Previously, many businesses relied on trade shows, conferences, and other industry events to generate leads and populate their sales pipeline. However, lead generation is yet another area of business that has required adaptation in today’s world. Many distributors are still finding that in-person means for generating leads are few and far between.
Luckily, many avenues for digital lead generation have flourished in recent years. Now is the perfect time for businessowners to take advantage of these options. Here are some ways you can improve your lead generation during our current times – with an approach that’s digital, creative, and innovative.
1. Host a Virtual Event
When you can’t attend in-person events to converse with prospects, consider creating your own – virtually! Virtual events have the potential to draw in a wider audience and market. This means more prospects and hopefully, more leads.
A virtual event can be as involved or as simple as you choose. Consider hosting a cocktail hour, new product demo, Q&A, or any other event type that interests you and would appeal to your intended audience. The most important part will be getting out the word. Use social media to reach prospects and consider sending out emails to both clients and cold leads from the past.
For more on creating your own virtual events, refer to the article on page 50 of the Fall 2020 edition of EDGE. [https://aimsmarter.com/resources/edge]
2. Attend or Create a Virtual Trade Show
Similar to a virtual event, you can host or attend a virtual trade show. These are a perfect opportunity to show prospects what your company has to offer. Keep an eye out for established online trade shows that you could participate in.
If creating your own virtual trade show, you can team up with other businesses to get the event off the ground. A virtual trade show can be structured similarly to a webinar or product demo, or you can use special software designed for virtual trade shows. Look for a platform that offers virtual exhibitor booths, live streaming, and chat features. You’ll probably also want to offer the option for attendees to schedule one-on-one sessions with you, during which they can discuss specific questions and needs relating to upcoming projects.
Just like any other virtual event, for a virtual trade show you’ll need to draw in an audience by spreading the word on social media, via email, and any other way you communicate with your networks.
3. Create More Digital Content
Digital content can be a gateway to more leads. Blogs, videos, and social media posts can be valuable educational content that shows prospects what you’re able to do and hooks them into your services. Experiment with increasing your post frequency on social media, and share any blogs, videos, or other content you create on your social accounts as well. To help ensure your content results in leads, you can set up an enticing blog post that requires the reader to enter their email to access it. Then, you can reach out to them to discuss what services they’re in need of.
4. Offer a Free Download
A free eBook, educational “cheat sheet,” informative white paper, or other type of downloadable content can be a great way to gather contact info for new leads. Announce your offer via social media or email and use a direct link to a page where visitors can enter their information (name, email and/or phone number) before receiving their free download.
Your free offering could include educational content on how to stay connected with employees while working remotely, ways to connect with clients from afar, or tips on strengthening brand identity. A blog post or series of blog posts can easily be converted into a white paper or eBook. If you need help creating valuable content to offer as a lead-generating free download, reach out to AIM for assistance from our creative agency team.
5. Offer a One-Time Discount
Offering a discount, even a small one, can be an effective method for getting new customers through the metaphorical door. During this time when many are working with tighter budgets than usual, the opportunity for savings will grab attention.
Offering a discount of 5% off or a waived set-up fee could be enough to earn you new clients and help you make sales. It’s key to make this a limited time offer to encourage action, and to have it apply only to first-time customers. Announce it with a pop-up on your website for first-time site visitors, a post on your social media, or an email to contacts who have not previously purchased from you.
6. Leverage Contacts from Past Events
If you’ve attended conferences, trade shows, and industry events in years past, you likely have contacts from them who may have been cold leads at the time. Consider reaching out to past contacts, as their circumstances may have changed. They may now need your services more than ever, whether for client outreach, a company store, or staying connected with remote employees.
7. Reconsider Your Audience
Your distributorship may have a market niche in which you specialize, such as education or print. In normal times, it makes sense to focus on the areas and markets that you know best. However, if you’re looking to increase your leads during these unusual times, it can help to expand into other markets that are adjacent, or similar to, your specialty. Casting a wider net by reconsidering you audience could result in more leads and ultimately, more sales.
The Bottom Line
Stay optimistic in your search for leads and be willing to try new things. You never know what approaches may work until you give them a go! Despite the challenges of generating leads in today’s world, the digital landscape is full of opportunities to form new connections and find new customers.