This is the sixth post in our Inbound Marketing 101 series intended to help B2B marketers boost brand visibility and generate better leads for their sales teams to convert into customers. Download the complete Inbound Marketing 101 guide now.
You know a well-optimized website helps capture your target buyers’ attention in the awareness phase of the buyer journey. (If you don’t know, check out our previous blog posts on the buyer journey and the awareness phase.)
But holding that attention is the real challenge.
When you attract visitors to your website and keep them engaged, you increase the chance visitors will convert into leads and move into the consideration phase.
Awesome. So how do you do that?
I’ve devised a formula to help explain: premium content + targeted landing page(s) + calls-to-action = more leads
While the formula appears simple enough, the execution can be a bit tricky. I’ve provided some simple tips to make sure you get it right.
Visitors come to your website looking for answers and expect your company to deliver. Enter premium content.
Premium content is any content you “gate,” meaning that a website visitor needs to fill out a form and provide contact information in order to download it.
Premium content is used as a tool to convert visitors into leads and to guide leads through the various stages of the buyer journey.
Some of the more common forms of premium content include:
- Marketing guides
- Case studies
Premium content needs to solve your target buyers’ problems and answer their questions. This helps your company establish and build trust with your leads as you continue to educate them throughout their buyer journey.
The important thing is to continue building upon the trust you’ve created by helping, not selling. If your product or service is a good fit, the sale will follow.
Here are some things that your company should consider before creating its first piece of premium content.
How do I pick the right content topic/format?
Be specific. Each piece of premium content should be built for a specific purpose and targeted to a specific buyer persona at a specific stage in the buyer journey.
A marketing guide may help your leads become aware of their problem, but your bottom-of-the-funnel client testimonial or free consultation will help push them towards a resolution with sales.
How do I get people to see my premium content?
The work doesn’t end after you’ve finished creating your piece of premium content. We recommend our clients spend 20% of their time creating each piece of content and 80% of their time distributing it.
Whether you promote your content on your blog, email it to your existing customers and prospects or share it across social media, you need to work to consciously maximize the audience that reads your premium content.
How many pieces of premium content do I need?
It depends on the size and maturity of your company. The short answer is as many pieces as possible.
For companies that have never created a piece of premium content before – start small. You need to create one piece before you can understand what worked, what didn’t work and how it can inform future pieces of premium content.
For more mature companies – produce one piece of premium content per quarter. This may seem daunting, but the long-term benefits are impressive.
The reason premium content is so valuable is because it continues to work for you long after you publish it. Premium content stays relevant, drives traffic to your site and continues to generate leads long after publication.
Targeted landing pages
Often underutilized, landing pages are a critical component of any inbound marketing strategy. Landing pages allow companies to distribute premium content and provide an avenue for converting website visitors into leads.
The biggest reasons why most companies don’t have landing pages is because marketing departments don’t know how to set up landing pages properly and do not have the resources to sustain them effectively, according to MarketingSherpa and Forrester Research.
Part of the reason companies don’t use landing pages could also be due to the fact that there are many different definitions of landing pages floating around out there.
A landing page is any page on your website that a visitor can access that:
- Has a form AND
- Exists solely to capture a visitor’s contact information through that form.
Repeat after me: all landing pages are web pages, but not all web pages are landing pages. Landing pages are made specifically to gather key information about your website visitors and convert them into leads.
Here are some things that your company should consider before adding landing page(s) to its website.
Is my homepage considered a landing page?
No, your homepage is not a landing page. Your homepage generally has many purposes – to introduce your visitors to who you are, show examples of your product/service, etc.
Your homepage probably has multiple calls-to-action (which we’ll get to later in this blog post) and forms for website visitors to fill out.
Think newsletter signups, pop-up forms, etc. Your homepage is not designed to convert for just one single objective.
Why should I use landing pages?
Landing pages provide a simple way to generate leads that allow you to easily segment, nurture or distribute to your sales team.
This enables your company to collect better intelligence on your leads’ behaviors and activities on your website, which your sales team can then use in the sales process.
This helps your sales reps identify which prospects are most engaged with your business.
How many landing pages do I need on my website?
The more landing pages you have on your website, the more opportunities you have to convert website visitors into leads
Studies have shown that business websites with 10-15 landing pages tend to increase conversions by 55% over business websites with fewer than 10 landing pages. And those with more than 40 landing pages increase conversions by over 500%.
Having more landing pages can also lead to increased SEO benefits for your company. The more landing pages you have that are optimized for SEO, the more pages will be indexed in organic search results.
After you have developed your premium content and landing page, you now have to get your website visitors to convert.
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are buttons that guide users toward your conversion goal, prompting them to take a specific action.
It’s important to consider the problems your website visitors are trying to solve and where they are in the process of solving them when they come looking for your content.
You’ll want to create content for the different stages of the buyer journey, and providing CTAs that match a visitor’s stage in their buyer’s journey is just as important.
Some common examples of CTAs are:
- Registering for an event
- Downloading marketing or sales content
- Signing up for a webinar
Companies often forget to use CTAs in their marketing efforts and it shows. They’ve spent so much time and effort to get to this point, only to see visitors leave their website.
Without CTAs telling website visitors what to do next, your marketing team can’t convert them into actual leads.
Here are some things that your company should consider before optimizing its website for conversion.
What makes an effective call-to-action?
The copy and design should make website visitors want to act. It’s not enough to say “Submit” as your CTA copy.
You need a concise, jargon-free phrase that uses actionable verbs to catch people’s attention.
It is also important that website visitors know exactly what will happen when they click on a CTA.
Are they expecting to download a marketing guide or a planning template? Schedule a demo or sign up for your monthly newsletter? Make sure the CTA explicitly tells them what they’re getting in exchange for their contact information and click.
Where and when should I use calls-to-action?
Every landing page and site page on your website should have at least one CTA.
It’s important to base the CTA on the content that is found on each page and where the visitor is in their buyer journey. Your CTA should help them find exactly what they are looking for.
Your blog is typically a good place to include CTAs since it (hopefully) is a source of fresh content that attracts new visitors. Examples include related content or offers that the visitor might be interested in.
Whether you are promoting a recently published guide or blog post series, the end goal is to convert these website visitors into leads so that you can market to them in the future.
How many calls-to-action do I need?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for CTAs. You can’t just slap the words “Click Here” on a button, put it everywhere on your website site that you want visitors to convert and then start to generate quality leads.
You want to get website visitors to become leads, leads to become customers and customers to become brand advocates. You need to create multiple CTAs to serve these different audiences and their goals so that you can bring them down your sales funnel.
Other posts in the Inbound Marketing 101 series:
- Persona Based Marketing: Get In Character So You Can Sell More Stuff
- B2B Inbound Marketing Strategy: 5 Steps To Get Started
- The B2B Buyer Journey Should Fuel Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
- 4 B2B Marketing Tactics to Attract More Visitors to Your Website
- B2B Lead Nurturing: Build Relationships With Future Clients