Ahhh, spring: The days are longer, the flowers are in bloom, and hints of summer are in the air. It’s a time of renewal and regrowth for many things, and that should include your business marketing. So why stick with the same old lead generation tactics?
Don’t get me wrong: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” If your current marketing is consistently generating a desired number of qualified leads for your business, then keep doing what you’re doing. However, if your results have fallen off over time, or your heart just isn’t in it anymore, consider the following five ideas for spring cleaning your marketing.
1.) Update Your Website
Your Website is your digital sales representative, showcasing your brand to the world, and yet it’s easy to neglect. Take a look at your Website (don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone it’s been a while since you have!) and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the look still feel fresh, or does it appear dated? How does it compare to your competitors?
- Is it mobile friendly?
- Are the existing keywords/SEO still relevant? Could you update to produce better results?
- Is the site’s navigation user friendly? Ask a friend to find 3-5 specific items on your site and then give you feedback on how easy they were to find.
REV Resource: If you’d like some expert advice on refreshing your Website, we have several partners that specialize in Web design, SEO, SEM, etc. Let us know what you may need, and we can point you in the right direction.
2.) Create a Video or Two (or Ten)
Show, don’t tell, is the mantra of today’s marketing. Prospects would rather watch a video than read lots of text to understand quickly and easily how your product or service can help them. A professionally-produced video is a resource that you can use on your Web site, on social media, as part of a sales presentation or trade show display, and more.
But if you are concerned about costs, content, and/or the camera-readiness of your staff, here are some alternative ideas:
- Animated explainer videos are a fun and effective way to educate your prospects on a product or service in only 2-3 minutes. And it’s all computer-generated, so no need to memorize your lines. Here’s an example from one of our clients.
- Go “behind the scenes” to give your audience a more informal glimpse of the personalities that make up your company
- Interview your customers for testimonials about your company
REV Resource: Contact our friends at TG Visuals Video Production for an exploration of what type of videos could create an effective visual message for your brand.
3.) Host a Webinar
If you’ve talked shop with me for more than five minutes, you will know I’m a big fan of Webinars. Webinars level the playing field for small businesses and expand your marketing reach by allowing you to present to multiple prospects all at one time. Plus, the cost of hosting Webinars is much lower than most other forms of traditional marketing (trade shows, advertising, etc.) and Webinars integrate well with email and social media (other lower cost marketing tactics).
REV Resource: Check out our 5 Best Practices for a Successful Webinar guide for lots of tips for a DIY Webinar. Or if you’d prefer us to do the heavy lifting for you (and why wouldn’t you?), take advantage of our affordable Ready-to-Go Webinar Sherpa services services.
4.) Get more social
Whether we B2B marketers want to admit it or not, social media is here to stay. There are of course, many social media platforms out there; however, we’re going to recommend that you especially focus on increasing your LinkedIn activity—most B2B marketers under-utilize the capabilities of this powerful platform. LinkedIn can provide you with a goldmine of prospecting possibilities, including:
- Research target companies, follow their Company pages, and learn who is the appropriate contact for you
- Follow companies that are highly esteemed in your industry (or that of your target prospects’) to stay informed and relevant
- Join groups where your target prospects are active, and participate in discussions to connect and demonstrate your expertise
REV Resource: Read this great article from our archives on maximizing LinkedIn for new business development
5.) Go Forth and Network
Digital connecting is great, but sometimes we just need to get out of the office and go talk to people face-to-face. Meeting new people that can be potential referral partners is an effective way to pump up your lead generation opportunities. The goal should be to connect and build relationships with other professionals that are not competitors for the purpose of referring business to each other. (Caution: Don’t be that person who tries to sell everyone your services the moment you meet.)
If you are new to referral networking, or are looking for more/different opportunities, we recommend the following:
- Check out your local Chambers of Commerce and Rotary Clubs. (To really get plugged in, volunteer for a committee!)
- Ask trusted colleagues where they network. If they are part of a referral networking group, they will likely invite you to visit.
REV Resource: If you are in the Atlanta area, we highly recommend the Professional Services Alliance (PSA) for business-to-business services professionals, meeting twice a month in Sandy Springs. If interested, email Tara for details.
Ever considered podcasting as a marketing strategy? Here’s our friend John Ray of Ray Business Advisors to tell us why you should:
Last year I was a guest on a live call-in show on an over-the-air Atlanta-based business radio station. The show host started the hour-long program by introducing me and my business, our topic, and letting the audience know the toll-free number they could call to ask a question. While my host was established and quite good at his craft, and while we had a great conversation, we didn’t get one caller for the entire hour. (I got the impression that such a response was normal.)
Since last year, I’ve been the co-host of “North Fulton Business Radio,” which originates from the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® (northfulton.businessradiox.com). Our show streams live on the website every Tuesday at 11:30 am, when my co-host Mike Sammond and I interview business leaders on the great work they are doing. Afterward, our show goes into podcast form on our site and other repositories like iTunes.
Recently I saw one of our past guests—a tech CEO who makes a living staying current with the latest trends—and he was effusive in his praise. “I can’t tell you how many people have told me they listened to the show I was on,” he said. “I’m surprised and amazed.”
Consumers of media now want their product on-demand; they want their media consumption to follow their schedule, not the other way around. It’s happened in music and books, and it’s rapidly headed that way in television, so it’s inevitable that audio information and entertainment would be next.
While listenership of terrestrial radio is largely flat, consumption of both streaming radio and podcasts is growing dramatically. (“Streaming radio” airs programming which is carried and accessed through the internet; podcasts are recorded for upload and replay on demand. Live shows like “North Fulton Business Radio” can also end up being made available in podcast form.) According to Edison Research, almost 60% of Americans have listened to internet-based radio in the last month, a proportion which has almost tripled in just nine years. Over the last ten years, according to Edison, the percentage of Americans who have ever listened to a podcast has also tripled, reaching 36%, and representing 98 million people.
Online radio and podcasting is clearly a growth media. If you’re a business owner seeking to produce and share high quality content, consider the opportunities inherent in hosting your own radio show or podcast:
It’s a Great Method of Content Marketing. A friend of mine, Dr. Dionne Poulton, is a consultant who advises on workplace diversity, as well as on the job issues related to veterans and former athletes. Given the frequently sensitive nature of the issues she works on, as well as the mediating skills required in such circumstances, what better way for Dr. Poulton to showcase her skills than to host her own radio show and moderate a discussion with guests of possibly differing points of view?
You Become an Authority. As the world sees you repeatedly addressing important topics with valuable insight, you become the respected “voice” of your vertical or industry. The galvanizing of that reputation in your industry, in turn, brings clients and other opportunities which can be immensely valuable. You are auditioning for opportunities you aren’t even aware of yet!
You Make Great Connections. Hosting a radio show or podcast is a great way to meet professionals in your field. People want to tell their stories and share their successes. Is there any better invitation than “I’d like to have you on my radio show?” It’s a lot easier to get people to respond to that invitation than a sales call. You’ll also be able to give back, offering other individuals and organizations an opportunity to step in the spotlight you create.
One final reason: despite the work involved, you’ll have fun! There’s a great feeling when you make new connections, gain new insights, and build your personal brand and your business, all at the same time.