Social Media Marketing Is the No. 1 Digital Marketing Lead Gen Tactic

Social media marketing is the most effective lead generation tactic, say a plurality of digital marketers (47%) responding to recent research — while email is a close No. 2 at 46%.

Marketing Dive summarizes the Ascend2 research, “Generating and Nurturing Leads to Create Demand,” on Aug. 14 and now we’ll break it down into digital channels:

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

SMM is the most effective digital channel for lead generation, the study finds.

Marketing Dive’s Erica Sweeney writes:

“The effectiveness of digital lead generation is improving, according to 84% of marketers, and 38% say it is improving significantly.”

Even though search and social media marketing are the most important channels to marketers and “82% plan to increase their digital spending over the next year by an average of 49%,” social effectiveness is plagued by increasing user dissatisfaction with seeing marketing messages there and the channel’s effort to curb that griping:

“Marketers had speculated that organic reach on Facebook would become nearly nonexistent after the platform changed its News Feed algorithm that prioritized user posts.”

Pluses of Email Marketing

Email marketing is the most effective digital channel for lead nurturing, the research says.

Sweeney adds that email marketing is more personalized than social media marketing, which tends to head to the masses. And personalization aids in lead generation and nurturing because of it, yielding high ROI, she says.

“But previous research has revealed a disconnect between how marketers view their email campaigns and how recipients perceive the messaging. About 70% of marketers use email in promotions, but just 8% of consumers are ‘very satisfied’ by the efforts, according to an Adobe-commissioned study by Forrester released in June.”

Here’s one Twitter user’s opinion of email marketing:

Marketing emails are the worst.

— Matt Shirley (@mattsurely) August 21, 2018

Other Digital Marketing Channels

Lead generation’s other effective tactics include: content or video marketing (39%), SEO (38%) and paid search or display ads (30%).

Sweeney says video marketing is No. 2 among marketers for lead nurturing, at 45%, with social media marketing (40%), web personalization (33%) and SEO (33%) following behind.

[Author’s note: The study doesn’t cover direct mail, which many marketers report as their customer acquisition workhorse. Plus, it’s worth considering the omnichannel aspects here, such as video emails, make siloed questions more difficult.]

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