A steady flow of qualified leads is the lifeblood of your business. When you attract the right prospects and increase their interest in what your firm has to offer, you can more easily convert them into clients. That, in turn, maximizes your growth trajectory and revenue stream.
When thoughtfully executed, lead generation and website conversion campaigns will create that healthy pipeline of prospects.
Understanding how each campaign type works and the kinds of leads each generates will help you make smarter decisions about how to use each one. In fact, you’ll discover that it’s not a matter of choosing one approach over the other. Instead, it’s selecting the appropriate campaign for your goals, measuring its effectiveness, and making adjustments as needed.
Determine the Right Campaign for the Type of Leads You Need
At Newfangled, we leverage LinkedIn for paid media campaigns, whether they’re lead generation or website conversion efforts. For B2B firms, we have found that this platform produces the highest quality leads.
When building audiences for LinkedIn campaigns, you can pull in several demographic qualities — company size, revenue, industry, job title, etc. Utilizing these qualities ensures you are targeting the types of people you want to do business with.
The way you build your audience is the same for both lead gen and website conversion campaigns. But each campaign type produces different results when it comes to the number of leads generated, where the lead falls within the sales funnel, and their readiness to buy the services your firm offers.
Effective Lead Gen Campaigns Deliver a Higher Quantity of Leads
Lead generation campaigns don’t require users to leave the original platform. For example, LinkedIn pre-populates information in form fields. Little effort is required from potential leads to access the content once they have seen your ad.
Because there is a low barrier to entry — individuals don’t usually have to click more than once or type in multiple fields to retrieve the asset — the number of leads you can collect is more than a web conversion campaign. But these leads are also more likely to be higher in the sales funnel. And that usually means a longer nurture time frame until they potentially become a client.
Don’t take that as a sign to remove lead gen campaigns from your strategy, though. These campaigns are highly effective in a variety of scenarios, including:
- Building your email list with additional, qualified contacts
- Broadening your reach by targeting new audiences
- Filling the pipeline if you are a newer business (less than two years old)
Web Conversion Campaigns Reveal Leads Further Down the Sales Funnel
If you want to attract leads further along in their decision-making cycle, consider a web conversion campaign. While the target audience, ad graphics, and copy may be similar to a lead gen campaign, the way the lead converts is different.
Instead of downloading content directly on the platform, potential leads will click through to a landing page on your website. There they will provide additional information in exchange for the content asset.
Since there are extra steps involved, these leads are usually more familiar with your brand — or at least have a higher interest in what you have to offer. They’re willing to take an extra step or two to access your content. Another common action we see is the lead taking the time to explore the website, visit pages and even converting again on a “Contact Us” form.
You can also use web conversion campaigns to ask for more information from the potential lead. In addition to basic contact information, you might ask for more specifics about their industry. Form fields on your website could also request a revenue range for their business or the timeframe for a purchasing decision. These additional insights can help you tailor the next interaction with each lead.
Anchor Either Campaign Approach With Relevant Content
Whether you’re running a lead generation or website conversion campaign, you’ll want to start with a solid content piece. This can be anything from an ebook, guide or resource, or another type of content upgrade. It could also be an impressive case study that showcases your firm’s unique capabilities.
LinkedIn users are looking for content that is relevant to their industry and their work, so identify content that your ideal prospects will find valuable. Then position it in a way that entices them to click, fill out a form, and download the asset.
Use the Right Tactics to Nurture Leads
Regardless of the campaign type that brought in the lead, it’s important to nurture this individual in the right way. The most effective nurture strategies consider the entry point and how much additional courting is needed to increase the likelihood of the lead becoming a more highly qualified prospect.
Since contacts from lead generation campaigns didn’t leave the original platform, they may not have visited your website. In fact, they may not even be that familiar with your brand … yet. So take some time to let them get acquainted with you.
Creating an email series specifically for contacts gathered from a lead gen campaign is a good approach here. Talk to these prospects about a problem they might be facing and how your solution can help them solve it. Offer more resources that will add value to their business. These additional touchpoints lead to a better understanding of your brand. It gets prospects “warmed up” for a stronger call to action, like an invitation to contact you for a demo or conversation.
The goal here is to provide enough information to pique their interest while not coming on too strong. It’s like dating. You wouldn’t propose on the first date and expect a “yes.” Instead, spend some time building a relationship before making the leap.
On the flip side, you should directly contact website conversion leads as soon as you can. They are likely already familiar with your business and have taken actions that suggest that they are close to making a decision about working with you. In other words, they’ve enjoyed a few more dates with you. Calling or emailing these leads with specific information guides them into the proposal/quote-ready phase of the sales funnel.
Evaluate Campaign Results Regularly
Like any business initiative, you want your marketing campaigns to show results. Ongoing monitoring and tweaks to improve the outputs will ensure the health of your campaigns — and make the most of the dollars you invest.
Two key metrics to evaluate for both campaign approaches are cost per click and the quality of conversions. And for the best picture of performance, it’s important to consider these holistically.
At first glance, website conversion leads might seem more “expensive” when you look only at cost per click. But these leads are also further down the sales funnel so the overall value of that lead is higher when compared to a lead that requires another month of nurturing.
Lead gen campaigns will likely bring in a high number of conversions. But since these leads are converting directly in the platform, it will take additional time and effort to lead them to your website. And some may not even be the right-fit leads you are looking for.
We encourage our clients to watch their campaigns month over month and compare the numbers. After two months, you should have enough data to make informed decisions about tweaks or adjustments to your specific campaigns. The goal is to sustain the lowest cost per click possible while still attracting the highest quality leads.
Optimize Your Campaign Creative and Your Audience
If you find that your results aren’t trending in the right direction, you may want to look at ways to adjust your campaign. Optimizations are typically focused on two areas: your campaign creative and your audience.
Depending on how long your campaign has run, it might be a matter of updating the graphics or the copy. Many times, a fresh approach can increase the number of prospects you attract and convert. If you’ve been running an ad with the same copy and images, try a different variation for a few months. Track the performance to determine which ad has better results — and then run with that one.
Or you may find that you need to reevaluate your audience. Try targeting different job titles or industries to expand your reach. You can also look at ways to specifically target companies you want to work with or create audiences based on the characteristics of your top clients by uploading your customer list to create lookalike audiences.
Regardless of the campaign approach you use, remember that success comes as a result of trial and error. Start with a goal of what you want to achieve in regards to quantity and quality of leads and choose the tactic that best aligns. But don’t worry if you don’t hit the mark the first time. Watch and learn from your campaign’s performance. Then make adjustments that will deliver the results your business needs.