Marketing strategies are designed to boost brand reputation and revenue, but the intermediary goal of these efforts is to generate leads that will prove profitable at some point down the line. Simply put, lead generation is a necessary stepping stone on the way to sustainable, successful business.
Of course, it’s up to marketers to ensure that their message reaches target audiences in a way that inspires interest and compels customers to find out more. Here’s how using tools such as email and social media marketing can help these brand strategists maximize their lead generation efforts.
Start a conversation
Even with the rise of website optimization and content marketing, email is the best way to generate a stream of reliable leads for small businesses, according to Direct Marketing News. The source pointed to the “Small and Medium-Sized (SMB) Lead Generation Benchmark Report” from Ascend2 and Allegra, which highlighted just how powerful this platform is when aggregating prospects.
Direct Marketing News stated that 50 percent of the 226 professionals surveyed achieve the best lead generation results through email campaigns. Furthermore, email is widely considered to be the easiest channel to leverage and manage. Offering an ideal mix of cost performance, personalization and tactical measurement, it’s clear that email should be the primary supplement for lead generation efforts.
“The most important part of email marketing for SMBs is that it allows a continual dialogue with prospects,” said Todd Lebo, partner and CMO of Ascend2, according to the source. “It’s very effective in that nurturing process for lead generation – so taking leads that are in various stages and allowing SMBs to provide those prospects with very custom content, regardless of what stage they’re in.”
Use the power of social
While email can serve as a great jumping-off point for launching a dialogue with prospects, social media platforms provide a variety of more dynamic and engaging opportunities for both generating and nurturing leads. As a blog from WishPond pointed out, each social media service has its own distinct advantages for discovering and interacting with leads, and marketers should supplement their email strategies with a wide range of social strategies.
For example, Facebook offers opportunities to set up email-gated discounts, run exclusive sweepstakes programs and post links that lead to hidden webinars or targeted pieces of content. It’s also ideal for planning events that can quickly gain momentum and many leads. Twitter, on the other hand, is perfect for creating exclusivity on a short time horizon, encouraging prospects to keep a close eye on the feed for upcoming offers.
Create a balanced plan
Ultimately, lead generation requires a well-rounded game plan that ties in closely with the marketing, sales and product support departments. Using email and social media platforms will create a strong foundation, but a brand must be prepared to organize, nurture and convert those leads to keep business moving along.
With these components in mind, a brand should have a wide range of leads to draw from and plenty of opportunities for conversion.