For many business owners, cold calling and hard selling have been the method of choice which many are trained to believe is the way to generate new leads or sales. There is, however, a totally different marketing model – which professionals refer to as inbound marketing, it is also referred to as pull marketing or attraction marketing.
The idea is to have people come to you, and seek out that which you offer.
Here are 7 inbound marketing tactics to get more leads, customers and/or clients:
Depending on your industry, and the price range of your products or services, it might not work to simply slap up an advertisement and expect people to buy. There are, however, to things to consider:
- You can use paid advertising to generate leads – which reduces the need for cold calling, and reduces the need for direct sales staff.
- Consider your current cost per (client or customer) acquisition. You may find that you are in fact able to spend quite a lot on advertising – and expose visitors to a sales page which includes testimonials – for the same amount of money. Depending on your industry and clientele, you may be able to acquire new clients of customers for less than you would spend on direct sales.
- If you choose to do Google ads, the people who see your ads will be people who already expressed their interest through the search terms they used – which means that the probability of turning them into leads or sales are quite good.
Prove your expertise, or showcase your products on social media:
The higher the cost of your products or services, the more trust is required for someone to do business with you. By showing your potential clients or customers that you know what you are doing – or that your products can in fact do their jobs – you can systematically establish trust with your prospects.
There are many social platforms you can use, regardless of whether you to B2B marketing, or B2C.
Incentivize word of mouth:
Car dealerships (among others) have, for a long time, been paying “spotter fees” to people bringing customers their way. Consider the typical lifetime value of one new customer or client, and offer a reasonable amount upon successfully closing a referred prospect. These “spotter fees” can be offered to both existing clients and people looking to earn some extra money.
Note: If you choose to ask referrals only from your existing clientele, you can offer discounts on their next purchase/s.
Similarly, many brick and mortar businesses have used affiliate programs which allow anyone to earn commissions for spreading the word about specific businesses.
These can be used for both online sales and lead generation. In fact, there are many “middle-man” companies who will run your affiliate program for you, and offer it to their armies of affiliates. In some cases, however (especially for lead generation), those companies will require you to make a deposit up front to cover the costs of some of your leads.
There is also one more option you can use: Scientific viral marketing.
Most people think of virality (in terms of marketing and social media) as something that is pretty much hit-and-miss. There are, however a few platforms that allow you to offer incentives to those who refer new leads to you.
The most cost-effective (yet very versatile) platform for this is one called Upviral. Click Here to see how it works.
Cultivate a social media following:
You may have read in the news about “social media influencers” who are paid small fortunes simply for placing on-off advertisements on their social profile news feeds.
But what if you choose to accumulate your own audience? Fair enough, it takes time to grow a social following – but once you have a decent audience, you have a free advertising platform which you can use as you see fit. It also serves as a mechanism for feedback and questions, which can help you identify (and deal with) common issues or complaints.
Keep in mind that among your social media following, you will have some people who will share your posts with their own friends or followings, which will increase your reach exponentially. While the percentage of new clients or customers will be very low (relative to the number of followers or connections), new customer acquisitions or new leads will be free, and the numbers of followers, shares and leads eventually add up.
Cash in on the behavior of internet users:
For a number of years, it has been said that “internet users have short attention spans”. This has been proven over and over again – but now you can use it to your advantage.
On Youtube shorts, Tiktok, Instagram reels and Facebook reels, people consume videos shorter than one minute – en masse.
The typical consumption rate – considering many videos are much shorter – is around 100 videos per hour.
Now also keep in mind that most of that will be entertainment value only, so your video (shown in that hour) may be the only one (or one of a few) that related to what you offer.
(Just go and do a search on Youtube shorts, and see how many relevant videos you see before the feed fills up with “popular videos”.)
The main thing is that, considering the amount of content that people now consume in a small space of time, your marketing edutainment has a much better chance of being seen than before.
Write an ebook:
Yes, many people still read ebooks – even in this age of 60-second videos. If you write a short ebook (3,000 to 10,000 words) that simply addresses common questions you face in your industry (for both services and products), you can (a) give it away as a direct download on your website, and (b) upload if to free ebook libraries.
People also share ebooks with their friends and colleagues, which means that for every say, ten times your ebook is downloaded, a few more people are likely to read it.
Fair enough, most of the people who read it may not even be in your service area – but since it is free, it will reach many people. Of course, what you offer, and how to get hold of you will be included in the ebook, leading people to contact you, or visit your online shop.
Run a contest, and publicize it well:
If you run a contest with a prize relevant to your business, chances are that many of the entrants will also be potential clients or prospects.
As such, collect and process all of the data from entrants, and – after the draw – offer discount deals to the other entrants. If you are able to collect the leads on an email marketing platform like Aweber (easier to use) or Convertkit (much more flexible), you can send more offers over time to those who choose to remain on your mailing list.
The same goes for collecting a list of push notification subscribers.
In both cases, you can then later offer the entrants an incentive to send you new leads – by using either a viral marketing platform like Upviral, or even implementing an affiliate program (in which case you can pay commissions for sales from your online shop too, if you choose).
For most people, direct selling and cold calling is a draining experience. When it is difficult to meet targets, people become demotivated, which result in even lower sales.
If, however, you focus on inbound marketing, you can systematically work on improving it to yield the results you are aiming for. The big difference, however, is that you can do this at your own pace, without burning through money while your sales reps go cold calling all day, wasting more and more of your money as they keep running into brick walls.
When you do inbound marketing, most of the people reacting to your advertisements, content, incentive-based marketing or contests will be interested in what you have to offer. Yes, there will be time wasters (and some who are not ready to buy) among them, but some of those people will be exactly what you want.