- Agency lead generation strategies are top of mind right now and attracting more leads regularly has become a challenge with more and more content being available online now.
- Agile marketers are paving the path forward combining technology and talent.
- You can boost lead generation using content that adds value to your prospects—content such as white papers.
- Venngage’s Content Marketer, Ronita Mohan shares a five-step guide to design papers that will generate leads for your agency.
Agency lead generation strategies are top of mind right now. Attracting more leads regularly has become a challenge—the world is more online, but that also means that there is more content available.
Rising above the noise to draw in the right leads can seem like an impossible task. But we’re here to tell you that it isn’t.
You can boost lead generation using content that adds value to your prospects—content such as white papers.
While designing white papers from scratch can be tricky, there are online resources to create attractive white paper designs that boost brand awareness and increase conversions.
So, how do you create white papers that convert? We share a five-step guide to design papers that will generate leads for your agency.
1. Target agency lead generation audiences
Before you design a white paper, you need to define the audiences who will read it.
While your agency may have a diverse set of clients, when you’re trying to generate leads, you need to narrow down your focus.
You don’t want to create content that aims to please everyone—the chances are, you will end up attracting no one.
Generic content is easier to create—there’s a proliferation of it online. But you want your content to stand out in the crowd. That is how prospective clients will notice your agency.
To do this, you should study your market segments and answer these questions:
- What pain points do your clients have?
- How can your agency resolve those issues?
- Is your current market large enough for your service?
- Are there market gaps that you should explore?
- What kind of content has already been successful?
Following this process will help you understand your audience’s needs better. This will make it easier to choose topics and designs for your white paper and boost conversions.
2. Define topics for agency lead generation white papers
Now that you’ve defined your audience—and you know your goal is agency lead generation—you need to pick a topic that is suitable for your prospects.
Remember, your aim with your content is to provide solutions to your clients’ pain points—that should be the driving factor behind creating any kind of content.
There are a few ways to find topics of interest for your prospects.
One method is to send survey questions to your existing clients asking them what kind of content they would like to see from you.
You can also look at content that has already done well on social media, past white papers, and blog posts. This will help you decide which topics attract the most views.
Consider searching online for keywords related to your clients. Google’s longtail keyword suggestions are a great place to find new content ideas.
Plus, SERP results give you an idea of what content is being searched for and why.
It is best to get granular with your white paper topics. Instead of creating a paper on the wider topic of brand awareness, the below example focuses on brand positioning.
If you’re writing about email marketing—which is a broad topic—consider focusing on something narrower.
Write about incorporating user-generated content in emails, or how email marketing can be used to improve hiring rates.
You can also focus on specific aspects of your industry, such as the impact of phishing scams on company cybersecurity, or how to outsource IT departments.
The more targeted your topics are for your audience, the more likely they are to engage with your content.
3. Agency lead generation content creation
When you’re creating content designed for agency lead generation, your mind is on sales and conversions.
However, that shouldn’t be the primary thrust of your content. If you create white papers solely to sell your agency to leads, you might end up losing them instead of converting them.
Nobody wants to be sold to—especially when they’re investing time and energy into reading a white paper.
Additionally, white papers are gated content—they require interested parties to fill up a form to obtain access to the paper.
You can’t ask prospects to put in that much effort to get a piece of content that doesn’t enrich their lives or educate them about a topic.
But you do still need to convert prospects into clients. How can you do that?
Your white papers should be educational and informative about the subject matter, like in this example about employee engagement.
Do original research into the topic and include data that backs up your assertions.
Share case studies and illustrated use cases from your agency. Not only do case studies make for interesting content but they also act as testimonials for your work.
The process of attracting prospects should be organic—encourage them with well-researched and well-written white papers.
4. Designing white papers for agency lead generation
Your white paper needs to be interesting and engaging, but it also should be attractive to prospects.
You could create a Word document, export it as a PDF, and share that with your audience. But is that going to get prospects’ attention like this example below?
It is possible to design a white paper that is colorful and detailed with templates and even from scratch.
We outline how to design great white papers to improve your agency lead generation efforts.
Be on-trend with your agency lead generation white paper design
Your white paper needs to follow present graphic design trends. This is important because, while you want to stand out from a crowd, you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb.
In the foreseeable future, these are some of the design trends agency marketers need to be aware of:
- Muted colors, not bold or neon colors
- Flat icons and illustrations, as opposed to 3D icons
- Geometric shapes, instead of the abstract, flowing shapes of 2019
- Classic Serif fonts, which are coming back into fashion
All these design elements will influence how you create your white paper and how successfully they draw in prospective clients.
Use visuals to design attractive lead-generating white papers
Visual communication has become one of the pillars of content marketing—which is why visuals need to be incorporated into your white paper design.
Start by designing an attractive cover page for your paper.
Similar to book covers, the top page of your paper has the power to draw people to read further, like in this example.
Your cover page should also convey what leads will find within the pages of the paper—don’t mislead them with visuals that are attractive but irrelevant.
Though papers are largely text-based, that doesn’t mean that visuals don’t help engage readers further.
You can use visuals like icons, illustrations, photos, and charts to add depth to your white paper. They also make the content more readable and scannable.
When using photos, look for imagery that reflects your target audience—that will make the white paper feel more relevant to your readers.
Structuring your agency lead generation white paper
We have already mentioned the importance of having a cover page for your paper. But you also need to include an index that outlines the chapters of the paper.
To make the process easier, always include page numbers in your white papers.
Readers will be able to return to sections they are interested in if they have an index to refer to, like in this example.
When you can, try to include quotes from experts in your field—this will give your paper more gravitas. Quotes should be highlighted with a bigger font size to vary the design.
In the same vein, include tables and text boxes that focus readers’ attention on specific facts and data.
Highlight key takeaways in the summary section of your paper—it is best to summarize your findings only after the paper is written.
Add a CTA in your agency lead generation white papers
What is the purpose of your paper? You want your prospects to perform some action.
That is why you need to include a call-to-action in your white paper—so that you can convert prospects into leads, and eventually into clients.
Here are some calls-to-action you can add to your papers:
- Subscribing to your newsletter
- Trying out your service
- Scheduling a call
- Learning more about your business
Ensure your CTA is visible and stands out on your page—this will encourage leads to click on it and travel further through your sales pipeline.
Repurpose content into agency lead generation white papers
Creating content for agency lead generation can be a tough task—especially when you have to build content from scratch.
But there is a workaround for agency marketing teams—repurposing existing content. Instead of creating the text and visuals for papers, breathe new life into what you already have.
For example, your company blog may have multiple posts around one topic. These can be collated into chapters for a paper.
Similarly, a webinar can be used to create a white paper, or a long eBook can be broken down into several white papers.
The possibilities for repurposing content are endless—keep an open mind and you can create papers that will generate more leads.
5. Agency lead generation white paper promotion
Congratulations, you’ve created a white paper! Now, what do you do?
Leads aren’t going to find your paper on their own. You need to actively promote your content.
There are numerous ways to get eyeballs on your paper. Here are a few promotion methods to follow:
Create blog posts around your white paper content and include a call-to-action to download the paper, like in this example.
Leads are more likely to access gated content if it has some context around it.
Promoting your white paper through an email campaign can boost downloads.
Share previews, statistics, or facts from the paper to entice your email list to click through to your paper’s landing page.
Write a follow-up email to everyone who downloads the paper to continue a conversation—this will increase conversions.
Social media marketing (SMM)
Leads use social media to find content and future partners all the time. Sharing white papers on your channels will increase visibility for your content and your brand.
Use social media tools to schedule posts about your white paper at relevant times to your audience.
You can build a landing page for your paper that includes a summary and key learnings—enough information to encourage leads to download your content.
Your page should include a simple form that prospective clients can fill in to access the paper—don’t ask for too much information, or they may be deterred from filling the form.
Promoting your content is a necessary step if you want to create agency lead generation strategies that convert.
Key takeaways: Prioritize audience needs to boost agency lead generation
Creating a white paper is a long process but a fruitful one that brings in more clients. To be successful, you need to follow a few crucial steps:
- Target your white paper audience
- Choose topics that are relevant to your leads
- Create content that will encourage leads to partner with you
- Design the white paper to attract leads
- Promote your content on multiple platforms
These steps will help you create white papers that will boost your agency lead generation efforts.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at the online infographic and design platform, Venngage.
The post Agency lead generation: How to create white papers that convert appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Resooma, the U.K. accommodation booking platform, is entering the fintech and utilities space with the launch of Resooma Bills, a new product to help “gen rent” manage household expenditure. The Cardiff, Wales-based company’s core offering is an accommodation marketplace primarily targeting students and other renters aged 18-30.
Previously trading under the brand name of University Cribs, Resooma was founded in 2014 by Jack Jenkins, Dan Jefferys and Christian Samuel as a solution aimed specifically at the student lettings market. The company has since broadened its remit to “fix the outdated methods” of renting a home and living together in shared accommodation.
“The existing processes, much of which [are] sitting offline, was a total mess and the numbers of people who have to experience it is climbing rapidly,” says co-founder Jenkins. “With more people living in shared accommodation post University life, we aim to appeal to a time constrained user base that want instant gratification from the products and services they use. We’re building a solution for generation rent”.
As a first step, Resooma set out to eradicate the viewing process, or at least make it digital, and help facilitate bookings online. This includes rolling out “VR tours” for homes, in a bid to gain the trust of renters booking online. “Student and young professionals are time sensitive, often nomadic in choosing where they work and live and as such our platform needs to cater for this,” says Jenkins. The startup also has plans to introduce rental guarantees and “Resooma Verified” stamps for rentals.
“Interestingly, we brand ourselves as a booking platform, a relatively unused term in the market we are in. People are used to booking directly on platforms for short-term accommodation, with the rise of Airbnb and Booking.com but our goal is to make this the norm for people renting medium or longer term homes,” adds the Resooma co-founder.
Jenkins says the next problem the company wants to solve is around utilities and the splitting of household bills. “We’ve all sat there in our new home, admiring the wall paper for the first 2 weeks while we wait for the internet or Sky TV to be set up. It’s brainless really, and we’re fixing it,” he says.
“Our product journey will put utilities as part of the rental transaction, allowing users to set up their household bills directly through the platform at the time of booking. What’s more, we’ll allow you to split these bills evenly between all tenants. No more arguments because Tom didn’t pay for his share of the internet bill. Our solution will track utility payments, aim to source the cheapest deals for our customers and then automatically issue each of the housemates one single bill each month for their share of the total house bills.
“While part of the full product vision of Resooma, Resooma Bills will sit as a standalone product as well to allow users the flexibility to use the service for homes found away from the Resooma platform”.
Asked to name Resooma’s competitors, Jenkins says the likes of Spotahome or Uniplaces are probably its most direct competition from a product perspective. “We differentiate ourselves through our adaptation of the utilities, as well as our focus on working with letting agents rather than directly with Landlords,” he says.
With regards to utilities and bill splitting, London-based Acasa could also been considered a very direct competitor.
When we hear the words “lead generation,” our minds automatically conjure up a B2B marketing strategy aimed at filling the top of the sales funnel. But leads are not exclusive to B2B companies.
Every type of business, be it wholesale, retail, startup or whatever else, needs qualified “potential” customers who can be nurtured into actual paying customers. Ecommerce is no different.
With the barriers to starting an ecommerce business tumbling faster than you can say Jack Robinson, the ecommerce industry has become competitive like never before.
Besides new competitors mushrooming every day, there is the entrenched Goliaths – Amazon – which will eat away close to 50% of the market within the next three years!
HubSpot’s State of Inbound report revealed that for 3 out of 5 marketers, generating traffic and leads is the toughest challenge. No surprise then, that 70% of them intended to expand their demand generation budgets in 2018.
But bigger budgets are useless if you use the same old strategies that didn’t work before.
How about embracing tried and tested strategies that guarantee leads in the New Year? Here goes!
Three top lead generation tips for ecommerce businesses
1. Rewrite your product descriptions with a focus on SEO
This mistake, like history, has been repeated time and again in the world of ecommerce. While the importance of having unique product descriptions is plastered all over the web, rookie ecommerce companies still make the same mistake of using manufacturer’s descriptions and putting off giving them a custom twist until later when they’ve “made some sales.”
But hey, if you won’t make them unique, how will Google rank you for those products? And if Google doesn’t rank you, how will you get any visitors? And if you don’t have any visitors, how will you have any leads? In fact, a study by AWR found that click-through rates from Google SERPs to retailers’ sites dropped from nearly 30% for position 1 to less than 5% for position 5. Thereafter, you might not as well exist.
According to this post by Tracy Vides, there are four critical factors that are important for SEO, lead generation, as well as sales, which you’d do well to address on your product pages:
- A well-defined buyer persona that matches your most valuable customer profiles
- Descriptions that answer every possible question that a potential customer might have
- In-depth reviews from existing customers
- A simple, intuitive, quick, easy path to purchase
Don’t be afraid to go into great detail with product descriptions. Clearly explain all the features; in fact, make it so simple that a five-year-old should be able to use your product by reading what you have to say about it. The same goes for the “usability” of your product pages. The more (and better) content you have on your pages, the better Google will understand and consider it, the more time readers will spend on it, and the more qualified leads you will eventually get into your funnel.
2. Continually expand your email list, segment it for maximum impact
There’s no better (and cheaper!) way to stay in touch with your customers than via email. I could quote research that shows how every dollar spent on email marketing brings back up more than $ 40 in revenue, but even if you don’t get such exponential ROI, email marketing is a channel you absolute must leverage.
While getting your hands on customers’ emails are easy to get for ecommerce businesses, it’s important to also capture email addresses of website visitors and browsers. This article explains how ecommerce businesses typically gather 3x their regular number of emails with email capture pop-ups. Depending on the type of pop-up you choose – exit intent pop-ups, timed pop-ups, sidebar pop-ups, and more. You can potentially capture emails from 3 to 16% of website visitors at close-to-zero cost.
Once you’ve set up your email capture pipeline, don’t go indiscriminately mass mailing your list and put them off from all your communications. Instead, create clear segments within your database to which you can communicate distinctly different messages.
Novelty apparel retailer Johnny Cupcakes discovered the benefits of simple and basic segmentation to their pleasant surprise. They leveraged social media data to piece together a more detailed profile of their customers, with information on their gender, interests, media habits, and brand preferences, and found that a large proportion of their customers were sports fans, especially baseball.
So they decided to experiment with a new product line of baseball shirts, with distinct male and female categories. They segmented their 80,000-strong email list by gender and sent them the email creatives you see below.
Source: Marketing Sherpa
The results blew them away. CTRs grew by 42%, conversion rate went up by 123% and revenue per campaign rose by a whopping 141%. What a difference relevant content can make to marketing outcomes!
3. Bring back lost souls with remarketing
As the old adage goes, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Getting users to come to your site in the first place is hard enough. But having them leave without buying a thing is simply heartbreaking. Put the brakes on your users’ exodus by retargeting them with two of the most effective methods available – retargeted emails and retargeted ads.
Retargeting emails or abandoned cart emails, sent to users who’ve added items to their cart and then dropped off from the buying journey, are a great way to remind potential customers of what they’re missing and nudging them back into the sales funnel. These emails have the power to win back at least 15% of revenue that’s typically lost, thanks to cart abandonment.
Source: author’s inbox
Retargeted ads come in different avatars. Just as you remind a user about an “almost” purchase with retargeting emails, you can remind users of their last visit to your site in the form of display ads, as they browse other sites across the web. The different types of retargeting ads relevant to ecommerce include:
- Search retargeting – target users that searched for keywords related to your business, but may not have visited your website
- Site retargeting – target users that visited your site and were “cookied” on their way out
- Contextual retargeting – target users that visited sites or liked pages similar to yours, or those of competitors
Users’ familiarity with your products and brand means CTRs for retargeted ads are 10x those of regular display ads. Data shows that website visitors that are exposed to retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert than those who never saw the ads. That’s massive!
Not only is retargeting better cheaper than traditional display and search advertising in terms of CPA (cost per acquisition), it also assists in reinforcing your brand on your customers’ minds – a nice little bonus!
Source: Blue Mint Marketing
Remarketing ads offer best results on the Google Display Network and Facebook, thanks to their massive reach and extensive data on potential buyers.
No matter what industry you operate in, at the end of the day, your revenue growth is inextricably linked to growing the number of customers who shop with you. These new customers could come in from glitzy, high-budget, multimedia advertising campaigns or they could come through low-cost, high-hustle marketing that gives lasting results. I know which path I’d take. How about you?
Need to resize a video for IGTV? Add subtitles for Twitter? Throw in sound effects for YouTube? Or collage it with other clips for the Instagram feed? Kapwing lets you do all that and more for free from a mobile browser or website. This scrappy new startup is building the vertical video era’s creative suite full of editing tools for every occasion.
Pronounced “Ka-pwing,” like the sound of a ricocheted bullet, the company was founded by two former Google Image Search staffers. Now after six months of quiet bootstrapping, it’s announcing a $ 1.7 million seed round led by Kleiner Perkins.
Kapwing hopes to rapidly adapt to shifting memescape and its fragmented media formats, seizing on opportunities like creators needing to turn their long-form landscape videos vertical for Instagram’s recently launched IGTV. The free version slaps a Kapwing.com watermark on all its exports for virality, but users can pay $ 20 a month to remove it.
While sites like Imgur and Imgflip offer lightweight tools for static memes and GIFs, “the tools and community for doing that for video are kinda inaccessible,” says co-founder and CEO Julia Enthoven. “You have something you install on your computer with fancy hardware. You should able to create and riff off of people,” even if you just have your phone, she tells me. Indeed, 100,000 users are already getting crafty with Kapwing.
“We want to make these really relevant trending formats so anyone can jump in,” Enthoven declares. “Down the line, we want to make a destination for consuming that content.”
Enthoven and Eric Lu both worked at Google Image Search in the lauded Associate Product Manager (APM) program that’s minted many future founders for companies like Quip, Asana and Polyvore. But after two years, they noticed a big gap in the creative ecosystem. Enthoven explains that “The idea came from using outdated tools for making the types of videos people want to make for social media — short-form, snackable video you record with your phone. It’s so difficult to make those kinds of videos in today’s editors.”
So the pair of 25-year-olds left in September to start Kapwing. They named it after their favorite sound effect from the Calvin & Hobbes comics when the make-believe tiger would deflect toy gunshots from his best pal. “It’s an onomatopoeia, and that’s sort of cool because video is all about movement and sound.”
After starting with a meme editor for slapping text above and below images, Kapwing saw a sudden growth spurt as creators raced to convert landscape videos for vertical IGTV. Now it has a wide range of tools, with more planned.
The current selection includes:
- Meme Maker
- Multi-Video Montage Maker
- Video Collage
- Video Filters
- Image To Video Converter
- Add Overlaid Text To Video
- Add Music To Video With MP3 Uploads
- Resize Video
- Reverse Video
- Loop Video
- Trim Video
- Mute Video
- Stop Motion Maker
- Sound Effects Maker
Kapwing definitely has some annoying shortcomings. There’s an 80mb limit on uploads, so don’t expect to be messing with much 4K videos or especially long clips. You can’t subtitle a GIF, and the meme maker flipped vertical photos sideways without warning. It also lacks some of the slick tools that Snapchat has developed, like a magic eraser for Photoshopping stuff out and a background changer, or the automatic themed video editing found in products like Google Photos.
The No. 1 thing it needs is a selective cropping tool. Instead of letting you manually move the vertical frame around inside a landscape video so you always catch the action, it just grabs the center. That left me staring at blank space between myself and an interview subject when I uploaded this burger robot startup video. It’s something apps like RotateNFlip and Flixup already offer. Hopefully the funding that also comes from Shasta, Shrug Capital, Sinai, Village Global, and ZhenFund will let it tackle some of these troubles.
Beyond meme-loving teens and semi-pro creators, Kapwing has found an audience amongst school teachers. The simplicity and onscreen instructions make it well-suited for young students, and it works on Chromebooks because there’s no need to download software.
The paid version has found some traction with content marketers and sponsored creators who don’t want a distracting watermark included. That business model is always in danger of encroachment from free tools, though, so Kapwing hopes to also become a place to view the meme content it exports. That network model is more defensible if it gains a big enough audience, and could be monetized with ads. Though it will put it in competition with Imgur, Reddit and the big dogs like Instagram.
“We aspire to become a hub for consumption,” Enthoven concluded. “Consume, get an idea, and share with each other.”
As Q4 approaches, it’s crucial that you plan to capitalize on all the traffic that comes with it.
We all know how effective search is, but it’s also limited to those already in the hunt for what you’re offering.
To continue to scale, you need to effectively get in front of audiences that aren’t yet interested – but could be! – in your service/product. That’s where demand generation comes in, and marketers have more (and better) options for demand generation than ever.
As we head full-steam into Q4, here’s a list of demand generation channels, considerations of when to make use of them to expand your reach, and best practices we’ve honed across clients of all budgets.
Once rather maligned, the GDN provides a number of targeting options that allow you to leverage the thousands of data points they collect on users across the web. Among the most effective targeting options when it comes to both demand generation and direct response are:
Keyword contextual targeting
Choose your top 10-15 keywords and let Google place ads accordingly.
My strong recommendation is to start off with content-based keyword targeting first; this gives you more control over what is being targeted (websites relevant to your keywords). When you select “audience”-based keyword contextual targeting, you end up targeting a significantly larger group of users where the targeting is not only websites relevant to your keywords but also audiences who may be interested.
This gives Google a lot of power to find users – but it also opens you up to more risk. By starting out with content, you are taking a low-risk approach to GDN. As you see success and build up conversion history, feel free to experiment with audience targeting.
Based on audience behavior, Google determines users who are currently shopping for different products/categories. The feature combines search intent with display’s reach, and it’s definitely worth testing.
Custom affinity audiences
If you provide Google with competitor websites or industry-relevant domains, CAA will analyze the types of audiences visiting those sites (demographics, interests, website topics) and target audiences similar to them. I recommend that you test by starting off with your top 5 competitors.
As you build conversions – about 40+ conversions is a good benchmark – I would strongly recommend switching your bidding style to CPA optimizer and allowing Google to leverage its thousands of data points and optimize towards your target CPA. We’ve had a lot of success with this option.
The Facebook/Instagram duo offers powerful audience targeting capabilities. We’ve seen two strategies work consistently:
Make use of lookalike targeting and base your seed lists off your customers
Rather than taking your full customer list, however, segment by identifiable characteristics. I typically recommend high LTV or high AOV, or segmenting by category/type depending on the product or business. If you have a big enough seed list, start by testing a 1% audience, as those users will be most similar to your existing customers.
Use interest/behavior targeting and insights from the platform’s Audience Insights tool
Upload your top customers to Audience Insights and analyze the valuable demographic, interest-based data. Now begin building various personas of audiences you want to target (each ad set should represent a different persona).
When selecting your targeting options within Facebook, layer in demographic data from the Insights tool to make these audiences more relevant.
I recommend this fast-growing channel more for ecommerce than B2B. Remember that Pinterest is somewhat intent-driven, as users are typing in keywords to look for relevant pins. Start off with your top keyword list and test from there, and focus on strong creative that can stand out among the many other pins.
Your Pinterest creative should be eye-catching, high quality, and include compelling images of the product. Write detailed descriptions highlighting the most compelling aspects of the product and inviting users to click on ad, and leverage text overlays on your pins to help any core message stand out.
Twitter tends to perform well for B2B or more technical businesses. I recommend that you leverage lookalike targeting on your top-performing customer segments; you can also try targeting followers of certain influencers who may be core to your brand or followers of competitors in the industry.
Last general recommendation: begin leveraging these options ASAP so you can build up a retargeting audience to engage when purchase motivation is higher. Cast a wide net now, and you’ll have more fish to land in the holiday season.
Level up your ad game by using ad customizers and optimizing your geo-targets for lead generation clients, especially for an educational vertical.
Read more at PPCHero.com
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