For obvious reasons, we love to promote the power and value of pay per click (PPC) advertising.
No matter your industry, the size of your business, or the goals of your advertising strategy, a PPC campaign can give you the reach and reliable lead generation you need to gain momentum.
But investing exclusively in one PPC channel is inefficient.
And so is investing exclusively in PPC as a lead generation strategy.
The solution is cross channel lead generation.
But what exactly is cross channel lead generation? And how should it apply to your PPC advertising lead generation strategy?
The term “cross channel” refers to coordinating efforts across multiple different mediums or platforms, and it can apply both within the world of PPC advertising and outside of it.
Within PPC advertising, you can use cross channel lead generation to display your ads across multiple different platforms and networks, such as Google, Bing, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can manage several different PPC ad campaigns interdependently, taking advantage of a wide range of tools and techniques to get the greatest value from each ad you place.
Outside of PPC, cross channel lead generation includes a variety of both inbound and outbound lead generation strategies. For example, in addition to your cross channel PPC ads, you can practice cold calling, cold emailing, SEO, and drip email marketing.
We’ll be exploring both sides of this equation but will primarily focus on cross channel lead generation within the PPC realm.
Why should you consider cross channel lead generation?
Now let’s dig into the details of how you can practice cross channel lead generation with PPC advertising.
Your first step is to decide on which complementary channels to include. You’ll need to do some research upfront here, studying your target demographics as well as your competitors to figure out which channels might be the most promising.
That said, try not to overthink this. None of these channels require an extensive commitment, and you’ll be reshuffling your budget in the future anyway. If a channel doesn’t work, you can always cut it in the future.
Next, if you haven’t already, define your sales funnel and sales cycle.
Your sales cycle applies to individual leads in your pipeline; it’s a description of the process the average lead follows to eventually become a paying customer (or buy a new product from your business). It might go something like Prospecting > Initial Connection > Presentation > Overcoming Objections > Close.
Your sales funnel is somewhat similar, describing the average path your customers follow on their journey to become customers, but it has a higher-level, more aggregated view. A sales funnel might unfold in phases like Awareness > Research > Consideration/Comparison > Decision.
It’s important to understand both of these so you can better contextualize the behavior of your users and better allocate your budget. With proper planning, you can design and display advertisements for different types of prospects, based on where they are in the sales funnel.
We’ll take a closer look at these strategic decisions in the next section, but for now, focus on defining what the phases of your sales cycle and sales funnel are. These conceptual tools look a bit different for every business, so consider making modifications to any templates you find.
Strongly differentiate between your “high funnel” and “low funnel” promotions – and use your advertising networks accordingly.
A high funnel promotion is designed to appeal to users higher up in your sales funnel; these are people who probably aren’t aware that your brand exists and they may not even know they have a problem that needs to be solved. Messages like “Are you spending too much on HR needs?” and promotions of educational content are excellent here; the goal is to raise awareness, stimulate interest, and begin nurturing your leads.
A low funnel promotion is designed to users lower in your sales funnel; these are people who already know your brand and are getting ready to make a purchase. Special offers, discounts, and other incentives to close the deal are ideal here.
There are, of course, other stages in the middle of your sales funnel, too. But high funnel and low funnel promotions are a great place to start.
Next, distinguish between platforms and advertisements meant to push your audience toward something they haven’t heard of before and those meant to pull your audience towards something they’re already familiar with.
If a customer has never heard of your brand before, they have no reason to search for it. They may also be totally unaware of whatever problem you’re trying to solve. If you want to get their attention in your cross-channel lead generation strategy, you’ll need to reach out to them in some generic, mass marketed way. This is considered a push promotion.
If a customer is already acutely aware of the problem they need to solve, and they’ve done at least some research to make a purchasing decision, you’ll need to reach out to them when they’re actively searching for your brand or a solution like yours. This is considered a pull promotion.
Now let’s combine these ideas.
For customers high in your sales funnel, push promotions are best. You’ll begin introducing your brand, you’ll reach people who may not have heard of you, and you can begin warming up these potential leads. Social media networks are typically good for this, as long as you know who you’re targeting.
For customers low in your sales funnel, pull promotions are best. You’ll capitalize on search intent, placing your advertisements for keywords and phrases that indicate purchasing intent or at least serious research on the subject.
It’s a great strategy for using each platform/channel to its fullest potential – and it’s only going to get better once you have more data available to you.
As you begin experimenting with different channels and approaches, attempt to estimate your “baseline” costs per lead. In other words, how much would you pay for each quality lead generated by a given strategy?
If you’ve been practicing PPC advertising on a single channel for some time, you probably have a reasonable basis for this projection. How much does it cost, approximately, to generate a lead under normal circumstances?
This is going to serve as your comparative foundation when planning for lead generation across other channels. If it costs $5 to generate a typical lead on your primary platform, but it only costs $1 to generate a high funnel lead on a competing platform, you know this secondary channel/strategy is worth pursuing. If it costs $10, you know not to bother.
Your measurements don’t need to be precise at the beginning of your campaign; this cost basis is meant to loosely guide you in your early decision making. Objective analytics and precision come later, once you’ve had a chance to run more experiments and gather more data.
Across all your channels and platforms, you need to commit to measuring every significant variable. Most PPC ad platforms (and most lead generation strategies in general) make these tools free and easy to use – you just have to go through the effort of using them.
These are some of the most important KPIs to measure across your campaigns:
As you gather more data, you’ll get a better sense for the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, the power of your spending, and the behavioral patterns of your most important demographics. And with this information, you can reallocate your budget to maximize your ROI.
Are you ready to start a cross-channel PPC campaign of your own?
Are you interested in boosting the value of your existing PPC ad strategy?
We have seasoned experts who can help you from start to finish. Contact us for a free proposal today!