Let’s be honest:
Many people see marketing as a necessary evil. If you’re one of them, you need to embrace marketing.
Because one of the main determinants of gaining leads and customers is great marketing. Contrary to popular opinion, great ideas don’t sell themselves, great marketing does. For example:
Our client, UrbanBound, an Employee Relocation Software Provider scaled their marketing strategy and became very profitable through demand generation and SEO. You can watch more video testimonials of our other clients here.
Many great products have failed over the years due to poor marketing. But have you seen a successful product with poor marketing? Very rare. And when that happens, the success is usually unsustainable.
All I’m saying is, marketing is an integral part of your business. You need it to capture as many leads and turn them to customers.
Having established its importance, what are some effective marketing tips you can use to bring in more leads for your business and convert them to customers?
In this guide, we’ll be looking at 13 tips that can make your marketing efforts better.
1. Create the best content for your niche
Whether you’re marketing your business online or offline, you need content to attract leads. At every stage of the buyer’s journey, you need content to convince your lead to move further into your sales funnel.
Of course, when I say content, I’m referring to different types of content. How do you create the best content for your niche?
Conduct customer research
No matter how great a piece of content may be about consuming meat, it won’t interest a vegan. Content is only great and effective because it works for its ideal audience.
You need to understand the type of audience you’re trying to attract before you can create the type of content they’ll resonate with.
To do this, you can create a marketing persona that has the details of the type of people you want to attract to your business.
If you find this difficult, you can just analyze your current customers and see what your ideal customer looks like.
Create long-form content
To show your expertise to a potential lead, you need to create long pieces of content that they can learn from.
After all, a study found that potential customers will read between 3 and 5 pieces of content before they engage with a sales rep.
If they’re unimpressed after going through your content, they’ll simply navigate to a competitor’s website. Long-form quality content usually convinces people to take action.
Apart from becoming leads, people also share this type of content. In a study by Moz and BuzzSumo, they found that long content gained more social shares and backlinks.
Another advantage of creating long-form content is that they tend to rank higher on search engines. This means you can attract more targeted visitors to your website.
Now a question that might come up is: how long should your content be? It depends on the topic you’re writing about.
The Google search quality evaluator guidelines say the length of content addressing a narrow topic will usually be shorter than one addressing a wide topic.
As I said earlier, there are many types of content. When people talk about content, most people refer to the written content.
However, you can make your content better when you repurpose it into other formats. And you can increase retention rates.
A study found that people will only remember 10% of text 3 days after reading it whereas they’ll remember 65% of visual content.
Other formats to create content apart from the written content are:
This would improve visitors’ engagement on your website.
2. Optimize your website for search engines
Your ideal customers go on search engines daily to search for your product or service. And when you consider that Google alone gets over 2 billion searches daily, this is a big opportunity for your business.
But the main question is: does your business show up when people search for your business terms?
This is a source of targeted traffic as visitors are coming to your website because they’ve searched for a term related to your business.
What are some activities to optimize your website for search engines?
Carry out keyword research
What terms are your potential customers putting in the search box? Of course, you can have a few guesses. But you’ll still be oblivious to so many valuable keywords.
You can use keyword research tools to find valuable keywords your potential customers are using.
For each stage of the buyer’s journey, you’ll have to target some keywords with your website content. This will help you attract leads into your sales funnel.
Some keyword research tools you can use are Ahrefs, SEMrush, Majestic SEO, Moz, Cognitive SEO, KeywordTool.io, Ubersuggest, etc.
One of the other popular online marketing tools for research and campaign management is Clickx. It has an amazing keyword builder feature that can find keywords from the competitors SEO strategy.
Keyword research tools will provide important details about keywords like:
- Search volume
- SEO difficulty
- Paid difficulty
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
Another important detail to note about your keywords is satisfying user intent. Your content must be able to provide an answer to the reason people are using those keywords.
Carry out competitive analysis
Sometimes, it’s difficult to find all the keywords you need to target. But you can watch your competitors.
If your competitor is performing well on search engines, that’s because they’re targeting the right keywords.
Keyword research tools can help you find keywords your competitors are ranking for that you’re not. A tool like SEMrush will help you find these keywords with its keyword gap tool. Another tool you can use for competitive analysis is Ahrefs.
Incorporate keywords into your page
While targeting a keyword, you need to place that keyword at some specific locations on your page. This guides search engines about your page topic.
Some parts of your page to have your keyword are:
- First paragraph
- Image alt text
- Image name
However, while placing your keywords on a page, you should avoid keyword stuffing. If you add keywords to a page too many times, you can incur a penalty.
Improve the website user experience
Google considers website user experience factors such as time on site, page speed, and mobile-responsiveness as core signals when ranking pages.
To perform well on search engines, you have to ensure your website is easy to navigate, fast to load and looks good for searchers on mobile.
Don’t forget that mobile users account for about 60% of the total Google searches.
3. Use lead magnets
If you want to attract leads, then using a lead magnet is a no-brainer right? Yes, of course.
A lead magnet is a piece of content that potential leads can have access to once they release their personal information to you.
But to make lead magnets effective, you have to understand the reasoning behind using lead magnets. A lead magnet ensures your lead can gain a benefit right now even when they haven’t paid for your service.
When they gain a benefit now, it gives you the opportunity to nurture them till you gain access to their wallets.
With that in mind, you should use lead magnets that are likely to solve a problem for your potential lead almost immediately.
For example, look at this lead magnet by ConversionXL that even includes the word “now” in its copy to attract a lead:
A best practice is to make your lead magnet as short as possible so that it’s easily consumable and usable. You should also ensure that you deliver your lead magnet so that leads can use it immediately.
Usually, this is the beginning of a relationship. Taking too long to send the lead magnet could lead to a negative view of your business.
Some forms of lead magnets you can use to capture more leads are:
- Free trial
- Cheat sheet
HubSpot provides marketing software. And the company also uses content marketing to improve its visibility. Below is an example of one of its lead magnets which is a guide.
Jon Morrow is a popular blogger who is also known for writing attractive headlines. He offers a cheat sheet here which subscribers can have access to. This will help them create better headlines and Jon will have a lead.
Buycostumes is an eCommerce company that used a discount as a lead magnet for potential customers.
Another example here is the marketing grader by HubSpot. With tools like these, users will have to enter their email address before they can see the results of their assessment.
There are many other examples you can use to create an effective lead magnet. You just have to ensure that it’s a lead magnet that your page visitor needs.
4. A/B test your landing pages
Your landing page has a single aim: to capture leads or make sales. Look at this landing page by Shopify that aims to capture leads it can turn to customers in a short period of time.
But making landing pages just for the sake of it will lead you nowhere. Because just creating a page doesn’t automatically bring you lots of leads.
For instance, HubSpot found that companies had a 55% increase in leads acquisition when they increased their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. And that makes sense.
However, to get the benefits of your landing pages, you have to optimize them for conversions.
One of the best ways to do this is to perform A/B tests on your landing page elements.
Rather than using guesswork to access the performance of your landing pages, A/B tests help you to test two versions of an element and see which one converts more visitors. You can then make changes based on your results.
Some parts of your page to test are:
- Page copy
- Page background
- Lead submission form
While testing landing page elements, it’s important that you only test a single element at a time. You’ll be able to identify the changes responsible for your results.
If you change too many things, you won’t know the specific change that improved or decreased your conversions.
Another best practice to keep in mind is to remove the navigation bar from your landing page.
On your landing page, you want no distraction to a visitor. The 2 options available to them should be to either convert or exit the page.
A navigation bar is an opportunity for them to go to other pages on your website. When this happens, you’ve lost a potential lead.
The interesting reality is that only 16% of landing pages are without navigation bars.
Yuppiechef, a kitchen tools seller, removed the navigation bar from its landing page to increase conversions. As a result of this, the company got a 100% lift in signups.
To test its landing page, Movexa tried two headlines. For its variation, it added the word “supplement” to its headline. This move increased its sales by 89.97%.
5. Connect with potential customers on social media
Your potential customers go on social media daily to interact with their friends. And businesses.
Many people have found products and services on social media. For example, Kleiner Perkins revealed in the Internet Trend Report that 78% of consumers have found products to buy on Facebook.
As well as this, 59% have found products to buy on Instagram and Pinterest while 34% have found a product on Twitter.
Social media is an opportunity for your business to capture more leads and customers. Some ways to use social media to attract leads and customers are to:
Share website pages
To gain more leads on your website you need more traffic.
You can share your blog posts and other important website pages with your followers. This increases your traffic and you can turn some of your visitors to leads.
Interact with followers
Social media is all about interactions. This means your page shouldn’t only be about selling.
Many times, you can share an update that will provoke interaction and you should participate. In another sense, social media is a potent way of providing customer support.
You should reply to followers’ questions and complaints as soon as possible. When you fail to do this, it can lead to negative customer comments on social media. When potential customers see these comments, they become reluctant to buy from you.
Display customer testimonials/reviews
If you show your potential customers how your current customers are benefiting from your product, it’s a form of social proof that can convince them to try your product. IKEA is a popular brand.
This means it has many customers.
And the company has exploited this opportunity to show some designs made by its customers. It’s a strong social proof when you can show potential customers how your product has benefited current customers.
I mean, who doesn’t like gifts? Especially if it’s a gift you want? Giveaways can be a way to bring in potential buyers with a time-bound offer. And to let people know about your giveaway, you should share it on social media.
Birchbox is another popular brand that used social media to promote their giveaway. You can see comments with many of their followers engaged with the post.
6. Start a guest posting campaign
While marketing your business, you can always expand your audience by guest posting on other websites. The reality is that many websites, even in your niche, have a bigger audience than your website.
A guest posting campaign helps you to show your expertise to a new audience. If you do this well, and make your new audience interested enough, they can check your business out and become a lead.
You can also generate a lot of traffic and paying customers through guest blogging. GrooveHQ promoted their software business to more than 1 million people by guest blogging.
Apart from establishing your expertise in your industry, a guest posting campaign also helps your website to build valuable backlinks.
One thing you need to keep in mind though, you shouldn’t publish a guest post on every website you can find.
To get the best benefits from your guest posting campaigns, you need to post on authoritative websites. This could be a popular website. But more beneficial is to find authoritative websites in your niche.
These websites already have the type of audience you want. And you’ll have a better chance of convincing them.
When Buffer started operations as a social media marketing tool, one of the most effective strategies it used was guest posting.
The company’s co-founder, Leo Widrich, wrote 150 guest posts in a campaign to increase users. This led to a rise in its user base from 0 to 100,000 in 9 months.
7. Use automated email sequences to engage leads
Email is one of the best marketing channels in terms of return on investment (ROI). In fact, a study found that for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you get $44 in return.
Even though you already know a bit about email, you also need to know that there have been changes over the years. Email marketing is now more focused on automation and personalization. When done right, the later can increase open rate by 26%.
What is your ideal audience interested in? If your subscriber is interested in a shoe but you send them messages about clothes, you’ll have zero chance of converting them. In fact, they’ll stop reading your emails.
Automated email sequences can help you avoid this. Based on your emails that your subscribers engage with, you can send more of those to them. When you send these automated emails, you can move your leads down the sales funnel until they become customers.
Jon Morrow uses automated email sequences to engage leads to sell his courses. See an example of a mail in the sequence where Jon uses urgency in the headline.
For this particular program, he has been able to make more than $10,000 monthly by sending a series of emails to convert his leads.
8. Use referral programs
Word of mouth is a good way of attracting more customers for your business. But what if there’s a reward for the customer preaching the word of mouth? They become even more motivated to talk about your product.
A referral program includes giving your current customers rewards when they refer other customers to your business.
The reward could be in monetary terms or a piece of your product. For a referral, most people invite their friends and families to use a product so that they can claim their rewards
Another program similar to this is the affiliate program. The affiliate program is on a larger scale than the referral program. In most cases, an affiliate might have no experience of using a product before recommending it.
A product affiliate could be a popular blogger or a popular website in a niche.
What you’ll find that these people have built an audience over the years and they tend to trust their recommendations. You can usually see affiliate links in reviews of some products.
There may be a few differences between referral programs and affiliate programs. However, both are done to increase more sales for your product.
This is one strategy that Dropbox used to increase its user base by 60% in 2010. Users who referred others got free storage space when their referees sign up.
9. Start a giveaway/promo
A giveaway or a promo offer is a way to sell your products at a lower price than they would normally get it. The reality is that many potential customers stop buying because of cost.
In fact, one of the most common causes of cart abandonment is unexpected costs. A study by Statista revealed that 24% of consumers abandoned their carts because of unexpected costs while 54% gave expensive shipping as their reason.
So when you reduce costs for your customers, it’s an incentive that targets one of their biggest pain points. There are many ways you can do a giveaway. It really depends on how you want to go about it.
For instance, some companies offer free shipping for their products as a way to gain new customers.
Another way to go about it is to give a time-bound offer where the offer goes away after a period of time.
10. Encourage online reviews
Before people invest in your business today, they want to know what current and previous customers think about your product and service. A reliable way of knowing that is through online reviews.
Through online reviews, they can make their decision of whether to buy from your business or not. How powerful are online reviews?
A study by BrightLocal found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
In other words, if you have too many negative reviews, it reduces the chances of a lead opening their wallet for your business. Another problem you may have apart from negative reviews is not having online reviews at all.
What does it say about your business? To most people, it says nobody is using your product. And if nobody is using it, they can conclude that maybe it’s not good enough.
Therefore, you need to ensure that you have reviews on review sites and also that most of them are positive.
Many people, even though satisfied with your product or service, usually forget to leave reviews about your business.
You can always send messages to your customers to leave reviews about your business. To make it easier, you can send the link to the review page where they can just enter their review straightaway.
Apart from convincing customers to pay for your service, it also allows you to rank higher for Google local map packs. It’s rare to see a local business rank at the top without reviews.
See an example of a Google My Business page with reviews.
See another example of reviews about keyword research tools on Capterra:
11. Use ad remarketing
Most people who visit your website will fail to convert on their first visit.
In fact, Ad Roll estimates that 98% of first-time visitors to your website will leave without converting. Does this mean that you lose these visitors forever?
No. You can create ads that bring them back to your website. This is called remarketing. You can do this on Google and Facebook.
Someone who already has an idea of your business is more likely to resonate with your ads as it’s relevant to them.
You can even take ad remarketing to the next level with the dynamic remarketing ads. This type of ad shows your page visitor advertisements based on a particular page they visited on your website.
Let’s say someone abandons their cart, you can send an ad of the same product with a discount to attract them back to buy.
With the use of dynamic remarketing ads to attract people who have visited its product pages, Sierra Trading Post had a 5X increase in conversions.
12. Start an influencer campaign
Over the years, there are people who have established a large following. Due to this, they can influence their followers’ decisions.
Generally, there are two types of influencers and the one you choose to work with will depend on the product you’re selling — they are:
i). Macro influencers
These are usually celebrities with large followings. This type of influencers gives your product a high level of exposure. However, they’re more suitable for some types of products.
For instance, if you sell products like shoes or wristwatches that are used by most people, a macro influencer will give your business the exposure it needs.
ii). Micro influencers
These influencers are usually authoritative figures in a particular niche. Even though they might be less popular than macro influencers, they usually have more loyal followers in their niche.
If you sell a niche product, you can use micro influencers. The level of exposure might be lower, but you’ll get a higher level of conversions.
An example of an influencer campaign done right is by AloYoga, a company that provides apparel for yoga enthusiasts.
Through a series of influencer campaigns, the company had gained almost 2 million followers on Instagram.
Added to this, the company has increased engagement on its Instagram page and Stylophane ranked AloYoga as the 46th most engaged fashion brand on Instagram. The company has celebrities like Sjana Elise Earp (1.3 million followers) and Ashley Galvin (446K) who help to promote their products.
13. Use customer relationship management software to personalize interaction with leads
Nowadays, people see too many marketing messages. So much that they’re now numb to most of these messages.
To go through the noise, you have to provide personalized messages to nurture a lead or customer to buy your product.
When people experience a service that is personalized for them, they tend to engage better than a message for the whole world.
A CRM software helps you to track all your interactions with a lead or customer and helps you to see their current stage in the buyer’s journey.
Added to this, CRM software helps you to eliminate collaboration issues that tend to occur between the marketing and sales department.
For instance, in a study, 86% of executives and employees believe the lack of collaboration or ineffective communication is responsible for workplace failures.
It’s easier for marketing to transfer a sales qualified lead to the sales department. And they can see your past communications with this lead and their preferences.
This software helps you to organize your marketing process in one place and ensure you’re sending the right message to each of your leads.
In most cases, CRM software packages also provide alerts of the next actions to take concerning a lead. This could be to add them to an email sequence or to call them on the phone.
Due to all these benefits, it’s therefore not a surprise that 91% of businesses with over 11 employees use CRM software and 74% of CRM users report better access to customer data.
For a small business, you’ll find CRM software packages that suit your business at the right price. And for big business too, you’ll find a suitable option for your business.
Some popular examples of CRM software platforms are Salesforce, HubSpot, Agile CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Zoho CRM, Pipedrive, etc.
Many times, marketers may be seen as sleazy people. But make no mistake, marketing is what will make a business survive and thrive.
Look at these marketing tips and implement them to capture more leads and customers for your business.
With a combination of these tips, you’re well on your way to achieve your sales target as you bring in more customers to your business.
Don’t just read these, but put them into practice in your business and track the results.