Whilst there are lots of intangible benefits to a good digital marketing strategy, lead generation is a top priority for most of our clients. We spend a significant portion of our time helping customers capture and nurture the best quality leads – the people who are already looking for the client’s solution, the companies that clients can serve well.
One of the main challenges is deciding where to focus our efforts. There are so many options with digital marketing, you certainly can’t (and don’t need to) do everything. The key is to figure out where your best leads come from, work those channels effectively, and then use data to refine the strategy. Good judgement, creativity, and a little patience are vital ingredients.
Working out which channels will serve you best
There are lots of digital marketing tools you can use to generate leads. You may create content which ranks well on Google, capture your audience through social or email, or you might do some PR outreach to an industry-relevant publication which your target audience reads. Indeed, you might pay for social advertising or bid on Google AdWords.
There are so many options that unless you have a large team and a big budget, you will find it almost impossible to do anything that gains meaningful traction.
In most cases, you can make a sensible guess about how you’re attracting leads, but it always pays to narrow down your options. Try to think beyond where your general audience is and consider where your best audience is. Working on generating high quality, targeted leads from a handful of sources will be more valuable than trying to generate a large volume of less targeted leads from a variety of sources.
You may need to experiment before you begin to focus your efforts. There’s no magic wand you can wave to see immediate results – rather, purposeful experimentation will give you valuable data which can be used to hone your lead generation efforts.
But remember, that whilst being proactive and visible is important, quality will always trump quantity. A great piece of long-form evergreen content on a topic which is really important to your audience can deliver high-quality web traffic for years, whereas you can easily spend hundreds of pounds on AdWords to get the same amount of traffic which is lost as soon as you stop spending. Equally, a well-managed LinkedIn profile is likely to perform better than a scatter-gun approach on every social media platform.
Set goals and measurement criteria
It’s true that the value of some digital marketing activity cannot be easily measured. However, when you’re aiming for high quality leads, you’ll need to set some goals which can be analysed for ROI. The aim, after all, is to find out what resonates most strongly with your audience so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
There’s nothing more satisfying than purposeful marketing, so it pays to be discerning when it comes to measuring ROI. Using social media or running a PR campaign to drive traffic to your website is all well and good but not all web traffic is good web traffic. Measurement can be further complicated by the fact that in the B2B world a sale can take time and several steps to achieve. Frequently, digital marketing activity will need to generate a lead and then sit behind the telesales or field sales team, with a website, digital assets, and quality content being used to back-up the message of trust to a prospect.
Because people are an expensive resource, at Goldcrest we’re well aware of the need to nurture quality over quantity as far as we can. This means we have to be targeted in our marketing output to reach the people who can be best served by our clients. And we have to ensure there’s a smooth transition from digital marketing channels to the sales team to nurture leads and pass them through efficiently with the appropriate marketing support.
Use your data to refine your strategy
The final piece of the jigsaw is to use data to continuously increase the impact of your marketing. This involves gathering data over a period of time and identifying the tactics which deliver the best leads – those which convert the quickest and/or are of the highest value. Over a relatively short period, it will be possible to gather enough data to glean reliable insights.
Knowledge is power.
For example, what drives web traffic but not conversions? Which landing pages generate the most interest? Which forms or call to action buttons generate the most enquiries? Which topics see the highest open rates on your email campaigns? What sort of social media posts get the most engagement? What keywords are most valuable?
Taking time to analyse what your data is telling you will mean you can refine the strategy and focus your efforts on doing the mix of activity that delivers the best return. You should be able to assess the cost of your digital marketing efforts against the cost of generating and converting a lead.
There are, of course, lots of hard-to-measure benefits from digital marketing. Increased brand awareness and an authoritative market position are just two of the less tangible results of an effective strategy (though these goals should also generate leads, time and repetition come into play). However, thinking about your goals and using data to identify what works best means you can be much more effective. And that, above anything, is what every business needs in return for its marketing investment.