Inbound Marketing and Lead Nurturing for Beginners

If you are small business owner, marketing and/or sales manager or just a sales person who is looking for something better, you are in the right place!  You’ve noticed it right?  The traditional marketing leads are slowly but surely falling off and drying up.  The phone does not ring all by itself anymore because no one uses the yellow pages.  That money you spend on TV, Radio and Newspaper ads also seems to be less and less economical by the minute.  It’s costing your more and you’re getting less every single day.  So now what?

Welcome to Inbound Marketing and Lead Nurturing my friend!  Inbound Marketing, simply put; Is the art of generating unique, quality content that is search engine friendly and therefore shows up when a prospective customer/client searches for a term associated with your product or services.  The premise is that there are already people using the internet every day that are searching for your products and/or services.  So if you can manage to position some GREAT content in front of them, capture their attention and get them to take some form of action on your website, you have officially become an Inbound Marketing pro!

What is great content and how do I generate it?

This is where most people fail miserably at Inbound Marketing and Lead Nurturing.  Generating content that captures the attention of both search engines and people (your potential customers) can be a bit overwhelming.  Here are a few tips that might help in the process:

  • Use an SEO friendly blogging platform to generate and share your content.
  • Use the keyword phrase you want to be found for in your blog title, meta description tags, and topic tags.  **NOTE – Please do not be “spammy” by keyword stuffing your content.  Just use the keywords you want to be found for naturally throughout your content.
  • Use images, video and info-graphics to spice up your articles.
  • Write about things that your audience wants to know about.  Answer their questions in your content.
  • Finally…share your new content everywhere you can!

 

Getting a website visitor to take action on your site – Step 1 in Lead Nurturing

Okay, so maybe you already have created and shared some great content.  People are not only finding you, they are visiting your site but hey, what gives?  You still have no new customers.  That’s because once they visit your site you need to compel them to take some form of action.  Here are some common Lead Nurturing actions that Inbound Marketers use:

  • Have them sign up for an email newsletter.
  • Have them fill out an actual “Lead Form” on your site requesting more information about your products or services.
  • Tell them that it’s okay to call you!

We accomplish this with carefully crafted and well placed CTA’s (call to actions) throughout out our content and website.  In other words, we want to make it easy for a website visitor to contact us and interact with us!

Making contact – Step 2 in Lead Nurturing

Once you have the contact information now it’s time to reach out and begin the process of building trust and developing a relationship that will enable the website visitor to build that bridge to a an actual purchase.  If they signed up for an email newsletter, a quick “Thank you” and confirmation email is in order!  Followed again by an email with your last newsletter.  This lets them know that you cared enough about them that you did not want to have to wait for the next one to come out before they got to read more of your great content.

If they filled out a lead form and requested more information, reach out via the medium they requested to be contacted with (phone, email, etc.) and make your introduction and by the way, do not forget to thank them for choosing your company.  That’s a lost art in my opinion, thanking the customer, and more often than not, will set the tone for the rest of the conversation.  If your sales process is not a onetime close, and most are not, ask permission for the next step before you get off the phone.  Again, you are nurturing the lead along your sales cycle and permission based contact and permission based sales always wins!

Last Step – Measure your results and adjust/test to improve

Now that you have the basics, it’s kind of a rinse and repeat issue until you have some data.  Once you have data though, it’s time to measure your results and start testing to improve.  Some of the things we test on a pretty regular basis:

  • Landing page design.  Everything from color scheme, to size, mobile device reactions and more!
  • Call – To – Actions (CTA’s) – We test and measure color, copy, size, location on page, locations within content, etc.
  • Keyword strategies.  Keyword variations, placement and frequency.

I think you are starting to get the idea.  The idea is TEST, TEST and TEST some more!

We hope you enjoyed this article about Inbound Marketing and Lead Nurturing and we ask that if you did like it, to please feel free to share it on your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social media accounts.

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6 Comments

  1. Maria James

    Mike,

    I stumbled across this article in a tweet from a friend who Re-Tweeted your original post. You know, everyone blogs, tweets and talks about content generation, but no one ever actually answers the question what is great content and how do I generate it. This article did that for me! Thank you!

    Bookmarked your site, Tweeted it, Shared it on FB!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Maria! Thanks for reading, sharing and the comment!

  3. Thanks for the post Mike, it’s a great high level view of the inbound marketing process. You do have to be weary as highlighted with creating SEO content, however. It takes some skill to combine SEO with compelling content, and so often I see business owners trying to force keywords in, rather than producing the content that helps their prospects. I’d tend to recommend that business owners focus more on answering questions their prospects commonly ask, than on search traffic alone. It’ll result in a more natural reading experience, and a better blog.

    If you are answering prospects’ questions and blogging regularly, you’ll soon hit on the most commonly used keywords anyway!

  4. Hi William!

    Thanks for reading and the valued input! You are 100% correct that balancing SEO with compelling content is the KEY to good Inbound Marketing and is definitely where most people fall short in their marketing efforts!

  5. Great read. Lead nurturing explained without the anagrams and hyperbole. So many peole think that it is just the copywriters job to “bring in customers”. I find it refreshing that theemphasis on testing and retesting was made when talking about creating good content for lead nurturing.

    Thanks for the read,

    Tim
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