5 Ways to Generate Leads for Your Small Business
Running a small business takes so much time and energy, so it can be tough to squeeze in one of the most important things: growing. And it's a challenge for many businesses. A 2018 Hubspot survey revealed 61% of marketers said generating traffic and leads is their top priority.1 To help you with that feat, here are some top lead generation strategies small businesses can use to grow.
1. Incentivize referrals
People trust the word of people they know. It's intuitive, but it's also backed by data. In a 2018 Referral Rock survey of marketers, 49% said that 20-40% of their leads come from referrals — and another 25% gave referrals credit for even more of their leads.2
So how do you get your satisfied customers to recommend your small business to their friends and family? Incentivize referrals. You can offer referring customers discounts, giveaways, entry into a contest, or even cash rewards. Or, if you're keeping a close eye on profit margins, you could instead offer in-kind services to customers who send new business your way.
2. Create actionable social media posts
Social media can be a rich source of lead generation for small businesses — if you can inspire potential customers to take action in the moment.3 This can include Facebook ads with a "download" button, shoppable posts that allow people to make a purchase from you without leaving the platform, or even asking users to click through for more info — which many are ready and willing to do. A 2018 Sprout Social survey found that 30% of consumers prefer to see posts with links to more information.4
And shoppable posts are on the rise. A 2018 Gartner study found that 66% of brands surveyed have adopted social commerce features within the last year.5 It's easy to see why: Social media leads don't get much more direct than a purchase made directly from a post.
Did you know? 61% of marketers said generating traffic and leads is their top priority.
3. Produce value-adding content
Blog posts, whitepapers, podcasts, video, infographics — have you been wondering if producing them is worth the investment? According to a study by the firm Kapost, dollar per dollar, content marketing produces three times more leads than paid search.
Develop a content strategy around what your target audience values. That could be education, information, entertainment, or some combination of these that relates to the product or service you offer. For example, if you're a plumber, you might share an article or blog post on Facebook about when to call a plumber for a clogged drain.
4. Implement a smart SEO strategy
In order for people to see your content, they have to find it. Social channels are a great way to share content, but to reach new audiences, search is a valuable tool. After all, based on the most recent information available from Google in 2016, the SEO publication Search Engine Land estimates the search giant processes 5.5 billion searches per day.6
If you want your small business to turn up in the results of those searches, you'll need an SEO strategy. A good SEO strategy is unique for each business based on what their audience is searching for and what the current competition is for those keywords. You can hire an SEO firm to develop a strategy and research keywords, but there are plenty of ebooks and webinars out there that can give you a crash course on how to do the basics yourself.
5. Host events
For many small businesses, people finding their physical storefront is just as important as being found online. In fact, in a 2022 Bizzabo survey, 61% of marketers believe that in-person events are the most effective marketing channel, even compared to digital advertising, email marketing, and content marketing.7
Events are a great excuse to invite people in your door to see who you are and what you have to offer — even if those things have nothing to do with the event itself. Participating in community events that draw people into your business, like an art walk, is one option. But you can also come up with your own events, like book readings, seminars, or small concerts. You could even invite community groups to hold meetings in your business. In every case, a new person could walk into your business for the first time and see something he or she likes.
Looking for other ways to grow your business? Synovus is here to help. Visit your local branch to talk with a banker about our business loans and lines of credit designed to help you grow.
Important Disclosure Information
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
- "The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2019," Hubspot, accessed July 28, 2019. Back
- Megan Mosley, "Is Word of Mouth Hard to Track? 53 Experts Give Their Advice," Referral Rock, accessed July 28, 2019. Back
- "The Most Effective Ways to Generate Leads for Your Business," Quick Sprout, accessed July 28, 2019. Back
- Jacqueline Zote, "65 Social Media Statistics to Bookmark in 2019," Sprout Social, accessed July 28, 2019. Back
- Dan O'Shea, "Social commerce on the rise as more brands adopt shoppable content," Retail Dive, accessed July 28, 2019. Back
- Danny Sullivan, "Google now handles at least 2 trillion searches per year," Search Engine Land, accessed July 28, 2019. Back
- "The Event Industry's Top Marketing Statistics, Trends, and Data," Bizzabo, accessed April 21, 2022. Back
Interested in business banking?
Business financial calculators
Calculate loan payments, project cash flow, consolidate debt, and more.