Social Media- Online Lead Generation
Social media is the top emerging channel for online lead generation among technology marketing professionals surveyed in May 2010, according to the annual Unisfair marketing survey. Furthermore, 66% of respondents said online lead generation was their top priority for 2010, with only 17% ranking brand awareness and 16% ranking customer retention as top concerns. The survey illustrated that marketers are beginning to rely on social media as a steady source of new customers.
In another study, 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers said they were more likely to buy the brands they like on Facebook or follow on Twitter, strengthening the argument that social media is one of the most important emerging channels for online lead generation. Being that social media is a great place to attract new customers, we put together a quick guide on how to use social media for online lead generation.
Online Lead Generation Today
This is how most companies produce advertising today, with variable results. For many advertisers, it’s not working as well as it used to because prospects aren’t paying attention anymore—i.e., they’re not reading print trade publications nearly as often. Not when they can Google the keywords describing your product and compare and evaluate pages of factual detail on virtually all available solutions to their corrosion problems.
The post-marketing (content-based) approach: Now, take the same product, but focus instead on developing content that can help prospects address key concerns or solve common problems in their field, using products like yours. For example, you could write a report describing how your anti-corrosion coating uses fewer hazardous chemicals, and explain, using solid financial analysis, how this reduces a typical customer’s actual waste disposal and insurance expenses compared to using other coatings offered by your competition. Use actual numbers derived either from your current customers’ operating results, or based on industry-recognized data sources, such as trade associations or industry research firms.
Once you develop the content, the best use for online and social media for lead generation is to use this content as a token of exchange for attracting the attention of the prospects in your market who are using online and social media, and to draw them closer to the point where they will contact your company and become prospects.
How To Utilize Social Media for Online Lead Generation
Here’s how you can utilize online and social media to deliver this content to your market:
- Summarize this report in a post on your company’s blog;
- Introduce this new report on industry discussion forums tied to top industry news sites in your field;
- Introduce this new report by highlighting it on your CEO’s (and your company’s) LinkedIn and Facebook pages;
- Refer to this report on postings to other members of LinkedIn industry-related groups, such as groups serving the insurance and “green business” fields;
- Refer followers and others to this new report on Twitter postings;
- Ditto for tweets where relevant, following “insurance” and “green business” Twitter users;
- Start a new group on LinkedIn related to the topic of anti-corrosion coating systems, and put a key product or technical executive at your company in charge as moderator of this new group;
- Produce a very simple, 2-minute narrated video summarizing this report, and featuring clips of your coating process in action. Post on YouTube, using relevant keywords, and also at an easily-found location on your company’s Web site
If you’re still not sure social media is worth the investment, try this one for size: According to a May survey by virtual events provider Unisfair, social media is now the number one emerging channel for online lead generation among technology marketers. And while that could seem somewhat skewed based on their occupation, the point is this – social media delivers qualified leads. While the conversations, brand awareness and friends make you feel good, that’s not the power of social media. The power of social media is that it connects you to qualified leads and puts more money into your bank account.
According to the Unisfair survey, 66 percent of respondents said lead generation their greatest concern for 2010. The findings seem to match R2integrated’s April survey that found 61 percent of respondents were after lead generation, as well as HubSpot’s report that Twitter usage could double monthly leads for Small and Medium sized Businesses.
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