Lead Generation: How To Generate Inbound Leads for Your Digital Agency

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Lead Generation: How To Generate Quality Inbound Leads for Your Digital Agency

Lead Generation How To Generate Quality Leads for Your Digital Agency

If your digital marketing agency is looking to grow and increase the amount of enquiries your business receives about the services you offer, then you may need to consider stepping up your inbound lead generation.

But before we get started, there are a few questions you may need answering. Namely, what is lead generation is, why it’s so important in digital marketing, what do you do and what lead magnets you can use in your lead generation?

Don’t worry. We’ll be covering all of them in this article, including:

What is Lead Generation in Digital Marketing?

Lead generation is the active effort of creating “inbound leads” to your business: Individuals or organisations who are interested in your business’s services or offerings.

This process is crucial to the continuing growth of your business or agency, without having to rely on outreach and outbound marketing to find potential leads and clients for your business. After all, why wouldn’t you want clients coming to you?

Its primary goal is to create a pool of potential clients for your business to work with. For a digital marketing agency this would be a list of individuals or businesses looking to utilise your digital marketing services: Whether that’s PPC, Social Media, or SEO. 

For example, content around services that your agency offers that provides information for free, in the form of online courses, email courses, newsletters, whitepapers, ebooks, podcasts, webinars or videos.

Why is Lead Generation So Important For Digital Agencies?

Lead generation and lead magnets are incredibly important for your digital agency. And there are a few different reasons.

  1. According to research from IBISWorld, there are around 7,661 digital advertising agencies in the UK as of 2023. A 6.1% increase from 2022. Meaning that the competition for the advertising needs of the businesses in the UK is only increasing and becoming more competitive. Which means your digital agency is going to have to work harder to stand out.
  1. Having an effective lead generation process or inbound marketing pipeline creates a steady stream of inbound leads income for your digital agency. And when your agency isn’t the biggest name brand agency on the block, this is even more crucial.
  1. Lead generation can be both paid advertising, promoting lead magnets through paid advertising. But it can also be purely organic, being promoted on your already high-traffic articles or on brand new ones. Meaning that investing in your lead generation can have long-term benefits for your digital agency.

The 6 Steps of the Lead Generation Process, to Create Lead Magnets Your Audience Loves 

Lead generation is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. However, there are a few steps you can take to guide your lead generation process, to help you attract the right people to your digital agency: Quality leads who are interested in your service and what your agency offers.

1. Know Who Your Target Audience Is, Where They Are, and What They Need

This one should come as no surprise, but knowing who your ideal customer or buyer persona is, is essential for attracting the right leads. There’s no point creating lead magnets that generate interest and inbound leads from ecommerce businesses looking for help with running paid ads, if you’re an SEO focused agency, even if the end goal is the same. 

And a part of knowing who your target audience is, is knowing what they’re looking for. If you can find online forums where your target audience are, you can find out their pain points and help solve them.

For example, if you’re a performance marketing agency specialising in smaller businesses and start-ups, then looking in Facebook or LinkedIn groups specifically for start-up ecommerce businesses is a great place to find ideas for content: Giving you a great idea of the content that they would find valuable, and what the problems they face, that you can address are.

2. Find an Area That You Can Offer Expertise and Value In

However, the lead magnets your business creates can’t just be directed at your target audience and their pain points. It needs to be focused on the services your business offers, that can solve their problems. Because as much as you’d love to, you can’t solve all of their problems.

The lead magnets you create need to be in an area where your business is an expert, and aligns with your business’s service offerings and marketing efforts. After all, you need to position yourself as an authority on the subject that aligns with your brand.

Because while you’re trying to provide your target audience with relevant information, at the end of the day your lead generation efforts should also aim to result in a sale or conversion. And the content you provide should be aimed at subtly showing the reader that yes, they can run paid advertising campaigns themselves. But you’re the experts, and you can do it better than they can.

3. Build on Your Existing Blogs/ Content

Levelling up your content and offering additional resources is a great way to expand on what you already offer that you know works. 

Let’s say you’re a PPC & Paid Social Agency. You have a great performing piece of content or blog, that brings in great traffic. For example, a blog called “The Average Cost of Running Facebook Ads For Start-Up Ecommerce Businesses”: Because smaller ecommerce companies are your niche, and target audience.

Then when someone is reading this article they get a pop-up for a e-book download, or a 5-week email course on “The Complete Guide To Running Facebook Ads for Your Start-Up”. Which is most likely, going to interest them too. 

Like this example here on Search Engine Journal. After reading through an article on the Paid Media News section of the website, I was offered the opportunity to sign up to a free webinar for performance marketing. 

Someone reading this article is likely to be interested in this webinar.

pop up lead magnet, lead generation

And as easy as that, they’ve happily given your contact details and you’ve provided them with free, helpful content. Everyone’s happy. This type of lead generation is great because it brings in high-interest leads, and doesn’t feel as intrusive.

4. Promote Across Your Channels

When you spend time curating content for your lead generation that you know your audience will love, you don’t want to just post it in one place. You want to maximise the returns on your effort by promoting your lead magnets across a wide variety of channels. Let’s explore some of the different ways to promote your new lead magnet:

  1. Posting it on your website with its own landing page is the first and a crucial step. You want people to be able to find it on SERPs, and to navigate to it on your website.
  2. Pop Ups on your own website is another great way to grab the attention of readers who you know will be interested in it.
  3. Posting your lead magnets on your social media channels is another great way to attract your ideal audience. As the people who follow your digital agency on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc. are already interested in your business and brand.
  4. Paid Ads: It may even make sense for your business to use paid advertising to promote your lead magnets, or social media or search engines. This can be just as simple as boosting your post on LinkedIn, to get it in front of more of your target audience.
  5. If your business already utilises email marketing, then using your email channels or newsletters to promote your content is a great idea. Once again, the people who read your email marketing are interested in what you have to offer.

Which brings us to the next step in the lead generation process.

5. Make the Most Out of the Leads You Receive 

So people are downloading your whitepaper, they’re subscribing to your email course, or they’re signing up to your webinar. Fantastic news, but that’s just the beginning. 

Because what really matters is what you do now you have their attention.

Your end goal should be clear before you even create your lead magnet and should be the driving force behind your lead generation. Whether that’s people giving you their contact information so you can sell to them at a later date, or just increasing your brand presence.

But the last thing you want to happen is for people to download your whitepaper, give you their email, and then forget who you are because you don’t contact them for months.

Having a steady stream of contact through the occasional newsletter or personal outreach can help keep your business in their mind: Even if they don’t need your services right now, you’ll be the first person they think of when they do.

6. Perfect Your Lead Generation Process: Monitor and Improve

Creating lead magnets for your lead generation is only the first step. Because after that is your time to monitor their performance, and how you can improve them.

By monitoring your conversion rates, engagement on social media, downloads and clicks you’ll be able to keep a track of not only how many quality leads you generated, but how many you missed out on. 

Using these insights, you can test and improve your lead generation to maximise performance, increase the effectiveness of lead generation campaigns moving forward, and find out if there’s any gaps in your content strategy moving forward.

8 Lead Magnets for your Lead Generation: With Examples

Now you might know everything there already is to know about the process of attracting inbound clients and lead generation: After all, you don’t get to lead and manage a digital agency with no understanding of inbound marketing.

But we also wanted to share with you a few different examples of lead magnets you can use for your lead generation, and the different purposes they usually serve.

1. EBooks and Whitepapers

Creating information rich ebooks and whitepapers are a great way to attract the interest of our target audience. And as we mentioned before, they can be a great way to build on your pre-existing wins by expanding on already successful blogs and articles. 

For your digital marketing agency that’s primary clients are start-up ecommerce businesses, your website may have blogs like this:

  • The Best Social Media Platforms For Ecommerce Businesses.
  • How to Get Started With Selling Online: For Small Businesses.
  • Common Paid Social Advertising Mistakes That Start-up Businesses Make

And instead, repackage them into a downloadable whitepaper called “The Complete Guide to Paid Social Media Ads for Start-up Ecommerce Businesses”.

lead magnet for lead generation - hubspot
Like HubSpot’s “Ultimate Guide to Java & JavaScript for Beginners”

2. Webinars

Online webinars are a great way to engage closely with prospective clients, answering their questions and building relationships with. They also allow you to showcase your businesses expertise on a subject that your audience is interested in, and allows you to sell.

These webinars can be related to digital marketing trends, strategies, or processes that your agency uses or offers.

Webinar sign up form lead generation lead magnet
Search Engine Journal’s “Webinars”, targeting digital marketers

3. Cheat Sheets/ Checklists

Cheat sheets or checklists such as “10 Quick Things You Can Do To Improve Your Ecommerce Sites Performance” are great for grabbing attention. They should be actionable, simple, and offer a checklist that anyone reading can follow along to.

SEO checklist lead generation lead magnet
Ahrefs “SEO Checklist”

4. Templates

Templates are simple to create (for the most part) and can be incredibly useful to your clients. Which is why they’re happy to give up their information for them!

And given the vast amount of services your agency offers, there are plenty for you to create: From Facebook advert image templates, to client proposals.

And they can be adapted from existing content on your site or existing assets your agency owns, making them even easier!

lead generation - social media plan lead magnet
HubSpot’s “Social Media Content Calendar Template”

5. Email Courses

An email course that spans weeks or months that your audience can enrol in is a great lead generation tool. Because by dragging the information process out, it keeps you in the audience’s mind over a longer period of time. Which means if your audience is extremely interested and impatient, they may reach out to you directly to enquire further.

6. Infographics

Infographics are similar to whitepapers and ebooks, but differ in their presentation. Some of your audience will prefer to consume their information visually. And an infographic is the perfect way to communicate complicated concepts, statistics and large bodies of information in a visually appealing manner.

infographic lead generation lead magnet

7. Free Audits

This is a lead magnet where you may need to exercise some caution. Because if you offer free SEO Audits for companies or offer to audit their paid advertising, you might receive a lot of interest. But these may be low-quality leads that take up a lot of your resources and time.

So instead offer a select few, maybe a prize draw that a business will be entered into. This can even have a time limit on it as a limited time deal, to create a sense of urgency.

site audit lead magnet tool lead generation

8. Case Studies

Not all downloadable assets follow a typical sales funnel. For example, case studies are less about selling your services, but more about selling your agency and brand.

Case studies on successful partnerships and client relationships your agency has are a great way to show your expertise. And instead of focusing on what your agency offers or the knowledge you want to give to your audience, they instead focus on your wins. Wins that you can offer to replicate for your potentially new clients…

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