We all know that having a website is vital to any business.  It is your digital storefront, greeter and initial explanation of your businesses products or services.

While websites can be optimized for better lead generation, what do you do for customers who are not coming directly to your website?  Here are three marketing tools that will help you gain more leads.
3 Best Marketing Tools for Lead Generation other than your Website

1. Social Media

Not every platform is right for every business. However, social media is an emerging channel that many businesses are taking advantage of and believe me, there is a platform that will work for you and compliment your lead generation strategy.

The key to social media is in the engagement.  If all you do is post and tweet without engaging your connections and followers, you are not getting the most out of your social media. Build a loyal following. Building a relationship with potential customers is a critical first step. Social media connections are really about people-to-people, not always company-to-individual. Get to know your audience online, communicate and share information. In order to generate leads, you need to have human interaction with others.

2. Blogs

According to HubSpot’s recent Benchmarks report, companies that blog 6-8 times per month double their lead volume. This proves that blogging is a highly effective channel for lead generation.

Blogs serve several inbound marketing purposes:

- Connect with your customer base. Blogs are a nice way to provide your customer base with information in a way that does not seem intrusive. It is getting more difficult all the time to make cold calls through email, phone, or old fashion snail mail.  Blogs allow you to share your thoughts and business story without being instructive.

  - Be seen as a Thought Leader As you share your expertise, customers will see you as  a thought leader. Determine your audience and write blogs that will help them be more successful. 

 - Develop a Relationship By adding personality into your blogs customers will get to  know you.  People want to buy from people they like and know.  Adding a little  personality and a story or two will not only make your blogs more interesting, it will help others get to know and trust you.

 - Remain Top of Mind Consistent blogging will help you remain top of mind, so when the need arises, your customers will think to reach out to you.  One blog will (most likely) not make an impact. Share your thoughts and insights on a consistent basis. 

Blogging is like networking, it often takes numerous exchanges and getting to know someone.  You must be present when the opportunity presents itself.  To keep the conversation moving forward include hyperlinks to landing pages within the copy of the post, as well as a prominent call-to-action.  This helps take a blog from just a communication tool to an in-bound marketing tool.

3. Email Marketing

Many businesses may think that email marketing is only best used when communicating with existing prospects and customers. Not so! Email can be a great channel for generating more leads. Here are some ways you can use email to generate more new prospects:

 - Focus on an opt-in strategy. If you’re buying email lists and spamming your prospects, no one will want to share your email with others. They will only want to unsubscribe! The first step to email lead generation is to make sure you have happy subscribers that enjoy receiving emails from you.

 - Send people valuable offers. If you send really interesting or valued offers - whether it’s downloads, discounts or educational content - people will more likely share your emails with their friends or colleagues.

Give people the tools to share. Don’t forget to add a “Forward to a Friend” link or social media sharing buttons within each email so people are encouraged to pass it on. This can help you exponentially grow your prospects.

 I'm often asked by my clients, how they can better reach their customers?  Your website is a good way for customers to reach you, but what if you don't appear at the top of an organic Google search, or perhaps your business isn't one your customers think to search for. If you collect client data, email marketing is a great option. Social Media and blogging are great for reaching both the customers you know and those you have yet to meet.

Click on any of the above links to learn more on these marketing tactics.

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