If you’re trying to learn how to generate more leads for your company, you may have already realized that inbound marketing is a necessity. But it can be difficult to connect marketing and sales solidly. It may feel a little risky to link your marketing directly to your lead goals—gaining leads, after all, can seem more like an art than a science.
Who’s to say, after all, that X blog posts each month will lead to Y traffic and Z new leads?
Perhaps that’s why, as a results-focused inbound marketing agency, when we come to an existing inbound marketing campaign, we often see a lack of focus on gaining new leads. To us, this is odd. Why embark on an inbound marketing campaign in the first place if not to establish leads that convert into sales? Why launch a marketing venture if there’s no way of measuring your ROI?
If you break it down into actionable measures, you can see where simply understanding elements of this ‘art’ can improve your lead generation.
1) Determine Your Strategy Before You Embark
Any proper inbound marketing strategy campaign should begin with a roadmap, and the creation of this roadmap begins by posing questions.
- What face will represent the words you wish to share with the world? Personas can make your marketing feel more human, organic, and approachable. The reader connects with the branded persona.
- What kind of content will your readers seek out that maintains your relevancy? Your voice is what will draw your readers in! Avoid gimmicks that bait readers’ interest, but ultimately disappoint. Clever headlines on garbage content may attract a few readers, but it won’t generate quality leads. Stay within your established themes and commit to producing something reliable—something of value.
- What kind of publication schedule can you commit to? Don’t commit to posting an article twice a day if you have nothing important to say. In our fast-paced era, you will quickly lose followers who will begin to associate you with a content farm of useless, meaningless information.
- What content management system will you use? If you plan to publish multiple times throughout the week from a variety of authors, self-submission platforms will shave off a ton of man hours, especially if your writers are responsible for uploading their own images and content.
There are so many more questions to ask yourself before creating your marketing roadmap. The key is never to stop asking questions!
2) Design Websites with Strategic CTA Buttons
Don’t underestimate the importance of making sure the quality your website design (in the way of functionality, strategy, and esthetic appeal) is on par with the quality of your inbound marketing plan.
Your Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons should be easily accessible for the average user, from a desktop and a mobile device. By the way, the importance of mobile design cannot be stressed enough right now! A clean, mobile site for users on the go means that guy on a boring train ride can share your article with little effort before he gets off at his stop. And you want sharing to be effortless!
If you want to have an online presence in today’s times then you need focus on mobile. – Andrew Wilkinson, PlasticHallway.net
Watching those social shares creep (or hopefully bolt) upwards may become your new obsession. And why not? Social media impacts website ranking, which impacts how visible your website is to potential consumers. Visibility, crisp navigation, and strategic CTA buttons make engaging on a social level that much more rewarding.
3) Cultivate Content That Answers Questions
Users begin most of their searches by asking a question or two. How you manage to answer questions that potential consumers may ask is going to be the key to driving them to your website.
You may choose to create personal content, written in the first person, or use a narrative approach to convey your information. There isn’t necessarily a wrong answer here, so long as your voice is potent enough to be heard.
What makes a voice potent? It reviews information from a different angle and leaves nothing of note untouched. It asks how, what, and why to engage with readers across many platforms and stays ahead of the trends. It doesn’t spew regurgitated material in a pretty new package. It connects with readers hoping to find someone who just ‘gets’ them.
Just look at all of the mommy blogs out there who thrive on the mere fact that some desperate parent searched ‘How to get toothpaste off the walls… and the dog’ and connected with something the author had to say. And then shared. And then their friends shared. This is organic lead generation.
4) Get Connected with Important Editors
So you want to write for that top online magazine to put your company’s name in front of more readers? With social media making worldwide connection as easy as pressing a button, there’s no reason you shouldn’t reach out to people you’d like to work with in the future.
Editors—those once notoriously aloof creatures—are stepping into the light to share what’s on their minds. Listen to them. They may be sharing crucial submission guidelines. They may be sharing calls for a particular topic (the one in which you happen to be an expert).
5) Create, Share and Host Video Content
In a fast-paced world of whirling information, most of us rely upon visual measures to rapidly ingest new material. (Ever notice how shareable infographics are? They’re like the Denny’s dinner menu of content marketing.)
Videos are another visual form of information sharing and one with definite perks. Videos give your audience a taste of your personality, which makes you more approachable as a subject matter expert.
But don’t just create videos and throw them out to wither on the vine. Create live experiences! Google Plus hangouts are an engaging way to host a ‘talk show’ interview and watch your viewers’ questions and comments pop up in real time. Sometimes, even just attending these kinds of shows helps you make organic connections with other attendees. (Just make sure you’re commenting!)
6) Keep Daily, Weekly and Monthly Tracking
Real time evaluation of your success means real time room for adjustment throughout your process. This is where you’ll be fine-tuning your marketing art. There is no magical ‘Go Viral’ button (we’d all push it every time if there was). Sometimes the content that sparks in a field of dry grass and blooms into a fully-fledged forest fire is something you didn’t foresee. But if you’re monitoring how the masses responded to it, then you can try your best to create other popular content.
7) Make Weekly and Monthly Adjustments
If you fail to update your strategy, you’re sinking your long-term potential. As technology grows, you must stay on top of new ways to reach your audience and strive to stay ahead. This is where your daily, weekly, and monthly tracking will help you evaluate exactly how you should tweak and hone your methods.
Remember that organic relationship building—be it with site editors or readers who will share your work—converts to link building. Link building converts to leads, which converts to gaining more consumers. And, in the end, that’s what this is all about, right?
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