Online lead generation is a crucial aspect of digital marketing. There are several ways to generate leads online, and the most common approaches are through earned media, owned media, and paid media. In this article, let’s talk about how these three types of media can be used independently, and also cohesively for online lead generation.
Earned media is media that you earn as a result of your brand’s interactions with customers or other businesses. Examples of earned media include word-of-mouth referrals, positive online reviews, and media coverage. Earned media is an excellent way to generate leads because it builds trust and credibility for your brand.
- Customer Referrals: A customer referral program is an effective way to leverage earned media for lead generation. A referral program encourages your existing customers to refer their friends and family to your business in exchange for a reward. This can be a discount on their next purchase or a gift card. Referral programs are effective because people trust recommendations from friends and family members.
- Online Reviews: Positive online reviews are a form of earned media that can be used to generate leads. Potential customers often read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and positive reviews can influence their decision. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your website and on review sites like Yelp and Google My Business.
- Public Relations: Public relations is another form of earned media that can be used for lead generation. A well-crafted press release can generate media coverage and attract the attention of potential customers. Look for opportunities to pitch stories to journalists and bloggers in your industry.
Paid media is media that you pay for, such as search engine advertising, social media advertising, and display advertising. Paid media is a highly effective way to generate leads because it allows you to target specific demographics and interests.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a type of search engine advertising where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. This form of advertising is highly targeted because you can choose specific keywords to target. PPC advertising is effective for lead generation because it allows you to reach potential customers who are actively searching for your products or services.
- Social Media Advertising: Social media advertising allows you to target potential customers based on their demographics, interests, and behaviors. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all offer advertising platforms that allow you to create highly targeted campaigns. Social media advertising is effective for lead generation because it allows you to reach potential customers where they spend their time online.
- Display Advertising: Display advertising involves placing banner ads on websites that your target audience visits. This form of advertising is effective for lead generation because it allows you to reach potential customers who may not be actively searching for your products or services. Display advertising is highly targeted because you can choose the websites and placements where your ads appear.
Owned media is media that you own and control, such as your website, blog, and social media profiles. Owned media is an essential component of any online lead generation strategy because it allows you to build relationships with potential customers and establish your brand as a thought leader.
- Website: Your website is the centerpiece of your online presence, and it’s essential for lead generation. Your website should be optimized for lead generation with clear calls to action, lead capture forms, and landing pages. Your website should also be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
- Blog: A blog is an effective way to generate leads because it allows you to provide valuable content to potential customers. Your blog should be focused on topics that are relevant to your target audience and should provide useful information that helps them solve their problems. Your blog should also include calls to action that encourage readers to contact you or download a lead magnet.
- Social Media: Social media profiles are an excellent way to build relationships with potential customers and establish your brand’s credibility. You should focus on the social media platforms that your target audience uses the most. Regularly post valuable content that is relevant to your audience, and engage with your followers to build relationships.
Using a Combination of Earned, Paid, and Owned Media for Lead Generation
To maximize your lead generation efforts, it’s essential to use a combination of earned, paid, and owned media. Each type of media has its strengths and weaknesses, and using a combination of all three allows you to reach potential customers at different stages of the buying process.
- Awareness Stage: During the awareness stage, potential customers are becoming aware of their problem or need. At this stage, you can use earned media to build brand awareness and generate interest. Referral programs and positive online reviews can help spread the word about your brand.
- Consideration Stage: During the consideration stage, potential customers are researching and evaluating their options. At this stage, you can use a combination of earned and paid media to generate leads. Public relations and PPC advertising can help you reach potential customers who are actively searching for your products or services.
- Decision Stage: During the decision stage, potential customers are ready to make a purchase decision. At this stage, you can use a combination of paid and owned media to generate leads. Social media advertising and email marketing can help you reach potential customers who have shown an interest in your brand, and your website and landing pages can help convert those leads into customers.
Earned, owned and paid media are all essential components of an effective online lead generation strategy. By using a combination of all three, you can reach potential customers at different stages of the buying process and maximize your lead generation efforts. Remember to focus on providing value to your potential customers and building relationships with them to establish your brand’s credibility and trust.