As a business owner, what kind of leads do you think you actually need? Potential clients’ phone numbers, existing customers’ referrals, potential customers’ email, or perhaps what you’re really after are the social media names and details of your audience. Well, in this digital age of ours, it doesn’t really matter what you need. The real question is, how do you intend to get it? Do you go for local marketing, ask existing clients for referrals, digital advertisements, or settle for social media marketing? Whatever it is you choose, be sure to know what results you’re expecting to get!
That said, let’s now look into the discussion of the day… One of the best ways to get the leads you desire for your business – ads marketing. But before we dive head-on into the subject, what really is lead generation and ads marketing, and how exactly are they related?
Let’s find out below, shall we?
What’s ad marketing, lead generation, and how are they related?
Also known as online advertisements, ad marketing, according to Wikipedia, can simply be defined as the promotion of a product, brand, or service to viewership on the internet space in order to attract interest, engagement, and sales. Online ads can be found on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, individual online sites, and more. They generally involve both a marketer and a publisher.
The most popular types of online ads include display, web banner, social media, mobile, email, text, and search engine marketing or pay-per-click. Since about 65% of people click on Google ads when they’re looking to buy an item online, product-based businesses should be running online ads. Likewise, over three-quarters of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases. Brick-and-mortar and service businesses should, therefore, also be performing online advertising.
Lead generation, on the other hand, can be defined as the initiation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition, or sales leads. Now that we’ve established the meanings of the two concepts let’s take a look at how they’re related.
Online ads and lead generation
According to a recent study published by Google, it was revealed that search ads boosted many brands’ awareness by as much as 80 percent, making consumers more likely to remember brands and interact. It is a no-brainier to say that online advertising can help you target people who are more likely to be interested in what you’re selling. Creating a buyer persona has always been important in business, but in the age of the Internet, you can find where these people hang out and display your online advertisements directly in front of them (and them alone), thereby impressing them and converting them into leads. Take Facebook; for instance, there are about 1.79 billion active Facebook users who use the platform month. You can advertise to people of a specific age, career, and interests, to name just a couple targeting variables. Now when these people see your brand ads, and they find it helpful (that is, solves their pain point), they’ll be more vested in following through with any call to action (personal details, email list, newsletter, Google form, or what have you) you may have attached.
With facts like these, it is clearly evident that ads help boost brand awareness, while also propelling engagement and invariably lead generation. When you’re able to get your target audience to see the solution you offer at the exact time they need it, they’ll surely want to interact with your brand.
Now that we’ve established how online ads can help a brand generate leads, I’m pretty sure the next big question on your mind is “how can I go about using ads to generate leads.” But guess what, we are not going to be talking about that in this post because that is one of the simplest things anyone can teach you. However, we’ll be discussing a much more complex subject, which will help you get the best from your online ads strategies. And that is “what is the best time to use ads for leads generation.”
What is the best time to use ads for leads generation?
At the start of any online marketing effort, most business owners are always concerned about getting the final results that they tend to skip steps/strategies. But what they fail to understand is that every strategy involved in an online marketing approach is very vital to the end success you aim to achieve. Ad marketing is one such strategy that relies greatly on the success of some previous steps that precede it.
While ad marketing is no doubt a great digital marketing strategy, it is not the type of strategy you just hop into thinking it would fetch you the results you desire. Far from it! Before you dive into ads marketing, whether via paid or unpaid, there are some steps that need fulfilling first.
So, in response to the question “when is the best time to use ads marketing to generate leads,” I’d say the perfect answer is after you’ve fulfilled some prerequisite steps first, including audience sampling, audience study, and audience understanding, and not a moment before. Applying ads marketing anytime before this will not only result in poor lead generation, but it will also lead to a waste of monetary investment, especially if you’ve gone for paid ads. My point being? The best time to use online ads for lead generation is after you’ve already done your audience research perfectly. And to do a perfect audience research, you will need to follow through with some basic content marketing steps, which I’ve tagged, for this purpose of this post, the prerequisite content marketing steps.
“It is true that ad marketing in itself is not enough to fetch a decent lead returns, but when coupled with a bunch of other content marketing steps, then it can be a great marketing tool.”
To further put this into perspective, let’s consider this set of instances:
Imagine posting an ad about a real estate business in the UK on any random platform without first executing the prerequisite steps that precede ad marketing. Now, the chances of you getting your desired results from this sort of move is actually almost zero, because you’ve failed to time your ad marketing effort correctly. What if the platform is mostly visited by realtors in the US, what if the major readership on the platform falls outside your demo-graphical (age, gender) range?
Yes, you’ve adopted the right ad marketing strategy by taking your ad to the right platform, but you won’t get the right kind of leads you desire because you’ve failed to time your ad placement steps correctly.
Imagine incorporating an add about retirement funds, waistline products, or lingerie with a mobile game that has an adventurous or sporting plot, what do you think the lead gen results for this type of ad would look like?
Take it or leave it, ads marketing like these are doomed to fail almost every time because the ad owner has failed to fulfil the prerequisite content marketing steps. He won’t get the leads he desires because of the flaws in his planning. The major audiences of these types of games are most likely millennial and not just millennial, but guys. Unfortunately, teenage boys and male millennial alike don’t really do lingerie or trim down waistline; neither do they think so much about retirement plans just yet.
What then, are these prerequisite steps that need to be addressed before applying ad marketing for lead generation? That is, what are the things you need to do before hitting the ad marketing button?
Feel free to jump to the next frame to discover them.
Identify your ideal target audience
Before you even think about using ad marketing to generate leads, you first need to understand who your audiences are. And by that, I mean their geographical details, demo-graphical info, and psychological data too. What are their interests, opinions, beliefs, age bracket, gender, location, country, and stuffs like that? These sorts of research will help you avoid placing ads, when you’re finally ready to, on the wrong platforms. This prerequisite step is so vital to your ad marketing goal because it helps you identify who your ideal customer is, and what he/she is like.
Their pain points
The next important prerequisite step is the identification of what their problems are. Yes, your business clearly has some solutions it offers, but are these solutions the full-fledged answers to your audience’s pain points? Only after understanding their pains can you truly convince them that your offerings are the answers they seek. Remember, it is only when you meet someone at the very point of their needs that they will be truly interested in what you have to say.
Educational based marketing
Now that you have a good understanding of who you’re dealing with, the next thing is to understand how they love to consume content. Do you have a base that loves textual contents, visual contents, or audio-based content? Or perhaps what your audience loves is a combo of the three. The goal here is to know how you’ll best captivate and grab their attention when you finally start placing ads. If your content is able to match their consumption tastes, then it becomes easy to convince them to drop the lead gen info you actually need (name, email, social profiles, shares, likes, etc.).
Go where they are
Now, you will need to know where a majority of your audience loves to spend their time. Conduct your research and go through all the steps we’ve mentioned above to discover where your target audiences really are visiting the most. Sometimes, it might not be social media like most people love to assume. Your audience might have a particular blog they love to visit regularly. If this is the case, you might need to hire the service of a guest post outreach service to help you creatively reach out to them. And if yours are on a social media channel, go there to proffer solutions to their pain points.
Ready to place your ads
Yes, you can now go full-blown and skyrocket your online marketing effort by going for paid ads. But remember, you’re not to go for this step if you haven’t completed all of the four previous prerequisite steps. By now, we know our target audience; we know where they are, what their beliefs are, what kind of content they love to vibe with, and what kind of channel to find them. Consequently, we can now invest successfully in our paid ads marketing, knowing fully well where to place our ads, what time to apply the ads, and in what form to place them. If your audiences are on Facebook, then obviously you need to create Facebook ads and not waste money on Instagram ads. If they are Millenials, then you know you should invest in app store ads.
Never invest in paid ads before completing all of these prerequisite content marketing steps.