I received the following delimma and questions from a favorite inbound marketer that I consult with:
What we're trying to do here is to save the floundering marketing department of 1 or two that has purchased HubSpot but has had trouble implementing inbound marketing. I've seen stories of companies blogging -- traffic rises but leads fall because they aren't familiar with how to generate leads.
A few questions come to mind here (and my suggested approaches for answering). I hope these help those of you who been using HubSpot for a while now, but might be struggling with your lead gen.
4 Questions to consider if your inbound marketing lead gen is falling off:
1. What are some website optimization tips that marketing managers can use to improve conversion rate and lead generation? (inbound website optimization tips)
This comes back to persona research. Thinking of topics and phrases that your favorite clients (or prospects) actually use when they seek to do business with your industry.
Split your keywords into 3 buckets:
- Those that generate awareness of your industry, what organizations like you do, educating the market on the problems you're trying to solve.
- Those that help them consider which of your industry's solutions they might want to go with (branded keywords and industry jargon goes here).
- Those that they might use if they were looking to decide on working with you or not (individuals in your organization, reviews of your services, product and pricing specific terms and actions)
Then it's time to optimize your site pages around these keyword buckets:
- You need to put each website page into one of these buckets as well and match up a keyword for each. (You might create a Campaign in HubSpot for each of these stages and tag each site page accordingly)
- You need to do the same with each of your content offers and conversion paths.
- Put CTA's for consideration stage offers on site pages that are optimized for the consideration stage (and so forth).
We at HubSpot Academy call this optimizing for the buyer's journey. This is designing your entire website to improve converstion rate and lead generation because every page is designed to perform along a specific point of your ideal buyer persona's journey towards making a decision.
Is this sounding like Greek to you? If so, you need to get Inbound Certified so we're speaking the same language here. It's free and ondemand training we made to help you wrap your head around this stuff.
2. What helpful tips can you share about creating lead generating content (not just traffic driving content)?
Two words - Content Audit. As business professionals in the internet age, we all create content every day. It's just that for many of us the content we create is in 1-off emails, presentations, documents and conversations. Most businesses that have been around for more than 6 months, if they really took stock of ALL the content they have created, would find pages and pages of expertise to draw from. The rest is locked up in the heads of the employees and business partners.
Audit everything your company has every written, sent, shared, published, presented, debated, discussed internally and externally. Use this simple content audit worksheet. I would use a lot of that content you find there first.
Next, think of the best customer your organization has ever had (or perhaps ever dreamed of having). This is your buyer persona. Audit your entire sales process with that customer (one you actually successfully closed or imagine your ideal process if you've never closed your ideal customer).
- What would they do first?
- What would you do first?
- What would they ask for at which point in the process?
- What would you offer or say at each point?
- What's the next step for each point of the process? For you? For them?
Follow that audit all the way through to the point where they actually become your customer and your organization starts delivering value through whatever product, service, cause you offer.
You should document that ideal sales process and create content to serve your prospect at each step. This is not optional. This is how you build a sales and marketing machine for any organization that desires fast growth.
3. What are some inbound marketing website mistakes that B2B companies make?
Not focusing 100% on the prospect. Your website is a tool to help your buyer persona be better off for having visited. It's there to solve their problems. It is their tool. Far too often, the website it still being viewed as a broschure or a trophy case for the organization that hosts it. These are websites that seem to exude the message, "We're great, we're doing great, we have the best products/services, you should buy from us. Are you ready to buy from us? Here's where you go to get started."
For every website page one MUST be able to answer 2 questions:
- What goal/challenge for our buyer persona is this page designed to help with? What question is it answering?
- Then you must answer - How is this the BEST website page on the internet for answers on that goal/challenge?
I'm sorry, but you have got to have answers for those two questions if you expect your website pages to drive a good deal of quality visitors who convert into known contacts in your database that you can build relationships with. People are selfish. You're selfish. I'm selfish. Make a website for selfish visitors from your industry.
4. Are there some HubSpot "model" customers who are doing it well in-house that people can model their marketing after?
I would look no further than HubSpot's leading Agency Partners. What's rare about HubSpot and how we trained up our network of Agency Partners is that they become practisioners of inbound first (as HubSpot is) and then they pass on their lessons learned via the content and the solutions they offer (as HubSpot does).
We also provide a professional certification program to help the market idenfiy those Partners that are actually using the HubSpot Product (HubSpot Certified) and are trained up on our best practices for planning, selling and delivering inbound retainers on HubSpot Accounts (Partner Certification).
Certified Hubspot Agency Partners are some of our most experienced and best customers. They practice inbound on themselves and then help their clients do the same. Our Partners have come up with some very sophisticated marketing automation workflows and content offers over the years. I have referenced them as case studies in various presentations I have given on inbound marketing best practices in the past as well as interviewing them during HubSpot's monthly Partner Broadcast.
I recommend you check them out.
So, those are 4 big questions I have been asked by marketers looking to improve their lead generation game and what my answers typically are.