Today's blog post comes courtesy of Jonathan Dempster, a digital strategist based in Leeds, UK. He is focused on providing marketers the tools to justify their marketing spend by understanding the customer journey from online to offline channels.
Inbound marketing, especially for B2B companies, is difficult to get right. With so many online social outlets, content strategies, and performance metrics, knowing where to begin is a significant challenge.
It is important to get the basics right. Once you have a manageable campaign, you can begin to piece together the parts of your marketing puzzle. A well developed marketing strategy enables you to more effectively drive inbound leads to your website. Here are four tips that can get you started.
1. Tracking Your Leads
One of the most important aspects of an online marketing strategy is monitoring your leads and where they originate from. By doing so, you can understand the effects of your efforts, and which channels are driving the highest quality inquiries.
Google Analytics offers a cheap and simple method of analyzing how people are getting to your web site. This includes the keywords that are driving the traffic and how many conversions your SEO and PPC campaign is producing.
Call tracking providers ResponseTap allow you to see which of your marketing channels is driving phone calls to your business from your web site. This allows you to separate your SEO, PPC and other marketing channels, to see which are driving the highest value conversions, enabling you to optimise marketing spend.
2. SEO & PR
SEO is becoming more and more labor intensive. Now, combining your SEO and PR efforts is vital to be recognized by Google, and to increasing your rankings. Instead of simply promoting yourself through guest blogs, focus on building a “linkable asset” on your own site. This could be anything related to your niche, offering something that people would link to naturally, because it is insightful or new.
By then contacting related blogs, journals and magazines, you can ask them to link to your piece, offering mutual benefits and value, and see an uplift in rankings.
3. Tell a Story with Content
A good rule of thumb when producing content is to tell a story. Relate your article to real life problems and offer value and advice to your potential customers. Telling your customers why your business is great is un-engaging and sometimes irrelevant.
However, by writing content relating your business to a problem, visitors will often begin looking for more. Build case studies and white papers to promote your organization as an authority.
Some people worry about giving "secrets" away with their content, but just remember that if they cannot find it on your web site, it won’t take long for them to click "back" and find it elsewhere.
4. Nurture, Nurture, Nurture
Industry benchmarks show that a vast majority of leads never convert to sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. Lead generation is the ultimate goal, however in an ever expanding online landscape, trying to get visitors who are looking to buy onto your site will often require many touch points.
Therefore, nurturing your leads has started to become a big deal. Businesses are starting to recognise the value of reaching out to visitors who may not be looking to buy right now, but making them aware of your product and its benefits may lead them to return in the future.
Looking for techniques to help populate your online marketing funnel? Check out our Content Marketing Best Practice Toolkit.