Before you can generate sales, you need to generate leads. In today’s industrial business-to-business (B2B) market, that means taking a digital approach, as more and more industrial buyers are choosing to educate themselves and make purchases online, as opposed to talking to sales representatives outright.
With an inbound marketing strategy, you can position yourself to catch that internet traffic and convert faceless users into valuable leads. It’s not enough to simply have a strategy, though — you need to have a good one, and each of its many components must be optimized for your audience.
Here are four tips to boost your content offerings and elevate them to irresistible lead generation machines.
Write Strong Headlines
We write about the importance of titles often, and we do so because 1) their importance cannot be emphasized enough, and 2) we still see substandard titles with regularity. The fact is, people do judge books by their covers — and if your offer title comes off as boring, people aren’t going to continue reading.
A strong title that will catch a reader’s eye on the internet has a few important elements. First, it includes a number. (Lately, multiples of five have been less popular than any other number.) Next, it has some adjectives: Don’t overdo it; one or two strong, appealing descriptors will suffice. Finally, a few words should be included telling readers what to expect.
The title of this blog, for instance, has each of those elements. And here you are reading the post. If that’s not enough evidence for you, a recent HubSpot study showed that headlines and titles following this pattern garner 400% more clicks and over 750% more leads than their more boring counterparts.
Target Every Buying Stage
At a basic level, there are three distinct stages to the purchasing journey of your average procurement professional: early in the process (education), in the middle of the process (evaluation), and ready to buy (conversion). Each stage tends to draw different personnel; design engineers mostly operate in the earlier stages, while purchasing agents are generally ready to buy. Readers require different information at each stage.
People at the beginning of their purchasing journey need different information than people in middle stages or ready to buy. If all of your content is geared toward early-stage users who are looking for broadly educational material, you’re missing out on middle- and end-stage leads.
Make sure your offers are balanced across all buying stages for both audience and need.
Don’t Use Jargon
Avoid confusing, meaningless jargon — especially buzzy sales jargon, words and phrases like “robust,” “mission critical,” and so on. Chances are you know the types of words I’m referring to and are tired of reading them yourself — so why offer them to potential leads?
Buzzwords, jargon, and generalized “gobbledygook” are words and phrases that have been overused to the point that they are now little more than clichés, empty and meaningless. They lend nothing to your content — which is valuable real estate and should be used to maximum effect at all times — and are a turnoff for readers.
Use High-Value Offer Formats
The word “offer” gets thrown around often in inbound marketing circles. Defined very broadly, an offer is any type of content that you make available to prospects. At Thomas, we define it a little more tightly — we consider offers to be longer-form materials, like white papers and eBooks, which are offered for free in exchange for a prospect’s contact information.
That contact information is the crux of inbound marketing, serving as the boundary between “prospects” and “leads.” To maximize your lead generation, then, it follows logically that you should produce offers in high-value formats.
A blog post, defined broadly as an offer, is not particularly effective. A well-written and properly promoted blog post will of course yield some leads, but an eBook or similar guide-type offer will yield a larger number. The success of such an offer, of course, depends on a variety of factors, including the purchasing-journey targeting discussed earlier.
Using any of these four tips, all tried and true methods, will help you make more appealing offers to prospective leads. However, following these tips is only a small part of creating a full-fledged inbound marketing strategy.
If you’re ready to talk about how we can help, contact us today.