The primary goal of any business activity is to increase profit, and your digital presence is no exception. Your B2B website exists to market your company, products, and services to potential future customers and convert them into leads. For many B2Bs, those visitors and conversions aren’t appearing. Here are five reasons why your B2B website isn’t generating any leads:
#1 Your Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly
Teens aren’t the only ones addicted to their cell phones. Nearly everyone is accessing the internet from mobile devices rather than desktop computers. What this means is that people are seeing your site on a variety of different screen sizes, and your website needs to be adaptable to any size screen. If not, your site will be too difficult to access and people are going to quickly navigate away.
#2 Your Website Is Old and Outdated
You’d think that at some point, we could stop saying it, but that day has never come: there are a lot of B2B websites that are old and out of date. Your website needs to be more than just a digital version of your current marketing materials, a few static pages with no way to get in contact except your phone number.
If you never ask your website visitors to become leads, you can’t convert them to leads. That’s why you need calls-to-action (a.k.a. CTAs) all over your site. A CTA is often a button or link that asks the reader to do something, to “request a quote” or “contact us.”
These calls to action need to address the content they are surrounded by as well as the stage of the buyer’s journey that your potential lead is in. Some prospects might not be ready to give your sales team a call—but they might be interested in an ebook with more information on the topic you addressed in your most recent blog, and gladly give you their email address in exchange for it.
#4 Your Website Doesn’t Use Any Landing Pages
If your paid search and PPC ads are directing clicks to your website’s home page, you’re missing out on huge opportunities to convert visitors to leads. Landing pages ensure that visitors who click on specific ads are seeing the specific content that is relevant to them.
Additionally, landing pages are essentially one big CTA—they limit options for the visitors to navigate away from the page, offer them the information they want, and include forms for visitors to enter their contact information and convert. They’re also crucial for tracking analytics and gating your content offers. Learn more in our post Landing Pages: Why Your B2B Manufacturing Website Needs Them.
#5 Your Site Content Wasn’t Written With SEO and Inbound Marketing Best Practices In Mind
Since the dawn of inbound marketing, marketers have been hatin’ on outbound marketing tactics.
And really, we get it. No one wants to see that McDonald’s commercial for the 100th time, and no one wants their Pandora workout station interrupted to hear once again how Geico could save you 15% or more on your car insurance.
Outbound marketing is disruptive.But it’s also kind of effective — if you know how to use it for 21st-century consumers. Before we get into this whole thing though, it’s important to know what inbound and outbound marketing are, and why maybe, just maybe, they can work together.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is any form of marketing that draws consumers into your company, your website, or your building. It’s also usually free (ish). Inbound marketing relies on tactics like content development, blogging, and sending targeted emails to your existing email list.
These are tactics that take time and brainpower, but don’t cost much money. Inbound marketing has proven exceptionally successful in the 21st century. We’ve explained this more than once, so we won’t go too far into it, but generally, the idea is that people hate being interrupted, and inbound marketing gets the word out about your company in a way that feels natural, organic, and not pushy.
Pretty nice, right? It’s cheap, it gets you quality customers, and you don’t have to pound the pavement to find them.
Once they do, they’ll evaluate your content and rank it relative to other sites writing about similar topics. Then, you have to see where you rank, so you can keep optimizing your site for better placement on SERPs, and better conversion rates on-site.
When fully deployed and implemented, inbound marketing draws in serious traffic and has the ability to convert like no other marketing tactic out there today. But sometimes you need a little boost when you’re getting started. This is where we start to get a little controversial:
It’s Not Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing can solve this problem of driving the right traffic to your inbound-optimized website immediately. The key is doing it properly.Unlike Geico, you don’t want to blast your message out to the general populace. Instead, you should use targeted, inbound-centric paid advertising and social media advertising campaigns to let the right people know about your product or service.
Choose digital advertising platforms that let you control who your message is going to, and how it’s delivered. With in-depth metrics, you can see which segment of your audience is responding best, and you can continue to optimize your paid ads to deliver the best results, for the least spend. (Check out this blog about optimizing PPC, and this blog about optimizing Facebook Ads, for more information on improving outbound marketing ROI.)When you’re developing targeted digital ads that are designed to meet your ideal audience, you’ll see better, more effective results, and more importantly, you’ll see immediate results.
It’s good to know that outbound marketing tactics aren’t just for new websites, either. When used properly, outbound marketing is a great way to supplement an already robust inbound marketing platform. The fact is, there’s a point where you might feel like you’ve saturated your existing market. Outbound marketing can help get your message out to a new group of people who can benefit from your products and quality customer service.
Inbound Marketing + Effective Outbound Marketing = Company Growth
If you take anything away from this blog post, it should be this: inbound marketing and outbound marketing can work together effectively. It’s easy to pit the two methodologies against each other because they do come from fundamentally different perspectives. But, if you apply an inbound mentality to your outbound marketing methods, and direct ads and promoted content to the audience most likely to care about what you have to say, you might just find that the two methodologies can work together to help grow your company. Outbound marketing tactics are a great supplement to any inbound marketing strategy. Click To TweetWhen implemented properly, optimized for maximum ROI, and paired well with your inbound marketing strategy, they work to deliver qualified leads that can help stimulate overall company growth.
Not sure where to start? Let’s chat! As a digital marketing and growth agency, Evenbound doesn’t choose between inbound our outbound. We help our clients leverage the best of both inbound and outbound marketing strategies for overall company growth. Interested in seeing how we do it?
Growth agency is a new term you might be hearing a lot lately. It’s going to become more popular here in 2019, so if you’re not quite sure what a growth agency is or does, you’re in luck! We’re about to break it all down for you.
A growth agency will look at and improve all aspects of your digital and traditional marketing methods, but through the lens of overall growth. They’ll make every strategic marketing and sales move with the intent to grow each aspect of your company from the ground up.
Because a growth agency has such a big investment in their clients, the best ones tend to specialize in one or two industries that they know well, and have history delivering results for.
For us, that’s industrial manufacturing and construction.
What Does a Growth Agency Do?
A modern growth agency will help you grow your business in every possible way. This includes — but is not limited to — support in the following areas:
In a nutshell, it’s a growth agency’s job to partner with your sales and marketing teams to generate more qualified leads, nurture those leads effectively, and help you close on the leads you want for strategic, targeted, holistic company growth.
How Do I Choose the Right Growth Agency?
An agency that’s totally dedicated to your growth and success sounds pretty great. If you’re considering hiring a growth agency to help you boost your marketing and sales efforts, and grow your company overall, here are a few things to keep in mind while you search:
Look For a Team That Specializes in Your Industry
Like we mentioned before, a growth agency’s job is pretty big. They’re focused on growing an entire company that’s not even their own. There’s a lot to keep track of and a lot to remember. You need someone who understands your industry, your target buyers, and the ins-and-outs of your processes.
Most quality growth agencies focus on just two or three industries, so they can offer the absolute best service possible. Look for a growth agency who has worked with companies like yours before, or at least in your industry before. This will give you a leg up as you start to work together and expand.
Look for Numbers and Metrics
Growth agencies should function primarily on numbers. Once they know where your company is at, they should be able to offer up real, specific goals for your future together. They should set goals like:
How how many leads they’ll work to get, in a specific time period, like the next six months or year.
How many of those leads will convert to sales possibilities.
And how many of those sales potentials will close as customers.
Many inbound and growth agencies refer to these goals as SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
For example, a goal to “grow your business” is not a SMART goal.
A SMART goal might sound something like: Generate 30 new qualified leads in the next two months.
This goal is specific: it identifies one specific metric, new leads.
It is measurable: the goal is to generate 30 new leads.
Attainable is a difficult one to explain generally, but let’s say you had 15 leads in the last two months, but are now implementing calls-to-action and landing pages. 30 new leads would be an attainable goal based on your previous metrics, and the new actions you’ve implemented to boost that number.
This goal is relevant to your company growth, because more new, qualified leads means a greater number of potential deals closed.
Finally, this is a timely goal because it’s been given a specific timeline of two months. Without a deadline, it’s hard to say if you’re improving or not.
If you’re getting general goals that sound like, “Oh, we’ll help you grow your company this year” you might want to keep on looking. A great growth agency will offer SMART goals that provide tangible, measurable results.
One great way to know in an instant if the agency you’re looking at is legit? Their own business strategies. If they’re not implementing all of the strategies they say they’re experts in (website design, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, case studies, etc.) you might want to keep looking.
Set Up a Meeting
Do your teams jive?
A growth agency is more a partner than a contractor. You’ll be working closely with them to develop content and strategize ad campaigns that align with your message and boost your lead gen potential. You have to like them, or at least feel like you can work with them on a regular basis.
It’s not uncommon for companies to talk to two or three growth agencies before settling on the best fit. If you’re having trouble choosing between agencies, an initial meeting with each team might help you make the decision.
If you’ve been considering hiring a digital marketing, inbound marketing, or growth agency, let’s talk. We deliver specific, measurable growth to clients in the industrial manufacturing and construction industries, and would love to chat about how we can help your company grow in 2019.
Not sure if a growth agency is right for you yet? Not a problem. Take a look at some of our case studies and previous work for a few examples of the HA Digital Marketing strategy in action.
The benefits of having the two teams work together are very clear: your marketing team draws in the clients your sales team actually wants to deal with, and your sales team can help your marketing team optimize their efforts to draw in those qualified leads.
How Can I Implement Sales and Marketing Alignment?
While it’s clear that sales and marketing alignment is a must, there’s not much information about practical application.
Sure, you need to facilitate greater communication between both teams, but short of having so many meetings that no one has time to do actual work, it’s tough to figure out how you get everyone on the same page. That’s where HubSpot comes in!
The HubSpot Breakdown
HubSpot is an inbound marketing company that developed a customer relationship management software (CRM) by the same name, HubSpot. HubSpot was the first to make the inbound methodology popular, and they continue to stay at the forefront of the inbound marketing industry by putting out quality content and resources, and by continually finessing their sales and marketing CRMs.
As an inbound marketing growth agency, we at HA Digital Marketing are proud HubSpot agency partners. We recently made the HubSpot Gold Agency Partner status, which basically means we’re good at using their software to win our clients more business.
A question we hear often from our own potential clients is, “What is HubSpot, and how can it help us align our sales and marketing teams?”
Many of our clients are industrial manufacturing and construction companies who have either been working without at CRM, or are frustrated with their current CRM (not to throw shade, but it’s usually Salesforce).
How HubSpot Helps Align Sales and Marketing Teams
For companies who need a CRM, and are hoping to work towards closer sales and marketing alignment, we do recommend HubSpot. While we know CRMs aren’t perfect for everyone, HubSpot is our favorite option for qualified clients who need something that can genuinely get their sales and marketing teams on the same page.
If you’ve been weighing your CRM options, here’s a rundown of how HubSpot works, and specifically, how it can help align your sales and marketing teams.
Intuitive, Practical Communication Capabilities
One of the biggest killers of sales and marketing alignment is a failure to communicate.
It doesn’t make sense to set up a meeting every time something new happens with a lead or prospect, but you do need to have open lines of communication between both teams, so no leads fall through the cracks.
HubSpot helps by offering two CRMs, one that’s designed specifically for marketing teams, and one that’s specifically for sales teams. What’s best is that these CRMs work totally in tandem, and on the same platform.
That means that every interaction your company has with a new prospect is always logged, categorized, and automatically synced across both teams.
Your marketing team can easily look at a lead to see if sales has had the chance to reach out yet, and your sales team can jump into a conversation with a warm lead at the exact moment they’re ready to progress to the decision-making stage.
This helps eliminate interruptions in your day-to-day office work and makes it easy to recap progress at your weekly or bi-weekly sales and marketing team meetings.
Defined MQLs and SQLs
HubSpot also makes it easy to define each lead, and pass them along to the sales team, or back to the marketing team when necessary.
You define what criteria qualifies a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) or a sales-qualified lead (SQL), whether it’s downloading a content offer, booking an appointment, or responding to an automated workflow. From there, it’s easy to move the lead up and down the buyer’s journey based on the criteria you’ve set to qualify them.
You can also set criteria for site visitors, prospects, or subscribers. Say someone has just visited your blog and signed up for your newsletter. If they keep reading your newsletters and blogs, but don’t convert on CTAs or content offers, you might categorize them as a “subscriber.”
You can use that classification to send them information they might care about later on, and your marketing team can continue nurturing them until they take enough actions to pass them along to your sales team.
The HubSpot CRM also offers automatic notifications. If there are specific actions — like downloading a particular content offer or submitting a form on your contact page — that signal to both teams a lead may be ready to convert, you can set HubSpot to send automatic notifications to the responsible parties.
This way, when a lead is on your website, visiting your pages and downloading your content, the relevant team member can strike while the iron is hot — offering up more relevant content, or suggesting they set a meeting — just as that lead is thinking about your company.
A little creepy? Maybe. But, it’s a great way to offer the personalized, specific service today’s consumers expect from companies of any kind.
Analytics and Reporting
Another sales and marketing alignment benefit the HubSpot CRM offers is its exceptional analytics and metrics reporting capabilities. No matter what metrics you’re tracking, the CRM makes it easy to see and share those reports with anyone in your team.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The key to sales and marketing alignment is communication. Click To Tweet Your sales team needs to know what the marketing team is doing to draw in qualified leads, and your marketing needs to know which of their efforts are contributing to a closed sale. HubSpot makes finding and sharing these metrics easy with open reporting that’s easily shared.
At your weekly sales/marketing meeting, your sales team can show the marketing team which leads have finally closed, and how they arrived to the sales team, whether from an organic, paid, or email marketing effort. Conversely, your marketing team can use the data compiled by HubSpot to show the sales team what content new leads are responding best to, and what potential sales angles they can use to close that lead more quickly.
The Ultimate Benefit of the HubSpot CRM Is Transparency.
If you’re interested in increasing your revenue by 208% in the new year, the HubSpot platform could help. If you’re looking for concrete, specific ways to align your sales and marketing teams and grow your business, we can help. Get in touch today.
Here at Evenbound, we’re always talking about inbound marketing. It’s kind of our thing, so you’ll notice most of our blogs talk about how your inbound marketing strategy can attract more clients, produce more leads, and boost your ROI. What we only occasionally talk about, however, is what exactly the inbound marketing methodology, or inbound marketing funnel is. If you’re new to inbound marketing, or just aren’t quite sure what the term means, then this is the blog for you! We’re going to break down the basics of the inbound marketing funnel right now:
What is the Inbound Marketing Funnel?
Also known as the inbound marketing methodology or inbound flow chart, the inbound marketing funnel looks like this:
The overall idea of an inbound marketing strategy is to attract new visitors, convert them to leads, who close and become customers, and then to delight those customers with continued quality service, so they become your word of mouth promoters of your business. That’s what we call the inbound marketing methodology.
The inbound marketing funnel refers specifically to where the client is in their process of choosing your company above the competition. If you’re familiar at all with the generic sales funnel, or buyer’s journey, think of the inbound marketing funnel as a similar way of looking at things. The inbound marketing funnel labels clients with a different title based on how interested they are in what you have to offer — so you know what types of content to send them, and when.
Strangers – Consumers who don’t know about your brand or your company
Visitors – Strangers who come to your site and learn a bit about your company
Leads – Visitors who have progressed further into your site, and eventually give you their contact information.
Customer – Leads who convert into customers by purchasing your product or service.
Promoters – Customers who are delighted by your continued efforts to make sure they have everything they need, and who are so pleased with your company and your service that they love telling their friends and family about you.
While it’s fairly easy to understand these 5 stages of the inbound marketing funnel, what’s more difficult to figure out is how to get ahold of consumers at each stage of the funnel, and attract them to your company in a way that interests them. Here are a few ways to think about boosting your inbound marketing strategy, based on each step of the inbound marketing funnel.
Perhaps the most difficult-to-target is consumers at the very top of the funnel. Strangers don’t know you from Adam, which means it’s your job to somehow catch their attention. In today’s oversaturated world, consumers are constantly barraged by advertisements and non-relevant content that makes your job just that much harder. It’s important to target key buyers that you know want or need your product or service, and the best ways to do that are:
Facebook / Instagram Advertising
Facebook and Instagram have super powerful advertising abilities. When you put out an ad on Facebook or Insta, you can choose exactly who sees that ad, from age to occupation and even to what type of content they “like”. Basic like campaigns or simple banner ads are cheap, and they’re one of the best ways to get your name out there. That is the point of this stage of the funnel, after all.
Since you’re marketing to strangers, the first step is introducing yourself. Your goal for this top level of the funnel is awareness, which means you need to look for ad campaigns that can get you plenty of impressions. Clicks are great, but most people won’t click on your ad until they’ve seen it a few times, or they’ve heard about you somewhere else. For consumers at the stranger level of the inbound marketing funnel, focus on ads that cast a wide net, and get your name out there.
Another paid way to introduce your site and company to strangers is to invest in Google Pay-Per-Click Ads. If you think about it, most people looking for information are going to search in Google before they do anything. From there, they’ll make their decisions based on the results they get. If you’re the first to pop up, even as an ad, that’s a major step to brand recognition, and getting someone to click through to your site.
Another key way of making yourself visible to strangers is ensuring you have impeccable SEO. If you don’t know what that is, we’ve got an insane number of blogs to help you out — this SEO Site Checkup blog — but basically it means making your website and digital presence visible to search engines. The more search engines like your site, the more likely they are to show it to consumers. Improve your SEO, and you’ll improve your online search engine ranking. The higher you show up in rankings, the more eyes you’ll get on your site, which means more strangers turning into visitors. Best of all, SEO is free. No paid ads here!
Another key, free way to draw in strangers is to start a blog. The more you blog about topics that are relevant to your target buyer, the more of an authority you’ll become in the industry. When you’re the company everyone turns to for information about the next big thing in your industry, you’re also the first company they recognize, think of, and then buy from once they get around to making a decision.
Create blogs that are interesting, relevant, and content rich. Don’t just write listicles every month, try to put out some deep content that answers questions and proves useful for your target buyer. The more content you have out there, and that’s promoted on your social media platforms, the more consumers you’re speaking to, and the more likely they are to come to your site to see what you have to say.
Visitors are strangers who’ve made it to your website. They want to learn a bit about you, and see what it is your company has to offer. Once they make it to your site, your goal is to get their contact information, so you can encourage a sale. Here are a few ways to keep visitors on your site, and coming back so you can get them to convert to leads:
Gated content is content that requires an email address and name to access it. It is a key way for any inbound marketer to pull potential clients and visitors through to the lead stage of the funnel. Offer up some amazing, in-depth content that you know your key buyer just wouldn’t be able to resist, and simply ask for their email address in return for the downloadable PDF. Once you have their email, that visitor becomes a lead, and you can target them in other ways.
Keep visitors coming back with remarketing campaigns. Extremely effective, these campaigns most often show up on Facebook, Instagram, and Google, and remind past visitors to your website what they looked at while they were there. If they added a pair of shoes to their cart, but bailed before making it to checkout, a remarketing campaign will show those shoes on other sites they frequent, like Facebook and Google, and remind them of the purchase they almost made. This is a great way to get visitors to come back to your site, where you’ll have another chance to capture their contact information.
Once you finally get an email address, your potential buyer will move down into the lead level of the inbound marketing funnel. Now you can nurture this lead to the decision-making stage with relevant, deep content, and clear calls-to-action that explain the benefits of purchasing your product or service.
Longer, deeper content is a key way to entice a lead to purchase. They have a lot of questions — answer them as fully as you possibly can. By providing answers to their questions, and by providing as much detail as they can stand, you’re assuring them that your product really is that great, and you’re eliminating any fears of buyers remorse they might have. Create thorough content that genuinely helps them make a decision and stay away from the b.s. — consumers can smell it from miles away.
If you want someone to make a purchase, you have to make it easy for them. Make it super obvious how they can purchase your product or service with calls-to-action. Whether they need to simply checkout, or call your office, or fill out a form, calls-to-action can get them there. These colorful buttons are everywhere these days, and they’re perhaps the best tool to convince a lead to convert. Make it easy for leads to buy or pick up the phone, and they will.
Finally, after a long journey through the inbound marketing funnel, you’ve converted a lead into a customer. They’ve made a purchase, and now you can wipe your hands of them.
Not so fast!
This customer can be useful to you. More than that, who’s to say they won’t buy from you again? Customers who are delighted by your helpful service can become your best promoters. They’ll leave 5 star reviews, tell their friends about you, and share all your posts on social media. Be good to those customers, and they’ll be good to you. Here’s how to help them out.
Lead nurturing emails
After someone’s made a purchase, don’t just forget about them. Send them emails about add-on products or services they might like now that they have your other offering. If you sell something that pairs really well with that purse they bought, let them know! The more customized and tailored your follow-up emails, the more likely they are to purchase again. Another good way to turn your customers into promoters is to ask them for reviews after they’ve received their product. A simple “how did you like your socks?” email, with a link to write a review on your site or on Google can go a long way in boosting your reputation, and making it easier for the next consumer to convert to a sale.
People love to feel like they’re getting the inside scoop. If you have a newsletter that’s exclusively for people who have purchased an item or service, and if you offer occasional exclusive deals, people will start to talk. The better you take care of those existing customers, the more they’ll tell their friends about you, which will start that inbound funnel all over again.
The inbound marketing funnel, and this simple breakdown of what type of content to provide, and when, can make it easy for you to align and optimize your sales and marketing teams. If you notice you’re getting plenty of site traffic, but visitors seem to drop off before offering up their email address, start focusing on more valuable content, and maybe consider remarketing. The inbound marketing funnel offers an easy, clear way to see your potential clients, and to devise smart ways to help pull them through the funnel, and convert them to sale.
We know this is a lot of talk, and it’s not always as simple to implement an inbound marketing strategy as it might seem. If you’re looking to move into pull, inbound marketing methods, but aren’t sure how, let’s chat! A simple one-on-one conversation might answer more questions than you’d think.
And in case you’d like to learn even more about inbound marketing — in a sassy, irreverent, totally hilarious, and not-at-all sarcastic way — be sure to check out our Smartass Guide to Inbound Marketing below:
No one wants to hire a lawyer who they think will lose their case, they want a lawyer who can win. How do you demonstrate your law firm’s commitment to getting results for your clients and your winning record? Client success stories. How do you incorporate those success stories into your digital strategy? Keep reading.
Why Client Success Stories?
Everyone loves a good success story. There are hundreds of books, movies, and TV shows dedicated to showing successful people and their rise to the top. And while your stats for the percentage of cases won and average settlement amounts are compelling and interesting to clients, they don’t match the power of a success story. Humans are wired to respond to narratives, and we want someone, a real person or character, who we can root for and identify with.
How Do You Use the Success Stories?
A great way to capitalize on a big success is to write about it on your blog. Of course, there are some concerns with writing about real clients and lawsuits when it comes to privacy and what you’re allowed to disclose. You’ll want to anonymize the name of your client; one strategy is to just refer to them as “the client,” another is to use their initials. You should also omit the names of other parties involved (doctors, insurance agents, etc. ) and just refer to the companies or the position the party holds.
When writing a client success story, remember that it is a story. As such, use narrative techniques like setting the scene. Don’t start with the lawsuit, start with the inciting incident; in a workers’ compensation case, for example, start with the injury. And even though you’re not revealing the client’s name, make them seem like a relatable person, tell us that times were already tough for J.B. because his wife had lost her job, or that he had four kids under five to provide for. Doing this will allow the reader to become invested in the story. Include lots of detail so that readers can understand the situation (especially important if they’re going through something similar) and then explain how your law firm got involved: how the client found you, what actions you took to help the client, and the ultimate result.
You’ll also want to take into account SEO best practices when writing success stories for your blog. Ensure that you’re using specific keywords that play into your website’s overall keyword strategy and apply to the specific case. These will help people in similar legal circumstances to find the story and your site, which may prompt them to give you a call to discuss their potential case.
Client success stories are one good method for reaching potential clients online. There are a lot of other ways that you can enhance your digital presence and attract potential clients to your site. Interested in learning how? It all starts with a conversation. Schedule a talk with our President, John Heritage to see how digital marketing can work for your firm.