How to use paid media to drive new business leads

In September’s episode of The New World of New Biz, we discussed paid media and how it should (and shouldn’t) be used to attract more new business leads! Our Founder Katie Street was joined by:

Annabel Hartle, Senior Client Solutions Manager at LinkedIn

Becky Carré, Head of Paid Media at Kaizen

Jon Quinton, Founder of Overdrive Digital

This session covered:

The importance of getting your content right before sending

Katie Street, Founder of Street Agency started by sharing with the audience that one of her biggest frustrations is when agencies don’t have a good content plan when pushing out paid strategy and noted that you must make sure the content is not only right but has a variety to attract and pull people in with your paid content strategy.

Jon Quinton, Founder of Overdrive Digital, shared his brutal experiences with paid strategy and how it only really started working for them once they repositioned, rebranded, and relaunched the agency with front-facing case studies and informative content. By having a complete picture from service led content to give credibility and case studies to back that up, being more thought-leadership led really allows you to engage with people whilst they are thinking of buying the service.

Annabel Hartle, Senior Client Solutions Manager at LinkedIn agrees with Jon, that paid media is necessary when it comes to long term lead generation. From a funnel perspective at LinkedIn, a great tactic is to start with thought leadership, and following on with case studies or prove it pieces that engage with your audience and include a clear, enticing call to action. It’s important not to just focus on the current buyers, but look at the future buyers too – “people will keep you at the front of your minds when you have given value back to them, it isn’t going to come from a lead further down at the conversion stage.”

Katie Street and Becky Carré, Head of Paid Media at Kaizen, agreed that they feel that case studies aren’t necessarily fundamental to gaining brand recognition and awareness. Instead, try to give real value to your audience by sharing or creating something that helps them with their pain points.

Jon made an excellent point that “paid strategy will give you traffic but it’s what you give them that will convert them, otherwise it is just an expensive exercise.”

Where you should be investing your paid media budget to attract the most leads

At Street, LinkedIn is our go-to platform when we’re reaching out to brands and agencies because the people we want to reach are generally active there. As Katie mentioned dependent on the size of brands, clients, and company’s you are looking to attract Google is probably going to work harder for you.

Annabel adds that LinkedIn allows you to start from an organic perspective, by doing simple things such as making sure your company page is up to date, posting regularly and tracking that content to understand what your followers engage with. By using the tools available on the site, LinkedIn can help to formulate a content plan and amplify this through paid solutions and B2B lead generation tools. The two most used areas of sponsored content on LinkedIn being infeed ads, static images with warm CTA’s.

Becky discusses that LinkedIn is equally her favourite platform to use when running a campaign, as it has robust targeting capabilities. Becky also mentioned this can be mimicked on other platforms such as Facebook where the cost per click is getting lower – suggesting that whilst there isn’t the audience targeting capability to prospect using Facebook alone, “Getting high CPCs only really work when you utilise them both together, not separately.”

All our panellists agreed that you should focus your large efforts in the right place and where works best for your business, some key takeaways are:

  • There’s no one size fits all paid media strategy
  • Before you commit to spending, make sure you understand why you’re using paid media
  • Every platform has its anomalies so you need to pick channels your audience uses
  • Don’t forget to also invest in SEO and PPC to generate leads

Is gated content an effective way of engaging with your target audience

Katie Street kicks off the discussion by acknowledging that a lot of businesses are going for a demand gen approach, creating more brand awareness with the aim of getting people to engage more with their content.

Jon feeds into this by suggesting that whilst there was a great deal of webinar fatigue last year, which isn’t surprising as everything went virtual all at once and for most of the performance did seem to drop off. However, they are coming back again now and looking at gated content purely through the eyes of performance data still works, you just must come up with the right idea and the ideas that stick out – “add unique value and don’t contribute towards the noise.”

Annabel shares that it is not only about what type of gated content you are putting out but also what stage of the funnel your audience is at, you need to create content that is appealing at the right time and with a clear objective. For example, thought leadership being gated can still generate great results and Becky adds that it is currently a really hot topic in paid media but remarketing and anything that relies on third-party cookies is becoming less and less reliable, so collecting first-party data through gated content at the earliest opportunity and remarketing to those people through those methods is more important than ever. “Third-party cookies are on their way out.”

How to target the decision-makers with your paid media

“Always keep it simple, prioritise what is important”

Katie starts by sharing that Street Agency use LinkedIn to push content out but it’s not often how we get data, and we use a mining data platform to get their email addresses using platforms such as:

Alf Insight


Jon agrees that they prefer for someone to see their content, take value from what they are doing and then get in touch as it gives Overdrive Digital a far great chance of winning new business as any leads from that content is already warm.

Katie says that you do need to have your content strategy right, but email prospecting will give you more instant responses if you do have a limited budget. Which has been seen through her 20 years in B2B marketing, both client and agency side. It is not a quick prospecting approach, it is far more about building an engaged audience, it can be very inexpensive to begin, “give your content the depth and the life it deserves.”

Becky encourages marketers to test what works with their audiences, create two or three different pieces of content, put a small budget behind it and see which ones gain traction and the best engagement which works as a litmus test – take the piece of content that hits the mark and really run with it.

Katie Street’s top tips in developing a content strategy

–       Market

–       Competitors

–       Own Clients

–       Audience

–       What you are and what you do as a business

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By Michaela Dudfield
9th September 2021
5 minute read