For decades, companies around the world have been looking for ways to streamline their workflows, minimize repetitive tasks and focus on what really matters to business development. Manufacturers use automated equipment to speed up production, restaurateurs collect orders through apps and self-ordering systems, but is the automation of any help to a digital agency looking to streamline lead generation?
The answer to this question is yes, and the solution to your needs is hidden in the article.
Read on to discover several automation strategies that allow you to focus on marketing for your clients rather than marketing for your agency itself. Here’s why and how.
Are you struggling with this one?
First things first, take a moment to analyze the current workflow in your digital marketing agency and identify the areas that need improvement. Here’s a list of the most common hurdles that agencies face in their day-to-day battle to win and retain clients:
- You attract leads, but they are mostly unqualified;
- You have trouble building brand awareness and trust in your agency;
- You find it difficult to rank for relevant keywords in search results, and SEO activities take hours of your team’s precious time;
- Your outreach process is time consuming and you barely keep up with regular follow-ups;
- By managing your current customers, you don’t have time for other tasks.
Do these symptoms look familiar to you? Have you identified a shortage in at least one of the areas mentioned? It’s a sign that your marketing agency needs automation to restore the lead acquisition process and reclaim your team’s precious time. Read on for instructions and recommendations.
Agency Automation Strategies for Lead Acquisition
Here’s how to acquire and retain qualified leads hands-free.
Identify high-quality leads
Naked traffic is a vanity statistic; it’s the qualified audience that really matters to your business. Your best move is to cater exclusively to those who are likely to become your customers, even if it means greatly reducing traffic volume.
The problem is, identifying and reaching high-quality leads is a full-time job. Fortunately, some solutions help you do that hands-free.
Before you start generating promising leads on autopilot, here’s one thing you need to do first: create a detailed customer persona and ensure that all of your lead acquisition activities align with the needs and preferences of your desired audience.
Once you’re equipped with data, you’re ready to automate processes:
- List your agency in a hub such as Digital Agency Network (DAN); that is where your ideal customers will find the solution to their problems and challenges. Your agency’s presence in a niche-specific hub will help you get discovered and attract business opportunities. Every month, DAN attracts more than 290,000 companies looking for rental agencies. No wonder it has become the premier lead acquisition channel for digital marketing agencies around the world.
- Automate lead scoring to separate the high-value leads from other traffic without analyzing their initial activity patterns. Tools like Sendinblue and SALESmanago help you skip the tedious identification phase and get right to nurturing potential customers.
As a marketing agency you have to learn to distinguish yourself from the fierce competition. There is no more powerful way to do this than through social proof.
Reviews and recommendations of your services will help you build trust in your agency and gain new clients. Sure, personal recommendations from people you know work best, but 70% of people trust recommendations from people they don’t even know.
That’s why it’s crucial to collect reviews online:
- Send time-controlled automated emails to your customers and ask them to leave a review of your services on your Facebook and/or Google My Business profile. You can use Hiver and Intercom for email automation.
- Automatically distribute the reviews across different channels. Your potential clients may be checking your agency’s credibility in several places. While Facebook and Google My Business are the most obvious, some may never reach your profiles on these marketing platforms. Therefore, it is essential not to neglect any lead acquisition source. Solutions like Arrivala provide your customers with an easy process to post a single review across all of your review platforms.
Rank for relevant keywords
If you run a digital agency in Philadelphia, your most desired keyword is probably “digital agency Philadelphia.” The phrase is quite competitive and you can do two things to reach the top position in the search results.
You can hire a content marketer with broad experience in SEO and produce tons of content backed by extensive link building activities to rank for your desired keywords. It’s a good way to do this, but it takes months to reach top positions on Google.
But there is also a fast track to winning the Google ranks. You can list your agency in location-based directories that are already in the top three for your desired keywords. An example is DAN.
For the example of the keyword “digital agency Philadelphia” DAN has a strong position at the top of Google search results:
For a flat fee much less than a content marketer’s salary, you can rank your agency at the top of DAN’s digital agencies in Philadelphia and drive high-quality leads directly to your website. That’s a smart investment!
Speed up the range
Outreach is one of the most successful lead acquisition methods. According to a survey by LinkedIn, 62% of marketers claim LinkedIn’s outreach activities are successfully generating leads.
The number is impressive, but outreach can take hours of your team’s time. That’s why it’s good to automate at least some of it.
There are plenty of solutions you can use to engage prospects at scale and send automated (and personalized!) messages and follow-ups. The most recommended are LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, Zopto and Expandi.
Even the most automated lead generation processes won’t save time and effort if you ignore customer retention activities. I bet you don’t want to keep generating new leads just because you’re losing current clients, but because you want to gradually grow your agency.
Here are the parts of customer retention you can automate:
- Automated social media reporting is a perfect solution for teams that spend weekly or monthly hours manually preparing social media performance reports. Save hours by scheduling automated reports with key metrics sent to your customers and other stakeholders via email.
- Automatically collect customer feedback and act on the identified needs, preferences and obstacles. You can use online survey tools to streamline the process.
- Win back expired customers with automated win-back emails. Three to two months after a project is completed, email your past clients asking about their current challenges and a summary of areas in which your agency can help.
For any digital agency, it’s crucial to focus on what really matters: generating leads for your clients. The more time and energy you can devote to their needs, the more successful your agency will be. You can automate most aspects of the lead generation and customer retention processes to save yourself some precious time.