It's a challenge as old as time (or maybe just modern day marketing): you have a sizeable pool of leads, you're pretty sure you're doing all the right things to engage them, but your conversion rates are low. Despite your best attempts at turning these leads into customers, many have been in "limbo" for months or even years, having abandoned your offering after only engaging once or twice.
Sound familiar? Probably so, if you come from a business that cares about doing things right but can't seem to drive the conversions it needs. In fact, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales (Source: MarketingSherpa). Translation: this problem is not exclusive to any industry or business size, and you're not struggling alone.
This issue is frustrating for marketers and business owners, and also poses a major problem for sales quotas - but doesn't have to go unsolved. Inbound marketing has emerged as a response to this chasm many companies experience between participating in standard "marketing" activities and proving their actual success. As such, an Inbound strategy can help your business improve conversions to drive growth in a couple ways:
Speaking to the issue of failing to convert, nurturing leads as they progress through the four stages of the Inbound funnel is one of the key components of the Inbound marketing methodology. Rather than acquiring lead information and hoping they come back to convert on their own (as 65% of B2B organizations are currently attempting), Inbound allows companies to automate emails and contact with leads to provide content and value through every stage of their purchase consideration. Whether that consideration takes two weeks or two years will vary by industry and purchase type, but it should be carefully assessed and monitored to ensure you're not missing pivotal moments to participate in the process.
Because this strategy takes place through marketing software, you can easily measure how many touch points it takes for the average lead to convert, what type of content or offer drives the highest conversion rates, and how many leads are becoming customers as an outcome. If you're trying to convince a CEO or management team of the validity of your marketing efforts, not much speaks louder than that kind of crystal clear measurement.
To better understand the funnel, check out this Infographic from SmartInsights:
Many businesses have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon, and with good reason. People cite content as one of the top 3 reasons to follow brands on social media, and 61% of consumers claim to "feel better about" and purchase more from companies that deliver custom content (Source: The Inbound Writer Blog).
And yet, with all that blogging and all the valuable offers we put out there, many are not seeing the engagement they'd expect, and certainly not the desired customer acquisition rate.
This issue can be tackled by testing content in an A/B format, and improving presentation in calls to action and landing pages. Each one of these elements is critical to not only creating more compelling content, but also making sure it's appreciated by prospects.
The Inbound theory places heavy focus on these these concepts, as they are invaluable to your positive conversion rate growth. A/B testing can help you measure and optimize anything from the title of your piece of content, to the call to action you're using to promote it with, to the Thank You page which follows it.
Aligning sales and marketing
One of the big buzzwords in marketing throughout the last year has been the shift toward "Smarketing", which refers to the outlining of a healthy relationship between sales and marketing departments. Where traditional firms often think of the two as separate entities, Inbound hinges on cohesiveness among marketing and sales employees.
As a result, companies implementing an Inbound approach can expect to see marketing departments gathering valuable information and building relationships with relevant individuals, and sales teams subsequently spending time converting only the most qualified leads. If you're tackling both sales and marketing on your own, as many small business owners do, you can count on increased efficiency and hyper-relevant leads.
If you're interested in learning more about the allignment of Sales and Marketing, check out HubSpot's tips here.
You've likely heard of Inbound Marketing before, but perhaps have felt some anticipation regarding whether or not it really can deliver on promises to skyrocket your lead generation and conversions. Hopefully, these pieces of insight help you to understand why implementing an Inbound approach isn't just a good idea - it's essential to your company's success.
Today, I'd like to pose a challenge to you: identify another issue which is plaguing your business. It could be low quality leads, of high cost of customer acquisition, or whatever seems to come up the most in strategy meetings. Then, do a little more research on Inbound (via our blog, or the glory that is Google, and how it relates to that issue.
Undoubtedly, you'll discover that Inbound approach has the capability to solve the most minute issue or overall strategic shortfall. For small business owners, Inbound is the long awaited answer to bridging the gap between prospects, leads, and customers - and it's easy to master.
If you're interested in learning how to start the process of transforming your marketing efforts, get in touch with us to explore how Master Inbound puts the power of innovation in your hands.