Inbound marketing is highly dependent on content, buyer personas, landing pages, social media and CTAs. Why? Because that blend of tactics is tightly intertwined. Without strong buyer personas, you don’t know who you’re trying to attract. Without strong content, you aren’t answering the most relevant questions. Without strong landing pages, you’re letting conversions slip through fingers. Without a strong social presence, you’re not extending your reach. And without strong CTAs, you’re not capturing anyone’s attention.
New buyer personas should identify prospects in each phase of the buying cycle. Some would be conducting preliminary research. A second group are considering product options. A third group are evaluating your products and services with an intent to buy.
Create a Content Package Matched to Your Buying Cycle
To be successful with inbound marketing, you need to create a content package that fits each major stage in the buying cycle. For best Top of the Funnel (TOFU) results, you need one or more educational offers. For best Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) results, you need to create an Engagement Offer. And finally, for best Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) results, you need to develop a Sales Offer. These three offers help potential buyers trust, understand, and get comfortable with your company.
Educational Offer – People have broad questions when they first engage with your company. Think of them a new hires, with no prior experience in your industry. Your job is to determine what they need to understand about the industry, the market, and your company.
Educational content is the answer. Don’t try to sell your solution. Just help them understand the framework with a Free Report, Whitepaper, Tips Guide or Video. Help them learn something new. Help them to become a better purchaser of solutions. By arming them with facts about what is important, you build trust and establish yourself or your company as a thought leader. And In exchange for this information, they only need to provide their name and email address.
Engagement Offer – Prospects who return to your site —prompted by an email, a social media post, or simply because they have your site bookmarked — may have been satisfied may have been satisfied with the content received via your educational offer. So what do you do for an encore? Since they are now a bit more trusting, they may respond to an engagement offer.
In exchange for providing some additional contact or product interest information, you might offer this group free webinars/seminars, free assessments, or reviews. Case Studies and Comparison charts are also strong candidates.
Sales Offer – Sales prospects may have dutifully followed your game plan, reading educational content, then interacting with engaging content, and finally returning for sales information. Or they may be low hanging fruit, who have leaped to the front of the line, with no preamble, and elected to start a more active sales conversation with your company. Making them a sales offer is the smart thing to do. Don’t beat around the bush. Use offers like: “Contact Us Today!”, “Request a Quote”, or “Schedule a Call with one of our Representatives.”
Three Ways to Tackle Low Conversions
Once you’ve created offers that fit the three main stages of your customers’ buying cycle, you still may find that new buyer persona conversions are low. That’s because the whole process is tougher than it looks. The issues for any given campaign are particular to your business, your selling proposition, your branding, and your personas. If you come up in short in any of these areas, it will push conversion rates lower. But before you give up, here are some tips on getting better results:
Improve Your Content – Content should not be conceived and produced in a vacuum. Your company is full of people who know what information customers need. Start by talking with your sales people, account managers, customer support group, or anyone else who interacts with customers. Find out what questions customers are asking. Then write or produce content that answers those questions. this is the best way to improve your content — and your conversions.
Your Content Headline and/or Offer Is Vague – Your headline may be all that a prospects reads to decide whether your content will be valuable. So keep it short and make sure it declares clear, definite value. This is not really the best place for cute and it’s certainly not the time to exercise your renaissance education with complex metaphors and fluffy adjectives. Industry jargon is also a bad idea. Test headlines with someone unfamiliar with your industry and see if they can understand it at all.
Your Landing Page is Unfocused – Your headline encourages people to visit your landing page. Now you need to reinforce the message and built trust. Use brief text, a few bullet points, an image, and a form with a clear call-to-action. If the focus of your page is vague or scattered, you’re abandoning prospects right when they need the most help. Don’t give them multiple options to explore your website. At this stage of the process, including multiple calls-to-action, navigation, and other clickable links detracts from your ultimate goal, which is to fill out a short form and convert.
If you entice prospects with clear, value-oriented headlines, show them awesome content that they actually want to read, and make it easy for them to complete the desired action, it’s a win-win scenario.