| Mar 20, 2024 | | 8 min read

10 Strategies for Finding Qualified Digital Marketing Leads


Leads are the lifeblood of any business. They bring new clients or customers to the table while increasing awareness of your brand and providing an opportunity to generate positive word-of-mouth marketing. However, finding qualified leads can be difficult for a digital agency of any size or type.

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Having the right strategies in place can make it easier to find digital marketing leads in a landscape made difficult by competitors, quickly evolving consumer behaviors, and other challenges.

Challenges of finding digital marketing leads

Digital marketing is a competitive industry, making it difficult for a digital agency startup or even an established business to find consistent, qualified leads. Some common digital lead generation challenges you can experience during your agency ownership include:

  • An extremely competitive landscape. The global market for the digital marketing industry is expected to grow at 13.6 percent CAGR through 2033 (Market.us). While that growth is good for your agency, it will attract competitors in a market saturated with digital agencies. To find leads in this landscape, you must have a strong unique value proposition and know how to communicate it.
  • Low-quality leads that "dirty" the waters. Casting a wide net to gather as many leads as possible can create another challenge—you may generate leads that are very difficult to convert or might never convert. These low-quality leads can gum up your funnel and result in unnecessary work on the part of your marketing and sales teams. It's crucial to put lead qualification and scoring strategies in place to reduce these obstacles.
  • Finding and correctly targeting your ideal clients. Identifying your target audience and discovering how best to reach them in digital environments can be difficult, especially for certain niches. However, once you're over this hurdle, it typically results in higher-quality leads.
  • Constantly changing consumer behavior. Your work isn’t done once you find your audience and connect with them. Digital consumer behavior changes all the time—and rapidly—so you need a way to capture data about client behavior so you can keep up.

10 strategies to find qualified digital marketing leads

Building the right approach into your digital marketing strategy is the best way to ensure you deliver high-quality digital marketing leads into your funnels. The 10 strategies below provide plenty of steps to get you started.

1. Define your target audience

Whether you’re starting a digital marketing company or looking to expand yours with a new line of service, the first step in driving qualified leads is understanding your ideal client. Take time to create marketing personas and define the characteristics and demographics of your target audience. Even if you’re inexperienced in digital marketing, helps you understand where they might be online, what challenges they face, and how you can best connect with them via marketing messaging.

2. Optimize your website

Another important step when you start a digital marketing agency is to create a website for your business. Simply slapping a site up via the first website-building tool you find isn't enough, though. Your site should be optimized to provide an excellent user experience and demonstrate your expertise in marketing.

Close to half—40 percent—of people will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds for a page to load. Mobile users are primed to bounce if your site isn't optimized for mobile—they're five times more likely to seek their answers elsewhere on the web in such cases (Baymard Institute). Work with outside professionals, in-house resources, or a trusted site-building tool to ensure your website doesn’t alienate more potential clientele than it converts.

3. Invest in content marketing

Content is an absolute must for any marketing consultancy business. Some things content can do for your business and lead generation efforts include:

  • Helping you show up in the search engine results when people search for keywords relevant to your services, increasing the chance you can capture the attention of those potential inbound leads
  • Providing more information about your services, brand, and agency to help on-page traffic self-qualify as an interested lead
  • Demonstrating your expertise and marketing skills to help convert leads into interested potential clients and, hopefully, actual clients

4. Connect with social media marketing

One of the best lead generation strategies agencies can invest in is social media marketing. You can use social media to drive leads via organic community building—via your posts, comments, and shares—as well as paid efforts with social media ads.

Social media lets you connect with your audience in a digital environment native to them—they likely already have accounts on those platforms, and a surprising number of social media users want to see businesses and brands interacting with them. This is also a good place to build community and trust with your audience, increasing the chance that leads from these channels ultimately convert.

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5. Leverage email marketing

Your subscriber list is full of quality leads for your digital marketing agency. Start building a list today by offering marketing collateral in exchange for signups. Helpful downloads such as short ebooks and checklists or a free webinar often help drive signups.

Once you have a list, put it to use. Connect with subscribers via well-timed emails that provide value, including links to interesting content or tips for lead generation, marketing, or business management.

6. Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

PPC offers quick lead generation for digital marketing agency services. Ad clicks in search have a strong correlation with buying keywords. Around 65 percent of ad clicks in Google relate to buying keywords, compared to 35 percent of organic clicks (Enterprise Apps Today). That indicates that ads help drive connection with people who are further into the buying journey and primed to purchase services.

Paid search and advertising efforts also help balance organic efforts like content marketing and search engine optimization. While organic lead generation can take time to build, paid ads often drive instant results.

7. Engage in search engine optimization (SEO)

Your marketing agency strategy must include SEO efforts on and off the page. Implementing strong keyword research and use, excellent technical SEO efforts, and link-building strategies can help you go from the obscure reaches of the search results to one of the first few pages—or, hopefully, the first few organic results.

In your quest to reach page one of Google results, however, don’t cast too wide a net. If you’re not targeting the right keywords and searcher intent, you may be driving traffic for traffic’s sake—that’s not good lead generation.

8. Collaborate via influencer marketing

Influencer marketing continues to soar in popularity and can be an especially good lead-generation tactic for a boutique marketing agency. From 2019 to 2024, the global market for influencer marketing tripled (Statista).

By working with an influencer who has an audience that crosses yours, you can expand the reach of your marketing message. You might also increase the credibility of that message, as it comes from your new ambassador, whom people already trust.

9. Take time for networking and partnerships

While it might sometimes feel like you’re working to build your agency all alone, that doesn’t have to be true. The marketing industry is full of networking and partnership opportunities. From webinars and conferences that can help you increase your agency skills to consultants who can help you find the best niches for marketing agencies, you can find many options for growing and scaling with others.

That's true when it comes to lead generation, too. Take time to network inside and outside the industry to meet potential new clientele.

10. Integrate lead generation tools and platforms

Technology can be a huge help when it comes to optimizing lead generation and sales funnels. Integrate platforms that help you find and qualify leads—as well as those that help you respond to, manage, and nurture leads. After all, you don’t want to put all the effort into finding qualified digital marketing leads only to have them slip away from your funnel because you neglected them.

Things to avoid when finding digital marketing leads

Consider how seeking digital marketing leads might impact your agency brand identity and avoid engaging in tactics that could devalue your reputation or service offerings. Other things to avoid when generating leads include:

  • Focusing so much on driving quantity that you overlook the importance of qualifying lead.
  • Not tracking and analyzing lead generation metrics so you understand what works well and can repeat it or improve it.
  • Relying on a single channel without diversifying your lead generation strategies—remember that consumer behavior online changes rapidly, and a channel that works for you today might not deliver leads tomorrow.
  • Not tailoring your messaging to speak to the specific needs of your target audience.
  • Failing to build relationships with effective communication as you seek new leads.

Work to refine your lead-generation efforts

As you learn how to find clients for your marketing agency, you will likely face challenges with digital lead generation. Implementing the strategies above helps you overcome those obstacles. For digital marketing agencies, adaptation is critical to success—continuously adapting and refining your lead generation tactics in the face of consumer changes and needs can help you bring on more clients.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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