The missing piece in most digital marketing strategies

Digital marketing tactics help with brand visibility and awarenes.

HOW do your digital marketing efforts help you get sales? Sales are the lifeblood of any business as revenue-generation results in not only keeping the business afloat, but in ensuring its growth.

Return on investment of digital marketing efforts needs to be measured as it compares the amount invested in your digital marketing with the profits earned from your digital marketing efforts.

This metric begs the question of whether your digital marketing efforts have resulted in any sales and with many digital marketing efforts being focused on brand awareness building tactics, it can be difficult to measure the return on investment, and in a way that translates to sales.

If you have worked with a digital marketer, you would have heard them say that you cannot always tell what led to the customer making the buying decision as they could have:

    Interacted with the brand online for months, which helped build trust,

 They might have been referred by someone, who follows the brand’s social media platforms, and

They might have read a blog some months before and then made the purchasing decision upon seeing another social media post.

These are a few examples, and they hold true as it isnot always possible to track where a person came from.

I always encourage business owners and marketers to take stock of their own buying habits to see whether they tend to binge on content (social media) before trusting a brand, more trust a brand that is more visible (and posts on social media more consistently), or are even happy to buy from a brand they have interacted with once on social media.

Thinking about this, and essentially stepping into your customer’s shoes can show you how a lot of digital marketing tactics predominantly encourage brand awareness and brand visibility, which will not always show an immediate return on investment. Brand visibility aids in getting noticed and brand awareness assumes members of your target audience are familiar with your brand, and will remember you.

Digital marketing tactics that help with brand visibility and awareness include, but are not limited to:

    Social media marketing: This entails posting on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X and LinkedIn. This allows you to connect with your audience and engage in two-way conversations as your audience can comment, ask questions on posts.

 SMS marketing: This helps keep your audience “in the know” as they can receive promotional information and any company updates. Depending on the frequency of your SMSs, sending messages can help you remain top-of-mind in the consumer’s mind, ensuring they think of you first when making a buying decision.

    Email marketing: From educational emails, to company updates and promotional emails, email can help you build brand and product awareness while helping create trust.

    Influencer marketing: Partnering with personal brands will help you reach a new audience, also improving your visibility and increasing brand and product awareness with the influencer’s audience.

You would have been on the receiving end of one or more of these tactics when spending time online as numerous businesses now have an online presence.

The more common ones in Zimbabwe are social media marketing and SMS marketing, with Influencer marketing starting to become more popular. All of these digital marketing tactics will help people know more about you, and possibly even give them an opportunity to buy from you – but it isnot guaranteed they will immediately make the buying decision.

This shows the need for tactics that can focus on helping your business make more sales from digital marketing efforts as no sales = no business.

At this point, my hopes are that you will appreciate that there is indeed a missing piece in many digital marketing strategies. The missing piece is one that would initiate a conversation that encourages the consumer to make a buying decision sooner rather than later.

Lead generation is an element many businesses need to start adding to their digital marketing strategies. Think of lead generation as enquiry generation given that it entails using online platforms to draw your customers to you for you to either call or email them.

The enquiry generation method gives the business a bit more control as you can speak to each person that would have enquired, telling them about your business and product offering and answering any questions they would have.

This is as opposed to posting a graphic image (or picture) on Facebook or Instagram with hopes that anyone interested will reach out.   Always remember that you need to make it easy for your customers to buy from you. If you step into your customer’s shoes again, you will note that sometimes as a consumer you may be interested in a product or service but havenot been provided with enough information to buy or you may even think you will reach out to them later but forget to.

This shows that the customer not reaching out doesnot always mean they arenot interested. In this case the business would have left it to the customer, their schedule and ability to remember to call during work hours to ask for additional information.

Lead generation makes it easier for your potential customers to buy from your business. Are you interested in what it takes to successfully do lead generation? Consider these three steps

Attract your leads

Decide on one specific product or service you would like to offer. (This can be a service or product category).

Having too many offers can lead to decision fatigue which can result in your potential clients letting you know that they need some time to decide on what they want, or not fully understanding which product is best for them.   Once the offer is created, an online campaign will be created, which will be used to reach people using social media where online campaigns entail you creating online advertisements on social media platforms.

Capture (and qualify) your leads

You will need your potential customer’s information to be able to reach out to them once they have shown interest. Asking for their name, phone and email will provide you with the information needed to reach out. You can also add additional questions to your data capturing tools to help you know if the person is in your target market or not; helping you focus on people identified to be in your target market.

When you have numerous enquiries coming in from your lead generation efforts, you will want to prioritise those that will convert into paying customers.

Convert leads into paying customers

Once you have enquiries and are able to see who will be a best fit for your offering, you will need to start engaging the people. This will be through sales follow up which can be through phone calls, emails, and SMS depending on your strategy and resources available. Our team also makes use of message response automations, which ensure every enquiry is responded to immediately.

This is as response times can affect how your leads respond to you when you call.

The return on investment on lead generation is less complicated to measure as you are able to not only measure the costs involved in your lead generation efforts, but also track the revenue generated from your leads. While not all leads will convert into a paying customer, you will be able to track the revenue from the lead generation campaign. Return on investment = (Total revenue received from leads - Lead generation cost)/ lead generation cost *100.

Based on the formula provided, you will be able to tell how many sales you need to make from a single campaign to not only cover the costs of your lead generation efforts, but profit from them.

When outsourcing your social media ads to lead generation specialists who will take time to understand your business, products and services as well as your target market, you can expect to get more inquiries. 

Lead generation is enquiry generation. It will help you get more from your digital marketing efforts. Is lead generation included in your digital marketing strategy?

  • Chikumba is a digital and brand strategist working with people and organisations looking to leverage the online space. She educates on brand and online marketing fundamentals and is host on the podcast Building African Brands. She works with entrepreneurs to solve African challenges, and creatives to shift the African narrative. These weekly New Horizon articles,   published in the  Zimbabwe Independent, are coordinated by Lovemore Kadenge,  an independent consultant, managing consultant of Zawale Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, past president of the Zimbabwe Economics Society and past president of the Chartered Governance & Accountancy Institute in Zimbabwe (CGI Zimbabwe). —  [email protected] or mobile: +263 772 382 852

Related Topics