Prospecting is crucial to the success of any business, especially with the competitive nature of digital technology and the Internet today.
You need to use the right strategy, tactics, and methods if you are going to boost your revenue and win over customers. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on key opportunities and your competitors will soak up your market share. So here’s how to create an online prospecting machine to keep your company going strong now and into the future.
The business world can be tough. And often times, business owners and entrepreneurs point to a variety of reasons why their company is failing in a given area. They may talk about financing (or lack thereof), management, product quality, customers (having the wrong ones), and market conditions. While there are certainly a variety of possible causes for problems in a business, the biggest issue is often the lack of a solid prospecting plan.
Who’s Your Ideal Customer?
Prospecting is all about getting in front of your ‘ideal’ customers. Prospects are more than people who fit your demographic or psychographic. They are people who have demonstrated a want or need for your product or service in some way.
When you prospect, you dive deeper into someone’s desires by asking them questions about what they’re looking to do, their timelines, and what they’re willing to pay for it. Traditional prospecting involves phones, in person sales meetings, and paper mailings.
Stand Up And Be Counted!
However, in the age of the Internet, you can create online prospecting systems that allow customers to “raise their hands” and express interest in your product in more passive ways, such as visiting a piece of content you created, sharing it, or getting on your e-mailing list.
That’s why creating an online prospecting machine is so important. You can cut costs and be more efficient to get more prospects in your pipeline than ever before. That way, you’re business has a healthy number of leads and more chances to close deals. And one of the most effective ways to do that is through content marketing.
Content marketing is becoming a hugely popular way of generating sales leads online. Internet Marketing is all about creating great content that people in your market are interested in. It usually addresses one or two key questions or problems that they have. Think about it… you’re reading this ‘content,” right? Ask yourself, “how did I get here?”
Great marketing provides the ‘means’ to the sales ‘end.’ Read that again! It isn’t just about filling word counts on your website. It’s about providing in-depth and research based information that people want and need!
Good Content Marketing pays off in a couple of primary ways:
First, it makes your audience feel like you understand them. This builds trust and we all know, people buy from people who they like and trust.
Second, it also establishes you as an expert in your field. People also trust other people who clearly know what they’re talking about.
Here’s a great infograph to show you exactly how to do it on the cheap!
SEO is a key component of your prospecting plan. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s all about creating relevant and significant content that offers your ideal customers the opportunity to find what they are looking for, ‘YOU,’ by searching for it on the search engines, mainly Google.
When you write good content (relevant, significant, frequently updated, current…) SEO serves your prospecting plan by making sure your content has the ability to be found. Here are a few ways to enhance this part of your strategy:
No campaign of content oriented marketing is complete without first diving into keyword research. And with free tools available online like Google Keyword Planner, it’s easier than ever. You can see how many monthly searches a specific keyword or keyphrase is getting and revolve your content around that to attract as many potential leads as possible.
Your on-page SEO consists of two parts: technical and keywords. For the technical aspect, ensure that you have https security enabled. Also make sure you insert tags with keywords occasionally throughout the text and mention the keyword two or three times. This lets search engines rank you higher.
There is a delicate balance to the number of times you should use a particular keyword or phrase within a piece of content. As a general rule, if you think you’ve used it too many times, and if it sounds strange when you read it aloud to yourself, it’s too much!
Off Page / Social Sharing
There is a saying in the Internet Marketing world called “sticky content.” This means content that engages users such that it improves your rankings. It also encourages them to share it with their friends or colleagues because it’s interesting and unique. Create content like this and your SEO rankings will see a boost.
Short Form Vs Long Form
You should have varying lengths of content on your website. Sometimes, you want longer form (1,000 word +) blog posts and articles. These often rank higher than shorter content. However, don’t stuff in extra words if fewer will suffice: the main goal is answering your ‘ideal customers’ questions so they will convert later on.
Video content is becoming more and more popular. It creates higher engagement and allows customers to get to know your brand better. Get a video team in house or outsource it to have a more cohesive prospecting plan involving video. Video has the mystique of being a complicated and expensive medium to work in. Truthfully, that may have been the case a number of years ago. However, with all of the tools, resources and help available out there, it really doesn’t have to be.
Sales leads might understand your offer but, they might not be quite ready to pull the trigger. Master the art of asking for the action: signing up for your blog email list (so you can follow up via email), participating in a webinar or, buying right there in the moment. Use strong language like “buy now” or “sign up today” to make it clear exactly what you want them to do.
Many times, your leads aren’t going to convert the first time come to your website or see your offer. That’s where retargeting comes in. You can track users with pieces of code called “pixels.” These will show ads to your audience around different places on the web. That way, when they’re ready to buy, they’ll often go with your company. It’s a subtle but important piece to round out your marketing strategy.
Prospecting is the lifeblood of any business. Without prospects, you don’t have a sales pipeline. That means you won’t convert any customers, whether that’s through complete automation or phone sales members.
With that said, just ‘winging it,’ or hoping for a good result, is not enough. As we all well know, hope is not a strategy! You need to implement proven techniques and tactics so that you continue to attract your ideal customers and convert them. Use the advice above and you’ll enjoy more conversions, revenue, and success in your business.