There are three services that are essential to “jump-start” you agency’s ability to generate inbound leads for new business using social media.
Most ad agencies are participating in social media, meaning they have a blog, Facebook Fan page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, but they haven’t connected the dots to generate qualified leads for their new business pipeline. It is primary for agencies to have a focused strategy and a clear objective for using social media specifically for new business.
Ad agencies can’t wait six months to start generating leads. They need to new business now.
To accelerate the time it takes for your online new business activities to begin producing, there are three services that I recommend:
To begin a successful agency new business program one of the first steps is to identify your best target audience and build a data base of company information that would include a contact database.
Many ad agencies and marketing services companies expect their new business director to build their own marketing and sales database. A number of ad agencies that I talk with attempt to maintain their own database of prospects. For a short list that is doable but if your list is large it is impossible to maintain unless you have someone totally dedicated to keeping it updated on a regular basis.
I recommend using a database service company. Most charge an annual fee to subscribe but the cost is usually worth the price because of the internal time saved along with updated information on thousands of companies, agencies and businesses.
My recommendation is The List, the service that I currently use and the service I recommend for my clients. It provided the “seed list” of email addresses for the FUEL LINES email newsletter. If I need information on a company not in their data base, I can make a request and The List will research and get the data for me.
It’s worth your time to review their free trial and explore how many of your targeted prospects they have in their data base.
Questions to help determine if The List is the right new business database service for your agency:
- How many “qualified” companies are listed that are viable prospects for your agency?
- How many (marketing) contacts do they have at the companies that matter to me? Be sure they have them in the quantity you need to justify the expense for their.
- What contact information is provided? Beyond the usual address and phone numbers do they have sufficient numbers of email addresses which would be a great resource for your agency’s eNewsletter.
SocialOomph.com is a service that provides free and paid productivity enhancement services to fuel your agency’s new business through social media. It is not only a great tool for your agency but also one that will greatly help with your clients social media efforts.
Content marketing is a key component for using social media for ad agency new business. Content is written for SEO so that it will be found by your best prospects who elevate you to a position as a thought leader. SocialOomph will help to repurpose you content through multiple social media channels. It is a huge time saver.
Out of the hundreds of tools that have been developed to enhance Twitter’s usefulness for marketing SocialOomph is the one that has been the most helpful for me.
These are some of the SocialOomph features that I like and use:
- Manage multiple accounts from one dashboard (your agency’s as well as clients Twitter accounts)
- Manage an unlimited number of blogs
- Upload your agency’s blog posts and URLs from an Excel spread sheet, in bulk to Social Oomph
- Pre-set the date/time range for each post in minutes
- Automatically shorten post URLs through Bit.ly and track clicks
- Automate – follow those who follow you in Twitter
- Automate – unfollow those who don’t follow you in Twitter
- Purge and filter your Twitter account’s DM box
- Small monthly fee that is month-to-month, cancelable at any time (more than pays for itself for the time that it saves)
- Junior level people/interns can be easily trained to use this tool on behalf of the agency and clients
- You can also schedule your agency blog posts to Facebook, just keep the repurpose level to only a few per day
Basecamp is an online project management tool that focuses on communication and collaboration. It is the best tool that I’ve used for creating consistent new business programs for my clients. Many agencies enjoy it so well they in-turn use it for their clients. Basecamp expedites the new business process, provides an accountability system and moves projects forward. All communications, files, presentations, resources, meeting notes, etc. are all in one place. Milestones and To-Do lists easily created, assigned and tracked.
“Basecamp is so simple you (or your clients) can’t do anything wrong. Basecamp is addictively easy-to-use.” — Robert Hof, BusinessWeek
Basecamp features I love the most:
- No “IT Guy” required
- Nothing to download all Web-based, always up-to-date and backed-up
- Plays well with Mac
- Easily handles multiple client accounts and dozens of projects
- Transfer info from one account to another such as detailed to-do lists
- Any client can use it, no need for training
Additional new business resources: 75 Ad Agency New Business articles, posts, reports, surveys and white papers