Nearly all wholesale colocation firms have websites. But how many are actually converting qualified leads and closing ideal clients from strangers attracted to their websites?
In this post, you’ll learn four ways for a wholesale colo firm to attract the right website visitors, convert those visitors into leads, close those leads into new clients, and delight clients so that they become their brand’s best promoters.
1) Attract the Right Website Visitors
When a colo firm starts thinking about its website strategy, if it’s never really given it much thought before, usually their website has a very small amount of legitimate, qualified, monthly website visitors.
And of those visitors that do arrive at the website, many are either only there because they were first directed there by your sales team. Or many times, visitors to the website are not even remotely qualified from a geographic or company size standpoint.
So that first task at hand, often the most basic SMART goal, is to attract a certain number of the right website visitors by a specific date.
To do so, a colocation firm would use strategies centered on blogging, long-tail keyword phrases, and social media publishing and interactions.
How do you know what to blog about? Develop buyer personas that shape priorities.
How do you decide which keyword phrase each blog post should educate readers about? Again, let your findings from buyer persona research dictate priorities – along with a healthy dose of competitive realities and monthly search volume.
And how do you know whether to build up reach on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or some other social media channel?
Once again, your buyer persona research should give you consensus on where each kind of ideal client hangs out offline and online.
2) Convert Visitors into Wholesale Colocation Leads
Attracting visitors to your wholesale colocation website is important, but you can’t begin a relationship with these visitors unless you can convert a percentage of those visitors into leads.
Skipping this step would be like going on a blind date, falling in love at first sight, but forgetting to ask your date for their name, their email address, and their phone number.
To convert visitors into leads, you’ll need to create forms, embed those forms onto landing pages, and drive visitors to those landing pages using calls to action.
Now one big point that a lot of colo firms miss: The amount of information you can ask for on a landing page is directly promotional to the perceived value of that offer.
A 30 page eBook has a higher perceived value than a one-page downloadable checklist.
And a free 30-minute one-on-one consultation has higher perceived value than a 30 page eBook.
As a result, you can “charge” more by asking for more information.
Think of this analogy:
Imagine the CEO of your company wrote a book. And you decide to bring a pallet of these books to a major trade show that you’re exhibiting at – because the book is on the exact topic focused on at this conference. Would you give a copy of the book with a $29.99 cover price to just anyone?
Of course not! The marketer or sales professional in you would want to get the books in the hands of qualified show attendees and require handing over a business card so you can reach out to these people by email after the event. (Pro Tip: While you can certainly email someone on a one-off basis asking that person to subscribe to your newsletter, it is a huge no-no and illegal in many places to add a business card lead to an email subscriber database without permission.)
Your landing page is just like that.
The value proposition, in the eyes of your buyer persona, needs to be so compelling that website visitors are willing to give you their business card information in return for the content that’s on the other side of the landing page – often called a thank you page or confirmation page.
3) Close Leads into Clients
So leads are a great start when they’re geographically-qualified, company size-qualified, and interested in the same topic that your thought leadership content covers.
But ultimately to have value, a percentage of your leads need to close into clients.
To do so, you’ll want to use highly-segmented emails, social media monitoring and engagement, lead nurturing workflow automation, and website revisit notifications.
Think about it. If one category of ideal buyers that you’re looking to attract is CFOs of mid-market insurance companies, do you think those CFOs would want to receive a generic, self-serving, salesy email? Or would those CFOs be more receptive to an email that shares a valuable tip on an issue that’s top of mind right now for C-level financial execs in insurance companies?
Social media monitoring helps you much more effectively “drink” from the firehouse. Instead of trying to keep tabs on thousands or tens of thousands of daily Tweets, you can use software that listens for activity from qualified leads. This way you can focus your efforts on engaging with those already qualified and in your marketing funnel.
Lead nurturing offers a largely automated way for your colo firm to stay top of mind while you educate and build trust with qualified prospects – while all the time, making it easy for prospects to “raise their hands” when they’re ready for a sales conversation.
Finally, website revisit notifications can in real time let your sales team know when qualified leads are back on your website and what kinds of content they’re most interested in. While care must be taken to avoid the creepy factor, virtually all research confirms that this is the best time to pick up the phone and reach out to a qualified lead – especially when that lead is showing interest in decision stage content such as services pages, About Us pages, or pricing information.
4) Delight Clients So They Become Your Best Promoters
In any kind of business that depends on recurring revenue and long-term relationships, the client journey has only begun when the sale is consummated.
It’s critical that you have a structured onboarding process and way to educate new clients on how to best utilize your colocation firm.
Without this, you’re rolling the dice with stakes that are just too high.
In the same way that education is the cornerstone for building trust during the sales process, be sure to continue educating your new clients using things like events, social media monitoring, and personalized website content.
And at the risk of stating the obvious – in today’s social media environment, a lost client isn’t just lost revenue. It’s a major risk of blowing up in your face on online review websites that can devastate your company’s reputation for years to come.
The way potential clients research and purchase wholesale colocation services has changed drastically over the past few years.
In the past, colo providers could get away with having a mediocre, self-serving website.
Today, with anywhere from 57% to 90% of the decision-making process over before potential clients are ready to speak with your sales team, it’s critical that you have a sound strategy that attracts, converts, closes, and delights your ideal clients.
How’s your colocation firm doing with converting more website leads and closing more clients from those lead sources? Share your take in the Comments below.
And if you want the full scoop on how your colo firm can attract, convert, close, and delight much more effectively, be sure to download your copy of our eBook on “Inbound Marketing for Colocation Data Centers.”
Topics:- Data Center Colocation