9 Essentials of Lead Generation for Small Businesses

Are you a small business owner hesitant to invest in digital marketing? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly half of all small businesses spend less than $10,000 per year on digital marketing or forego it entirely.

Instead of spending money on digital marketing, they choose to make investments in their physical store or in things that they can touch and feel. While that is not necessarily wrong, it does nothing for your lead generation and will likely cost your business in the long run.

Without digital marketing, your business solely relies on word of mouth and raw luck to find new customers. Although that can work to some extent, your business will never reach its full potential through those channels. Instead, every small business should have some form of digital marketing that generates leads for them around the clock.

In this blog, learn about two vital parts of lead generation for small businessescontent creation and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Content Creation for Lead Generation

Side view of hand holding stylus pointing on laptop with graphs and charts on the screen.Content creation is a form of inbound marketing. Effectively, your business creates and publishes content on the internet for free. However, the time and money you spend on content creation is not charitable work. You post content to attract people to your website organically, have them interact with the content, enter your drip marketing system, and eventually convert.

But, before you start writing, create a content calendar. A content calendar is a roadmap of what your business will publish over the following weeks or months. It should provide you with a bird’s eye view of what your content is working towards and the areas you will cover.

Once you have a detailed content calendar in place, use the following five rules to guide your content creation:

  1. Have a clear picture of your target audience and what kind of content they want to engage with.
  2. Write unique content that offers information they cannot find elsewhere.
  3. Use language that is easily understandable and widely accessible.
  4. Incorporate the right keywords and other SEO elements into your content.
  5. Create several weeks’ worth of a content buffer to keep your schedule on track.

Content creation should be the cornerstone of your digital marketing efforts. Although it may seem like progress is slow in the beginning, that is always how inbound marketing starts. At first, leads will dribble in from the few pieces of content you post. But, as you develop a library of content on your website that appeals to many different people and queries, that dribble becomes a steady flow.

Similar to an annuity, your content continues to work for you for the foreseeable future. Therefore, your investment in quality content is an investment in your business’s long-term digital marketing success.

What is PPC Advertising?

On the other side of the marketing spectrum, PPC advertising is a form of outbound marketing. While we do not suggest that you use PPC as your dominant digital marketing effort, it is still very valuable in moderation.

PPC advertising effectively pays media platforms to funnel leads onto your website. For example, the two media platforms that we suggest you use for your PPC advertising are Facebook and Google. If you were using Facebook, you would purchase a set number of clicks that take users away from Facebook.com and to your website.

Compared to SEO, PPC has both strengths and weaknesses. In terms of strengths, PPC provides nearly instantaneous results. As soon as you pay for the clicks, your target audience will immediately start to see them.

In addition, you can make PPC advertisements as targeted as you want. PPC lets you leverage every bit of data that platforms collect on their users to create ultra-targeted filters. If you want to target painters named Bob who live in or around the Philadelphia area, the chances are that you could set up filters to make that happen.

On the flip side, that data and targeting ability come at a high price. Because media platforms know how effective their PPC advertising can be, they charge a premium for it. Therefore, making sure that you take all the proper steps before you start pushing ads to people is essential to avoiding extraneous marketing costs.

But, keep in mind that the speed at which PPC starts working is only matched by how quickly it stops working. In other words, as soon as you stop paying Facebook or Google to push your ads, it will be as if you never existed; there will be no trace of you or your investment anywhere.

PPC for Small Businesses

Content calendar on imac.While it is true that deeper pockets will get you more clicks in the PPC game, that does not mean that small businesses cannot also compete and win. When you own a small business, you merely need to set realistic expectations for your PPC. If you aren’t spending billions on advertising like Apple or Microsoft, don’t expect hundreds of millions of new leads.

To get the most out of your PPC budget, you must follow the industry best practices. The first way to get the most out of your PPC is to choose the right keywords for your ads. When selecting keywords, consider the following four factors:

  1. Keyword Relevance: How closely does the keyword pertain to your business?
  2. Keyword Competition: Are there too many large, established companies already populating your keyword?
  3. Keyword Search Volume: Are there enough people searching for your keyword?
  4. Keyword ROI: Is the CPC (cost per click) less than the value of a click to your business?

In addition to keywords, location can also play a significant role in your PPC’s effectiveness. Many small businesses serve a relatively small geographic area. In other words, people will not fly across the country or drive for hours to visit your business.

Therefore, only target ads to people searching for your keywords within your service area. Facebook and Google let you select a service area on a map, making your ads only appear to people in that area. If you accidentally target people in different countries because you did not set a service area, those ads will almost certainly waste resources.

Lead Generation for Your Business

Lead generation is not an easy task. If it were, then every small business owner that wanted to expand their operation would be able to at a moment’s notice. The reality is that more than 50% of small businesses fail within five years because they eventually run out of customers and fresh leads.

To become part of the successful small business minority, you need to bolster your lead generation through digital marketing. To do that, we recommend that you:

  • Make content creation the cornerstone of your digital marketing
  • Make a detailed content calendar
  • Create content according to the five rules
  • Use PPC as a supplement to your content creation
  • Implement PPC advertising that follows the four rules outlined above
  • Set a service area that targets people who are close to you

With those guiding rules in mind, you will be well on your way towards new leads and fresh growth. However, to get the best results from your digital marketing, we recommend that you use a team-based approach.

A team-based approach caters to smaller businesses that don’t have the budget to hire a full-time team of experienced marketers. Instead of hiring, training, and firing new employees, a team-based approach provides you with a singular transaction point, access to a large team of marketers, and savings of at least 40% compared to any traditional marketing alternative.

If you want to get the most out of your digital marketing and see what a team-based approach can do for your lead generation, click here to learn more.