What’s the purpose of your business’ website? Is it to provide your business’ address and phone number? List information about your products? Display your business hours? All of these things are nice to have on your company site, but it really should have one goal above anything else: driving sales. If utilized properly, your website can be your most effective sales tool with online lead generation.
Generating leads online is a relatively new concept, compared to more traditional marketing methods. Yellow page and newspaper ads have been around since TVs were only black and white, but digital marketing has only existed since the start of the dot-com era. And yet, it’s quickly taking over the marketing world, as companies realize that online marketing (and inbound marketing in particular) are cost-effective, dynamic, adaptable and successful.
It’s an especially appropriate marketing strategy for the B2C space. When you are a B2C company, the entire world is basically full of potential leads. That’s a slight exaggeration, but not by much. You can find potential customers from all walks of life, of every gender, age or background.
If you want to know what it takes to start generating leads online, follow these six simple steps:
Step 1: Establish your buyer personas
A good way to understand the buyer persona is to consider them your ideal customers. If you could go into a lab and create the customer that is most likely to purchase your products/services, that creation is essentially your buyer persona. So if you run a day care service, one buyer persona would be the overworked, successful single mom with three kids. She doesn’t have time, but she has money, so day care is perfect for her.
You want to have 1-3 buyer personas to start, that way you can target your 2-3 most likely customers. From this point on, all content and copy will be aimed at one or all of these personas.
Step 2: Revamp your website
Yes, there is a tech component to all of this. When adapting inbound marketing strategies, we advise redesigning your site to emphasize sales. The rule of thumb is that everything on your site should be geared toward helping a visitor become a lead. You will always want your website to showcase your content as well, because the content is what brings in the visitors. And speaking of content…
Step 3: Create a plan for your content
With inbound marketing, you’ll create two types of content: blog articles and content offers. The blog articles are usually 300-600 word posts about topics related to your market. The content offers are basically longer and/or more in-depth versions of blog articles, but use a different format (such as infographics or eBooks). You need to determine who will write the content and how often you’ll post. For starters, you should look to post blog articles three times per week (with daily posts being the ultimate goal), and have at least 3-4 content offers to begin with.
Step 4: Write and post your content
Pretty self-explanatory. Once you’ve formulated a plan, put it in action. You or your staff need to get writing, and it’s a good idea to build up a small backlog of articles before you start posting. Regardless of how often you post, keep it consistent. If you’re posting thrice weekly, post those blog articles at the same time on the same days every week.
Step 5: Promote, promote, promote
If nobody finds your content, then where are the leads going to come from? Using keywords in your content and writing about relevant topics will help, but promoting your content will give it an extra boost. Anytime you post something, share it via your social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn). Not only does this provide your social media accounts with new content, it will also help your traffic.
Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 as needed
As long as you’re in business, you will always need to post new content. This is both a good and bad thing. It’s bad because you will never stop writing content, but it’s good because you’ll keep your site relevant and timely. And a constantly updated site is the kind of site Google loves, which boosts your site’s relevance and increases traffic.