How to Strike Lead Gen Gold with Social Media

Nicole Hyslop
Published on March 23, 2016
By Nicole Hyslop

I recently attended a webcast hosted by LinkedIn about rethinking the buyer’s journey, and some interesting facts came out of it. For instance: there are generally six stages of a tech buyer’s journey, which lasts for 12 months (including retention), and anywhere from two to four pieces of content are consumed at each stage in that journey. That’s 12-24 pieces of content to gain, and retain, a customer or buyer.

What’s more, is that
70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before even reaching out to a sales team. So, as marketers, we’re not doing our jobs if we’re not doing all we can to reach people throughout the entire journey – and that includes leveraging the power of social media.

So, what exactly is needed to run a successful lead generation campaign through (primarily paid) social media tactics?

Let’s think of the components of a rainbow. Those colors – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet – come together in picture perfect harmony. Using their letters, we can put together a near-picture perfect lead gen strategy for social, too. Think of it this way: hit each color in the rainbow, and at the end, you’re bound to find the 
pot of gold (which, in this case, is your prospective buyer).

Internet sensation meme Nyan cat. via 

  • Retarget active audiences. Sure, there is a whole ocean of folks out there who may be interested in your business or product, but you can’t forget about the ones who have already read a blog, retweeted a tweet, or visited your website.
  • Optimize to get the prize! Lead gen through social media is anything but a ‘set it and forget it’ process. Whether it’s an ad driving to a gated white paper or a tweet with a snackable image of an infographic, measure what’s working and what’s not, and adjust your collateral accordingly.
  • Your campaign relies on tracking. I know, that one is kind of a stretch, but ‘Y’ is a tough letter! Regardless, if you do not have proper tracking in place on the back end and lead scoring setup in your marketing automation stack, you will not be able to measure the ROI and success of your campaign. Nip it in the bud and set it up early, and check metrics often!
  • Gates are your frenemy. Your gates should have no more than five areas for the visitor to fill out. If possible, keep it simple and cut back to three – name, company, email. If a user has to jump through too many hoops to consume your content, they’ll bounce elsewhere. Taking it a step further, gates should be reserved for assets further down in the funnel. If you gate, say, a webcast recording or infographic, visitors in the education and consideration stages may drop off.
  • Branch out. As mentioned earlier, there is a sea of people just waiting to hear from you. Most buyers don’t know what they want until they hear from your company. So, branch out. Look at new ways to reach potential customers, and possibly re-engage with current ones.
  • Introduce your brand. If you’re pushing gated assets and product case studies without any general brand awareness introduction, your campaign will come across as insincere. If you look at it as a budget breakdown for paid media, 25% of your campaign budget should be dedicated to brand awareness. That means Website Cards, Sponsored Updates pointing to a microsite or blog posts – and of course, a strong always on organic social presence!
  • Variety is key. Blogs, videos, infographics, SlideShare presentations, case studies, white papers, reports – your content marketing strategy should be diverse. That includes your social copy and creative assets – mix it up!

Implementing each of the components above into your social media lead generation campaigns is sure to help you win and retain top customers. And, even better, there is actual gold at the end of the sales cycle! 

Let us know what you would add to this list below! 


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