Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tackling Your Biggest Challenges: Increasing Website Traffic & Leads (Part 2)

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According to HubSpot's State of Inbound 2017, "marketers today find generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge". So we decided to put together two posts detailing some of the key levers you can pull when increasing website traffic and lead generation are at the top of your priority list. In Part 1 of this two part series we covered the how to's of increasing traffic to your website. In Part 2 we'll dive into the ways in which you can build a B2B website that converts those visitors and generate leads.

Build & Implement Conversion Paths

A conversion path is a process by which an unknown visitor becomes a lead by navigating their way through your website. They use elements like blogs, calls-to-action, landing pages, premium offers, and thank you pages. A well-designed conversion funnel should guide your visitors to the offers that are most relevant to them while eliminating any obstacles that could prevent or distract them from converting.

Let’s be honest, you’re in the process of our conversion path right now. We want you to find value in this blog post, be compelled to click on the CTA below, go to the landing page with an amazing and surprisingly relevant offer, and download it.

Create Offers for Each Stage of the Funnel

In order to build an effective conversion path, you’ll need to have offers that align to the awareness, consideration and decision phases of the inbound marketing funnel. This is what the "TOFU, MOFU, BOFU" method is all about. It stands for Top of Funnel, Middle of Funnel and Bottom of the Funnel, and it works like this:

  • TOFU - Top of funnel offers should be focused on the awareness stage, when a buyer has identified that they have a challenge. Your job is to understand how to describe the challenge, how to provide education on the challenge and what the consequences are of not addressing it. Some common forms of a top of funnel content offer include whitepapers, ebooks, guides and tip sheets.
  • MOFU - Middle of the funnel offers should be focused on the consideration stage, when a buyer has clearly outlined their goal or challenge and have committed to addressing it. They will be evaluating the different approaches or methods available as possible solutions. Some common forms of middle of the funnel content offers include checklists, templates, comparisons, and case studies
  • BOFU - Bottom of the funnel offers should be focused on the decision stage, when a buyer has decided on the type of solution to address their challenge. At this point, a buyer will begin to evaluate specific offerings to see if they can meet their needs. Some common forms of a bottom of the funnel content offer include demos, trials, and assessments.

Download our free eBook to learn how to make your website a more effective lead generation tool.

Design Effective Calls-to-Action

A call-to-action or CTA is an image or line of text that directs website visitors towards the next step in the buyer’s journey. They are intended to elicit a response by using an urgent or imperative phrase such as “Sign Up Today”, “Download the eBook Now”, or “Claim Your Free Trial”. When designing an effective CTA for your site make sure to do the following:

  • Use an Eye-Catching Design
  • Write Copy That Makes People Want to Act
  • Set Expectations and A Clear Value Proposition
  • Direct Visitors Towards An Offer Aligned With The Page Content
  • Allow Conversion Paths to Guide your CTA Strategy

Incorporate Landing Page Best Practices

Once someone clicks on one of your CTAs they should be taken to a landing page with a relevant offer on it. A landing page is a web page that should have a single focused objective - to deliver an offer that moves someone from one lifecycle stage to the next. Most landing pages are focused on turning a visitor into a lead, but they can also turn a lead into an MQL or an MQL into an opportunity. To focus your landing page around this singular objective you should:

  • Remove navigation - Eliminate as many avenues as possible that can take someone away from the landing page.
  • Write a compelling headline - Make it clear to the visitor that this page aligns with the link or add that they clicked to get there.
  • Use directional cues - Draw a visitor’s attention towards the action you want them to perform by using arrows that point towards the form or CTA.
  • Have a single, focused message - Be clear and succinct by removing unnecessary content
    When possible, use video - Videos have been shown to improve conversion by up to 80%.
  • Add trust marks - These can include testimonials, guarantees, and co-branding.
  • Show social proof - Add indicators of your social status.
  • Use bullet points - Highlight specific points, while making your copy quick and easy to digest.

Nurture Leads with Lifecycle Marketing

The simplest way to describe lifecycle marketing tactics is to say they are one aspect of your marketing strategy that dictate the context of when you communicate with your prospects and customers, and how. Lifecycle marketing focuses on the entire customer experience, from first touch all the way through to customer acquisition and retention.

It’s designed to nurture your relationships with prospects and customers based on their progression through the marketing funnel. Use your marketing automation platform to set up workflows that automatically nurture leads throughout the funnel with content and emails. Chances are, you're marketing to hundreds or thousands of people at a time, so you can't possibly be successful with manual email blasts.

Disrupt a user’s experience with pop-up forms

This might appear to be counter to the typical approach to inbound marketing, but there is proof that pop-up forms can be highly effective. Over the past few years, they have re-emerged as a popular marketing tactic for promoting content, driving blog subscriptions, growing email lists, and fueling lead generation. They do this by disrupting a user’s experience and drawing their attention towards a relevant offer. You can even fit them neatly into an inbound approach by associating the pop-up form’s messaging with the page content. A common practice is to add a pop-up form to your blog pages along the lines of, “Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter. Read up on the latest in B2B marketing, sales, and growth and hear about upcoming industry events and webinars!”

Always Be Conversion Rate Optimization...ing

For marketers that want to exceed their goals, it will not be enough to simply implement and manage the tactics listed above. They will need to address areas of opportunity for continuous improvement. This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes into play. CRO can be described as a way of leveraging data to identify the most impactful ways to increase lead & demand generation. It involves measuring and analyzing the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your website that drive conversions, recognizing potential gaps, and finding solutions to fill them. When done correctly, this process leads to lower customer acquisition costs by capitalizing on your existing traffic to increase lead volume and maximize profits.

 

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Key Tips For Your Dental Business Content Marketing Strategy

Thanks to the advent of search engine optimization small to medium sized business can now compete with their larger counterparts in the market. This also applies to businesses in the dental niche. If you look at the online market today, you will find thousands of dental websites on the Internet. Now, in order to have…

The 6 Marketing Channels You Should Be Personalizing

cross-channel personalizationIt isn’t enough to master your marketing communications through one channel if your current or prospective customers engage with you in many different channels. And for most companies, it is pretty safe to assume that they are. The typical digital consumer now owns 3.64 connected devices. Forrester predicts that by 2021, 40% of in-store sales will [...]

The 6 Marketing Channels You Should Be Personalizing

cross-channel personalizationIt isn’t enough to master your marketing communications through one channel if your current or prospective customers engage with you in many different channels. And for most companies, it is pretty safe to assume that they are. The typical digital consumer now owns 3.64 connected devices. Forrester predicts that by 2021, 40% of in-store sales will [...]

Thursday, June 22, 2017

42 Highest Paying Work From Home Jobs [Infographic]

Virtual career opportunities are on the rise worldwide. This can be attributed to the growing globalization of the workforce, a more employee-centric attitude on the part of companies, rising cost of maintaining physical offices, initiatives to reduce the stress of long distance commute on workforce, consistent productivity on part of remote employees and rapid growth…

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

5 Tools to Make Instagram Marketing Easier Than Ever Before

Do you need the better marketing tools on Instagram? Most of the marketers have used Instagram as it provides the right kind of tools for helping them. Why Instagram? The platform of Instagram is the fast growing picture and video sharing social network, having 700 million active users. Google Trends exhibit the large mass of searches…

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Demand Generation Fundamentals to Convert Inbound Interest into Revenue

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Today, buyers have widespread access to information through the web. As a result, interruptive “outbound” tactics are losing their effectiveness. In this new buyer-centric world, the best way to engage with prospects is on their terms. The “inbound” approach enables target buyers to find you organically, converting site visitors into revenue and aligning sales and marketing efforts.

Get Buyers to Find You

Since buyers use google to research, compare, and eventually purchase goods and services, search engine optimization (SEO) is essential. The popularity and specificity of Inbound links determines your search ranking. In order to rank higher on the results page, it's important to create quality content and participate in relevant social media discussions on a routine basis. In terms of SEO strategy, The Long Tail Theory describes how targeting long-tail keywords yield the best results. Targeting a small population of individuals looking for very specific topics will allow you to rank higher for the things that matter to your company (and your customers). Creating a content production team will help keep your posts smart and consistent across platforms. A good content production team will include a journalist (expert staff writer)or someone capable of delegating writing responsibility and editing content before publication. The best way to ensure that your posts provide real value to visitors is to form a "thought leadership committee" of knowledgeable employees who can be interviewed as subject experts on a weekly basis. When you have quality information, you can turn a one hour interview into multiple blog posts, ebooks, and social media messages.

Converting Inbound Interest into Revenue

In order to convert inbound interest into revenue, both marketing and sales play a key role.

Marketing’s role can be expressed in four practices:

  • Do not pass all the leads to sales! Define what constitutes a quality lead & filter each new lead based on that standard criteria
  • Avoid the lead scoring trap. Use the buyer’s journey and buyer personas to develop a buyer matrix and prioritize leads based on their lifecycle stage.
  • Use the Buyer Matrix to determine when to pass leads to sales. Define the stage in which this handoff should happen for each persona, then measure the lead conversion success over time so adjustments can be made to improve success.
  • Become a buyer matrix expert through microsegmentation. Adding another matrix to a row can help account for complex behaviors, such as having multiple “influencers” or industries for a single buyer persona.

Sales’ role in converting inbound interest into revenue can also be broken down into four practices.

  • Scrap the elevator pitch and lead with context. Rather than sounding robotic and reading from a script, be educational, insightful, and personable.
  • Call low, then call high. If the person you reach is not a decision maker, ask questions to develop more buyer-specific context. Then call “high” to the decision maker using this information to personalize the experience.
  • Prioritize prospecting by level of engagement. customers that have interacted with content most recently should take priority over last touch
  • Specialize sales by inbound vs outbound. Dedicate half your sales team to inbound leads and the other half to outbound leads. Think about having your top salesmen rotate inbound leads to help develop tactics that work best.

Aligning Sales & Marketing: The SMarketing SLA

Develop a sales and marketing Service Level Agreement (SLA) to establish concrete connection between departments. Account for different lead qualification levels by focusing less on raw numbers and more on their implied dollar value. Use the buyer matrix discussed earlier and:

  • For each buyer state, calculate the average rate at which leads become customers
  • For each segment, calculate the average purchase price for each customer generated from these classes of leads
  • Multiply conversion rate by average purchasing price.

These numbers will allow marketing efforts to be tied to revenue rather than raw numbers.

A sales SLA will define strict parameters for an “effective” interaction with leads. Since timing is imperative, the SLA defines when to follow up with a new lead and the number of times a lead should be "touched." Analyze each buyer persona by touches and profitability. Whichever call attempt volume yields the highest profit will establish the sales SLA standard call cadence. A daily dashboard helps ensure no leads fall through the cracks.

Create a graph displaying marketing’s “planned lead value generated” and compare it to the actual lead value generated. You can also draft a “Do Not Be On It” dashboard listing any salesperson in violation of your key SLA measures. Make sure to distribute these reports daily to hold both departments accountable.

At the End of the Day

Allowing buyers to find you results in less expenditure on cold call lists and other interruptive outbound tactics and positions you as a thought leader in your industry. Once established, marketing will usher leads down the funnel and pass them off to sales at the right moment, maximizing customer acquisition. If sales and marketing goals are both tied to revenue, the teams will operate like a well-oiled revenue machine.

Lead Generation Guide