The old ways of marketing are bygone.
- In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. In 2013, that number increased to 8
- 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI
- 51% of internet surfing occurs on mobile devices
- 54% of B2B consumers begin their buying process with informal research about business problems. Nearly 80% of the time spent researching is done online
Does this new approach really work? In short, yes.
A survey from nearly 4,000 businesses reveals that after a year of employing the new approach resulted in:
- 315% more visitors per month
- 477% more leads online per month
- 72% saw an increase in sales revenue
For more information about this data take a look at this post.
So if old school is out, what’s in?
To answer, let’s take a step back and think about our own buying behavior.
First, let’s recognize that products have different buying cycles. Buying bubble gum last minute, while checking out at the supermarket is different than buying a car. Yet, each buying cycle usually shares three stages: awareness, consideration and decision. In this case, let us define our product/service as a buying decision that requires some research; more like buying a car than some bubble gum.
When we have a problem…
The first step is recognizing that we have a problem. At this stage we only know the symptoms of the problem, so we start by learning more about the problem. We Google our symptoms to better understand them.
Have you ever thought how or why the text you type into Google shows up in search results? Google looks for relevant content to match searched keywords and presents you with the most relevant results.
Why should I care about ranking highly in Google search results? Search leads have a 14.6% close rate. Outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) only have a 1.7% close rate. (Search Engine Journal)
In other words, if we learn what our prospective clients are typing into Google in order to search for us, and one of our website pages is ranked highly by Google for that keyword, traffic will follow. The page that Google returns could even be a stand alone page such as an “About Us” or “Contact” page but is more often than not, a blog post.
Once your prospect clicks on your search result and begins reading a blog post on your site, she will hopefully learn something new about the problem she’s having. Since your blog provided useful information for free without asking for anything in return, the learning provides value to your prospect and starts building trust.
The idea here is to write a lot of blog posts around relevant searched keywords in order to rank highly in Google. This will generate more qualified traffic for your website.
Most blogs make the mistake of not providing the visitor a singular obvious next step!
As a result, most prospects just read a blog post and learn something. Then, if they see nothing further that interests them, leave your site to search for more information about their problem. Some may even leave as they were looking for a solution to solve their problem. Their solution may be one which your product or service may actually solve.
To avoid losing those opportunities, you must offer your prospect more education about their problem. For example, you could offer an eBook, video tutorial, white paper, consultation, or a template. Your blog post may answer one piece of the visitor’s problem puzzle. Your offer can provide more in-depth information about their problem; further building trust.
One critical piece of your offer is to provide the further information in exchange for your visitor’s email.
For example, we here at Zomalo present our offer at the bottom of one of our blog posts with a clear call-to-action. Usually this is a button, but sometimes it’s text. The call to action must be CLEAR and easy to see – and the next intelligent step the reader should take has to be obvious.
Here’s an example of one of our call to action buttons:
Clicking on the call to action takes our prospect to one of our landing pages, where we provide further information on our offer while asking for their email and a little more relevant information. After our visitor completes the form the prospect will then be able to access our offer.
Why do we need a landing page?
- From 64 B2B tests the average conversion rate for B2B landing pages was 13.28%
- From 80 B2C tests the average conversion rate for B2C landing pages was 9.87%
Here’s an example of one of our landing pages:
With the prospect’s email address, we may further build the relationship.
We know that our new prospect has a problem we may be able to help them with since we now know which offer the prospect signed up for. Now, we have the opportunity to, over the course of a month for example, further educate the contact.
For instance, a week after our prospect downloads our eBook, we may email them a blog post that contains more useful material to help solve the problem. By repeating this a few times over the next month, we are able to continuously educate and build trust with our prospect.
After five to seven emails we mention that this is going to be our last email while presenting our prospect with two choices: to either continue engaging with us, or to part ways. We typically ask for a conversation. If the prospect is not interested, no problem, no pressure–and we stop the emails.
Repeat the cycle
Your goal is to get more visitors. Convert those visitors to leads, and close leads into customers. Think about this system as your lead generation machine. We like to refer to it as our growth engine. We refer to it as a growth engine because we know that more blog posts ultimately lead to more traffic. More traffic means more visitors see our call-to-action buttons and could very well one day end up as customers.
This approach is now identified as “Inbound Marketing”
Over the next few weeks I’m going to break this process down step-by-step. Each step has its nuisances and requires more information for effective execution.
Does this approach work?
In a recent survey of nearly 4,000 companies, the top 25% closed 56% of their leads.
All saw an increase in traffic and leads. Take a look at this blog post to learn more about the results.
Are you ready to take the next step?
(insert awesome call to action button here)
Also published on Medium.