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powerful-lead-generation-efforts-you-shouldnt-ignore-2017.jpgA fascinating list of marketing statistics from Hubspot reports that 65% of all businesses say that generating leads is their biggest marketing problem. And 80% say that their lead generation efforts are only “slightly to somewhat” effective.

It seems natural that generating leads during the early years of a small business would be challenging. Over time and with a good marketing system in place however, you’d think this marketing problem would diminish. Yet these statistics indicate it’s an ongoing challenge for small businesses of all kinds.

Statistics can be mind-numbing, misleading, or enlightening. They can also be completely wrong for our business if taken out of context.

But one thing they do well is point out opportunity and I see a great one here. If so many businesses struggle to such a degree with lead generation, then you can give yourself an impressive edge over your competitors by being just a little bit better, or by doing just one more important marketing task.

With that in mind, here are 5 ways to significantly improve your lead generation efforts.


1) Track key performance indicators on your website.

Hubspot says, “…74% of companies that weren't exceeding revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead, MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead,) or sales opportunities.”

An article in Forbes also mentions “engaged and effective measuring” as one of the top ten trends driving marketing in 2017. When you know who’s visiting your blog and website, it’s easier to put a sales process in place. When you know what your customer really feels, you can improve their experience. Otherwise you’re shooting blindly.

There are many things that can be measured. Many web platforms have some functionality for measuring and tracking. Then there is Google analytics which mines an incredible amount of visitor information. If you want to exceed your revenue goals in 2017, you must start measuring.

2) Try Google AdWords.

“64.6% of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online,” says the same Hubspot report. It’s easy to get started with AdWords. Set up a gmail account and then search for the AdWords product. It won’t take long to set up a simple ad campaign, but you’ll want to study all the tutorials. It’s easy to waste money if you don’t focus precisely on who you want to reach and their exact needs.

3) Optimize your local online search profile.

72% of consumers who searched locally will visit a store within five miles and 50% of mobile local searchers visit a store the same day. It’s too big a topic for this article but we’ll cover this more in upcoming issues of our weekly Small Business Rainmaker. (Subscribe below.)

4) Include inbound marketing as part of your overall strategy.

Hubspot found that B2B companies that blogged 11 or more times per month had nearly three times the traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. Businesses that blog 16 times monthly get about 4.5 times more leads as those who blog 0-4 times!

Blogging is the simplest and most effective way to start your inbound marketing effort (attracting customers to you versus outbound such as advertising).

Hubspot’s list goes on to say that only 32% of B2B companies have any content marketing strategy. This reinforces my point—by simply starting a blog, you give yourself an immediate advantage over the majority who do not blog. I suspect most of your competitors don’t blog.

5) Start an email newsletter.

According to a 2015 Statista study, 86% of consumers want to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like them daily. If you’re not using email newsletters, you’re missing a big opportunity. Your customers want to hear from you! And when you start to use email, be sure to measure and track relevant statistics.

I realize these five marketing tasks cover a lot of territory and they are by no means a complete list. Yet they are relatively easy to get started.

Set it in motion. Take action in the right direction and work on learning more about each as you go along. Break it down and work on one a week. In five weeks, with five new tactics in place, you’ll have started the framework of a killer marketing system.

My experience is that with a good overall marketing strategy including inbound and outbound, your lead generation effort will run almost automatically. The leads you’ve been scrambling to find will gradually start to find you. And they’ll do it without the enormous expense of an outbound-only strategy.

Find out how to generate leads more effectively with the weekly Small Business Rainmaker email newsletter. We go into more detail on these and other marketing tactics throughout the year. Scroll to the bottom to sign up.

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