What Generates More Leads: Your Website Or Social Media?

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Most marketers focus on driving more visitors to their websites in an effort to build awareness of their products and services. But is this the best policy? Overall, corporate websites are often boring and usually don’t do a good job of converting visitors into sales-ready leads.

When does it make sense NOT to drive them to your main website, but direct them elsewhere? The next time you create an email marketing campaign or invest in online advertising, think about new places you could send people other than the home page of your website. Here are a few examples:

Your Blog

If you have a company blog (which you should), why not direct people to interesting blog articles that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise? Better yet, direct people to specific articles based on each person’s industry, challenges or situation. For example, why not create 5 different versions of your email newsletter for 5 different types of prospects? Then, you can insert links to the most relevant blog articles for each group’s custom newsletter.

At BuzzBuilder, we have 4 different types of communications we send based on whether the person is a Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, Small Business Owner or Sales Rep. Whenever prospects and clients get an email from us, their message only includes links and articles that are most relevant to them.

Articles You’ve Published

Publishing articles and white papers, otherwise known as Article Marketing, is a great way to build your credibility and find new prospects. Regardless of your industry, you have certain skills and knowledge you can share with your prospects. Once you’re ready to publish a new article, tap into several of the Article Directories available. We recommend one like iSnare, which will submit your article to over 1000 other websites for only $2.

We also love using sites like Squidoo to publish our content. With 1,000,000+ members, Squidoo is a great place to be found. We’ll often “package” several blog articles into a Squidoo webpage. For example, our page about How To Prospect If You Hate To Cold Call drives dozens of visitors to our site each week and consistently creates new leads.

eBooks, Kits & Other Downloads

People love good resources they can download. Share your expertise and knowledge and don’t be afraid to give away some of your “secret recipes.” For example, we created The Ultimate Guide to Selling With Email and it generated over 200 leads in the first day we released it! We used an opt-in form on our website and then promoted it with social media to maximize the success rate. Here are the actual steps we took:

1. We created an opt-in form that asked visitors to submit their contact information before downloading. This form is managed by BuzzBuilder’s software.

2. We posted the guide on SlideShare but did not allow people to download it directly from the SlideShare site. The last page of the Guide directed them to our website to download a full copy.

3. We emailed our list of newsletter subscribers.

4. We emailed all of our LinkedIn connections, plus all the members of our LinkedIn Group.

5. We posted 2 different updates on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

6. We asked our affiliates and partners to post an update on all social media sites.

7. We sat back and watched people download, share and “Like” our Guide.

Partner Websites

Partnering with other companies is a great way to double your marketing efforts. You both agree to link to each other’s website and promote each other’s businesses. For example, each of you could ask the other company to participate in monthly newsletters by submitting content and stories. You can also link to partner companies from several of your blogs and published articles. If you’re writing about a topic where a partner has related content, provide a link to their blog.

YouTube and Social Media Sites

We love linking to YouTube. We regularly use YouTube to drive more traffic to our site. First, we create an interesting YouTube video (of course). However, be sure that you mention your website address at the beginning AND the end of the video. Next we promote the video on our website and in all email communications by providing a link to it. As the video gets more visitors and its popularity increases, it will begin to draw in more traffic through organic searches. Before you know it, new visitors will have found your website via YouTube.

You can also drive visitors to your company’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages.¬†Once visitors come to these sites, they can “like” or “follow” you, thus helping you attract more future fans.

Think of this as a “Push/Pull” Strategy. I’m pushing a small amount of traffic to social media and eventually pulling in a much larger amount of traffic to my own website.