Paid Media Tactics for Lead Generation in 2024: What’s New & What’s Next?

Do you want to master paid lead generation in 2024? By staying informed about the latest trends, brands can use the most up-to-date and successful tactics to reach their target audience. Here are some essential strategies for LinkedIn, Google & Microsoft Ads.

Attracting potential customers is not simply about acquiring a large number of contacts. Instead, it’s crucial to attract individuals who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. These qualified leads are then added to your sales funnel, which represents the stages a potential customer goes through before making a purchase.

Most CMOs and marketing experts know the platform you’ve chosen for your lead generation campaign is crucial to achieve this goal. As technological advancements reshape consumer behaviour, the methods used to attract potential customers need continuous updates. 

Be it LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, or Microsoft Ads, here are some key steps you can take to improve the effectiveness of your lead generation campaign in 2024.  

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting interested customers, nurturing them and converting them into paying customers. The specific strategies used to achieve this will vary depending on several factors, such as:

Target Customer: Understanding the demographics, behaviours, and needs of your ideal customer is essential for crafting effective lead generation tactics.

Company: The size, industry, and marketing resources of your company will influence the types of lead generation campaigns you can implement.

Industry: Different industries may have established best practices and preferred channels for lead generation.

Who doesn’t want to hit the bullseye with their lead generation strategies? Here are three crucial elements to attract qualified leads from your campaign. Without them, you can never build a strong foundation to reach the ideal customers.

  • A Can’t-Miss Deal or An Irresistible Offer: Develop a valuable incentive that entices potential customers to provide their contact information. This offer could be a free gift, limited-time offer, or an exclusive discount on your product.
  • Streamlined Customer Management: Utilise a powerful CRM system to track and manage your leads. This allows you to analyse their behaviour and determine if they are converting into paying customers.
  • Track Every Conversion: Measure the success of your lead generation efforts by tracking conversions and making data-backed decisions. This goes beyond simply counting leads and includes measuring how many leads become paying customers, allowing you to attribute the ROI to specific marketing campaigns.

LinkedIn Ads For Lead Generation: 7 Strategies You Need To Know

While LinkedIn advertising may seem pricier upfront, it offers a significant advantage: attracting highly valuable leads. 

You can directly reach decision-makers and senior professionals with a greater chance of converting into paying customers.

Here’s how LinkedIn Ads can elevate your B2B marketing strategy:

  • Reaching High-Value Leads: LinkedIn boasts a professional network unlike any other. Your ads are shown to individuals with relevant job titles, industries, and company sizes, increasing the likelihood they align with your ideal customer profile. You have a higher concentration of qualified leads entering your marketing funnel.
  • Targeted Re-Engagement: LinkedIn’s powerful audience targeting extends beyond demographics. You can retarget website visitors, ad clickers, event attendees, and even those who have downloaded specific content. Tailor your message based on their previous interactions and create a more personalised experience.
  • Nurturing Leads for Conversion: Not every lead is ready to purchase immediately. Use LinkedIn Ads to nurture prospects with relevant content that addresses their pain points and positions your company as a trusted solution. Avoid pushing sales offers too early – focus on building brand awareness and establishing credibility.
  • Optimising Campaign Costs: Effective targeting goes beyond just reaching the right audience – it’s about excluding irrelevant groups. Leverage LinkedIn’s targeting features to avoid showing ads to existing customers, unengaged subscribers, or those already in contact with your sales team. This ensures your budget is spent efficiently.
  • Discovering Your Ideal Audience: LinkedIn Audience Insights is a valuable tool for uncovering hidden gems about your target market. Simply upload a list of existing customers or contacts, and LinkedIn will reveal demographics and behavioural patterns of similar professionals on their platform. This intel helps you pinpoint exactly who to target for top-of-funnel awareness campaigns.
  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM): LinkedIn Ads excel in Account-Based Marketing. Target key decision-makers within specific companies with personalised ad creatives. You can even leverage social proof testimonials to influence their buying decisions and accelerate the sales process.
  • Creative Targeting with Third-Party Data: Don’t be afraid to get creative! Utilise third-party audience data tools to gather even more insights about your ideal customers. By combining this information with LinkedIn targeting options, you can deliver highly relevant messages that resonate with each individual's specific stage in the buying journey.

Once you know these tips, LinkedIn Ads can become a powerful tool to generate high-quality leads and propel your B2B marketing efforts forward.

Google Ads For Lead Generation: 4 Strategies You Need To Know

Google Ads can significantly boost your lead generation efforts with some significant tactics. Let’s delve into some of the most successful approaches:

  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs): This strategy focuses on re-engaging past website visitors with targeted ads. By leveraging RLSAs, you can cast a wider net using broader search terms, often at a lower cost-per-click (CPC). This translates to a significant reduction in cost per qualified lead (SQL) compared to traditional prospecting campaigns. In essence, RLSAs allow you to maximise your budget and acquire leads more efficiently.
  • Targeted Audience Segments: Google Ads empowers you to create audience segments based on demographics, interests, and online behaviour. These segments can be used for powerful targeting, allowing you to exclude irrelevant groups and adjust bids for specific segments. This ensures your campaigns reach the most relevant audience while optimising your budget.

One crucial application of audience segments is for observation purposes. By observing which segments convert at higher rates and lower costs (e.g., ‘auto parts and accessories’ or ‘Black Friday shoppers’), you gain valuable insights into your ideal customer profile. This data can then be used to create dedicated campaigns for high-performing segments or adjust bids for lower-performing ones, maximising overall campaign efficiency.

  • Performance Max Campaigns (PMax): PMax for lead generation is highly effective when optimised for the later stages of the sales funnel. The key lies in providing Google with high-quality data. PMax allows you to specify which website pages you want Google to prioritise for ad creation, offering greater control over your campaigns.

Here are some expert tips for maximising PMax performance in lead generation:

  • Start cautiously: Due to PMax’s tendency for rapid spending, begin with a lower budget than you would for search campaigns, scaling up as results improve.
  • Leverage first-party data: Integrating your CRM with Google Ads allows you to feed the platform valuable customer data (first-party data), leading to better campaign performance. 
  • Test audience signals individually: PMax’s reporting limitations necessitate testing different audience signals in separate campaigns. This helps you identify which signals generate the best results and optimise your investment accordingly.
  • Demand Generation Campaigns: This relatively new campaign type utilises a mix of images and videos. While Demand Gen campaigns may not yet match the success of PMax campaigns, they offer valuable functionalities. For instance, you can create Lookalike segments based on existing customer lists, allowing you to target similar audiences. This feature provides a potential alternative to the recently discontinued Similar Audiences feature.

Experimentation is key. Don’t hesitate to test these Google Ads strategies to discover what works best for your lead generation goals. 

Microsoft Ads For Lead Generation: 4 Strategies You Need To Know

Microsoft Ads (formerly, Bing Ads) is a valuable tool for lead generation, with Bing still being the default search engine for many users. Here are some recent changes that may impact your strategy.

  • Shifting Keyword Matching: There has been a potential decrease in keyword matching accuracy since 2022. This means your ads might show for a wider range of searches than intended.

Don’t be discouraged! Here are some ways to adapt:

  • Robust Negative Keyword List: By actively managing a comprehensive list of negative keywords, you can prevent your ads from appearing for irrelevant searches. Essentially, negative keywords tell Microsoft Ads which searches you don’t want your ads to trigger for.  
  • Embrace New Campaign Types: Microsoft Ads is phasing out the option to opt out of audience ads. Audience ads allow Microsoft to leverage additional data points beyond search terms to target your ideal audience. While this represents a change from past practices, it offers the potential for reaching a more relevant audience. 
  • Performance Max in Beta: Microsoft is currently testing its own version of Google’s Performance Max campaign type. While Google’s Performance Max typically delivers results within two weeks, many marketers have experienced a longer learning period and less consistent results on Microsoft. 

It’s important to be aware of this difference and monitor campaign performance closely during the beta testing phase.

Microsoft Ads is a viable option for lead generation, but only with some key changes to consider. By staying informed, adapting your strategies, and actively managing negative keywords, you can still achieve success with this platform.

Level Up Your Lead Gen: Top Takeaways for 2024 

To maximise lead generation across various platforms, here are some key points to remember:

  • Mastering LinkedIn Ads: While LinkedIn might seem more expensive initially, it excels at attracting high-value leads. Move beyond generic sales pitches. Instead, craft targeted ad creatives that resonate with each stage of the buyer's journey, leveraging audience segmentation and the Audience Insights tool for precise targeting.
  • Optimising Google’s Performance Max: While Performance Max campaigns can be effective for lead generation, careful management is crucial. Provide Google with robust data focused on the later stages of the sales funnel (bottom-of-funnel data).  Start cautiously with a lower budget and gradually increase spending as results improve.
  • Adapting to Microsoft Ads: Microsoft Ads remains a viable option, but it requires a more proactive approach in 2023. Be mindful of the potential for ‘audience ad bloat’ (increased presence of audience ads) and maintain a comprehensive negative keyword list to prevent irrelevant ad triggers.  Additionally, stay informed about ongoing changes in the platform, especially regarding year-over-year data comparisons.
  • The Power of Creative Targeting: Embrace your creativity across all aspects of targeting, audience selection, and offer development. Align your messaging with the specific stage of the marketing funnel (top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel, or bottom-of-funnel) to ensure a constant flow of qualified leads. Remember, the ultimate goal is not just to generate leads, but to attract high-quality leads that convert into paying customers, driving revenue growth for your business.

By implementing these strategies, you can significantly enhance your lead generation efforts across LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, and Microsoft Ads.

Need a fresh perspective? Let’s talk.

At 360 OM, we specialise in helping businesses take their marketing efforts to the next level. Our team stays on top of industry trends, uses data-informed decisions to maximise your ROI, and provides full transparency through comprehensive reports.

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