Inbound - The Blog: The Secrets Behind Click To Close

 

How To Build A Strategic, Scalable Content Marketing Strategy That Generates Leads

Content That Doesn’t Generate Revenue Is A Waste Of Time And Money

In a previous article, I wrote about content being the fuel that allows the marketing engine to achieve optimal levels of performance. Think about your revenue generation machine as a NASCAR vehicle. It needs to be finely tuned with the fuel mixture dialed in just right and a team in the pit crew to keep it in race condition.

If you want more leads, more new customers and to exceed your revenue goals, you need this same approach to both marketing and sales.

You read that right; content isn’t just for marketing anymore. Today, the content you leverage in your sales process might be even more important than the content in your marketing process. After all, the people getting your content in the sales process are already qualified, they’re actual opportunities and they’re engaged in a buyer journey. What you say to them and how you say it will make or break your chances of turning them into new customers, beating your competitors and driving revenue.

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How To Use A Buyer Journey Map To Increase Visitors, Leads And Revenue

Understanding The Buyer Journey Helps With Inbound Marketing And Demand Generation Tactics

You’ve probably heard a lot about the buyer journey over the past year. It’s become a big buzzword in a world of buzzwords. But when you think about it, understanding the buyer journey and being intimate with it does provide a ton of insight that becomes valuable when crafting marketing strategy, marketing messaging and tactical revenue growth plans.

Interestingly enough, it also falls in line with a growing move to align sales and marketing into one single revenue team that is focused on delivering a complete click-to-close experience for your prospects. That buyer journey sometimes starts before your prospect visits your website for the first time and it ends when they sign your paperwork.

Today, some experts are suggesting it doesn’t end there, and that you should be working just as hard to delight your current customers as you are to attract new customers. I’d agree. However, I think most businesses are in a better position to take care of their current clients than they might be to attract and secure new clients.

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Content Marketing Is The Fuel For All Types Of Marketing Strategies

Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation, Account-Based Marketing, Email Marketing And Influencer Marketing All Need Content To Drive Results

Over the weekend, it occurred to me that with so many marketing strategies available to marketers these days, it’s very hard to figure out which methodology, tactic or combination of tactics is right for your company. That got me thinking about how content is the one consistent thread across all these types of marketing systems.

Inbound marketing needs content to convert visitors into leads. Demand generation needs content to create awareness. Account-based marketing needs content to engage prospects. Even search engine marketing needs content for the search engines to find, rank and present content to people searching.

If these diverse marketing methodologies are the engines that drive leads, new customers and revenue, then it seems apparent that content is the fuel. An engine without fuel won’t run, an engine with the wrong fuel will run sporadically and an engine without enough fuel will run inconsistently.

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Why A Stocked Resources Page Might Not Produce Inbound Marketing Leads

Your Prospects Don’t Want To Do The Work, So Make Sure Your Content Marketing Strategy Doesnt Ask Them To

This is probably going to sound ridiculous, but bear with me, because its relevant to this topic. When I go to the supermarket, I don’t want to bag my own groceries and I don’t want to have to return my cart to the store. I have a job, and I don’t want to work at the supermarket, too.

This applies to the content on your inbound marketing website. I’ve noticed a trend at other agencies and with clients that are asking for and creating these large repositories of content called resources. Here, they very cleverly package up all of their content in nice categories for visitors to self-serve and select exactly what they want.

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7 Surefire Ways To Fail At Content Marketing Lead Generation

In The Battle To Drive Revenue And Profits, Content Marketing Is A Critically Important Weapon

Content Marketing Drives RevenueThe content on your web pages, blog posts, landing pages and downloadable educational resources gives you an opportunity to attract prospects, build trust with them and answer questions critical to their buyer journeys. Without content, your digital marketing assets would be a series of empty web pages.

Content is everything. If you fail to make it a cornerstone of your marketing strategy, your lead generation efforts will suffer. Unfortunately, far too many businesses don’t know how to put the right strategy behind their content.

Here are seven surefire ways to fail at content marketing. Work hard to avoid these at all costs.

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Quality Vs. Quantity: The Inbound Marketing Balancing Act

It’s Not As Clear As Other Inbound Marketing Experts Make It Sound

You’d think it’s straightforward, right? Most experts agree that you shouldn’t create a ton of content simply because more means better. They’re right, for the most part. But the answer isn’t as simple and straightforward as they’d make it appear.

Yes, quality content marketing is going to trump poor-quality content, and if you continually generate poor-quality content simply to produce, you’ll end up with an audience of unhappy fans. That means fewer clicks, fewer visits, fewer conversions and diminishing inbound marketing results. But how do you measure quality? It’s in the eye of the reader and you can’t measure quality based on size. Having short copy doesn’t always mean it’s of lesser quality than something longer or more in-depth.

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Prediction #11 — Website Optimization Advances With Inbound Marketing

The Big Website Redo Project Is Finally A Thing Of The Past

The big website project is becoming less and less popular. Ongoing, regular website optimization is now a mandatory part of any progressive inbound marketing effort. This is a trend that you need to be looking for in your inbound program or ensuring is included in any agency program. If you’re not optimizing your website marketing strategy every month, you’ll be disappointed in your lead generation results.

Ongoing conversion optimization is one of the biggest missing elements we see when we’re evaluating an existing inbound marketing effort. While the website is typically front and center around optimization, optimization activities should be deployed around content creation, search engine optimization, email marketing, lead nurturing campaigns and social media marketing. The only way to ensure you’re getting optimal results is to optimize all aspects of your program every month.

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Prediction #10 — Influencer Marketing Helps Amplify Inbound Marketing

Using Influencers As Part Of An Inbound Marketing Campaign Accelerates Lead Generation

We’ve been doing influencer marketing for years now and it’s great when it works. However, it still takes a lot of energy to get it working right and it doesn’t always produce results. Influencer marketing, as a part of content marketing, should take the next step in 2017 and become a more predictable, scalable tactic in the inbound marketing playbook.

The downside of this trend is that the “influencers” have all the power. Two or three years ago, the content providers had the power. This means influencers get to pick and choose who they work with, and some of them are opting to only pick people who pay them to influence. This has made influencer marketing more complex and more time-consuming.

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Prediction 1 - Video Becomes Prominent In Content Marketing And Inbound Marketing

Video Becomes Mandatory Within Inbound Marketing Campaigns

No earth-shattering revelations here. Video marketing is already insanely popular as a content type, but going forward short, homemade snippets for use on social, web, mobile and email are going to be much more popular as vehicles to carry your story and engage your prospects.  

The major change that has been going on and will continue to go on is that video is becoming much more mainstream. No more need for expensive production resources, professional video resources or complex shoots. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a place for the professional corporate video. However, when it comes to inbound marketing and content creation, the homemade variety of video can produce results with only a small investment — making the ROI extremely attractive.

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An Early Holiday Gift Filled With 2017 Inbound Marketing Predictions

Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Accelerate The Pace Of Change Next Year

While I’m not going to tell you I know exactly what’s going to happen next year, I do have enough experience to give you some insight into the trends and challenges we’ve seen this year that are setting up to have major impacts on what might transpire in 2017.

They key for you is to be aware of what’s going on, understand the speed at which the transitions and evolutions are progressing, and then make decisions based on these changes. I’m a big believer in having a plan A, plan B and, in some cases, a plan C.

If for some reason cold-calling became hyper effective (don’t worry), at least we would be prepared to start moving some effort into this suddenly highly effective tactic. But if I have no idea it's coming, I would be ill-equipped to make that move. Consider the next 12 predictions as a “heads up” as to what might be coming in the foreseeable future. Enjoy!

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