Marketing budgets are always a sensitive topic—particularly when your business depends on a pipeline of projects that ebb and flow throughout the year. During revenue downturns, it seems as though marketing is always the first budget on the chopping block. But in reality, it should be one of the last to be cut if you want to keep that pipeline pumping.
When determining the best way to allocate your marketing dollars, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by directing a substantial amount to your website—after all, it’s your marketing hub. This means every marketing initiative should support your site’s ability to attract visitors. With this strategic approach in mind, there are five main marketing solutions we highly recommend that will maximize the number of leads generated through your site:
1. Website Development
Proper, up-to-date development is crucial to a company’s website. Your site won’t be found if it hasn’t been updated in adherence to the right technologies and methods. To bolster search rankings, it’s imperative that your site is responsive (i.e., mobile, tablet and desktop friendly) and all its pages load efficiently. Leads won’t trust your ability to deliver quality work or products if your website doesn't function smoothly and correctly—a company’s website reflects who the company truly is, for better or for worse.
Recently, SyncShow overhauled a client’s website with fresh content, a current look, responsive design and up-to-date technology. With this change, their bounce rate (people only reading one page and leaving the site) plummeted from 60% all the way down to just 2%. Fully developing your website equates to leads being more engaged and staying longer.
2. An SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization (SEO) is about driving the right traffic to your site to provide the highest-value opportunities.
The process starts with keyword targeting. Using feedback from your customer interactions as well as the buyer’s journey, SEO professionals can determine the most likely terms that potential high-value customers will be using when they search. While most SEO companies focus solely on traffic and volume of specific search terms, the right SEO partner will expand your SEO reach into long-tail terms (i.e., those that are more specific and curtailed to the personas in your industry). As the initial targeting produces results, strong SEO partners will retool and keep refining—you don’t rest in your attempts to drive your business forward and neither should your SEO team.
For one of our clients, the implementation of a dedicated SEO strategy resulted in a whopping 400% increase in keyword rankings for the top three positions in search engines. In fact, in some cases, the company secured all three top positions for a national keyword! Along with these immense gains, the client showed up in localized rich snippets on search engine result pages (SERPs), which is also known as being in “position zero”—or ranking above all other search results. By implementing a complete SEO strategy, you’ll be the one there to greet them when potential customers are searching online. And most importantly, before the competition shows up to the party.
3. Brand-Defining Messaging and Design
Messaging and design intertwine to tell your brand’s story at a glance. Getting the duo right is critical, involving part art and part science. Color usage, for example, has a significant effect on human perception. Statements like “blue conveys professionalism” or “black indicates luxury” may seem arbitrary, but there’s scientific evidence supporting how we perceive colors, both separately and together.
Science also suggests that your website has less than a minute to hook readers. Whether visual (i.e., in video) or written, messaging should deliver quick, memorable bites that address the common pain points and challenges of your ideal customers. Your headlines need to be impactful and command attention with benefits. Supporting messaging should validate that your company can be trusted to provide the right solutions, services or products. All messaging and on-site content pieces should be driven by a carefully planned strategy.
New or established, a company will benefit from stepping back to review whether its website is providing a content experience that matches the needs of those ideal customers. This is precisely how to generate leads with content marketing.
Every company should also make timely, on-brand design updates to modernize its website's look and feel. Occasional content audits and redesigns will reduce website bounce rates and increase average session times and page views. Having on-target messaging and on-brand design will assure that your brand’s story is accurately told.
4. A Clearly Defined, Unique Value Proposition
Once you have a website that functions properly, can be discovered on search engines, looks great and speaks to your products and services in a brand-specific voice, the next step is to really distinguish your company from the competition. A website, or business for that matter, without a clear and concise value proposition could be missing opportunities by not communicating what makes it unique when compared to its competitors. No matter how great your site is, if you aren’t effectively communicating the unique benefits your business brings to the table, prospects won’t see what separates you from the rest of the noise.
So think about what makes you unique, and we mean really unique. Start by writing down your “uniques” and then use them to create a concise statement that explains what you do differently—and better—than anyone else. This statement should be used to influence all content you create, whether it be website copy or even printed sales sheets.
For example, Skype has a strong value proposition that is simply stated: "Skype keeps the world talking, for free." A value proposition should succinctly summarize the “what’s in it for me” for the target audience while also differentiating a company from the competition. Creating this statement is a tactic of effective lead generation marketing that informs prospects why they should choose you.
5. A Strong Social Media Presence
After you have a unique value proposition, valuable messaging and design, a strong SEO strategy and a high-functioning website in place, it's now time to tell the world! Social messaging is necessary if you want to reach a growing audience that spends both time and money online. A well-thought-out social media strategy can provide the introduction potential buyers need before they even land on your homepage.
Take Twitter, for example: How can you convey who you are and what you do in 280 characters or less? You can demonstrate thought leadership by sharing a valuable article, adding a personal touch like quoting an industry expert and sparking an educational conversation by linking to an applicable blog post written by a member of your team. Be the relevant voice that encourages your target audience to #listen.
A client came to SyncShow a couple of years back wondering how to generate leads with content marketing. Because our content strategy prioritized social media, they experienced a 131% increase in click engagement. The company shared content featuring its products and promoted timely and relevant blog posts in specific LinkedIn groups, as well as actively engaged with other industry-related publications via tagging or social media mentions. As a result, the company established a strong, trustworthy social media presence.
Diversifying promotional content and diving into segmented audiences not only creates significant engagement, but it's the true lead generation marketing you need for the modern business world.