Leads became an endangered species in 2020. Business owners and salespeople looked everywhere and came up empty-handed and were scared. Their desperation grew as opportunities shrank. So they turned to activities that promised near-instantaneous results, like Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Excitement and relief washed over them as leads started to trickle in again from Google Ads. In the rush of this quick hit of results, some decided it was time to ditch other time-tested lead generation strategies like SEO, email, and cold calling.
PPC is one way you can generate leads, but it can’t be the only method you use. Sure, you may see fast results. You can climb high with a single-minded focus on PPC from Google Ads, Bing, and social media. But you’ll experience a hard fall.
Understand the Role PPC Can Play
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads vault you to the top of a person’s search results. It’s a popular, quick way to increase your visibility and bring in more leads. Your ads are targeted around certain keywords or queries. Every time your ad is clicked, you pay a fee. Usually, people associate the ads with search engines, like Google or Bing, but they can appear on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon too.
PPC campaigns can have a good success rate. You start using them and might score a quick win. Such elation! If you see results, you decide to gamble and put all your resources into Google Ads and other PPC strategies. To fund it, you reduce the time and money spent on other marketing methods. PPC takes over your entire lead generation strategy, but the leads taper off. You wonder what happened. Where did all the leads go? You sink from the highs of success to the pits of despair and can’t figure out why what was working is no longer working.
The truth is PPC ads can't exist in a silo
Google Ads, social ads, and all PPC have to be supported by other activities in your B2B lead generating system. Content is a perfect example of this, because if you stop producing and sharing valuable content, your ads will suffer.
Why Content Is Integral to PPC Success
Visitors reach your website in a variety of ways, like Google searches, PPC, email marketing, or social media posts. Your visitors start forming expectations based on what they searched for or read in your messaging. If you promised a solution, they’re clicking through to find out what that is. Prospects are looking to you as the thought leader to provide direction for the problems they’re grappling with and the questions they can’t answer.
The content that you create and share must address real issues that your prospects are feeling right now. This is true for articles, podcasts, or webinars. Whatever you’re creating should bring value to your leads and customers. It should provide answers, direction, and relief. Use the material to prove you’re a trusted authority. Even if it means giving away valuable information.
Clicks are nice. Contact information is even better
Strategically use a mix of content posted freely on your website and content that people need to give up information (like names and email addresses) to see. This will help build your pipeline, especially if prospects found you through SEO or PPC. If they’ve found you through a Google Ad, you don’t have their email addresses or any way to contact them. You can see they came, but you can’t contact them proactively, like a great salesperson wants to. If you compel prospects to first click through to your site from a search engine and then offer up their email, you give your salesperson the information they need to reach out while organically growing your email list. If a prospect isn’t ready to engage, you can start nurturing them until they are ready.
None of this is possible if your content stinks
Bad content? Sorry, you’re out of luck. If you only scratch the surface or don’t address your prospects’ needs, they’ll feel as if you’ve wasted their time. They’ll take a negative view of your company and ignore any future ads they see for your services. Not only will they ignore you, they’ll avoid you.
Great Content That Solves Problems Helps SEO Too
Yes, you can achieve results faster using Google Ads and PPC. But that’s not a permission slip to forget about consistently enhancing your SEO at the same time. About 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic searches. Would you want to cut the number of visitors to your site in half? Didn’t think so. Investing in SEO must remain high on your priority list.
Improving SEO starts with understanding that search engines are a business
Google wants to provide users the best experience, which means quickly answering their queries. If you want a top spot in results, your content must be useful, actionable, and centered on real problems your prospects experience. There are a lot of things that you should consider when trying to improve your SEO strategy and results. First, understand how the search engine works and what it deems important when calculating your score and rank.
Generally speaking, search engines evaluate your:
- Landing page experience
- CTR (click-through-rate)
- How relevant the content on your website is to the user
You’re already focusing on content that resolves user problems, so having relevant content shouldn’t be an issue. But you’ll want to make sure the content includes the right keywords.
To appear higher in the results on Google (or any search engine), strategically select keywords related to your services and solutions. Use the keywords across the site and in your meta descriptions.
How to get more people to your website from the search results page
- Meta descriptions appear in Google search results and help users decide which sites to visit
- Make this content descriptive, not boring, to improve your click-through-rate
- Exceed expectations on your landing page with stellar content
- Solve problems
- Engage readers
- Showcase your personality.
- Be a thought leader.
Don’t forget the technical side
Under-the-hood technical elements factor into SEO too, like the loading speed of your website. Or how you use internal and external links.
For better SEO you can also:
- Improve the loading speed of your website
- Sprinkle in links to your site and external web pages
- Optimize the users’ experience on your website
- Insert keywords into your URLs
- Align your content with the search intent
Yep, You’ll Still Make Time for Cold Calling
You might think that cold calling is a dead marketing strategy. It may be dead to you, if you don’t know how to adapt it to your current market’s needs. That doesn’t mean the rest of the world gave up cold calling though. The truth is, cold calling is a necessary part of your B2B lead generation system.
For a moment, let’s just imagine what happens when you stop calling
Chances are that most prospects won’t take the initiative to call you. They’re busy people. They know they have a problem, but they don’t have the time to pick up the phone – or even email you. Yes, they’re thinking they should do it, but they never get around to it. Their problems linger on, and your phone doesn’t ring.
2 categories of prospects will reach out to you:
- Desperate prospects
- Prospects that have done too much research
Neither of these will be good for your business
The desperate are looking for a quick fix to an immediate problem. They aren’t interested in a long-term business partnership. They just want their problem to go away – right now, preferably at a low cost. The researchers (assistants, typically) are reaching out to you and your competitors. If one of your peers undercuts your price, you’re forced to also lower what you charge or give up the prospect. It’s a frustrating position for you. You want a prospect, but you don’t want to lower the value of your solution.
The secret to cold calling success
It takes longer to lead a stone-cold prospect through your sales funnel. Instead, focus on “warm” prospects – people who engage with your content, but aren’t so desperate for solutions that they’re calling you and all your competitors. These warm prospects appreciate what you send and share. They view you as an expert, and they want to work with you when they finally have a need. As you continue to engage with them, you continue to warm them and their desire to be part of your client base.
This is where your sales team comes into the picture
Proactively reaching out to these warm leads will make it easier for you to come in and establish a relationship of trust and help them by providing solutions that matter.
By the end of a cold call, you’ll:
- Weed out the prospects that aren’t interested in your business
- Generate interest and get an appointment with a potential client
Mix Lead Generating Activities to Succeed During These Dynamic Times
Businesses that are bringing in new leads right now are reaching out to leads on multiple channels, simultaneously. They’re using Google Ads and PPC, as well as SEO, content, email, and more. Chances are, they aren’t doing all that on their own.
Knowing how to effectively combine different lead generating strategies is complex
It’s hard to predict how the market is going to change or what method of communication your prospects will respond to. You need to keep an eye on market changes, investigate new strategies, and continually update your messaging to keep it fresh and relevant. Resources in our library and past Coffee with Kendra webinars can show you how to do this.
If you want tailored lead generation, let’s talk.
Yes, it’s a lot to do, and it can feel overwhelming. Even with a marketing coordinator on staff, it’s a lot for one person to know or manage. But quick wins with Google Ads and PPC can’t be your only strategy. It’s too big a gamble. After you tell me about your business, target market, and situation, I can help you determine which steps you should take next to bring in more leads, start conversations, and grow your business. It’s time to thrive. Grab a time to meet with me right now.