It would be easy for lesser known businesses to be discouraged looking at the latest Superbrands League Table for 2015. How could they ever compete with the likes of Coca-Cola, Amazon, or Toys 'R Us? Traditional big brands are battling to remain relevant, while huge startups like Facebook aren't even considered "superbrands" despite their monumental size and paradigm-changing products.
What does it mean for your lead generation efforts if you're a smaller brand? It means strategizing, working smarter, making use of technology, and not trying to be everything to everyone. Take a look at some of the ways the marketplace and advertising are changing, and you can start to see ways that your business can succeed, despite going up against big brands with deep pockets.
Interruption Based Advertising Is Dying
Some people don't think that traditional interruption-based advertising is dying; they think it's already dead. How people consume content, and what they will and won't put up with are radically different than just a generation ago. In the old days, you watched your favorite television show when it was broadcast, and either watched the ads or grabbbed a snack while they were on. As quickly as technology for avoiding ads has advanced, people have grabbed onto it, making it clear that the old, outbound, broadcast approach has lost much of its effectiveness. Brands of every size have to reach people on a more personal level, and this is good news for lead generation in smaller B2B sectors.
You Can Compete on Organic Search Traffic
Yes, Google tends to favor bigger brands. But that doesn't mean that smaller businesses have to concede the organic search battle. Big brands can spend massively on SEO, and you probably can't, but there are a number of things your small business can do to increase its organic search traffic without major capital investment. The longer your web domain has been around, the easier this will be to do. Abandoning an old domain as a branding tactic can backfire.
Google Analytics, much of which is free, can tell you which of your web pages get the most organic traffic, which get the most views, and which are least likely to "bounce" people off. Focus your SEO efforts on these already-valuable pages, and you can boost search engine visibility and by association, your lead generation efforts.
Targeting Tools Are Readily Available to Smaller Businesses
Social media and lead generation go together. That's why big brands have invested heavily in social media strategies. A great social media strategy doesn't necessarily hinge on big spending, but is largely dependent on the time and effort you put into it. Big brands can do a lot, but they can't add hours to the day any more than you can.
Social media platforms now offer some tremendously powerful free targeting tools to help your content marketing reach the right people at the right time. This technology is pretty new to everyone, including huge enterprises. In other words, we're all in the process of figuring this out, and there's no reason you can't master targeting and social media outreach to enhance your lead generation. Put in the time, and learn to use the analytics, and your lead generation efforts should pay off better.
Size Not Necessary for Outstanding Content Marketing
You don't need to play down your position in a David vs. Goliath situation if you're a small brand. A series of studies published in the Journal of Marketing Research found that it can actually be advantageous for smaller brands to play up their smallness in their marketing campaigns. In these studies, when smaller businesses stated in marketing collateral that they had huge competitors, consumer sentiment often turned in their favor.
You control your competitive narrative, not the big brands. Emphasizing that you're a small start-up won't necessarily hurt your lead generation efforts. In fact, if it's a well-played strategy, it can improve them.
There's no point in being discouraged at the prevalence of huge brands in today's marketplace. Your lead generation effort's success is determined by many factors, not all of which benefit from great size. The big guys may have a louder megaphone, but you don't need one when you're talking one-on-one with potential customers.
At SmartForms, we help ensure lead generation efforts are as efficient and effective as possible by enriching lead generation data so you can provide your marketing "engine" with the fuel it needs to run powerfully and clean. To learn more about how SmartForms can help you accelerate your lead generation efforts, we invite you to sign up for a demo or a free trial.