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Small Business Lead Generation: A Beginner’s Guide

Small Business Lead Generation

Has it ever happened that you’re outspending on PR and advertising, employing the latest SEO techniques and publishing well-written content, but  are unable to generate leads? 

Indeed, it is frustrating, particularly if you’re a small business owner who has just stepped foot on the market. More so, if there are zillions of brands selling the same products or services that you’re trying to sell, making it more challenging to survive the cut-throat competition. 

So, if you’re looking for ways to drive traffic to your website, this guide will help you craft a successful lead generation strategy to take your business to new heights. 

Here are some tried-and-tested strategies and tools that will help you identify sales leads and turn them into customers, thereby boosting the online visibility of your business. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!


What Is Lead Generation?

Whether you sell products or services, the primary goal of every business owner is to increase revenue. Of course, in the world of digital marketing, the best way to amplify sales is to generate leads. 

Simply put, lead generation is the process through which entrepreneurs attract audiences to their products and services and convert them into potential customers using the right marketing strategies. 

Not to deny, there are various lead generation software launched on the market, but even then, generating leads is the most challenging task for any marketer. 

According to a survey, 81 percent of customers research online before making a purchase. That is why it’s important to build a successful digital marketing strategy that will drive traffic to your business and boost sales by turning them into customers. 


Why Is Lead Generation Strategy Important For Small Businesses?

Much like a child, a business goes through four growth stages – startup, growth, maturity, and renewal or decline. 

Irrespective of whether your business is in the startup or the maturity phase, lead generation is important in every stage. If there are no leads, your business won’t generate revenue, which means it won’t survive in the market. 

Contrary to the conventional lead generation process, the contemporary strategies focus on attracting people to the website and turning them into customers. 

No matter how up-to-date your marketing techniques are, your business won’t soar high without a proper lead generation strategy. As a rule of thumb, invest in lead generations as early as you can, only then will you be able to remain steadfast in the market. 

Here’s why lead generation strategy is important for small businesses. 

1.) Increase total conversions

While social media marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) ads may drive traffic to your website, they don’t contribute much to increasing sales. 

Even though lead generation attracts a small group of people to your business, it targets only those genuinely interested in your products or services. Compared to other marketing techniques, niche-specific lead generation is likely to boost conversion rates. 

2.) Generate more revenue

We bet you’d agree – the primary goal of any business is to maximize profits, and that is where lead generation comes into the picture. When employed correctly, lead generation strategies will turn your audience into prospect customers and generate high revenues. 

3.) Build brand visibility

There’s no denying that a startup isn’t as famous as an established business, which means you’ll have to work hard to attract customers.Therefore, you’ll have to create visibility and spread awareness of your brand. 

Thankfully, small business owners can generate leads by creating content that is popular among their targeted audience and share them on social media and other marketing channels. 


10 Best Trending Strategies For Small Business Lead Generation

Here we’ve enlisted some tried-and-tested lead generation strategies that have worked wonders for a few startups. So, let’s check them out. 

1.) Invest in social media ads 

Generating leads for your business may seem a near-impossible task when you’re a newbie to the digital marketing world. However, social media is one of the best platforms that you can use to reach out to your target audience. If you know how to do it right that is.

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube are some sites that you can count on to attract potential clients to your website. 

2.) Use email marketing campaigns

Did you know that most lead generation companies use email marketing to boost the business growth of their client’s business? Not only are email marketing strategies powerful and flexible, but you can also measure the results. 

This conversion-focused approach allows businesses to increase revenue by attracting new customers on a rather modest budget. 

New business owners whose goal is to generate more leads should first identify their target market and customize offer deals as per their interests. After that, they should create a landing page with an opt-in form so that they subscribe to your emails willingly. 

Once people start signing up for your email newsletters, send them personalized yet quality content to turn them into customers. 

3.) Improve your content marketing efforts

More often than not, small business owners tend to spend tons of money on Google Ads for online lead generation. Though outbound marketing is effective, you must keep in mind that they are kind of intrusive. 

Instead of “seeking” the audience in the form of outbound marketing, inbound marketing is a strategy that “pulls” them to your business by spreading brand awareness. In simple words, inbound strategies give business owners the freedom to engage with their audiences, whom they can qualify as a lead. 

One of the most effective inbound marketing strategies that are used by the top lead generation companies is creating content relevant to the taste of the audiences. Webinars, blog posts, e-books, and resources – are some of the types of content that you can create to qualify leads. 

As per Content Marketing Institute, 75 percent of B2B marketers effectively employed content marketing to reach their potential leads in the past years. 

However, producing high-quality content is important, otherwise, your efforts will go in vain. Besides lead generation, content marketing adds value to your website and improves your search engine rankings. 

4.) Create guest posts

Though most often used as a link-building strategy, a guest post is a great way to generate leads. 

Besides attracting potential customers to your business, it will improve the SEO of your website and form new industry connections. All you need to do is find sites relevant to your industry and reach out to them to find out whether they accept guest posts or not.

As there are plenty of websites accepting content from guest contributors, we are sure you won’t have a tough time finding one for your business. Once you find a relevant website, create killer content on a ‘problem’ that your business aims to solve without being too salesy. Also, don’t forget to include a link that will direct people to your website. 

5.) Build backlinks to your website

Do you want your e-commerce website to rank higher in search engines? If yes, then you should consider adding backlinks to your website. 

Of course, the higher your website ranks in the SERPs (search engine results pages), the more people will visit it. Therefore, we suggest looking for websites that have high authority ratings and domain rankings. 

Most companies offering lead generation services use Moz, SEMRush, or AHREFS to identify such websites. After that, send them your pillar content and look for areas where you could potentially link them. 

Also, make sure you add backlinks to guest posts and avoid linking them to anything that appears too promotional such as landing pages, homepages, and so on. 

6.) Offer free trials

When it comes to renowned brands such as Apple, their sales team doesn’t have to spend much effort on nurturing the generated leads. That’s because they have been on the market for decades and are trusted by the customers. 

Unfortunately, small businesses don’t enjoy the same luxury, but you can offer free trials of your products to the customers. When brands offer free trials, they allow customers to try their products or services to form an initial opinion.

People who love your products will come back to make a purchase and become your customers. Much like other marketing strategies, free trials may not always help you generate leads, which is why we suggest experimenting with different offers and deals. 

7.) Optimize your website and use CTAs

One of the best lead generation strategies that small business owners must follow is to optimize their website. Customers like easy-to-navigate websites, so make sure you make your e-commerce site as user-friendly as possible. 

Not only that, but you must also make sure that the content you publish on the site must be well-written to pique the interest of the leads generated. As a business owner, one thing that you must always keep in mind is that there should be a clear “call to action” button throughout your website. 

As web design plays a crucial role in attracting visitors, use bright or contrasting colors to get those clicks.

8.) Use social media platforms in a creative manner

While boosting the ranking of your brand in the SERPs is important, you must make efforts to stay active on social media platforms. 

Not to deny, ads are one of the most common ways to interact with your potential customers on various platforms. But there are plenty of other ways in which you can use social media to generate interest in your target audience. 

Running contests, creating interactive quizzes, and influencer marketing – are some creative ways that small business owners can resort to for generating leads. However, make sure you craft these tactics in a way that would drive traffic to your website. 

9.) Add a live chat feature to your website

Another excellent way to drive traffic to your website is by adding a live chat feature. Most often, businesses include this feature on their website to allow customers to engage with the executives and clear their queries or get their issues resolved without going through much hassle. 

10.) Host events

While search ads, content marketing, and exclusive offers on your products and services are excellent ways to drive traffic, hosting events can work wonders for generating leads. 

When brands host events, they interact with their target audiences and are able to build a meaningful relationship with them. From online webinars to offline workshops, brands conduct such events to capture the details of the audiences attending them, which can be used to boost conversions. 

Furthermore, these live events provide insight into the interests and behaviors of your audience, which will help you to lead them through the sales funnel with finesse. 


8 Best Lead Generation Tools For Every Small Business Owner

Almost every business owner, whether large or small, develops marketing campaigns to amplify the growth of their organization. As per the U.S. Labor Bureau Of Labor Statistics, only 25 percent of businesses live up to 15 years or more, while the rest shut during the first ten years. 

The secret to the success of a business lies in generating leads and turning them into prospective customers through marketing tactics. Sure, it may sound easy-peasy, but lead generation is complicated for every business. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of lead generation tools available on the market that you can rely on for the growth of your business. To save you the hassle, we’ve highlighted some of the tools that are used by the best lead generation companies to help their clients find the right customers. 

1.) Hubspot Sales

Among business owners, small or big, Hubspot Sales is one of the most popular tools for lead generation. This free customer relationship management (CRM) tool offers four options to choose from – free, starter, professional, and enterprise. 

Interested ones can start with free tools, while others can take a demo of premium products before committing to the software in the long run. From managing sales pipelines to converting website visitors into prospective leads, it offers a plethora of features, making it one of the best on the market. 

2.) Mailchimp

Looking for a lead generation tool that will let you run successful email campaigns? Then Mailchimp, a widely used tool among small business owners for email marketing, will fit the bill. 

Though a free version is available, you’ll have to spend a few bucks every month to get access to the premium features. Easy to use and relatively affordable, it lets business owners and marketers reach out to a large number of people by creating automated lead nurturing campaigns and sending them. 

3.) Picreel

With its exit-intent technology, Picreel displays attractive pop ups the moment the visitors are engaged or about to leave the website. 

Furthermore, it offers more than 100 delightful popup templates that can be customized without coding. These AI-powered high-converting popups can be used by business owners to convert the traffic into prospective customers. 

With over 700+ easy-to-install integrations and a guarantee to convert visitors, Picreel is a must-have for every small business owner. 

4.) LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Another popular lead generation tool among small business owners is LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which delivers the most relevant prospects. 

Available in Core, Advanced, and Advanced Plus options, it comes with a Chrome extension, which means you can communicate with people on LinkedIn without leaving your browser. Not only that, but it also allows the users to check who has read their emails and clicked on links contained in them. 

5.) Leadfeeder

Want to know who visits your e-commerce store so that you can design strategies to target them? Well, Leedfeeder is right up the street to help you boost conversion rates by providing all the contact details of the website visitors. 

And, since it gets connected to Google Analytics, you can rest assured that it will provide you with every detail of the audience visiting the e-commerce site. Coming with a two-week free trial, this software provides details of even those visitors who have never shared their information on your website. 

6.) Hunter

Designed to help business owners find email addresses, Hunter is incredibly easy to use, which makes it perfect for newbie marketers. 

Though you’ll have to shell out cash to use this platform, it allows users to use it without paying a single penny for up to 100 requests. And the best part about it is that it allows you to find the email id of people by typing their names along with their company. 

7.) HubSpot Marketing

This all-in-one toolset is yet another perfect tool for small business owners as it allows them to capture leads and nurture them to turn them into buyers. Not only that, but it can also be used to gather data, which comes in handy to design marketing strategies. 

As it comes with live chat, pop ups, chatbots, and traditional forms, along with a bunch of features, it’s no surprise that it comes with a hefty price tag. However, if you’re unable to decide whether it’s the right pick for your business or not, opting for its free version will be the best bet. 

8.) Constant Contact

Most often, this online platform is referred to as an alternative to MailChimp, but of course, it has a plethora of other features that makes it stand out from the crowd. Trusted by millions for more than 20 years, Constant Contact allows you to boost sales, engage with your potential customers and track everything. 

Much like the majority of software, it offers a free trial, which you can go for and upgrade to the premium version only if you find it useful. Also, we’d like to mention that its customer service is commendable. 


Do’s And Don’ts Of Lead Generation Process For Small Business Owners

Regardless of whether you sell products or services, these do’s, and don’ts will help you plan a successful lead generation strategy. In turn, the right leads will flow into your website and turn into prospective customers, and your hard work will pay off. 

Do’s

  • Draw audiences to your website with SEO-focused content to address their pain points. 
  • Gate your best blog content and optimize landing pages for maximizing conversions. 
  • Track conversions, visits to your website, signs-ups, and other relevant metrics.
  • Make use of social media advertisements, Google Ads, and other related platforms.
  • Keep advertisements short, crisp and concise.

Don’ts

  • Avoid spamming your new customers with sales emails and promotional content.
  • Don’t simply start writing the content; be strategic and write a well-researched article.

FAQs

Can businesses survive without lead generation?

No, your business won’t survive without lead generation, regardless of how well-established it is. 

What are some of the best lead generation strategies that small businesses must follow?

Though there are plenty of ways to generate leads, the four surefire ways to drive traffic to your website are:

  • Run giveaways or local contests
  • Consider investing in social media ads 
  • Create a localized landing page
  • Host webinars, seminars, and workshops

Final Thoughts on SMB Lead Generation Strategies

There you have it! Everything that you need to know about small business lead generation from the pros. 

Of course, generating quality leads isn’t as easy as it may sound, particularly for folks who have just ventured into the business world. But with the strategies and tools mentioned above, we are sure you’ll be able to identify and nurture your target audience and turn them into customers. 

In the meantime, keep publishing quality content on your website and other third-party sites relevant to your niche to spread brand awareness and boost online visibility. However, if you’re still unable to fetch quality leads, hiring a lead generation company will be the best way forward.

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or on any web sites linked to from this page. This blog article was written by David W in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect the opinion(s) of WebCitz, LLC.