In today’s episode, we speak with Daniel Moscovitch, from MoreHotLeads.com about local lead generation.
While many local businesses are starting to embrace modern marketing, there is still a long way to go.
In this detailed interview, we discuss the current status of local lead generation, how it works, and where a small or medium-sized business can get started. Daniel also shares some case studies from their clients to demonstrate just how powerful local lead generation can be.
- Tell us about ‘Local Lead Generation’? What is it and what should a small to medium-sized business know about it?
- How seriously should a local small and medium-sized business take digital marketing?
- Where should small and medium-sized businesses get started?
- Can you share some real examples of how local lead generation impacted one of your clients?
- Do you have a Pro Tip, something interesting, shocking, surprising, insightful, to leave our audience with?
Here are some excerpts from our discussion with Daniel:
Tell us about ‘Local Lead Generation’? What is it and what should a small to medium-sized business know about it?
Well, the scope of generating leads has completely shifted in the last 10-15 years with the advent of the internet, specifically, Google and Facebook. Being able to take advantage of the traffic that is available for businesses on these platforms, is huge.
Businesses have to rely a lot more now on making sure that they can get in front of the people who are showing interest in them. Long gone are the days where people are relying solely on word of mouth to promote businesses, especially in certain areas like bigger cities.
So, the status of Local Lead Generation right now would be, it’s really important to be where your customers are.
And when it comes to other paid advertising platforms, that means making sure that your products or services or your messages are getting in front of your audience where they’re hanging out.
And as long as your website is set up properly to convert that traffic into leads, then that is how you’re going to really expand and build a consistent and steady flow of leads.
That goes for a local business, like a mom and pop shop, and it goes for international businesses as well. The concepts are very similar across the board. It’s just the way that it’s the scale of the campaigns that that are different.
In terms of local businesses, I still consider this time to be the wild west, or like the Gold Rush, in terms of not every business has gone online yet. I think five to 10 years ago, that was really where it was, businesses were not advertising online, but businesses now are starting to realize that their leads, their prospects, their ideal clients, are searching for them online, and they need to be there.
So, businesses are starting to get used to the need for investing in this technology. And yes, because more businesses are doing it, it is more competitive, but that’s why it’s important to just do it right.
Word of mouth is still very important. Because word of mouth is all just about reputation. So then, when you’re competing against other companies you should make sure that that your company has the best reviews, you’re attracting the most reviews and all that kind of stuff, there are other ways to leverage that word of mouth, into the online world.
I saw a statistic recently that said something like 88% of consumers will read multiple reviews before making a decision, it really depends again, on the industry, on the service being provided on the product being sold.
When people need something now like emergency plumbing, or, repairing a garage or an appliance when it’s broken. A lot of the time, those consumers won’t spend as much time worrying about reviews, and they’ll spend more time just calling the first company that pops up if I’m doing a Google search. That’s what we’ve noticed, as well on Google and with SEO, is that as long as a result provides the information that the searcher is looking for, the business will benefit.
So, if there’s a searcher that has intent, as long as the result has the information that the searcher wanted, then chances are they’re going to stay on that search result.
How seriously should a local small and medium-sized business take digital marketing?
Typically, one of the biggest things that I come across when I talk to prospects and talk to businesses that we work with, is they just don’t really a understand the type of investment that it takes to actually get the results. And what will provide them value and they don’t truly understand the value of it.
So, there are a lot of business owners that look at marketing just as a cost but don’t see it as an investment. Yet, it’s an investment in their business meaning for every thousand dollars that I spend, I’m hoping to make $5,000 back?
If it’s phrased properly, like “You pay me $1, and I’ll give you five”, most business owners would jump through hoops to get to that. But a lot of people don’t really quite understand it, they just see, oh, it’s an expense and they are not sure what they are getting.
That’s up to me, and up to two marketers like us, for us to educate our customers, our clients, or prospects, on how things work, how to calculate the return, how to how to project results, really show the perceived value there, that this stuff brings, because this stuff does work. If it didn’t work, people wouldn’t be investing money in it, and they wouldn’t be paying companies like you or myself that, you know, money to do campaigns on a monthly basis.
Where should small and medium-sized businesses get started?
At the end of the day, I truly believe that really all that matters are the number of leads that are coming in, because you can have a poorly run business and not the best communication with the client, but as long as they’re getting a lot more business out of what their investment is that at the end of the day, it’s just a smart business decision to keep it going.
But the proper onboarding of a client setting those expectations of what to expect and when to expect things, how much to expect, how to check this report how to understand this, that builds a lot more trust and will be a lot more beneficial in the long run.
In terms of setting up a predictable marketing system for local businesses, it really just depends again, on what services they need, what would help them achieve their goals. So, say “I want to have the 10 new leads next month”. If that’s the case, then obviously SEO wouldn’t be the best solution for them. Because SEO takes a lot longer.
If they say, “I want to have 10 leads next month, and I know that my target audience is active on Facebook”, then we would look into running some Facebook ads. But at the end of the day, we’re not just running the ads; we’re running the ads, we’re testing the ads, and then we’re setting up conversion tracking.
So, we know exactly what campaigns are working, they know exactly how many leads are coming in from where. And it’s really important to show that level of transparency.
I know there’s a lot of SEO companies out there who basically just send a report saying “Hey, here’s an invoice. This is what we did last month. Here are some rankings”. But it doesn’t really explain what it led to.
So, we’re big into explaining that. “This is the work that we’ve done. These are your rankings now. But it’s, it’s led to an increase in the 15% leads from organic Google search. So, you’ve got another 15 phone calls this past month just because of this work”. And that’s really what the bottom line is and what the business owner cares about.
Definition: Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the metric that indicates the total revenue a business can reasonably expect from a single customer account. It considers a customer’s revenue value and compares that number to the company’s predicted customer lifespan. Businesses use this metric to identify significant customer segments that are the most valuable to the company. HubSpot
They have to ask themselves, “What’s more important to me?” A business that has been around for 10 or 15 years, who are established who isn’t going to go out of business, they don’t have to turn off the lights because they don’t get those 10 leads next month. Those are the type of businesses who are going to be more serious about marketing and taking their business to the next level in the long term.
Those types of business might think about an SEO strategy. The reason that SEO is so powerful is that do those organic results, whether it be in maps, or you know, at the top of Google, our trusted a lot higher than the paid ads results.
So, you’re going to get more traffic, you’re going to get more results, you’re going to get more customers more leads and all that stuff than organic, it takes longer to get there. And it’s not guaranteed, right?
A lot of business owners are really scared of the long game. And they said, “Oh, I’d rather just pay Google to show up. I know that if I set up a campaign, and every time someone clicks on my ad, I’m paying for it, it’s fine. I’m getting, you know, traffic to my site”.
The problem is that not everyone trusts online ads. I mean, they’re highly effective, but they’re not necessarily as effective as SEO in the long run. So, if you’re talking to a business that’s more established, then they should invest in SEO for sure.
I’ve talked to a number of businesses that have such a stellar offline reputation. They’ve been around for 40 years, for 30 years. And now, they can’t believe that these young guys who’ve only been around for two years who started investing in digital marketing, are ahead of them in Google, and they don’t understand it. They think it’s an illegal act! Basically, they’re offended by it.
So, for those types of traditional business owners, they should definitely think seriously about investing in some online services. I always say if it’s something that people are searching for, then let’s try out a Google Ads campaign. If we can do it right, you’re going to be making money more money back than what you’re investing, your return on your ad spend is going to be at least double of what you are putting into it.
But if it’s a company where maybe people aren’t searching online or the cost per click is rather high, or it’s a prospect that actually needs to educate their clients a lot more before they can become a client, then we would suggest something like, Facebook and Instagram ads, as they may be a better fit to build some brand awareness.
Can you share some real examples of how local lead generation impacted one of your clients?
One of these the companies I just mentioned had that old school mentality. They had never invested $1 into marketing and were really skeptical and hesitant at first. They didn’t really understand the benefits of being online. They just really didn’t get it and wondered why they should be spending more money than they ever spent before on advertising.
So, one of the neat things that we did for them is we did some conversion rate optimization. We added a simple button to their site when people get on their homepage just said, “Call us now”, or “Request a quote”, or “View our past projects”. There weren’t the right calls to actions on their site initially, so we switched them, and the number of leads and conversions went up 191%!
What is Conversion Rate Optimization? Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take the desired action — be that filling out a form, becoming customers, or otherwise. The CRO process involves understanding how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what’s stopping them from completing your goals. Moz
Do you have a Pro Tip, something interesting, shocking, surprising, insightful, to leave our audience with?
Google has a number of ways for you to get in front of your customers. For example, you have Local Service ads and Google ads, which have higher costs and lower click-through rates than organic searches but are located at the top of Google or in the Google Maps section. So that is an important place to be. One of the things that have worked for me in the last little while, to get them ranking in the Google Maps, is just adding some keywords to their business name and their Google My Business. It’s a neat little trick, but it works. And it actually brings more business that their way. So, for now, it works. I’m all about doing what works and not about following what Google has to say.
In terms of optimizing a Google My Business profile, in order for them to get, you know, show up in the maps, I would definitely:
- Update your Google My Business profile and fill it out completely, there’s a descriptive place for description products and services, make sure you fill that out.
- Add some keywords in a natural way to your business name there and Google My Business,
- I would make sure you’re getting good reviews. And, if the reviews include the keywords that you want to show up for, as well, that’s definitely a bonus. And make sure that you are responding to those reviews when you get them. So those three things definitely would help.
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