How to Make the Most of Your Targeted Leads

Conventional wisdom tells advertising experts that sheer reach is important when crafting campaigns: get your brand’s name in front of as many eyes as possible—ideally in situations and among audiences where those eyes are primed to receive the message—and statistics will do their work, resulting in higher sales. The faith in the idea that getting impressions or views to the right audience will lead to sales is visible in the current pricing model of banner ads, and the reasoning is evidence-based. But what if that gauzy time between exposure to a brand and conversion on a purchase could be shored up and marketers could actually guide potential customers directly to their products, much like the metaphorical horse to water? With qualified leads, they can.

How to Actually Give the People What They Want

One of the most important elements in developing successful advertising campaigns is figuring out what your audience wants. Social listening is an effective way for brands to learn who their audience is and how they can target particular segments. But to get even closer to their audience’s desires and preferences, brands need to be able to interact with their customers and have a back and forth conversation–no small feat, to be sure.

Nimble design aimed at gathering useful potential customer information can make for a contest or campaign whose benefits go far beyond the initial event and enable a brand to truly talk with its audience. By asking pointed questions and engaging their audience, marketers can gather targeted leads—critical data they wouldn’t be able to gather, or truly make sense of, anywhere else. Software like Spredfast Promotions connects purchase intent to product or brand interest, as well as to topic interest or passion. This allows brands to later guide potential customers to the products those customers want, without pinning their company’s bottom line on the hope that exposure to their brand’s message will be enough to transform potential customers into actual customers. This way, marketers can make more informed decisions before ever going to market with a product or campaign.

To accomplish this, one savvy brand developed a sophisticated social contest wherein they were able to essentially ask participants what they wanted—and actually give it to them.

Raycom Media applied targeted leads to a recent multi-market campaign and saw an exciting upturn of sales. “We were able to solicit specific information from viewers via a social contest, including brand preference, purchase intent, and preferred contact info,” says Jamie Sawyer, Corporate Director of Digital Marketing for Raycom Media. “This allowed us to deliver our advertisers localized data they could act upon to directly drive sales.”

Turning a Giveaway into Actionable Leads

Raycom Media, which represents six of the biggest names in pick-up truck manufacturing (Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Ram, and GMC), designed a contest that reached over 30 markets. Called “Pick Your Pick-Up,” the dynamic contest was designed to gather a large number of targeted leads for local advertisers. By casting their net wide and designing a contest that would appeal to anyone potentially interested in a pick-up truck, rather than those interested in just one specific brand, Raycom Media exponentially increased their leads.

Contest entry forms were customized for each brand in each market and included local brand-specific sponsors. Contest participants stated their preferred brand (from the six named above). Raycom Media also gathered information about purchase intent and each contest participant’s current vehicle information.

When the contest ended, and the lucky pick-up truck winner had been chosen, local advertisers’ jobs really began: the contest garnered 300,000 leads for more than 180 local advertisers who used those details to directly increase sales. Not only did Promotions benefit Raycom and its advertisers, but Raycom could also then rewards its participants by giving them the exact car they wanted.

Raycom Media also gathered targeted impressions using tracking pixels on the entry forms, enabling retargeting after the contest and allowing them to keep track of how many people interacted with their contest. But while targeted impressions are useful, Raycom Media’s Director of Digital Marketing concluded, “Targeted leads are more valuable than targeted impressions.” Because while targeted impressions allow companies to see how many people have viewed their message, with targeted (or qualified) leads, companies can directly communicate with their audience, allowing for a conversation—and more opportunity to close the deal. Targeted impressions are an end, but qualified leads are a beginning. Promotions gives you qualified leads and data from the audience you care about most—in other words, actionable insight for your go-to-market strategies or for your sales team.

With qualified leads, marketers can get the most out of every advertising campaign or contest and stretch their advertising dollars far beyond one event, contest, or advertising spot, and Spredfast’s Promotions can help.

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Julia Eddington is a freelance tech and personal finance writer and editor living in New York City.