Without leads, how is your online business supposed to move forward? Expansion isn’t possible without the customer base to back it up.
You can exert all your effort into generating leads, or take another less time-consuming approach. Generate leads on autopilot. Generate them while you sleep, or while you focus on bigger projects.
Let’s be clear. Generating leads on autopilot does not mean you can sit around and expect leads to come in. To generate leads you first need to put in a little time and effort. “Passive” after all is never completely passive.
However, these 5 methods for generating leads can be executed early on and will continue to bring in leads. Focus your efforts on them in the beginning of a campaign. Then evaluate along the way and watch your quantity of leads grow over time.
Having an online business means investing in online advertising. More traditional, tangible advertisements are giving way to video ads on Facebook, pay per click (PPC) ads and other digital advertising advances. With whatever budget you have, you can usually find a sophisticated plan that will meet your beginning needs. Plus, you have the tools to measure what kind of an impact your ads are having.
Starting up an ad campaign may take more effort than some of these other methods. Once you design how you want the ad to look and the message you want it to convey, you’ll need to pick a platform for distribution. But a clear understanding of your target audience makes picking that distribution channel easy: simply go where your audience is.
After all of this, you’ll need to review your metrics consistently, to make changes to an ad campaign before you lose money on it. Still, online ads give you a far greater outreach than you could reach on your own.
Even without their contact information, you can reach out to potential leads through direct messaging. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, you name it. They all have messaging tools that allow you to send a personalized message to a lead, or generate some more. Consider adding a chatbox to your own business website for visitors who want questions answered about your product but prefer not to contact you via social media.
With direct messaging you form a more personal relationship with the consumer. Be careful of automating too many of your messages. An autopilot approach with direct messaging could make you come across as spammy or inauthentic. You want to draw more viewers in, not drive prime leads away. When messaging, be reliable and be real. Always be there to greet a new follower to your social accounts or to answer a question, while giving responses that don’t seem like a robot sent them.
If you haven’t started including video content in your marketing, now is the time to do so! On average, an Internet user will watch close to 206 videos per month. These videos are distributed on multiple channels, but one often untouched channel is YouTube. Despite YouTube’s popularity, with its billion plus users, many online businesses sell themselves short of this potential audience. Not just any potential audience, but nearly one-third of the entire global population on the Internet.
When making a YouTube channel and videos, research what your audience already watches. Would they prefer watching tutorials or a casual vlog explaining your product? Draw attention to what makes your business unique from the competition and you’ll engage your audience’s attention even more. Always make sure you include a call-to-action, or else whatever results you do get will be just that: views, not viable leads.
You can never go wrong with the right email. Its ROI is almost 40x greater than social media’s, allowing for more solid customer retention. Social media is key to driving traffic to your online business site. But only a handful of visitors from social media convert into customers. If you build up a list of email subscribers, you can continue to reach out to past customers, priming them to purchase from you again. Or your emails can engage potential customers who require more time before deciding to make a purchase.
Whatever your situation, email marketing still proves successful time and time again. Be sure you keep your email list updated, though, so you don’t send unwanted emails to customers. Another good practice is to create list groups within your overall email list. These groups could be separated based on the consumer’s interests or preferences, customer demographic, etc. With an email automation system, you can send out emails to these groups, even when you're not working. Increase your leads and customer retention with a few simple clicks.
For a very passive approach to generating more leads, let your audience create the content and promote your brand for you. All you need to do is set the parameters for this user-generated content. You could make a social media contest out of it! Ask your audience to share pictures or videos of themselves with your product; explain that the user with the most views or shares will win a prize at the end. Then watch and see how your audience responds.
Studies show that consumers trust this user-generated content more than they do an advertisement. They would rather share or view something a friend posted or have the chance to share their own experience and opinion. Coca-Cola caught on to the potential success of a user-generated campaign when they launched, “Share a Coke.” They branded their bottles with customers’ names and asked their audience to share pictures of their coke bottles on social media. Before the campaign Coca-Cola was seeing a decline in U.S. revenue for the past decade, but afterwards they saw a 2% increase in sales.
Generating leads for your online business can be done in your sleep, but only if you put in the effort first. Start implementing these ideas and share your successes or other ideas with us! Times keep changing, and new ways to passively generate leads come about every day. When you learn to adapt and try new methods, your online business will reach new heights. It’s time to begin.