Top 10 Digital Lead Generation Strategies for Local Businesses
Every business has its own unique objectives for digital marketing and the techniques they use. However, no matter what your business does, lead generation is usually at the top of your list. This is only natural. As a business, your entire purpose for being and primary source of revenue is client sales. Acquiring and retaining clients is the name of the game. Employing a variety of digital lead generation strategies and tactics will keep the sales funnel flowing and the business thriving. So it helps to have more than a few tricks up your sleeve.
Here are the top 10 digital lead generation strategies that we have found to be effective today for businesses competing at a local level. No need to stop at just one or two digital lead generation techniques. Most teams benefit from employing at least a small slice of all the options available.
1) Website On-Site SEO
The essence of lead generation is getting your content, goods, and services in front of the audience looking to buy them. Digitally speaking, this can only happen if they find you.
As you probably already know, everything starts on the website. Your website should not only be elegantly designed and easy to navigate, but it also needs to be optimized for search engine results. AKA: SEO.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about making it easier for the search engine crawlers to know when users want the content contained in your site pages.
This means smart, organic use of keywords, a network of internal and external links, header formatting and all the right metadata. These factors, among many others, like embedded media and responsive mobile design, will boost how often your website pages appear in related search results and how high in the results they are ranked.
2) Local SEO
Local SEO is a bit different from standard SEO because it is designed to appear only in the searches of users who are close to your physical location. This is vital for local businesses with walk-in customers or an area of service.
The first step for any local SEO should be completing your Google My Business entry, from top to bottom. Place your pin and claim your address. Indicate your business type, then fill out every form. Provide your hours, website, and contact information. Stock it with a few photos, then set up the really cool stuff like ‘book an appointment’ or ‘online order’.
As for the rest of your local SEO, be sure to provide your physical address in the footer of every webpage on your site. Then mention the regions you serve, by name, organically in your content. Do this often. Mention both the city and specific neighborhoods and outlying communities.
3) Review Generation
Reviews are incredibly powerful in today’s digital marketing environment. There is so much ad copy out there that most users trust reviews more than they trust a product page. This means that the more reviews you have, even mixed reviews, the better. You want to start generating reviews on Google, your local site, and any platforms you sell through by connecting with your current and recent customers.
The best way to get reviews is to ask for them. Slip a card into packages you ship and paperwork you hand over. Send a friendly follow-up email. Offer mild incentives if that works for your audience. Then respond to your reviews. Thank reviewers, answer questions, and solve negative-review problems. This is a very strong way to win leads.
4) Inbound Content Marketing and Blogging
Inbound marketing is the art of attracting search-engine users to your site with great content. Blogs are often the most effective way to draw brand new leads to your website, leads who have never heard of your brand but are ready to be won over.
Write blogs about things that interest your audience, not just about your products but also about the industry or lifestyle your products relate to. Then be sure to include a CTA (Call to Action) to inspire readers to do something like checking out more of your blogs, explore your services, or contact you to sate deeper curiosity.
Don’t forget to localize your content. Share industry-related local news. Mention that you provide the mentioned services to residents of nearby neighborhoods. Relate your subject to how it affects the lives of people in your region. This will help you build local SEO as well as local interest.
5) Video Marketing
Video is the #1 digital format for content consumption, and its importance is only rising.
Consider the following video marketing statistics:
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia)
- 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video. (HubSpot)
- Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year. (Insivia)
- By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. (Cisco)
Videos pack a powerful punch. Just look at what the “Will It Blend?” series did for BlendTec. They’ve been running the video series for over ten years, and people are still tuning in to watch them blend the latest iPhone.
Build a YouTube channel of interesting videos, then embed those videos everywhere. On your site, in your blog, and in your social media marketing. An interesting video series that catches the curiosity of viewers and vividly answers questions can really make your digital marketing stand out from the competition.
6) Podcasting – Interview Influencers and Industry Experts
Podcasts are another great approach. These “on-demand radio” programs are popular because they provide a way for people to absorb media without needing to look, and without needing to ‘tune in’ to a live broadcast. You can spread awareness by advertising with popular local podcasters or you can start your own podcast very easily.
One great podcasting angle for any business is to interview influencers and industry experts. This draws attention and interest from a wide audience and brings real substance to your podcast.
7) Social Media Marketing
Never underestimate the power of a social media presence. There are millions of people on social media at any given time, and even better, social media will help you target a local audience. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all geared to help businesses build their presence and through social media, you can actively engage your growing local audience.
Social media is the best place to host events, contests, and ongoing campaigns, and it can also be used as a reflection of other campaigns you are running.
8) PPC/SEM – Strategically Paid Marketing
PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, and SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. Both have come to represent an array of tactics that boil down to paying search engines to prioritize your content for specific search results. PPC defines the exchange where you only pay for marketing space when a user not only sees but chooses to click on your content. Hence, paying per click.
SEM is any kind of paid search engine marketing tactic, often more closely associated with recommended products and services through platforms like Google when users search for keywords that relate to your products or services. Even better, you can focus your SEM and PPC to only appear for users who are within your local service range.
9) Email Marketing – Newsletters and Targeted Deals
Email marketing is still going strong. It may be one of the oldest forms of digital lead generation strategies, but it’s still strong because we all still rely on our email accounts to stay in touch. Automated marketing engines have made it much easier to maintain a well-scheduled and personalized email marketing campaign, with personally targeted deals and content.
But even more powerful still is the common newsletter. Write your newsletter in an engaging way full of useful information and your audience will open it every single week. Sometimes more than once a week. Newsletters are a great way to turn leads into return-customers and keep return-customers engaged.
10) Report Generators, Calculators, and Mobile Apps
Finally, there are handy tools that will draw feature-focused leads like hummingbirds to sugar water. Report generators and information calculators are incredibly effective lead generation tools, provided they give good value.
Mobile apps make these tools far more accessible than they ever were before. People love to calculate things like savings and mortgage plans or see generated reports with the latest data on neighborhood housing markets.
Whatever industry you’re in, report generators, calculators, and mobile apps with handy tools are incredibly popular. You’ll win customers over first by proving how useful your website and app can be, then they’ll notice your brand and wonder what else you have to offer that might be very useful to them.
Looking to draw more leads in from your local community, not just the internet as a whole? We can help! Contact us today to talk about how your business can make use of these top ten digital lead generation strategies to get the attention of your local customers.