5 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas for Local Businesses

Everybody knows that if you place a magnet close enough to a metal object, the object will be drawn to the magnet without resistance. That’s basic science even though it might seem like magic.

What if you could adopt the principle of magnetism to your business?

The truth is, you can. Lead magnets are commonly used to attract leads. The problem that some local businesses have is that they’re not sure which type of lead magnet will prove to be irresistible to their target audience.

One reason for the confusion is that many of the online resources about creating lead magnets focus on online businesses. Local businesses need to take a different approach. Here are 5 ideas for lead magnets that will help you attract new leads and customers.

#1: The Mini eBook

Our first proven lead magnet idea is the mini eBook. Giving away a book is enticing to consumers because they’re accustomed to paying for books. Getting one for free is exciting and, if you choose your topic wisely, can be enough to get people to fill out a lead form or subscribe to your list.

The key, of course, is choosing a topic that will appeal to the people you want to attract. Here are some suggestions.

  • A book that explains the biggest mistakes people make in an area related to your niche. For example, if you own a CPA firm, your lead magnet might be about the most common mistakes people make on their tax returns. The idea is to help your target audience in a concrete way.
  • On a related note, you might try a book that explains things not to do or things to avoid. A pet store might have an eBook that explains the 10 things you should never do when house training a puppy.
  • The third option is to focus on the things your customers should be doing – in other words, to give them tips, hacks, or training advice. An example might be a kitchen supply store giving away an eBook that gives readers tips to perfect their baking skills or create the perfect dinner party.

The idea here is to put together a short book – 10 or 15 pages is sufficient, although you can write a longer book if you choose – that provides such obvious value to your target audience that they won’t be able to resist it.

#2: The Checklist

The next option is very quick to create and can be useful to your customers. Checklists are one-page items that are designed to help your target audience complete a task or get organized.

Here are a few examples of the kinds of things that make for interesting checklists:

  • Packing list for students leaving for college
  • Checklist for spring cleaning a house
  • A checklist that lists the steps to prepare and plant a garden
  • A how-to guide for preparing a car to go into long-term storage

These are just a few ideas. The key is to focus your checklist on one task or area and then create something that is both functional and beautiful. Some local businesses give out laminated checklists (or mail them to leads), while others may choose to create a printable checklist.

 

#3: The Resource Guide

Resource guides can be sort of a hybrid between an eBook and a checklist. It’s always helpful to provide your audience with something they can put to practical use – and a resource guide does precisely that.

Your resource guide might be focused on a service you provide. A party planner might include a list of local caterers and other related service providers in their resource guide.

You might also provide a list of resources to help your clients do something. A tax attorney might put together a list of online resources that includes links to the IRS website and other resources to help clients prepare to file their taxes.

#4: Case Study

What if your business is service-based? If that’s the case, you may want to consider creating a detailed case study as your lead magnet.

A case study isn’t actionable the same way an eBook or checklist might be, but it can be the ideal way to illustrate the value you can provide to your clients.

For example, a wedding planner might create a case study that demonstrates her ability to organize a beautiful wedding on a shoestring budget. An accounting firm might do a case study explaining how they saved a client thousands of dollars in taxes.

Here, your goal should be to show yourself and your business in the best light possible. Your case study doesn’t need to be long, but it should be something that’s designed to appeal to the audience you want to attract.

#5: Free Coupon/Discount

We’ve saved our least complex lead magnet for last. Everybody loves to get something for a discount (or for free!) and offering a free coupon or discount is a proven way to attract leads.

Of course, you can get creative with this option, too. Here are some suggestions:

  • Offer something complimentary to get new customers in the door in return for an email address.
  • Create a birthday club and send subscribers a free gift on their birthdays every year (Sephora does this and people love it)
  • Create a VIP club that awards points for purchases and sends rewards based on a customer’s purchases
  • Offer a buy one/get one free coupon for first-time customers in exchange for an email address

The offer you create will depend on how much you want to give away and what your goals are. The key is to think about your target audience and what will appeal to them. Then, measure that against what you’re willing to spend.

Any audience can be drawn in by the right offer…

Your job is to consider the people you want to attract, and then create a lead magnet that is so irresistible that they’ll line up to give you their email addresses or fill out your lead form.

After that, the rest is easy.

Want to increase your targeted traffic by up to 300% in little as 7 days? contact us now!

7 Things People Don’t Tell You About Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can seem deceptively simple to people who look at it from the outside. All you need is a great product or service and your audience will find you.

Wouldn’t it be great if that were true? But sadly, it’s not.

In fact, social media marketing is a real challenge for local businesses – and can prove tricky even to people who spend a lot of time and energy managing their social media accounts.

The reason? There are some popular misconceptions about social media marketing and some secrets that you simply won’t know about unless someone tells you.

Here they are.

#1: The Size of Your Following May Not Matter

One of the biggest misconceptions about social media marketing is that Page Likes equal success. That’s often not the case.

You can create an entertaining account that attracts new followers and not see any change in your bottom line. If that happens, you’re basically whistling in the wind. The time and energy you spend on managing your social media pages aren’t getting you anything in return.

A better bet is to focus on attracting highly qualified and motivated followers who are likely to turn into customers and share your content with their friends.

#2: There’s No Such Thing as Overnight Success

To quote the cliché, social media marketing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. It takes a lot of time, commitment, and dedication to attract a following and see results from your social media marketing efforts.

In many ways, this misconception relates to the first one. A big following doesn’t equal success. You may spend a lot of money on boosting your page and attract a lot of followers. However, if those followers don’t buy from you, the money will have been wasted.

In other words, social media marketing requires an ongoing commitment to excellence. You’ll need to work hard to create valuable and entertaining content – and be willing to tweak your methods to get the results you want.

#3: You Won’t Succeed Without Analysis

Analyzing the results of your social media marketing is a must if you want to grow your business. It’s not enough simply to eyeball your Likes and other obvious metrics. You’re going to need to dig deep to refine your strategy.

Fortunately, most platforms offer basic analytics that you can use to get started. If you pay for a social media management tool, you probably have access to additional reporting and analysis. Either way, it’s essential to use the data you have to test, refine, and re-test your content and strategy.

Even if you’ve done well on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll need to commit to doing the sometimes-tedious legwork that will help you hit on the right strategy to grow your business.

#4: Engagement Is Just as Important as Content

You might create fantastic content on a regular basis, but if you aren’t also setting aside time to engage with your followers, you might as well not bother.

A lot of companies make the mistake of forgetting the “social” in social media. It’s your job to monitor your content, reply to comments, answer questions, and generally make your followers feel that they are important to you.

Engagement can be time-consuming, and it’s one of the reasons that a lot of small businesses don’t do well on social media. You may need to hire someone to monitor your mentions, comments, DMs, and questions to ensure that nothing is falling through the cracks.

#5: Success is Difficult to Predict

The Holy Grail of social media marketing is the viral post. Whether it’s a video, a meme, a photograph, or a blog post, every social media marketer dreams of creating The One – the special post that reaches millions of followers and sends their business into orbit.

We’d love to be able to give you the formula to help you create that perfect post. Sadly, there isn’t one. The best you can do is create the most entertaining, valuable, relevant content you can – and hope that your followers will share it and that it will catch on.

Of course, there are some things that can help your chances of going viral. Humorous content does well, and so does content that’s useful to different groups of people. Instead of focusing on virality, spend your time getting creative – and the rest will, hopefully, follow.

#6: You’ll Need a Creative Team to Help You

Your social media goals may be simple or grand, but either way, it’s important to understand that you may not be able to do everything you need to do without help.

Creativity is a plus when it comes to social media marketing. If all you do is share content from other people or Tweet out information about your products, you’re not going to attract the passionate following you want.

The key is to give your social media manager the creative support they need. That may mean hiring a creative team to work with them. Or, it may be as simple as giving them a creative budget that they can use to hire freelance writers, photographers, and artists to give your social media marketing a boost.

#7: Everything Can Change at a Moment’s Notice

One of the trickiest aspects of social media marketing is that change is normal. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are constantly tweaking their algorithms – and you’ll need to stay on top of the changes they make if you want to do well.

For example, Facebook recently changed its algorithm to prioritize posts from personal connections over those from businesses. As a result, business owners have had to rethink their strategies, work harder to get organic engagement and increase their Facebook marketing budgets to make sure that their posts reach their followers.

Tracking your performance and engagement can help you in this regard. However, it’s essential to be aware of changes and to adapt your strategy accordingly so you’re not spinning your wheels.

Social media marketing isn’t as easy as it seems…

That much is clear. But, keeping the seven items we’ve outlined here in mind can help you make the most of the time, creative energy, and money you spend to promote your business on social media.

Check out our social media marketing services to increase your online presence.

How to Tell Your Marketing Isn’t Working (and How to Fix It)

When you are running a small business, your marketing can make all the difference between a successful year and one that falls short of your goals. Of course, every business does their best to develop and execute dynamic marketing plans to drive customer conversions, however, they can often fall short of the mark.

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is failing to review their marketing strategy to see where exactly they are falling short. By performing regular reviews of your marketing plan, you can quickly identify when it is not working, leading to solutions that you implement right away.

Here are 5 tell-tale signs that your current marketing needs improvement, as well as the best fixes for each scenario. By objectively auditing your advertising performance, you can easily see the areas that need to be fixed, then come up with a new strategy to get your business back on track!

You aren’t getting qualified leads for your marketing campaigns

 The goal of marketing is not to just get leads, but to get leads that will actually bring you new customers. If you recognize that a large number of your leads are people that are not actually interested in your products or services, then you are definitely doing something wrong.

By analyzing the type of people that call, email or visit your website, you can tell whether or not you are targeting the right people through your current marketing scheme.

The Fix: If your leads are not high quality and are not resulting in customer conversions, then it’s time to revisit your content and target demographic. Make a list of your ideal customer, including key traits such as age, location, gender, and income level, then tailor your marketing plan to directly target those people.

You do not have a consistent marketing strategy

Have a look back through your recent content and advertisements to look for continuity. If you notice that your social media posts, email blasts or sales materials do not all convey the same message, then you can be confusing clients.

You want your business to be represented in a structured manner that runs the gamut of the sales cycle: getting potential clients interested, cultivating leads, converting clients, then reselling. If you strategy doesn’t follow this pattern, then you may be missing out on vital elements of digital marketing.

The Fix: Put yourself in the perspective of a potential client. Draw out a roadmap of how you want to captivate somebody to be interested in what you offer, how you can guide them to becoming a client, a persuasive manner to close the deal, then a follow-up strategy to resell to them.

You are not differentiating yourself from the competition

Regardless of your industry, there is likely to be a wide range of competition that is also marketing to the same clientele. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is that they play it too safe, being afraid to truly draw attention to themselves by being unique.

If your marketing strategy is too generic, then you will simply be lost amongst the hundreds, potentially thousands of competitors that are offering similar products or services. This will not help you increase sales or grow your clientbase, but rather be a waste of your marketing budget and your resources.

The Fix: Pick a handful of businesses in your industry and have a look at their marketing campaigns. If you notice that yours are quite similar or see that most companies are doing the same thing, then make a list of ways that you can set yourself apart. From compelling organic content to the use of dynamic media such as videos, start adding innovative aspects to your marketing plan that nobody else is doing.

Searching your business does not bring favorable (or any) results

The whole goal of marketing is drawing eyes to your brand in a positive manner. By simple conducting some online searches for your business and relative terms, you are able to get a sense of how often potential customers see your company. If you aren’t on the first page of search results for your services or local searches, then it becomes exponentially harder to draw in new clients.

When you do find your business online, you also want to see what existing clients are saying about you. Checking Facebook, Google, and any industry-specific review sites for feedback is extremely important. Businesses that have a large number of positive reviews are far more likely to convert searchers into paying customers.

The Fix: If you notice that your business doesn’t appear in searches, it’s time to ramp up your SEO. From regular organic content to strengthening social media presence, you need to add new dimensions of marketing. If you are lacking reviews, reach out to your current customers by incentivizing them to add feedback on a variety of review sites.

You haven’t pre-sold to your customers

When you have clients contacting you or visiting your website, you want them to already know exactly what they want. They should be walking into your door ready to take you up on your latest offer or buy your newest product without you having to convert them.

If you find that potential customers are unaware of your products or need to be convinced to buy from you, then your marketing needs to ramped up. Marketing should not just begin the sales cycle, it should already have people in the mindset that they are ready to do business with you!

The Fix: You may need to be more direct in your advertising efforts, focusing on both informing and persuading people within first glance. Integrating some sales videos that highlight the benefit of what you offer and intensely pushing current promotions will give the clients a sense of urgency to act as fast as possible.

Turning your marketing strategy around

If you notice that one or more of these issues apply to your current situation, then there is no better time than the present to begin revamping your marketing plan.

Working with a professional marketing team can drastically increase the efficiency of your campaigns by driving customer conversions, maximizing ROI and reducing costs.

Click here to request your free marketing blueprint session to help fix any current issues and bring your company the business that it deserves!

GDPR: How It Affects Your Small Business (Yes… Even in the AUS)

What does a European Union law about privacy have to do with your small business?

That might seem like a ridiculous question to ask, but it’s not.

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for short, went into effect on May 25, 2018. And with privacy issues in the news on a near-daily basis, with the recent Congressional hearings about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, you can’t afford to ignore the ramifications of GDPR for your business.

You could keep your head buried in the sand – but that’s not a good idea. Here’s what you need to know about GDPR.

What is GDPR?

GDPR is a law that was designed to standardize data privacy in the European Union’s member countries. It represents a big chance – and a victory for EU citizens, who can now be confident that their data will be secure and that the regulations used to ensure its security is transparent.

On the flip side, EU-based businesses have had to scramble to be compliant with the new rules. The biggest requirement involves Personal Identification Information or PII. PII is sometimes used as a general term in the United States to describe personal information that companies might collect and store on behalf of their customers.

While PII has traditionally included information like Social Security numbers and addresses, the GDPR expands the definition of PII to include other things. For example:

  • Web data, including the user’s location, IP address, cookies, and RFID tags
  • Medical and genetic data, including medical records, test results, and DNA
  • Biometric data, including fingerprints and other unique identifiers
  • Racial and ethnic data
  • Political opinions and orientation
  • Sexual orientation

In other words, companies in the EU must now protect their customers’ IP addresses and other information collected online with the same care that they would financial information. It further requires that organizations:

  • Store and process personal data only with an individual’s explicit consent
  • Hold data for only as long as it is necessary to do so
  • Destroy stored data upon request

There’s no denying that the implementation of GDPR represents a big change for EU companies.

How Does GDPR Affect Companies?

Think for a moment about the different ways in which you use the data you collect from your customers. The chances are good that you do more with it than you realize.

Organizations in the EU are finding that they institute company-wide changes to be compliant with GDPR regulations. Privacy can impact various departments within an organization, including:

  • IT
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Operations

Business owners and managers must work together to identify potential privacy problems and security issues and address them to protect the information they have stored. At the same time, they must accommodate incoming requests related to the “right to be forgotten” if customers ask them to delete the data they have on hand.

Why You Should Worry about GDPR Compliance?

Your business is based in the United States – and you might be asking the obvious question:

Why should I worry about GDPR compliance?

You may not need to worry too much about it if you have never had a customer who was an EU citizen. However, if you do business in the EU (or cater to tourists from the EU), then you might be impacted by the new regulations.

This is what the GDPR website says about organizations outside the EU:

The GDPR not only applies to organisations located within the EU but it will also apply to organisations located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behavior of, EU data subjects. It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.

In other words, if you collect data on your website from EU citizens, process payments from them, or hold any personal information belonging to EU citizens, you must adhere to GDPR rules about collecting, using, and storing their PII.

You might not have any EU customers, but even if you don’t it may be worth taking a look at the way you store personal data. There’s no question that there’s a worldwide movement toward increasing privacy protections. Cybercrime is on the rise and criminals are getting wilier every day. Considering the damage that a data breach can do to your bottom line, it makes sense to err on the side of caution.

What Are the Penalties for Violating the GDPR?

As you might expect, there are penalties attached to violating the GDPR. The law is meant to be a deterrent and the EU intends for organizations who fail to be a complaint to pay a price.

The most likely penalty if you fail to protect EU citizens’ data is fine. The maximum fine is 20 million Euros, which works out to nearly $25 million in US dollars. The specific rule is €20 million or 4% of the company’s global revenue, whichever is higher.

The harshest penalties are intended to punish companies with the most severe violations, such as violating core concepts or not getting a customer’s consent to process their data. Other fines are organized in tiers. For example, an organization can be fined 2% of their global revenue for things like:

  • Not having their records in the proper order
  • Not notifying the authorities of a security breach
  • Not conducting the required impact assessment

These are serious penalties. You’ll need to take a hard look at your security and data handling procedures to avoid them if you do business in the EU or with EU citizens.

What Should You Do Next?

If you do business in the EU or simply want to get your ducks in a row when it comes to protecting your customers’ data., it may be helpful to make a thorough review of your existing data collection and storage procedures to identify potential problems.

You can find detailed information about the GDPR on this website. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to consult an EU lawyer as well.

In the end, remember that GDPR compliance protects you as well as your customers. It can be impossible to protect the digital perimeter of your business from hackers, but the procedures required by the GDPR can give you an extra layer of protection in the event of a breach.

Contact Us to get more information about GDPR and how to protect your business.

Are You Ignoring 35% of All Web Users?

If you tend to keep up with SEO and search trends, then you know that almost everything focuses on Google. And why not? Google is by far the largest search engine, snagging about two-thirds of all searchers.

Two-thirds is a lot, but do you notice what’s missing there? If you remember what you learned about fractions, it’s not that hard.

Got it?

That’s right! One-third of all searches aren’t using Google.

And yet, amazingly, most businesses aren’t thinking about other search engines at all! They remain laser-focused on Google.

That’s good news for you, because it means that by taking other options into account, you can get a leg up on your competition. Sounds pretty good, right? So, let’s talk about it.

What Search Engine Are the Missing 35% Using?

If not Google, who?

That’s probably what you’re wondering. You might think that that elusive 35% is split among several search engines. That’s right – but it’s also wrong.

You see, as of 2015, Yahoo made a deal with Bing. Approximately 51% of all Yahoo searches use Bing. And, since Bing and Yahoo are responsible for about 35% of all search traffic, that means that optimizing for Bing can help you capture people you might miss by thinking only about Google.

Bing and Google have a lot in common. But, if you search one of your keywords and compare the SERP, you’ll notice some differences. Addressing those differences can help you stand out from your competitors.

The key is to do it without messing with your Google rank.

Advantages of Optimizing for Bing

Before we walk through how you can optimize for Bing searches without affecting your Google rank, let’s talk about the main advantages of optimizing for Bing.

  1. You’ll face less competition than on Google. Remember, most businesses aren’t thinking about their Bing rank. That means if you take the time to optimize for Bing, you can outrank your competition and grab the lion’s share of traffic from Bing searches.
  2. Traffic from Bing has, on average, a higher conversion rate than traffic from Google. It’s hard to quantify the reasons for the difference, but it may be that Bing users tend to be older and more affluent than Google users.
  3. Bing is much more open about their ranking factors than Google. Instead of guessing about what will help your site to rank, you can simply refer to what Bing has said about it and optimize your site accordingly. In other words, they’re pro-SEO.

These things point to a clear opportunity for business owners who want to find a low-cost but effective way to attract more traffic.

How to Improve Your Bing Rank

Now, let’s talk about what you can do to improve your rank on Bing. Many of the things that work for you on Google will also work on Bing. The trick is to tweak your SEO just a bit, so your site maintains its Google rank and moves up on Bing.

Make Sure Your Site is Indexed on Bing

The first step is to make sure your site is properly indexed on Bing. If it’s been around for a while it probably is, but if your site is new, it may not be.

Start by doing a search for site:www.yoursite.com on Bing. That will show you how many of your site’s pages have been indexed.

If they’re indexed, you can move on to the next step. If they’re not, you should go ahead and submit your site here.

Tell Bing How Often to Crawl Your Site

Next, tell Bing how frequently to crawl your site. If you look at Bing’s Webmaster Tools, you’ll notice that the default setting is standard. That’s fine if your site is static; but, if it’s large or you update it frequently, you should dial up the crawl rate for the best results.

Submit a Clean Sitemap

Bing has only a 1% tolerance for dirt in your sitemap. That means if you want your rank to improve, you’ve got to clean it up and submit it. You can do it on your Webmaster Tools page.

Another option is to include a link to your sitemap in your Robots.txt. However, the benefit of doing it through Bing is that you’ll get error messages if there are problems with your sitemap. That means you’ll be able to clean them up as you go.

Use Straightforward Keywords

If you know anything about Google, you know that LSI and context are nearly as important as keyword use. That’s not the case on Bing. They put a higher premium on exact keyword matches than Google does.

Fortunately, this is a change you can make without hurting your Google rank. You’ll want to increase your keyword density a bit, but not so much that it affects the quality of your content.

Using those same keywords in tags – the title tag is hugely important on Bing – is essential, too.

Improve Your Click-Through Rate

Bing pays a lot of attention to user behavior. If users click your site and then hit the back button, it will affect your Bing rank.

You can check your CTR and bounce rate on Bing from your Webmaster Tools dashboard.

Build More Backlinks

Google tends to place more emphasis on the quality of backlinks than the number of them. Bing does the reverse.

You can’t disregard the quality of your backlinks without negatively impacting your Google rank. But, by adding additional backlinks, you can positively impact your Bing rank.

It’s also a good idea to do what you can to improve the quality of your anchor text in your backlinks. Don’t overdo it – that can hurt you with Google – but contacting a few webmasters to ask them to use keywords in the anchor text can help you with Bing.

Use Social Signals to Your Advantage

Unlike Google, Bing comes right out and says that social signals have an impact on the SERP. That means anything you do to boost your social media impact will help you with Bing.

The best way to capitalize on this is to monitor your social signals, attract new followers, and do whatever you can to amplify your reach on sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Ignoring Bing users is a bad idea…

By taking a few simple steps to boost your Bing ranking, you can out-maneuver your competition. When you think about it, it makes no sense to simply ignore a third of all searches – so stop doing it and give Bing the attention it deserves!

Call us today to learn how we can get your website ranking across multiple search engines.