When we start inbound marketing with a new client, it’s really common to hear concerns about what’s going to drive leads for their business. The truth is, each and every business is different – and should be treated that way. But, there are most definitely some common principles that you should follow regardless of the industry you’re in, or how different your business is, to create killer top of the funnel offers that turn your visitors into leads:
1. Know Your Target Buyer & Tailor Your Content to Them
To get started, you have to know who you’re trying to attract and what the problem is that they’re encountering. Here’s an example to help show what I mean:
I have a leaky faucet in my kitchen. I know that I could call a plumber, but I’m kinda handy (believe it or not) and I think I might be able to fix it on my own. But… the problem is, I’ve never actually fixed a leaky faucet before, so I don’t have a clue where to start. In comes my trusty friend – Google. I’ll go and search ‘how to fix a leaky faucet’. What shows on the first page of results (aside from the ads… b/c I’m not looking to be sold to) is where I’ll start my research and hopefully find my solution. Best-case scenario: I find a DIY blog (or better yet a video) that talks about fixing a leaky faucet.
In the example above, the target buyer is a homeowner who likes to take on DIY projects instead of calling in professionals all the time. They’ll be looking for how-to’s and step-by-step instructions that solve their problems. They’re not educated enough to know what the solution is just yet. So we’re going to provide content that fits them and their situation. By providing this education, we are positioning ourselves as their helpful expert and providing the solutions they’re looking for.
2. Create a Killer Call-to-Action for Your Top of the Funnel Offer
You’ve got the target buyer on your site, digesting this awesomely helpful content you’ve provided to solve their problem. They are starting to trust you because you’re helping them, not selling to them (this is key). Now, you need to give them an enticing call-to-action for another awesome piece of content that does the following:
It’s visually appealing
Let’s face it, if it’s ugly and looks like an ad, it’s not going to get as many people to click on it. If you’re not sure what kind of design is going to work best, consider doing some A/B testing to feel it out and get some hard data behind the decisions you’re making long-term.
It takes them to the next logical next step, or it’s related somehow, to the content they’re currently reading
Going back to the example above:
On that awesome blog that talks about fixing my leaky faucet, there’s a link to download a diagram of the faucet parts that shows the specific pieces and potential problem areas I’ll need to check to fix the leak.
This content makes sense given what I’m reading. If instead, there was a link to watch a video about installing crown molding, I’m probably not going to click on it because it has nothing to do with what I’m on the site for. Instead, I’d likely leave the site.
It’s valuable to them at this stage in the buying process
Consider again the leaky faucet customer. It’s really important to remember that this buyer is just doing initial research and trying to diagnose their problem. They’re not ready to buy yet. Just like the crown molding video wouldn’t fit, neither would a link to get a coupon for 20% off my first order. I don’t even know what I’m ordering yet, or that I need to order anything to begin with.
3. Create a Landing Page That Closes the Deal
When the visitor clicks on that awesome call-to-action you created, it will take them to your landing page to enter their info and get the offer. This is the last step in closing the deal, so it’s got to be done right. You’ll need to make sure:
Your landing page clearly (and quickly) tells them they’re in the right place after clicking on your call-to-action
The design and messaging should be consistent with what they saw on the call-to-action.
Give them some good reasons why they should give you their information (via a form)
You’re asking for some of their personal contact info, so make the copy here meaty and enticing enough that it’s worthwhile for them to provide it. Your description of what they’re going to get when they download the offer needs to make it can’t-refuse-worthy.
Keep the form short and sweet
Keep in mind, this is a really general top of the funnel offer, so you should be asking the bare minimum in return for getting the content. I’d recommend starting with first name, last name and email address if you can get away with it. Your conversion rate on this page will be directly proportional to the number of fields on your form. The more fields, the lower the conversion rate. So keep it short and simple. You can always employ progressive profiling later and get more information on the visitor once you’ve got them in your database.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to taking those web visitors of yours and turning them into marketable leads. Good luck!
For another blog post by Erin about inbound marketing, check out:
Ten Ideas to Clear Your Blogging Writers Block