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For agencies targeting new business opportunities, the best tactics are a mix of traditional and new media—with a heavy emphasis on digital. According to a July 2013 survey of US agency executives from RSW/US, a business development firm, client case studies and content marketing posted on the agency website were the top two promotional tactics used to generate leads, cited by 62.6% of respondents each. The agency blog was also seen as effective, even slightly more so than social media outreach. And half of respondents cited press releases and publicity as a useful means of getting the names of potential new clients.
Email lead capture programs were seen as effective for generating leads by just 29.7% of agency execs, while advertising was even less popular.
Unsurprisingly, when rating the most important social platform for generating new business, LinkedIn was No. 1, cited by 46.2% of respondents, followed by a company blog, with a 24.1% share of total responses. Facebook and Twitter were tied for a lesser 13.8% of respondents.
But when respondents did not have to choose only one network to rank as most important, but rather rated them independently based on their effectiveness for driving new business, LinkedIn’s lead substantially diminished. Asked by RSW/US in April 2013 about social platform use vs. effectiveness for generating new business, LinkedIn and Facebook were tied by both measures. Twenty-one percent used each network to get leads, and 19% of users rated each as effective—defined as deserving a seven to 10 on a scale of 10. Twitter also showed a comparable amount of value. Twenty percent used the microblog, and 17% of agency execs considered it effective.
Vimeo, in use by only 7% of respondents, was seen as effective by the greatest percentage of users overall—23%. YouTube was also deemed effective by 20% of users, indicating an opportunity for agencies to potentially drive new business using video.
The broader takeaway is that only a fraction of agency executives find social truly effective for generating new business. And yet when asked which new business tools they used overall, social ranked first, at 87% of respondents, followed by SEO tools, at 67%.
Social is cheap and fairly easy to use, so most agencies seem to employ it, but for generating leads, most do not find social to be truly beneficial.
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