11 Best Lead Generation Strategies for Startups & Small Businesses

With the evolution for technology, the demands and habits of the consumers across the world have changed. Consider the needs of the consumer a little more than a couple of years ago, which were completely opposite to the ones that exist today. With such change in circumstances, the marketers have adapted to new ways through which they can attract the customers. Interestingly enough, the evolution of the tech world has been beneficial to small businesses as they are already restricted by the resources that can be allotted to content generation as well as getting the content to reach the prospective customers. The following lead generation strategies have been thought through especially for such small businesses to grab the attention of the masses and turn them into their customers.

Inbound Lead Generation – The New Norm

What initially seemed to be impossible, is actually the new norm i.e. inbound lead generation. This refers to the phenomenon where the consumer chooses to interact with the company instead of the other way round.
This is a true reflection of the power of social media and search engines. Small businesses might find it hard in the beginning but the truth is that the curiosity in the minds of the consumer will eventually lead to him choosing to interact with the business sooner or later.

Search Advertising

Instead of opting for billboards, that target a specific number of audience, small businesses may choose to go for search advertising. One of the most popular form of search advertising is Google AdWords, followed by BingAds. Through careful and creative use of keywords, new businesses may drive online sales using this effective method.

Content Marketing – Content is Key

Without putting in a huge amount of resources as required in a TV advertisement, small businesses may use the simple strategy that is Content Marketing. This technique involves generation and distribution of content in a consistent manner in order to gain the attention of a specific kind of audience online. ‘
Use of blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is effective in this regard. Content marketing backs the social media marketing department of small businesses as they get more and more valuable content to share online.
If the budget allows, a webpage of their own can add to the small business’s profile as prospective consumers may specifically hit the webpage to know more about the company and its products.

Email Marketing – The good old partner!

Email marketing is the traditional form of lead generation since the advent of emails. It’s reliable and gets the job done without much effort or cost. Not only can this technique be applied on future customers but on current customers as well. Does sound a little cliché, right? But this certainly is the good old partner.
Although email marketing does have the probability of the email never being read or ending up in the spam folder but it still remains relevant in the competing world of today.

Video Marketing – Visuals over Text!

Video marketing involves having a close session with your customers by telling them your story. It is essential for small businesses to share their journey with the customers instead of merely focusing on the sale of their product.
Short and precise videos work the best as lead generation strategies. The longer the clip, the more a person loses interest while watching it.
Video marketing can also be used by small businesses as “how to” videos i.e. showing the customers how to use a product, assemble it or make the best use out of it. Not only will this educate the consumer but also intrigue others to try the product.

Direct Mail Marketing – Going back to the roots!

One of the most traditional methods of lead generation is direct mail marketing. It dates back to the times when businesses simply had paper and some creativity on them.
Postcards, brochures, catalogues are a few of the many methods used in generating sales. The most advantageous bit is that you “know” who you are communicating the message to. Think of it as a chance to have a one on one session with your customer and then look for ways to make the best possible use of such a session.
Make sure to customize the message as much as possible, as this extra effort will certainly help in lead generation. A quick strategy for customization is sending handwritten notes to thank the customer for being a part of the family. This will touch the prospective customer’s heart because of the extra attention given to customization and tiny details.

Micro-Moment Marketing – Grabbing attention in the split of a second!

Ever thought of how as a consumer, you are exposed to multiple forms of advertising during the course of the day? This phenomenon has been named as “content shock”. The key for small businesses is to realize that their specific product is not what the world revolves around. This is the harsh truth but certainly is the reality that we need to accept and acknowledge.
This is where Micro-Moment marketing steps in. Nano-seconds is all you have to grab the attention of a future customer. Purchase decisions are made by the consumers in such moments. Even if the consumer decides not to purchase, he might return to your business sometime later if intrigued by micro-moment marketing efforts done by you.
Micro-moment marketing should be considered as the first impression of the small business to its customers. If this impression leaves the customer something to remember, he’d be bound to check back in sooner or later.

Online Networking – Quality over Quantity

Online networking is not to be considered as getting the product sold or landing a big time client. For small businesses, this lead generation strategy should focus upon establishing long term relationships.
You may start local and then expand onwards. Small and large businesses alike use LinkedIn and Facebook. Making connections and getting in touch with their connections will open your businesses to expanding their network fast.
Once you have maintained a formal relationship overtime, you can move over to developing a personal one. Having a friendly attitude, being respectful and last but not the least being precise will help make most of this lead generation strategy.

Social Media – Communicate On the Go!

In the past few years, the social media boom has benefitted small businesses the most. The least costly lead generation strategy is using social media to communicate on the go. Small businesses may create awareness regarding their brand by running campaigns on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Polls and surveys may also be used to involve the customers more in product designing stages. With polls the demands can be intricately looked into. Live streaming can be used by small businesses to directly communicate with consumers who would want to get more details of the business or products. This may become a platform for interactions in the future as well.

Referrals – The untapped source!

Referrals are an amazing method of lead generation as all you need to do is talk to the people close to you and get things going. Referrals can be executed through existing customers, friends and family, former colleagues and online friends. At the same time, you need to be careful not to ask too soon or not pressurize anyone to refer your business to others. Pressurizing someone might lead them into thinking that your connection with them is solely based on expanding your business. Which is exactly why you need to wait for the right time and the right moment.
If your consumers trust you and your business, they will definitely refer it to others as well, so this untapped source of lead generation must not be ignored.

Giveaways and Contests

When starting out afresh, it is necessary to put efforts into “lead generating giveaways”. Choosing a prize that will attract your customer is the make or break factor. An easy method for a small business is to arrange the giveaway contest on their social media page. Promote your giveaway on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat as well as LinkedIn to attract more audience.
After announcing the giveaway winner, make sure to thank the people who entered the contest by writing an email. The prize must reach the winner as soon as possible otherwise the strategy might backfire and people might talk negative about the business.
All in all, getting leads might seem a difficult task in the beginning but once you start working on it, one strategy will back the other up. Have you ever used any of these ideas for your business or are planning on doing so? Let us know in the comments down below!

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