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How to Build A Website that Generates Leads

How to Build a Website That Generates Leads

In today’s day and age, every business owner knows they must have an online presence to be competitive. But not everyone understands how to optimize that online presence. Your website is the heart of your business’s online existence, so ensuring that it’s designed to maximize lead generation is critical to securing long-term success for your company

How do you create a website that is easily found, catches a prospect’s eye, and keeps them around long enough to decide to give your product or service a try? Let’s take a deeper look at how to build a website that generates leads.

Make it Easy to Find

The obvious first place to start is in designing a site that is easy to find. You’re not going to generate any leads from a site that is in hiding.

The first step here is making sure that your domain name makes sense for your business. If you’re not able to secure your first choice, what are your alternatives? Pick a domain name is memorable, easy to spell, and is something prospects and clients will be able to easily associate with your company.

From there, you’ll want to keep track of how people are finding your site in order to understand which social channels are driving traffic and who’s talking about you online. You can then use that information to be more strategic about where you place your marketing efforts in order to drive traffic to your site.

And you mustn’t forget about SEO in this discussion. If your site isn’t ranking on the first page of Google results, you’re missing out on catching the eyes of a lot of prospects. Keyword research is a critical part of ensuring that your business is actually being found by people who are in the market for the goods and services you offer.

You’ll also want to undertake an SEO audit of your website to make sure that your current content isn’t hurting your search rankings. Screaming Frog offers services that allow you to check your website’s current SEO status: find broken links and crawl errors, analyze how existing pages rank for SEO terms, check site speed, and more.

Give Visitors a Way to Reach Out

When a visitor comes to your site and they like what they see, you want to be sure that you’re providing them with a clear, easy way to get more information from your business. Getting strategic about where and how you ask for information from prospects can help you to generate even more leads from your existing site.

The first step is to put forms on the pages that get the most traffic. Make sure that these forms ask for as little information as possible and that they auto-populate; bogging prospects down with a million questions is a surefire way to scare them off.

You’ll also want to be sure that the forms you create make sense in the context of the other information on a given page. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, don’t put a form offering a free white paper on website design on a page that’s about print work that you’ve done.

You should also provide users with as many ways to contact you as possible. Make your phone number and email address easy to find, and consider incorporating a chat function into your site’s design. No one wants to have to go on a search mission across all of your website just to find a way to ask you a simple question.

Build a Variety of Landing Pages

Creating highly specialized landing pages is one of the keys to generating more promising leads. In fact, research from HubSpot has shown that business with 30 or more landing pages on their website generate seven times more leads than those websites that only have one to five landing pages.

The best landing pages are those that keep it simple. Depending on where the traffic is coming from, you can create a specific messaging that speaks to that particular subset of your prospect population. Make sure that your succinctly outline the problem your business can solve, and that there’s a clear way for prospects to reach out—a call to action button or a simple form—and leave it at that.

Landing pages that are cluttered with too much information or that do not clearly demonstrate your company’s value proposition can leave prospects feeling confused and returning to their Google search to consider one of your competitors. If you’d like to see some examples from a variety of industries, HubSpot has some great ones here.

Create an Eye-Catching Homepage with a Clear CTA

While each of your specific landing pages should have tailored messaging and calls to action, you’ll also want to be sure that your homepage has a general call to action that serves as a catch-all for anyone who might want to learn more about your business.

This CTA shouldn’t be for a specific product or service; after all, this is the page on your website that the general population is most likely to see first, so you don’t want to single out only one of your numerous offerings on this page. Instead, give visitors the chance to learn more about your business. A CTA that asks prospects to subscribe to your newsletter or try your service for free are great ways to catch the attention of the widest swath of visitors possible.

Once you get to know these prospects better and have a deeper sense of where their specific interests lie, then you can begin to target them with more specific offers through email marketing and audience segmentation.

Use Content to Generate Leads

Having a website that’s filled with rich, valuable information is what will keep prospects on your site and entice them to come back for more. This means that your website needs to go beyond answering the basic question of how your business can solve a prospect’s problem. It must provide in-depth content on the topic that establishes your business as an authoritative voice in your industry, and provides prospects with the assurance that yours is the team for the job.

Creating valuable content and sharing that content regularly on your site is a critical part of the lead generation process. In order to do so, you need to establish a content strategy. I have advocated in the past for a strategy that organizes your content thematically. If you pick a different area of interest each month and offer a deep dive into related topics on your blog, you’re creating value for your prospects and continuing to offer interesting content regularly that will keep them coming back.

Once your blog has become a go-to source of information for your prospects, you can target them with offers for related white papers or your newsletter that’s dedicated to a relevant topic. This helps to move these prospects further down the marketing hourglass, as you begin to establish your brand as one that they know, like, and trust.

A poorly designed website will do nothing to generate leads for your business. When you begin to think strategically about all of the elements of your website—from SEO and keyword search to blog content and calls to action—you can build a website that is fully optimized to generate leads for your business.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Website Design.

Google Ads Changes for Small Business Owners

The Seven Steps to Marketing Success – How to Build a Marketing System

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Building a Marketing System

The key to an effective marketing approach is creating a marketing system. This is Duct Tape Marketing’s point of view and our key differentiator. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the seven steps you must undertake to build a successful marketing system for your business.

1. Focus on Strategy Before Tactics

The first step to creating a successful marketing system is to know who your ideal customer is, and what their core problems are. If you don’t understand the value that your business can bring to each engagement, it’s nearly impossible to select the tactics you should use to reach your audience.

When you understand the ideal customer and create the narrowest definition possible for who that is, you can then connect what you’re offering to solving the customers’ problems. This makes your approach not just about your products and services, but about your promise to solve those problems. If you don’t take the time to understand your ideal customer, there’s no way to build a marketing strategy that will speak to them.

2. Guide the Customer Journey – The Marketing Hourglass

Because of the internet, the way people buy today is largely out of your hands. They have so many places to do research, ask networks, find out about you, and discover the products and services to solve their problems before they ever contact a company.

The customer journey comes into play at Duct Tape Marketing with something called the marketing hourglass. The hourglass has seven stages: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. These stages represent the logical behavior in buying that many of your customers want to take. Your job is to help them move through those stages sequentially.

Your first step is to understand how somebody would come to know about a company like yours. Likely, they’d turn to a search engine or they’d ask a friend. At these early stages, they know they have a problem, but they haven’t yet concluded how they’re going to solve it. Marketing at this stage needs to show that you understand their pain points and that you might have the right solution for them. From there, you need to establish trust in your brand and perhaps even give them a way to try you. When they do finally buy, that experience must be excellent in order to create repeat business. Not only that, but happy customers will also generate referrals.

All marketing efforts must be built around the concept of the marketing hourglass. When you understand how your customers buy and what they’re expecting to achieve at each stage, you’re able to build a marketing plan that exceeds their expectations along the way and creates happy, lifelong customers.

3. Make Content the Voice of Strategy

Content is not just a tactic, it is the voice of strategy. You have made a promise to solve a problem for your customers; you now need to be ready to meet people where they are (search engines, social media, etc.) and generate enough valuable content to dominate in those arenas.

We use something called content hubs to outshine in search and to create content that is valuable to read, find, and share. This content must also meet customers at every stage of their journey, from know and like all the way through to referrals.

4. Create a Total Online Presence

Even if you do the majority of your business offline and in person, in today’s world, you must have a total online presence. The internet is where people go to have an experience with marketing, to understand a company, and to do research. When someone refers you to their friend, the friend turns to a search engine or your website to learn what other people are saying about you and to see if you actually solve the problem that they have.

No matter what kind of business you run, you need to be tackling all the elements of online marketing. This includes social media, search engine optimization, content, website, and email marketing. All of these pieces must work together as an integrated whole.

5. Build a Reliable Flow of Leads

Leads are the lifeblood of getting your business going, and so you have to find a predictable way to generate enough leads to grow your business. There are numerous channels through which to generate leads, and again, integration is key.

Sales, content, advertising, networking, and online and offline events all play a role. There is no one way to generate leads; the key is in finding the three or four channels that you can consistently mine and establishing a process to develop leads through those channels.

6. Make Lead Conversion Your X Factor

Lead conversion must be your multiplier. The key here is to focus on all forms of lead conversion. Obviously someone buying your product or service for the first time is a conversion, but what about signing up for an ebook, registering for an online course, getting a free evaluation, or making an appointment? Those are all conversion activities.

You need to map the experience of each of your leads and clients so you can be sure that they’re having a great experience throughout. This is how you create repeat business and reactive those clients who have been lost. Once you begin tracking customer experiences, you then need to measure these activities. When you understand customers’ behavior, you can create better experiences; even if that only increases each conversion activity by one or two percent, that has a huge impact on the business overall.

7. Live By the Calendar

When you’re developing a system, you have to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be long-term—focusing on three to four important priorities for the quarter is ideal. From there, you can break those priorities down into activities and projects so that you can plan the quarter and not expend energy chasing the next new thing.

You have to have fewer priories, and you have to make marketing a habit. It has to be something that you do daily. You have to build meetings with the appropriate people to make sure that you’re moving those priorities along. Once you establish that habit, you should start documenting your processes. From there, you can decide what tasks you can delegate, either by adding more staff or outsourcing to others.

The reality is that marketing never ends—it’s a cycle. Once you go through the seven steps and build your marketing system, you want to constantly be reviewing, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and changing your approach accordingly.

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

local seo lead generation

Local SEO for Lead Generation

Marketing Podcast with Justin Sturges
Podcast Transcript

Justin Sturges

SEO tools and strategies are constantly changing. All the while, it’s never been more important that you get found online when people go out there searching – particularly if you’re a local business.

Your website is the foundation for how you get ranked and found locally. It’s important to have a well put together website with unique content that is tailored specifically to the search results you want to show up in.

It is very difficult to rank for your most desired keyword phrases without great content.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Justin Sturges. He is a local SEO, website building & lead generation expert, Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant, and co-author of the award-winning book The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Lead Generation. We discuss SEO, website design and the keys to getting your business to rank.

Being immersed daily in SEO, Sturges knows what works (and doesn’t work) to help small businesses rank locally.

Questions I ask Justin:

  • What are common SEO mistakes that businesses often make?
  • What role do reviews play in your ranking factor?
  • What are some good resources for local SEO?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • The driving factors in organic placement
  • Key aggregators often missed in citations
  • How using the right extensions can increase your click-throughs

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Justin Sturges:

Interested in joining Justin as a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant? Find out more about the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network and attend a Discovery Call here.

professional service leads

Perfecting Your Lead Generation Efforts: A Guide for Service Professionals

If you own a professional services business, odds are you’re trying to get leads in the door. What I often see is that these types of businesses develop automated lead funnels, because that’s what they’re told to do, and spend a lot of time vetting these leads, but let’s face it, they probably don’t have a ton of time to do that!

Instead of focusing on building an endless supply of leads, you should only be focusing on the amounts you actually need as well as how to balance bringing new customers in, and keeping new customers around. For example, if you’re a CPA, wouldn’t it be easier to focus on the clients you already have year after year as opposed to constantly be looking for new ones?

Here’s how I believe you should approach lead generation for your business.

Define your ideal client

Hopefully, you have a pretty good idea of who makes an ideal client for your business, but if not, you should figure that out ASAP.  To get started, it’s easiest to target the group you can help the most, the fastest because you’ll probably be able to demonstrate how you can get quick results and build raving fans.

Develop a client generation system

I have worked with a lot of service professionals, and from what I’ve seen, most of them want to work with roughly ten of the right clients at any given time. That’s it.

The typical service professional acquires new clients by attracting a lead that wants to meet and learn about how they might help them. Let’s say you have four clients now and you’d like to get six more. If one in four meetings turns into a new client (this is very low for our approach but will use this for easy math), it will take 24 meetings to get those additional clients you’re looking for.

You need to ask yourself what it takes to schedule consistent appointments and how you can increase the conversion rate of these appointments. If you can understand this and build a system around it, you’ll remove a lot of headaches that many service professionals experience in their lead generation efforts.

Set a revenue goal

Before you put any meetings on the calendar, you need to determine your annual revenue goal. This will give you insight into how many clients (and in turn, meetings and proposals) you need to obtain in order to reach that goal.

You simply need to factor how many appointments it will take to land one new client, and move forward from there.

Create a workhorse piece of content and focus on Facebook audiences

Content development may not necessarily be in your professional wheelhouse, but it’s essential for your business. You must create a valuable piece of content that will resonate with your target audience. Many find blogging to be the easiest way to format this content.

To ensure this one piece of content is the workhorse you need for your system, spend time researching the questions and problems your audience experiences the most.

Do your research. Interview past clients, conduct keyword research, and/or look at online forums to better understand what your audience experiences and common questions they have. The information found in your research may provide invaluable information as you search for hot topics for your blog post.

Once you know who you want to target, develop a list of people that you’d like to reach. If the list is properly targeted, it doesn’t have to be very large.

Use this list to build a custom Facebook audience and further create an expanded lookalike audience to increase the number of potential targeted prospects.

Add a content upgrade

In order for your promotion to work, add a “content upgrade” to the blog post you created. This is an offer for related content made inside the blog post that entices visitors to exchange an email address to receive the upgraded version of the content as well. Your content upgrade can be in the form of a checklist, ebook, or even a video. The email should then be used for follow-ups and lead nurturing efforts.

Advertise the blog post

Once your audience is in place, create Facebook ads driving people to your piece of content. To make things easier, you can even promote your blog post in a status update and “boost” your post to the custom or lookalike audience you created to get their eyes on it. The post will then show up as a sponsored post in the timelines of those you’ve targeted.

Offer value

Once a person responds to your content upgrade offer, reach out to them and offer a valuable service for no charge as a way to demonstrate how great it is to work with you and the type of service they can expect.

Set appointments

Make sure that your prospect is qualified to move forward before you propose any services to them. Remember, you want to enjoy working with them too. Even if they’re an ideal client on paper, they may not be the best match based on personality which can make it a difficult working relationship for both of you.

Provided all seems good to go, be sure to understand your lead’s objectives, goals, and potential challenges.

Then, make the appointment.

Deliver

Once the lead is qualified, over deliver on what you promised as you set the appointment. Identify the ways you can truly help them and really show them the value of working with you.

Master the close

The key here is to help your lead tell you in their words what’s wrong and what not fixing it costs them. Listen to them before you mention anything related to your services.

Once you’ve heard their story, at that point you can identify ways to help them, but just make sure they know they have been heard. Show them how they can get immediate and long-lasting results by hiring you.

A customer generating system doesn’t have to be that complex, but it does have to be based on your overall growth needs and goals, so make sure you know what those are from the beginning.

Need more tips on how to grow your business? Check out our entire Guide to Marketing Professional Services.

change in lead generation

The Role of Content Has Changed – Here’s How You Can Adapt

It wasn’t too long ago that you could follow the formula below to attract and generate leads for your business:

  • Develop a content upgrade, like an ebook
  • Gate it behind a form on a landing page
  • Drive people to your landing pages through blog posts, social media, advertising, and email campaigns
  • People see the offer on the landing page, are interested, and give their contact information in exchange for the content
  • Voila, you have a new lead that you can nurture to a sale

While content upgrades still work well as a lead capture tool, you need to now get creative with how to get eyes on it. The market is so saturated these days and so many businesses are now following this approach that it can be easy to get lost in all the noise.

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and began testing an approach that I had seen to start to emerge that I want to share with you. While my results have been significant, it may take time for business who are just getting started to see the same results, but in my opinion, it’ll be well worth it in the long run.

The key is to continue to position yourself as the expert in your field, and the best way to do this is to create and aggregate content into one place to show not only your visitors that you know what you’re talking about, but search engines as well.

Have I lost you? I hope not! To understand what I’m talking about, take a look at the details below.

Creating content – An evolved approach

As content continues to grow in importance for your business, it now must take on an elevated position in your strategy and planning.

The use of high-quality, education-based content has become a necessary ingredient in creating awareness, building trust, converting leads, serving customers and generating referrals.

Marketers these days have a lot in common with the traditional role of publishers. The good news is that the days of creating an infinite amount of thin content are over. You can create content less frequently, provided you structure it correctly and include a ton of value within it.

Today we have evolved into the “less is more” approach. Big content projects, even if there are only three per year, is better than writing a blog post every week, just because you think you should.

I’m currently experiencing great results with something that I’m calling Hub Pages. This is something many have already started doing and I understand why.

Content planning has really risen to the strategic level. It’s no longer an SEO tactic or simply content marketing. While we should certainly use it for those things, we must plan it at a foundational level.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, content really is now air for your business as it impacts every channel, which elevates how we have to think about it.

Content becomes an asset over time

Content is no longer created for today or tomorrow. It is created as an asset that can be used throughout every stage of the Marketing Hourglass. Because of this, you need to think about the time and energy you need to invest to get it right.

Hub themes

local marketing

I’ve talked about the Total Content System for years and it’s really driven by what I’m starting to call “hub themes.” These themes can be monthly, quarterly, or whichever timeframe you think is best.

Let’s say the theme for the month is “local marketing.” You’d want to drive all the attention you have to this idea of local marketing, so one of the main tabs on your website may become “The Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing.

Instead of it just being a page that talks about local marketing services, it becomes a foundational page that has a tremendous amount of value about what local marketing is, with tons of resources and links that people can click through to for further information (it may even end up looking like a course).

All of the content you have pointing to it are like the sub-chapters of the hub theme. I not only have all of these internal pages driving back to this one hub page, I also include links to external, high-quality content on the page that can also be linked back to the hub page.

Hub pages are also a great way to organize existing content and get more use out of it. Driving it to, and including in, these hub pages is a great way to give old content new life.

With so many pages driving to one another, you’ll start to gain a lot of trust and authority from Google, which will eventually help to increase your rank in search engine results pages over time.

The role of content upgrades

Content upgrades are still the new free. When you put these hub pages together, still include content upgrades, like an ebook or webinar signup, on these pages. People will now see these content upgrades because you are driving more traffic to these pages and they are easier to rank for instead of individual posts.

So, what do you think about this approach? Have you started to implement these types of efforts in your business?

If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Building a Small Business Marketing Consulting Practice…see what I did there?

local seo lead generation

Why Local SEO is an Important Lead Generation Channel

Marketing Podcast with Justin Sturges
Podcast Transcript

Justin Sturges

SEO tools and strategies are constantly changing. All the while, it’s never been more important that you get found online when people go out there searching – particularly if you’re a local business.

Your website is the foundation for how you get ranked and found locally. It’s important to have a well put together website with unique content that is tailored specifically to the search results you want to show up in.

It is very difficult to rank for your most desired keyword phrases without great content.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Justin Sturges. He is a local SEO, website building & lead generation expert, Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant, and co-author of the award-winning book The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Lead Generation. We discuss SEO, website design and the keys to getting your business to rank.

Being immersed daily in SEO, Sturges knows what works (and doesn’t work) to help small businesses rank locally.

Questions I ask Justin:

  • What are common SEO mistakes that businesses often make?
  • What role do reviews play in your ranking factor?
  • What are some good resources for local SEO?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • The driving factors in organic placement
  • Key aggregators often missed in citations
  • How using the right extensions can increase your click-throughs

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Justin Sturges:

Interested in joining Justin as a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant? Find out more about the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network and attend a Discovery Call here.

3 How to Succeed at Facebook Advertising (or How to Fail)

KusmichMarketing Podcast with Nicholas Kusmich

There are lots of experts and gurus out there telling you now is the time to get on Facebook advertising. While some are treating it like the next get rich wave most agree – to be successful you need to create to target precisely and create personal experiences.

In other words, if you ad is promoting something to do with SEO, your content or landing page better specifically offer some great SEO info and value.

Further, if you want to succeed using Facebook ads you have to understand that you are guiding people on a journey and most Facebook traffic won’t convert overnight – it’s a process of education and relationship building.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Nicholas Kusmich, founder of NicholasKusmich.com, creator of the Art of Lead Generation, Intensive and the Alliance Group. We discuss Facebook marketing, lead generation and lead conversion.

Questions I ask Nicholas:

  • When can Facebook advertising be successful?
  • What do you mean by Contextual Congruence?
  • How can you generate new leads on social media?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Where Facebook advertising fits into a marketing funnel.
  • How to think about leads that come in from social media.
  • Where to look for your ideal audience on social media.

You can find out more about Nicholas at www.nicholaskusmich.com or visit nicsblog.com/secret to dive deeper into this topic.

4 Instagram Lead Generation – The Ultimate Guide

Coffee InstaDog InstaBreakfast InstaInstagram is not just for images of coffee, fluffy dogs, and your breakfast.

Though it is awesome for all of those, it has the highest user/brand interaction rate, 1.53% of the 150 million users in 2013 to be precise, significantly higher than Facebook’s measly 0.10%, as shown by Neil Patel’s infographic here.

I think it is safe to say that if your business is not leveraging the world fastest growing social media platform for lead generation, then you are leaving money on the table.

Though do not fear, in this ultimate guide to Instagram lead generation, I am going to share ALL of the best tactics that some of Instagram’s most powerful accounts are leveraging right now.

However, before we get stuck into specific strategies, I must first introduce a fundamental concept: the difference between owned and non-owned marketing lists.

You do not own the communication channel used to market to your Instagram/Twitter followers, Facebook Likers or LinkedIn Connections, if any of those respective platforms close down, you lose your list.

Therefore, any online marketer worth their salt should spend a significant amount of time attempting to move his audience from their non-owned, social lists onto their owned lists, in this case: email list.

Thus, the rest of this post is focussed on generating leads on your owned, email list through Instagram.

1. Targeting

Before embarking on any lead generation campaign, you must answer, in my opinion, the most important question in marketing.

Who is your Ideal Lead?

And more specifically:

  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • What are their goals and values?
  • What do they read/watch/listen to?
  • Where do they go on holiday?

It is crucial that you have a very clear picture of whom you will be targeting with your Instagram campaign for two reasons:

  1. It will make it MUCH easier to find these people on the platform
  2. You will make sales when the reach the bottom of your funnel

Only when a comprehensive profile of your Ideal Lead is created, can we move on to the next stage of the process.

2. Optimization

When your Ideal Lead lands on your Instagram profile they MUST immediately be able to tell:

  • That it is you
  • What they stand to gain by looking at your profile

We can achieve this through consistent branding, a benefit driven description and a compelling call to action.

BRANDING

Your Instagram handle, photo and feel of content must speak directly to your Ideal Lead, admittedly, your handle (company name) and photo (logo/headshot) are have most probably already been defined (Aside: I would ensure these are consistent across all of your social media profiles).

Which leaves your content, we will discuss in the promotion section below.

However an Instagram post would not be complete without mention of what is in my opinion the best example of social media marketing at this current time:

DanB Insta

Can you see the congruence between profile name, image, and content?

BENEFIT DRIVEN DESCRIPTION & COMPELLING CALL TO ACTION

Your Ideal Lead does not care about you and your business, they care about themselves and the outcomes you have them achieve and/or problems you can help them solve.

And that is exactly what we are going to do.

The majority of business social media profile descriptions abide by the following formula:

“Hello, we are X, and we do Y.”

As discussed above, your Ideal Lead does not care about you or what you do, they care about what you can do for them.

I would propose we combine the vital information about your business with a benefit driven description and compelling call to action, just as Foundrmag do:

Foundr Insta

Now, I do not want to go into detail on your customer journey but to craft a benefit driven description and compelling call to action you need to understand exactly what problem your are solving/outcome you are achieving for your customer. Then you must take a small yet high-value part of the solution and offer it in exchange for an email address on a SPECIFIC landing page (more on this in the Tracking section later).

This landing page is then linked below your description, in an easy to remember fashion, note how Foundrmag use the URL extension “free” as a reminder for their Ideal Lead and the pointing fingers that I have found to increase click through rate.

Your description must clearly outline the benefit that your Ideal Lead will experience from a click on the link and subsequently obtaining access to your solution in exchange for their email address.

3. Promotion

We have our Ideal Lead profiled; we have our profile optimized for lead generation, now all we need is traffic…

CONTENT

What types images/videos does your Ideal Customer want to consume?

Do they have aspirations related to business, travel, relationships, money or nature?

This is what you need to be posting, at least once per day. Though regardless of your posting schedule, consistency is crucial, as your audience will start to expect your content in a certain schedule, you do not want to disappoint.

And as for the filter argument, let’s keep it simple; here are the top 10 most popular, according to Populargram:

  1. Normal (No Filter)
  2. Valencia
  3. Earlybird
  4. X-Pro II
  5. Amaro
  6. Rise
  7. Hudson
  8. Lo-fi
  9. Hefe
  10. Sierra

Wordswag and Canva can be used for editing images, adding text and Instagram’s Layout app to create multi-images.

Hyperlapse can be used to create time-lapse videos, see examples of how business can use these effectively here.

Protein World is a great example of an account with strong, consistent branding and regular high-quality content:

Protein Insta

Once your content type has been decided, it is time to research hashtags.

Search Instagram for keywords relating to the solution you provide for your Ideal Lead and note and hashtags that have over 1,000 images and record.

The TagsForLikes app can store custom hashtag lists and also provide hashtag inspiration. Built up a list of 25-30 core hashtags  (this is the Instagram hashtag limit per image) and save in the TagsForLikes app (this can also provide hashtag inspiration) for easy access.

When posting an image, include any other account in your image (more on this later), a short description and 2-3 image specific hashtags then add the rest of your more solution specific hashtags in the first comment below the image.

It is also important to track the time of each post and measure the number of likes/comments it receives and then optimizing your posting times to maximize engagement.

And finally, like every blog post.

Every Instagram image must have a call to action whether it be:

  • “Double tap if you agree.”
  • “(Question relevant to image and Ideal Lead)?”
  • “Tag a friend who needs to see this.”

All three of these will lead to more engagement and potential exposure for your Instagram account and offer.

USER GENERATED CONTENT

Getting your users/Ideal Leads/existing customers is an excellent method to increase lead generation on Instagram. Depending on your brand, your customers may volunteer to send in content to your account for no cost and then go on to share it with their friends, who also fit the profile of your Ideal Lead.

The growth of sTitch Leggings Instagram profile has mainly been driven by user generated content (FULL DISCLOSURE – I am a co-founder of sTitch):

sTitch Leggings Insta

SHARE FOR SHARE

The Share For Share strategy for gaining Instagram traffic will see your account agree with another account that has a similar audience, and you take it in turns to mention each other, thus increasing your exposure to new potential Ideal Leads.

Though at the start of your profiles life cycle it may not be possible to obtain Share For Share partners, in which case some account may mention you in exchange for your product/service or cold hard cash. Pixlee is a great tool for finding influencers of your Ideal Lead.

LIKING/COMMENTING/FOLLOWING

The cheapest and most widely used strategy for growing Instagram traffic is through liking, commenting and following your potential Ideal Leads.

Remember the hashtags you determined for your content above?

These are exactly the same hashtags that can be searched to find your Ideal Leads.

I would recommend that for 20-30 minutes each day you/someone in your team, searching those hashtags most relevant to your Ideal Lead and like the majority of those images/videos and commenting on those that you have something genuine to say. For those people that you comment on, I would also recommend following and liking their top three pictures. You will find that some these individuals will follow/like you back.

Tools such as Crowdfire can be used to identify influencers or your Ideal Lead and even competitors followers to target.

While following your Ideal Leads, it is important to take your follower/following ratio into account, you don’t want this getting out of control. Ideally you can keep your ratio at least 1:0.5 and if you find your following count raising too high, I would recommend unfollowing to return the balance.

NETWORKING

When out and about with people that have an Instagram, I would highly encourage to take pictures and share while mentioning the person that you are with.

The more you do this, the more people will reciprocate and mention you back, leading to more exposure.

CONTESTS

Giving away stuff on social media is nothing new.

But it still works, so you could consider investing in some prizes that your Ideal Lead would potentially wish to claim and then either request people to tag a friend in the image to enter or even pay other Instagram accounts to run the competition with potential Ideal Leads following your account to enter.

Neil Patel utilized this technique and discussed in more detail here.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 6.14.59 AM

Right…

You now understand your Ideal Lead, have optimized your profile and have now started to drive traffic to your profile and should be experiencing clicks on your profile link leading to your landing page.

4. Tracking

Of course.

Expanding effort upon any marketing strategy is futile if you are not able to track results and compare to the resources (time and money) invested to calculate an ROI, here are the key metrics that MUST be tracked and optimized over time:

Landing Page Clicks: How many clicks does your profile experience?

Landing Page Conversion: What is the conversion rate on your landing page?

Lifetime Customer Value (From Instagram): What is the lifetime value of a customer obtained through Instagram?

Customer Acquisition Cost (From Instagram): How much does it cost to acquire a customer through Instagram?

Ok…

There we have it, the ultimate guide to Instagram lead generation.

The next to you reach for your phone to snap your croissant and latte, remember that your Ideal Lead is out there searching for you, it’s now up to you to find them.

Tom Hunt is the Founder of Virtual Valley, a platform that connects Entrepreneurs and Rockstar Virtual Assistants with the mission of giving Entrepreneurs back 10 million hours of their time by 2020. Tom writes about how to grow your remote business on the Virtual Valley Blog, you can also follow him on Instagram here: @tomhuntio.

3 Proven Strategies for Local Lead Generation

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 3.06.12 PM

Marketing Podcast with Mark Z. Fortune and Kevin Jordan

Every local-based business wants to improve their local lead generation process. Leads are the life-blood of your marketing efforts. The best salespeople can convert those leads into sales, but without leads even the best sales force on the planet can’t bring you more business.

That is why lead generation is one of my favorite subjects to discuss, and the topic of a new book from a group of my friends and Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultants called Local Lead Generation: Proven Tips to Help Grow Your Business.

My guests for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast are Mark Z. Fortune and Kevin Jordan, Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultants and co-authors (among others) of The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Lead Generation: Proven Strategies and Tips to Grow Your Business. We discuss the new book, how to improve your total online presence.

Questions I ask Mark and Kevin:

  • What are some of the common mistakes small business owners make?
  • How do I get customers to visit my website?
  • Why shouldn’t you just buy traffic with pay-per-click?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why it is so critical to focus on local search and local lead generation
  • How reviews draw customers into your store
  • What the role of social media is in local search

 

Transcript

Transcription Service Provided by GMR Transcription

John: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by MarketingProfs. Do you have the write stuff? Unleash your inner writer by downloading the latest MarketingProfs Marketing Writing Kit for free. You’ll find it in the show notes, but you can go to mprofs.com/ducttape.

Hello, welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guests today are Kevin Jordan and Mark Fortune. They happen to be a couple of Duct Tape Marketing Consultants who have, with several other Duct Tape Marketing Consultants, written a book called The Small Business Owners Guide to Local Lead Generation. So, Mark and Kevin, thanks for joining me.

Mark: Thanks for having us John.

Kevin: Thanks.

John: Well, so I always like to pick on the title first, you know, everybody knows they need lead generation. You guys have stuck the word local in the title and so I wonder is there a difference between local lead generation and just everyday lead generation?

Mark: Yeah, well, we felt like there was. I think what happened was there’re five of us who have coauthored the book and in just some of our back and forth and working together in the network, we all sort of realized that we’re all working with clients that are local businesses and sometimes they face some unique and common struggles across just the local spectrum and these days, especially in the online world, you can really narrow down your focus as to who your local market is.

So, if you’re a local veterinarian clinic, you’re not really concerned with marketing outside of a three- to five-mile radius of where your business is so there are very specific things, especially in the online world, that you need to worry about in order to bring in the right kind of customers to your business and that’s really where we focus in on the local aspects in this book.

John: Yeah, and I’ve actually been doing this for a long time and even before we had the Internet really as a foundational tool or a website at least, and I do think initially there was a feeling that oh, if you’re trying to sell globally, you need to be online and that’s a big deal. But now people shop around the world certainly but they also shop across the street using all these Internet tools so it really has become, I think, hyper important for local businesses.

Kevin: Yeah, absolutely, and I would add to what Mark said that in addition to the online elements which are very important these days, there’s a lot of offline marketing tactics that are available to local businesses. A business that’s not particularly local simply can’t use or can’t really use the … and we get into some of those in the book, especially when it comes to direct mail and referrals and those kinds of things.

John: Yeah, and I think that’s a great point too because I think a local business, as you pointed out, I think one of the advantages is when they start combining all of these things and so they use their offline tools to drive people maybe online to get more information to then drive them into their store and that’s where I think the real power comes is when you’re integrating all of these things.

Mark: Yeah, and it’s so important to keep in mind if you’re a local business owner that probably well over half of your potential customers and ideal customers are carrying a Smartphone that is location aware and they’re searching for your type of business while in the car or in the office and they’re not on a desktop computer doing it. So, that local aspect of what you’re doing and being able to be found quickly by the search engines is just critical these days.

John: Well, and also you imagine when you pull your phone out and you’re driving around, you have pretty high buying intent too, right? It’s like I want to find this thing that I’m looking for and I’m going to go buy it right now and so that makes that even more important I think. So, you guys both consult with small businesses. What are some of the common mistakes, maybe just generally when we’re speaking about marketing, that you encounter on a daily basis?

Kevin: Mark, you want to take that one first?

Mark: Sure, one of the things I see very often across my client base is a real tendency to jump on marketing tactic of the week. Sometimes it’s just of their own research and their own searching and sometimes it’s they’re being sold an advertising program by a vendor and they don’t fully understand but there will be a rush to oh, man, we have to get on Facebook or oh, we’ve got to do paper click or oh, we’ve really got to figure out Twitter this week, and there’s very little cohesive strategy that goes into it.

And we all know small business owners are yanked in a million directions at once so it’s hard to really focus on that plan and nailing down really where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. So, I very commonly see a real tendency to just jump on one tactic for a little while.

Kevin: I agree 100 percent with what Mark said and one thing I’ll add to that is that a lot of times, and I think this is a very tragic mistake, is that small business owners get connected with a marketing person – I hate to use the word professional because I wouldn’t necessarily –

John: Because that would imply something, wouldn’t it?

Kevin: Yeah, that would imply something. They get connected with a marketing person who is not fully qualified to do what they’re doing and in fact just last week, I did a consultation with a local independent insurance agency who had just launched a new website and nowhere on the entire website did it say anything about where the business was located. And if you know anything about search engine optimization for local businesses, you know that that information needs to be in multiple locations on every single page of the website.

John: Well, the thing that’s funny about that is that’s not just search engine optimization, that’s just good manners.

Kevin: Yeah, common sense.

John: I mean, how am I going to find you?

Kevin: Yeah, and not only that, but this particular web designer was charging this business owner over $300.00 a month for a “search engine optimization package.” So, I don’t know what was going to be in that package, but it’s kind of like selling someone a car and then telling them that the engine is going to cost extra, and I see this a lot where business owners just don’t know how to hire the right marketing people. And if someone reads this book, if nothing else, I hope what they get out of it is knowing what questions they need to ask before hiring someone to help them with their marketing.

John: You speak about, as many marketing related books do these days, a lot about content and in fact, you talk about out publishing the competition. I will say, and you’ve certainly experienced that, I think a lot of small business owners generally are buying that now and understanding the value of that, but it is still probably the hardest work for them. It’s the part that they struggle with the most; I mean how can we make this idea of content marketing something that a small business owner can actually wrap their arms around?

Mark: Yeah, I think one of the important things, and something we really try to point out in the book, is to not get intimidated by the notion of content. And I think small business owners tend to think that means they have to stare in front of a blank computer screen with an empty Word doc every Monday morning and figure out how to crank out a thousand words by 9:00 a.m. for a blog post and that’s just not the case. I mean one of the tactics – I have a newer client, a local landscaping service, and when I said content to him, he nods his head because he knows he has to do it but you can tell it’s just overwhelming him, the idea that he has to do all of this.

And I say, “Start simply. What are the ten most frequently asked questions your customers ask you on every job you get? Write those answers down. There’re ten blog posts right there.” You can break it down into very common themes and really start to tackle this.

John: Yeah, one of my favorites is what are the questions they should be asking you but they don’t know even to ask you but you know that if they ask that or if you were able to provide the information on that, that would help differentiate you and it would help them get to a better understanding. I see you guys and I talk about FAQs and I can’t remember the acronym you used for what I’m talking about now, but I coined the term Frequently Unasked Questions, but then I found the acronym didn’t play very well in some places.

Kevin: We call them SAQs, the Should Ask Questions.

Mark: I was just drawing that out. I’m like no, that won’t work, hold on.

John: Yeah, you don’t want to pronounce it phonetically or something, that’s right, but I think that’s a great point too. And you talk about in the book this idea of repurposing content too. I think that’s another thing that they get intimidated by is to see people are doing video or they’re doing podcasting and oh, my God, how am I going to think of all this stuff and really finding a piece or two of kind of foundational content that really tells your story and sets you apart, I mean it’s not that hard to turn that into eight or ten applications, is it?

Kevin: Absolutely not and in fact, this podcast we’re recording right now, a transcript of this could easily be turned into multiple blog posts with very little editing. In fact, one thing that I’m doing right now with the owner of a clinic for weight loss is instead of just writing his blog, what we’re doing is every week I interview him about his own business as if we’re doing a podcast episode and then I can write the blog post using a transcript of that so that it’s in his own voice. But thinking forward and thinking ahead, we’re saving the recordings of those so that if any time in the future he wants to start a podcast, he already has all the podcast episodes ready to go.

John: That’s great. That’s such a great technique too for people that find it hard to sit down and type on a blank screen, but boy, you ask them a question or two and they won’t shut up and so I think that that sometimes can be a great way to extract content from somebody.

We already talked about the obvious put your name and address on your website, but what are some of the other must-have considerations for a website now that even for local businesses has become maybe the hub of their business?

Mark: Well, I think in so many ways, yes, the NAP, the name, address and phone number is absolutely critical to be on a site so that you can be found unlike Kevin’s client that he mentioned earlier. I think it’s also really important if you have multiple locations to create a unique page within your site for each location that also helps drive that local content or those local search results. I think it’s also critical to take into account your community and your surrounding neighborhoods when you’re developing content.

Write something unique to the neighborhood you’re in. Write something unique to the community interests or a cause that you may be involved with and that will over time, if you’re consistent with it, really help with your search rankings. And don’t forget to ask your customers for reviews, I mean it’s just so important to manage that reputation online, and five star reviews and thumbs up reviews and great reviews on Google+ and Facebook will really help drive leads and new business into your store.

John:  Yeah, and I think it’s also a great trust factor. Anymore, we tend to not believe advertising, we tend to not believe a lot of stuff that somebody is telling us about themselves, but we are more likely to believe that five star review even from a perfect stranger. So, I think they certainly are a necessary element in the search game, but I think they’ve become a real important trust signal as well.

Kevin: One thing I’d add as far as critical elements of a website, and I’m sure your listeners are well aware of the latest changes to Google’s algorithm by the time this podcast comes out, but the bottom line is if your website is not mobile friendly, it’s going to be more and more difficult for you to rank in search results and so just go ahead and bite the bullet if your website isn’t mobile friendly right now, get a redesign that’s responsive and that conforms to the latest best practices in that regard so that you won’t be slapped by future updates from Google.

John:  Well, and we talked about it already. I think Mark mentioned the idea, you know, so many people locally, when they’re looking for a business, that’s what they’re using to search so even if it weren’t for the fact that Google was now not going to show your site, I mean it makes such a bad experience for that person that’s on a phone anyway.

Mark: Yeah, I have a new client. We’re redesigning their website specifically because of that issue. It’s a veterinary clinic and they have good search rankings. They’re actually pretty good marketers and have a successful business, but 40 percent of their traffic was mobile and the latest Google updates have really punished their traffic and there’s really no way to get around that other than to rebuild your site in a mobile responsive design. You just have to bite the bullet and go for it.

John: So, now I have my lovely website up and it’s mobile friendly and it has great content. How do I get people to visit?

Kevin:  Well, I think the first thing is making sure that when it is built it’s built with all the proper elements of SEO best practices in place so making sure the keyword rich content and the coding is done correctly and all that. That’s Step 1.

And then Step 2 is just taking the idea that you preach John about the total online presence where you incorporate your social media, your email marketing, your online advertising, your ratings and review sites and directory listings and have that all working with each other and all pointing back and driving traffic to your website.

John: Yeah, and then it’s plain old networking too, right, in the local community working with other businesses, getting links from other businesses, posting content other places that point back to your site.

Kevin: Yeah, and we joke in the book that some of the, you know, we talk about the idea of back links and how you can get links from authoritative sites like your local chamber of commerce and your local BNI chapter. In other words, some of those organizations are things that you probably need to be doing anyway and this idea of getting traffic to your website is just even more incentive for you to be participating in your community.

John: So, you mentioned a couple of elements of search engine optimization. Are there any particular elements for local search? So, in other words, for that local business, are there some things that are very unique to that local business to show up when I’m in that town searching for whatever you’re selling?

Mark: I think what I’ve seen with my clients are reviews tend to be very, very important, and I work with my clients as a part of what they’re doing. And we talk about it in the book that when a customer has had a good experience, work with them to get that email address and ask them for reviews. Take five minutes or take 30 seconds and give us a quick review on Google+ or on Facebook, and that really will help boost up your traffic as folks are searching for your business in that mobile environment.

Kevin: It’s also an insurance policy because let’s face it, the customer who has a bad experience with your business is going to be much, much more motivated to go online and leave a negative review than the one who has a great experience. That’s just the ugly truth of it.

So, you might say well, I don’t have any negative reviews so I’m not that worried about it, but when you get one, you’re going to be worried about it so why not go out and get five or ten or 15 or 50 positive reviews so that when that negative review does happen, which it will if you’re in business long enough, then it’s just not really that big of a deal because it’s buried by all of the positive reviews.

John:  So, getting reviews, optimizing your site, writing content, all these things that work over time do take time. Can’t you just buy traffic?

Mark: Not if you don’t want to get punished. I think there was probably a time, not that long ago, where the Black Hat SEO guys, if you will –

John: Well, no, I’m talking about legitimate ways of buying traffic meaning paper click advertising, I mean –

Mark:  Oh, okay.

John:  – surely you get some clients over time that maybe they have more money than time or patience and feel like hey, why don’t we just dive into Google AdWords. What’s wrong with that thinking?

Mark: Well, for one, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can get really expensive really, really fast with very low conversions. I think if you have a good website and a good strategy and a good landing page and someone who really understands paper click marketing that you’re working with, you can start dipping your toes into paper click pretty quickly and generate some decent results.

I know two of our coauthors, both Phil Singleton and Justin Sturgis, use that very often with their clients and use it very successfully, but I’ve seen it happen time after time. Somebody thinks they just put in a credit card to Google, into AdWords, and traffic is going to start pouring in. And sometimes traffic does pour in, but none of it converts. If you don’t have a good landing page and a good clear call to action and offer for what somebody’s going to get, you’ll spend a lot of money really fast.

Kevin: Yeah, I would say that AdWords or any other form of paper click advertising even though it might get traffic to your site quickly is not a short-term proposition either because even just to do a basic test of whether a landing page or a campaign is going to be successful, I think at least one to two months minimum would be required depending on your traffic volume and the area you’re targeting.

So, I see business owners who will do it for a couple weeks or a month and are not satisfied with the results and give up, but they don’t even have a statistically balanced sample in order to judge whether or not it would have been successful.

John: I think you both alluded a little bit to this idea of conversion, I mean obviously, once you know if you get X traffic you will get X result then in many cases you can afford to say okay, let’s go buy all that traffic up because we know what it’s worth to us, but what are some of the ways that you would recommend to know what’s working and not working? I mean I think a typical small business even if they feel like their revenue is good, in many cases they don’t really know what’s driving it so how do you find out? How do you measure what’s working and not working online?

Kevin: I think the first thing John is to make sure that you have a method in place for tracking it and are looking at that on a regular basis, whether you or the person you’re outsourcing your marketing to, so analytics are hugely important and with online, online anything really, there’s no excuse not to be tracking it well because the tools are there, they’re available and most of them are free. So, that’s Step 1.

Mark: I think the other part too is once you have Google Analytics up running in the social world you can see how much engagement you’re getting. You’ve got to dedicate some time to actually analyze what that means and where your new customers came from and understanding your cost to acquire. One of my clients right now is a software and data company here in Arkansas where I’m located, and we spend an hour a month going over all of the month’s analytics and eventually the conversation moves from how many likes did we get or how many shares did we get to okay, how many of those shares turned into somebody that wanted to see a demo or wanted to try a free trial of our product?

And the same thing applies to local business to consumer businesses as well. How many people are converting from all the tactics that you’re using? And then you get down to a cost to acquire and you begin to understand what the lifetime value of that relationship is.

John: Yeah, and I think so often people are, and I’m guilty of this, you’re very traffic driven, but as a metric, have an understanding what you started to talk about. What are some of the goals of that traffic? What are we trying to get them to do? Even if it’s how many of them are signing up for a newsletter when they come here or converting to signing up for our webinar? And I think too often all people think about is traffic and sale and there are a lot of goals or steps along that journey in between that can and should be measured.

Mark: Right and I think it’s important with the local businesses to really understand what you have with your existing customer base. I mean that can really be, you know, probably is your most valuable asset in the company in terms of helping folks you’ve already converted to convert others. So, we really encourage all of our clients to work with your customer base, make sure they have a wonderful experience and turn into those referral partners for you.

John: So, the final question and then we’ll wrap up. I know you guys have some resources that you want to share along with the site for the book, and I know you both get this question all the time, what ultimately is the role of social media in local lead generation?

Kevin: Well John I think No. 1 is the first principle of social media, and we jokingly talk about this in the book, is to do no harm. So, for a local business that is pressed for time and who thinks I have to be on social media so they go and set up their Facebook page and their Twitter account and their Google+ and all the other places that they want to be and then they post one or two things and then stop.

It is actually hurting that business because when someone goes on your Facebook page and sees that the last post there is Happy Thanksgiving 2012, it’s what we call the social media ghost town effect and it makes people wonder is this business even open. Do they respond to requests? So, No. 1, if you’re going to have a profile on a social media platform, you’ve got to post regularly.

And No. 2 is the purpose of social media is really to have conversations with your customers. It’s not some place where you post your ads and it’s just like you’d put an ad in the newspaper, take the same ad and put it on your Facebook page. You want to be using it to maybe start a Facebook group for your customers or use it to solicit feedback or something. It’s all about having a conversation, not about pushing out a marketing message.

John: Yeah, and I think that’s a great point. I mean I’ve often told people that say I just don’t have time for social media, do something; find some way to serve your customers using it. Just as you mentioned a group or something on Facebook or following them on Twitter, making a Twitter list of them and at least checking in once a day and seeing what your customers are saying. I mean you could find that valuable couldn’t you, and I think a lot of times you’re right, people get caught up in oh, if I’m on Twitter, it means I have to say something witty 12 times a day, and it certainly can have value without you saying a thing.

Mark: Well, and I think you touched on something really important there John, which is so much of the time it can start with just listening first because even if you’re not active in the conversation and you haven’t set up your properties, your business and the needs you’re trying to solve are absolutely being discussed. An example I see every day, and it makes me think of this in my business all the time, is my neighborhood has a Facebook group, just all the houses in my neighborhood.

And nine out of ten posts, other than somebody’s dog is lost, are who knows a good roofer, good electrician, good plumber, good whatever, name the service that you’d like. And that stuff is a goldmine as a lead generation tool, and while you can’t actively necessarily advertise on those groups, people are talking about the kinds of needs that your business solves out there and you’ve got to be willing to listen and dive into that conversation.

John: I was working with a group of chiropractors – not chiropractors, orthodontists, and I was giving a presentation on social media and was told that the group was very leery of the impact of it. And so I went and found, without much work, found about a dozen pictures of young women who had just gotten their braces off raving about how beautiful they feel now and thanks to their orthodontist and in most all cases didn’t mention the orthodontist and I showed them. I said, “Would this be a marketing opportunity for you had you seen that your customer is raving about this?”

And in a couple cases, they did mention the orthodontist, but out there into no man’s land because the orthodontist wasn’t doing what you just talked about and missed, in my opinion, a tremendous opportunity to say hey, you were a great patient and have all of that young lady’s friends and followers know that their orthodontist cared in a moment that was obviously pretty important to that young lady.

Mark: Well, and you’re right, and what if you’re the one orthodontist in that town who has really figured that out?

John: Exactly.

Mark: You’re going to be miles ahead of your competition.

John: Yep, yep, it was a great demonstration. So, localleadgenbook.com is where you guys have set up shop for the book. And do you want to tell us about some resources that you have there because I know you mention them throughout the book and then also I think you have a special offer for the launch?

Kevin: Yeah, absolutely. The resources page we put together is still a work in progress, but now as we get closer to launch, we’re adding more and more links to each chapter so for each chapter in the book, we’ve put links to the resources that we mention in the book and articles that have more content, especially the chapters on SEO and paper click. And by the way, it’s really, really difficult to describe what an anchor text link is in a printed book.

John: Yeah, right, right, some things you have to experience online, right, yeah.

Kevin: So, for things like that we have additional resources on the website that people can use to help them. And then we’ve also put together what we feel is a really great bonus package for people who buy the book and come to the site and provide a proof of purchase so we have a bonus chapter on video marketing which I think is becoming more and more important even for local businesses.

John: You bet.

Kevin: We have a downloadable template for creating your marketing kit, video interviews with all the authors – what else do we have Mark?

[Crosstalk]

Mark: Don’t forget the eBook. We put an eBook out there with 66 lead generation tactics and tips that you get for free when you go to the purchase link on localleadgenbook.com.

John: Awesome. Well, thanks guys. Obviously, you’re in the Duct Tape Marketing Network so I will see both of you probably sooner than later, but congratulations on the book and obviously local businesses, this is information you need and it is in a very digestible format and great job.

Mark: Thank you.

Kevin: Thanks John and I want to finish up with one additional quick story. I don’t know if you remember, but the first time that I met you, it was after you gave a speech to our local Small Business Development Center and I walked up to you and asked you to sign my book. It was The Referral Engine book.

If you had told me at that point that in less than three years you would be writing the forward for a book that I wrote, I would have told you that you are absolutely crazy, but here we are and it’s happening and you’ve given us a lot of support not only with the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network but just in resources and access to the other things that we need so thank you very much for that.

John: Well, you’re welcome. The need for what we do is immense guys so, you know, it’s a lot of fun doing this. I do remember that Kevin by the way. The nearest town that had an airport I think was about a hundred miles.

Kevin: Yeah, oh, yeah.

John: That’s how small we’re getting. All right guys take care and we’ll talk to you soon.

Mark: Thanks John.

6 The Changing Face of Lead Generation

I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last few years professing the virtues of what I’ve been calling the lead generation trio made up of some combination or advertising, public relations and referrals.

GoDakshin via Flickr

The idea behind the trio concept is to acknowledge the need to spread your lead generation activities out and diversify them in a manner that allows prospects to experience your brand in different variations and from entirely different points of view.

The components of the lead generation trio are dependent upon one another to work. They support and compliment each other and the sum the effort is definitely greater than the parts.

Lead generation in general has changed dramatically over the last few years as traditional broadcast or outbound methods have grown increasingly ineffective.

This doesn’t mean, however, that marketers are left without proactive methods for generating leads.

The fundamental idea of the blended lead generation approach is still valid, but when choosing members of a lead generation trio, business owners must now take into the account the shifting online and social landscape.

While I still contend that advertising is a primary lead driver when employed correctly, I further believe that SEO, or the ability to be found, and social media, or the ability to create direct engagement, have become primary lead drivers and must be included in any discussion concerned with rounding out the new lead generation trio.

In fact, you could easily make the case that referrals have become a member of the social media family and that public relations is now a subset of SEO. I know this point of view won’t sit well with some PR practitioners, but here’s how I now see the major lead generation activities

Advertising – this includes online ads, offline ads, direct mail, pay per click and the all-important elements of ad testing, conversion and tracking.

I believe every business that focuses on promoting content using advertising tools and incorporates landing pages, including mobile landing pages, into their conversion process can still generate leads in a quasi outbound manner.

The thing that advertising has going for it that no other form of lead generation can match is control. This is the one vehicle that allows you to select who gets your message and when.

SEO – The area of SEO is really much bigger than page and search optimization. I use this term to incorporate the production and use of keyword rich content and the acquisition of links in ways that make it easy for prospects to find your business when they search globally, locally and mobily (I know that’s not a word, but perhaps it should be these days.)

Using this broader description of SEO makes it easy to incorporate a great deal of today’s public relations activity, a great deal of which is designed to create content, links and direct prospect contact under the banner of SEO.

Social media – I’ve been saying this for some time now, but social media behavior and tactics have simply become baked into marketing in general, and of late I’ve seen this behavior mature to the point where it’s become a stable aspect of the lead generation trio.

I know many people still cringe at the idea of social and sales being mentioned in the same sentence, but social platforms have now become such an integral part of content discovery and sharing that it is nearly impossible to effectively generate leads via any form of advertising without the integration of social and most forms of successful SEO now rely on social platforms as well.

In a way social media has become the ultimate referral vehicle. Throw ratings and reviews into the social mix and you’ve pretty much round out the new face of lead generation.

So, if you still view SEO as the art of search engine manipulation or social media as a tactic still struggling to produce ROI, think again. Advertising, SEO and social media are now the foundational elements of a solid lead generation program and like so many things that are meant to go together – you can’t have one without the others.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Advertising.