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4 Ways To Generate Leads For Digital Marketing Agencies In 2020

Post by
Yash Shah

Building a pipeline of quality leads is always challenging while generating leads for digital marketing agencies. Allocating lead generation budgets is always a daunting task as there are trade-offs between plenty of methods of lead generation that one can select from.

In this blog, we have curated a list of the 4 most effective methods of generating leads for digital marketing agencies.
  1. Get referrals from your most happy clients
  2. Gated content + Social media distribution
  3. Guest posting on relevant media publications and establishing thought leadership
  4. Cold Email Outreach

Let us visit these methods one by one!

1. Get referrals from your most happy clients

sebastian-herrmann-NbtIDoFKGO8-unsplash_11429c1361.jpg

The most honest form of marketing and lead generation is word-of-mouth referrals. Selling service makes controlling crucial elements of the client experience challenging. The intangibles weigh in more.

To keep clients happy you need to provide them a smooth and personalized experience right from the start of their journey from being a potential lead to the actual delivery of the project, until payments.

No matter how nascent your agency is building processes and a tool stack to ensure seamless service quality is important.

Once you have a happy client all you need to do is to ask for a referral proactively. Most agency owners shy away from doing it upfront but if you ask most of your happy clients would be glad to refer you through.

2. Gated content + Social media promotion

gated content

Valuable content is the best resource to break the ice with potential leads and form a relationship. You need to focus on a specific niche of a client and build use-cases that show how your team can help them achieve their goals.

Gated content is a long-form knowledge resource that can act as a visualization of the desired goal in exchange for information like email or contact number.

Select a niche and create a guide. For example, if you are targeting the travel sector you can create a guide that shows how Local SEO can boost brand visibility increasing business inquiries up to 15%.

Once you have these content pieces ready the next step is to distribute these Guides/knowledge articles to relevant decision-makers from targeted companies. The best way to do that is through Social media ads.

social media promotion

Linkedin can be a great platform to target key decision-makers from a specific category. These ads allow you to deliver your gated content to their feeds.

Once they share their email address they can access the content and engage with it. As you now have their contact you can start building a relationship with them.

We would recommend that you do not directly jump to pitching your services. Start your conversation with these leads by asking them questions about the content they received, any queries they have and the challenges they are facing currently.

You can then consult them on how your firm can deliver a solution that helps them overcome these pain points and grow faster.

3. Guest posting on relevant media publications and establishing thought leadership

guest blogging

With competition rising by the day establishing thought leadership to differentiate yourselves is one of the best ways to stand out.

Study the pain points of your target market and establish yourself as a thought leader. However, this is easier said than done.

Start with researching publications, communities, and platforms where your target audience spends time. These are the places where you can influence them.

Study and list down the topics that address their pain points. The next step is to reach out to these publications with your topics and get featured.

These topics need not be hard sells. In fact the more value you provide in your articles the higher are the chances that your target audience would have a better recall value of your brand when they need services similar to your offerings.

Consistency is the key here. You should have an editorial calendar planned where you have fixed publications to guest post on and a certain set number of Guest articles to publish.

Follow the 80/20 rule where 80 percent of the guest articles are pure value add and the rest 20 percent are soft pitches. Soft pitches can be blogs where you address a challenge the targeted industry niche is facing and then having a short section in your article on how you can or have helped similar companies facing the situation.

As you start getting coverage under these publications start to repurpose sections of your articles and share them on social media to create conversations around it. Digital agencies targeting business leads over LinkedIn is an effective way to do get traction and build a relevant audience.

4. Cold Email Outreach

cold email outreach

If you have conducted a link-building campaign I am sure you might be aware of how effective a direct email outreach can be.

To execute an outreach that generates results you need to ensure that the quality of your email list is good. To get valid email addresses of decision-makers within your targeted niche you can visit their company’s website or their LinkedIn company page to find key decision-makers.

Once you have names of key decision-makers to target, use email finding tools to get their email addresses and generate a list. Use cold email softwares like smartreach.io, mailshake etc to automate the process of sending emails and follow-ups to prospects.

Personalization is key to getting a reply. Avoid jumping to the pitch directly. We have found sharing a relevant case study relevant to their industry can be an effective way to build a rapport.

Break your email outreach into phases. Below is an example how:

________________

First email:

Hey Dave,

I was going through your company’s website and found your blog on {{Blog_title}} interesting.

We have been helping other similar businesses in your industry who have a blog to increase their website traffic.

I have prepared a case study on how we helped {{Company_XYZ}} increase their website traffic by 15% in 10 months.

I would be happy to share it with you if you are interested to find out how.

Just reply to this email and I will share the link.

Best regards,
John

________________

Once you get a reply to this email then send the second email in the thread with the content link and a soft pitch:

________________
Second Email

Hey Dave,

Here is the link to the case-study:

I would be happy to help you with any questions you have regarding it. Also, if you want a free consultation on how you can generate similar results for your firm I would be happy to be of assistance.

Here is my calendar link to get on a call:

Best regards,
John

________________

Wrapping Up

It is important to remember that ideally, it requires 4-5 follow-up emails to get attention. So persistence is thekey here to get the conversation going.

There are also other methods you can use to generate leads for your Agency like blogging, speaking at events, attending networking events and conducting webinars but serving more than 1000+ agencies through our solution we have found these four to have the best return on time and money invested.

Still, if you believe we missed an important one that worked well for your firm while generating leads for a digital marketing agency, then do share it in the comment and we will add it to this list with a thank you mention.

Building a pipeline of quality leads is always challenging while generating leads for digital marketing agencies. Allocating lead generation budgets is always a daunting task as there are trade-offs between plenty of methods of lead generation that one can select from.

In this blog, we have curated a list of the 4 most effective methods of generating leads for digital marketing agencies.
  1. Get referrals from your most happy clients
  2. Gated content + Social media distribution
  3. Guest posting on relevant media publications and establishing thought leadership
  4. Cold Email Outreach

Let us visit these methods one by one!

1. Get referrals from your most happy clients

sebastian-herrmann-NbtIDoFKGO8-unsplash_11429c1361.jpg

The most honest form of marketing and lead generation is word-of-mouth referrals. Selling service makes controlling crucial elements of the client experience challenging. The intangibles weigh in more.

To keep clients happy you need to provide them a smooth and personalized experience right from the start of their journey from being a potential lead to the actual delivery of the project, until payments.

No matter how nascent your agency is building processes and a tool stack to ensure seamless service quality is important.

Once you have a happy client all you need to do is to ask for a referral proactively. Most agency owners shy away from doing it upfront but if you ask most of your happy clients would be glad to refer you through.

2. Gated content + Social media promotion

gated content

Valuable content is the best resource to break the ice with potential leads and form a relationship. You need to focus on a specific niche of a client and build use-cases that show how your team can help them achieve their goals.

Gated content is a long-form knowledge resource that can act as a visualization of the desired goal in exchange for information like email or contact number.

Select a niche and create a guide. For example, if you are targeting the travel sector you can create a guide that shows how Local SEO can boost brand visibility increasing business inquiries up to 15%.

Once you have these content pieces ready the next step is to distribute these Guides/knowledge articles to relevant decision-makers from targeted companies. The best way to do that is through Social media ads.

social media promotion

Linkedin can be a great platform to target key decision-makers from a specific category. These ads allow you to deliver your gated content to their feeds.

Once they share their email address they can access the content and engage with it. As you now have their contact you can start building a relationship with them.

We would recommend that you do not directly jump to pitching your services. Start your conversation with these leads by asking them questions about the content they received, any queries they have and the challenges they are facing currently.

You can then consult them on how your firm can deliver a solution that helps them overcome these pain points and grow faster.

3. Guest posting on relevant media publications and establishing thought leadership

guest blogging

With competition rising by the day establishing thought leadership to differentiate yourselves is one of the best ways to stand out.

Study the pain points of your target market and establish yourself as a thought leader. However, this is easier said than done.

Start with researching publications, communities, and platforms where your target audience spends time. These are the places where you can influence them.

Study and list down the topics that address their pain points. The next step is to reach out to these publications with your topics and get featured.

These topics need not be hard sells. In fact the more value you provide in your articles the higher are the chances that your target audience would have a better recall value of your brand when they need services similar to your offerings.

Consistency is the key here. You should have an editorial calendar planned where you have fixed publications to guest post on and a certain set number of Guest articles to publish.

Follow the 80/20 rule where 80 percent of the guest articles are pure value add and the rest 20 percent are soft pitches. Soft pitches can be blogs where you address a challenge the targeted industry niche is facing and then having a short section in your article on how you can or have helped similar companies facing the situation.

As you start getting coverage under these publications start to repurpose sections of your articles and share them on social media to create conversations around it. Digital agencies targeting business leads over LinkedIn is an effective way to do get traction and build a relevant audience.

4. Cold Email Outreach

cold email outreach

If you have conducted a link-building campaign I am sure you might be aware of how effective a direct email outreach can be.

To execute an outreach that generates results you need to ensure that the quality of your email list is good. To get valid email addresses of decision-makers within your targeted niche you can visit their company’s website or their LinkedIn company page to find key decision-makers.

Once you have names of key decision-makers to target, use email finding tools to get their email addresses and generate a list. Use cold email softwares like smartreach.io, mailshake etc to automate the process of sending emails and follow-ups to prospects.

Personalization is key to getting a reply. Avoid jumping to the pitch directly. We have found sharing a relevant case study relevant to their industry can be an effective way to build a rapport.

Break your email outreach into phases. Below is an example how:

________________

First email:

Hey Dave,

I was going through your company’s website and found your blog on {{Blog_title}} interesting.

We have been helping other similar businesses in your industry who have a blog to increase their website traffic.

I have prepared a case study on how we helped {{Company_XYZ}} increase their website traffic by 15% in 10 months.

I would be happy to share it with you if you are interested to find out how.

Just reply to this email and I will share the link.

Best regards,
John

________________

Once you get a reply to this email then send the second email in the thread with the content link and a soft pitch:

________________
Second Email

Hey Dave,

Here is the link to the case-study:

I would be happy to help you with any questions you have regarding it. Also, if you want a free consultation on how you can generate similar results for your firm I would be happy to be of assistance.

Here is my calendar link to get on a call:

Best regards,
John

________________

Wrapping Up

It is important to remember that ideally, it requires 4-5 follow-up emails to get attention. So persistence is thekey here to get the conversation going.

There are also other methods you can use to generate leads for your Agency like blogging, speaking at events, attending networking events and conducting webinars but serving more than 1000+ agencies through our solution we have found these four to have the best return on time and money invested.

Still, if you believe we missed an important one that worked well for your firm while generating leads for a digital marketing agency, then do share it in the comment and we will add it to this list with a thank you mention.

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About Author

Yash Shah
Co-founder & Chief Executive
Facebook

Yash did Mechanical Engineering and worked as an Investment Banker before founding a Tech Agency that grew to 55 people team offering SaaS, FinTech and E-Commerce Web & Mobile app Development. He currently serves as Chief Executive at Clientjoy - a platform that helps 13K+ Agencies & Freelancers in 90+ Countries acquire and retain happier clients.

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