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Where to invest in online marketing and lead generation

get those phones ringing fastAre you confused about where to invest in online marketing and lead generation?

If you’re suffering from analysis paralysis, then this this information should help you assess where and how to invest in your online marketing program.

Here are just some of the most common options that you might be considering:

  • SEO (search engine optimization) of your existing web site
  • Google Places / Google+ local business listings
  • Online directories
  • Making your web site more attractive to visitors
  • Setting up a Facebook Page
  • Setting up a Twitter account
  • Setting up a LinkedIn profile
  • Setting up a YouTube channel
  • Setting up any other social media profile
  • Creating videos and putting them on your web site
  • Running contents online
  • Contributing to article directories
  • Paying for Pay Per Click or Cost Per Action campaigns
  • Getting online reviews

To be frank, there are so many options that it can make your head spin.  All of them take time, all of them cost money, none of them are guaranteed lead generation strategies – not even paid online advertising.  So which are your best choices when you want to get your phones to ring as quickly as possible.

Where is your audience?

While all the above options are very important to your long term web presence success, it really depends on your specific business model and target audience.  While marketing principles are fairly standard across industries, the execution of these principles can vary quite a bit.  For instance, if you’re a B2C business then you might find that the social media route may form the backbone of your online activities.  While this doesn’t remove the need for a well optimized web site, it means that your main activity focus will be on social media, with the web site as a valuable part of the overall strategy.

If you’re a B2B business, then you might look at your web site as being the main focus with your social media concentrating on LinkedIn which is the premier business social platform.

What it boils down to is: where is your highest profit probability audience active?  Where do they hang out?  Where do they get engaged?  That’s where you want to be.

Which online marketing options are best for you?

generate-leads-onlineIt’s not so much ‘which’ of the various options you’ll choose, but rather, ‘which priority’?  Many of the tactics you’ll use e.g. keyword optimization, are applicable across all the strategies.  You’ll want to pay as much attention to keyword optimizing your LinkedIn profile and business page as you do to optimizing your web site – and for the same reasons.

You’ll often hear people in the internet marketing industry talking about not being ‘Google dependent’.  What this means is that they’re looking for ways to get visibility that doesn’t rely on Google liking them and featuring them in order for them to get seen online.

The trouble with this is that as Google gets the lion share of the searches from people looking for your products and services, and as their search results are one of the most popular ways to be found, it doesn’t leave you with too many options.

Want to market using LinkedIn? Optimizing for LinkedIn will also impact your LinkedIn profile’s visibility on Google.  The same goes for your Twitter profile, your Facebook Page and even your YouTube channel.

So here’s what we suggest would be an effective B2B strategy:

  • Find out how many searches there are on Google for what you sell
  • Use this to identify at least 10 – 20 primary keywords

check out this video to see how to do this:

  • Do an assessment to find out where your primary audience is engaged
  • Set up a presence in this area – for instance, if they’re engaged on LinkedIn, set up a proper LinkedIn profile, fully optimized for your best key terms.  Then begin cultivating your LinkedIn contacts via groups and other avenues the platform offers
  • Set up a web site on a WordPress standalone platform and optimize for the same key terms
  • Create a landing page and lead capture system for this to which your LinkedIn audience can be funneled.
  • Set up a lead nurturing system to grow relationships with these leads
  • As part of this system you might want to consider educational webinars, newsletters etc
  • Once this is set up and working, then look at expanding your presence to YouTube and using video both on your channel and on your other web presences.
  • Then look at adding other social media platforms to the mix

All of the above will contribute to raising your online authority overall.  What you do on LinkedIn will positively impact your website, as will what you do on any other social media platform.

Why not only use paid online advertising?

Paid online advertising can often work well.  However it also requires a good understanding of SEO and both on and off page optimization.  Meaning that simply throwing up ads and not doing the necessary research and using the correct keywords is a waste of time and money.  And, if you’re getting this part right but you don’t have a proper sales funnel ie lead capture and lead development system on your web site, you’re also wasting money.  If you have all of these factors in place, then yes, online advertising can be great – but if not, then don’t bother.  You’d be better advised to invest this into organic marketing.

What’s the quickest way to get the phones ringing?

Depends on your business and your market.  For many ‘offline’ businesses, believe it or not, the quickest way to get the phones ringing often has little to do with online marketing.  If you’re in an existing business and have a customer database, phoning is possibly the very fastest way to get new business, followed by emailing.  If you’re in a business that doesn’t yet have a customer database, then your best option is to engage as directly as possible with targeted prospects.  This can be achieved by voice prospecting (B2B only except for fundraising for charity and / or political parties).  online marketing and lead generation

Direct response mail is also a powerful contender.  The impact of direct mail waned over the past few years owing to the inundation of ‘junk mail’.  In addition, the costs became quite exorbitant compared to emailing.  This led to a drop off in the numbers of businesses who used direct mail. Because of this, innovative direct mail today gets a lot more attention and it can be not only a quick way to get the phones ringing but also reasonably cost effective if you’re careful about it.

Face to face direct sales is sometimes advisable although it’s slower from the point of view that you can only see so many prospects within a day and it requires physical travel and appointment setting.

Quickest online lead generation strategies:

Emailing on it’s own used to be a quick money generator, but today, owing to the huge volume of ‘junk email’ it’s no longer nearly as effective.

One of the fastest ways to generate leads online once it’s set up is Google+ local listings.  Because they top the organic search engine results they’re highly visible and appear to be ‘unbiased’.  It takes a while to set these up properly, get them optimized and then get them to rank, but once they do rank, it’s a sure fire way to get your phones ringing.  As with everything in marketing, consistent maintenance is also necessary to keep listings ranked and effective. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_marketing

Do quick and long term marketing simultaneously.

Don’t sacrifice long term for quick.  They’re not mutually exclusive. Look after your long term marketing strategies and your short term generating of leads will also improve.  If you need help to decide where to invest in your online marketing and lead generation – don’t forget – we’re happy to offer you suggestions  – just call or email us.

 

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