Growing a business from scratch and launching a startup project takes a lot of work. It all starts with an innovative business idea. Then you think over the business plan and find investors who are ready to support you. But what do you do next? How can a startup company become successful and deal with emerging problems?
So, it’s time to find clients and think the marketing strategy through. A startup must take into account all the conditions in which it develops and apply various new technologies. The most common challenges for startups include making a name for themselves, gaining customer trust, and strengthening their brand reputation.
Some businessmen prefer traditional and proven methods of reaching their audience. Others wish to try something innovative and expand their channels to headless eCommerce platforms, for example. There is no limit to where you can apply your lead generation strategies. In this article, we will focus on seven methods that startups should bear in mind.
7 Steps Start-ups Can Take to Generate Leads
1. Researching Your Target Customers
To attract qualified leads, you first need to define your target audience. You should know precisely who you are looking for and where to look for clients with such parameters. This process involves collecting data about the client, his solvency, and assessing the success of a transaction. This data allows you to compile a client profile, forecast the volume and probability of a trade.
You can start by analyzing the clients of competing companies and create their profiles. You have to answer some questions about your clients:
- where the person works, the position in the company, the level of decision-making;
- demographic data, age, location, popular social networks;
- what problems leads face, what they are looking for on the Internet, what they need.
It will help you focus your efforts on the right prospects and increase your chances of moving them smoothly through your marketing funnel.
2. Placing Compelling Content on the Site
Quality content introduces potential customers to your business and attracts them to your website. It is the core of inbound marketing, which is a discreet way to invite newcomers. The main thing is that these people are interested in your niche, then they can stay on your site to get to know you better and think about cooperation.
Fill your site with content with topics that are relevant to your products and the services you provide. If you tackle the everyday problems customers face in your industry, you can build a reputation as a trusted source of information. You will also show potential clients that you are an expert in your field.
To get customers to see your content at the top of search engines, be sure to do keyword research and optimize it. If you optimize your landing pages, they will generate leads, and all your content creation efforts won’t go down the drain.
3. Building Your Landing Pages Wisely
Add an offer to your landing page that will benefit you and your client. For example, an excellent way to attract potential customers is to offer a free eBook download by simply entering their name and email address. Thus, you have the opportunity to get their details and potential customers “land” on your site. By collecting data, you can create a quality contact list.
However, visitors need to know how their personal information will be used and protected. And, of course, what they will get in return if they share their contacts with you. Think about what services and products you can offer to customers in exchange for their data. Remember, however, that you must show the benefits of doing business with you by providing something new and, if possible, better than your competitors.
To illustrate my point, let’s look at the screenshot taken on the main page of the official Snackpass website. Snackpass is a social food startup that helps local restaurants. They split up a body of text on their landing page with gripping images, CTAs, and infographics for the user to finish reading.
4. Constant Availability via Online Chat
Your readiness to chat online shows your willingness to support and help at any time. Clients will feel more confident doing business with you if they know they can count on your immediate assistance. Always be ready to offer guidance and solutions to problems encountered.
Research shows that 73% of people rate the customer experience above the price of products and services. As a startup, you need to connect with potential customers, show them that you care about them and are ready to meet their needs. So, at first, let your employees participate in online chats. When you build enough loyalty and rapport as a brand, you can consider trusting your customers to chatbots.
Case in point, the screenshot below illustrates a lifestyle eCommerce store feature of online chat. Generally, brands insert the icon of the online customer service at the right bottom of the page. In this case, a visitor can leave his email address, and specialists will reply to him.
5. Presenting Your Brand on Social Media
Everyone is on social media, just like your prospects. Depending on their social and business profiles, some of your customers may spend more time on Facebook or Instagram, others on Twitter and LinkedIn, and maybe on other social networks as well. To achieve optimal results and maximize conversions, you should always repurpose your content when publishing it online.
Another expert-proven approach to increasing traffic and conversions is posting content over time on various social media platforms. For example, post content on Facebook on Monday at 9:45 am. Then repurpose it for Twitter, but wait a day to share it and use a different time slot. This way, you will be able to make the most of your content on each platform.
An EdTech startup, NutSpace, has a reasonably substantial list of social media channels. Through presentable visual content, it enhances brand awareness, loyalty, and lead generation. With the help of other platforms, it feeds a potential client with answers about its products and services.
6. Inviting Customers to Leave a Review
Do your best to provide the highest quality service, and in return, ask your customers for their feedback. Make it clear to them that you value their opinion. Your clients can leave reviews on Maps or in the organization card in Google. Testimonials will motivate other potential buyers who are still in doubt to take action.
Place all reviews on your site and make them available to your visitors. If your customers left their thoughts and experience about specific products, be sure to include them on the relevant landing pages.
On the screenshot below, there is an example of a testimonials widget on the website of the Cazoo startup. This online car retailer demonstrates its reviews, putting them on the main page.
7. Avoid Ready-Made Lists of Potential Clients
You may think it’s the most effortless way to begin nurturing leads. But you should think twice before investing in a list of names and contacts from a third-party vendor. There are several reasons for this:
- The leads on purchased listings are beyond cold and technically not even leads. They didn’t voluntarily sign up to receive your updates. As a result, a significant portion of these people will probably not have much interest in what you have to offer.
- Suffice to say that these leads may flag your emails as spam. It will not only make the mail server suspicious of your email address, but it will also possibly send it to the blacklist. It can hurt any future email marketing strategy for your real potential customers.
- Also, the information in the purchased list may be out of date. Its review will cost you valuable time and the effort you could have spent finding and attracting qualified leads.
Attracting new customers at a time when your business is just entering the market can be daunting. But a realistic targeted strategy can help you attract the most qualified leads and expand your business in the future. You can leverage the tools you already have, which is the knowledge of the field in which you work.
So, start creating meaningful content. Then, evaluate which lead generation channels work best and focus all your efforts on them. When you have a solid list of qualified leads, you’ll be one step closer to your first sales and start building your extended customer network.