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7 Questions to Ask When Developing Your Lead Generation Strategy

Are you throwing away hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month on online advertising with little to no results? 

Still can’t figure out how to attract more of your ideal customers cost-effectively

You might’ve been told that pay-per-click advertising is the answer…but like most things in business (and in life) it’s not as simple as the ‘experts’ make it out to be.

As you’ve probably noticed, there are literally hundreds of step-by-step guides out there claiming to hold the secrets to lead generation success. Thousands of so-called marketing gurus who say they’ve developed a foolproof method to get your business – any business – more leads than you can handle. 

And that is mistake number one.

Now, I can’t speak to your situation specifically…but from my experience, this one of the biggest reasons why so many advertising dollars go to waste:

Starting with a generic, paint-by-numbers marketing strategy that doesn’t account for foundational facts about your business.

Why You Need to Stop, Think, Ask and Answer

I know you’re eager to hit the ground running. You need new customers, and you want to start acquiring them as soon and as efficiently as possible. 

It can be tempting to believe you can skip ahead to the ‘execution’ phase (aka, the fun part). 

But it pays – literally – to put in the work and ask the right questions early on…because the result is a powerful lead generation strategy that puts the right messages in front of your ideal customers and turns them into real leads.   

These aren’t necessarily easy questions. Developing a lead generation strategy isn’t like a personality quiz.  They are, however, crucially important and well worth your time to answer.

I can’t take you through all these questions right here and now…but I would like to introduce you to 7 of the most fundamental questions you must ask when developing any lead generation strategy:

  1. What is your lead acquisition cost and average order value?  
  2. What is your marketing funnel?
  3. What is Happening in Your Market?
  4. What Are Your Business Goals and Are They SMART?
  5. Does Your Current Strategy Measure Up to Your Goals?
  6. Is Your Copywriting Converting Prospects to Customers?
  7. How are You Qualifying and Nurturing Leads?

1. What is Your Lead Acquisition Cost and Average Order Value?  

Developing a smart and cost-effective marketing strategy to scale your business is no easy task, especially if you are unaware of the costs associated with lead acquisition (cost per lead) and average order value. 

But first, let’s start with defining what a lead is. A lead is any person who indicates interest in a company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form

Now, lets define what Lead Acquisition Cost and Average Order Value are and what they mean to your business. 

Lead Acquisition Cost (LAC) are all costs associated with getting one lead, i.e. getting a potential customer. 

Average Order Value AOV) tracks the average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order on a website or mobile app. To calculate your company’s average order value, simply divide total revenue by the number of orders.

Wrapping your head around these important metrics can change the way you perceive your business, and how you approach a new cost-effective marketing strategy. Without these numbers factored into your strategy, you could find your business spending large amounts of marketing dollars on the wrong initiatives and not producing favourable results. 

The good news is that Lead Acquisition Cost and Average Order Value can actually be pinned down to the cent, and TrafficSoda can help, so you don’t have to feel around in the dark for these numbers.

2. What Does Your Marketing Funnel Look Like? 

The buying process has multiple stages. 

Most people are not ready to buy the moment they see your ad, and for that reason, it is important to warm your customer up so they can go from being unaware an uninterested in your business to engaged and ready to buy. 

At TrafficSoda, we specialize in determining the shortest pathway from your advertising dollar to your sales funnel. To do so, we first start by researching our clients thoroughly in what we call the discovery process. By understanding all aspects of your customer audience, market perception, competitors and sales process and marketing – we can develop a hypothesis, test and refine. 

3. What is Happening in Your Market? 

Creating a strategic lead generation strategy starts with taking a close and honest look at who you are as a business.

What do you that provides unique value for your customer? 

Have you investigated the full scope of your business and have insight into your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? 

Researching what is happening in your market, what customers are saying about your business and competitors, and, the actions your top competitors are taking to stand out, and better align with customers, is a great place to start. 

With this information at hand you can then produce the right market messaging that resonates with your target audience.

4. What Are Your Business Goals and Are They SMART? 

Goal setting is an important component when crafting a new marketing strategy. 

What are your current sales like? 

How much would you like to scale as a business? 

What are your timelines for achieving this growth potential? 

By mapping out a clear picture of your ideal business situation and your plans to support this growth internally, you and your team will know exactly what you are working towards. Setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) can help you set marketing goals that align with your overall business goals.  

5. Does Your Current Strategy Measure Up to Your Goals? 

This is a loaded question, so we at TrafficSoda like to focus first on the current number and quality of leads your business is interacting with. 

From here we like to look at overall lead generation strategy, and how it’s managed, monitored, optimized AND nurtured.

Quality lead generation does not mean you can have a “set it and forget it” mentality. Regular monitoring and tweaking of your marketing is essential to it’s performance and overall impact. 

What types of data are you collecting and how are you using it to make data driven decisions and improve your overall strategy? 

6. Is Your Copywriting Converting Prospects to Customers? 

Is your copywriting aligned with customer needs or is it more ‘You’ focused as a business? 

Copy can almost always be refined to better communicate your unique value proposition to the customer. 

We cannot stress the importance of good copywriting enough when it comes to marketing strategy! Without it, all the time and money associated with your marketing will prove ineffective in converting prospects to leads and leads to paying customers. 

7. How are You Qualifying and Nurturing Leads? 

How do you nurture leads?

Do you currently have any nurture campaigns? 

In the customer buying process, also known as the buying decision process, the customer journeys through multiple stages before making the decision to purchase your product or service. 

Customers online are interested in conducting thorough research, weighing their options and taking their time before making a purchase. This means that you have a unique opportunity to entice, connect, build trust, educate and promote the value of your business. Through constant communication with your audience and helpful email automation. 

It is important to evaluate where your customers are in their decision making and understand the potential objections or setbacks to why a customer may not invest in your business – and address them honestly while providing value.  

Lead nurturing is essential, and in many instances your own sales representatives need to take an active role to ensure that warm leads don’t go cold mid-funnel. It can actually take between 7 and 12 points of contact before getting a sale, so as a business you really want to deliver as much value as you can in advance so there is little to no doubt in a customer’s mind that you are the obvious choice. 

An automated email path is a great way to nurture your leads, build a relationship and humanize your company and brand. If a customer is no longer engaging with and opening your emails after a couple of weeks, it is safe to say that they are no longer a ‘warm’ lead and can be removed from future email marketing. 

Start Building an Effective Lead Generation Strategy NOW

Ready to attract more of your ideal customers? 

We want to help you produce the maximum number of sales from your marketing strategy. Contact TrafficSoda to build a powerful lead generation strategy that fills your funnel with quality leads and helps your business scale. 

 

5 Changes to Make to Your Google My Business Profile Before 2019

There was never a dull moment in local SEO this year, with new updates to coming to Google My Business at a rapid-fire pace throughout 2018. Now’s the time to log in and make sure your Google My Business page is current and ready for the new year.

Let’s get straight to it. The biggest updates to Google My Business in 2018 were:

  1. New dashboard for businesses with multiple locations
  2. Separate fields for Service Area and Business Address (and removing the ability to set a distance-based service area around the business address)
  3. Service menu for service-based businesses and product menu for retailers
  4. Letting businesses set ‘factual’ attributes in addition to the crowdsourced ‘subjective’ attributes (including the veteran-led and women-led attributes)
  5. Videos on the photo dashboard

5 changes to make to google my business profile

These changes affected some types of businesses more than others (some local service-based companies will have a lot of catching up to do) but all of them matter when it comes to understanding how to optimize Google My Business for a stronger local presence.

Here’s how to ensure you’re up-to-date with Google My Business in 2019.

1. Scrutinize Your Suggested Changes

In March of 2018, Google rolled out a new Google My Business dashboard for business owners with two or more listings or locations. It’s much faster and easier to navigate than the old one.

The downside? The new dashboard makes it more difficult to track and respond to Suggested Changes in a timely manner.

A Suggested Change is an addition or change to your listing that either comes from:

  1. A user manually editing your listing information; or
  2. Google’s algorithm finding information about your listing (often from third-party directory sites).

Here’s the trouble: the name ‘Suggested Changes’ is a bit misleading, since the changes don’t always require your approval before they go live.

As the listing owner, you should receive an email from Google whenever there’s a ‘suggestion’; however, those notifications don’t always make it through to your inbox.

Because of this, it’s important that you log in to check your Suggested Changes periodically, especially since the new dashboard makes it harder to notice them.

To see Suggested Changes for a Google My Business listing in the new dashboard:

  1. Log in to Google My Business.
  2. Click Back to GMB Classic in the left-hand menu.
  3. Click Google Updates in the centre column.
  4. Make sure the box next to ‘Google updates’ is set to display All.
  5. Click Resolve updates in the rightmost column to see the Suggested Changes and other updates to a listing.

2. Specify Your Ever-Growing Service Area

Before the update, local businesses could define only their service area as a kilometer/mile radius around their business address. Google realized this was a shortcoming (who actually has a perfectly circular service area?) and turned it around late in 2018.

Now, Google My Business lets you edit your business address and service area separately. Businesses can specify their service area by region, city, or ZIP/Postal Code.

If you haven’t gotten around to updating your service area, here’s how to do it:

  1. Log in to Google My Business.
  2. Click the location you’d like to edit.
  3. Click Info in the left-hand menu.
  4. Click Edit in the Service Area section.
  5. Click the X next to a service area to delete it.

3. Promote Your Outstanding Services

Early in 2018, Google began to allow businesses in select industries to list their services in detail right on the page. Later, they expanded the feature to almost all service businesses, including creative industries and the trades.

The service menu is simple, consisting of just a name, description, and optionally a price for each item. It’s a vast improvement over the previous version of Google My Business’s services, which was limited to keywords like ‘repair services’ and ‘installation services.’

Adding services to your Google My Business page is quick and easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Log in to Google My Business.
  2. Click Info in the left-hand menu.
  3. Click Edit in the Services section.

Recently, Google has begun testing a product menu feature for Google My Business as well. Chances are this will expand to more companies next year, so keep an eye out!

4. Add Appealing Factual Attributes

Attributes are Google’s name for small bits of descriptive information about a business. They include things like:

  • Service offerings (pick-up or drive-thru)
  • Atmosphere (casual, noisy, family-friendly, private)
  • Customer/clientele demographic (popular among students, business travellers, tourists)

Originally, the algorithm compiled a business’s attributes based solely on user reviews and feedback via the GMB Q&A feature – businesses couldn’t edit them.

In 2018, Google refined the attributes system by splitting them into factual and subjective attributes. Now, businesses can directly edit certain attributes. The attributes available (which include acceptable payment types, accessibility options, and whether the business is LGBTQ-friendly) vary depending on the business’s category.

Even if you’re not a GMB geek, you might have heard about the release of the women-led and veteran-led attributes – two socially-conscious tags designed to help customers support local vets, businesswomen, and even businesswoman vets.

There’s also a lesser-known family-led attribute, which could help win the favour of locavores in search of a good old-fashioned family business.

In any case, it pays to take a moment to set up factual attributes that will help customers get to know you. It doesn’t take long:

  1. Log in to Google My Business.
  2. Click Info in the left-hand menu.
  3. Click Edit in the Attributes section.

5. Upload an Excellent Video

Video is one of the most powerful mediums available to us as marketers and you as a business owner.

Online video consistently grabs more views and engagement than still images, and 90% of customers now say that video influences their buying decisions.

The addition of 30-second videos to Google My Business shows Google is serious about getting customers to convert (whether it’s making a purchase or booking an appointment) directly on the GMB platform. For businesses, it’s an opportunity to make a huge visual impact just around the corner from the search engine results page.

What’s Next for Google My Business?

Make no mistake: Google My Business will continue to extend its influence in local SEO in the year to come.

Don’t let the imminent demise of Google+ fool you into thinking GMB is on its way out. In fact, part of the reason Google is sunsetting G+ is because GMB has effectively taken over its function as a hub for customer-brand interactions.

So, what does the future have in store? Based on this year’s developments, you can expect to see even greater emphasis on conversions directly from the Google My Business platform in 2019. Additionally, you ought to pay close attention to your business’s attributes – chances are, they’ll fuel increasingly precise local search results based on ‘intangibles’ like a business’s character and atmosphere.

It’s cool stuff.

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