For any business to prosper, the foremost concern is to generate more sales of their products and services. But before this uphill task of selling more, there exists an even more critical activity i.e. to pick the medium/channel to be used for reaching the targeted prospects with minimal costs. For a startup company or a small-sized business, uncontrolled cash burn can be dangerous. So I am going to jot down all the channels a company can use en route to finding and converting prospects to valuable clients.
Generate leads through Social media – Facebook has 2.38 billion active users as of June 2019, do I need to say anything more. This is just one social media site, and then there are LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Vimeo and the list goes on. Having a company page on these won’t cost a penny. You may use them to share useful content with your audience, engage them, provide links to your website, share videos and company promotions, join communities/groups of concern to your company (esp. on LinkedIn). Occasionally people use social media to search for their business needs, find such people who will be interested in your service or product. And if you find any of those social media channels to be a good source, you might as well use their paid advertisement tools too.
Broadcast and Print media – This category includes TV Adverts, Radio Broadcasts, Podcasts, and Advertisements on newspapers, Magazines related to your target market. These helping in creating awareness and brand image for your products/services. Some of these may seem costly and should only be tried after due diligence. Posting ads on the newsletters of the trade groups and associations of your interest may be cheaper than TV ads and certainly capable of boosting your revenues.
Partnerships – You may partner with companies’ whose product/service compliment yours. For example, if you provide online membership software, you can partner with the company which provides online fundraising tools, so that you may recommend each other to your respective clients.
Referrals – Many companies lack a referral program or just forget that this can be an easy way to acquire more clients. You can always ask your clients to refer people and you may also run an official referral program where you reward your clients with free products, extended service, iPods. IPads etc for each customer acquisition.
Industry Events – Sponsoring and exhibiting at industry events and tradeshows is another way of finding and pitching to your target audience. If your company provides software services to the Hospitality industry, you can either sponsor a Hospitality & Travel tradeshow or even set up an exhibitor booth at the event and set up appointments with prospective clients. Of course, sponsoring has its own advantages and may even get you speaking opportunities from the organizers of the event.
Association marketing – Associations related to your target market are a good place for customer hunting. Here it can be done with top to bottom approach or vice versa. Either you provide your service to the Main association body and leverage that to market to its members or you may target its members first.
Buy B2B Lists – One of the fastest ways of acquiring more leads is to purchase targeted B2B lists from trusted companies like BolsterBiz, which provide customized B2B lists aimed at getting you to your target audience. This channel plays an important role in giving the initial push while you work on developing other channels for lead generation through various other Marketing & Sales initiatives. This method has its own merits and demerits (quality being the biggest concern) and should be used after reading thoroughly about them; I am writing my next blog addressing the following questions - Everything you need to know about a B2B list
Company Website – A well-planned website will help branding, marketing, selling and even providing customer support. You can provide eCommerce, live communication tools like Live Chat, Knowledge Support to handle customer queries, blogs, Audio/Video streaming and the list goes on. With all this being said, it is vital to have a Contact form asking for important details like Name, company, Phone no. and email etc. Leads captured through the contact form would be of high quality as they want to buy your product or want to know more about them.
Content & Search Engine Marketing – This form of internet marketing includes increasing the visibility on search engine pages through SEO efforts and pay per click programs. When you provide useful and valuable information on the internet, you will end up driving more traffic to your website. These measures will help your website appear on top of the search engine results, and in turn, lead to more traffic visiting your website. After that, it depends on your website to induce them to buy your products or make them fill the contact form. You can also put useful whitepapers and eBooks on your website, which can be downloaded after filling the contact form.