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From Ads to Sales: A Marketer's Guide to Finding and Tracking Leads

Today’s market has made it increasingly difficult for digital marketers to find new qualified leads to help fill the sales funnel. Refining target audiences to curb overspending and tracking leads all the way through to conversion have become necessary components of a successful digital marketing program. If you want to find and track leads so you can increase marketing efficiency and value, start by considering these essential steps that we build into the award-winning programs we implement for our clients.

Performance Benchmarks

Having a complete and clear view of your existing strategy and implementations will help you establish benchmarks and set goals. More importantly, this information can tell you about:

  • The specific audiences that are converting into leads and sales

  • The types of content getting the best responses

  • Where your ad dollars can be most efficiently spent

This is also a good time to make sure all stakeholders are on board, and that you include any incremental metrics or KPIs that can help further integrate goals across teams.

Reach out to people looking for your business

Your company’s product is only part of the equation: another key component to your digital marketing success is connecting with an audience that is searching for what you have to offer. Follow this guide to conducting valuable audience research to focus your efforts (and dollars) on audiences that are worth your time.

Audience Research

It’s also easy to have successful marketing that collects lots of leads from the wrong type of audience. This hurts your close rates, and can do more harm than good by making sales teams work harder to chase leads that likely aren’t a good fit. Make sure you are looking at all the listed areas as you research the right audience, channels, and messaging to strengthen your digital marketing. Following these guidelines will help your brand reach the person behind the lead to establish deeper connections that can help your brand stand out from your competitors.

  • Outline your service or product offering

  • Look at your best customers as a model

  • Research the market (industry and competitors)

  • Create buyer personas

You can then plan and execute your market strategy, closely tracking results through analytics.

Digital ads: First impressions matter

Your brand’s ads are often a customer’s first point of contact with your business. We keep this in mind by making performance creative a part of our digital marketing strategies, and partner with artists, designers, and writers to make messaging that attracts the right type of audience. Take a look at how we approach ad creative to get an idea of how you can (and should) incorporate these practices in your program.

Compelling Creative

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and the right keywords will unlock the engagement and ROI that you need to see from your advertising. But as competitors constantly introduce their own ads, it’s just as important to keep your images and copy updated to make ad dollars go farther. A good creative approach should include:

  • Creative ideation as part of the overall strategy

  • Eye-catching art and copy to help connect with the right audiences

  • Data-driven testing to inform decisions

The key is to continuously track the performance of ads to know when to make adjustments and which elements to update. These can be small changes or completely new ads, so having multiple versions ready to go (or access to content creators) will help facilitate a quicker turn-around time.

Know where your leads are at all times

With Google making major changes to their Analytics program, now is the right time to check that your Google Ads and GA4 instances are properly connected to ensure you’re properly tracking visitors to your website. This quick how-to video will give you added visibility into the ads-to-sales journey for leads.

Track Results

You need to be able to clearly see where and how the traffic that you are bringing to your website from your ads is behaving, and that is accomplished through comprehensive tracking. The information tracking provides can inform and improve multiple elements of your marketing program:

  • Identify content that will best resonate with target audience to optimize ad messaging

  • Show sales teams the topics most important to leads for a more personal touch

  • Clearly demonstrate the incremental value marketing provides

Tracking will give you the necessary data to make smart decisions about how you identify and target new business, as well as where there are opportunities for growth. Visibility into performance also helps tell your story to other groups within your company, so other departments understand how marketing is impacting the bottom line.

Close the reporting loop to maximize success

Closing the loop on reporting is a necessary component when you need to know if your marketing is giving you a positive return on your investment. We worked closely with one client to pull together a number of tools and systems that allowed them to identify the most valuable lead types so they could focus their marketing on audiences that were likely to convert.

Closed-Loop Reporting

Bringing your tracking and reporting full circle gives you the ability to identify the true value of the leads you are capturing with your marketing efforts. You’ll have a clear view into just how much work goes into acquiring each lead and what it takes to move them through the sales process to gain their business.

Sales and business development teams can pinpoint those leads that are more receptive to current marketing, and provide valuable insights that will help reduce remarketing efforts and help speed up the average time it takes to close deals.

This is also a good way to identify inefficiencies in the platforms and tools you use to implement your marketing program to maximize the return on your ad spend. You will likely need to stitch together multiple programs to complete the reporting loop, but this allows to eliminate redundancies or unnecessary programs and bolster your marketing technology to help future proof your business acquisition.

Start anywhere, just get started

You don’t need to start from scratch to build a better beginning-to-end marketing program. You may already have a few of these elements in place, or can restructure your current program to better fit this model. The important thing is to get started as soon as possible. Even a few days of poor ad performance can have a major impact on campaign ROI, and chasing leads that don’t convert or provide the necessary value will have even more of a negative impact.

If you want to talk through the right approach for your business, get in touch with us. We specialize in creating custom marketing plans that get great results.