Online lead generation challenges faced by small businesses

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Online lead generation challenges faced by small businesses

  1. 1. Online Lead Generation Challenges Facedby Small BusinessesThe field of Internet Marketing has grown to be a professional arena for all types of businesses, includingthe ones that are solely making money online. Furthermore, it is not only corporate giants who benefitfrom online marketing and promotions. In fact, you would find countless success stories of smallbusinesses all over the world that are exploiting their maximum performance potential because of theironline presence.With a plethora of benefits and business implications, Internet Marketing is a great source of leadgeneration. Basically, online lead generation is an identical concept of generating sales lead except thatthe process is done on electronic platforms. In layman’s terms, “offline” lead generation involvestraditional methods like cold calling, customer referrals, TV and radio advertisements, etc. On the otherhand, there are various Internet Marketing tools which provide access to small businesses to theirindividuals who are interested in what the companies offer. These individuals are considered to beprospective buyers for a business. Some of the common techniques of online lead generation include:Social Media MarketingArticle or Content MarketingSearch Engine Optimization (SEO)Pay Per Click (PPC) AdvertisingOnline Video MarketingBlogs, EBooks, NewslettersDespite the ability of online advertising to generate leads, there are several small businesses which find itdifficult to acquire its wonderful benefits in its true sense. Generally, online lead generation challengesrefer to inefficient generation of potential contacts or customers. Keeping focus of discussion on smallbusinesses, a few common online lead generation challenges are explained below in the following section.
  2. 2. Key Online Lead Generation Challenges for SmallBusinessesMost online lead generation challenges are specific to the methods integrated in an online marketingcampaign which aim at attracting prospective readers and customers. However, there are several onlinelead generation challenges which are generic in nature and commonly faced by small businesses.1. The Myopic Content-Target MismatchThis is one of the online lead generation challenges faced by small business owners when they miss thebull’s eye. This means that the lead generation methods which they use do not cover areas or contentwhich are preferred by the target audience. On the other hand, these business owners develop techniqueswhich they deem appropriate or attractive for the target readers. In short, this is one of the online leadgeneration challenges which are a result of an entrepreneurial miscalculation.In order to generate productive leads, small business owners must synergize their offering with the needsand wants of the target audience. This is only possible when you would stop imposing your ideas ofappealing content on the readers. Secondly, small businesses should exploit all possible resources togather insight on what their prospective customers are interested in.
  3. 3. Remember that this is one of the common online lead generation challenges which can result in fewerleads and a larger number of disconcerted readers or viewers.2. The Quantity & Quality DilemmaWhen we speak of small businesses, it is important to consider the fewer number and types of resourcesavailable to them. As a result, their marketing and promotion budgets are also limited in nature. However,these facts are not the main online lead generation challenges for small business owners. The complexissue is that of budget allocation on either quality or quantity of content. In addition to the content usedfor lead generation, quality and quantity of the leads themselves is also a part of the online leadgeneration challenges. Every small business, rightfully enough, aims at sufficient and large number ofleads. However, there are many instances when small businesses allow this aim to overshadow theimportance of and focus on quality of leads. This way, small businesses become unable to convertgenerated leads into sales.3. Follow Up Framework: The Small Business Weak PointAmong other complexities, following up on prospects seems to be one of the continuous online leadgeneration challenges. As discussed earlier, issues with allocation of budget and resources can make itdaunting for small business owners to incorporate a systematic follow up system. However, the absence orinefficiency of a follow up arrangement for online leads can be a costly blunder. While many smallbusiness owners may argue that they always follow up on their leads, it is often overlooked that theprocess should be as swift as under the span of 24 hours. For example, it is usually required to set upautomated systems for phone call returns, email auto-responders, etc. Although it is challenging andcostly to establish and implement a mechanism for speedy follow up on leads, it is an essentialrequirement for the process of converting leads into sales.4. Effective but Heavy on the PocketThere are some successful lead generation techniques, like Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), which arebecoming increasingly expensive for small businesses to afford. Incidentally, PPC is an effective
  4. 4. advertising tool to drive traffic to a website but then an amount is to be paid every time the advertisementis clicked on. Apart from the expenses incurred through this form of advertising, it also brings anothertype of online lead generation challenges in the picture. Basically, if a small business invests an ampleamount in PPC then it must also invest further on the quality of what it has to offer. If this is not done,then the business would find a low or insufficient conversion rate in the generated leads.5. Surviving Against CompetitionCompetitor practices also impose online lead generation challenges for many small businesses. One of thereasons why this is among the list of main online lead generation challenges is the better financialresources of some direct competitors. Secondly, technological inclination of competitors along with theiravailable resources further adds to the pressure faced by small businesses.The objective is not to feel perplexed that on one hand, Internet Marketing is a beneficial tool forattracting potential customers while it also involves a variety of online lead generation challenges forsmall businesses. In fact, small business owners should understand the possible online lead generationchallenges so they are able to create a balanced approach towards their online advertising techniques,response mechanism, track of conversion, and so on. The key to overcome online lead generationchallenges is to hit the spot with a balanced budget allocation as well as a balanced ratio between qualityand quantity of content and leads alike.

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