Successful lead generation is not black and white. You cannot create a perfect landing page that never needs edits. You cannot run ads on one social media platform and expect the leads to pour in. You cannot flood random people’s inboxes and expect them to become customers.
Lead generation is a long process that requires a lot of flexibility, strategy, and teamwork. While it is the foundation of company growth, it is one of the hardest concepts to plan and execute, especially for marketers. One key tactic that we constantly see marketers forgetting to leverage is retargeting.
Retargeting is not a new phenomenon but it has evolved into one of the best strategies for quality lead generation and nurturing. Let’s walk through retargeting for three core phases of the buyer’s journey: generating leads, converting leads, and creating customer loyalty.
Retargeting Website Visitors
Goal: Bring website visitors back to the site and convert them into leads
Retargeting previous website visitors requires some foresight. You will need to set up tracking pixels and audiences before you need to use them. Building a retargeting audience usually takes at least 30 days but that can be shorter or longer depending on your website traffic volume.
All major social media platforms–including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn–have retargeting pixels and audience options. Google also offers data collection and audience segmentation for search, display, and video advertising.
Once you have your data collected and audiences created, you can start building your retargeting campaign. Keep in mind that these people have already visited your site so they are familiar with your brand and do not need a “Company 101” message.
You want to give them enough value and incentive to actually convert by form submission or a phone call. Rehashing the same awareness message will not be enough. Tailor your landing page and ad content to this specific audience and their phase in the buyer journey.
A technology company launched a new service with a robust marketing rollout: landing page, media plan, and upcoming webinars. While the landing page attracted several visitors, few people filled out the form to learn more about the new service and chat with a salesperson.
The company accurately executed phase one of the lead generation process – awareness and attracting site visitors. Then it needed to nurture those visitors and turn them into leads. To do this, it used LinkedIn and Google audiences that were setup to retarget people who viewed the landing page but did not convert.
Rather than using the same landing page, which the audience already viewed, the company created a similar landing page but focused the page on specific solutions offered by its new service. The company also used the form to sign people up to view an upcoming webinar rather than jumping to chat with a salesperson.
Once the landing page was ready, social and display ads were launched using variations to promote both the webinar and the service solutions so the marketing team could see which message resonated better. As the ads and landing page generated form submissions, further lead nurturing could be created to turn those warm leads into hot leads for the sales team.
Goal: Nurture leads so they become customers
You have a list of people who have voluntarily given you their information. Congrats! That’s no easy feat. But there is still plenty of work to turn those warm leads into paying customers. Unless you have a huge sales team that is willing to contact warm leads, you will need to nurture those leads with marketing.
At this point, your warm lead list should be familiar with your company and whatever service or product you are trying to sell them. So, what’s left? The value proposition. You need to communicate not only how your service works but also how it is better than all the other choices. This moves the needle from “my service can help you solve your problem” to “my service can help you solve your problem better than anyone else.”
Whatever your value proposition is, you will need to create content around that unique value, such as a landing page (yes, another one), pricing sheet, or video testimonial. Then you can bring your leads to that content using retargeting through social media ads, search ads, email, or even traditional means such as direct mail.
Your retargeting options will depend on your audience, of course, but also on the lead information you have to work with: name, email address, phone number, and physical address.
Alright, back to the technology company. They generated some great warm leads from their webinar campaign. Then the marketing team was ready to move those leads down the journey to become customers. The company cannot compete on price, but it had one of the highest quality services in the industry.
With some help from the sales department, the marketing team was able to create a testimonial video focusing on the superiority of its service compared to the competition. The video was used on a new landing page to speak directly to the warm leads with detailed info about why and how to get started using the company’s service.
The campaign primarily used email to lead people to the landing page, but it also used social ads to reach those who did not open the email. From this point, the team has hot leads who have filled out the contact form and want to talk to a salesperson.
Goal: Create customer loyalty and turn them into promoters
The lead generation process doesn’t stop when someone makes a purchase. Your customers are your greatest assets. You have the opportunity to sell them more services or, at the very least, make sure they are happy with their purchase. Happy customers can also become your best promoters by word of mouth, writing online reviews, or sharing their purchase on social media.
First, you need to identify why you want to retarget customers. Do you want them to leave an online review? Do you want to upsell an add-on product? Do you want them to follow you on social media?
Once you identify a clear goal, you can decide which retargeting tactic would work best. To leave an online review, email or a third-party app like Podium might work best. For upselling or social following, you can export your contact list and create an advertising audience specific to customers.
If you provided a positive purchase experience, this phase of the lead generation process can be the most fun. You officially have a relationship going, so you can focus on adding more value to their experience.
The technology company’s sales team turned several hot leads into customers. Instead of breaking out the champagne, they developed a sales and marketing strategy to follow up with their new customers. Since the service is fairly new and complex, they wanted to make sure customers understood how to use the system and get the most out of it.
Since the initial webinar campaign went so well, they decided to create a webinar series for existing customers. Through a multichannel network including organic and paid social media and email marketing, they developed and promoted the webinar series.
The webinars taught customers how to effectively use the newly purchased technology. And on the flip side, the technology company has continued contact with customers to get their feedback and earn their loyalty.
It all seems so simple, right? If you execute X, Y, and Z, then you will generate leads and gain customers. Not exactly. Lead generation is a big blob of gray matter. You can have a perfectly planned strategy and still come up short on leads.
Retargeting can certainly help fill in some of the gaps in the lead generation cycle, but you will still need to adapt your plan as you go. Remember: lead generation is a long process, not a single campaign.
Sara is our digital guru with expertise in search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media advertising. She also has considerable experience in email marketing and automation. We ask her a lot of questions.
Sara has agency experience with a wide-range of client industries from international B2B technology to local automotive dealerships. She holds a B.A. Business Administration from Augustana University. Her certifications include: Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and HubSpot (Inbound).