One of the biggest problems facing most small local businesses is how to generate lead and clients through the internet.
Must local small businesses know that the way to go is internet marketing but how to proceed is what they don't know.
So, in this article, I will show you the 3 simple steps you must follow before you'll be able to start generating leads and customers for your business online.
1. Discover where your potential clients hang out online
What most small local businesses fail to realize is that not all online marketing platforms will give you the same result.
Some marketing platforms may be suitable for your small local business while others may be a complete waste of your time and resources.
So, in judging how well a marketing platform suites your business, you must take into consideration the following factors:
- Do the marketing platform attract your target audience: If the marketing platform attracts your ideal audience or customers then that platform is for you to market on
- Do your target audience hangout there in sufficient quantity?: You see, marketing is a game of numbers. The more your target audience hang out on a particular platform, the more people you'll be able to reach and convert to leads and customers. The less they hangout there, the less people you'll be able to reach. If your target audience hangout in a particular platform in large enough numbers, then that platform is ideal for you to market on
How to discover where you potential clients and customers hang out online
Conduct a market research
Digital Advertising platforms like Google, Bing, Facebook, and Linkedin provide a market research tool that allows you to see if your target customers hang out on their platform in sufficient enough quantity or not.
Use the free research tools provided by this platforms for their advertisers to see if your ideal customers reside there in sufficient enough quantity before investing your money.
2. Formulate a marketing strategy to target and win customers on your chosen marketing channel
Every marketing channel has its own marketing strategy that works only for it.
But unfortunately, most businesses do what I call plug and pray strategy without building a definite marketing plan that works on their chosen marketing channel.
These businesses are of the assumption that all they need to do is to set up a digital marketing campaign and the leads and clients will start rolling in.
But that isn't so in reality as each marketing platform is different and therefore requires a different marketing approach.
Those that managed to discover a working strategy on one platform do tend to duplicate the same marketing strategy on another platform that is totally different from the platform they got their initial results.
They assume that all digital marketing platforms are the same and require the same marketing strategy.
No wonder they all complain that digital marketing doesn't work.
Now, if you employ a strategy that works for let's say Facebook on Google, you'll end up wasting your money in the process.
That is because the mindset of people you'll reach on Facebook is totally different from the people you'll reach on Google.
Since the mindset of people you find in both platforms is different, so also is the method with which you'd use to reach and convert them to a leads and customers.
The people you'll reach on Facebook are just socializing and are either not aware of their problems or they are not in the mindset of buying your service.
But the people you'll reach on Google are aware of their problems and are actively searching for a solution.
While Facebook is great for building brand awareness and creating problem and solution awareness through content marketing, Google is great for generating clients and customers right away.
But that doesn't mean that Facebook won't be able to help you generate clients and customers.
It does, but it generally requires a different marketing strategy that requires a longer time period and effort to work when compared to Google.
For example, a straight-up marketing campaign whose strategy is to go for the sale right away will be a monumental failure on Facebook but will be a success on Google.
So, once you pick a digital marketing channel you know that works for your industry, make sure you also find the right strategy that will help you generate sales lead and customers from those platform.
3. Use digital advertising to reach your target customers
Once you discover where your potential clients hang out online, the fastest way of reaching them is through digital advertising also known as pay per click (PPC).
Never try to reach your customers through organic means as that procedure is a too long and tedious affair.
It won't give you an immediate return on investment (ROI), which is what must business need.
You should only combine digital advertising with organic marketing only when your digital advertising has paid off and you're trying to expand your source of generating new customers.
Why use digital advertising to reach and win your target customers
1. Digital Advertising is the fastest way to start generating new clients and customers right away
Using search engine optimization (SEO) to target your potential customers will take you on average 6 months to a year to bear fruit and that is if you were able to make it to the first page of Google at all within that time frame.
On the side of Facebook, regularly posting on your Facebook business page is a waste of time because Facebook has greatly reduced the number of people whom that post could reach and not only that, your success largely depends on the number of people following your business page.
So, your best bet is to use digital advertising which removes all barriers that would have stood on your way if you used organic means like SEO or posting on your Facebook business page.
2. You'll be provided with best tools and support from those platforms
Since you're paying for placement, those advertising platforms will put you in an exclusive list and provide you with all the best customer support and tools that will help your business grow on its platform.
With these tools, you'll be able to see what gives you the highest ROI and what doesn't thereby eliminating guess work and cutting down on waste.
If you're using the organic means to grow your business, you won't have the luxury to play around with these tools and customer support.
Building your business on the internet is very easy if you know what to do at the right time.
These three tips I gave you are the foundation of any internet marketing campaign that generates leads and customers for small businesses.
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