Viral marketing has not eliminated the need for old-fashioned lead generation in order to bring in new customers. It’s important, however, to understand how the internet and social media can help your lead generation efforts.
To help you, here are seven of the most lead generating vehicles:
- Search engine marketing. Search engine marketing relies on the use of keywords in search engines, like Google and Yahoo. Otherwise known as “pay per click”, search engine marketing involves bidding on these keywords, which is why this can be an expensive option. Pay per click is no easy way to market, and often, without a professional, will become time consuming and costly.
- Social media marketing. Certain social media sites have sponsored advertisements that, like search engine marketing, costs a certain amount per ad. This sort of social media marketing can become costly as well, but leads can also be generated just by posting content and gaining an audience for those who don’t yet have the capital to spend on paid advertisement.
- Display advertising. In order to focus on your target audience, display ads allow you to post advertisements directly on certain websites. Whether it’s a photo or video, display ads will show up on these webpages, but again, as a pay-per-click advertisement which can be very costly to any start up.
- Email marketing. Email campaigns can be an effective way to market, so long as you create or purchase the right list. There is, however, a learning curve for this, which includes spam avoidance and geo-tagging in order to make sure your emails get to the right people. From there, the focus changes to click percentages, conversions, and other ROI metrics.
- Direct mail marketing. Although direct mail campaigns are very controversial, they are very much alive. With more money being spent year after year on these campaigns, they can prove to be effective, but expensive. Most of the costs are upfront, so you will not be able to see your return on investment until after printing and shipping costs. Direct mail marketing is unique though, in the ways in which you can decide which demographics you would like to ship to, whether it be based on income, gender, location, etc.
- Cold calling. This will involve obtaining the perfect contact list, whether you have to buy it or build it. This can prove to be difficult for those who don’t have the time, money, and staff, but there are ways to make it work. Finding the right people and writing the right script is all this takes, so get started!
- Trade shows. These can be a great way to meet your customers face to face. Trade shows allow people to put a face to a brand and realize what your company culture is all about, so don’t just pitch them a sale, get them interested in the business as a whole.