In the scramble for leads, marketers look at multiple sources. Two popular sources that are on the radar for most marketers are PPC ads and webinars. But how do they compare for effectiveness?
PPC ads have more recently become popular, but they are an integral part of most marketers’ lead generation strategies. The 2013 State of Paid Search survey reports that 72% of businesses are planning to increase their PPC budget in 2014. Among PPC ads, Google AdWords is the most popular option among marketers, followed by Bing Ads, display networks, and Facebook, in that order. And Google’s algorithm changes are supporting these budget increases since paid ads are taking up more than half the search results page, in some instances.
PPC ads generally work to attract completely new users who may be interested in the product or service offered. In fact, 64.6% of all clicks are from sponsored links. What’s more, 89% of the traffic driven by PPC ads are new traffic, generated outside organic searches. And 45.5% of web users actually cannot distinguish between paid ads and organic listings in search engines.
However, using PPC as the sole marketing tactic to generate leads is becoming increasingly ineffective. The market research firm YouGov estimates that only18% of small to medium enterprises using Google Adwords actually see a return on their investment.
Web users have become smart enough to see through marketing pitches. It may drive people to the website, but it takes much more effort to actually convert. In other words, PPC grabs the potential customer’s attention, but does little to develop or sustain any worthwhile relationship with them. In marketing lingo, PPC works to generate new prospects, but does little to advance them up the marketing lifecycle or convert. The best way to make PPC work is by specifying a call to action – what the visitor who has clicked on the ad is expected to do next. This call to action can be anything from leading to the website landing page or a shopping cart, or even liking the Facebook page to downloading a whitepaper. Perhaps, the most effective call to action is an invitation to a webinar.
The webinar is, like PPC ads, a popular option used by marketers to generate leads. The added advantage is that it helps marketers nurture leads, and then convert them into customers. 62% of all B2B marketers resort to this channel to nurture leads. It offers marketers the unique advantage of having the prospect’s undivided attention for a designated amount of time. During this time, the marketer can unearth a lot of useful and relevant information on the prospect. The marketer can also educate as well as inform the prospect to advance then through the marketing lifecycle. It can even impress the prospect enough to develop a long lasting relationship.
Webinars have a very high conversion rate, standing at about 42% registrant-to-attendee conversion rate. Instead of focusing on getting prospects to a demo or the home page, marketers can use PPC ads to gather an audience for a webinar, and then use the webinar to identify the most promising of prospects, engaging them towards forging a long lasting relationship.
Compared to other marketing tactics, webinars offer higher quality leads and a shorter lead nurturing phase. This means more dollar signs and a happier marketer. Find out how and why the cost of a webinar lead is justified in your marketing budget in The Cost of Webinars whitepaper. Download it now.
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