Refresh your marketing – Build a lead generation engine using your website

Is your business trying to make sense of all this new fangled {insert your chosen word – inbound/digital/online/website/internet} marketing?

Are you unclear exactly how spending your precious time and money on social media, blogging, search engine optimisation, landing pages and so on, is actually going to generate any new leads – let alone new business?

Don’t worry you are not alone! Many medium and small businesses are in the same boat.

But the evidence is now very strong that the inbound marketing (our preferred phrase) tail is wagging the marketing dog! It’s time for a fundamental refresh for your approach to marketing.

 

Why should you refresh your website for the purpose of inbound marketing?

  • Because it’s cheaper – a lot cheaper – than other marketing (up to 61% cheaperaccording to research)
  • Because it can be measured – “What, I can measure real ROI on my marketing? You’re kidding!” No we’re not.
  • Because it’s where you can influence most of your buyers. We are in the “era of the buyer” where the buyer is searching for information online, all day every day, if you’re not there they won’t find you. It’s that simple. Over 85% of B2B buyers start their purchasing journey online through outlets like social media according to research from Forrester.

Additionally, digital marketing is evolving at lightning speed, making it difficult for most of us to keep pace, let alone stay ahead of the curve. And, the result of all these advancements is that most marketers are overwhelmed.

Regardless of the rate of change, one indelible fact stands head and shoulders above the rest, it’s incredibly important to recognize that simply having a website is not enough.

In today’s world, B2B marketers must adapt their website and turn it into an inbound marketing lead generation machine. That may seem a lofty goal. So, your website will need to wear many hats. A website needs to perform and not just exist. Your site needs to attract visitors, educate them and convince them to buy.

The traffic you drive to your website from blogs, social media sites, as well as organic and paid searches should end up converting into leads or sales. Without your website acting as an online “home base,” its difficult to attract new business. This is why having an effective website is so crucial – and why it’s so important that it contains powerful key elements to drive more traffic, leads and sales.

“Auditing” where you are now is the first crucial step in building a plan for moving forward.

1) Getting found by your buyers

Let’s face it, it’s not going to be much of a website if no one visits. Therefore, your first mission is to get found online, covering the very top of your inbound marketing strategy funnel. Building inbound links, discovering the secrets to on page SEO and how to create effective meta tags are all essential ingredients.

2) Investing in good design and usability

Let’s assume you’re really gaining traction – getting found online. Your next focus is to get that traffic to stay and not stray. Remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.

Make sure your website reflects your brand and positions your company as trusworthy and credible. Don’t underestimate the power of good design, including: navigation, fonts, colours, images and branding consistency.

But don’t get caught up on the need to “look pretty”, and instead focus on the functionality of your site. How easy is it for people to find what the are looking for? Equally important, is your message blisteringly clear? Really? I mean really! Or are you disguising your ability to genuinely help your buyers under layer upon layer of corporate double speak and product gobbledygook about why you are the best game in town?

3) Building content

With the rise of inbound marketing, content has become front and centre in the minds of marketers. It is what search engines and potential customers are looking for. It’s what drives visitors to your site and turns prospects into leads. There is no disputing that content is king.

However, while search engines are getting smarter and smarter and buyers are becoming more and more selective, it is quality content that is king. When it comes down to it, your buyers’ reaction to your content will be the ultimate test. Does your content generate leads? Do you have a content marketing plan that fuels your lead generation engine?

4) Converting at each funnel stage

Now that you’ve increased traffic to your website, it’s time to convert prospects to leads. Don’t let visitors leave your website without providing them with valuable information or you’ll lose the opportunity to nurture them until they are ready to talk to a sales person.

Landing pages are one of the most important elements of effective lead generation. Building powerful landing pages allows you to direct your website visitors to targeted information, present them with robust calls-to-action and capture leads at a much higher rate.

5) Measuring results

By measuring your inbound marketing you get to see what is and is not working and then you can change where you invest your precious marketing time and dollars. Small incremental tuning of your inbound marketing engine produces significant overall improvement in the quality of leads on which your sales team can feed.

If your business is struggling to adapt to new marketing strategies or, you simply haven’t been able to generate a real impact in your chosen market, it may be time to conduct a marketing audit.

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Chris Fell is the Managing Director of g2m Solutions, and an accredited align.me Funnel Coach. To read more of his insights, go to the g2M Solutions blog.