Whether you are at the startup funding stage and need to get in front of investors or your company is ready to go to market and you need to get in front of customers, you need to have a lead generation strategy that will engage decision makers and get them into a lead funnel. In an increasingly crowded communications environment that is becoming more elusive by the moment, how can you ensure your own brand gets noticed by the right people and more so how do you get them to take action? Furthermore, how can you track the effectiveness of your campaign? That’s where digital lead generation can come into play.
What is Digital Lead Generation?
Digital lead generation is the process of attracting and converting users who have taken actions online. This can include active engagements such as:
● Filling out a content form
● Calling via a click to call number
● Downloading an asset like a white paper or case study
● Chatting online
● Completing an online survey
● Participating in a webinar
This can also include lower action engagement like:
● Consuming video content
● Reading website content
● Opening an email
Digital Lead Generation Ad Channels
There are a multitude of digital lead gen channels including more traditional venues like email marketing, SEO and content marketing - incredibly effective channels that deserve articles all their own. Hopefully you are leveraging at least some of these already for your start-up. You are probably also using relevant social marketing channels with ongoing content posts and ads to capture user attention. If so, kudos. Still, there are a few social media channels and ad types within those channels that add big value for our tech and start-up clients and deserve to be singled out.
LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
With over 575 million members world-wide, LinkedIn is the top social media choice for business networking and sales prospecting. LinkedIn’s audience targeting
located in their ad platform is unparalleled. Aside from the expected demographics like location, education and company industry, you can also target users by job title, job function, company name, member groups, skills and job seniority (ensuring that you are getting in front of decision makers).
LinkedIn also offers an ad type referred to as LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
which allows you to collect lead data directly within LinkedIn rather than taking the user off-site. Like all LinkedIn ad types, your ad can consist of a text/image combination or text/video with a call to action button (i.e. Sign-Up, Learn More). When a user clicks on the CTA a form opens in LinkedIn that is pre-filled with the name, email address and phone number of that user through pre-collected data. A lead can be captured in as little as two clicks. Furthermore, you can track your campaigns' cost per lead, lead form fill rate, and the number of leads you're getting from specific professional audience segments. You can download your leads or automate them using a lead integration tool like Zapier
. All is not perfect using LinkedIn’s Ad Platform however. The cost per click (CPC) is far more expensive than its competitors.
Facebook Lead Generation Ads
While just less than a year ago, Mark Zuckerberg hijacked headlines regarding their data mining practices, Facebook’s ad targeting remains jaw dropping in it’s breadth and scope. For B2B targeting, like LinkedIn you can target by company name and job title, you cannot however target by job seniority. For consumer targeting, the sky’s the limit with interest and behavioral targeting
galore. As one Facebook insider shared with me just over a month ago “thirty minutes after a woman discovers she’s expecting, Facebook knows too”.
The “original” lead form ad, Facebook lead ads
are a mobile ad type similar to LinkedIn forms but more flexible. By tapping your ad, a form will pop up pre-populated with your user’s contact information. To further qualify the lead you can customize fields and add custom questions as well. Once someone has completed a form, you can allow them to click to call your business straight away. Facebook integrates with most CRMs and lead forms can be automated to be sent to your sales team’s in box. Facebook has robust conversion tracking and gifts users with a relatively easy to install Facebook Pixel
a piece of code that's placed on your website to “report conversions, build audiences and get insights about how people are using your website”. You may want your developer’s support to set up conversion tracking though if your site is not build on a popular platform like Wordpress. Facebook offers many more CTA button options than LinkedIn including:
● Request Quote
● Learn More
Furthermore, Facebook lead ads is far less expensive than LinkedIn. In some cases, you’ll find the cost per click on Facebook to be only ⅙ of the cost of LinkedIn ads, making it an agency favorite.
Bonus Tips: Keep form fields down to a minimum. The more fields the higher the likelihood of form “drop-off”.
While Twitter does not have a lead form ad type like LinkedIn and Facebook they do have some unique targeting options that have brought about excellent ROI for our clients when driven to a well developed and optimized landing page (more on that later). Furthermore, you only pay when you’ve reached your marketing objective. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn you don’t pay for additional organic impressions or engagement adding value and brand lift.
● Twitter offers keyword targeting. Keyword targeting allows you to target users with the highest level of intent.
● Twitter offers hashtag targeting. This allows you to interact with users who have interacted with tweets containing specific hashtags in the last seven days.
● Twitter offers tailored audiences
. This means you can target Twitter users who follow specific accounts. While Facebook has custom audiences too, you need to know their email address or phone number, not so with Twitter. All you need is a Twitter user’s handle.
Because Twitter does not have a lead form ad type you are required to drive users to a custom landing page. And although this requires more effort on your users part, there are many advantages to driving users to optimized lead focused landing pages. We often a/b test lead gen ads vs website conversion ads with all of our social networks to see which funnel will provide the most qualified lead type.
Bonus Tip: With Facebook and Twitter, you can remarket to website visitors and users who have previously engaged with your content.
Landing Page Optimization
One of our favorite digital lead generation tools is a tool called Unbounce
that helps us create high converting landing pages for our paid traffic campaigns.
One of the primary advantages of dedicated landing pages is their ability to focus users on taking one specific action. Essential calls-to-action (such as click to call buttons and contact forms) can be emphasized, and distractions which may exist on your primary website can be removed.
A better landing page helps to improve your quality score in Google Ads helping you to keep your costs down.
You can test multiple landing pages, call to actions, images and more very simply using Unbounce’s duplication feature. And of course you marketing copy is not limited to your social networks character count restrictions. You have enough room to “breathe”. Simply stated, a landing page allows you to provide more information including videos, testimonials and reviews, industry certifications and beyond to help create deeper brand trust and authority which helps decrease friction and increase qualified website goals. And of course Unbounce integrates with all our favorite tools including Zapier, Sales Force, Infusionsoft, Mailchimp, Hubspot and beyond.
Bonus Tip: Use “message match”, a conversion rate optimization technique that matches the relevant copy in your ads to your landing page.
About the Author Fran Jakubowicz is the CEO of SunHouse Marketing, a full service digital marketing agency with an expertise in digital lead generation. SunHouse generates hundreds of thousands of leads and millions and dollars in revenue for their clients annually.