The goal of inbound marketing is to drive traffic to your website with an emphasis on attaining contact info from the browser, at which point they would become a lead. The key to doing this is developing content that users can find easily, and that interests them enough to learn more. Once a browser clicks through to your webpage, consider them qualified. They want to know more about what you are offering, which means they either have a need, or could have a need in the future, and they see you as a viable solution or piece of the solution.
This is good. You want to be in this position. What comes next however is the difficult part: conversion. Again, they may not be in the market now, but they are at your website, so now is the time to act. By “act” I mean getting them to willingly give their contact info so you can build your list and nurture the lead through the sales cycle. It is important to note that not every lead coming in will be in the same stage of the sales cycle. For absolute optimization of lead gen activities this will need to be accounted for, but that’s a topic for another day.
So what are you going to do to get that email (and hopefully name, number, role in organization, brief company bio, list of current challenges, etc.)? Well the answer to that lies in the mechanics of lead generation. Content development and management aside, the mechanics of lead generation can be outlined in four steps: the offer, the CTA (call-to-action), the landing page, and the form.
Depending on what type of products and services you produce, the offer could range from coupons or other forms of deals, a free piece of content such as an eBook, whitepaper, cheat sheet, etc, or perhaps a free trial or free consultation. Whatever the offer is, it has to be good, amazing even. It’s got to grab interest, drive traffic, and convince the browser that it is worth their email address.
A CTA usually comes in the form of some text, an image or button whose sole purpose it to link the browser from the offer they found out on the web back to your website or (preferably) a specific landing page. It is important to strategically locate the CTA within the offer and make it attractive. If no action is taken, then you’ve just lost the lead.
The Landing Page:
A landing page is one that is dedicated to a specific product or service. When using an offer of any type to drive traffic, it is essential to drive browsers to a specially designed page for that offer. Once they reach that page, they should have all the info they need to decide on whether to indulge. We don’t want them to have to search your website clicking through multiple pages, spending precious time to find the offer they just read about on Facebook. There are better ways to increase activity (trust me). If you drive a potential lead to your site with an offer and they have to even look at the search bar, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve already lost them. Perhaps a little extra work, but the chances of conversion will be significantly higher.
The moment of truth. Does your offer consist of enough value to justify the exchange of personal contact info? The form is essential, if you just gave away content without capturing the lead you’d be missing out on some serious opportunity and there would be no way to track the lead. Making sales is just as important as tracking where they came from, especially with inbound marketing. It helps you to know what types of offers and content is working, and what types aren’t. The form seems like a simple concept, but if not developed and laid out properly it can turn a lead away no matter how enticing the offer may be.
This brings us to the end of Part I… I hope you were able to take away a basic understanding of the elements needed in a unified lead gen strategy. No matter what your business is, a lead generation strategy for inbound marketing is completely customizable and, in this day and age, completely necessary. If you’re not engaging your online community and tracking leads from the web, you could be missing out on a serious chunk of change.
In Part II we’ll go into more detail on how you can maximize your chances of success within each of the four steps. I’ll discuss some best practices for each step and get you on your way to optimizing your lead generation performance!
Please connect with me!
Bradleigh Wilson, Marketing Manager
Endorphin Advisors & Endorphin Business Center, LLC
Endorphin Business Center