Marketing agencies help others achieve their branding, awareness, and pipeline generation goals. But how can these marketing gurus apply a smart lead qualification strategy to their own businesses? When they have to demonstrate expertise in doing the very thing they are paid to do, agencies do not want to become living examples of the old adage, “Those who cannot do, teach.” Instead, marketing agencies can combine a mix of tried-and-true methods along with new, cutting edge strategies to automate lead generation, optimize their efforts, and create new clients.
As Hubspot has noted, 90 percent of marketing agencies say that their top lead referer is word of mouth. This is a business that is both highly visual (prospects can see portfolios on an agency’s website), and very relationship-driven. It makes sense that a certain amount of client validation, along with the ability to “peek in the window” would drive new business. But in order to grow, agencies have to run other types of marketing campaigns.
Consider the ways that reliance on personal referrals can hurt an agency that’s trying to grow:
- This approach lacks scalability. You just won’t have big numbers of leads to work with, which can hurt if you can’t close business.
- It can inadvertently pigeon-hole you. Your referrers are likely to recommend you to colleagues, most of whom work in the same field they do. Over time, you might find that your clientele is so narrow that you lose appeal to those outside of that circle.
- There is no predictability when you’re relying on recommendations.
- You risk losing your marketing muscle. If an agency can’t test different ways of lead generation, it misses opportunities to deliver insights back to clients.
Smart agencies are not waiting for leads to arrive. Since 2011, there has been a major increase by marketing organizations to invest in lead generation through blogging, paid media, content syndication, email marketing, and social media, but many have been scattered and disorganized in their approaches. While these inbound methods require disciplined effort to initiate, manage, and optimize, they are giving agencies a more deliberate way to pull in new business. They are also helping them learn and become experts in their own field.
To be effective and innovative, marketing agencies need a mix of proven methods, new approaches, and automation. Here’s a list of lead generation components that can help an agency develop a vibrant stream of effective leads:
Lead generation must be a business priority: Creating marketing campaigns for clients is taxing, stressful work. It’s easy to get bogged down with customer demands, and in the iterative process of making something “just right.” Creative people put themselves into a flow state and shut out distractions in order to generate exciting and interesting work.
But in order to grow, a lead generation system must be operating in parallel with the actual work you’re doing. That said, just having a system won’t be good enough; it has to be a disciplined methodology that is retooled through trial and error, but maintains a focus on generating and converting quality leads. This involves a solid plan, but it also demands investment in the right inbound, outbound, and lead automation tools.
Get the right mix of channels: Determine your marketing budget and then apply a varied mix of paid social media ads, paid search ads, content syndication, and other efforts. User acquisition will come from a variety of sources, but in order to spend wisely, you need to track which sources generate the best leads. A good rule of thumb is to start by distributing across social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Include paid content placement in sites that cater to your target audience. Learn, refine, and double down when you have identified channels that are most effective.
The right calls to action: Start by demonstrating that you’re a customer-first organization. Rather than just offering downloads of PDFs, consider calls to action that actually give you time with a prospect. Perhaps you offer a 30 minute consulting session or an interactive webinar. To do this requires a high-touch, automated model that enables you to collect a lead, schedule a meeting, and then perform immediate follow up.
Make copy creative, engaging, and short: Pretty much every lead gen activity an agency does will have a written component to it: paid ads, blogs, social media. Keep in mind that the goal is not to give a prospect an education; the goal is to get them to engage, whether by filling out a form, making a phone call, or checking out more content. People rarely read every word in front of them, so use skimmable copy that is broken up into small paragraphs, make use of bullet points, and put your creative muscle to work to make it pithy and interesting.
This will get people to engage with your ads and content, which will get them to act. It will also imprint into their brains that your agency is smart and creative.. Remember, that’s all you need to initiate the lead process.
To most effectively reap the benefits of your marketing strategy, you also need to layer in automation and apply focus. Verse.io provides a comprehensive solution that offloads much of the heavy lifting of lead generation so agencies can focus on the creative efforts that distinguish them from the competition.
Verse provides marketing agencies with more than just a tool for lead nurturing. It connects to other sales and marketing tools and applies AI to deliver important insights about lead sources and campaign efficacy.
The collection of data points available to Verse users can help those in the insurance field to quickly do the following:
- Identify what creates a good lead by understanding what is driving them to the website, and what calls-to-action are most effective at driving them closer to becoming a client.
- Understand trends by learning what timeframes perform most effectively for prospects.
- Identify and fix those areas of the process where lead nurturing efforts get stalled.
By being able to lean on an automated system, agencies can count on Verse to score leads and provide automated follow-up, bookings, and ongoing nurturing. After leads have been captured, Verse also enables agencies to connect with them through texting, phone calls, emails, and other types of communication channels. Prospects can choose how they want to be contacted, which means that their needs are immediately met, courtesy of the agency.
To be successful in the competitive world of marketing, innovative agencies can demonstrate their creative skills and customer-first approach by working with Verse to build a thriving pipeline of informed, engaged prospects.
SaaS sales cycle is short, meaning that it’s essential for marketing to do it’s part at an even faster clip. Leveraging social media is your ticket to achieving this, empowering companies to build trust and relationships with prospective clients even more quickly. Therefore, utilizing insights allow you to get the most out of your SaaS social media marketing.
SaaS is a fast moving market, requiring quick iterations and quicker buying decisions as prospective clients seek out increasingly convenient methods to solve their pain points. Neil Patel describes it best, outlining how “the process of buying SaaS is quick, transactional, and done.” Interestingly enough, the brevity of this buyer’s journey can actually lead prospects to become “skittish, especially if they’re used to the sluggishly slow pace of non-software purchases.” As a result, quickly fostering relationships and credibility becomes a central part to the sales process.
Here is where marketing comes in.
You can achieve all of the above with a solid social media presence. In a digital age where buyer’s decisions are increasingly influenced by online presence and reviews, this form of SaaS marketing can fast track how you connect with future customers.
Yet this level of engagement is not easy to achieve, nor is it earned overnight. As with most endeavors, you must be able to measure the success of your efforts if you hope to reach your goals. Just like building your own brand, building up your social media popularity/authority requires constant testing.
If your marketing team is not constantly testing and tweaking your social media tactics, you will hit a wall, resulting in the stagnation of your growth and engagement. What’s worse is that you won’t even know why, since you never monitored what was or wasn’t working. All the while the next agent is finding more business because they put in the necessary work to analyze and optimize their social media strategy.
But don’t fret, Chet, all is not lost! Actually, it’s pretty easy to start tracking your social media metrics. Fortunately, all of the major platforms offer analytics tools that you can take advantage of. Even checking out the most basic metrics will give you the chance to see the fruits of your labor. Optimizing your strategy thereafter will give you a leg up on the competition.
With 2.3 billion users spending a good deal of their time browsing social media platforms, getting more eyes on your social accounts should be a top priority. With insights in hand, you can optimize and tailor your content to achieve better engagement from your followers. In turn, you can look forward to more brand awareness and value, all while reeling in more prospects.
What Are Social Media Insights?
As an agent marketing on Facebook or Twitter, do you know which types of posts your followers desire? Insight tools( metrics), allow you to see exactly who your followers are and what they like.
Tracking your social media performance is a crucial component to any successful marketing endeavor. This is especially true in light of recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed, for example. You need the insight tools to determine exactly what is and isn’t working as well as the best time to post content.
In essence, social media metrics are statistics and data that give you valuable insights into your social media marketing performance. They allow you to track your success in several ways, such as:
- Page Likes – the number of unique userswho like your Page
- Post Reach – the number of userswho have seen content associated with your page in the past week.
- Engagement – the number of unique users who have commented, shared, liked, and clicked on your posts.
There’s also Impressionsm which is the number of times a post from your social media page is displayed, whether or not it is clicked. People might see several impressions of the same post. For instance, that one cat video that’s been shared by 10 different people on your timeline, even though you never liked it once? That would be an example of impressions.
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Marketing?
Now that you know what insights and impressions are, you need to use those metrics to grow.
The Pew Research Center reports that 72 percent of online adults in the US visit Facebook at least once per month. Millennials, however, are the most active social media users.
The key to boosting engagement is to make the most of your insights. To do that, you need to know how to access these tools on the main platforms.
You can access your Analytics for Twitter by clicking on your profile image in the top right-hand corner.
On the Home tab, you’ll see performance numbers for the past 28 days along with your top tweets. Dig deeper by heading over to the Tweets tab to view the most recent tweets, number of impressions, engagement rates and overall engagements.
With this information, you could set up goals for boosting your engagement rates.What times are best to post? What kind of posts got the most clicks? Have you experienced continual growth with your impressions? How does your engagement rate compare to that? Select the best-performing tweets and aim to match their success. Take all of these things into consideration and tweak your strategy and posting schedule accordingly.
For more details on Twitter insights, you can click here.
Accessing insights for Facebook is even easier while providing an arguably more robust overview of insights! Log into your business page and head over to the Insights tab. You’ll be presented with an important dashboard of metrics including Reach, Likes, Views, and much more! By clicking on each stat, you can dig even deeper and set different sortable parameters.
For example, you can see the number of views you generated over the last month, segmented by gender and age, or even page source.
Equipped with this depth of information, you can augment your social media strategy by boosting your weakpoints while enhancing your strong suits.
For more information on what each metric means and how to take advantage of it – click here.
First of all, if you’re not generating leads using Linkedin [Link to future post about Linkedin lead generation], you need to get started yesterday. Then, upon doing so, you can track your efforts. To pull up Linkedin analytics, make sure you have a company profile with admin access. From here, you can view the Linkedin Analytics dashboard by clicking on the appropriate tab (shown above). Upon unlocking this treasure trove of analytics, you’ll obtain the ability to track data such as Updates, Visitors, and Followers. All of this help you to determine which posts performed the best, how many impressions each has had, and the engagement with posts. Interestingly, Linkedin also allows you to break this data down into desktop vs. mobile usage, so you can see which post performs best for each.
To learn more, click here.
Lastly but certainly not least is Instagram, which also has it’s own built-in analytics. If you followed our advice, you’re already using Instagram to advertise yourself and your business. [Link to Marco’s future blog] So it’s definitely a great idea to monitor the results of this pursuit. While there is an endless amount of third-party analytics, Instagram comes with its own baked-in Insights that you can take advantage of for free. You can use this as long as you have a business account. If you currently have a personal account, don’t worry as you can still convert it into a business account. This can be done by accessing your Settings in the top-right hand corner.
Following this, you can access Insights by clicking on the bar graph icon displayed near the top of your profile.
Or you can access insights from individual posts:
However you access the dashboard, the native insights contained within Instagram provides a wealth of information that you can utilize to optimize your strategy and boost your engagement. You can track profile visits, Website clicks (Instagram allows you to link to one URL within your profile), or even Calls! Furthermore, you can measure engagement based on the usual criteria, but break down engagement by the hour.
You can even track the success of your Instagram Stories [Link to Stories article by Flanders], thereby leaving you even fewer excuses not to take advantage of this platform for all of your business building needs.
Cultivate Your Presence and Boost Engagement
With the help of these insights, you can successfully cultivate your social media presence and the content you create. All that’s left to do is watch your business take off.