Study Reveals the Top Lead Generation Channels

Posted by Anurag Pal

Determining where to invest your marketing dollars can be challenging, but once you know which channel and tactic are able to provide the best return on investment for your business, you’ll be able to prioritize your marketing strategies. If you haven’t yet performed an analysis of your own marketing efforts, you may find interest in a new study, where social media ranked as the top way to bring in new business leads.

That’s the word from a June 2020 report by Ascend2 entitled “Building Relationships for Lead Conversion.” To gather the data for the study, the company surveyed 263 marketers during the week of June 8 and asked them how they perceive the tools they have in terms of lead generation ability. Their responses offer a peek into the minds of marketers right now, who are facing an unprecedented landscape that prioritizes remote marketing opportunities over in-person ones due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Social Media Ranks Highest

When asked what the most effective channel has been for building relationships that led to lead conversions, the majority of respondents (58 percent) cited social media at the top of the list. Coming in a close second was email marketing at 49 percent, followed by website/SEO at 44 percent. Rounding out the top five were content marketing or syndication (34 percent) and PPC/paid media (20 percent).

And those outcomes are based on hard data from marketers who have crunched the numbers and made determinations about what's working and what's not. About 91 percent of survey respondents said they’ve seen some degree of success from their lead-generation strategies, with 31 percent of those describing their successes as best-in-class when compared to competitors, the survey noted.

Marketers Redistribute Budgets

As you might expect, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many marketers are reallocating their budgets away from things like in-person events to the channels where they see the most value in a remote working world. As more leaders, decision-makers and employees are responding to lead-generation strategies from an offsite environment, marketers are working to meet them where they are.

To that end, marketers shared information about the areas where they intend to invest their lead generation budgets during the coming year, with the results as follows:

  • Social Media: 54 percent
  • Website/SEO: 51 percent
  • Email/Automation: 44 percent
  • Content Marketing: 40 percent
  • Virtual Events/Webinars: 24 percent
  • PPC/Paid Media: 17 percent
  • Live Chat/Chatbots: 13 percent

These marketing budgets will aim to bring in both new customers and leads from existing ones, the report indicates. While 19 percent of survey respondents said they’re focusing the majority of their resources on expanding opportunities with current accounts, some 52 percent said they’re using marketing strategies to bring in new leads. The remaining 29 percent say they’re budgeting to nurture programs that will move existing prospects closer to conversion.

Naturally, any marketing program that your company pursues will require some insights into how your own leads are working and where you're finding customers. But the Ascend2 report could provide you with some additional data that could help you find direction in today's unpredictable landscape.

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