Digital Lead Generation: Are you using it?

We live in a digital world where browsing the internet, especially social media, on a daily basis undeniably shapes and influences our lives. As marketeers, we have the power to use social media to make a significant difference to business performance – not only in the soft, traditional sense of building brand awareness but by Digital Lead gen – generating valuable marketing qualified leads.

Leads are a form of data identifiable through unique information such as a name, email address or phone number. Generating these leads is a primary goal of sales-driven businesses, aiming to maximise the amount of people from their target audience in their sales funnel. Leads tend to enter the funnel fairly cold and, once sent information that is relevant and of interest to them, alongside conversations are nurtured through to encourage conversion.

In this blog we discover why so many businesses use digital lead generation and provide you with our top 10 tips for success.

Why so many businesses use digital lead generation:
A high number of quality leads: Intelligent audience targeting and geotargeting combined with a vast number of users means that with the right content and budget, this type of marketing activity is an effective way to generate a high number of quality leads. What more could you want?

Cost-effective: With most social media lead generation activity on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis, you only pay for activity. This is a great way to easily manage your budget and monitor spend against return-on-investment (ROI).

To track conversions: By integrating social media accounts with your CRM, you can track where your converted leads have come from and use this information to inform ROI. Real-time delivery of results also means that you can engage with leads immediately.

Optimisation: As changes to most social media channel algorithms now make it difficult to gain organic reach, businesses are always on the look out for other ways to optimise their social media accounts – paid activity is a fantastic way to do so. Additionally, being relatively easy to monitor and report, digital lead generation can be optimised through A/B testing to ensure budgets are efficiently spent on the best performing ads or LinkedIn InMail messages.

Top 10 tips for success:

  1. Implement persona marketing to refine your target market.
  2. Use visual content and copy that is relevant and interesting to your target audience.
  3. Produce gated content (e.g. whitepapers, case studies, vlogs, infographics, webinars) and email opt-ins to capture lead data.
  4. Include a call-to-action, directing leads to take actions that are going to be of value (e.g. form completion).
  5. Consider what activities you are going to do to directly remarket to your leads and nurture them through the sales funnel (e.g. email marketing, direct mail, telemarketing and appointment setting).
  6. Allow activity to run for 2 weeks, then set aside time in your schedule to regularly review and optimise.
  7. Mix-up your strategy – use paid activity to complement organic outbound and inbound social activities.
  8. Find and engage directly with leads on social media.
  9. Stay up to date with the latest social media trends and channel updates – implement them to stay ahead of the game.
  10. Outsource to the experts.

Is digital lead generation a part of your marketing strategy? Understanding your business aims, marketing goals and sales objectives, the Roots to Market team can help you shape your digital marketing to get the most out of your investment. We will advise you on the best strategy for your target market and your budget. Schedule a call with us to learn more: 01392 796 702 or email contact@roots2market.co.uk

Persona Marketing: Who are you talking to?

Defining a target audience is simply a must for business success. But to stand out and produce a pipeline that delivers, it is wise to further refine your audience using persona marketing.

By implementing persona marketing, you allow yourself the opportunity to refine your audience into key segments creating ‘characters’. The way that each ‘character’ or persona experiences your brand will be influenced by their business needs, industry and of course, their demographics.

Getting to know your target audience in this way is a powerful tool that helps shape your marketing strategy. If you’re consistently generating unqualified leads from outside of your target audience, or your leads aren’t being generated at the rate they’re forecast to, it is likely your messaging is too generic. Persona marketing is a well developed technique best placed to help you meet and exceed lead generation and conversion targets.

 

What can persona marketing help with?

  • Lead Generation: Identify with your audience and get to know them better – making them easier to target and tailor messaging.
  • Lead Nurturing: Produce specific strategic content that appeals to your target audience to warm them along your sales pipeline.
  • Client Satisfaction & Retention: Meet their goals and solve their challenges.
  • Strengthened Strategy: Enhance overall marketing and sales performance.

 

Getting started:
Begin with a small number of personas and branch out as your original personas become more refined and sophisticated. Between 3 and 5 personas usually provide an accurate representation of the majority of your core audience, although it’s not unusual for large, complex businesses with a diverse product or service portfolio to develop up to 20 personas.

Using a template will help you to structure your personas into clear and concise sections. We recommend using:

  • Name
    – Say hello to Justin, Gary, Francis and Elizabeth – the persona names of our sister brand, Air Marketing. Gone are the days of simply numbering your personas… be creative (but realistic) and bring your persona to life by referring to them in conversation, email and strategy planning as their name.
  • Job title
    – Setting a brief job title or business area alongside professional seniority informs interest, goals, frustrations and decision-making ability.
  • Company
    – It may be useful for your business to define a company or industry to inform interest, goals and frustrations.
  • Demographics
    – Use gender, age, income/salary, family, location and education to learn about what influences your target audience.
  • Background
    – Role, decision-making ability, motivations, loyalty and professional interests.
  • Previous experience
    – Educational experience and career path.
  • Personality
    – Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
  • Goals
    – Career goals, company goals, targets and responsibilities.
  • Expectations
    – Expectations, values and ability to influence.
  • Frustrations
    – Frustrations and restrictions.
  • Social
    – Interests in social media, digital content, events, education, professional development and purchase behaviour.
  • Spare time
    – Interests in music, sport, TV, travel and socialising.

A persona template can initially be optimised by considering core areas of your marketing activities. For example, if you use social media and/or print advertising, for each persona include what social media platforms they use and what publications they are likely to read.

 

Collecting data:
Team Meeting: Meet with team members who have regular interaction with clients. Knowing your clients best, your team can provide valuable insights, each with different perspectives. As a group, put yourselves in the shoes of clients so that you can fully immerse yourself in characterising them into personas.

Client Interviews & Surveys: Discuss with your team which clients may be open to participating in an interview or survey. If you prepare questions around your persona template, client interviews are a brilliant way to discover in-depth qualitative data.

Data Review: Reviewing analytics and lead scoring (if implemented), will provide quantitative data about the audience and leads currently being generated. This activity is useful if you are happy with the quality of leads but you are aiming to increase the number generated.

Market Research: If you’re working in a start-up, lacking raw able data or unable to reach out to existing clients, we recommend using reliable market research. Using market research alongside other data collection methods is an optimal mix for highly informed and accurate personas.

 

Implementation:
Consider personas throughout your marketing activity:

  • Demand generation
    – Target the right people in the right place at the right time. This will allow you to better meet client needs and generate marketing qualified leads (MQLs) with a clear website user journey including relevant landing pages, call-to-actions and forms.
  • Marketing strategy and planning
    – Help shape strategy by determining a focus point for all marketing activity and attract more of those types of clients.
  • Digital marketing
    – Easily analyse your campaigns – identify the best performing channels and platforms for your personas and use results to intelligently target prospects.
  • Direct marketing
    – Start conversations with valuable marketing qualified leads (MQLs) via telemarketing, direct mail or direct email campaigns.
  • Content creation
    – Blogs, articles, infographics, photos, videos, vlogs, podcasts and brochures are proven to increase lead generation and engagement if implemented effectively. Consider where content is broadcast, how it is used and change topics as new trends arise.

 

Optimisation:
We are all striving to continuously improve our business activities and make the most out of our opportunities. Take your persona marketing to the next level by:

  • Testing and analysing to refine messaging and sharpen targeting.
  • Reviewing on an annual basis, or ad hoc, when your target audience focus shifts to accelerate results.
  • Using information to brief sales teams and outsourced telemarketers (see our sister company Air Marketing) for lead nurturing and conversion conversations.
  • Produce negative personas to segment out ‘undesirable’ clients and avoid resource waste.

Reflecting on your own business and target audience, think about the quality and quantity of leads that you are generating, as well as the individuals that you are talking to. Are you consistently talking to your ideal clients?

If you think that your marketing could be improved through the implementation of personas, we would love to hear from you! Here at Roots to Market, we are driven by building intelligent marketing capabilities that generate demand and marketing qualified leads. Call 01392 796 702 or email contact@roots2market.co.uk

It is just a job, or it is a culture?

What is the best thing about your job?

A fairly common question, asked by relatives, friends, new employees during an interview process. The answer, well my answer, is not normally based on the actual delivery of the job but more around the culture.

When you break the concept of work down, no matter who you are or what you’re doing, I can almost guarantee nobody likes the concept. You spend the majority of your life, typically working at least 8 hours per day, 5 out of 7 days per week. Within this you commute, you work hard, you may interact with people who may not be the characters you’d typically choose to spend time with and then you cram the rest of your life into the time you aren’t working.

Crazy when you break it down isn’t it! But we live in a world where we have to work to earn money to enjoy the ‘rest of our life’ segment.

So, for me, essentially culture is the difference between making work bearable, enjoyable, giving some meaning to all those hours, or not!

For both me and for Roots as a business (and part of the wider Air Marketing) culture is key.

Culture is the feeling that you get when you walk into the office, the relationships you build within the team and the support offered from those relationships. We want people to enjoy coming into work, into a thriving, high-performance, motivated environment. Having experienced workplaces where culture was never considered, where environments were tense and going into work was anything but enjoyable – I don’t want Team Roots to experience that. Of course, that doesn’t mean we eat cake, finish early or slack off daily, but what it does mean is that we have established some core aspects of our culture which our team can rely on including:

  • Quarterly and yearly performance-based treat outings
  • Idea brewing sessions – allowing everyone to be heard and new ideas to be brought to the table
  • Friday end of day catch up meetings over a little tipple
  • Monthly one-to-ones, no matter how long someone has been part of the business
  • Monthly try something new Tuesdays as a team outside of work
  • And much more…

You see our service is delivered by our team, so to get the most out of our team culture is key which in turn delivers even better results for our clients. It’s win-win with a happy, motivated team and happy clients.

In my eyes, it should never be just a job – you are investing precious time into this job which you can never get back – make it mean something.

Opinion piece by Verity Wootton, Associate Director