As lead generation marketers, we’re all keenly aware of how successful search engine marketing efforts, be they through organic SEO or paid search advertising, are for driving leads. But search engine marketing also has its share of challenges as well.
While search engines allow marketers to capitalize on searchers seeking out a product or information, they are mostly unable to tell us exactly who those searchers are from a demographic or persona perspective. At times we may be able to discern the searcher’s intent and identity through the keyword itself, but at other times, keywords may be too vague to truly provide much identification. For example, who searches for the term “social media management software”? Is it a mom who manages her child’s soccer team’s Facebook page, or is it the CMO for a Fortune 500 company? For a developer of a B2B, enterprise-level social media management platform, the answer clearly matters.
Social media, in contrast to search engines, provides marketers with a wealth of demographic targeting data. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn identify an individual’s likes, age, gender, profession, employer and much more. But social media advertising isn’t always effective alone either, as these individuals may not be currently seeking out your product or service.
But what if we could combine the power of social with the power of search?
The first step in the process is to identify buyer personas. Who are our customers? What do they like? What are their titles? Do they live in a particular geographic area? We also must identify all of the personas involved in a buying process. Is this a lengthy sales cycle? Which personas are involved at which stages? What are their main pain points?
Once we’ve mapped out personas and know what type of information they are looking for at different points in the buying cycle, we can then begin identifying them through social media advertising and providing them with assets to capture their lead information. The high degree of demographic targeting in platforms like LinkedIn allows advertisers to pinpoint the very specific individuals they want to advertise to.
Whether the ad respondent converts on the initial visit or not, we’re able to then cookie that respondent and capture data at a later time, when the respondent finally converts on an offer. Using remarketing features in Google AdWords or another remarketing/retargeting platform, we can continue to target that persona with offers that resonate for his/her point in the buying cycle. Additionally, as these personas find our landing pages via search advertising, we can customize our message based on the demographic information we have stored. Using LinkedIn advertising to target personas led to a 97% decrease in cost per lead for our client, ScienceLogic, while generating 217% more leads in the same timeframe as a previous campaign driven by search engine advertising alone.
On the search side, we know there’s a demand, but how do we know if the person is the right target? Incorporating social login as an alternative to filling out lead generation forms can not only make conversion an easier process but it also provides a wealth of demographic data behind the scenes.
Using social login for our own forms, Search Mojo has found that approximately 10% of form respondents chose the social login button, providing more demographic information than the form alone.
The benefits of combining search and social, though, don’t end upon conversion. Using marketing automation tools, lead generation marketers are then able to nurture and target campaigns to specific personas with specific offers based on the information obtained through these methods, leading to an overall higher return on investment. In the case of ScienceLogic, these types of approaches have led to a 281% increase in revenue and a 1200% increase in pipeline, all in just a few short months.
In the end, the highest quality leads come from combining buyer personas with search and social to draw in the right prospects with the right messages at the right time.
Dive more deeply into search and social during Janet Driscoll Miller’s presentation at DemandCon San Francisco, April 15-16. The president and CEO of search engine marketing firm Search Mojo will discuss “Combining Search and Social to Drive More High Quality Leads,” giving you the info you need to develop buyer personas and their demographics, targeting prospects through LinkedIn advertising, using retargeting to market to and nurture prospects and drive high conversion rates through specific messaging to personas.
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