Good, quality leads are hard to come by for most businesses, but fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find people interested in what you offer. This article digs into some real talk about the best lead generation ideas for small or manufacturing (b2b) businesses.
The need to prime the lead generation pump
Excuses abound. Most of them have to do with bandwidth or sometimes fear. Fear that something is not going to work, resulting in a good option going ignored. This can be a difficult one to battle. Managing bandwidth can be tricky if all of your marketing support is internal or does not exist at all.
Right now, if you aren’t looking for ways outside of building onto your website and SEO (I hope that you are working on SEO if nothing else), then you are losing ground to your competition. Groups made an effort to stay visible during this first wave of Covid are ending 2020 in a much stronger position than the companies that did not.
Being visible does not mean sales efforts. Lead generation requires the understanding that people are not ready to order just because you are prepared to sell. It combines trust-building, building brand recognition and understanding, and keeping in touch to stay top of mind.
Keep in mind that social media for the sake of social media is not effective. If you are not an influencer channel, your company needs to drive interested people to your website.
- Stay visible! Times are scary right now, but they will be even more stressful if you aren’t regularly doing the minimum work to stay in front of your audience.
- Not all lead generation has to be expensive! Look at where your customers like to find their information and go there. Only use the handful that you know works and ignore the rest.
- Use your newsletter – this is incredibly targeted and costs zero dollars to produce and send. Create your template with free tools like Mail Chimp, upload your database, and hit Send!
- Collaborate! Have a relationship with another vendor? Leverage it to co-advertise, write articles, or focus on building related product visibility. Share any costs as well to make it more affordable for everyone.
- Create a how-to video. Post it on YouTube, and share it on all of your channels with your phone for a low budget option.
Tracking your incoming leads
Measure what is happening. Sometimes trends will surprise you. Don’t know if social media is doing anything? Check your analytics and know for sure.
Are you using lead generation software tools to generate and track your leads? A simple spreadsheet will do as well. Count your leads, which door they used, and if it was a viable lead. After a few weeks, you will have enough data gathered to know what works and what may be safe to let go.
Knowing what to measure is the next step and is covered in detail in our related article, Measured Marketing Performance. This article covers more than leads and will get you thinking about what you should be pulling from your marketing efforts as a whole.
Stay in touch with your leads.
If a prospective buyer comes through your system, be sure you can capture their contact information via a contact form, an RFQ email, or through a newsletter database option. A live chatbot takes only a few minutes to set up and captures emails, names and can add them to your database automatically. Hands-free lead capture!
2021 will be competitive in new and different ways. Be sure your company is in the hunt by the end by becoming visible wherever your customer-base looks for their information.