Social media is one of the most underutilized tools in the average marketer’s toolkit. For something that the majority of people use for over 20% of their waking hours, social media surely has much more potential than we attribute to it. There is no marketing plan complete without a social media plan. One area where social media is severely underused is lead generation.
When it comes to lead generation and acquiring new customers, social media can be an especially powerful tool. Not only is social media great for generating leads, but it is also the best tool for nurturing those leads and, eventually, scoring a sale- according to a study by Ascend2. So here’s a look at how experts generate leads using social media.
Lead Generation Using Content
What is content marketing? Simply put, it is creating and distributing text, video, and material that your audience will find entertaining, informative, or otherwise useful. Social media is the best way to distribute content; this is no controversial statement. The top tools for social media marketing will always invariably depend on the content you choose to create. By using the right type of content you can find customers en masse. There are a few types of content that are especially effective at lead generation.
Distributing gated content using social media is a surefire method to getting new customers. Understanding and utilizing gated content is one of the things that sets the best content advertising agencies apart from the rest. What is gated content? It’s genuinely useful content you lock behind a simple data collection form. Common gated content includes:
Surely, you’ve seen it before; “Enter your email to receive our free comprehensive guide to XX.” Your customers (potential customers, at this point) are always looking for content that will help them with their work or daily lives. If you can interest someone with your content enough to have them provide you with their information, they’re probably also potential customers.
Live content is a fairly new addition to the social media marketer’s tool belt. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter introduced live streams only a few years ago. The verdict is in: it is one of the most effective types of content in general. Turns out, you can utilize live streams for lead generation.
Make sure the content marketing firm you are working with understands live content. Live streams work because a) they are popular and b) they are personal. Integrating a call-to-action multiple times through a live stream is far more likely to be effective than a regular text post. Additionally, after the live stream ends you get a lot of video content in the form of clips from the stream that you can post later.
Content does not have to be a static effort at branding or a pushy sales pitch. Your customers like content they can click.
If you’re on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat you can plug your content right into your customer journey. Listing products on your social media page is one such way that will drastically speed up your customer’s experience.
People outside your target segment are less likely to swipe up on Instagram stories, view tagged products on Facebook, or follow the links on your Snapchat stories. That means it’s one of the better ways to get high-quality leads.
Lead Generation Using Ads
Let’s talk ads, more specifically which types of ads you should use. First of all, you have to think about who you want to show these ads to (your target audience), and you have to know on which platform your target audience is on. By knowing that, you can more successfully target your potential customers and turn them into paying customers. Your marketing plan outline must be clear on how it will use social media ads.
Next up, you will have to decide what your end goal is; what do you want to gain out of this ad? In other words, what will you ask of the potential customer (your call to action), and these can vary based on your marketing strategy and the content you would like to deliver.
While ads of any kind will generate a buzz and interest around your brand, not using the right kind of ads is leaving money on the table. The best digital advertising firms know this fact and optimize their lead funnel accordingly.
Almost all of the social media platforms now have an ad option that facilitates lead generation. They are generally known as lead ads, and they are targeted ads that have a call to action button that will lead your customer into a landing page or a form which can be pre-filled with some of their information so that you may contact them later.
A good way to gauge the skills of a digital marketing and advertising agency is by how they utilize the unique types of ads specific to every platform.
Facebook ads and targeting are not the only ways the platform lets you discover and manage leads. You know how you go on a website to check out a product or something you were a bit curious about, and how later you suddenly see ads for that product everywhere on Facebook? This is the result of the small piece of code that Facebook calls Pixel.
Used in tandem with good content and the right type of ads, perfecting your targeting with Facebook Pixel will drastically increase the number of new customers you are able to acquire.
The Finishing Touches
There is something magical about call-to-action. People outside marketing always scratch their heads at how telling people to “Call Now!” actually makes them call more often.
There is an entire art dedicated to choosing your CTA phrase, so we won’t go into that. Instead, what we can recommend is you use it often in your social media. This means you should set up the CTA button on Facebook and add the CTA or link to your Instagram and Twitter bio. It also means you have to place your CTA (when necessary, do not overuse it) strategically in your content.
If you’ve done your job with the ads and content, your customers would be already looking for a way to get to you. Don’t hold it back from them.
It’s a lot to take in at once, but social media is massive. Lead generation is a long and intense process, yet it is just a part of what social media can do for you. SMEs might not have the vast networks and personal connections bigger companies have. However, they have access to the networks of social media to spread their word. The next time you receive a marketing plan proposal or a marketing proposal outline, make sure the use of social media aligns with your objectives.