Lead Generation Activity is a critical responsibility of any marketing department. Ensuring the flow of warm leads to the sellers at a pace that satiates their need to sell is key. (You’ll never completely satisfy the appetite for leads, no matter how phenomenal your strategy.) While our team does this work for hundreds of clients across the region and nation, we do it first for ourselves. This case study is a roadmap for that effort, and describes some of the outcomes we’ve experienced for our own teams for MLive Media Group and Advance Ohio.

What’s Important to Our Strategy

Content

It’s important that we maintain a steady flow of thoughtful content that examines digital marketing strategies, talks about changes in the landscape, and showcases best practices. We pen this content to work for all digital marketers, as well as a few articles each month that are specific to particular industries. This content is published on our site, and select articles are featured on publisher sites as sponsor content.

Direct-to-Client Communications

Our content is bundled into monthly communications to our clients and prospects. These pieces are often viewed as thought leadership by our customers, and we hope are thought provoking. Select articles are boosted in our social feeds, touching those closest to our brand with repetition.

Surround Sound Advertising on Digital Platforms Everywhere

Our expertise is featured in ads served in display (both on our site and programmatically) and organically in our social feeds. Articles we’ve written and concepts we’re considering make up the majority of our organic social, with an emphasis on educating and informing, rather than asking for a sale.

Creative Assets

The creative approach (and regular optimizations to avoid audience fatigue and ensure ongoing interest) are a critical part of the approach. Quality visuals and messaging contribute to and serve as a bridge between the display, social, blog designs and email communications.

Experiential Marketing

Conversations are easier when you’ve already learned about the people on the discovery call, and webinars are a great way to do that. We introduce experts on our team to clients and prospects through quarterly webinars (presented by industry.) These experiences usually showcase a client success story, and roll-out a newly published study or data source that is relevant to the audience attending.

Conversion Tactics

At the tip of the funnel sit those already raising their hands. Like all quality lead gen campaigns, we use paid search to ensure we are positioned in front of those searching for services we provide.

The Foundation

Constructing your website to enhance your lead generation campaign is crucial. Our work is designed to guide those that click our ads (or links from our communications or social) to a landing page describing the solutions we provide and the industries we serve. From this page, they can navigate to pages specific to their business and industry. This “choose-your-own-adventure” design means our pixel placement can remessage site visitors based on what matters to them and their particular industry. Those visiting the main landing page receive general messages reinforcing what they’ve read. Those visiting industry pages will see general messages + industry specific messaging. We pixel blogs and case studies this way, too.

Our Audience

We want to stay in front of our existing clients, so we include them in our targets. When they read our thought leadership they may learn of a change in philosophy or get new ideas on digital strategies. As they interact, they’ll get remessaged in accordance with whatever they’ve consumed.

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We use list-matching and look-alikes for other prospecting audiences that are target rich. These might include attendees at a recent conference where our firm has participated, lists from sources like ZoomInfo or other similar services, and others identified by our sales executives as key targets. We use this large, “prospecting CRM” to target the kinds of business we’ve had success in marketing in the past, and new segments we hope to grow. These prospects are being actively called as part of our account team’s regular outreach, in addition to targeted digitally. From these core lists, we expand to include look-alikes—those that have the same characteristics as those we are targeting.

Audiences are updated every 90 days (or more frequent, if data shows audience fatigue.)

Frequency

We want to hit our loyal audience (current clients) an approximate 4 times monthly. This happens with email, social, and digital ads, as well as sponsor content and remessaging. We hope to reach our prospecting audience 7-8 times in the same period, adding calls and emails from our sales team to round out the strategy.

Results

This campaign has been running for about a year, and in the most recent quarter, we’ve experienced:

+8%

in total leads over
previous quarter

+48%

in total leads over
same quarter, prior year

Our Top Lead Sources

SEM

Our Publisher Site Referral

Social Media

Display Ads

Email

Optimizations

Our campaign is smarter every day, both from the automated optimizations built into the channels we’ve chose and the human touch we apply. Here are a few examples of optimizations we’ve made.

  • Examination of weighting between Google and Bing, reweighting/capping to ensure quality of our converting audience, and the addition of negative keywords to our campaign to eliminate unwanted, under qualified traffic
  • Updating our audience by list-matching, and creating look-alikes from these new audiences at a regular pace to avoid/solve for audience fatigue pro-actively
  • Refreshing creative regularly, dropping underperforming creative and adding new assets and imagery, to keep the experience ‘fresh’

The role of Lead Generation is paramount in marketing operations. It ensures a steady supply of qualified leads to our sales team, which is crucial for meeting their sales objectives. Strategy is crucial in our efforts, ensuring that the performance of each tactic or channel is nested within the next, creating the right frequency for our prospects. We’ve taken a slow and steady growth approach, ensuring that the campaign remains in balance and that conversions steadily climb. Just as in your own marketing department, we serve our organization with these efforts, making more new business possible.

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