One of the things that inbound marketers hear all the time from clients is that they have tried elements of SEO or content marketing services before, and it hasn’t worked for them.
We know this is because inbound marketing is reliant on a larger strategy, one that has many gears working in tandem to create a complete engine in order to attract and convert leads.
If your primary goal is to create brand awareness, then a great content strategy that gets in front of people may be enough.
However, if you’re in the business of growing and generating sales, inbound marketing agencies wouldn’t recommend relying solely on content creation. For IT or service firms, generating brand awareness, building reputation, and in turn growing sales are undeniable goals that a complete inbound marketing campaign targets.
There are quite a few elements of inbound marketing that work hand-in-hand and by ignoring steps, a short-sighted marketing plan can fall flat on its face.
The entire approach can be explained in four phases that continuously work in a circular pattern in order to make sure you get the most out of your inbound marketing strategies.
During the expose phase, one of the most important things to look at is your website. There are a number of ways that a website can cause lead leakage.
Great website, no traffic
You might have a beautiful website that’s been designed with aesthetics in mind and can be easily navigated and is something that you’re truly proud of. Except, you’re not receiving any traffic.
Building a great website is a lot like building a car. It needs a functioning engine that’s attached to your brakes, steering system, gas tank, and transmission. Once you’ve built that car from the ground up, what’s the point if it only ever sits in the garage?
Even for #1 rated sites on Google, the click-through rate is 18.2%. If you’re not on that first page, however, you can kiss your unique visitors goodbye. On average, 75% of people who have searched for a specific term only click the first three results.
Searching is how most people would land on your site, as 81% of B2B purchase cycles start through an online search.
Maybe you even update your blog regularly, but if it’s not content that’s optimized to attract your ideal buyers, they won’t magically find it. Optimizing your website and blog for SEO is a great way to bring in unique traffic to your website.
Great traffic, Bad website
Maybe you already have the traffic coming to your site, but it’s not easily navigated, your services aren’t explained, and nothing is keeping your leads on the page.
In this case, your website is creating a bad impression on potential clients and making it hard for them to learn about you.
It’s time for a website overhaul. Creating your website geared towards your ideal customers, or buyer personas, and mapping out their use case scenarios ensures that you’re targeting them with the information they’re looking for, and making sure it’s easy to navigate.
Decent Website, Decent Traffic, But no Offer.
Say you’re trying to sell that car you built, and it’s not in the best shape but it runs, you’ve had numerous people ask you about it, but not a single offer.
B2B buyers are coming to your website mainly to research their options, and one way to keep them engaged is with quality content. If this content is educational, targeted to their buyer persona, and continues to their inbox after they’ve left the site is integral to creating a truly immersive experience for potential leads.
Extending the process to engage with them on social media, sharing and providing an endless stream of information that is intriguing and relevant keeps your brand top of mind as they continue their research process.
One of the key functions of inbound marketing is engaging for sales purposes, but it’s in the Enroll stage that we gather email addresses in return for informational eBooks, whitepapers, podcasts, etc.
Business leaders in every field are motivated to learn. In fact, three out of four executives are motivated to learn online in order to do their job better and faster. Providing educational material that is of value to them, that teaches and propels them forward in their career, not only gives them something tangible to take to decision makers but proves that you are thought-leaders in your field.
Keeping a store of lead emails but not interacting with them, or providing them with further resources is in effect throwing leads away.
Lead nurturing is a stage that an inbound company can assist with as it’s an in-depth process that includes email marketing automation, and lead scoring. Throughout the process, leads that have opted-in for content on your website, or expressed interest in your services are placed into a sales funnel based on their quality as a lead.
This is where you start to see results; people who return to your site more frequently for information as they progress through the buyer’s’ journey, eventually deciding to invest in your service. According to a recent study, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate. Impressive when compared to the 1.7% of direct mail or print advertising.
The Hubspot State of Inbound 2014 report states that companies reported a 36% increase in ROI in their investment in Inbound marketing as compared to the year before. In fact, research states that inbound marketing can see an increase in leads by 5x.
Once you’ve started raking in the leads, it doesn’t stop there. In order to maintain optimal growth, you want to continuously enhance your inbound marketing program by A/B testing. Based on analytics of page views, conversion rates per page, or drop rates, you can implement small changes that could potentially make a huge difference.
Just like that car you built needs regular oil changes and maintenance in order to run smoothly, your website and inbound campaign needs regular check-ins and updates to continue growing your business.
There’s always room for improvement, and Google appreciates a constantly updated site with fresh content, rewarding you with a higher authority.
You may have noticed the overlap in the phases. That’s because you cannot do one task without considering the others. Dropping a piece of the puzzle results in an incomplete picture. One that your clients may not want to look at.
If you’ve been considering using professional SEO services, Content marketing, and constantly think about how you can grow your leads faster, an inbound marketing agency in Toronto can help you achieve these goals through a holistic approach to inbound marketing.
Jumpfactor, a Toronto-based inbound & IT marketing company, has proven an impact on increasing leads and conversions for IT and Services firms throughout North America and can help your website get to work for you.