Ask any sales person how much they love cold calling and they'll look at you like you're well on your way to being insane. The backlash from annoyed targets can be tough to take – even for those of us with the thickest of skin. And as we are given more and more ways to reach our potential customers (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook to name just a few), our targets are getting smarter about tuning out boring company and product-centric marketing messages.
But businesses are catching on. Savvy B2B marketers are turning to Inbound Marketing, which is a way to get found online by people already engaged in educating themselves about your industry or category. The first step in building a better qualified lead generation engine for your business is ensuring you have a strong foundation for your website combined with great content. Having the right set of tools in place to optimize the content you produce will go a long way to attracting visitors to your website and ultimately converting those ‘cold visitors’ into ‘warm leads’ and potentially new customers.
If you are new to Inbound Marketing, here are 5 tips to get you started down the right path:
Tip #1: Ensure Your Website is Optimized
First off, get in the game. It may sound elementary but the first thing to assess is whether your website is set up to do its job properly – namely, attract visitors and convert visitors to leads. Make sure your website:
- Is easy to navigate with a clear path for your visitor.
- Is not overly cluttered, makes good use of white space and provides easy to read text.
- Provides a clear understanding of what you do, why your visitors should care and what makes you different.
- Ensure you have analytics setup to measure your campaigns success and conduct A/B Testing in order to increase conversions.
Tip #2: Catch Users Attention with a Strong Call To Action and Offer
Building a qualified lead funnel starts with striving to include great content which your visitors want to read. Each of your website pages should be optimized to include a solid call to action enticing prospects to exchange their cherished contact information in exchange for an equally valuable piece of content (or in marketing lingo, ‘the offer’). And don’t leave anything to chance - bring your offer to life with an impressive picture and copy which convey to the reader exactly what they will receive in exchange for their contact info.
Tip #3: Deliver on your Marketing Campaign Promises
We are back to the basics here. Make sure you check and then double check to ensure you have built out a seamless registration process. It is disappointing and more than a little frustrating to fill out a form only to get an error message.
- Immediately direct registrants to a “Thank You” page where the offer can be downloaded.
- Follow up with an email thanking your prospect for their time and information (and providing a direct link to the offer).
Use this follow up email as an opportunity to further engage by providing links to more useful information. Have a blog? Promote your most recent blog articles in the thank you email. Think of this communication as the starting point of a lead nurturing sequence aimed at turning interested lead generation prospects into qualified sales leads.
Tip #4: Generate Quality Content
We know first hand how excruciating it can be trying to satiate the content marketing beast. It takes time to build up a good repository of offers such as white papers, eBooks, toolkits, blog articles and research reports. But the good news is that a well-crafted offer can reap lead generation rewards for months and even years to come. Content that people link to, comment on and engage with is a primary facet of how the search engines will rank your site in the search rankings. To build a strong, qualified lead generation funnel you must first drive traffic to your website - and good content is how to get them there.
Tip #5: Get social to get leads
It is worth taking the time to figure out where to be present in Social Media and how to enhance your participation.