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The Importance Of Trust In Lead Generation – A Good Service is Not Enough

Do you know what role trust plays in your lead generation efforts? If you haven’t thought this one element through, you could be majorly missing out.

In order for a visitor to connect with you and your service business in Mississippi they have to feel that they can trust you. Both to give them quality, reliable information, and to keep their personal details safe, trust is key to building a relationship and turning that visitor into a buyer.

This is a breakdown of elements that made a difference for a consulting firm who wanted to turn around their lead generation. Trust, in the end, is a must.

Many consulting firms and service providers offer visitors a free “Test Drive” of the consulting services on offer, so that prospective customers can learn more about it. Checking the site visits and statistics reveal that a lot of people are clicking on the page for the “Free Test Drive,” but are not taking the step of actually filling out the form to request a test drive.

The offer might be good and generous: free consultation by phone with customized ideas and analysis of the prospect’s situation in Mississippi. But the site’s visitors weren’t converting because the overall website might be poorly done: outdated design, low-quality content, not mobile responsive and not a lot of relevant, factual testimonials to build trust.

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Add Client Testimonials

Every service business needs to be able to point to authentic, relevant, updated testimonials from the clients they have served in Mississippi and or in your area served. Include the real names of the companies (unless you have signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement) and if possible, the real names and job titles of your client contacts.

Clients who have given testimonials often get emails or calls from prospective customers, wanting to find out more about the business. This is a good thing … This is a sign that prospects want to learn more and are almost ready to take the leap into signing on as a client, but they need a bit more affirmation first.

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How Case Studies Build Trust

One of the best ways to show your readers that you’re trustworthy, reliable, and worth following is to provide proof – in the form of case studies!

For a long time, case studies were thought to be long and boring, a perception that sent your leads scattering to directions other than yours. In case they really needed to get information from your case study, they would struggle to find abridged versions or read blogs that shortened the study.

Fast forward to today and case studies are hot in the world of content marketing. They have been proven to be a successful lead magnet. In fact, a recent study by Content Marketing Institute revealed that service business owners – also in Mississippi – believe case studies to be the most effective content marketing strategy.

According to these service businesses, this marketing strategy is not only good for lead generation but also prospect nurturing. Different reasons have been cited.

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Why you need case studies:

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1: They Boost Credibility

Case studies serve as powerful social proof on the effectiveness of your products or services. This way, consumers in Mississippi are able to develop and build trust and confidence in you as a business, due to the relatable human evidence.

The quality of information presented is far much better than information given in testimonials. In a case study, a reader is taken through a journey, which shows the upside and downside of a product or service. Speaking in detail on how each business problem was solved and the most effective method of using a particular product.

With a case study, a prospective client can prove whether a marketer’s word of mouth was truthful enough or was sheer marketing speak. The fact that one of your clients was confident enough to allow themselves to be quoted in your product gives your target market confidence in what you do.

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2: They Give Reusable Information

From the details emanating from case studies, you can reuse the information and generate a whole new lot of content. For example, a case study that shows different growth levels can be used to produce an infographic, publish a podcast of the review, make a video with the relevant business speaking on its success.

This will be the same information, reproduced in different formats, relevant for different content marketing platforms. For example, video could be posted on YouTube. The beauty of this is that you can include visual beauty in your case study and further influence leads.

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3: They Cure Content Marketing Blues

As much as you are THE go to service provider in your field, sometimes you tend to have content marketing blues after running out of content ideas. This is where case studies come in handy. They give you fresh and totally originally content, that has both quality and quantity that could rank high on search engines and especially on local search results.

With the customer being in control of the content, you will always have fresh and dynamic content. This is better because it is only a matter of time before your audience gets to fully master your type of language and get bored. Unique case studies offer the much needed change.

Have you ever used case studies in your own content marketing? Did it have an effect on your bottom line of your service business in Mississippi?

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Consistency vs. Engagement in Service Marketing

Omnichannel’s focus on the customer’s experience brings about the second key difference between the strategies: consistency. Omnichannel businesses are diligent in ensuring their customers receive the same experience and messaging through each and every channel.

A consistent brand image and message ensure a heightened sense of familiarity and relationship with the brand. Marketers implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy must ensure that all internal departments are on board and in-tune with the messaging. For example, PR, customer success, social media and sales teams, must all be portraying this consistent message to ensure the strategy implementation is successful.

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How To Do Advertising For a Small Business

Mobile marketing can be a powerful and unique medium, but mobile campaigns are not for everyone. Not yet anyway. There's a lot of opportunity for big brands who are looking to advertise in new and innovative ways. After all, big brands have the resources and budget to test the waters. If their initial attempts fail, it's not the end of the world and it's not going to break their bank.

So, is there room in this medium for the smaller guys?

I think there's one specific area of mobile marketing that is suited incredibly well for brick and mortar businesses of any size, especially in areas with high foot traffic. Particularly retail stores, restaurants, bars and other event venues. This is Location-based marketing. With the differences in handset hardware and wireless and Blue Tooth technology, it's probably too early in the game to determine how realistic this form of marketing is today, but it's worth understanding how this can tie into your overall marketing efforts.

What is Location-based Marketing?

Location-based Marketing is the act of delivering targeted content directly to the user of a mobile device based upon their proximity to your business. This is usually done through SMS, known to most simply as text messaging. Information about your location is determined via built-in technologies such as GPS and Blue Tooth, which are quickly becoming standard in mobile devices. What it essentially comes down to is knowing when potential customers are in proximity to your business and sending them a targeted advertisement. This is truly the most direct form of direct marketing available.

How does it work?

Here's an example: Maybe you're walking down Ionia Ave. in Downtown Grand Rapids on a Saturday night deciding where to grab dinner and a drink. As you head down the street, you receive an offer via text message prompting you to stop into J Gardella's for a free drink or to head over to Hopcat for half off an appetizer. Prior to receiving these messages, you've chosen to opt in to receive these messages through some other form of marketing. You're a patron of both establishments and have already given them permission to market to you in this way, so you're very receptive to such offers.

It's up to the user to choose who they are interested in receiving this type of marketing from, through simple opt in procedures. The user has full control to determine who is able to market to them in this fashion. That's why it's important to integrate mobile advertising with your overall marketing campaign. Websites, print ads, radio spots, etc. can provide a direct call to action to opt in to these services by text messaging to a Short Code. These are small codes that you text in to a designated number to sign up for an offer, place a vote or be added to a mobile marketing database among other things.

Take a look at a detailed article I wrote on the subject called "Effective ways to get users to Opt In to your Mobile Campaign" for more detailed information on this topic as well as ideas on how to build a mobile marketing database.

An example of Opting In through Short Codes

How could this work in the case of our earlier examples, Gardella's and Hopcat? Maybe you're sitting at either place one night and see an advertisement at your table on a napkin or a drink coaster. Or perhaps a poster on the door or bathroom prompting you to text in to a Short Code to redeem a free drink or discount for joining the list. This could be a very effective way to build a mobile database of customers and offer them incentives for being marketing to in a very unique fashion.

So, while big brands may be the most likely candidates to jump into the mobile marketing arena, these are all interesting ways for brick and mortar businesses of any size to market to their customers in the most direct way possible.

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Does Social Media Marketing Increase Sales in a Brick and Mortar Business?

Human beings have a long established tradition of bartering and trading goods and services, one in exchange for the other. While the basics have remained the same over the centuries - you give something in order to get something - the means have evolved consistently. From the agora of Ancient Greece to the modern supermarket, and from high-end stores to online shops, people continue to engage in business in the hopes of profitability and success.

If one was to divide the means of doing business today into two broad categories, they would be:

1. Brick and Mortar Businesses, and

2. Online Businesses

Brick and Mortar

The traditional way of conducting business - the brick and mortar way - can be considerably expensive and onerous to setup. It is highly essential to find a suitable location, if the business is to have any chance at succeeding, and such valuable locations are not inexpensive. Then there are the overhead costs, including taxes, utility bills, and inventory and labor costs.

The Cons:

- The biggest disadvantage of an online business, unlike a brick and mortar store, is that there is very limited interaction with the clientele, if any.

- It is remarkably easy to get distracted with an online store, as you would not be constrained by shelf space to display products. It is vital that you establish, and stick, to a niche for your small business.

Each of these, both traditional and modern, has its own advantages and disadvantages. And while you could debate about which one is better until there is no tomorrow, they are both here to stay for the long term. If you can afford it, the ideal way to be successful would be to establish both a brick and mortar store, and an online shop for your small business.

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