Can a business grow in a quarantined world?
The answer, we’ve found, is a resounding yes.
But that doesn’t mean that your lead generation is going to look the same as it did in January. We live in a different world right now, and no one is certain what our world will look like in our new definition of “normal”. If your brand isn’t ready to adapt to new methods for lead generation, you may find yourself wondering where the customers and clients are.
Here are some ideas for keeping up with the best possible lead generation practices, even in a quarantined world:
What’s Not Going to Work Today
Let’s be clear: we aren’t sticking our heads in the sand. The COVID-19 pandemic is going to make it nearly impossible to generate leads if your primary sources of leads have been any of the following:
That’s what you shouldn’t do. And if you’ve relied on those channels for lead generation, the news about COVID-19 might seem grim. But there are plenty of valid alternatives for lead generation if you’re willing to embrace digital tactics:
Emphasize the Existing Lead Generation Channels that Don’t Require In-Person Interaction
Don’t burn your bridges. Even if your lead generation is primarily focused on one of the categories from the previous section, you’ll find there are digital alternatives that can serve as a lifeline for your business. Here are some of the most popular:
This is also the time to look through your existing digital channels for lead generation opportunities. Where have the leads been coming from—even before the pandemic—that you can now invest more time and energy into optimizing?
Take Your Existing Lead Generation to Virtual Communication Whenever Possible
Even with much of the in-person lead generation tools no longer at your disposal, you’d be surprised at how many alternatives are available. Conferences are canceled, events are postponed, and people are staying indoors—but it doesn’t mean they’re giving up on networking. Here are some opportunities you can explore:
Don’t Forget How Much Business is Still Up and Running
Adaptation is important. Those who adapt can survive. But overreaction can be dangerous to your bottom line.
How do you identify a middle-ground? Don’t forget that many businesses are still up and running.
You may be pleasantly surprised to find out how much of the world is still spinning. One firm switched to an all-email model for lead generation, anticipating that offices would be closed and that there would be “no one” at “the other end of the phone.”
Despite these assumptions, they found that much of the business world was still running. Some 40% of their meetings were still arranged via phone.
The bottom line? Test your assumptions and don’t be afraid to diversify your lead generation strategies. You never know which channels might surprise you—and which ones might continue to bring in new business.
Find the Silver Linings
Make no mistake: COVID-19 is a serious pandemic and a lot of people are suffering. There’s a loss of life, loss of quality of life, and a whole lot of economic losses.
But there are silver linings to every dark cloud. While the world is shut down, there will be increased demand for new content, new businesses, and different ways of working. As Amanda Milligan writes for Moz, there will be new demand for content “in every niche.” That even includes travel, one of the hardest-hit industries. Key phrases like “virtual travel” and “travel insurance” are now seeing spikes in interest.
In work and education, homeschooling is gaining more interest, as are video education platforms. In personal finance, interest is still there, but it has shifted to focus on unemployment and budgeting tips.
There are silver linings with every challenge, and with COVID-19, they represent unique new opportunities for content aimed at lead generation. Explore your niche using tools like Ubersuggest to see where peoples’ interests have shifted. Then create the content designed to capture them.
Utilize the Offerings Made Available During the Pandemic
The good news about the pandemic is that there are organizations, both public and private, that are willing to help. The CARES Act, passed by Congress, has made it possible for small businesses to seek out bridge loans that keep payrolls alive.
But what about opportunities in lead generation? You’d be surprised. For example, HubSpot is offering reduced costs for its Starter Growth Suite and also suspending its marketing email send limits for its Marketing Hub Professional and Enterprise Customers.
A word of warning: not all discounts are legitimate. Forbes has noted that other types of entities have seen opportunities in the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s not for the better. Be wary of sketchy emails making bold promises about discounts in lead generation services, especially if they come from domain names you don’t recognize.
Create a Lead Generation Plan for a Quarantined World
Let’s distill these lessons into simple strategies you can implement immediately:
The world may be shutting down from the outside looking in, but the good news is that there are still businesses and customers in need of brands like yours. COVID-19 won’t prevent you from finding them.