Lead generation (aka “lead-gen”) ad campaigns are among the oldest methods for companies to increase their customer base. Although the ways of carrying out such campaigns — and the tools to do so — have grown increasingly complex, the underlying concept is simple: repeatedly approach potential customers at varying stages of their buying journey with the goal of eventually “converting” them to make a purchase.
With today’s technology, even straightforward retargeting campaigns could potentially be classified as “lead-gen,” but the term is typically reserved for products and services with a long marketing funnel, a higher price point, and/or a subscription or recurring payment plan (like SaaS companies or insurance providers).
Because lead-gen campaigns tend to be used for products with long marketing funnels, advertisers can devote more energy to recruiting customers at various stages of the purchase journey, rather than aiming to make a sale during the first interaction only. Native ads are a great format for this. Here’s why:
In other words, native ads and their “article-style” landing pages give lead-gen advertisers adequate room to build a comprehensive narrative around their products. At the same time, native ads specifically reach customers who are in the right mindset to read articles and learn about new things, making them a perfect match.
But like any other ad format, successful campaigns ultimately depend on employing the right techniques. We’ve compiled a list of the top 3 strategies to draw in more qualified leads during your next native campaign:
Build the “Right Type” of Creatives
Like it or not, it all begins with the creative. If your ad creative doesn’t attract the right type of leads, there’s no next step to take.
The creatives and copy for native ads are usually designed to emulate a news article. But with so much interesting content out there, how can you stand out from the crowd and pique your audience’s interest?
For starters, we recommend mining your in-house data to create a series of audience personas. This will help you understand your customers on a more personal, granular level, instead of as an age range or income bracket. Design your creatives with your audience personas in mind, and try to include photos of people that resonate with those audience personas whenever possible.
With audience personas in hand, you can then create personalized ads that will speak to your customers on an emotional level. Take full advantage of the filtering options available on your ad platform of choice. Remember that you can leverage geo-targeting in a tasteful, unobtrusive way to really draw people in — and hopefully earn a click.
Conduct Content Marketing
While content marketing can take many forms, the basic concept is simple: provide something of value to your prospects in exchange for their attention and their contact information.
Depending on the type of product you’re selling, the content you offer could range from an email newsletter subscription to a white paper, an e-book, a market research report, or anything in between. The key here is to know your target audience well enough to provide just the right type of content to meet their needs.
You can offer your content as a free download to people who fill out a sign-up form on your landing page. Although this might initially reduce your overall sign-up rate, it will help serve as a filter for sales qualified leads who are truly interested in your product.
And what do you get in exchange for all your hard work putting together a meaningful piece of content? You get a new lead who is interested in learning about your product, who you can re-engage with and move further down the funnel toward an eventual purchase. It’s well worth the effort.
As a reminder, content marketing is a huge category encompassing blogs, videos, sponsored content, podcasts, webinars and more. Native ad landing pages are just one place among many where you can showcase your unique content.
Showcase Special Offers
Have you ever been pushed over the edge to make a purchase because you have a great coupon or discount code? Yeah, we thought so.
Discounts, coupons and loyalty programs are great ways to reel in new customers and retain existing ones. You can showcase discounts directly through your ad copy, as well as on your landing page.
A particularly powerful technique to consider is limited-time discounts. When the clock is ticking, consumers are all the more likely make a purchase. This technique can be applied to both e-commerce and lead-gen offers. Try it out; chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
As with other topics we’ve discussed on this blog, this is just the tip of the iceberg! We hope you find this post useful as you put together your next native ad campaign. Remember to regularly check back in on the MediaGo blog for more digital advertising tips and techniques.