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Many marketers are turning to digital marketing as a core lead generation technique. Leveraging digital marketing techniques to drive more traffic to a website is a common practice. Outside of traditional search engine optimization, there are a number of inbound and content marketing techniques that can be considered to drive more traffic to your website.
I’m not usually a fan of two-part blogs, but this topic really warrants it. The entire list includes 21 easy-to-implement tips that can help you transform your website into an effective lead generation tool. This article covers the first 10 tips. Download our handbook, 21 Tips to Ensure your Website is Generating Leads for the entire list, or read part 2 of this blog.
1. Launch a blog.
By now you might be up to speed on the value of a marketing blog. Just in case though, the key stat is that, according to HubSpot, 1/3 of leads generated in 2013 are coming from inbound and content marketing. And blogs are at the core of any inbound marketing strategy. If you are trying to convert your website into an effective lead generation tool, you’ll need to consider launching a blog. A blog is an essential component of every inbound and digital lead generation strategy.
2. Utilize keyword analytics to inform and shape content marketing topics.
Analytics help ground any strategy and definitely build depth into a content marketing strategy. A keyword analytics tool helps gauge which keywords should be prioritized for content development. Factors include difficulty to rank against keywords and accessibility of content development for those keywords. Grounding the content strategy in analytics ensures a strategically sound approach.
3. Leverage “newsjacking.”
Analyze industry news sites, Google trends and other online sources to determine which topics are “hot.” Utilize the trends as an inspiration for website content, blog articles in particular. By nature, blog articles have a timely aspect, and its fair game to play off current events or news. Consider your audience and which sources or topics they might already be reading about. For example, I recently wrote an article on what we can learn from the MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Study. The article based on the MarketingProfs study exemplifies both a timely topic and recent study from a prominent industry source.
4. Prey on core human values to generate a readership following.
Allow others to help guide your content marketing strategy by analyzing what is trending and choosing popular topics for content development. These ideas are borrowed from the inbound marketing experts at HubSpot. They argue that:
It’s a natural tendency for humans to copy one another, even without realizing it, that they like to be a part of tribes and social communities. So when we notice our social circle is doing one thing, we tend to follow suit. One great way to make an offer more valuable is to show that other people are participating in that offer.
When possible, a great way to indicate the awesomeness of an offer is to mention the number of people who have purchased, downloaded, signed up or donated. Just make sure your claims are not only true, but believable. For example, HubSpot boasts that more than 130,000 people have subscribed. This is proof that it’s a highly trustworthy and popular blog people should follow.
5. Create content offers based on blog readership and user behavior.
Give the people what they want. Analyze articles to determine which ones are generating the most interest. I’m always a fan of considering multiple metrics, including total views, social media clicks, comments and any other engagement measurements. Promote additional content development vehicles such as ebooks and checklists available for download through blog article readership and engagement. This ensures downloadable content is built off actual behavior and interests.
6. Create offers for different buying stages.
Borrow from the proven principles of direct marketing: utilize offers that are time-sensitive and provide reasons to act now. Examples are offers that are available for either a limited time frame or promote being available to a limited quantity of participants. The following is an excerpt from HubSpot that I think summarizes this tip concisely:
The most common offer I see on most websites is “Contact Us.” Sure, you want all your prospects to talk to sales, but not everyone is ready. As you know, buyers are more likely to do their own research before even engaging with a sales rep. And every prospect is at a different stage of exploration. Some may need more education than others. That’s why it’s important to develop different offers at different buying cycles. Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or ebook, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo. You don’t need to pick and choose; create offers for each phase, and include a primary and secondary CTA to these offers on various pages throughout your site.
7. Create a unique landing page for each offer.
It’s impossible to replicate what is working if it isn’t measurable. Individual landing pages for each incentive or offer ensure measurement. Even though it requires more work and manpower, it’s essential to create unique landing pages for each offer. This ensures that each landing page is being optimized for one choice and that you’ll have clear access to understanding success and failure.
8. Require an email address for a prospect to access the downloadable content.
Don’t give any information, outside of blog articles, away for free. Ensure users provide an email address to gain access to information and downloads. This gate is critical and a key to ensuring your website is transformed into an effective lead generation tool.
9. End each blog article with a call-to-action.
Incorporate a call-to-action that leads the reader to other relevant content. This is a critical technique in migrating content marketing to a more response-oriented technique. The key is to ensure the call-to-action is reader-centric. It should benefit the reader and not be something that is self-serving in any way. Provide the reader with a mechanism to learn more about the topic, with a drive to an ebook or other related blog articles. This helps transform a one-way content marketing strategy into a two-way dialogue.
10. Incorporate banner ads at the end and throughout articles.
Banner ads are an effective device to incorporate within blog articles. The banner device serves as a strong call-to-action and helps direct the reader to other useful content within your website. For example, if the article is on best practices, consider developing an ebook or checklist on the topic that drives users to a landing page to download this content. A banner ad can also serve as imagery throughout the article to break up the copy and content.
Banner ads should be tailored by specific article content. It’s essential to ensure banner ad content is consistent and complementary to the article, delivering relevancy.
This article provides a series of tips to consider in ensuring your lead generation efforts are working as effectively as possible. For the complete list of over 20 tips, download our handbook, 21 Tips to Ensure your Website is Generating Leads, or read part 2 of this blog.
To learn more about how to evolve your content marketing, contact J&C to set up a content marketing assessment for your company.
Topics: Inbound Marketing