Everyone Wants To Buy Online
When companies try to generate and nurture leads online, incorporating inbound marketing best practices with the graphic + website design components can make a dramatic difference in the results. Lead generation and nurturing are both important to the success of any inbound campaign. Nurturing leads (promoting valuable content directly related to specific stages of the buying process) to convert a prospect to lead and ultimately customer is a crucial step in the sales process.
By giving your company’s lead generation and nurturing strategy a fresh assessment, you can identify problem areas and implement changes that will help improve your results.
1. Inbound marketing should be structured around the buying process
In the field of inbound marketing, lead generation is best described as the first stage of the sales process. Leads are individuals who are in need of products and services like yours, but may not be aware of your offerings. At end of the process are customers who decided to select your product and services and if highly satisfied, can become promoters of your brand.
Inbound marketing best practice dictates building a content strategy around the phases of the buying process for your product or service. Whether you are a B2B or B2C, the steps of the buying process are:
- Need: Prospects are motivated by a need or desire for a product or service.
- Research: Prospects go online to gather information about potential solutions to their need.
- Evaluation: Prospects compare potential solutions against one another.
- Purchase: Prospects choose a solution and complete a conversion.
- Satisfaction: Prospects develop an opinion of the product or service based on their experience.
2. The Inbound Agenda: Converting Strangers Into Promoters
The first step entails attracting consumers to your business web properties through blogging, social media, keyword strategy and content. Once a prospect is engaged, businesses should use landing pages, calls-to-action and email campaigns along with CRM (Customer relationship management) to move the prospect through the sales funnel.
Within the inbound marketing realm, if your products and services are aligned with market needs, and your content strategy converts leads to customers, best practices dictate you then focus on customer satisfaction as a source of continued success. With the right tools inbound marketing tools and plans, a happy user, or loyal client can become ardent brand and product promoter.
3. Assessing Need and Opportunity
Effective lead generation, nurturing and conversion begins with a comprehensive assessment of your current inbound strategies. At the most basic level, you need to look at your organization’s:
- SEO strategy
- Site content and traffic
- Rank and CTR (Click-through rate)
- Blogging plans and activity
- Calls to action
- Landing pages
- Email workflows
Are these activities producing prospects and leads? Are they being nurtured through the sales cycle? Are you missing any of the core components of a solid inbound marketing strategy and plan? In almost every case, businesses will find areas where their web design and content development efforts can be improved because the process needs to be an on-going activity. The most successful online companies in the world are increasingly dedicating larger and larger amounts of time, staff and budget to seo and inbound marketing activities.
Depending on the nature of the product or service, the size of your staff and their experience, managing your inbound marketing program in-house may be efficient. If not, an outside specialist can bring perspective and hands-on experience to help you avoid common mistakes during the planning and setup of an inbound marketing program and platform. Consultants can include graphic + website design services, content strategies, SEO (search engine optimization), blogging, setup of analytics and webmaster tools, and more. Once you’re up and running, periodic reviews by the inbound consultant can be extremely valuable.
Learn more about how to use inbound marketing to get business for your company. Download a free copy of “The 5 Keys to Generating Leads on your Website.”
About the author: Tom Weinkle is a founder and partner of Vortex Communications, a graphic and website design firm who offers graphic and WordPress web design, build, troubleshooting and training services along with search optimization, social media and inbound marketing services. Based in Miami, Florida, Tom has over 25 years of experience in visual communications for the healthcare, medical, law, accounting, software, financial services and banking industries.