Sam, a small business owner, builds an impressive website to represent his company online. He also joins Facebook and LinkedIn, and begins making connections. He blogs regularly, and reaches out to his contacts via email. Sam strives to provide useful, relevant information to his target audience. His clients and prospects are more educated about his products and services, and Sam succeeds in deepening his relationships with clients.
Despite all of this effort, Sam isn’t seeing as many new faces as he had expected. His sales have increased, his profit margin is wider, and he is certainly happy with how his business is growing. But how is this possible when Sam’s website isn’t generating tons of new leads?
Sam has discovered the true benefits of digital marketing! These include:
- educating existing clients
- deepening client relationships and loyalty
- nurturing existing leads and converting them into clients
- boosting repeat sales, retaining former clients
- gaining more business from existing clients
- receiving referrals from current clients
When Sam examines his sales data, he discovers that his clients are contacting him more often, and they are buying more products from him. Leads – prospects he already knew but had never bought anything from him – have converted into clients. In addition, many of the new people who have walked through his door were referred by existing clients.
That explains why Sam’s business is growing, but the growth is different from what he expected! Sam began his digital marketing campaign, expecting it to work like a large-scale advertising blitz. He thought his phone would ring off the hook with calls from new leads generated by his website. Instead he realized that his digital marketing efforts were resulting in higher client retention rates, repeat sales, and converting prospects into clients/customers.
Sam is surprised, but this paradigm shift has left him very pleased.
Of course, if Sam had measured his results based only on new leads generated solely from his website, he might be feeling disappointed right now. That’s why we always stress the point that your goals and your strategy need to be in alignment. Don’t think of digital marketing as a lead generation strategy, even though you will probably generate some new leads this way. Digital marketing is more accurately described as a lead conversion strategy.
For many industries, leads generated online aren’t always the best leads. They could be “window shoppers” or people who only want the lowest price or best bargain. If those are the customers you want, then by all means seek out online lead generation strategies. However, if education, credibility, rapport, and relationships are major cogs in your business model, then digital marketing best serves you when the focus is to nurture your leads, not create them.
You have leads; you know existing clients, you have social media followers, and you might even have a list of email addresses that you have gathered over time. Getting those leads to convert into clients is often the tricky part. Digital marketing provides you with modern, effective lead conversion strategies to make that happen. Craft your campaign with that goal in mind, and you won’t be disappointed.