We all know that most consumers turn to the Internet to find products and services, and now a days nearly everyone is doing it aside from your 89 year old grandmother who can’t stop talking about the good old days when gas was 10 cents a gallon. As of now, 97 percent of all Americans turn to the search engines to find a plumber, an accountant, or a new set of luggage according to BIA and the Kelsey Group. Needless to say your marketing efforts need to set its sights to target online consumers. There are a plethora of companies that offer paid lead generation services, but why pay for something when you can find qualified leads on your own without too much effort? There are many ways to do this, but this article will address two simple methods for attracting free leads that many people simply overlook: colorful marketing psychology and making the most of social media.
The Colorful Art of Persuasion
There are a variety of factors that influence spending behavior and product interest, and color is a primary ingredient in the marketing elixir of persuasion. According to Marketing and International Business Professor Shun Yin Lam, the number one persuasive marketing factor that draws consumers in is the visual aspect by 93 percent. And of that visual component Professor Lam’s research reveals that 85 percent of the persuasive success of visual marketing is through color. Therefore the color choices made by business owners, SEO / marketing consultants, and branding professionals are of high importance as far as consumer persuasion is concerned, and after all, we all aspire to promote our brand and sell our products and services with a healthy annual ROI.
So are there good colors versus bad colors? It really depends on your message and products. Professor Lam’s exploration of color psychology reveals that red increases the heart rate and promotes energy while purple is found to calm and sooth the psyche. Orange promotes aggression, a call to action and loyalty while blue creates the sensation of trust, tranquility and security. Yellow is optimistic and youthful, while pink is feminine and playful. Have you ever noticed how most major banks like Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Barclay’s all use blue as a primary color in their logo and promotional materials? Or have you considered that the adrenaline junky Richard Branson chose red to promote his Virgin empire for a special reason? When choosing a color for your logo, website, business cards, social media profile accounts, and any other promotional items you will need to consider the following things about your target audience:
- What is their average age range?
- What is their average lifestyle?
- Are there more men than women, or is gender not a factor?
- What is their average income bracket?
When you have these answers and compile the data with your brand, products and services, you will be able to get a clearer idea as to what color will persuade consumer spending. If you are a wealth management specialist who works primarily with retired people, blue or purple may be a good color choice with silver accents. If you sell trendy boutique handbags to girls aged 12-14, pink with pale yellow elements would be ideal whereas a painting a closed circuit motor raceway track’s Twitter page red would be wise. By choosing the right colors you can beckon consumers through the online weeds of subpar social media profiles, and instead persuade them to review your profile and explore your website by speaking the language of color.
All You Can Eat Social Leads
Social media continues to reign strong as the king of online lead sources, but did you know the most popular social media platform is not responsible for dishing out the most leads? When it comes to the best social media platform for lead generation, LinkedIn wears the crown with a staggering 80.33 percent with the more popular Facebook falling third with a mere 6.73 percent (Twitter is second with 12.73). So how can you use LinkedIn to get more leads? LinkedIn isn’t simply a site for job searching, networking with other professionals, and posting your resume; it has become a hot bed for acquiring business. Your best LinkedIn resources can be found through industry appropriate discussion groups and company pages. Let’s say you run an equestrian school in the San Diego area. You can search for a plethora of discussion groups that are directly related, but also indirectly. Start by targeting the obvious equestrian club discussion groups. Then branch out and search for discussion groups on veterinary care for horses, riding equipment, feed supplies, San Diego outdoor activities, and parenting groups (every little girl wants to ride a horse).
When you first engage these groups start by getting social and friendly. Leave positive feedback in discussion groups and ask a lot of questions. Then write a promotional blog on your website and paste the URL into your next comment and use it to start a discussion. This will start opening doors to a higher quality level of engagement, and set the stage for an opportunity to directly invite someone to do business with you.
Weeding and Social Landscaping
You may not be able to be a virtual gardener and remove all the weeds or “blah” product pages and links leaving yours and other quality blooms in plain sight, but by branding appropriately with color and using the best social soil, you can make your business stand out. Although Google’s Hummingbird update should, theoretically, serve as useful weed killer, don’t rely on it to kick in any time soon. Take control of your marketing and explore methods for free online lead generation that will lure more clients while leaving your local competitors stuck in the weeds.