Driving Leads Through The Sales Funnel With Inbound Marketing

92.7% of companies that use inbound marketing increase their lead generation. While these statistics may make you want to jump on the inbound marketing bandwagon, there are a few things to consider to get your strategy right, and to drive those conversions through your sales funnel.

A report by HubSpot shows that nearly 78% of internet users conduct product research online before actually going ahead and making a purchase. However, getting potential customers to visit your website is winning only half the battle. You have to make sure that your website creates enough Awareness and Interest to initiate Desire and Action (AIDA).

A carefully curated inbound marketing strategy that will successfully convert customers from the wide-mouthed sales funnel to the narrower end will have to be carried out in phases.

Phase 1 – Top of the Funnel or ToFu:

85% of all website visitors fall in the ToFu category. A brand does not have to be too selective in this phase. The mouth of the funnel calls for as many leads as possible.

  • Use a mixed-media content approach with blogs, vlogs, articles, videos, whitepapers, case studies and infographics to draw as many visitors as possible.
  • Use Search Engine Optimization, meta titles, descriptions and keywords to ensure that your website rankings are high and clients are able to find you through the maelstrom of content available on the web.
  • Use social media to churn out unique content that will build a strong slew of followers and advocates for your brand.

Phase 2 –Middle of the Funnel or MoFu:

The MoFu category represents nearly 10% of all your website traffic. The middle of the funnel requires filtering out the less-interested visitors as you get closer to making your big sale.

  • Use tailored content to sort through your visitors’ likes and dislikes. For example, if a brand is trying to weed out potential customers for its line of healthy dog food, a blog on canine hygiene is going to give you an idea of all the dog owners who exist among your list of leads.
  • Call-To-Action: Use visible and interactive Call-to-Action text or buttons and help visitors take the next step.
  • Make the exchange: Offer valuable pieces of content in exchange for a user’s contact details. For instance, to download a PDF or a case study, the user will be expected to punch in his name and email address.
  • Send mailing lists using the newly-obtained contact information.

Phase 3 – Bottom of the Funnel or BoFu:

Less than 5% of your overall website visitors fall into this category. These represent the segment of visitors who have more or less made their decision and are all set to purchase your product, credit card in hand!

  • Use demos, consultations, free trials, assessments, offers, coupons and freebies to give your customers that gentle nudge they need towards making a purchase.

Every potential customer who looks at your site could become a BoFu visitor. The right mix of inbound marketing strategies at every phase of the sales funnel is key towards ensuring that your customer makes that successful voyage from the mouth of the funnel towards the end, which results in a real and substantial ROI.

Update Your Digital Marketing Playbook With These Trends

The key to a successful business lies in having a strong presence in the virtual world. The dynamic nature of digital marketing can seem a bit daunting, but read on to tap into the current trends in the industry and to use it to your advantage.

Content driven marketing

Over the next year, content marketing is said to be more popular, which means that there is going to be a shift from conventional marketing techniques. The emphasis is likely to be on creating fresh content of superior quality – via user stories, video testimonials, and webinars. It is certainly time to also dive into social. Research from Hubspot says that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.

Add a personal touch

There are several platforms or software apps that allow you to customise your content for your audience. Big data has already begun to revolutionize marketing with over 70% of content having been created over the last two years. Now you will have access to any cusstomer based on what they do over the internet. This is a more targeted approach and will yield better results.

User generated marketing

Your users control the way the conversation about your brand flows, so let them advocate your brand on your behalf. Create moments that can be Instagrammed, Snapchatted, Facebooked or more – letting the users tell their own story. There has been a 78% increase in User Generated Content (UGC) this year – a concept that was practically unheard of last year.

Go mobile

According to Google, this is the year that mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic in 10 countries across the world, which means mobile is the way of the future. Additionally, they have introduced an algorithm with the sole intention of weeding out sites that are not optimized for mobile use. It is anticipated that sites that focus only on desktop optimization will see a decrease in traffic over the next year.

Video ads are the way of the future

Anyone that has spent time on YouTube can testify to the efficacy of video ads. Other social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Bing also offer video ad space for advertisers as well. What is more important is Google supports video ads – and since Google owns YouTube, there are countless possibilities.

Keep digital assistants in mind

More people are using services like Apple driven – Siri or Windows driven Crotana than conventional search engines. Build your information in such a way that it is accessible to this new format and you will get an edge in pushing your business. While conventional methods like Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click still hold true – these new trends are the way of the future with over 2 billion smartphones estimated to make its way into the market worldwide in 2016.

Social media is key

Whatever else you may invest in, the power of social media cannot be discounted. By finding ways to make your brand more interactive and being open in your communication, you allow your customers to see the lighter side of your company. This makes your brand more approachable and will go a long way in creating a lasting impression.

Write a Head-Turning Blog With These Six Tips

When was the last time you were able to complete a single task without your attention being whisked away by the pinging of your phone, or a pop-up advertisement that suspiciously advertises exactly what you were searching for on the web the other day?

A hurricane of creativity has blitzed the internet with trolls, memes, witty cartoons, mind-boggling infographics and funny videos of talking Siberian huskies. Faceit, can your blog really compete with a fuzzy singing canine that could put Miley Cyrus to shame?

Yes, it can. You just need to know how.

According to a report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span of a human being now stands at a proud 8 seconds in 2013, from 12 seconds in 2000. This is one second less than that of a goldfish. Which means you have exactly 8 seconds to hook your customers with gripping content!

Here’s how:

  1. Write from the heart– As sappy and clichéd as this sounds, it’s true! Write from the deepest echelons of your heart. People want to know that behind all that corporate speak, companies have souls too. Write about behind-the-scenes moments that audiences aren’t going to find out about through those stringently PR-monitored news nuggets.
  2. Make sure your headline turns headsDavid Ogilvy once famously said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as they read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” Write a catchy headline that will make your audience hungry for more.
  3. Hijack ideas like a cuckoo bird– Don’t be afraid to hijack or piggyback on ideas that are already floating about the blogosphere. And if you find a funny meme or comic that describes your brand, share it. Just be sure to give out due credit!
  4. It’s not always about you–Your blog doesn’t always have to be all about you. Find a way to connect the dots between trending topics, current affairs and your brand.
  5. Post regularly and consistently–You need to blog consistently as your regular visitors will expect new and improved content. This will help you build and increase your online community. Include keyword research for search engine optimization.
  6. Substance is great, but don’t forget the style!– It doesn’t matter if your content is tight. If it looks like a boring mess of textbook gibberish, your visitor’s eyes are going to glaze right past it. Break up lumps of text with descriptive headings, bold captions, paragraphs and bullets. Intersperse your content with images, infographics and tweetable quotes to provide relief.

Churning out good content is only half the battle. You need to share it on the right forums to ensure that it gets the eyeballs it deserves. According to the Global Web Index, we now spend 28% of our time online. Include social media plugins on your blogs, and regularly reply to comments to generate conversations. Share your blogs on social media sites, forums and social threads.

Follow these tips to write unique blogs that will have your visitors’ heads turning. In the right direction, of course!