Making a sale starts with getting a lead. But with so many ways to reach potential customers today how do you determine the right mix of media types to efficiently get more of the right people interested in your products or services? You must deliver the right content to the right prospects at the right time and place to capture their attention, provide relevant information, and progress them down your sales funnel — you need a lead generation strategy.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is a marketing process that stimulates potential buyers’ interest in a product or service and captures their contact information for direct outreach. As part of an overall digital marketing strategy, digital lead generation can help companies grow their sales pipelines, increase brand awareness, attract high-quality leads, and nurture relationships to drive conversions.
Most effective channels for lead generation
With any sound marketing strategy, you must get in front of your ideal audience at the right time with the right information through the right channel. Effective lead generation involves a comprehensive understanding of your customer, leveraging the most effective marketing channels aligned with their preferences, and connecting the dots across the customer journey to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience.
Paid search (PPC)
Paid search, also called paid-per-click (PPC), is one of the most effective ways to increase website leads. These paid ads appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) or third-party websites when users search for specific keywords or browse content relevant to your products or services. Using the right targeting strategy can help you connect with prospects who have high purchase intent and are more likely to convert.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Organic (non-paid) search is a sustainable and low- cost (yet time intensive) way to increase website leads by generating exposure on the SERPs and driving traffic. The more your website shows up on Google’s first page, the more likely your target audience will become aware of your brand as an authority and leader in your space. Supported by a robust content marketing strategy, SEO can help you build trust and credibility through regularly refreshed high-value content that can shorten the sales cycle.
To be most effective and to dominate placements on the SERPs, paid search and search engine optimization should work together. At Imaginuity, we take an integrated approach to search resulting in higher levels of brand trust, higher conversion rates and lower costs per action.
You’d reward other websites for the visitors or customers they send to your site through this performance marketing strategy. You don’t have to pay for the traffic upfront, and you can multiply your reach by having many affiliates help you generate websiteleads. You can provide pre-written content and image or video assets to your affiliates to ensure a consistent brand image and message to boost the effectiveness of this tactic.
SMS marketing is a cost-efficient tactic to segment your list, reach your target audience, and get your content read. However, people spend a short time interacting with text messages, so you must create concise copy and a strong call-to-action (CTA) for this lead generation channel to perform.
Programmatic advertising involves analyzing real- time data via machine learning to buy and sell digital advertising automatically and dynamically based on various factors such as time of day, target audience, advertising budget, and performance. You can optimize your budget through real-time bidding and audience segmentation to ensure that your message gets in front of the right people at the right time for the best possible cost. Partners like The Trade Desk offer programmatic capabilities for multiple ad formats like banners, audio, video, and even out-of-home. Imaginuity is a premier partner of The Trade Desk giving us a dedicated account representative and an early look at new beta features of the platform prior to general release.
Paid social media ads
Social lead generation is an essential component of any omnichannel lead gen strategy. With so many social media platforms to choose from, it is important to understand the best ones to use relative to what you sell. For example, while 69% of social media users are on Facebook compared to 28% for LinkedIn, most B2B companies opt for LinkedIn because the context and the targeting options there are more relevant for reaching a business-minded audience.
Use these paid ads to reach people who have already interacted with your brand but who have not purchased. With these ad units you can bring visitors back to your website, nurture leads to increase conversion, and reach out to existing customers to drive repeat purchases. Segment your audience and leverage granular targeting capabilities to deliver highly relevant messages reflecting past interactions and shorten the conversion path. It has been shown that retargeted ads can increase engagement rates by up to 400%.
Customize your strategy for your audience
The best lead generation channel mix is one that allows you to reach the right people at the right time and place efficiently. One the right mix is identified, create high-quality content and promotional materials that appeal to your ideal customers and prospects and use a data-driven segmentation strategy to demonstrate to prospects that you understand their needs no matter where they are in their customer journey.
Next, support your lead generation strategy with conversion optimization tactics, such as creating dedicated landing pages, optimizing your website, and following up with email campaigns to nurture relationships and progress them down the sales funnel.
Finally, measure the effectiveness of your lead gen plan to optimize efforts and fine-tune your strategy:
the percentage of people who click on an ad
Conversion rate: the number of visitors to a website that complete a desired goal e.g., filling out a form, out of the total number of visitors
Return on investment (ROI): compares the total cost of the plan or activity with leads or revenue generated
Cost per acquisition (CPA): measures the total cost of someone completing a specific action
(e.g., filling out a form or registering for a webinar)
- Cost per acquisition by channel: compares CPA of different channels to determine those most effective and efficient
Tracking the right metrics and testing different tactics and mixes will help you identify what works and what doesn’t so you can optimize your strategy based on performance to maximize your ROI.
Putting the pieces together
Successful digital lead generation requires a multi-pronged, integrated approach that involves an in-depth understanding of your customers, digital marketing tactics and the latest trends. The best approaches utilize different channels working together seamlessly with real-time performance data allowing for ongoing optimization.