a critical tool for inbound marketing. In case you’re not familiar with the term, these are web pages (not your home page) that you want people to land on when they find you online via search, an ad, or a social media post.
Many marketers use landing pages to promote a specific campaign or offer, like this example from Breakthrough PT Marketing. They’ve used all of the classic elements of a promotional landing page, including a short lead form and an overview of what you can expect once you opt-in.
Adding live chat can give your landing pages a boost by elevating the customer experience. You’re giving users a way to directly connect with you and immediately start building the relationship and earning their trust. They can feel confident when their questions are answered, and studies show that 62% of those who engage in live chat are more likely to convert.
This leverages the idea that the first impression is also the last impression. Users want to know exactly what they’re opting into, and even though you think you’ve done a great job of explaining something on your page, users may still have questions before they proceed.
2. Make Your Lead Forms Mobile Friendly
Even though mobile usage has taken over fixed connections, mobile conversion rates still don’t compare to that of desktops. There’s no question that doing anything on a smaller screen is more cumbersome. The keyboards are harder to type on, the text and form fields are smaller, and checkout processes can seem more lengthy and complicated.
Marketers can focus on making their lead forms more mobile-friendly to encourage conversions. This means making forms shorter, investing in mobile-responsive design, reducing scrolling when possible, and opting for simple designs versus content-heavy ones.
One tool you might want to consider is Google’s new Lead Form Extensions that are designed to improve mobile marketing. They’re perfect for smaller screens and make it easy for users to enter their details.
3. Work with Influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the straightest paths to get your content and brand in front of a new (and relevant) audience.
Think of it as word-of-mouth marketing on steroids: Influencers have thousands of followers (or more!) who look to the influencer to bring them new products, honest reviews, and other helpful content. When they have positive things to say about your product, their followers trust their opinions and might be more inclined to check you out for themselves.
Working with influencers can get expensive, depending on your niche and the number of followers they have. If you’re looking for a low-cost option, consider targeting micro-influencers that have anywhere from 1,000-10,000 followers. They usually charge less or will promote you in exchange for a free product.
One thing to remember is it’s not about the size of the audience, but rather the quality. Niche audiences can be just as powerful if the members are engaged and they represent your ideal buyer persona.
4. Build Your Online Reputation
We’re living in a time when anyone can be anyone online, and it’s getting harder to sift out the wannabes from the real deals. It’s important to focus on building your credibility as an entrepreneur to give you a leg up on your competitors. Otherwise, the leads you collect may end up dropping out of your sales funnel because you haven’t earned their trust.
How do you build an online reputation? There are several things you can start doing:
First, word-of-mouth remains one of the most powerful forms of marketing and lead gen. It’s a direct reflection of your reputation as a business and can be the deciding factor as to whether or not people buy from you. For digital channels, word-of-mouth marketing takes the form of online reviews, ratings, and any channel where conversations about you are taking place.
Studies show that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a referral from family or friends. What’s more, 92% of Internet users look at reviews to influence their purchasing decision.
Ask your customers to leave you a review on Facebook, Google, or other platforms. Studies show that 85% of customers will be willing to do so when asked.
5. Stick with Simplicity
When you look at all of the ways you can generate leads and all of the building blocks that go into each option, things start getting muddy. It’s easy to get lost in the details and the excitement of experimentation, but when it’s all said and done, your lead gen efforts should focus on one thing: getting viable prospects into your funnel.
One of the best things you can do is go through your lead gen strategies, step by step, and see where you can make things simpler. Focus on one CTA per piece of content. Shorten huge text blocks. Add images to improve readability. Take a “less is more” approach to ensure there’s no room for confusion. And above all else, make sure you deliver on what you promise.
Your lead gen efforts may be a prospect’s first impression with your company. Put your best foot forward to create a strong relationship from the start.