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Lead Generation in 2015

Until fairly recently it was not difficult to attract prospects to your website.

Search engines were easy to manipulate, Google Adwords was relatively inexpensive and Facebook business pages enabled simple social media outreach.

However, both Google and Facebook have tightened up and the game has changed. It is now much more difficult to rank well for popular search terms, pay per click advertising is extremely competitive and Facebook are minimising the value of business pages.

However it is not all bad news and a clear digital strategy will attract a healthy stream of prospects.  

Local businesses in particular are now in a much better position with Google's local search results driving consumers to their mobile websites and ultimately though their front doors.

Every local business should compete to rank on the first page of Google and once there should optimise for mobile search.

Consumer brands have very little option but to embrace Facebook’s new rules and learn to harness the remarkable power of their advertising platform.

The immediate future of business to business marketing involves LinkedIn’s new publishing platform and and understanding that Twitter is actually a unique open social platform and not just a free noticeboard.

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Facebook Advertising

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Facebook Advertising

The infographic below provides an overview of LeadPages excellent Facebook advertising course.

The course is free and takes about three hours to complete. Setting up a Facebook advertising can be daunting and LeadPages' advice, although counterintuitive, is the most sensible I have heard on the subject.

The most important point they make is this:

Rather than rushing in and using Facebook's amazing targeting to to sell to an attractive demographic, new advertisers should first create a custom audience of their own followers, customers and email contacts.

When you think about it, this makes excellent sense as these people already know, like and trust your business and are much more likely to respond favourably to seeing advertising on their Facebook timeline.

By carefully tracking the results of this inexpensive initial campaign it is possible to test headlines, images and call to action buttons before approaching a completely fresh audience.

Now comes the really clever part:

Facebook can now create a much larger custom audience based upon the exact demographics of the customers you've always done business with.

The results from LeadPages have been astonishing with some 4000 Fresh leads and 250 new customers every month.

More importantly, their technique represents the best way for small business owners to experiment with Facebook advertising and is well worth investing the time.

I gave a talk at the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce on the subject of Facebook advertising and you will find a link to my slides below the infographic.

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It's a good time to own a small business

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It's a good time to own a small business

As we emerge blinking from the recession, the world seems full of opportunities. Businesses are beginning to invest again. Consumers are feeling more confident and even the banks have stopped pretending we don't exist.

It is also possible, really for the first time ever, for small business owners to market their products and services without spending any money. Social media and email marketing are both effective ways to attract potential customers to your website and apps such as Hootsuite and Mail Chimp are free to use and deliver professional results.

So how does a marketing consultancy expect to prosper in such an environment?

Firstly, even free marketing technology is actually relatively complex and small business owners really appreciate someone taking the time to guide them. A few pro tips can save hours of frustration. 

Last year the Tech Tuesday seminars helped hundreds of business owners to take advantage of social media, email marketing and the mobile web.

Secondly, tools alone will not deliver effective results. A clear strategy is essential to put marketing in context and allow it to be measured and therefore improved. 

We are launching a webinar series to help small business owners successful plan their marketing, attract new leads, convert prospects and maximise lifetime customer value.

Thirdly, once small business owners experience success with marketing they are able to develop an investment model enabling them to profit from automation and professional help. 

We are developing new tools to help SMEs save time by automating their marketing. Check out IntroNet here and get a free month of qualified leads booked in to your calendar 

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