Where have all the leads gone?
Whether you're facing the 2020 pandemic, or the changing landscape of business thanks to the power of the internet, you may be asking yourself this very question.
Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for ways to accelerate your business right now and struggling to find those offline leads that used to drive 90% of your business’s revenue, you’re not alone.
One thing we’ve all learned over the last few years (and right now) is that the market will never be the same.
But neither will our businesses. More than ever, if you don’t have a strong digital strategy, a strong inbound strategy, you could get left behind.
We’ve been walking the digital walk for more than a decade with our clients—and for ourselves. Plus, as a HubSpot Platinum Solutions Partner, we’ve been drinking the inbound-orange Kool-Aid for years. 🧡
We’ve built a team of amazing inbound-focused digital marketing experts to serve companies just like yours, creating kickass digital marketing strategies that increase traffic, drive leads, increase revenue and scale growth for success.
We want to help you see how a strong digital marketing strategy can help. Are you ready to find out how to move quickly into a digital marketing strategy and set yourself up for inbound success?
Digital Marketing Strategy: Assessing What's Not Working (or What is Working!)
How do you measure your marketing right now?
Do you keep track of where leads come from? What about the conversion paths clients or customers take?
The first step to a successful digital strategy is to define the benchmarks or averages and expectations to allow for positive ROI. Before you can assess where leads have decreased, it’s important to understand the quality and effect that the decreases have in revenue. Not all leads are created equal after all.
This is where you'll dig into the data your sales team used to determine your ideal client profiles, tracing the paths in your sales pipeline to see where the customers come from. Then you can understand how your company gets found. Plus you'll see who’s buying and when leads seem to be considering a solution to their pain points.
Remember to also look at who’s not turning into customers too. This could be a goldmine of information that could define future campaigns.
Digital marketing brings an opportunity for deeper data-driven understanding of what’s working and what isn't working. If you look at the information from your sales team you will be able to backtrace the revenue numbers to determine the value of a customer by each channel.
Once you know this information you can trace that to the “cost of customer acquisition” for each of your channels. It’s important to look at each of your marketing acquisition channels and to assess the ROI individually over set timeframes. This allows for you to understand where there are opportunities, but also where you can/should diversify if budgets need adjustment.
The million-dollar question you’re likely asking is: “How do I supplement traditional lead generation with digital strategies?” Let’s dive into four sections of information, tactics and logistics on leaning into a digital marketing strategy that works.
Digital Marketing Strategy: Offer Value
Are you concerned with how people will find you online? There’s a ton of information on search engine optimization (SEO), but getting found takes more than technical SEO knowledge.
In fact, it really boils down to bringing value to your audience, your potential customers. The first place that comes into play is a blog. Does your website include a blog where you can publish helpful, relevant content?
Let’s start with a definition. A blog is a collection of valuable articles that people can find in search, or that your sales team can use to save time while emailing potential leads (a great “hack” for your sales team!).
At its core, your blog is a simple way to create content your ideal customer needs - you know, the human being you want to talk to. 😁 It also keeps your website fresh and growing with new pages every time you publish.
Blog posts need to speak to your customers’ pain points in your brand voice. They have to help, educate, inform or entertain. Or all four! Make sure you’re writing valuable information addressing the problems faced by the humans you want to reach.
You can also add value through social media conversations. From posts you publish to conversations you take part in to communities you establish, social media helps you get found by the right people at the right time.
But it goes back to adding value. Are you adding to the conversation or only broadcasting? Are you spamming posts with “Follow me” or are you answering questions in a helpful, human way?
Finally, consider using video to add value and help your business get found online. Video marketing works in a few ways.
- YouTube is a search engine. Publishing videos with solid video SEO helps you get found.
- YouTube is social. By using comments to engage and add value, you build an engaged community.
- You can link to your website on video platforms. YouTube, Wistia and other video publishing platforms include areas for descriptions. Add links here to help viewers engage more deeply with your content.
- We love video. At least 85% of all internet users in the U.S. watch video content each month. Producing video means you’re reaching people with the media they want.
Go Deeper: Guest Blogging for Lead Generation
A big part of lead generation is building brand awareness and online authority. One tactic that works for that in modern marketing is guest blogging—the practice of writing articles for publication on another site. It’s a great tool in an inbound strategy that can boost reach in your target market and help you secure much needed backlinks to your site.
How to Build Your Guest Blog Strategy:1. Find Sources
Look for thought leaders in your industry and follow them. Social, email subscriptions, RSS feeds all allow you to connect with those who inspire you. You can even perform reverse image searches for authors to help find the blogs where that image can be found, showing you every blog they’ve written for. Another tool you can use is AllTop to find the most popular blogs on any topic and the sorts of posts that do well on those sites.2. Do Your Research
Once you’ve found blogs and authors you’d like to work with, explore the kinds of posts the audience reads. Kissmetrics has a couple of links to help you search the social shares on links. For example, if you’re a B2B marketer, you’ll want to rule out blogs that focus on B2C content; and vice versa.
You can also use Moz’s Open Site Explorer to determine a site’s domain authority (DA) and the number and quality of backlinks it has. Estimate audience size by looking at social followers. Just remember that size doesn’t equal reach or engagement.3. Engage Your Guest Blogging Prospects
When you find your prospective partner, work to begin a relationship. People include guest posts from people they get to know, like and trust. Or with others they see as valuable to their audience. You might begin with adding comments on blogs or interacting on social media. Just make sure you’re going beyond “Hey! Great post!” Add value to the conversation.4. Show up with Something to Offer
After connecting and showing off value, you’re ready to ask about guest blogging. When you send that pitch email, show that you’ve done your research. Some helpful points:
- Include the contact’s name.
- Suggest possible topics and post titles.
- Give specific examples from their blog that correspond to your ideas.
Remember that not everyone has the same level of knowledge as you do about the value of guest blogging, so be prepared to (kindly) educate.
Digital Marketing Strategy: Start Conversations
Do you know how to start conversations and convert viewers into engaged leads?
Your content could reach 500,000 people, but if none of them start a conversation with you or become a lead - or better yet a customer - then it’s all for nothing.
One quick way to ensure you’re preparing for conversions is to make sure your blog articles have a call to action to take the reader to the next step. Add conversion opportunities like in-line links, sidebar CTAs and even pop-up forms to help your audience connect deeper with you.
You’ll want to make sure you’re putting forms to work. They’re the digital way to start a conversation, so ask the right questions, use context in where they are in their need of your product or services and don’t ask too many questions.
We also suggest using sales and marketing chatbots. Sometimes a chatbot asking to help will set a website viewer at ease.
Want to be a conversational marketing ninja? Ask the right questions for who the user is and where in their buyer’s journey, not simply “Hey can I help?”
Understanding context is vital. High intent pages mean viewers want to engage deeper with you. Service pages, product pages, “about us” pages all signal high intent. Add bots or live chat here to encourage “buy now” or “set a meeting” type actions.
Crafting a Digital Marketing Strategy isn’t Rocket Science
Literal rocket science, surgery/healthcare, flying planes, corporate business law… There are a lot of complicated jobs out there. Marketing can be difficult, but we’re here to assure you that if you’re new to thinking about online marketing or you want to increase your impact, it’s going to be okay.
By putting some of these tips to work, you’re on your way. If you want to dive deeper, we’ve put together a digital marketing assessment checklist. Or you can speak with a growth strategist and ask all the questions.
We’re here to help in this ever-shifting world of digital marketing and sales, and remote work.