A recent poll by the CMO Council shows that for consumers, omnichannel is the critical channel of choice. When asked to describe their communication preferences, consumers overwhelmingly agree that they want brands to engage with them across a mix of both digital and physical channels.
Getting the right mix of channels can be a challenge for marketers, given the wealth of choice available. With this in mind, we’re going to look at how you can execute social media campaigns to coincide with and support your lead generation strategy, whether you’re using online, offline or a mix of channels.
Social media as a long-term strategy
One of the biggest mistakes organisations tend to make with their social media presence is not aligning their strategy or goals with the business’ long-term objectives. In terms of being able to communicate your brand values and build trust and relationships with prospective clients, a consistent message, tone, style and use of creative assets across all social profiles is vital for brand awareness.
If your social media strategy and messaging is working in harmony with your other channels, it can help nurture prospects and support your lead generation efforts. If prospective clients have been browsing your website, have an interest in your services, and then come across your brand on social media, they will have that familiarity and reassurance that it is consistent and trustworthy.
Once you’re confident that your ongoing organic social presence is well established, you can think more about those shorter, “quick-win” campaigns that are more sales-led.
Tip: When building your social channels, create a monthly plan for social posts to keep your presence ticking along and to ensure you are posting regularly. Keep posts varied, conversational and interesting, with a mix of your own content, questions or polls, and findings from other sources. You can use simple scheduling and social listening tools such as Hootsuite to plan these in advance, allowing you more time to dedicate to engaging with users and building relationships, following up queries and planning creative campaigns.
Nurture your leads with social media
As noted above in terms of a supporting channel, social media can be used to develop rapport and build relationships with prospective or existing clients, either before or after engaging with them through other channels.
For example, if you are planning a phone-based B2B lead generation campaign, your telemarketing agents may research individuals through their LinkedIn profiles and send an introductory message to warm the prospect prior to a call. Similarly, if you have engaged with prospects over the phone, you can then connect with them and continue a dialogue through social media, checking in with them to nurture the relationship and see how they are progressing.
However, if you’re looking to nurture or re-engage multiple types of customer for different opportunities, you might look into creating custom audiences via paid social advertising. This uses data or information you already hold about customers or potential leads to show custom messaging across different platforms – e.g. you might be looking to upsell product add-ons to existing customers or show an exclusive new customer discount to those who have not yet bought from you.
Tip: Now you’ve got a good organic social presence in place, you can think about custom messaging and ads for different audiences. Trial sending users to content or resources from your brand’s website to cultivate their interest, or perhaps introduce a special offer for those that need a gentle push over the line to conversion.
Finally: test, test and test again
As discussed in our article ‘testing and measuring your campaigns’, the testing process is essential to build an understanding of your customers’ preferences and how they engage, and to continuously improve your lead generation and nurturing strategy. When it comes to testing and understanding how your social audiences engage, there are multiple variants to look at:
- Time and day of posting
- Messaging (tone, length, language)
- Creative (images, videos, GIFs)
- Content (links to articles, third party websites)
Another benefit of testing is that you may be able to gather additional insight around your target audiences that can help inform marketing efforts across other channels, such as email campaigns, display advertising or telemarketing.
Tip: When creating paid social ads, remember that one message does not fit all. People respond to different types of messaging, creative and format and this can depend on a range of factors from their demographics, to their interests, career or industry. Set up tests for different segments and groups to find what resonates the most and see how this affects your click-through and conversion rates.
Blend on and offline
Whilst the CMO poll showed that Gen Z (respondents born after 1997) were driving the demand for a social connection, overall consumers rated phone as the channel they couldn’t live without, highlighting the importance of a blend of approaches. Phone contact - an immediate, trusted, two-way channel of communication - will always have value. Integrated within your lead generation strategy, it offers a direct and highly personal approach that can drive response, robust lead qualification that can increase marketing ROI, and brings the human face of your brand to the fore.
If you would like to discuss how we could help incorporate phone contact into your lead generation strategy, get in touch today.