How to Generate Leads for Your Digital Agency

Lead generation is a necessary part of growth for any digital agency. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that agency lead-generation strategies can make or break a business. 

Although 85% of companies recognize lead generation as one of the most important goals in marketing, 61% of marketers reported that lead generation is their number one challenge.

This might not be the best position to be in, as lead generation ensures you never run out of potential customers and your digital agency experiences steady growth. 

In this blog post, you’ll learn what a lead is and how to generate them. The goal is for your agency lead generation to yield the best results.

What is a lead?

In its simplest definition, a lead is any person that has shown interest in your product or service.

Leads are people who have come in contact with your communication and have submitted some sort of personal information indicating interest. Leads give their information willingly because they believe you offer something they value.

A lead is different from a customer in that a lead may not be ready to make a purchase or sign a contract yet. However, they are open to receiving more information about your agency. Generating leads means your digital agency continuously has prospects that will convert and turn into customers. 

Around 50% of marketers consider lead generation a top priority in marketing campaigns. Therefore, they include a lead generation content strategy in their marketing efforts

Here’s a visual representation of how a lead goes through the sales funnel to convert into a customer.

Once agency lead generation efforts are implemented and leads are converted to customers, these customers can act as advocates and refer more people to you. Essentially, leads can become a loop that brings more customers to you.

Bottom line, if you want your digital agency to succeed, you need to start with lead generation the soonest possible time. Start crafting lead generation strategies right after you apply for an EIN and hire your first employees. The quicker you generate your leads, the quicker you get your first clients.  

7 effective lead generation strategies for your digital agency

Lead generation may seem hard at first, but it isn’t. Here are seven strategies you can implement for your agency lead generation.

1. Participate in industry events and trade shows

If you'd like clients from a particular industry, it’s a good idea to attend and speak at events or trade shows in that industry. Doing so provides an avenue for you to connect with potential clients and generate new leads.

Industry events and trade shows such as the Wein & Genuss if you are in the alcoholic beverage industry, and Expobelleza Andalucia, if you are in the beauty industry, provide an opportunity for your digital agency to connect with prospective clients.

Leads from events and shows like this are regarded as marketing qualified leads (MQL). This is because the attendees are looking for solutions to certain issues your agency may be equipped to solve. 

You can use websites such as TradeFairDates to see trade shows that may be relevant to your brand.

2. Host your own webinar

Webinars are a great way to acquire leads because you can tick multiple boxes at the same time. You can show your expertise, build credibility and likeability, and attempt to close many potential leads at once.

To deliver a successful webinar, you need to ensure you have the right topic, and you prepare adequately. To pick the right topic, you should understand the audience you want to talk to. Then map out their pain points and needs and plan a webinar that addresses those needs and pain points.

To get the audience you want to sign up, you’ll need to create posts about your webinar and post it across your platforms along with a link where they can sign up. Afterward, promote it by getting influencers within the industry to talk about it. Another way to promote it is to run ads such that it targets the audience you want. We’ll talk more about paid campaigns later.

Some agencies like Anvil Media and iQuanti have leveraged webinars to get leads. 

Here’s a sample webinar from Anvil Media: 

Notice that the content establishes Anvil Media as an authority in the digital marketing field.

The types of leads acquired at webinars are regarded as quality leads, as over half of B2B marketers consider leads gotten from webinars above average. People who join these webinars already have some interest, and your delivery may help cement a sale.

Just like the image shows, even after a webinar is over, you can still get leads by recording the webinar and sharing it on your website and social media channels. This way, people who stumble on your pages can watch the webinar and sign up for an offer. This gives your sales teams an opportunity to contact them and sell to them.

3. Create consistent content 

Content marketing is an effective way to share your wealth of knowledge and draw in your target audience. It’s an effective agency lead generation strategy. But since you don’t know when your leads will stumble on your page, you need to publish content consistently.

Publishing content consistently does a few things. It shows you know your stuff; it builds trust with your audience, and creates a platform. This platform helps your audience communicate with you, and register for or buy your products/service. So they go from strangers to leads, and then to customers. B2B companies that give blogging high priority get 13 times higher ROI than the ones that do only the bare minimum. 

Amp Agency, for instance, regularly publishes blog posts on digital marketing trends. Anyone who sees these posts will conclude the agency is an authority in digital marketing:

As part of your agency lead generation, you can publish content on other platforms, too. They just have to be platforms your target audience uses. Professionals are often on LinkedIn, Quora, and Twitter, but platforms like Instagram can also be useful when targeting key stakeholders.

Once you’re on your chosen platforms, implement strategies to increase content visibility. For instance, get more likes on Instagram, encourage existing followers to share your content.

Follow up on your leads with email marketing campaigns so as to optimize your lead conversion rate.

4. Build a referral network

Think of the last time you bought something. You likely got some sort of referral, either from a friend or a person you follow online. It’s the same thing for businesses. When clients ask for agency recommendations, businesses will recommend agencies they know and trust.

The best way to take advantage of this is to build relationships and partnerships. If the clients you take on are in a niche, then it might be good to partner with retailers, associations, and other influential groups in that industry.

You can also partner with agencies in the same or similar industries. This way, if they’re unable to take on a client or a client doesn’t suit them, they can send them to you.

The last way to find referrals is to look for agencies in your industry/niche that do a completely different thing. 

For example, you may be an agency that focuses on SaaS link building. In that case, you can partner with another agency that does paid ads. This way, they can send their clients who want link building services and you can send some of your clients who need paid ads services. 

This stat shows just how much referrals can add to your business.

Your referral list can also include people you’ve worked with before, business partners, and other professionals in your field.

When you put the necessary things in place for referrals to happen, you’ll start getting calls from prospects. It’s important to create a good first impression by getting the right phone answering service. Doing this will help you get your prospects into the door and increase your conversion rate.

5. Run paid campaigns

So far, we’ve talked about leveraging things that are accessible to you. Now we’ll introduce you to one of the easiest ways to get leads as a digital agency. By running ads.

Google is the recommended platform for running paid ads as it has numerous ad types like search ads, display ads, video ads, local search ads, etc. Facebook ads are also recommended as Facebook has a good network and reach. Here’s an example of what a Facebook ad looks like.

Agencies like Filter Sols (see above) and Peak Digital Partners run ads to advertise their service and reach their audience.

Before running ads, ensure you do some market research to figure out your target audience. Research the right keywords to use, and create the right copies. This way, your ads reach the right people, and you can generate potential leads and move them along the sales funnel.

Local service ads are particularly important if you’d like clients that are within your region. To make the most of those ads, here’s how to optimize them.

6. Get listed in relevant directories

Directories are online databases that list businesses in a particular industry. When looking for digital businesses or any business at all, one of the top places most people start their research is in directories like Yelp, yellow pages, and Google My Business.

Get listed in top directories, as this often shows credibility and helps boost visibility. Around 90% of agencies see directories as an important source of leads. By getting listed in relevant directories, your SEO will improve and you will be visible to potential clients searching for agencies like yours.

To get the kind of leads you want, you need to optimize your profile. Use the relevant keywords for the clients you want to attract. Aim for a 100% profile completion rate.

Here’s an example of how the backend of a Google My Business (GMB) directory looks.

Add relevant information like your business phone number as this helps you show up on search engines. It’ll also help you show up for “near me” searches.

You can also list your agency on popular directories like Clutch.

Getting information like the address of an agency helps make it easier for clients to get in touch with you.

7. Use social media to look for opportunities proactively

You’ve seen how you can use social media to disseminate your content for lead generation. You can use social media to proactively search for leads, too.

Social media is great for monitoring conversations around keywords like “we need a digital agency”. This means you can jump into conversations, provide value, and direct sales efforts to the relevant audience.

All you need are social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Brand24

For example, web design agency Pixel PR used this strategy to close a deal worth $2.5k. Using a social media listening tool, the agency monitored a social media post from a person looking for a web designer. 

Pixel PR responded to the post with a link to their website and portfolio. The good thing about this kind of lead is, the conversion process is faster. You can close a deal then and there, without having to go through usual processes.

In closing

Lead generation is essential for the growth of your digital agency. You learned tips you can use to generate leads for your digital agency.

Participating in industry events and shows, or hosting webinars exposes you to prospective qualified leads that may convert. Creating and publishing content everywhere helps position you as an expert in your field. It also helps you close them on the spot or at a later time.

Another key way to get quality leads is by building a referral network. Meanwhile, running campaign ads and listing your agencies in directories helps you reach your target leads. Social media also helps you search for leads proactively and close a deal.

Follow these tips, and you’ll generate quality leads for your digital agency. You’ll be well on your way to success. Good luck!

Austin Andrukaitis

Austin Andrukaitis is the CEO of ChamberofCommerce.com. He's an experienced digital marketing strategist with many years of experience in creating successful online campaigns.

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