Small businesses have to do Internet marketing to be more competitive in the online world. They have to promote their brand and products to potential customers who are lurking on the Internet, searching answers on search engines and interacting on social networking sites. When it comes to online marketing, traffic and leads are significant. Traffic are people who will get your attention and probably will become your leads and loyal customers. One of the best ways to generate traffic and leads is to have your own company website, where you can direct people to get your business information and influence them to do profitable actions.
Operating a company website means shelling out money for a domain name, web hosting, web designer and web administrator. That is why there are some small business owners who can not afford yet to run their own website. If you are one of them, but you want to get traffic and sales leads without spending any dime on having your own company website, you can try the following 30 ways to generate leads online.
If you don’t want to spend money on a website, a Facebook Page is one of the best alternatives. Facebook pages are also indexed by search engines like Google. Hence, you can optimize it so that potential customers could find your business. To get more leads, make sure that your Page is targeted, useful, and engaging. Don’t just create page and leave it there. Make your page rich in information and build relationships with your Facebook followers. Moreover, utilize your Facebook Page Insights to know your audience better.
2. Create a YouTube Channel
Leverage video marketing. You can produce videos, like tutorial or any useful videos that will feature your business or services, and at the same time, help your target audience. You can also upload your videos, not only on YouTube, but also in other video sharing sites, such as Vimeo.com and even Facebook.
3. Build a free blog
If you do not like to shell out any dime, create a free blog using Blogger.com or WordPress.com. If your target market is composed of teenagers, you may use Tumblr which is popular to the young people. Blogging needs content marketing to make sure that you will only generate relevant traffic who will become your future customers.
Promote your business on Google+ by claiming your brand in this social networking site created by Google. Google+ Page is the counterpart of Facebook Page.
5. Create a Twitter Profile
Target Twitter users by creating an account and sharing engaging tweets to your followers. Don’t forget to use hashtags to make sure that your tweets will go to your target audience.
6. Get a LinkedIn account
Leverage LinkedIn – the world’s largest social networking sites for professionals. Create an account and submit your company profile. To increase your networks, share valuable posts, find your potential customers, and join relevant LinkedIn groups.
7. Claim your Google Place listing
Add your business to Google Places for Business. This is to make your business included on Google Maps with your address and contact numbers, and be searchable on the search results pages. Also, encourage your customers to up vote your listing and leave a good rating.
8. Promote your business on Foursquare
Foursquare is a mobile social application that lets its users to check-in when they are in your place, leave ratings, make votes, and leave tips about your business. Claim your Foursquare location and encourage your customers to leave good reviews and ratings when they check in at your establishment. You can also give your customers rewards so that they will check-in at your business often. Remember that the more they check-in, the more your business will be introduced and promoted to their Foursquare friends.
9. Use Pinterest.
Try image or visual marketing. Try creating interesting images or infographics that will feature your business or your target customers, and then pin them at Pinterest.
10. Use Instagram
Just like Pinterest, you can also implement visual or graphic marketing at Instagram. Remember that many people are already fond of using Instagram on their smart phones and other mobile gadgets.
11. Try business podcasting
Aside from visual marketing and video marketing, you can also consider audio marketing to be one of your ways to reaching out your target market. If you want free hosting for your podcasts, you can try Podomatic.com and Podbean.com.
12. Try email marketing
Try knocking at your potential customers inbox. If you don’t have a website, you should outreach your prospects to get leads. Just avoid spamming. Only send emails or newsletters to people who are willing to receive emails from you.
13. Be a guest blogger
Contribute awesome articles to highly reputable blogs whose audience are your potential clients. Once your guest post is published, make sure that you will answer the comments and queries from your readers.
14. Create a Facebook Group
There is a lot of online marketing tactics you can do at Facebook, and one of them is creating a Facebook group on topics related to your business. You can invite your Facebook friends, whom you think will find your group valuable. You can also join other relevant groups and actively help their members to promote your personal brand.
15. Create a Facebook Event
If you have upcoming events, utilize Facebook event and invite your friends to attend to your event.
16. Utilize your personal Facebook profile
If people know that you are an expert in your industry or business, they would trust your statuses. You can leverage Facebook further by promoting your business on your personal Timeline. You can also outreach your Facebook friends by sending them private messages. Just make sure you are only contacting friends who know you better and understand your business well.
17. Share presentations
Promote your business by creating Powerpoint presentations or other types of slides. Share them at Slideshare.net and Slideserve.com and other presentation sharing websites.
18. Share documents
Get more attention and business exposure by sharing your documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF) at Scribd.com, Docstoc.com, and other document sharing websites.
19. Join online forums
Join online forums whose members are your target market. Before you promote your business, read their rules and policies first to avoid being banned. You can generate more leads by helping other members and creating useful threads.
20. Add your business in online business directories
Search for local business directories online and include your business listing. To target your market, make sure to add your business at the right category.
21. Add your listing in free classified ads websites
Grab the opportunity to promote your business in various free classified ads like Craiglist.com, Locanto.com. ebayclassifieds.com and others.
22. Make friends with bloggers in your industry
Bloggers are among the top influencers online. Be friendly and helpful to them, and don’t hesitate to ask them to blog about your business.
23. Run contests
Yes, you can hold contests in your Facebook Page. You can also be a sponsor of other contests run by bloggers and other websites. Your own products are the best prizes you can give to the winners.
24. Join relevant online competitions
If you want a spotlight, try your best to win in an online competition that is related to your business or work. If you own a website design business, consider joining a website design competition. That way, you might earn money, honor and more prospects.
25. Write an eBook and share it for free
Prove to your prospects that you are an expert in your field. Prove them that you can provide answers to their questions and solutions to their problems through your eBook. You can share you free eBook at Docstoc.com, Scribd.com, Google Docs, and other file sharing websites. You can also share it in your blog or in your friends’ blogs.
26. Conduct free webinars
Share your knowledge and expertise by conducting free webinars. You can simply use Skype or Google Hangout.
27. Try paid online advertising
If you don’t have a budget for a website, but you have the money to pay in advertising for a short period of time, try paid search marketing like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. Since you don’t have a website, you can make your Facebook Page your landing page.
28. Create lens at Squidoo or hub at Hubspot
Have you tried Squidoo.com or Hubspot.com? There, you can use content marketing by writing a rich and comprehensive article that will become useful to your target audience.
29. Join other social networks or online communities
There are many other social networking sites aside from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube that you can leverage to generate more leads. Find a social network or online community, in which the members or active users are your target customers. For example, if you are into hotel and resort business, try to manage your business reputation at TripAdvisor.com. You may also explore Wayn.com – the largest travel and lifestyle social network according to them.
30. Always give your customers a great experience
I believe this one is the most important in this list. No matter how you market your business, always give your customers an extraordinary experience. If you will wow your customers, word-of-mouth marketing would spread both offline and online. The customers you will highly satisfy could become your own online marketers, spreading the good news about your products in their blogs, social networks, email, and anywhere on the Internet.
You can generate sales leads from the Internet even without having your own business website. However, I still suggest that you consider investing money on a company website. It may be an additional expense for your business, but the ROI it could bring could be favorable for your business. Besides, business owners should always have an entrepreneurial spirit, which enable them to take risk and push their limit in order to achieve greater success.