What do you think is the highest-priority marketing objective of companies today? To drive sales revenue or drive lead generation? Recent research shows that getting marketing leads is the top priority.
It was surprising at first to read this, because a business can’t pay its bills with marketing leads. But new leads are the fuel that keeps most sales engines running. Revenue is for today. Marketing leads are for today and tomorrow.
So where do businesses get marketing leads beyond traditional activities like networking, referrals, and cold calls? From a digital marketing view, SEO (search engine optimization) can be the lowest-cost marketing channel over the long term.
To be ranked organically at the top of a Google results page is almost always preferable to paying Google for a sponsored ad. For paid search, the average cost per conversion is $56. For paid display ads, it’s $91. Marketing leads at this price can burn through a PPC budget quickly. If it takes 10 conversions to get a sales qualified lead and the closing is 25 percent, then the customer acquisition can be over $200.
So in the last five years, the average company increased its SEO budget by 33%. More than half of execs say their highest-ROI marketing activities are search-related, with SEO and content marketing leading the way.
The majority of users on social media platforms don’t buy things online. Instead, they conduct research. They’re commonly looking for entertainment or ideas. While social media marketing can be a faster way to gain brand awareness, SEO reaches more new viewers than social media and it reaches people with buying intent. But SEO isn’t immediate. Getting highly ranked may take six months or more. But once you get there, SEO is a more ‘sticky’ and durable means of generating marketing leads. If you are looking for an agency to help with your brand marketing, learn how to conduct a ‘Digital Marketing RFP.‘ There are many professional marketing agencies who may have the approach and strategy to meet your budget and your priorities.