Lead generation strategies refer to the various ways, approaches or campaigns that businesses use to ask potential customers to provide their contact information and payment information, agree to an in-person meeting, or respond to whatever is stated in your call to action.
A local business lead can be a person or business in your local community and surrounding geographic areas. In addition to their interest in your product or service, your leads must also actually need what you’re selling, can afford to buy your product or service, and has the authority to decide whether to sign up, purchase or not.
Local Business Lead Generation Strategies
Start planning your company’s lead generation strategies by identifying your ideal or target customers/ market according to their age, education, occupation, location, income and other relevant information.
Consider also that most local businesses are small and don’t have the budget and staff required to manage the lead generation strategies used by big companies. So, local business lead generation strategies are preferably low-cost, easy to execute and maintain but effective. Following are some of the recommended strategies:
1. Rank High In Local Searches
Nowadays, people go online to find information about things they need. They usually start their research through search engines. By optimizing your online presence in social media, blog posts, and websites for local traffic, you have better chances of being on top of local search results.
Following are some ways to rank high in local searches:
- Use keywords specific to your geographic area in your social media posts, sales copy and other online content.
This means choosing specific keywords that your customers are searching for plus your location.
- Create your business page in Google (Google My Business, Google Maps), ratings and review sites, social media platforms and other business directories. Getting listed and updating content improve your rankings in search results and make it easier for potential customers to find your business.
- If you have a website, make it mobile-friendly. More customers search for locally-available products or services using their mobile phones.
2. Use social media
By the end of 2021, there were seven (7) popular social networks with at least one billion active users monthly worldwide. In addition to the massive user base, those social media platforms have collected user information that businesses need to reach their target leads.
First, make sure you know which platforms the majority of your target audience use and use some or all of the following ways to attract new leads.
- Regularly post and share content that is valuable, engaging and entertaining. Add CTAs to your profiles and posts so that you continue generating leads.
If visitors always find high-quality content on your page, they will keep on coming back.
- Create a group or community of users who are interested in the product or services your business offers. For example, if you’re selling various kitchen equipment and utensils, you can create a group or community where you post recipes and cooking demos using the products you’re selling.
While the cooking demo focuses on the food preparation procedure, you can find ways to show the benefits of using your products.
- Interact with followers and other platform users in an informative and helpful manner. This will help create goodwill within the community as well as establish your reputation as a subject matter expert.
- Display the products and services your business offers.
Some social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok allow their users to post for free photos or videos of the products and services they offer
- Host a Free Webinar
Ask those who would like to attend to provide the email address where you can send the link to the webinar. Use the webinar to show your audience the benefits of getting the product or service you offer.
3. Create Location-Based Landing Pages
A location-based landing page is designed to convince your target audience in a specified geographic area to respond to your request for valuable information. IN return, they get an incentive or something that would be interesting or useful to them.
For example, if you are running dental clinics in two cities, have different landing pages specific to each city to make sure you generate local leads.
Try to embed a Google Map of your exact location on your landing page if you have a brick-and-mortar business.
4. Email Lead Generation
If the email addresses of your target audience are publicly available or can be searched online, you can begin turning them into leads by sending them direct/ cold emails.
Since a cold email is an unsolicited e-mail that is sent to a recipient without prior contact, your first email should aim to build a business relationship instead of asking for a sale.
Introduce the product or service your business offers and the benefits the email recipient can get from them. Ask for permission to send your next email where you explain more about your offer.
If you’re sending emails to people in the U.S., make sure to know the requirements according to the CAN-SPAM Act.
5. Use autoresponders, chatbots and live chat apps
Provide your target audience with the option to chat or send a message on your posts or ads. The chat and messaging apps can help you as follows:
- to provide immediate answers to some commonly-asked questions from your target audience and
- to help business owners ask questions that can help quality whether the prospect has a good chance of becoming a customer.
By using the apps mentioned, you save time spent in getting the needed information from and to your prospects.
6. Offer Irresistible Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are items, services or anything of value to potential leads. They are offered to potential leads in exchange for their contact information or response to the call to action on your post, ad or whatever way you promote your business.
Following are some examples of irresistible lead magnets that local businesses use:
- Free trial, consultation, or advice – This offer would allow your prospects to check your products or services for free and settle some issues they have about them.
- Discounts and giveaways – If the products with discounts and giveaways are irresistible, your target leads would gladly provide the needed information.
- Contests – For a chance to win a prize, many people would be willing to share their contact information. Make sure you have clear contest rules that comply with all relevant requirements.
Choose a lead magnet that is related to your offer and within your budget. Try to check the ads or posts of your competitors. What lead magnets do they offer?
7. Referral Program
Your existing customers can be one of the most effective lead generators for your business. They know your business and can share who among the people they know would most likely need your company’s products or services. You’ll be getting high-quality leads.
Many companies implement a referral program where existing customers receive incentives for telling other people about your business. The incentives they get will depend on the number of referrals they can submit. Then, they will get another incentive whenever any of their referrals become new customers.
You can also create a referral program for leads who share not only their contact information but also those of other people they know.
8. Create Awareness of your Business Offline
Local brick-and-mortar businesses can also generate leads offline by telling people in the community of their existence and the products and services they offer. Following are some of the ways to create awareness about your business offline:
- Join trade shows and other industry events
Industry events are gatherings of people who are most likely to be interested in the products and services your business offers. Prepare to have an appealing presentation of your business whether it’s a booth or exhibit. If they are interested, it would be easier to ask for their contact information, sign up for a free trial or agree to continue communicating with you.
- Offer free seminars
Offer free seminars on topics related to your business to connect with people who can be potential leads. For example, if you own gyms, you can discuss proper diet, exercise and other factors to watch out for in order to stay fit.
Don’t use the seminar to advertise your business but your audience’s interest to learn more would make them want to share their contact information to get more fitness tips from you.
- Form partnerships or collaborations with related local businesses
Increase your opportunity to generate more local leads by forming partnerships or collaborations with other businesses in your industry. They are businesses that offer products or services that are related in some way to yours.
For example, a bridal shop would benefit from collaborating with a wedding planner or a flower shop. Your collaboration will give each other access to your respective customers.
- Give out flyers or brochures, business cards
Distribute flyers, brochures or business cards if your lead generation targets people in a small geographical area, attendees of trade shows and industry events.
You can also hire someone to hand them out in shopping arcades or places where many of your target prospects go.
- Sponsor local community services, sports and cultural events
Sponsorship can generate goodwill and help create awareness of the products and services that your business offers.
The organizers would most likely recommend your business among their respective groups and other people they know.
9. Run Targeted Ad Campaigns
Paid advertising can give better results because they allow more specific audience targeting. However, if they are currently too expensive for your business, you can start with Google Local Service Ads. If you use Local Service Ads (LSAs), you pay only when your target customers are converted to leads. On the other hand, if you use Google Ads or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you pay for every click on your ad even if there are no leads generated.
Manage or nurture your leads
After getting your leads there is no assurance of a return on your expenses yet. You need another strategy to turn your leads into paying customers or subscribers.
You need to classify your leads based on where they are on their sales journey to determine the kind of sales funnel or follow-ups you will do.
Don’t waste your time and money by failing to properly nurture your leads until they become paying customers. .
The best lead generation strategies for your local business will depend mainly on your kind of business, target prospects and budget.
It will take time and extra effort but you need to consider and test different lead generation strategies to know the best ones for your business. Then, continue to refine them until you achieve the best results.