This is post seven in the series on Inbound Marketing, focusing on how your inbound marketing activities can help you generate quality leads.
By now you are probably wondering “what’s in it for me” when it comes to inbound marketing. It seems like a lot of work and is there any benefit to my small business?
The ultimate goal of inbound marketing is to generate leads. All of this work is futile if in the end you have not generated any interest in your products and services. But like everything in marketing, generating leads using inbound marketing is a process.
Let’s take a look at where we are in that process to date. We:
- Have an inbound marketing plan that determines the strategy we will use;
- Understand our audience and what content they need to solve their biggest challenges;
- Know our top keywords and how to use them effectively in our content for better visibility;
- Know which social media channels we need to build communities and develop relationships.
We have the pieces in place for our small business to be found among a sea of small businesses. Now our task is to create compelling offers to attract more visitors, create solid communities and capture visitor information thereby generating leads and building a strong in-house email list.
Once we have developed our own email list, we can use it to build relationships and trust with your prospects that is both consistent and relevant to their needs. And because of the relationship you build between you and those in your communities, when they need help, it will be highly likely that they will turn to you.
Blogging regularly and ensuring your blog, Facebook Page, LinkedIn profile and other social media outposts are well optimized to increase traffic are your first steps to becoming visible. Up to this point, you have given your visitors quality content through your blog and social media outposts without any strings attached. Taking it to the next level, what can you provide that has so much value to them that they will give you their email address?
There are many lead generation strategies that may be valuable to your audience.
- Will an eBook on the top 10 questions in your industry be something of value? How about an eBook that goes into depth on success stories and case studies?
- Can a free tele-class or webinar covering a hot topic draw your audience in? Include a free recording of the event so those who can’t make it will still sign up.
- Is your audience in need of useful templates, checklists and free tools to simplify a process?
So how many of you have a website with one or less lead capture forms?
That’s not a silly question. I’ve come across many websites that either require me to call them or let me leave without them knowing I stopped by. In my experience watching inbound leads for my clients, many people conduct searches for products and services at night, after dinner and after their children have gone to bed. If you don’t have a form that makes it easy for them to contact you when it is convenient for them, you are missing a huge opportunity to get qualified leads.
A well placed lead conversion form, visible above the fold, with a compelling offer is an important component of your website. Keep the form short and only ask for as much information as you really need.
Once you have captured that email address, your next step is to build trust with your community. Remember it’s more than just collecting email addresses. You need to determine what your audience wants to get and how often. Some companies can email more frequently because they are making offers that are time based (weekly deals or coupons from Staples) or personalized (Amazon). Other companies like ours need to gauge how often your list will appreciate an email correspondence.
What offers have you provided that captured the most leads for your email list?