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Improving Your Internet Marketing and Lead Generation Results - 8 Resolutions for 2011

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Happy New Year! It's that time when we're all thinking about what we're going to do different, and hopefully better, in the new year...
our fresh start.
I thought I'd start the year off with some resolutions you may want to consider for your company's marketing and lead generation efforts:
  1. I will think through an internet marketing and lead generation strategy, even if it means taking a step back.
    Tactics and channels (like some of the things below), no matter how strong their potential, will never perform to their potential without a well thought out strategy and plan.
    Take the time to build a strategy now.
  2. I will start a company blog and make a commitment proactively manage my company blog as a key element of my lead generation engine.
    This is one of the most powerful ways to touch existing customers consistently, get found by new prospects, and establish authority, credibility and trust.
    Integrate it with your action-oriented website and social media presences and you can have a powerful lead generation engine.
  3. I will learn how to leverage social media channels to communicate with my customers and prospects.
    Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc) is for real.
    It is a legitimate communication mechanism for many now, and it can be a great way to start and maintain meaningful dialogs with customers and prospects, the first step in generating leads and revenues.
    Just don't get so caught up in participating in social media that you forget about the end goal...
    measurable ROI in terms of new leads and topline revenue growth.
  4. I will take a hard look at my website and take actions to transition it from an online brochure to an action-oriented lead generation engine.
    Is my web site content compelling, in my target audiences' eyes? Is it action oriented? Does my website have clear and compelling mechanisms for turning visitors into leads? Have I made it simple for visitors to contact me? Is my site compelling to my other very important audience ..
    ..
    Search Engines ?
  5. I will execute on a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy to gain visibility for my website and blog.
    If your prospects are looking for your product or service, where are they likely to start? Yep, you guessed it, Google or one of the other major search engines (Yahoo, Bing).
    What happens if you're invisible? Right again, a competitor gets the lead.
    SEO is sophisticated and complex, both science and an art.
    It's not just about a few meta tags anymore.
    It's much more about GREAT CONTENT and making that content known to others.
  6. I will develop and execute on a content marketing strategy.
    Content directly and strongly affects SEO, your social media strategy and approach, your company blog's effectiveness, and your web presence's overall ability to get visitors, turn those visitors into leads, and nurture those leads to the revenue generating buy decision.
  7. I will focus on both lead generation AND lead nurturing.
    Many times, I see companies put an all hands on deck effort into lead generation and get results, in terms of number of new leads generated.
    It could be SEO, SEM (pay-per-click), email campaigns, social media promotions, or any number of different promotions.
    Then, they wonder why, after the initial rush, things seem to stall.
    In almost every case, the reason is simple..
    ..
    there is no effective lead nurturing process.
    Lead nurturing picks up after the lead is generated and is simply the systematic process of moving a lead through your sales funnel to the buy decision, and revenue-generating action.
  8. I will evaluate my marketing and lead generation performance based on what matters, not just what feels good.
    Sure, having lots of visitors to your website and blog, lots of twitter follows, lots of Facebook fans, and lots of LinkedIn connections are all good things.
    But, they are means to an end, NOT the end game.
    The end game is more leads, better quality leads, and topline revenue growth.
    You have to measure the upstream indicators to make course corrections, but they are not the gauge for success.
There you have it.
Based on the work we do with small and mid-sized companies every day, following through on these 8 resolutions can have immediate and measurable positive impact on your business, in terms of more and better leads and, ultimately, topline revenue growth.
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