Virtual Assistants Can Increase Lead Generation by 97%
Long gone are the days when a Virtual Assistant was primarily hired to do secretarial work and personal assistant services. Today’s generation of virtual assistants are more skilled and highly proficient. From market research to legal transcription to translation services, there is a Virtual Assistant available to handle any conceivable project. If your business needs more revenue, a Virtual Assistant can help you with lead generation.
The life blood of every business is sales. To an extent this true; sales provide much needed revenues to sustain operations, fund expansion programs and business development strategies. But the level of sales a business achieves depends on the size of the market it acquires. Thus, sales are a function of the market that patronizes the products and services of a business.
In order to have sales, your products and services must have a market. It should be very clear by now that sales and marketing are two very different disciplines that share one objective: to create revenue.
In the days before social media and online networking, businesses relied on traditional marketing methods such as distribution of flyers, installation of posters, publication of ads and press releases, producing TV commercials and radio ads to produce leads.
These are very expensive to produce, unsustainable and nearly impossible to track. The proliferation of online channels has given rise to a more effective and efficient avenue for marketing and promoting products and services. This new Internet based approach is called Inbound Marketing.
Inbound Marketing is the process of using online tools, techniques and tactics to drive inbound traffic (visitors) or leads to your website where the leads can be converted to paying customers. Unlike traditional, inbound marketing identifies and targets the audience for your business. The strategy is to attract them to your business by addressing a need or concern by producing relevant content.
There are virtual assistants like those at UpWork.com who have the experience and expertise in Inbound Marketing. The ideal Virtual Assistant should have the following skill set or working knowledge on the application of these inbound marketing techniques:
Search Engine Optimization or SEO
SEO is the domain of professionals but having working knowledge of its general principles specifically keyword research and usage are highly important. The content of your website and its pages must be optimized otherwise it will not be found by search engines. SEO helps your website move up in search engine rankings.
The use of keywords will be integral in the creation of content for blogs, articles, social media posts and Pay- Per-Click (PPC) ads.
A Virtual Assistant with knowledge of SEO will be effective in using link building to generate leads for your business. Link building is the process of linking relevant websites to your website. Link building expands the scope and coverage of your audience and enhances your reputation as a credible resource.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a powerful tool for promoting products and services. How many times were you influenced to try a new restaurant because of a posted image or text? Social media is virtual word of mouth advertising. Your Virtual Assistant must conduct the following activities in social media in order to generate leads for your business:
- Post relevant, fresh and unique content that will compel readers to action.
- Engage with the community through responses and by joining related focus groups.
- Connect with community members who are influencers in the industry.
- Build relationships with prospective associates for your value chain.
- Establish your online presence and reputation in the industry.
Effective social media strategies require a dynamic approach. You cannot post once a day and expect to generate leads for your business. Social media is a game of numbers. The more you post and remain visible, the greater the probability of acquiring interest for your products and services.
Blogging and Article Writing
Blogging is the centerpiece of content marketing. The statistics that support blogging as an inbound marketing strategy are overwhelming:
- B2B marketers who frequently blog generate 67% more leads.
- Companies that blog have 97% more leads.
- Companies with a blog page on their website have 434% more indexed pages.
- 61% of consumers report the decision to purchase or patronize was influenced by a blog.
- If you’re a small business with a blog page, you will generate 126% more leads than one that doesn’t have a blog page.
Your Virtual Assistant like the ones at Lion LinQ should have the ability to write great content. Great content is defined as material that is fresh, unique, engaging and relevant. Blogs that generate the best results are those that are at least 1,600 words long. Frequent blog posting is the key. The more often you blog, the greater the probability of generating leads for your business because great content creates followers.
Your Virtual Assistant must also use keywords when crafting blogs or articles. Strategically, the main keyword must appear in the title, within the first 100 words of the first paragraph and in the concluding section. If your blog is 1,600 words long, the main keyword should appear no more than 10 times in the content including the title. As mentioned, keywords will help your blog get found.
Putting It All Together
The first area your Virtual Assistant should look into before commencing any lead generation activity is your website. This is the termination point of all leads. When the leads enter the sales funnel, the sales team should work to convert them into paying customers and all transactions happen from the website.
The Virtual Assistant will assess if your website is optimized which means it should have the following qualities:
- Mobile responsive
- Fast download speed
- Accessible via multi- browsers
- Keyword rich content and web copy
- Fully functioning social sharing buttons
- Fully functioning Calls-to-Action buttons
The Virtual Assistant should create an editorial content calendar that plans the creation and posting of content through the following channels:
- Blog Page
- Social Media
- Community Blog Pages
- Relevant High Traffic Websites
All content must use keywords strategically. She must respond within 24 hours of initial contact and engage regularly.
Finally, the Virtual Assistant must retrieve data on the performance of the lead generation campaign. She can use online and offline analytics to source information. Most importantly, she should have the ability to analyze and interpret the data as this would be the bases for revising or improving the current lead generation strategies.
Another option to consider is to set up a team of virtual assistants composed of specialists in SEO, social media marketing and blogging. The SEO specialist can be designated as the Project Manager. This way each area of lead generation receives direct focus and attention.
With a Virtual Assistant onboard you can be assured your lead generation activities are in good, capable hands and regularly implemented. Once those leads start coming in through the sales funnel, the onus will now shift to your sales people to convert them into the company’s life blood, revenues.