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Marketing for When Your Business Strategy Changes

Where lead generation services are useful

lead generation services
Using a dedicated lead generation service can be more useful than advertising but the quality of the leads may be questionable.

CHANGING YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY to include additional services will require an additional investment in marketing if you are to make this successful. In terms of simply paying money to advertise your additional services, as you’re probably already aware, advertising doesn’t always yield immediate results. Therefore you might consider spending money on a lead generation service.

We cover how to account for marketing and lead generation costs in our Xero training courses, which includes a new workbook that looks at what to do when your business strategy changes.

Lead generation vs marketing

Lead generation, as the name suggest, is solely focussed on generating a potential customer or client for your business. For instance, there are lots of lead generation services in the building and home maintenance trade — hipages, One Flare, Service Seeking, Quotify, etc — but there are also a growing number for people in creative services, although they’re typically referred to as online marketplaces and include Freelancer.com, Upwork, Fiverr, and so forth.

Advertising and digital marketing (including content marketing), puts your message or business in front of your target audience, but there are more steps in the process before you can capture a lead.

The benefits of lead generation

The main benefit of using a lead generation service is that it delivers active leads almost as soon as you sign up to the service. The quality of the leads tend to differ between services, and the leads also tend to be people who are focussed solely on price, and not so much workmanship. In other words, they’re looking for something done in a particular fashion, for a particular price. No more, no less.

These sorts of jobs are good when you’re getting started or as a way to keep the home fires burning, but it may not be appropriate to rely on them as your sole means of developing clientele.

The benefits of marketing and advertising

If you’re using the correct channels to reach and market or advertise your business to your target market, you’re effectively developing a relationship with those people and educating them about your business.

This means you’ll capture people at all stages of the purchasing funnel — some will be at the pointy end, while others won’t be ready to make a purchasing decision for a while. The benefits of marketing and advertising is that you’re capturing a wide array of people and building brand awareness.

A combination of both works best

If you have the resources, a combination of both marketing (advertising, content marketing) and lead generation works best, though your focus should on marketing and advertising your business to your target market, rather than trying to fit your business into the mold of all the different leads fed to you through a service like hipages or Freelancer.com.

Create a marketing budget

Run a cashflow report in Xero to determine how much cash you’ll have to invest in marketing your business. Our Xero training courses will show you how to run a cashflow report, which you can then export to Excel and use when creating your marketing budget, which should include a schedule, costs, desired outcome — i.e., number of leads, conversions each week, month, quarter — to ensure you’re getting a good return on your investment.

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Our Xero training courses will show you how to run cashflow reports and account for your marketing costs, while our Business Start Up Course will show you how to create a marketing plan. Visit our website for more information.


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Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses.


 

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Marketing Hacks: What Kind of Business Should Advertise in the Paper?

Advertising in your local newspaper can be great if you're offering your services to a local market.
Advertising in your local newspaper can be great if you’re offering your services to a local market.

There’s a module in our Small Business Management Course about marketing and undertaking marketing activities, and in that module you learn about researching the market and determining the best mediums to use to advertise your business.

With the advent of the Internet and social media, there’s been a lot of discussion about declining advertising revenues in newspapers, which has led many business owners and marketers to erroneously think that advertising in the newspaper is no longer efficient.

But really, advertising in the paper is just as efficient as it ever was – it all depends on the business and whether a newspaper is the right medium for it.

So what businesses should advertise in the paper?

Where Oh Where to Advertise?

The answer to that question really depends on the business and the newspaper. For a local business, like a restaurant or a retailer or a plumber looking for local customers, a newspaper that’s highly read and engaged with by the local community is definitely the way to go, as opposed to a larger metropolitan newspaper.

But it’s important that you consider why you’re advertising in the first place. If you’re looking to build brand awareness, a regular advertisement in a relevant section – such as dining, or professional services, for example – over a significant period of time will pay off.

If you’re looking for new customers and fast, then a smaller number of ads, towards the front of the paper clearly advertising that you’re opening soon or running a special deal will deliver the immediacy you’re looking for.

How Far Will People Go?

It’s important to remember that the majority of people don’t travel further than between 3 and 3.5 kilometres to do their groceries, and a maximum of about 12 kilometres for larger purchases like a car or white goods.

This is what makes local newspapers highly efficient for local businesses, whereas national businesses find both local and national newspapers efficient in delivering their customers.

Global Reach

But what if you’re not looking for local customers from any specific region because you’re an online business whose customers can reside anywhere in the world?

In this instance, a local newspaper, while it would deliver a number of highly engaged customers, would only deliver a small section of your target market, making it highly costly.

While metropolitan or national newspapers would work better here, they still wouldn’t deliver those overseas customers. This is where online and social media advertising may work better for you, assuming that it’s highly targeted the your ideal customer.

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The key to successful marketing is always understanding exactly who your customer is. This comes from efficient market research prior to starting your business. It’s for this reason that we recently introduced a new short course called the originate and develop new concepts course, which takes you through the all-important first step of business: researching the market.

For more information on our originate and develop new concepts course, visit our website or contact us for more information.

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Advertise on EzyLearn Computer Training websites

Are your customer the kind of people who want to learn about computer software programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and MYOB Accounting software? EzyLearn owns a well planned and designed suite of websites which cater to this market. We call it our website real estate, and it gets some fantastic traffic.

EzyLearn is exploring the possibility of working with advertising partners in the recruitment, job seekers market place. PageRank is a Google metric that’s designed to show you the perceived value of a website, it accumulates a range of visitor statistics into one single ranking number. Google PageRank statistics include: number of first time visitors, returning visitors, time spent on the site, number of pages visited and much more, and if you download the Google Toolbar you can see the Google PageRank for every page you visit.

A number of our computer software training websites and website pages have grown to a Google PageRank of 4 and for selected keywords and phrases they appear in the first page of results. Some good examples are www.myobcourse.com.au and www.freecomputertraining.com.au. The FreeComputerTraining website is our most successful website in terms of traffic with over 55,000 unique visitors in the past 12 months. This website is used by many job network agencies across Australia as a free learning resource for those looking for employment across Australia.

If your business offers a service aimed at the needs of those who are seeking employment and are taking the making an effort to learn and improve themselves, this website may be an ideal place to put your display advertisement.

Any interested parties should send an email to online manager Richard Dabba at info@freecomputertraining.com.au.