The world of marketing can often seem like a minefield.  It’s easy to be bombarded with social media posts from companies all claiming to hold the key to success.  Companies that promise shiny new websites, fail safe social media calendars, video production, blog writing services.  The list goes on. Their messages are compelling and catchy – of course they would be – they’re marketeers!

It’s no wonder that so many businesses feel bamboozled by all of these options.  As a business owner just wanting to get on with what you’re best at and wanting to grow your business, what exactly should you be doing to increase leads?  Because let’s face it, that’s what you want to do.  Ultimately, you want more customers!

It may surprise you then that the answer is really quite simple.  And there’s a rather straightforward process for doing so.

Through years of experience, working both client and agency side, we have developed a 5 Step process to allow small businesses to win at marketing – increasing leads and, ultimately, increasing customers.

Five steps to increase your leads

Step 1. Get your brand right

Brands build trust and the old adage, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’, is so true when it comes to you and your brand. So, make your brand one that will set you apart, build trust and reflect who you are.

Your brand is the promise that you make to your customers.   When you are creating your brand, you need to think about what promises you are making. The most successful brands are those built on authenticity, integrity and honesty – you can’t be something you’re not!! And if you are trying to be something you are not, customers will soon see through you.

The first thing you need to think about when creating your brand is your own values. If your brand does not reflect your own values, you will find it hard to get customers to trust you and you will struggle to meet customer expectations. Your values will act as guiding principles for your brand and will help dictate what your business looks like and how it behaves. For example, if your values are fun, family and consistency, make sure that your brand/business reflects these.

You need to create a brand identity that really reflects what you and your company are about and helps communicate your brand promise to your ideal customers.

Things to do:

  • Understand your values
  • Create a brand identity
  • Design your logo/brand look and feel
  • Develop brand guidelines – to include your company fonts, brand colour palette, marketing collateral look and feel

Step 2. Get your website right

For many businesses, your website is your shop window.  Your website is where potential customers come to find out what you do and how what you do is going to benefit them.

The secret to creating a great website is to ‘keep it simple’.  We are all busy.  We’d all like more hours in the day and when we want information or we want to buy something we want to do it as quickly and as painlessly as possible.  We don’t want to have to plough through loads of information or pages to find what we are looking for.  We don’t want to use too much brain power trying to figure out what someone is offering and how it is going to help make our lives better.

Too many businesses and web designers focus on what the site looks like.  And while this is important, the most important things are your message and the user experience.  Think of your website as an elevator pitch.   The customer simply needs to know that you have something they need and you can be trusted to deliver this.

Things to do:

  • Write great content to engage and delight your customers
  • Ensure a look and feel that you and your customers will love, aligned to your brand.
  • Create a customer journey that is simple and allows customers to find what they are looking for quickly and easily
  • Optimise your site for search engines
  • Make sure your site is optimised for mobile and tablet
  • Ensure your site has an easy-to-use Content Management System

Step 3. Attract the right people to your website

You can have the best website in the world but if you have no-one visiting it, it’s a complete waste of time.  That said, you want to make sure that those visiting your website are potential customers.  If your website was a bricks-and-mortar shop, ideally you would want everyone who walked through the door to be ready to buy what you were selling.  Why should it be any different for your website?!

Things to do:

  • Carry out a full site optimisation audit
  • Research keywords and competitors
  • Create buyer personas
  • Produce a full strategy for increasing the number of visitors to your website

Step 4. Get your social media right

Love it or loathe it, as a business owner, you can’t afford to ignore social media.  But are you really using social media to its full potential?  Are you seeing the results you want?

Social media has become woven into the fabric of our lives. For many of us, it’s hard to imagine life before Facebook or Instagram. Maybe you’re already a dab hand at using different platforms for personal use and feel confident about using these platforms for your business. A post here, a photo there – it’s not that hard, is it? But how much thought are you actually giving to your social media activity and how effective is it? Are all those posts really helping you grow your business or are they just delivering vanity metrics, such as ‘likes’.

To be truly effective, you need to make sure that you have a clear social media strategy.

Things to do:

  • Clearly define your objectives for your campaigns
  • Create a calendar of posts, to ensure that you are consistently posting relevant content that engages and delights your target customer.
  • Schedule posts, so you don’t need to remember to post
  • Write blogs.  Blogs are important, not just to engage your audience but also to improve SEO and your Google ranking
  • Use analytics to track campaign effectiveness

Step 5. Get your email marketing right

It may surprise you but we spend almost a third of the working week in our inbox. Email marketing is still an extremely valuable tool in your toolbox.  Email marketing will help you reach your target audience, continue to nurture a relationship with them, and have conversations that help you and your customers grow.

But to be successful, you need an email marketing strategy.

Having an email marketing strategy will help you keep your email marketing on target and show your company a return on investment. Whether you’re a company of one or 5,000, your email marketing strategy needs to be clearly defined to help you reach your goals.

The first step to successful email marketing is your data, or rather the quality of your data.  Before you do anything, you need to audit your existing data and create a strategy for collecting new and relevant data.

Things to do:

  • Audit of your existing data
  • Create strategy for collecting email addresses
  • Create a strategy to enable you to send the right message to the right people at the right time
  • Analyse your email marketing performance

Whether you need assistance to implement all of the above or just with a particular area, we can help.  Check out our website for details of our packages or contact us to arrange a chat.