Generate Leads with Content Marketing in Three not-so-easy, but Meaningful Steps
We hear a lot of talk about getting more fans on Facebook, and followers on Twitter and LinkedIn. Many businesses spend their marketing dollars as if the actual interaction on social media is responsible for generating leads and creating sales. It's not that social media isn't important; more that it can be the first step toward getting someone new to your website. We hear a lot of talk about getting more visits to your website. Many businesses spend their marketing dollars as if actual visit to your website are responsible for generating leads and creating sales. Well, that's just the second step.
Once you've successfully increased your website traffic, these visitors need to CONVERT into real, actionable leads. Inbound marketing is simply turning marketing inside out. Where previously your sales people needed to pick up the phone to start the relationship, inbound marketing seeks to attract the most qualified people and give them a process within which to self select, finally alerting you to their burning desire to buy from you.
"How do you get them to self select?" We thought you'd never ask!
We're not fans of the "easy button" mostly because there is no easy button. At Little Bird Marketing, we work hard to demystify marketing jargon and clear the smoke to create transparent and flexible annual marketing plans that increase the bottom line. But that doesn't mean it's easy. We can break it down into three basic phases, or meaningful steps for your marketing process:
STEP ONE - DEVELOP THOSE PERSONAS
Don't write a single line of copy before you have identified who your ideal client is and what would motivate them to buy. I could write three more sentences to try to convince you of that, but it would be a waste. Just re-read that first sentence.
Again, it might not be easy, but it can be fun. Just download this free guide we've created to help you create your own Buyer Personas to help you create meaningful content that sells. The Little Bird Guide to Personas walks you through creating that first persona so you can write the most irresistible copy possible to attract, engage, nurture and delight your ideal client.
If you learn better by listening and doing, join me in this fun and funny podcast episode all about creating buyer personas. It's chock-a-block with food for thought about writing effective sales copy and the power of being CLEAR with potential clients about their best next step.
STEP TWO - CREATE A CALL TO ACTION (CTA)
Sometimes we don't get the business because we fail to ask for the business. That's not a famous quote, but it should be. However, a call to action is more than just asking for the business. It is providing a manageable and very clear next step to your audience to see if they want to move closer toward you. Like in any relationship, what you ask should be appropriate. But if CTAs are missing, you are definitely not going to get that all-important second date.
Calls to action are not just words we use like "REGISTER TODAY!" They can be buttons, links, images or full graphic banners that, when actioned, take your prospects to your next desired step. Leaving a phone number, or a wishy-washy promise to "get in touch" is not a part of a successful lead generation plan. Instead, multiple calls to action should be on every piece of copy you create, with few exceptions.
We hate to digress, but...
Once the basics are done it can get really fun to experiment with your CTAs. Effective A/B testing will do nothing but improve your conversion rates. Just remember that A/B testing requires patience and true analysis of outcomes to make a final determination which CTAs are performing best and should be kept and mimicked.
Click here for some truly click-worthy call to action examples!
Want to really go pro? Check out this tutorial on creating Slide-In CTAs to your blog posts!
So, we've gotten clear about WHO we want to attract.
Then we developed CTAs to show HOW they should interact.
But WHERE are they interacting?
STEP THREE - BUILD A LANDING PAGE FOR SELF-SELECTION
Well, the guests have arrived. What is our best way forward? Roll out the red carpet, of course! Creating an effective landing page is critical so we don't waste all of our efforts up to now. When you spend the time to get specific with your call to action, you don't want to send your prospect to your generic home page. You need a great landing page specifically built to continue the self-selection process where the call to action left off. If your CTA included REGISTER TODAY, the link should direct your prospect right to the very registration page. If you're offering a valuable download, you want actionable contact information from qualified visitors in exchange. Sending them to a landing page built specifically for further self-selection is lead generation gold.
We hate to digress, but...
With the help of persona development you can create valuable downloads your prospects will love. Some say the WHITE PAPER is a thing of the past. Some say audio downloads are THE thing. We try not to pay attention to generalized statements like those because what works for one company may not work for another. You simply let the knowledge you have of your ideal customer guide your content development. Whatever you decide on content, it should be protected with a landing page.
Check out a few best practices for creating stellar landing pages:
Don't mix messages or metaphors.
We talk about hashtag strategies like they are the rocket fuel that propels your marketing rocket into space. If your copy and/or CTAs used a metaphor, make sure your landing page continues with the theme. Continuity will keep your prospect engaged:
Keep the traffic flowing.
The cleaner the landing page the better. You don't want navigation options on your landing page offering other directions to your qualified lead. You want them doing one thing and one thing only. Make that possible by simply removing navigation options.
Second base, really?
When creating your forms, you decide what information you need to capture from your prospect. Asking for too much information too soon is a big turn off...like some other things we can think of! Carefully decide what information you truly need from this prospect so sales can use this lead generation effectively. Don't ask for a thing more than you need. A great inbound marketing dashboard will allow you to ask a new question every time the same prospect revisits any of your landing pages over time. This effectively and efficiently fills out the contact data base without risking a slap on the face.
Ready to start effective lead generation?
Think we have what it takes to partner with you?
Do you want our help?
You can self-select right here. Let us know you want to take the next step and we'll figure it out together.
If that is just a little too forward for you, don't miss the guide to creating THE PERFECT PERSONA. You'll enjoy the process and be amazed at what a difference it makes! Once you decide you're ready for that second date with us, you can let us know!