With the help of 'Googling' and Internet research, consumers are more clued-up and savvy about products and services than ever before. On the
While technology is paving the way for exciting innovations, this tech jungle can pose a real challenge to the small to medium sized business with limited time and resources. The answer is to take positive steps that are not only going to help you survive, but thrive; helping you turn leads into quality clients.
Enduring & Creative Presence
While some companies still follow the classic verbatim phone script in an attempt to close a sale, many other businesses have been flung into a world where they are having to grapple with the Web to reach and engage customers. This means being able to penetrate social media platforms and search results, as well as local directories and trusted review websites. The aim is to get your voice heard and connect with your target market.
It is essential that you develop an enduring and creative online presence to promote your brand. You need a strong and clear message that keeps your presence active and current, while supporting your brand management efforts. It is a continuous process that needs directed, focuses attention.
Leads Nurturing & Engagement Strategy
Reaching your target market through your online presence means you can now build these relationships and nurture your leads. This is a far cry from aggressive cold calling sales where the pressure is on to push consumers and close a sale. In comparison, leads nurturing is about creating stronger bonds with customers based on trust and loyalty. It is about longevity rather than making a quick sale.
To create a successful strategy you can implement two useful online methods: blogging and monthly e-newsletters.
Never underestimate the power of a blog. It's a trend for businesses online for a reason, because it can really work. Investing in blogging can certainly give good returns if you get it right. Going it alone can be tough, especially if you're not much of a wordsmith, so often companies will get industry-relevant content written up for them. Blogging can start off with perhaps a couple of posts each month, increasing as you expand your reach online.
The key to successful blogging is to make sure the content is interesting and relevant to your target market. Don't think of blog posts as sales pitches. Instead, consider the value of your blogs for your readers.
Why Blogging Matters
- Blog articles can power your rankings during keyword searches.
- Blogs can be immortal if someone is making good use of the article information for several years after it’s published.
- Blogs can bridge the gap between business and customers and be a catalyst for creating successful relationships through engagement.
You can get straight to the attention of customers by creating engaging templates that are visually interesting and informative, without being too text heavy. Get the style and content right and blasting these out via email can really increase sales conversions and boost repeat business. E-newsletters can also cement loyalty and instill your business in the minds of recipients as a go-to source.
However, tempting as it might be, don't push the sales message too hard. You might contact your market via email about offers and can include these special deals in an e-newsletter, but be careful to get the balance right. E-newsletters work well when they are geared toward creating interesting and useful content that the customer enjoys reading about.
Why Newsletters Matter
- Newsletters support brand identity by keeping the flow of communication open with your target market and reminding them of your presence.
- Newsletter content can present your business as a reliable, expert source, helping build and solidify reputation.
- Newsletter can result in lead conversions once you have created a positive image in the minds of potential clients month after month.
Relationship building with customers does not happen overnight. It takes time and a creative strategy, as well as an understanding of the consumer perspective. To reach out you need to be offering a hook that is appealing and appropriate to your market.
Bonus Tip: Use Software for Easier Lead Nurturing
Marketing automation software like Marketo, Salesforce and HubSpot can be extremely useful for leads nurturing. It is worthwhile training your marketing team how to use these platforms to create an effective program that will keep up with technology and your competitors.
The reality is that for many start-ups there simply aren't the extra resources and established revenues to invest in the latest technology. However, there are more affordable solutions available. Firstly, you need your contacts, so it's time to mine for prospects. Then you need a good CRM (customer relationship management) system to automate the processes. You can also utilize mass mailing companies such as Constant Contact or MailChimp to do the work for you..
The Bottom Line
Follow the KISS principle: keep it simple stupid. Don't over-complicate or try and stretch further than your reach allows. Instead, start with a system you feel at ease with and build on this in a proactive and positive way. Over time and with a creative campaign, supported by technology, you can transform leads into quality sales and keep your bottom line buoyant, and your customers too.