Perhaps the most important step in operating a successful lead-gen program is making sure that the leads are indeed qualified for the advertisers that will be contacting them. Most publishers have a basic registration form set-up for customers to fill out if they want to download a whitepaper or access a Webinar. But with the demand for highly-targeted leads rising, publishers have to take that process a bit deeper.

In March, Canon Communications launched, an online information source for the medical device industry. One of the popular features of the site is the supplier directory, where users are able to conduct a search and contact any of the 14,000 suppliers they wish.

One of the comments they’ve been hearing from suppliers is that they wanted to see more qualified users. “We were hearing that some of the leads that were offered up to advertisers weren’t from the right companies or industries,” audience development director Leonard Roberto told LEI.

So now, Canon requires that users as well as suppliers fill out a registration form before they can even use (or be a part of) the directory. Editors are asked to go through the names afterwards to look for any defunct or bogus leads/suppliers. “Lead-gen is getting so popular, which makes a directory like this that much more important,” Roberto said. “So it’s up to us to be sure that people that are coming in are qualified.”

Users that visit the site will be asked basic qualifying information such as industry type, job function, discipline and geographic location. They, of course, have to be somewhat involved in the medical industry. Suppliers, on the other hand, have more detailed questions to answer— most of them having to do with U.S. and FDA regulations and whether they’re currently advertising with Canon or not.

Going Deeper
Although they haven’t been used for the company’s new lead-gen program, Canon uses some more direct tactics for getting more targeted leads for its advertisers. For its list rental program, for example, Canon’s list management vendor segments the company’s lists by sales volume, number of employees, etc. and uses it as an enhanced selling point.

And in September, when a particular advertiser wanted a more targeted list of leads, the team did a manual search of its masterfiles for specific job titles and specific products they were subscribed to.

But it’s via e-newsletters that the company has been able to successfully tap into extra data. For the last seven months, editors have been tagging the content that goes into Canon’s e-newsletters by categories, such as medical electronics, so that when a user clicks on a story, they’re added to a specific list of people that are interested in that topic. “We tell advertisers, for example, that we have 2,000 people that clicked on story about medical tubing, and if they’re interested, they can reach out to them,” Roberto said. “We’re just now getting up to a level where we have three or four categories with over 3,000 names to offer our advertisers.”

Roberto added that the company hasn’t yet figured out the company is going to apply these tactics to its lead-gen program, but they’re working on it. “I don’t know if we have anything nailed down yet,” he said. “We’re still trying to figure out the best way to offer these leads without selling our advertisers short or being overpriced. We’re competing with a lot of companies that are just giving this information away, so we don’t have a definite answer just yet.”

Pay-to-Play: How to Use Paid Ads on Social to Amplify Your Brand’s Content
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