Digital Marketing for Better Lead Generation

Bradd Shorr on B2B Marketing Strategy

Despite its increasing reliance on data, digital marketing remains grounded in art.

Marketers need the ability to sculpt individual tactics into holistic campaigns, all of which combine to form a cohesive strategy.

If successful internet marketers were painters, their style would be much like that of Georges Seurat or Jackson Pollock: tiny dots of detail forming a beautiful, sweeping image.

Without the detail (specific marketing activities and processes), there would be no beautiful image (lots of high quality sales leads) at the end of a digital marketing campaign.

We at Straight North recently created a Lead Generation Ecosystem infographic that was inspired by Seurat.

It’s an effort to help marketers visualize (and connect) all the tiny dots that make up a successful lead generation campaign.

Sources of Lead Generation Traffic

The top row of the infographic displays traffic sources that feed the various types of internet marketing campaigns.

Take a look to make sure you’re considering all of your options.

Most importantly, make sure that the choices you make are based on your own needs. Not every channel is right for everyone.

Campaigns that Convert Traffic to Leads

The second row displays different internet marketing campaigns, and again, companies should ask whether they are using the right approach for their unique goals.

Do you understand how affiliate marketing works, or how to put together a proper social media marketing campaign?

If these are untapped sources of leads, it may be time to up your marketing education.

All Marketing Roads Lead to Your Website

The centerpiece of the infographic is the company website, and rightfully so.

Just as all roads lead to Rome, all campaign traffic leads to the website, and all sales leads flow through it.

What companies sometimes miss is the extraordinary variety of content options available to maximize lead production on this marketing anchor.

For example, are you making use of video, white papers, and case studies to attract great prospects? Do some persona research, find out what content appeals to your audience, and start your production pipeline.

Working Behind the Scenes in Marketing Campaigns

Below and to the right of the company website are the behind-the-scenes campaign activities of processing and validating leads, collecting data, and conversion optimization.

This non-glamorous part of internet marketing is where many companies discover gaps. Left unaddressed, these gaps that can ruin the entire canvas of an otherwise beautiful campaign.

Filling Common Process Gaps in Internet Marketing Campaigns

Campaigns are certainly important, but marketers should pay careful attention to the process hexagons and relationships at the bottom and right of the infographic.

These are the “dots” that are frequently missing, blurred, unconnected.

Lead Validation Gaps

Lead Validation is the process of separating true sales leads from non-lead form and phone inquiries.

Non-leads (spam, sales solicitations, etc.) can comprise as much as 50 percent of campaign inquiries.

Failure to report on, analyze, and optimize conversions with validation in mind can seriously compromise an otherwise well-designed approach.

Identifying Unqualified Leads

Note the “NOT SALES LEAD” hexagon in the second row from the bottom. These non-leads should not be erased; instead, marketers should feed them into the marketing automation/CRM system for future use.

Some non-leads — many, in fact — can become legitimate leads in the future.

For instance, a sales solicitation may be from a company that can use your product or service, so why not set up that contact for a future email campaign?

Don’t Overlook Offline Leads

Just below the company website hexagon are the form submission and phone call hexagons — all campaign-generated leads are going to be one or the other.

And yet, many companies fail to track phone leads, leaving a huge gap in analytics and performance evaluation.

Since Google Analytics doesn’t support granular phone tracking, other tracking systems must be set up, something many organizations don’t know how to do or don’t realize can be done.

Phone inquiries are very important, however, because they are often the highest quality leads. In addition, the explosion in mobile phone use means that phone inquiries figures will continue to grow.

Choosing What Not to Do

Keep in mind that while process-related components must all be in place and properly connected, you don’t need to use every single traffic source or campaign tactic.

The challenge with these latter two campaign variables is selecting the right options.

For instance, a company with a widely known brand may not need SEO as much as a competitor with very little brand awareness; a company targeting teens will need to tap into Instagram and Tumblr, whereas one targeting seniors may not need social sites outside of Facebook.