I once worked for a company whose CEO opposed marketing. He believed all lead development should be generated by the salespeople. The company was moderately successful but after a while, its growth stagnated, and then the CEO was convinced by his team that marketing was the next natural progression for growth. The new marketing team completely misunderstood their target audience, and it failed. All this did was empower the CEO to think that he was right about marketing. And that was the end of that. But it did teach me a great lesson and since that fledgling time in my career, I have seen many successful lead generation campaigns developed by effective marketing teams.
We now live in a world of digital marketing. As a salesperson, I enjoy the creativity behind digital marketing and made it my business to be more involved. Why? Because I disliked how much time I spent cold calling and how ineffective it can be – I knew there had to be a better way. I began offering digital marketing for technology companies.
Digital marketing covers a wide range of strategies for lead generation. Recently I started to research what is the most effective digital marketing strategy to see if it aligned with my own anecdotal experience. The first statistic I came across was: –
61% of marketers rank lead generation as their number one challenge
Blimey that got me, as it is 100% for me. But if you work for some of the big brands then it’s all about brand awareness. This is the major difference between B2B versus B2C marketing. I like the term “growth marketing” as it is all about B2B lead generation.
73% use SEO tools for lead generation while 67% leveraged social media
This is an interesting statistic – where to focus your efforts and where marketers believe they will get the best-bang-for-their buck in terms of lead conversion. As a B2B digital marketer, I have done my fair share of social media posting, sponsored posts, SEO strategy, and pay per click (PPC) campaigns. In the technical world of B2B marketing, where I see most success with conversion, is with highly placed organic search results. The most disappointing for me was LinkedIn Sponsorships where you can target a demographic, job title, and company type. I have experienced a lowly 1% and less conversion rate. Social media, though it is great for brand awareness amongst your peers, for a first-time conversion, has rarely happened in my world. It is also well recognized that people who read content on Twitter or Facebook prefer not to leave these platforms. A side note, many social media postings are self-serving and tend to be inward looking rather than outward reaching from a customer pain point. As an entrepreneur I may be interested in how you became a $2B unicorn, but as a buyer, I really don’t give a hoot, and maybe a little resentful of that. Some will also argue that the posts are unimaginative or there is some other factor at play. But compared to having a first page ranking on Google with your specific keywords relating to your company, then there is no comparison. When you go from second page to first page on Google results, the transformation in terms of lead quantity has always been significant. I speak from experience working with a wide range of different technology companies selling into a range of different verticals. A strategy around Search Engine Result pages (SERPS) has become my main focus for a successful digital marketing campaign.
What is SERPs?
SERPs (search engine results page) is a search engines response to a user’s enquiry. It not only includes the organic responses, but also the sponsored posts, paid adverts, featured snipped, the answer box, and any other results such as images, shopping suggestions, and videos.
According to GroupM UK and Nielsen: –
94% of total search engine clicks go to organic results, with just 6% of click share for paid search ads
This is why it is important to rank highly in the organic results, especially in Google. And why PPC may not be as effective as you think.
How to achieve highly ranked organic search results in Google?
Once you have an effective website, there are basically two main things – content generation and distribution of said content.
This is the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and there are many facets to a successful SEO strategy. Your website must be optimized. This is a wide-ranging subject in itself – any dead links should be removed, website pages should include keyword links, use themed landing pages, it should have a good navigational structure, and meta-tags ideally should be populated.
However, the largest impact on your organic search listing is content creation with themed keyword links back to your website. If this content is distributed properly then this will have the largest impact on your search engine placement with a resulting increase in website traffic and lead conversion.
What is effective Content Distribution?
Despite what many ‘specialists’ may dictate, content alone will not create high rankings. You also do not need the most perfect content in the world – it needs to achieve the desired result, which is more important than generating beautifully crafted content that is never read. Content must be relevant and informative. It must appeal to a target audience.
The content you create will often be dictated by where you intend to distribute it to. Websites that offer to publish content who already have a high ‘Domain Authority’ (DA) will be more beneficial than sites with a low DA. You can write an editorial or a thought leadership piece that will attract to their audience. You can write news or press releases and submit to news sites. Success stories on new and emerging technology are often well received by many publication platforms. You need to research and ask. As well as SEO, you are also brand building by ensuring your content is potentially becoming visible to your target audience.
Posting only to your social media or your website will have limited impact. Social media has “no-follow” links – this means you will not get any SEO juice for links in your content back to your website. I am posting this on LinkedIn, I will not get any SEO credit for my website.
What if I just don’t have the time for content writing?
Well, you are in luck – at RainDance Digital we can do this, and we would be happy to provide a free proposal. Everyone has an opinion on what is good content, but what really counts, is measured lead conversions. A return on your investment is what we desire to be measured against.
If I could turn the clock back, and given the benefit of hindsight and experience, we could have made a success of marketing for my long-lost CEO and help build a highly successful technology company. But as with many things in life, we learn through other people’s mistakes.