When you ask someone with a successful social media presence how to build your own audience, the answer most often is, “Write a blog post, Tweet it to your following, and share it on Facebook and LinkedIn.” But what if you do not have many followers on Twitter or Facebook Fans?
A few weeks ago, my company decided to start a process to answer the question: “How can a business that does not have many hits on their website, has no followers on Twitter, and no Fans on Facebook, generate sales leads using inbound marketing in only 30 days?”
Catching leads on social media ain't easy without a plan (image credit)
Our goal is to get people to sign up for a webinar where we will share this marketing plan.
Below is how we are getting webinar attendees:
Create a Story
The web is a crowded space and you are in constant competition to earn your target audience’s attention. We have come to realize that your competition does not just reside in your industry, but is everywhere. Think about what you read – whether it pertains to your business or not. What stories resonate with you the most? It can be a blog post on how to grow your business, or news relating to your favorite football team, or the heartfelt story of a mother reunited with her child. All content producers are competing for your time, and no matter how you spend it, you only have 24 hours a day.
Before writing a blog post, and before building your social media plan, you first need a story that will resonate with your ideal customer. At Cloud Marketing Labs, we want to be known as the firm who can deliver sales leads in 30 days using Social Media. We feel this is something our audience can wrap their hands around, and will help us stand out from some of our marketing firm competitors.
You cannot join every network and be successful at all of them in 30 days. You need to focus all of your time and energy on 2 or 3 platforms. We chose blogging, public relations and Pay Per Click (PPC).
After writing great content pertaining to your story, you need an audience to read it. In order to grow our audience, we would share our most helpful posts with friends and customers by emailing them a link to the post and asking them to share it with their friends. The key here is not to abuse your contacts. Only send a few posts, otherwise, you risk becoming a bit of a spammer and annoying. Even if you do not have a large following on Facebook, Twitter, etc., chances are someone who you are in regular contact with does, and will be happy to share helpful information with their network.
We found many blogs, such as the E-Biz Booster Blog, looking for guest posters and fresh content. If your story is compelling and unique, chances are they will allow you to leverage their network and help you grow your audience and expand your reach.
By pitching our “Sales Leads in 30 Days Using Social Media” story to various blogs and friends, we have been able to set up a few guest posts over the course of these 30 days. We get the benefit of expanded reach, and they get the benefit of new voices.
We are also going to submit a news release announcing a webinar where we will share this story with small and mid-sized business owners. However, instead of emailing the news release to journalists, we are going to use the online distribution service PRWeb. This will help with our search rankings and increase the visibility of our story as it gets picked up by various news aggregation sites.
Pay Per Click
Our final focus is on PPC advertising. However, instead of using Adwords, we decided to use Facebook’s advertising platform. There are two main reasons for this. First, it is cheaper. We are in a competitive space, and Adwords clicks would be well over $1.00 per click to get onto the first page. Second, Facebook ads will help you develop your buyer persona. You have visibility on things like age, gender, likes, and job titles that you are unable to see using Google Adwords. This will help us target our ads more precisely, increasing the efficiency of our campaign.
founder of Cloud Marketing Labs gets you leads.
Greg Digneo is founder of Cloud Marketing Labs, a marketing service that helps small and midsized businesses generate sales leads in 30 days using inbound marketing. He is hosting the webinar “How to generate sales leads in 30 days using social media” (offer has expired), is co-author of the Cloud Marketing Labs blog, and guest author on the reputable site Copyblogger.
Facebook ads are definitely a good alternative to Google Adwords in some instances.
Facebook works very well in the B2B business when you are pointing people to tutorial type content. In other words, webinars, white papers, ebooks, etc. The clicks are usually far cheaper than Google Adwords.
However, where Adwords really has the advantage over Facebook is when the business is trying to advertise a free trial for a software. In this instance, people will click on your ad, but conversions are much lower than if they came from Google.
I hope this helps! Thank you for your question, and your support!
There is some excellent advice in this article - well done!
The only piece of information I question - and I'm sure you state this because of the "achieve results in 30 days" aspect - is the use of PPC versus SEO. Remove the 30-day restriction and it would make more sense to use SEO instead of PPC, especially as SEO is more or less a one time hit, while PPC is a monthly expense.
As for the remainder of the approach, why not go all out and implement a full-blown Inbound Marketing Automation system? A system consisting of 4 sub-processes. In each one, you concentrate on a specific task:
1) Attract more visitors to the website through Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and Pay Per Click advertising.
2) Engage those visitors' attention with industry leading content (website copy, white papers, videos, podcasts). Match the content to the prospect's buying cycle to ensure you can nurture them around the cycle (see below).
3) Qualify these visitors by grading their profiles and using their digital footprints to rack up a score and hence "know" their quality. And then, nurture them from cold leads to hot prospects with multi-touch drip email campaigns. emails which send just the "right" piece of information to the prospect to help move him or her to the next stage of their buying cycle.
4) Automatically feed these hot sales ready prospects directly into your CRM and automatically notify the assigned sales rep (based on product or territory or whatever…).
Our website contains a Resource Library of white papers, tools, videos and an extensive glossary, all covering Inbound Marketing Automation in more detail.
You are absolutely correct, if you remove the 30 day restriction, SEO makes a lot more sense. However, when we started these 30 days, the website was about 2 weeks old, and we were getting 1 or 2 visitors a day - mostly from us. And we didn't have a whole lot of content on our site.
The biggest difference that I see in your plan as it differs from my plan is that we, like many business owners, don't have dedicated sales reps. We have a team of 7 - and aside from sales, we all wear other hats.
I like that you mentioned guest posting. To someone that didn't have time for regular blogging, I'd recommend guest posting on other blogs instead. That way you can bring traffic to your site from established authorities without having to keep up with regular posting and maintenance and all the other things that are part of keeping your own blog going.