Every business relies on lead generation in one way or another. Whether you get all of your new customers through word of mouth, or you spend thousands of dollars a month on a billboard, you’re generating leads. To maintain a steady flow of new business, you need to be intentional about which lead generation strategies you choose.
SEO, social media marketing, and referrals are great ways to get new business, but they take time. If you have a marketing budget and lead generation is a priority, then you should consider implementing one (or all) of the paid lead generation strategies I talk about in this post to speed up the lead generation process.
Choosing Lead Generation Strategies
When choosing which lead generation strategies you’re going to focus on, there are three factors to consider.
How long can you wait? Some strategies take longer than others. If you’re already bringing in enough business, you can begin building out a content marketing strategy. But if you’re struggling, you probably don’t have time to wait around for your SEO efforts to lift your content to the first page of Google.
This one breaks down into a few parts:
- Lifetime Customer Value. How much should you spend?
- Budget. How much can you spend?
- Cashflow. How much can you afford to spend until you recoup your ad spend?
The first thing you need to know is how much a customer is worth to you. Not just the initial sale or first month’s subscription, but in total. Because that’s how much they’re really worth to you.
Then you have to consider your budget. A customer may be worth $1000 to you, but that doesn’t matter much if you don’t have $1000 to spend. Once you know your budget, you have to think about cashflow. You may have $1000 budget, but if it takes a year to get the full value of a customer, you may need to conserve your resources.
Have you built out your marketing funnels? Are they converting well? You don’t want to pour money into a leaky funnel, so make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row before you begin implementing paid lead generation strategies.
My Go-To Paid Lead Generation Strategies
In most cases, these are the strategies I test first. They work for most industries and are typically cost-effective. That said, they won’t work in every case. So test them, and see if they fit into your marketing plan.
This strategy aims to move prospects through the buyer’s journey with Facebook ads. Aligning your Facebook ads to the buyer’s journey means that you focus on one stage for each campaign. This applies to your:
- campaign objective,
- audience targeting, and
- landing page.
For example, if I’m creating an Awareness stage ad, I like to choose the Traffic objective. This way, I know that Facebook will be sending as many people as they can to my website. That means that at the very least they’ll be on my remarketing list.
Next I set up some broad targeting. Then I create an ad that leads to a blog post that will appeal to likely prospects. (Actually, I usually dump a bunch of ads into this campaign for all relevant blog posts. That way they don’t see any of them so often that they get annoyed.)
For my Consideration and Decision stage audiences, I set up remarketing lists based on website behavior. If they visit the Features page or something like that, they go into my Consideration stage remarketing list. Then they start getting ads from my Consideration campaign.
And if they visit the Demo or Pricing pages, they go into my Decision stage remarketing list.
Paid Search Ads
This strategy targets low hanging fruit on AdWords or Bing. If there are people searching for your solution on Google, then appearing at the top of searches for keywords that demonstrate purchase intent is a no-brainer, right?
Remember: AdWords is pay-per-click. So as good as it may feel to have a high CTR, that’s not necessarily driving sales. What you should be paying attention to is your bounce rate and conversion rate. If your bounce rate is high and no one is converting, dig into the data. You’re probably paying for clicks from people who aren’t interested.
Check the Search Terms Report to see where most of these high bounce, low conversion clicks are coming from. Once you find them, consider adding them as negative keywords. Then think about making your copy a little more specific.
You’ll also want to add negative keywords like “free”. Searches that include words like “free” usually indicate that the searcher isn’t looking to pay money. And you don’t want to pay for their click if they don’t want to pay for your product or service. Here’s a huge list of negative keywords to consider.
But make sure you actually read over the keywords in the lists. Otherwise you might add a negative keyword that’s going to cut down on traffic that would be good for you. (For example, if you’re selling an online course, don’t add “course” or “courses.”)
This works especially well for businesses that are just starting out in a very niche space. Depending on your niche, it can be hard to find your target audience on Facebook. And there might not be enough search volume for you to generate enough leads through paid search alone.
If that’s the case, do some research to see if you can find anyone else in your space who isn’t a competitor. For example, if you sell software for lawyers, you might be able to find a lawyer’s blog that gets a lot of traffic from other attorneys. Reach out and ask if they accept advertisers.
A good way to find potential opportunities is to Google “[Your Industry]” + “media kit.” This will bring up websites that operate in your niche, who accept advertisers. The media kit will give you information on how much traffic they get, and what sort of sponsorship opportunities they offer. The opportunities can range from sponsoring an email newsletter, to an ad on their website, or even a sponsored post.
Be sure to do you due diligence to determine whether they get enough of the right kind of traffic for it to be worth it. Then ease into the relationship. Try out something small scale before you go all in with an untested partner.