Generating leads for your small business can yield great results, but only if you can turn potential buyers into actual customers. Without that, any leads gained through lead generation services, direct mailing efforts or any other marketing campaigns won’t add up to much.
To better understand how to convert leads into sales, we spoke with experts to find actionable tips that you can apply to your small business’s lead generation strategies.
Getting something for free always feels good – whether there are conditions attached or not. Giveaways are a solid way to get people interested enough in your business to potentially make a purchase.
The free item doesn’t have to be particularly lavish or expensive, but it should remind people of your business. Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University, told The Atlantic that the concept of freebies and samples work because “they give you a particular desire for something. If I gave you a tiny bit of chocolate, all of a sudden it would remind you about the exact taste of chocolate and would increase your craving.”
Along with turning your leads into sales, Donald D’Souza, a content marketer at eSire, said giveaways can also help your business home in on what gets the most brand engagement from customers. Once you have that information, you can then personalize future communications and deals to convert your existing leads into more sales.
“Personalize your email and make …Read More
The question is why is harder than ever for businesses to develop long-lasting customer relationships? The answer is because customers don’t just want a quality product. Now that customers can find dozens of your competitors with a quick Google search, it’s all about finding a customer connection.
We live in a world where customers ask, “What have you done for me lately?” Customer connections override customer skepticism and encourage them to stay with you for the long haul. Personalization and engagement are key to turning potential customers into buying customers. In fact, research shows that one in four customers will pay more for personalized products. It’s clear that customers want personalization. That’s why businesses that want to create lasting bonds need to give it to them.
Customer relationships are essential to building brand loyalty. When you invest in these relationships, you’ll not only see a happier customer base but a boost to your bottom line, too. Here are five strategies to build long-lasting customer relationships.
Brands often make the mistake of focusing on retention too soon in the buying cycle. You can’t expect a new customer to retain you if they just started using your brand.
You aren’t going to create deep relationships with new customers. It doesn’t make sense to pursue new customers right now if a lifelong relationship is your goal. That’s why retaining existing customers should be your focus.
It’s cheaper and easier to retain repeat customers. Those repeat customers spend 3 times as much as new customers and cost five times less to acquire.
Prioritize repeat customers with your marketing efforts. With this strategy, you’ll see a better return on your marketing ROI. This means enabling remarketing campaigns, customer loyalty apps and exclusive discounts for repeat customers.
Brand awareness is the extent to which customers are able to recall or recognize a brand. Research shows that, on average, 5 to 7 brand impressions are necessary before someone will remember your brand. However, in order to improve your brand awareness, you first need to know how to measure it.
Luckily, there are a number of ways you can measure your brand awareness online, including:
Create customer surveys
Look at website analytics
Use social listening tools
Look at search volume data
Find your brand on review sites
Here are more specifics on each type of measurement.
One easy way to measure your brand awareness is by creating online surveys. In order to get the truest sense of your brand awareness, you can approach this tactic in two different ways: by creating customer surveys or surveying a random group of people.
Sending a survey to your customers that includes the question “How did you hear about us?” will give you insight into how people are discovering your business. For instance, are the majority of your customers finding out about your company through your blog posts? Or maybe they discovered you on social media? Getting these valuable insights will help you determine where users are talking about you online and how you’re reaching your target audience best.
Remember though, creating an online survey is just the first step. The next step is actually getting your customers to complete it, which can be challenging. Make sure your customer survey is simple enough for users to fill out quickly and also engaging enough to keep their interest. You can make sure your forms are engaging by keeping them short, adding images and emojis, or using conversational forms.
Aside from surveying your existing customers, it’s also important to gauge how …Read More
It all begins with understanding and defining your audience. This is where customer or buyer personas come in. A customer persona is basically a profile of your ideal customer. It is a research-based semi-fictional representation with detailed information about your target consumer, including:
Your customer persona helps you frame your marketing messages for a specific audience, ensuring that it speaks to their needs, their goals and their preferred channels for content consumption. In fact, according to a Cintell report, 71 percent of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented persona.
But this begs the question: how do you go about creating customer personas? As mentioned earlier, personas are based on research. And while different people have different ways of building customer profiles, many will gravitate toward the same set of questions when doing their customer research. Here is a breakdown of the information you need to define when developing your customer personas.
The answer to these questions depends entirely on your circumstances. For example, if your business serves a predominantly B2B market, you can assume that your audience is composed of business decision-makers – individuals in charge of making procurement and purchasing decisions.
As you answer this question and begin profiling your customers, you can include information such as:
These factors, in turn, will help you decide what kind …Read More
Research shows that 61% of bloggers create an email marketing campaign to increase the number of views on their blog.
One of the most popular ways businesses are keeping in touch with their customers is through drip campaigns. In essence, a drip campaign is a marketing technique that allows businesses to build a rapport with customers and prospects alike through a long-tail process involving multiple emails with content, conversations and calls to action over an extended period of time.
If you’re thinking about creating a drip campaign to increase engagement on your website, we explain how to start and run this process using the following steps:
The first factor you must consider when starting an email drip campaign is your lead list. Every niche has a different type of customer persona, and it’s very likely that you’ll have multiple personas you want to target under the umbrella of one company.
For instance, if you owned an online pet shop and wanted to create a drip campaign, you likely want to start with different pet categories based on consumer purchases. You would want to create a list for the people interested in content about dogs and create your emails around that niche. Similarly, you could strategize emails for people who have purchased cat products, bird accessories or rodent supplies – the list goes on. The more you fine-tune your email list, the more likely subscribers are to enjoy and engage with your brand.
You’ll have a better chance of creating a reliable lead list if you begin gathering subscribers as soon as possible. Some business owners gather leads when their website goes …Read More
Competition is fierce in today’s digital age, with nearly every business claiming the best products and services and touting fantastic customer service. How then do people decide which company they’re going to do business with?
The answer is customer reviews, and it’s why my business offers an affordable reputation software solution that makes it easy to do online reputation marketing. Notice that I didn’t say online reputation management. The truth is that managing your brand’s reputation is essential but marketing it is critical for the success of any business.
To improve your online reputation marketing efforts, you can simply start by responding to all your existing customer reviews. Sadly, this is one of the most neglected and under-utilized online reputation marketing strategies around, yet it’s one of the easiest to execute. Here are five reasons why you want to respond to every single customer review.
I see companies make this mistake every single day. As you research a company and read its reviews, you’ll hopefully see some positive reviews. Suddenly, you discover a negative review, and that’s when the business finally decides to take the time to respond. It’s really a shame. The business is rewarding someone’s negative comments with their time and attention, instead of replying and showing appreciation to all the customers who took the time to share a positive review of the business.
What does it say about your business when people see positive reviews ignored, but then see a lengthy response to a bad review? It says your business cares more about your reputation than about your customers and their experiences. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?
That’s the real difference between reputation management and reputation marketing. The business is …Read More
Creating great content is a critical aspect of content marketing (hence the name), but it doesn’t do you any good if no one ever sees it. Cutting through the clutter to grab the attention of your target audience is harder than ever, but the success of your content marketing strategy depends on your promotional efforts. A truly effective content marketing approach marries the creation of relevant content with a marketing campaign; your content should not just live in a vacuum.
Just how important is content marketing? Whether your brand is focused on B2B or B2C, content creation is key. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 91% of B2B marketing efforts include a content marketing campaign. For B2C companies, 86% of marketers believe that content marketing is an important aspect of building brands.
Cleary, content marketing is an essential part of promoting brand awareness and engagement. However, not all content is created equal. These strategies will help you create excellent content and promote it to your target audience. When done correctly, content marketing can become a central pillar of your larger digital marketing strategy, helping you to reach more potential customers, grow your social media channels, drive website traffic and build your brand.
It could be easy to think that your content marketing strategy should begin with developing a blog, but before you start creating content, you need a website on which it will live. Not any old website will do –if you want your content to be seen by your audience, you need to optimize your website.
Website optimization means making your pages as search engine friendly as possible. Essentially, your website optimization efforts are designed to make it …Read More
Retargeting pixels, also known as cookies, is a way to market your products to customers who visit your website and leave.
Social media is a common platform for targeting customers.
Retargeting is a way to market your products and services to customers who visit your website, then decide to leave before completing their purchase. Think about the last time you visited an eCommerce storefront and added something to your cart, but didn’t check out. Chances are, not long after your potential purchase, you started spotting ads for the product and brand you were looking at all over social media and on other websites.
This process is possible when business owners or marketers add a retargeting pixel to their website. These pixels are more commonly known as tracking cookies. When a consumer visits a website with a retargeting pixel, the site drops the cookie on the user’s browser and only removes it when a purchase is made. The result of this technique is that customers will see your ads across various platforms and decide to come back and place their order.
There are various platforms where you can use retargeting pixels to reach potential customers. The most common platform for getting generating leads and converting customers is social media. Research shows that 87% of businesses that use social media see increased exposure by putting themselves on various platforms. Your retargeting ads could lead the customer to check out your social media page before making a purchase, thus improving your odds of converting them on-site.
Social media retargeting usually appears throughout the user’s newsfeed naturally, but the type of content you use in your ad may determine whether or not they complete their purchase. For instance, many businesses offer a 10 to 20% discount …Read More
Just like it sounds, WOM marketing is when people spread the word about a company and its products, either encouraging or discouraging others from buying its products or services. It’s a type of social proof that can either harm or help a business based on what people say. The better overall experience your brand provides customers, the more beneficial WOM marketing will be for your business.
WOM marketing is the most popular means of sharing news between friends and family – Pew Research reports that 72% of consumers use this method to learn about the latest news, trends and current events, as well as what they thought about a particular product or service, which is why it’s such an effective method to increase the visibility of your business.
You might be wondering if WOM marketing is worth all the hype surrounding it. Consumers trust the opinions of friends and family more than anyone or anything else (borne out by the study cited above), so you can use this tactic to optimize your strategy.
For one thing, WOM marketing builds brand loyalty and trust. It demonstrates that you’re a legitimate business that provides quality products (or a quality service), and that message is one that people can stand behind. Most consumers don’t have the luxury of throwing money at whatever they want, so proving your worth as a brand before a customer makes a purchase is of major importance.
In this article, I explain how to improve your WOM marketing strategy, including how you can
Let’s explore three different ways you can implement WOM marketing into your conversion strategy for overall better performance …Read More
With such broad reach, any entrepreneur or small business owner looking to grow their online presence should not overlook Facebook.
Creating a business page is a great first step, but this action alone is not enough to stand out. You should be up to date on all the latest strategies to captivate your audience, turn them into leads and convert them into customers.
Here are 25 effective, yet easy-to-follow Facebook marketing tips and tricks that will help you generate sales for your business. And best of all, these are tips you can implement for free today. All you need is to put in some time and dedication.
This is something a lot of entrepreneurs starting out on Facebook often get confused about. If you create a regular (personal) Facebook page with your business name and details, it is not a business page as per Facebook’s rules and regulations. Facebook recognizes personal and business pages as different. You should have a dedicated business page.
To create your business page on Facebook, you can simply click on the Pages section on Facebook.com, followed by the Create Page button. The advantages of business page differ from those of a personal page. With a business page:
When you create a Facebook business page, Facebook assigns a random URL to your page. Instead, you can obtain a username or vanity URL (as it is often called). This makes …Read More