In this three-part series, Content Marketing Pro, John Rugh, lays out the steps to creating more success in lead generation and explains how marketers can win friends in Sales and respect in the C-Suite. Check out part one, explaining the importance of using the right type of content and part two, focusing on how to best gather lead information.
In your quest for marketing and lead generation success, don’t jump on the bandwagon of the “latest and greatest” digital marketing tool just because it’s popular. And don’t neglect the tried and true just because it’s now out of fashion. Do what works. Finding the right blend of online and traditional marketing tactics benefits lead generation by nurturing leads through multiple touch points.
In the physical world, we have real estate. Same goes for the world of digital marketing. Your website is your online real estate. You need to make it valuable. Make it your hub – the center of your online marketing universe.
Your website can serve many purposes. It can be a brochure that tells visitors about you. It has been truthfully said that buyers do business with companies they know, like and trust. The right website will help your visitors come to know, like and trust you.
It can host your “content library,” serving as a place visitors will come back to again and again to learn about how you can serve them.
It’s an important part of your lead generation. Throughout your site, you can strategically place calls to action that encourage visitors to enter your sales funnel.
However, none of this helps you if a crucial piece of the puzzle is missing: Your website has to get noticed. Does your website get found? Is it highly recognized and well-known by your target audience, or is it completely invisible to them?
Understand that the audience you want to attract won’t show up just because your website exists somewhere in cyberspace. You have to take steps to get it noticed. You have to drive traffic to it, including traffic from repeat visitors. And when they land on your site, you want to give them reasons to stay awhile.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you drive traffic to your site. When the audience you want to attract searches for what you offer, SEO helps you be found. Having the right keywords, the ones consumers use when searching, can help you here. But keep in mind that SEO is only part of the online marketing equation. You can get all the SEO traffic in the world and still fail at marketing and lead generation. And the SEO game is constantly changing and evolving. It’s no longer just about keywords. You need great, valuable, relevant written content. Your site needs content written for people first and search engines second.
There are other ways to drive traffic to your site – email marketing, blogging and social media, to name a few.
Let’s say you’ve succeeded at getting ample amounts of website traffic. What happens then? Do visitors stay on your site? Do they spend time exploring, or do they immediately leave, never to return? Do they visit pages other than the one they first entered your site through? Do they return to your site? Do they return again and again? Google Analytics or a similar program can be a valuable tool to help answer these questions.
Again, traffic is only part of the online marketing success equation. You want your website to help you capitalize on the opportunities this traffic brings you.
The first thing site visitors notice, perhaps on a subconscious level, is your site’s design. Is your design hurting or helping your marketing efforts? If it’s cluttered, confusing and hard to navigate, it’s hurting you. If it’s focused more on winning design awards than on converting visitors into leads and leads into customers, it’s hurting you.
You want it to be simple, uncluttered and clean. And you want your pages to load quickly.
Another part of making a great impression in your visitors’ minds and hearts is your content. Is it focused on you and your company or on your readers and how you can help them solve their problems? Is your message abundantly clear? Is it easy to read? It should be.
On all of your website pages – especially on the homepage – harness the power of reader-centered, clear, problem-solving, benefits-oriented copy and content.
Your website will be integral to well-rounded marketing and lead gen initiatives. What other tools are helpful? Glad you asked…
When done right, a multichannel approach propels lead generation forward. Use the right social media channels for your industry and target market. Use email marketing for specific offers to drive traffic to your site and to keep your brand fresh in your leads’ minds. Write and distribute compelling, reader-focused, problem-solving, authority-building marketing content. Consider video embedded on both your site and on social channels like YouTube.
And consider a marketing channel that’s worked for over 100 years and still works – offline marketing. Despite what the current crop of digital marketing pundits would have you believe, it’s possible to enjoy success without online marketing. You can get great lead gen results from letters and postcards. At tradeshows, hand out brochures and other printed materials. And in certain situations, especially if your company sells a very expensive product, take advantage of the one medium that has never not been opened – the parcel delivery envelope. Think about your own experience. Have you ever not opened a FedEx or UPS package addressed to you?
Remember that regardless of the medium used, the same rules of design and copywriting still apply. For example, even though video might be the latest digital marketing trend, it won’t work if you use the wrong words in the messaging. Copywriting applies to the spoken word also.
Think of your marketing and lead generation activities and channels from a big-picture perspective, not as individual silos working independently of, or worse, competing with each other. Use them to boost each other. Include your social media and website URLs on your printed marketed materials. Use social media to drive traffic to your website. Use email marketing to drive repeat traffic to your site. Use your website and blog to encourage social media follows. And on and on…
Using great offers, calls to action, landing pages and forms – while promoting them in multi-channel environments – can reduce the cost-per lead while delivering higher quality prospects to your Sales team.
There’s no perfect, one-size-fits-all approach to lead generation. But it’s important you succeed at it. When you do, you will notice marketing results are transformed. Chances are you’ll enjoy a much better relationship with and sincere gratitude from your Sales department. You’ll win the respect of your company’s C-Suite.
The important basics in this article series are just the beginning. It contains best practices for every aspect of lead generation to help boost your conversion rates, but these tactics are only the tip of the iceberg. Continue to tweak and test each step of your inbound lead generation process with the goals of improving lead quality and quantity and increasing revenue.