B-to-B Insights: Are You Going In or Out?
The quality of organic search leads depends, however, on the keywords being searched. Searches performed on broad keyword terms (e.g., "limousines") attract visitors who are in the early stages of product research and therefore not hot leads. When a search is performed on highly specific keywords (e.g., "used Lincoln Continental limousine for sale in New York area"), the prospect is most likely further along in the research process and closer to making a buying decision.
The reason I do not rate organic search leads higher is that, while these prospects may be predisposed to buying, they are in no way predisposed to buying from you. Indeed, the very fact that they are doing a Google search on a generic keyword probably means they have little brand loyalty. As a freelance copywriter, some of the worst leads I get are people searching for freelance copywriters on Google. These prospects often view copywriting as a commodity service and are likely to choose low price over experience and quality.
Conversely, the best leads that service professionals, like myself, get are typically people who call or e-mail us because they know us by reputation and may even be fans of our work. The absolute best leads I get are prospects who have read my books and articles, or heard me speak at a seminar, conference or workshop.
I rated social networking a 4 in lead quality. Networking always has produced good leads, and social networks are basically networking moved online. So far, however, most B-to-B marketers have been unsuccessful in establishing metrics to measure social media ROI. Some argue that the ROI has to be high because social networking is virtually free. But they neglect ROTI, return on time invested. A survey by Michael Stelzner of WhitePaperSource found experienced social media users spend two to four hours per day using it, which means an investment of up to half their work weeks.
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.