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    Leads are the lifeblood of your business. After all, if people aren’t interested in your products and services, you’re not going to get very far. But all leads aren’t created equal. From those ready to purchase, qualified leads are the gold standard of leads.

    Hand drawing Lead Generation Business Funnel concept with white chalk on blackboard.

    The good news? There are many ways to generate qualified sales leads online. If you’re looking to learn more about lead generation channels, you’ve come to the right place.

    Read on for a roundup of 4 of the best ways to generate quality leads online.

     

    1. Email marketing

    Email marketing works best when leads are permission-based, meaning the prospect has opted in to receive messages from your company. Spamming people has a brand-negative effect. Throughout Covid, the adoption of email marketing grew by leaps and bounds. Marketers understood that they had access to email wherever a prospect was working.

    To overcome the flood in a typical in box, email campaigns should leverage highly creative messaging empathetic to prospect needs, informative videos, and links to relevant landing pages for conversions. Like other forms of marketing, email works best as a consistent campaign over time. Often, prospect response is in the 3rd or 4th email within a campaign.

     

    1. Social media

    As social media has become increasingly pervasive, it’s valuable for many aspects of marketing—including lead generation. With the number of social media users worldwide expected to balloon to 4.41 billion by 2025, its lead generation potential will only continue to grow.

    One of the reasons social media marketing is so powerful for qualified lead generation is that it boasts high rates of engagement when compared to other platforms. But that’s not all. Because user profiles are full of information, it’s got built-in targeting and contact info.

    Factor in geo-targeting and location tools, and it becomes obvious why social media is an optimal channel for lead generation: it lets you convert users into paying customers by targeting them with the most relevant content.

    A few social media lead generation strategies include:

    • enticing people with lead magnets (a free service or giveaway for the purpose of getting contact details)
    • sharing testimonials to build social proof
    • using targeted ads with special offers
    • setting up retargeting, or remarketing, to reach out to previous website visitors by showing them ads on social media
    • launching referral campaigns

     

    1. Search Engine Optimization

    When you’re facing a challenge or trying to solve a problem, odds are you head straight to Google. That’s what most people do, and its why SEO is so important.

    Search engine optimization (SEO) is  how businesses can make sure their products, services, and websites are being shown to the people looking for them. When users enter a query into a search engine, the search engine uses an algorithm to determine which websites will best satisfy that query. When done correctly, SEO can register your website with a high search engine results page (SERP) ranking and create a consistent stream of qualified traffic.

    SEO is also valuable because it yields organic leads which are proven to convert more leads into prospects. As such, it is a budget-friendly form of marketing that can help you build an authentic audience, create consumer trust, and improve online reviews and rankings.

    Strategies for using SEO for qualified lead generation include:

    • performing keyword research
    • creating an SEO-optimized and active blog
    • increasing your website speed
    • utilizing link-building
    • actively posting on social media
    • managing customer reviews
    • leveraging local SEO strategies, if your business attracts prospects within 45 miles

     

    1. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

    Many people think of search engine marketing, or pay-per-click, as a tactic to promote e-commerce; however, it’s also a valuable channel for businesses and websites looking to boost their online lead generation. In addition to helping to fill the top of your funnel, PPC can also target prospects at all funnel stages. Clicks are only charged to your credit card when a prospect lands on your website or landing page.

    PPC for lead generation has many advantages, including:

    • attracting consumers who are looking for exactly what you’re offering
    • boosting keyword rankings and website traffic
    • bidding on various stages of the funnel and controlling the messaging along the way
    • crafting your messaging based on what people are searching for
    • enriching your understanding of your leads and their behaviors
    • tracking ROI

    In addition to the above, you can tightly control your daily click budget. Once a budget is reached, ads are “turned off” for the day.

    While organic marketing is an excellent way to attract leads, paid search engine marketing (SEM) methods like PPC can fast-track the road to higher SERP rankings.

     

    Regardless of the type of products and services you’re offering, your lead generation strategies can make or break your business. It’s best to rely on a professional marketing team to organize, create and track your marketing while you remain focused on the day-to-day responsibilities your business requires.

    Contact us today to discuss how the X-Factor Web Marketing team can help you generate quality leads online or with help another marketing question, such as how to build brand awareness online.

     

    How to Build Brand Awareness OnlineThink having amazing products and services is enough in today’s competitive marketplace? Think again. The truth is that when consumers choose certain products and services, it’s not as much about the products and services as it is about something else: the brand they’re associated with.

    Need proof? Think Apple, Nike, and Google. Mere mention of these brands evokes certain feelings. And when these feelings are positive, products and services practically sell themselves.

    Enter brand awareness.

    Wondering what brand awareness is, why it matters, and how to make the most of it? Read on for our comprehensive guide to how to build brand awareness online.

    What is Brand Awareness?

    “Brand” refers to the way your company, customer service, products, and services are perceived by consumers. It is the lump sum of many aspects—both tangible and intangible—that shape how people see you. As such, your brand identity is one of your company’s most valuable assets.

    Brand awareness refers to the degree to which your target audience recognizes your brand. In addition to creating association, brand awareness also showcases your brand’s personality, which further helps consumers bond with you.

    Why Does Brand Awareness Matter?
    The more familiar your brand is, the more people will trust you. And trust is everything to today’s authenticity-craving consumers. It’s what transforms shoppers into loyal customers, prompting them to return again and again to your brand.

    Brand awareness is also what sets you apart from your competitors. What makes a potential customer reach for your products on a shelf over another company’s? Brand awareness. In fact, 77 percent of consumers choose to purchase items based on brand name while 82 percent of investors look for brand recognition.

    Brand awareness has other benefits as well. It makes you more credible, which in turn improves consumer confidence. It can also be used to communicate shared values to your target—an important capability given data indicating that nearly two-thirds of global consumers prefer to support purpose-driven companies.

    In today’s employee-empowered job market, meanwhile, strong brand awareness can even help you attract talent.

    The takeaway is clear for businesses looking to gain an inside edge? Building brand awareness is a must-do.

    Tips for Building Brand Awareness
    All of which begs the question: How can you build brand awareness for your business? Well, it starts with a brand awareness strategy. A set of marketing tactics designed to help your business communicate its message, connect with its target audience, and promote brand recognition.

    1. Harness the power of SEO
    If you want your brand to gain exposure online, there’s no better way to do it than with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO drives organic traffic to your website, which provides the seamless experience today’s consumers crave.

    By researching keywords and building content around them, you can help your site place high on search engine results pages. This not only gets more clicks but is also a measure of quality assurance. After all, if Google recommends your business, it must be good, right?

    2. Run a variety of brand awareness campaigns
    From native ads to social media ads, there’s no single-best way to maximize your reach to your target audience. That’s why it’s important to use a mix of methods.

    For example, while native advertising is an incredibly effective way to increase brand awareness and attract new customers, social media marketing such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads have other benefits—such as helping you target audiences based on specific preferences and behaviors and circumventing potential search engine algorithm issues that can impede organic and native reach.

    3. Create amazing content
    From blog posts to videos, content remains king. In addition to helping you leverage SEO, it also allows you to deliver value to your customers. The best content is relevant, engaging, and credible. Its ultimate goal? To deliver satisfying experiences and build trust.

    4. Make your content shareable
    You’ve put the time into making great content, so why not make sure as many people as possible see it? From social media posts to product pages to infographics, make it easy for your customers to share your content.

    This turns your customers into brand ambassadors—an especially powerful technique when you factor in that today’s consumers trust their peers more than sales pitches

    5. Be consistent
    Consistency of voice is critical to brand building. It helps consumers recognize your brand and what it stands for. Conversely, inconsistency of voice can have the opposite effect.

    Consistent and well thought-out marketing messaging delivered consistently gains “mind-share” in the right markets. When a purchasing decision is being made, your company is in the mix.

    Your brand voice and message should consistently resonate across all consumer channels.

    Branding is a slow, methodical process that takes time and effort but the results pay off!

    6. Monitor and measure
    While measuring brand awareness can be challenging, there are some metrics that can help you get a better sense of how you’re doing. These include measuring your website traffic, reviewing search volume data, and using social listening tools. Using tools like surveys and net promoter scores to set benchmarks is beneficial.

     

    If you want to leverage the full impact of the brand you’re working hard to build, brand awareness cannot be an afterthought. Unfortunately, many businesses are so caught up in more “ROI based” tactics that they overlook the critical question of how to build brand awareness online.

    That’s where X-Factor Web Marketing comes in.

    As specialists in all things digital marketing, we can build your firm’s brand awareness. Allow us to focus on what we do best so you can focus on what you do best.

    To learn more about how X-Factor Web Marketing can help you boost your business—and your bottom line—by boosting brand awareness, contact us today.

    If you’re one of those folks who have web analytics and never reviews them, this video is for you. If you don’t have analytics attached to your website, it’s free and something you should pause the video to do now! Only kidding. Thanks to cookies, everyone is followed on the web now, offering unprecedented data regarding visits to your website. To evolve your operations as a modern, agile company, analytics data should be used to determine the overall user value of your website experience and which tactics are delivering the best ROI. Like all data, it’s only effective if measured with regularity to identify trends that could impact your bottom line. We look at a diversity of Analytics every day and can quickly uncover weaknesses in your website or marketing program. If you’re interested in a review of your web data, provide us guest access to your Analytics account.

    It’s common for national sales managers or administrative assistants to be in charge of marketing activities. While it seems like a money-conserving idea, marketing and sales and administrative duties are three distinctly full-time jobs. Outsourcing your marketing will make your company more efficient. The sales manager focuses on sales, the administrative assistant on their role, and the outsourced marketing department keeps marketing planning, messaging, deadlines, and measurement on track. With years of experience and real-time marketing knowledge, a professional marketing firm can significantly positively impact your company. If we can help you, let me know. Our primary focus is to return our client's marketing investment by multiples.

    Intelligent businesses create marketing budgets that range from 1 to 14% of projected gross sales for the upcoming year. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends small businesses with revenue less than 5 million) allocate between 7% and 8% of total revenue to marketing — assuming margins are in the 10-12 percent range. The key is to carve out some budget and work toward your ideal percentage. For instance, in the first year of your budget, you may need a web redesign + SEO to rank high in Google. Strategically, this would be the best allocation of your budget. The following year apply that same budget amount to digital marketing tactics that push interested prospects to your new website. The goal over time is to use multiple tactics and track results to determine the most cost-effective ways to generate leads that convert into sales. If you’d like to discuss your plans for next year, let me know how we can help.

    Like fame and ocean tides, business success ebbs and flows over time. To overcome tough times, it’s essential to maintain consistency and apply level-headed rationale to the situation. Emotions running amok only to serve to overwhelm. In today’s market, there is a great deal of instability through Covid, supply chain and labor issues. These factors can contribute to a collective “pause” of business growth activities. The companies that will survive and thrive through rough economic waters will consistently innovate, promote and close sales no matter how challenging markets are. A great way to infuse consistency within your marketing is through the creation of an annual strategy with goals, tactics, and a proposed budget. The plan can be tweaked from year to year to improve ROI and be flexible enough for great opportunities that pop up throughout the year.

    For help in creating an annual marketing strategy for your company, or to learn more about how to close more sales in a turbulent market, contact X-Factor Web Marketing today.

    Watch this brief but informative webinar and see if your website is fine-tuned to deliver abundant sales volume. Today, it is vital that your company communicate with a strong digital presence, informative content and convenient user experience.

    You'll learn how to:

    • Make a great first (digital) impression
    • Assess the quality of web content
    • Build trust through your site
    • Improve organic search results
    • Enhance browser experience
    • Convert more leads through the site
    • Measure for success!

    Content that is engaging to your prospects is critical to marketing success.

    Digital, or inbound marketing, can be measured via analytics, which is tremendously beneficial to marketers that want to measure and increase customer experiences and engagement. Instead of guessing at the messages that will resonate with the audience, consider A/B tests, which measures alternative messaging based on a single idea, product or service. A/B test messaging can be measured across web pages, emails, social media and paid search platforms to refine your messaging for optimal impact.

    Engagement can be defined multiple ways.

    Some engagement metrics to look for in Analytics are: Time on Site, Bounce Rate, and Pages Viewed. Average web visits are brief and time is short to hook a prospect. Time on Site should be higher than 2 minutes. Bounce rates, which measure web visitors that land on your home page and immediately leave, should be south of 55%. Pages Viewed should be over three web pages. Conversions, meaning people that call or complete and submit a contact form, are the gold standard of engagement. Sometimes these happen after a single page visited.

    A/B testing for enhanced engagement is as simple as testing two different headline photos, videos or content for the same product in a web page, email campaign, Pay Per Click ad or social media post. Note reactions on social media such as comments, likes, shares and click throughs. For organic and paid search engine clicks, measure time on site and conversions through the website. For email campaigns, measure email open and click through rates. 

    Try this strategic approach to enhance your response and increase efficiencies in the ad spend. Contact me for an analytics review of your site to improve your messaging.

    Increase customer loyalty and reduce customer churn with strategic onboarding.

    A great way to nurture customer loyalty and increase lifetime value of each account you land is to personalize the initial experience they have with your company. The goal is to make the customer completely comfortable from the start and help educate them to get the most benefit from your products and services.

    Psychologically, humans naturally prefer consistency of experience with minimal disruption. Prospects desire a good understanding of what they signed up for when they enlist your company. This dictates a seamless, strategic process for onboarding a prospect from contact to customer. The onboarding effort should be consistent across the company from marketing to customer service reps to the sales team.

    These efforts immediately show the prospect you are interested in doing business with them and value them as a person and not a “target”. Once the contact becomes a customer, there should be a predetermined schedule of multi-step events that offer the customer a positive experience while serving your company’s goal to nurture loyalty.

    When planning your onboarding process, start with customer centric-goals. Assemble data on past customer transactions and data collected to develop an understanding of their needs and desires. Systemize the communications to address questions and build a comfort level with the new customer. Offer ongoing outreach and training without being overbearing. Measure results with brief customer surveys. Stay focused on the goal of offering positive, personalized experiences for customers.

    Here are some compelling reasons to launch a strategic onboarding initiative.

    According to Hubspot:

    Remember, customer nurturing should begin the first time a prospect engages your brand. Building trust and rapport often starts with clear messaging on your website or outreach marketing. The prospect must trust your company, process and messaging to engage a person to initiate the onboarding process.

    Contact me to discuss sharpening your communications focus for better customer retention and loyalty.

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