Offer Valuable Information Every business out there claims to offer quality, have experience, and be the best in town. Potential customers get nothing out of this information and use other criteria to figure out who to hire and who to skip. One major way you can pull customers to your page is to offer them the information they need. Draw people to your site with the promise of great content. Once you have them there, offer freebies like coupons or more content for download. Then, grab an email address so you can send them your content. DIY and how-to content are both popular because they allow you to demonstrate your expertise and keep your name fresh in your audience’s mind while they’re following your guide. Keep Content Flowing You can’t post one or two great pieces of content and expect them to continue to generate leads. Evergreen content is great, but your business blog and social media accounts need to provide consistent streams of content. Even if you only have time to write one piece a week, you should remain consistent with it. Create a schedule so your leads know when to expect great content from you. Send out an e-mail every Tuesday, for example, linking to your post and promising what’s to come. Offering incentives for sharing content or bringing in new customers are other ways to use content to build leads. Get people to “share for a chance at 10 percent off,” or offer $5 off for every new client that mentions your business’s name. You don’t want to overdo this strategy because it’ll annoy your existing leads, but everyone loves the occasional chance to save money. Create Whitepapers Whitepapers provide in-depth content that not every small or medium business has the time or the budget for. If you’re stalling on generating new leads, however, turning to whitepapers might be a good next step. A whitepaper is an in-depth, well-researched report on a specific topic. Whitepapers usually describe a problem and present a solution, or they try to persuade readers of a specific way of doing things. One element of whitepaper attractiveness revolves around design. These documents are PDFs, and they look similar to glossy magazine layouts when you download them. That, plus the in-depth nature of the content, is how they differ from your typical blog post. You’ll probably want to hire a graphic designer to create the paper and a writer or editor to ensure the content is top-notch. You might be tempted to blast your whitepaper on social media the way you do your other content. However, these valuable documents offer extra lead-building power because you can advertise them a bit more seriously. Hold Webinars Once you have a whitepaper created, set up a webinar, and don’t release that whitepaper until you’ve done the webinar. Advertise the webinar consistently beforehand, promising a whitepaper with the upcoming webinar, to help you get good attendance. You can structure your webinar however you like. Depending on your industry, it may be a better fit for your audience to call it something else, such as a special presentation vlog. Technically speaking, a webinar is a live meeting, but your presentation does not have to be live. In fact, for your first webinar, it’s a good idea to record the presentation first so you get everything right. Then hold a live Q&A chat at the end to answer questions and offer up more resources. If this turns into a valuable lead-building exercise for you, invest in a live feed and a headset so you can interact with your watchers via a video feed instead of a chat. At the end, remind everyone to download the whitepaper. Once the webinar is over, continue to advertise your whitepaper for anyone who missed the webinar. Learn to Score Your Leads When your content is generating tons of leads, you feel very successful. That’s the first important step, and you’ve completed it. Now you have to figure out if the leads your content is generating are valuable to your company. Lots of people sign up for email lists or follow companies on social media without ever buying a product or service. So, you need to figure out how close to your target audience these new leads are and if they’re going to take the next step and become customers. One successful model is to use negative scoring to weed out the people who are only opening emails or job seekers who are only downloading employment material. Another option centers on only pursuing leads that meet a certain point threshold, so you put your best sales efforts on people who are likely to buy something. To do accurate lead scoring, you’ll need some kind of analytics tool. Google Analytics is an extremely popular platform that lots of businesses of every size use. You can also hire a marketer to analyze the data you’re getting to ensure you learn which are the best leads. For small businesses, though, simple point value systems are easy enough to set up on your own. You’ll know when these strategies work because leads will start flowing your way faster than they did before. Keep track of what you’re doing so you know which content and which strategies work best. You can take lead generation down to a science, but that doesn’t change the fact that every business and industry is different, and each lead is a person trying to decide what to buy.