But for all the doom and gloom coming out of StatsSA, there are still millions of people (and plenty businesses) willing to spend money on products or services that’ll make them feel good or will help improve their competitiveness.
Granted, finding them’s not always easy. But here, Charlie Stewart, CEO of digital marketing agency, Rogerwilco, provides three high impact lead generation tactics that could make a real difference to your business’s viability in these testing economic times.
1. Search engine marketing
It doesn’t matter whether we’re looking for a pizza or a massive piece of earth moving equipment, the internet’s changed the way most of us conduct our research before we buy.
A few years ago we’d turn to the Yellow Pages. Today we head for Google. It processes 63 000 searches a second – that’s around 5.5 billion questions it answers each day.
So if you have a website, you really should be doing everything in your power to encourage Google to send some of those people your way.
You’ve got a couple of choices. The quick fix is to run an AdWords – or pay-per-click – campaign; the more challenging, but rewarding, route is to focus on search engine optimisation (SEO) which will help you appear in the organic or ‘editorial’ listings Google shows under the adverts.
In both instances, it’s really important you have well written, unique information about your products / services on your website.
From a pay-per-click perspective, content that includes the words you’re targeting with your ad campaign will mean you pay less per visitor as Google likes to reward advertisers whose websites are closely related to the searcher’s question.
Good content will also improve your chances of appearing prominently in the organic listings. But you also need to give Google clear direction on what the content’s about by working on the technical aspects of your website – you can do this by including keywords your audience searches for in your site’s page titles and meta description fields or by linking between pages on the site.
And it’s really important that search engines see that the broader internet is talking about you and trusts you. Handily, the next two tactics will help achieve this.
2. Media Relations
Securing media coverage for your business builds credibility, creating the confidence that motivates people to buy.
Media relations, or PR, always used to focus on traditional print or broadcast media, but the internet has given rise to an enormous number of websites dedicated to niches.
Whether you’re in the business of manufacturing talcum powder or selling haberdashery, there’s likely to be a website that covers news in your industry sector. And chances are the editor will be hungry for insights on industry trends.
If you’ve something interesting to say, reach out to them. They need lots of content and the slow economy means they can’t always afford to pay journalists to write it, so if you’ve got a decent story, there’s a reasonable likelihood they’ll take it. And when they publish, in addition to building awareness of your brand, there’s a good chance they’ll include a link back to your website, which’ll boost your SEO.
This, strangely, is probably the most overlooked of all lead generation tactics.
We respect, and are likely to act on, recommendations from people in our networks. So don’t be afraid to ask customers to endorse you.
This could be as simple as including customer testimonials on your website. But ideally, you’ll encourage them to take to social media to share their (hopefully positive) experiences of your business. As well as influencing humans, if Google spots people talking about you on social platforms, it’ll give you a nice rankings bump.
The great thing about the internet is that it’s made it easier for businesses to connect and find each other. Use it correctly and lead generation will take care of itself, freeing you up to focus on other business priorities.
For more information about Rogerwilco visit www.rogerwilco.co.za or follow @rogerwilco_SA.