Getting visitors to your company’s website is relatively easy, especially if you are following these SEO marketing strategies. Converting website visitors into qualified leads, on the other hand, is another story. According to HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Methodology, the modern buyer’s decision-making process has drastically changed. Consumers are already 57% through the buying cycle by the time they reach your company’s website. An inbound marketing strategy includes the use of different channels and unique content to drive visitors to your website and, once they are there, nurture them into customers.
Here are three key elements of inbound marketing strategy:
The cornerstone of your inbound marketing strategy should be excellent content. This content should:
- Incorporate your company’s value proposition
- Be aligned with the goals and job functions of your ideal customers
- Include strategic and relevant search terms
While Google updates their algorithm frequently, some things will likely always remain true. Publishing timely and relevant content that’s served up on a mobile-first platform will earn you points in the “Google game.” This means that you have a better shot at ranking higher if you provide excellent content for search engines to regularly crawl.
Keywords are important, but only in the context of relevant content. By continually adding fresh content to your website, you will not only rank higher but you will also provide valuable information to your readers. Ways to do this include:
- Building out certain sections of your website to create new pages for your services or industries
- A blogging content generation rhythm and system
- Establishing brand awareness and thought leadership
Amazing website content only gives your business so much exposure. To attract more website visitors, it’s important to leverage other elements of inbound marketing such as social media, email and referral sources.
Promoting content on the social networks ideal customers are ‘hanging out’ on will increase your company’s reach. In the B2B space, most users are searching for thought leadership experts to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. People also want to find what they need as quickly as possible. Popular social networks for B2B audiences are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
If you aren’t regularly connecting with your customers and prospects (whose permission you have to contact) you are likely missing out on new business opportunities. Sending a monthly or quarterly newsletter is an easy way to stay in touch and keep your company top of mind for those who already know who you are.
As with any product or service, people are always looking for recommendations. When a person or brand you trust says to use a product or brand, it’s only natural to enter the buying process with it in mind. To position your brand in this way, you can guest blog, interact with industry influencers or thought leaders and list your business on any respected organizations or affiliations that your ideal customers trust.
Once brand awareness is established, how do you generate leads and acquire customers?
Now that your business has attracted the right audience, it’s time to add leads to your sales pipeline. The way you can capture leads on your website is through asking for personal information (i.e., name and email address) via form submission. To nurture website visitors into leads and leads into customers, you need to prime your website for conversion. Ways to do this include:
- Content offers
- Calls-to-action (CTAs)
- Landing pages
Making valuable resources available on your website is one easy way to encourage website visitors to provide their information. These resources could be a free ebook, whitepaper or report with proprietary information for your prospects in exchange for their contact information. As long as visitors view your offer as a valuable one, they will be willing to exchange their information for it.
To drive website visitors to your content offers, you need clear CTAs strategically placed in all of your marketing efforts. Each website page should have a CTA that leads users to the next step you want them to take. Whether it is a link to a relevant blog post or a link to download a content offer, make sure it is clearly spelled out. Set it apart from the content around it by putting it in a box or different colored text—anything to make it stand out.
When using CTAs, keep it simple. Use only one CTA per marketing message (social message, email or blog post). If you give your reader too many options they most likely will be overwhelmed. Keep your CTA clear and simple and you will increase your conversion rate.
Once users arrive at a landing page, they should feel comfortable giving you their contact information. Landing pages serve a single purpose: to gather your prospect's contact information. Since this is the goal, you want to make sure that your landing page is free of any external links or other navigational menus. This is not a place to have a link to your “About Us” page or anything else. Keep your visitor focused on the task you want them to complete, presumably to get the premium content you offered them in the first place.
Once you ensure these three elements of inbound marketing are part of your strategy, you will not only increase your conversion rate, but you will also increase your bottom line.