According to HubSpot's State of Inbound 2017, "marketers today find generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge". There is already a multitude of tactics to implement for B2B SaaS companies to generate quality traffic and leads on their site. As this list grows, and as strategies change it becomes increasingly difficult for marketers to excel across the board. In this post we will cover the how to's of both increasing traffic and boosting lead generation.
Part 1: Generating More Traffic
Start Blogging on a Regular Basis
A blog is a long-term marketing asset that will bring traffic and leads to your business. It introduces you as a thought leader in your industry and allows you to earn people’s trust. Marketing data clearly shows that blogging is a critical piece of the inbound marketing methodology and directly correlates to better business results. B2B companies that blog get 55% more visitors and 67% more leads than those who don’t. At New Breed, we were able to double our blog lead generation in 6 months.
That being said, blogging for the sake of blogging won’t dramatically transform your marketing. Your blog has to be well-optimized and promoted, and most of all, rich with content. The frequency of blogging plays an important role in this equation, too. Companies that blog 20 or more times in a month see the biggest return in increasing website traffic and leads.
Practice Search Engine Optimization
Aligning search engine optimization with your blogging and overall content marketing strategy is critical to being found on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. When creating impactful content for SEO, consider what long-tail keyword you want to target for on-page optimization. You can optimize the post around this keyword by incorporating it into your title tag, URL, meta description, anchor text, and page content. Once you have a fully optimized piece of content, make sure to use off-page SEO tactics to share it online, build links to your site, and increase your domain authority.
Expand Your Reach with Social Media
It was not that long ago when it used to be difficult, if not impossible, for companies to reach a wide target audience without paying for it. The game has changed in this regard with channels like Face-book, Linkedin, and Twitter enabling business to promote their content. Social media can be leveraged to attract both new and returning visitors to your site, and foster relationships by starting one on one conversations with customers and prospects online.
Invest in Paid Search
While SEO is the BEST way to rank at top of search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo, paid search is the quicker and easier route.That being said, paid search should not be considered an alternative to SEO, rather it should complement your SEO efforts and fill in the gaps. Pay Per Click (PPC), or Cost Per Click (CPC) tools like AdWords, and BingAds give marketers the ability to control, test, and optimize the content that is displayed in search engine result pages while directing visitors towards relevant landing pages.
Use Retargeting to Bring Visitors Back to Your Site
If you have ever wished for a second chance to convert someone that visited your website, then remarketing is for you! Retargeting (sometimes referred to as remarketing) ads are those pesky images on the edge of your browser that have been following you around online from all of the websites you’ve visited in the past. While these ads may seem intrusive, they have proven to be highly effective. With retargeting, not only can you serve ads to people who visited your website, but you can create segments of people who visited specific pages, performed certain actions, or fit into particular demographics. For example, you could choose to target anyone between the ages 25–34 who visited your pricing page but did not convert.
Target Your Buyer Personas with Paid Social
The final piece of the paid advertising puzzle, paid social, is growing the fastest due to its potential to be the most targeted and effective channel. Social media is perpetually collecting data on its users which makes it more potent every day. This makes paid social an extremely valuable tool for segmenting and targeting potential customers. Marketers can use information on users’ ages, demographics, web histories, trends and location to essentially build their buyer persona and serve them highly relevant ads.
Host A Webinar for Thought Leadership
Most people would rather listen to a subject matter expert and ask them questions than read through a piece of content. Hosting a world-class webinar has all of the benefits of blogging in terms of thought leadership and trust, but they take it to the next level. They help you understand your target audience, create business relationships with potential customers, and cement your authority within the industry. Webinars can also be used an avenue to partner with other companies which can give you access to their customer database.
Tying it all Together
Increasing website traffic may never leave your priority list, but it doesn't have to be a constant challenge. Marketers that invest their time into these strategies will be setting themselves up for success. Once implemented, the maintenance required to keep them running smoothly will become easier to manage over time. This will enable you to identify opportunities to make iterative improvements for continued optimization.
Part 2: Converting Traffic Into Leads
Build & Implement Conversion Paths
A conversion path is a process by which an unknown visitor becomes a lead by navigating their way through your website. They use elements like blogs, calls-to-action, landing pages, premium offers, and thank you pages. A well-designed conversion funnel should guide your visitors to the offers that are most relevant to them while eliminating any obstacles that could prevent or distract them from converting.
Let’s be honest, you’re in the process of our conversion path right now. We want you to find value in this blog post, be compelled to click on the CTA below, go to the landing page with an amazing and surprisingly relevant offer, and download it.
Create Offers for Each Stage of the Funnel
In order to build an effective conversion path, you’ll need to have offers that align to the awareness, consideration and decision phases of the inbound marketing funnel. This is what the "ToFu, MoFu, BoFu" method is all about. It stands for top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of the funnel, and it works like this:
- ToFu: Top-of-funnel-offers should be focused on the awareness stage, when a buyer has identified that they have a challenge. Your job is to understand how to describe the challenge, how to provide education on the challenge and what the consequences are of not addressing it. Some common forms of a top of funnel content offer include whitepapers, e-books, guides and tip sheets.
- MoFu: Middle-of-the-funnel offers should be focused on the consideration stage, when a buyer has clearly outlined their goal or challenge and have committed to addressing it. They will be evaluating the different approaches or methods available as possible solutions. Some common forms of middle of the funnel content offers include checklists, templates, comparisons, and case studies
- BoFu: Bottom-of-the-funnel offers should be focused on the decision stage, when a buyer has decided on the type of solution to address their challenge. At this point, a buyer will begin to evaluate specific offerings to see if they can meet their needs. Some common forms of a bottom of the funnel content offer include demos, trials, and assessments.
Design Effective Calls-to-Action
A call-to-action or CTA is an image or line of text that directs website visitors towards the next step in the buyer’s journey. They are intended to elicit a response by using an urgent or imperative phrase such as “Sign Up Today”, “Download the e-book Now”, or “Claim Your Free Trial”. When designing an effective CTA for your site make sure to do the following:
- Use an Eye-Catching Design
- Write Copy That Makes People Want to Act
- Set Expectations and A Clear Value Proposition
- Direct Visitors Towards An Offer Aligned With The Page Content
- Allow Conversion Paths to Guide your CTA Strategy
Incorporate Landing Page Best Practices
Once someone clicks on one of your CTAs they should be taken to a landing page with a relevant offer on it. A landing page is a web page that should have a single focused objective - to deliver an offer that moves someone from one lifecycle stage to the next. Most landing pages are focused on turning a visitor into a lead, but they can also turn a lead into an MQL or an MQL into an opportunity. To focus your landing page around this singular objective you should:
- Remove navigation - Eliminate as many avenues as possible that can take someone away from the landing page.
- Write a compelling headline - Make it clear to the visitor that this page aligns with the link or add that they clicked to get there.
- Use directional cues - Draw a visitor’s attention towards the action you want them to perform by using arrows that point towards the form or CTA.
- Have a single, focused message - Be clear and succinct by removing unnecessary content
When possible, use video - Videos have been shown to improve conversion by up to 80%.
- Add trust marks - These can include testimonials, guarantees, and co-branding.
- Show social proof - Add indicators of your social status.
- Use bullet points - Highlight specific points, while making your copy quick and easy to digest.
Nurture Leads with Lifecycle Marketing
The simplest way to describe lifecycle marketing tactics is to say they are one aspect of your marketing strategy that dictate the context of when you communicate with your prospects and customers, and how. Lifecycle marketing focuses on the entire customer experience, from first touch all the way through to customer acquisition and retention.
It’s designed to nurture your relationships with prospects and customers based on their progression through the marketing funnel. Use your marketing automation platform to set up workflows that automatically nurture leads throughout the funnel with content and emails. Chances are, you're marketing to hundreds or thousands of people at a time, so you can't possibly be successful with manual email blasts.
Utilize pop-up forms
This might appear to be counter to the typical approach to inbound marketing, but there is proof that pop-up forms can be highly effective. Over the past few years, they have re-emerged as a popular marketing tactic for promoting content, driving blog subscriptions, growing email lists, and fueling lead generation. They do this by disrupting a user’s experience and drawing their attention towards a relevant offer. You can even fit them neatly into an inbound approach by associating the pop-up form’s messaging with the page content. A common practice is to add a pop-up form to your blog pages along the lines of, “Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter. Read up on the latest in B2B marketing, sales, and growth and hear about upcoming industry events and webinars!”
Always Be Conversion Rate Optimization...ing
For marketers that want to exceed their goals, it will not be enough to simply implement and manage the tactics listed above. They will need to address areas of opportunity for continuous improvement. This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes into play. CRO can be described as a way of leveraging data to identify the most impactful ways to increase lead & demand generation. It involves measuring and analyzing the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your website that drive conversions, recognizing potential gaps, and finding solutions to fill them. When done correctly, this process leads to lower customer acquisition costs by capitalizing on your existing traffic to increase lead volume and maximize profits.
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.