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Inbound Marketing for IT Channel
Remarkable content is the jet fuel that powers inbound marketing campaigns.
The inherent problem however is twofold:
Not all “jet fuel” is created equal.
If the “jet fuel” isn’t evenly distributed throughout the sales cycle, content marketing will not be able to get “liftoff.”
With Content Marketing Optimization, SP Home Run will
Inventory existing content
Review the metrics to see how each piece of content is performing
Line up the content by buyer persona and sales cycle stage (lifecycle) to see how the content works together
Fix any obvious errors or oversights with the existing content
Create additional content as needed to fully support each buyer persona and sales cycle stage
While new clients usually need a lot more Content Marketing Optimization than existing clients, the process is actually never complete. There are always opportunities to improve bottom-line inbound marketing results.
Whenever a new buyer persona is created, this almost always triggers the need to refresh the Content Marketing Optimization.
In many cases, analyzing the metrics calls to attention opportunities to take larger segments and split them up into smaller segments.
This way, the content can more accurately and specifically address goals, value, pain points, and objections -- and lead tomuch more responsive leads that convert faster to clients, with much higher profit margins.
Earlier on, in the context of how to attract the right visitors, we looked at Inbound Marketing Services that included Blog Writing, Presentation Development, Screencast Production, PR, and Podcast Production.
What’s the common theme among these five different ways to attract the right visitors?
The end goal with each is to generate lots of highly-qualified leads.
But what’s the best way to convert website visitors to qualified leads?
In most cases, you need a premium content offer that’s totally irresistible to your website visitors -- so totally irresistible that leads are more than willing to trade you their contact information in order to get access to your website’s premium content.
How do we make it irresistible? The offer needs to directly address the goals, values, pain points, and potential objections of this specific buyer persona at that specific stage of the sales cycle.
White papers are one of the most popular ways to convert website visitors to qualified leads.
But good white papers take time and strong copywriting skills to create. And that’s the reason why SP Home Run offers White Paper Development as an essential fully managed Inbound Marketing Service to its clients.
Most White Paper Development starts by looking at the goals, values, pain points, and potential objections of a specific buyer persona. Although most White Paper Development focuses on creating premium content for the top of the sales funnel, or beginning of the sales cycle, white papers with a slightly different approach can also be very effective at educating and motivating qualified leads in the middle and bottom of the sales funnel as well.
When there is strong, benefits-rich persuasive copywriting on the landing page, white papers tend to have very high perceived value among the right targeted audiences.
As a result, landing pages for white papers can maintain very respectable conversion rates, in the 15%-50%+ range, even when requesting as many as seven or eight mandatory forms fields.
In other words, a fanatical approach to micro-targeting buyer personas, with highly-relevant white papers, make the right website visitors so excited about your white paper offer that these visitors are more than willing to part with their full contact information and demographics, in return for access to the white paper. Your net result? Very high quality leads!
So we’ve looked at how blog posts, presentations, screencasts, news releases, and podcast episodes are typically created and promoted as ungated content -- primarily to promote premium content offers that generate highly-targeted leads.
White papers again are very popular “bait” for attracting leads. But depending on the topic, research methods, and length, White Paper Development can be quite involved.
However there is a quicker way to still generate leads from blog posts, presentations, screencasts, news releases, and podcast episodes without necessarily developing white papers for every single buyer persona goal, value, pain point, and objection.
What’s that option? Checklist and Worksheet Development.
When properly targeted to the needs of buyer personas, downloadable checklists, worksheets, and templates still are very valuable to the right visitors.
But because their scope tends to be smaller in size - usually 1 or 2 pages versus anywhere from 10 to 50 pages, the landing pages for downloadable checklists, worksheets, and templates can’t be quite as “demanding” as the landing pages for white papers.
So in practice, when planning out Checklist and Worksheet Development, we’re usually thinking that the landing page can support one or two additional drop-down fields or radio button fields, beyond First Name, Last Name, and E-mail Address, and still maintain a very healthy conversion rate.
However even with this less complete lead information, Lead Nurturing Workflow Automations (more on this in a few moments) can easily entice qualified leads to revisit and reconvert for more substantial offers, where qualified leads part with much more complete contact information. (Note: This is often referred to as progressive profiling and is something that HubSpot marketing automation software does exceptionally well!)
Besides using Content Marketing Optimization, White Paper Development, and Checklist/Worksheet Development to convert website visitors into qualified leads, there needs to be a way to consistently get visitors that land on blog posts, presentations, screencasts, news releases, or podcast episodes over to highly-relevant, high-converting landing pages.
The answer? The well-respected inbound marketing tool known as the call to action (CTA).
As part of its Inbound Marketing Services that convert website visitors to qualified leads, SP Home Run offers Call to Action Development and Optimization.
At the most basic level, there are two different kinds of CTAs:
CTA text -- for example “Download The Ultimate Guide to Managed IT Services for Growing Dental Practices”, with ananchor text link that’s usually bold formatted, which opens a new browser tab, and leads directly to the landing page where the visitor can trade their full contact information for free access to this awesome e-book
CTA graphic -- usually a square or rectangular JPG graphic, in a color that’s in high color contrast to the color theme of the website, that also opens a new browser tab and leads directly to the same landing page
As a best practice supporting Call to Action Development and Optimization, most CTA graphics usually include a visually appealing screenshot of the e-book cover, or a photo of the e-book author, or something else that takes advantage of eye gravity, eye candy, or whatever you want to call it.
Also with CTA graphics, we’ll always be running some kind of A/B split test to try to increase the resulting landing page conversion rates from the available CTA impressions. Sometimes we’ll be testing one headline vs. another. Other times we’ll be testing one color vs. another. The key thing with an A/B split test is to only test one element at a time.
With HubSpot marketing automation software, the A/B split test runs automatically -- randomly showing half of the website visitors version “A” of the CTA graphic while the other website visitors see version “B” of the CTA graphic.
A few days, or few weeks later, as part of the Call to Action Development and Optimization, we’ll check back to see if we have enough lead conversions generated to be statistically valid. If so, we’ll pause the “loser” and keep the “winner.” Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
The cool part with Call to Action Development and Optimization is that even if we’re only able find a very modest conversion improvement each time we run through the cycle. Those conversion improvements when annualized can lead to several hundred more leads each year -- and several new paying clients!
When looking at how to attract the right visitors and convert those visitors into qualified leads, we’ve referred over and over again to landing pages as an essential inbound marketing tool.
Landing pages, when combined with forms, persuade targeted visitors to trade their contact information for a high perceived value offer.
To pull together this final and very important piece of the puzzle, for converting visitors into qualified leads, SP Home Run offersLanding Page Development and Optimization as an Inbound Marketing Service.
Now the name Landing Page Development and Optimization is little bit misleading because, in reality, for a landing page to be effective, it actually needs to be part of a set of coordinated efforts...essentially a landing page “set” that includes a:
Call to action (CTA) text and/or graphics
Thank you page, or confirmation page as it’s sometimes called
Automated e-mail message, or series or messages
Once a premium content resource has been created that’s worthy of being “gated” behind a landing page, SP Home Run consultants begin building the landing page essentials:
Copywriting -- the page Title, the page meta description and keywords, the Headline, the bullet points, and the landing page call to action text
Image Preparation -- along with careful attention to the size, color, file naming conventions, and ALT image tags
Form Building -- deciding which fields to include, which fields should be required, and what supporting words should surround each field to maximize the overall landing page conversion rate
But even once the landing page has been built, tested, and activated, Landing Page Development and Optimization is not done. At least once a month, or more frequently when needed, key landing page metrics -- especially views and conversion rates -- need to be monitored.
As part of the optimization, often an A/B split test will be run on the landing page itself -- while holding the CTA graphic constant. And just as was the case with A/B split tests for CTA graphics, even relatively minor improvements in the landing page conversion rate can lead to a lot of new leads -- and new customers -- when looked at over the course of a year.
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