Small local businesses are facing tremendous competition these days, with Amazon dominating online sales and Walmart devouring one local retailer after the next. With a highly effective strategy for generating local leads, you can compete. Most digital marketing strategies are designed to reach people well beyond your locality, but the strategies we’re going to cover in this article are far more targeted. They allow you to reach your local audience.
These lead generating strategies are extremely easy and inexpensive, yet they deliver incredible results for small local businesses:
1. Place targeted Facebook ads
2. Implement a localized lead magnet
3. Conduct a local raffle or contest
This is how you would implement each of these lead generation strategies:
Place Targeted Facebook Ads
With unmatched targeting abilities, Facebook ads are the most effective way for small local businesses to reach their audience.
For example, you’ve just now opened your doors on a fitness studio in Newport Beach and it’s March. If you place ads on Facebook, you can target young adults in Orange County who want to get in shape for summer. You could convey the message, “Beach weather is just around the corner. Get swimsuit ready in no time!” That says it all.
You want people coming year-round, not just in spring and summer. So, you need to a constant stream of prospective members to stay busy and you can achieve that with Facebook lead ads. Your website likely has a landing page where visitors can fill out a form with their contact information. You can run an ad with the goal of converting everyone who submits their information:
Here’s how you’ll get your leads:
1. A prospect sees your ad for your “Get in Shape for Summer” fitness program on their Facebook News Feed. They click on your call to action.
2. A form pops up inside the ad, still in their News Feed. Your prospect fills in the form with their contact info.
3. The prospect lead clicks the Submit button. Their contact info is automatically transmitted to your CRM, which you previously integrated.
Here’s an example of a Facebook lead ad and how it would appear in your Facebook Ad Manager:
Facebook lead ads get results. In fact, WordStream did a study that showed that Facebook lead ads, on average, convert visitors who click on them nearly 20% more effectively than Facebook ads that drive visitors to a landing page.
TIP: Facebook lead ads generate far more leads if you don’t have to manually export them. Instead, your Facebook ad account should be connected to your CRM so that your leads are automatically integrated into your CRM.
Implement a Localized Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is something that is offered as an incentive to get prospects to submit their contact info. The challenge is that you only want to generate local leads. It does you no good if someone living in Detroit submits their contact information when your business is located in Albuquerque.
Therefore, you would not want to create a generic lead magnet that would appeal to a wide swath of people. You need to create one that would exclusively appeal to people living in your immediate area.
Here are some examples of local lead magnets:
• The Complete Guide to Dining on Coupons at Restaurants in [City].
• Your Guide to Making Money by Flipping Houses in [County].
• Plan the Perfect Romantic Getaway/Vacation/Birthday Party/Wedding in [State].
Choose your own format for these types of lead magnets. You could have email-gated videos, webinars or eBooks.
TIP: One of the most effective ways to generate leads is with an email-gating video. Your web developer should be able to create something that stops (or won’t play) the video unless the contact information has already been submitted.
Conduct a Local Raffle or Contest
One of the most effective ways of generating highly localized leads would be to conduct a raffle or contest that offers the winner a prize in your locality. Raffles and contests are much like lead magnets because they give prospects a reason to hand over their contact information. In this instance, you are offering them an opportunity to win a prize of something they would want.
When holding a raffle or contest, you should follow the one best practice that will ensure your success: The prize must somehow relate to the type of product or service your business provides.
Let’s say you’re trying to get leads for your fitness studio, but the prize for your contest is an Aspen ski trip or $1000 cash. Tons of people will participate because they either want the trip or the money, which is a problem.
Don’t forget, one prospect who becomes a client is worth over 100 leads that go nowhere. It’s no different than the number of followers on social media or subscribers to your blog, at the end of the day, the number of leads is just a vanity metric. When you offer a prize totally related to your business, you will get fewer leads, but the leads you do get will be worthwhile to your business.
There are a few ideas for prospects to become interested in your ad:
• Countdown Timer: You need this to add urgency to your promotion. Studies have shown that these can raise the conversion rate by up to 332%. The reason they work is because there is a definite deadline to enter the contest. If you miss the deadline and don’t enter, you won’t win.
• Headline: The headline must be large and front and center. It should explain what the prize is and how much it’s worth. Its value should be right at the top.
• The Prize’s Value: To attract the most entrants, a dollar value should be assigned to the prize. Sometimes when the prize is a product or service people have no idea what it’s worth, so the value needs to be stated in $$$$.
• Form Fields: It’s always best to ask for no more information than you actually need to contact them. Their name and email address are perfectly adequate. The more information you ask for the fewer people will participate, lowering your conversion rate.
• Call-to-Action Button: You don’t want anyone having difficulty finding this button, so it needs to be large, eye-catching and in contrasting colors, so it gets clicked on.
• No External Links: If you want your landing page to effectively generate leads, the last thing you want is for visitors to become distracted by links off your page. You have one goal and that is to get conversions, so no external links.
If you’re not sure what you should give away as your prize, remember that it should closely relate to your business. What are your products and/or services? How can you translate that into an appealing prize?
If you’re a mechanic who services cars, you might offer a “Winterize Your Car” prize. If you’re a photographer, you may want to offer a “Family Holiday Card Photoshoot.” If you own a fitness studio or gym you could offer a “Seasonal Fitness Classes & Gear” prize. If you are a tennis instructor you may want to offer, “10 Free Private 1-Hour Lessons.” If you own a sporting goods store, you may want to offer “Shopping Spree Worth $500” so the winner could choose their own prize.
TIP: On our example you may have noticed the Social Share buttons. Include these so that your entrants can share your contest on social media, which will boost your numbers. You can incentivize them to do this by offering them more chances to win.