There’s an unsettled feeling in the world right now.
It feels like everything is simultaneously frozen in place while also running a million miles a minute. So many of us are now self-isolating, working from our dining room tables while watching the news change on an hourly basis.
Work must go on, even though a lot of marketing plans look obsolete compared to what they did at the start of the year. Events are canceled, trade shows are postponed and clients are now facing a wide variety of new challenges that they haven’t had to deal with before.
How do you stay in front of potential clients and generate leads when everyone is confined to their own homes?
Content syndication and cost-per-lead generation campaigns are essential to your business’s success right now. This marketing tactic is a great way to get your expertise in front of a large audience and start filling gaps in your sales pipeline.
What is cost-per-lead?
Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) campaigns are fixed-cost lead generation tactics that promote your high-quality, gated content through a closed network of industry-specific B2B websites.
This demand generation tactic incorporates two major parts of the PESO model for marketing: Owned Media and Paid Media.
- Owned Media is all the content you create. It’s every blog post, eBook, whitepaper, piece of on-page copy, email and social media post. This is your library of unique content.
- Paid Media is sponsored content, native advertising and content syndication. This is when you take your owned media, put money behind it, and distribute it to a larger audience.
The name CPL refers to the fact that clients who use this campaign are only charged per lead they get after syndicating their content to Brandpoint’s B2B distribution network.
[Read More: The PESO Model: Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned Media]
How do CPL campaigns take the place of missing events?
Salespeople know that not many things can replace face-to-face meetings. However, these are strange times and unfortunately, that’s just not an option right now.
Running CPL campaigns can help you generate leads in a strategic way, using the same concepts as attending industry-specific trade shows or conferences and meeting people there. Here are some reasons why it’s worth pivoting to this tactic in lieu of event marketing:
- Just as you’re working from home, so are a majority of your clients. Through different digital tactics, you’ll be able to reach them where they are — in front of a computer screen.
- CPL campaigns take advantage of a large, sophisticated B2B distribution network. So, instead of just being able to meet with those who come past your booth at an event, your company’s messaging is now sent out to thousands of online publications across different platforms and channels.
- Many demand generation and syndication campaigns include targeting capabilities. This way, you’ll be able to make sure that your content is only sent to those who make sense. You can filter by qualifications such as job type, industry, region or company size, to name a few.
- Any event budget you have can go right into this. Now that travel and hotel spending should be close to zero on your expense projections, you have more opportunities to experiment with paid media tactics.
[Read More: How Content Accelerates Lead Generation]
What’s the CPL campaign process?
So, now that you know why CPL campaigns are a beneficial option for your lead generation efforts, we’ll walk you through the process we follow at Brandpoint.
Step 1: Create a gated asset
A gated asset is a piece of high-value content you create and place behind a barrier of entry. The way it works for cost-per-lead campaigns is that users need to provide their name and email (and sometimes information on their company) before they’re sent the download.
These pieces of content should truly provide value that’s unique to your company’s offerings. Some examples:
- An eBook with step-by-step instructions on implementing marketing tactics for a specific industry
- A checklist or tool that helps users answer common questions they may have
- A past webinar or conference presentation that a thought leader at your company gave
- A whitepaper or research report sharing data compiled about your company’s industry
Step 2: Distribute the asset with targeting
Once the gated asset is created and hosted on a landing page on your website, this link can now be distributed through a syndication network.
One of the major benefits of using a CPL campaign is omnichannel marketing. Your content can be shown on various websites, as well as through other channels like email newsletters, RSS feeds, social media accounts and mobile apps.
This is where you apply your targeting qualifiers. For example, if you’re a financial services website, you can filter it down to any publication that deals with finances. Another example is that if you know the main decision makers that make sense for you to contact first, you can filter this down to just their job title.
[Read More: Interactive Buyer Persona Template]
Step 3: Compile leads and plan next steps
Hopefully, at the end of this process, you’ll be left with a list of solid leads that fit your persona criteria. These are your marketing qualified leads (MQLs). Now, you just need to decide how you’ll nurture these leads before they’re ready to make a buying decision.
We recommend that you first place them into an email nurture stream. This can be soft messaging, nothing too sales-driven, providing even more valuable content related to the gated asset they downloaded. This will help solidify your brand as a trusted source of information and will help them remember your name.
Using marketing automation rules, once your lead interacts with your content enough, you can consider them ready to be passed onto a sales executive. These are now considered sales qualified leads (SQLs). Since face-to-face meetings are out of the picture, try setting up a video conference call. Having that human interaction can be key to adding a personalized touch to your meeting.
Lastly, start creating new content for your next demand gen campaigns. Sales members should pass on any common questions or pain points they hear while interacting with these leads to the marketing team. Blog posts, email messaging or sell sheets can be developed speaking to these challenges.
[Read More: The Customer Journey as the Path to Sales and Marketing Alignment]
Case Study: Deluxe Treasury Management
For a more detailed example of the results CPL campaigns can bring, check out this case study about Deluxe Treasury Management. By creating and distributing eight gated assets, this financial institution was able to see a large number of leads generated in a short amount of time.
Now is the time to adapt and grow
While there is absolutely no way to predict the future during COVID-19, you can control your own actions. By taking a step back to decide what tactics will truly help grow your business and help your target audience at this time, you’ll be able to make positive change from your desk at home.
If you need any help pivoting your content marketing strategy and refocusing your efforts, we’re here to help. Please contact us today so we can start brainstorming what CPL campaigns would work best for you.