Unlock your potential
You're not a Marketing Professional. Maybe your business has grown through reputation (the best way!) But now you need to do something a little more proactive without busting the budget. Here are six marketing tactics you can use yourself to kick start your marketing programme.
Let's assume that the basics are in place - you have a sound value proposition, i.e.
- You know who you are targeting;
- You can articulate the value you deliver;
- You have proof of your capability.
If you don’t have those things or can’t articulate them clearly, focusing on these first will give you a sound platform on which to build.
If that’s all good – where next?
Sanity check your website
Sometimes the messaging on web site gets out of synch with your business. Especially if your business changes rapidly, or if you don’t spend as much time and effort updating it as you know you should.
Sanity checking your website on a regular basis will help to ensure that you don’t sell yourself short by not representing who you are and what you do. You can do this yourself or get others involved (preferably customers or people in your network who are close to your target audience.)
- Does the site let people know what my business does?
- Does it describe my products and services?
- Does it outline the value my solutions can deliver?
- Is there a clear call to action – signposting where people can get more information?
Add a signup form to your website
If you’re driving people to your site, but not capturing contact details you’re missing out on the opportunity to use your website as a lead generation tool.
Most web pages should have a purpose and clearly signposted next steps. This could be a contact form, a download or a number to call for further information or value-based content.
Low cost email marketing tools like MailChimp and AWeber offer the ability to create web forms without the need for HTML knowledge. These tools offer an effective way to capture leads from your website, and can also handle information fulfilment. If you use a CRM system like Salesforce, these also offer similar web-to-lead form capability.
Create inbound links, and find out where people are linking from
Do you have inbound links to your website? Getting links from high traffic sites is one of the best ways to boost your own search ratings, and help people to find you.
Are there any directories or listings where people may be searching for solutions like yours? If so making sure you are listed on these is a given and can boost your search rankings. If you’re a reseller, are you listed as such on all the relevant vendors’ sites, and are your details up to date and as complete as possible?
Social media is also a great way to generate inbound links – but you have to be prepared to generate fresh content through a blog or other regular updates. If you can’t commit to a regular blog (although you should) then offer to guest blog on other relevant sites, and include an inbound link to your site where it’s appropriate – for example if linking to value-based content.
Creating value-based content, that people will want to share, is possibly the best way to generate inbound links. So think about the knowledge you would be prepared to share, and how that might be “packaged up” as content – a white paper, ebook or presentation.
If you have not done so already, installing Google Analytics can tell you how many people are visiting your website, what pages they are visiting and most importantly, where they are linking from; invaluable information in helping you to determine where to focus your time and effort.
Make yourself easy to do business with
Are you easy to do business with? How can people explore, evaluate and implement your solution?
This depends on your offering and its price tag, but whatever that is, making yourself easy to buy from is a critical factor in building pipeline.
What is the buying process? Offering relevant information to support buyers at different stages of the buying cycle is helpful, as those who are in the early stages will generally be looking for education, and those at the later stage, reassurance that they are making the right decision.
Do you offer an entry level offering that is easy to sign up to? Do you offer any kind of risk/reward or money back assurance? This needs to make sense for your business, but can have a dramatic impact on conversion rates if you can make it work.
Offer proof and reassurance
Do you offer testimonials or case studies? Part of the procurement process for most buyers will want to be to reassured that they are not the first. Ideally some kind of independent reviews of your services or offerings would be preferable - as they are more credible.
Having a set of testimonials and case studies is great validation for your marketing message and also provides fodder for blogs and other content pieces
If it’s still early days and your solutions have yet to deliver value, then look at alternative ways to reference your customers. Co-authoring a white paper or presentation, presenting at a conference or webinar, a press release or short video discussing issues relevant to your solution area can be a good way to get clients involved and develop your own credibility.
Refresh and segment a list of your customers and prospects
You may already have a database of clients and prospects. Is it up to date? Do you communicate with them on a regular basis? Do you solicit their views and ideas? Are you asking them for referrals?
If you have adopted a “one size fits all” approach to customer communications, it may be worth a re-think.
Segmenting your prospects by buying stage will allow you to communicate in a more relevant way to the people concerned. Segmenting by role will enable you to ensure that technical information is not being lasted out to business leaders and so on.
Even if you are managing the communications manually, keeping your data refreshed and up to date, and synching latest communications with your CRM system makes sound business sense. And when you do start to scale and want to introduce some more automated communications programmes, you’ll be in good shape.
These are six practical steps you can take to raise awareness of your business and accelerate lead generation.
Scaling out from here, through proactive lead generation activity will be more streamlined and effective. And you don’t need to be a marketing professional to get started. But when you do find you are ready for a bit of extra support, we’re here to help with our free marketing assessment.