27 Jun Turning Traffic into Customers – a Quick Primer
A business can never have too many qualified leads but it can be challenging turning traffic into customers. Surely, truer words have never been spoken. Despite the obvious impact of quality lead generation, most companies struggle in creating a comprehensive marketing strategy. Relying on one source of traffic as the primary driver of leads is risky. An all-inclusive marketing strategy offer greater longevity as it continually generates leads from multiple sources. Here’s a look at how the internet marketing lead generation ecosystem can turn traffic into new customers.
One way to view traffic generation is by its source, which can be grouped into four categories; social sites, display networks, search engines, and offsite content. Although there are numerous social sites, B2B companies often focus on LinkedIn as the main driver of social traffic. Each site has its own particular nuances and an effective strategy needs to account for these differences. Traffic from each sources may be at a different point on their journey to making a purchase so your tactics need to reflect this reality.
Display networks like Google Display Network are another source that can bring additional traffic, but must be approached in a manner appropriate to the medium. People respond differently to display ads than to content shared on a social network. Like social media traffic, leads from display ads at the early stage of their buying journey need to be nurtured and encouraged to move further down the funnel.
Search engines typically require a two-pronged approach to generating traffic; SEO and PPC. As search algorithms have become more sophisticated, so has the business of SEO. If content is king, then user experience is queen. In the current environment, getting meaningful traffic from search engines requires focusing on how users interact with your site. Your strategy and budget needs to address this fact. While PPC traffic can be extremely valuable if you target prospects in the latter stages of their buying journey, the leads are often expensive. Specialized knowledge of platforms like Adwords can help to significantly reduce costs.
Off-site content like slide presentations, videos and guest blog posts can bring a significant number of leads, especially for startups who struggle to gain traffic to their own site. Although presentations and videos can be quickly published on high-traffic sites, creating quality content requires specific technical skills. Guest blogging requires arguably less skill, but you are at the mercy of the sites to which you want to post. They publish according to their editorial calendar.
Your site is the hub of all your online activity. This is where traffic is turned into prospects through the use of content such as blog post, case studies, webinars, demos, and podcasts. This is where you have the greatest control and can operate according to your own agenda. You gain significant advantage over your competition through the use of analytics and optimization. These two facets need to be a core part of your marketing strategy.
Your website is not for creating content, it’s for generating leads through the content you create. Those leads may come through form submission, but often in the B2B environment, it’s via the phone. Either way, your strategy needs to account for the impact traffic will have on your resources. Time is of the essence and prospects require a quick response. Simultaneously, you need to qualify leads and decide which should be passed on to the sales team and which require further nurturing.
Follow-up and Converting Leads
Using CRM, marketing automation and a sales team allows you to follow-up at scale, close high-dollar deals in-person while automating smaller value transactions. Customer contact can be maintained in the post-sale period using the same automation technology.
Creating a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
It’s complicated and there’s no way around it. A robust marketing strategy requires significant resources and experience. Although it may seem daunting, the best way to tackle this challenge is using a piecemeal approach. Your competitive advantage will come from your deep understanding of the particular platforms and technologies you use to generate traffic. For example, your knowledge about PPC will enable you to spend less than the competition while generating equal or better results. Likewise, the ability to convert prospects on your website will enable you to outspend the competition while maintaining profitability.
Developing a complete marketing strategy is an ongoing process. Continually test to find what works and when you do, double down. Develop deep expertise in your chosen methods as it’s this knowledge that will provide you with a competitive advantage that will be difficult to duplicate. Download the infographic here.