You’ve been working hard at your inbound marketing program… consistently writing interesting and informative blog posts, optimizing with keywords, promoting through your social media pages, and driving new traffic to your website. But the leads aren’t rolling in like you hoped they would and you just can’t figure out why. What could be the problem?
Though all the elements of inbound marketing work together, it’s possible that you just might not be offering enough (or the right) opportunities for visitors to “raise their hand” and let you know that they are interested. When it comes to inbound marketing, premium content offers and calls to action (CTA’s) are an absolutely critical component in achieving your end goal of generating, and ultimately converting, leads to customers. Publishing a blog post without a call to action is like sending out party invitations without telling anyone where it’s going to be, and that's not going to be a very fun party.
CTA’s can range from asking a reader to subscribe to your blog, to providing an opportunity to download your awesome white paper or eBook. The key is variety… and lots of it. That’s what brings us to some of the top ways you can start generating more leads through your blog and website.
1. Create a variety of premium content pieces.
Every time you write a new blog post, you want to be able to turn to a CTA that fits not only your target audience but that is relevant to the topic you are writing about. In the beginning stages of an inbound marketing program, most people are focused on consistently writing blog posts – which can be equally important – but it’s crucial that you don’t put premium content creation on the backburner and that it is just as much of a priority.
2. Develop content that addresses all three stages of the buying cycle.
Not every person who visits your blog is in the same stage of the buying cycle, so it’s important that you address what stage they are in and provide content that will help guide them through the funnel toward making a purchase decision. You don’t want to ignore any of these stages, so be sure that right out the gate you have offers that appeal to each of these categories.
The three stages include:
- Top of the funnel (awareness, initial research, education)
- Middle of the funnel (evaluation, product information, company information)
- Bottom of the funnel (decision-making, purchase, trial, demo, consultation)
3. Include a CTA on every single blog post.
This is one of those “no exceptions” type of things. Do yourself a favor and don’t lead the horse to water without actually providing them some water. Consider how time-crunched we all are and the way we consume information on-the-go, if someone takes the time to visit your website and read a blog post in its entirety… you better have something there waiting for them if they are thirsty for more.
Because if you’re writing fantastic, relevant content (and of course you are) then most readers will want to “download the eBook,” “subscribe to the newsletter,” or “check out the guide” after reading your post.
A CTA Example:
Bonus Tip: Don’t overthink it.
Many marketers tend to overthink the creation of premium content and the idea of producing this incredible, 75-page eBook for their best prospects feels daunting and time-consuming (time they simply don’t have). However, you don’t have to write a Pulitzer Prize winning publication – you just need to provide added value content that your target audience is seeking. This could be a checklist or a simple manual and many times this information can be found in your existing internal resources, you just need to repurpose the content for your audience.
These best practices may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lead generation but they’re all important points that must be made a priority in order to achieve inbound marketing success.
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Dani Buckley is an Inbound Marketing Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy.