You've done every single thing by the book. You're blogging, you have active Facebook and other mainstream social media accounts, you've blown every single penny on PPC ads - aaaand the results are dismal.
Perhaps website visits are decent but they aren't hooking qualified leads and those seemingly qualified leads aren't converting into sales the way they should. The bottom line is you feel completely deflated about this whole website thing.
Your inbound marketing strategy isn't working for you yet - so now what?
Far-Reaching Development of Content is a Number 1 Priority
Content development is key to a successful inbound marketing process. "But wait," you say, "we post content all the time..." That's great, but how well-planned is that content?
Know your buyer personas intimately
You cannot create extensive, connected content that nurtures visitor conversions and leads without knowing your market intimately. What kinds of questions do your target personas ask that go deeper than your Top 10 keywords?
If you've done your homework, you already have a grasp on the bigger questions and pain-points shared by target personas, but nitty-gritty content marketing requires the channeling of your inner-empath. You need to intuit nuanced needs, wants and problems that live between the lines. To learn more about buyer personas, check out our blog post about the benefits of buyer personas for your business.
When content is planned to target those more subtle queries, it strikes a deeper and more engaging core.
Identify content development by funnel position
Sit down with your marketing team and review every single piece of content you've drafted in the last year or so. Analyze where that content is directed in relationship to the buyer cycle or the proverbial sales funnel.
If your inbound marketing strategy is falling flat, we bet your PPC budget you're placing overt emphasis on bottom-funnel and top- funnel content (in that order), with very little connectivity through the middle stretch. This costs you because new site visitors rarely convert to a sale that quickly (kissmetrics says only 4% of visitors are even buyer-ready).
Nurturing leads is integral to inbound marketing plan success. Therefore, a significant portion of content development should be aimed at nurturing that mid-funnel crowd. Long-form content, including eBooks and white paper offers, work well for this.
Blog with an overarching and connected purpose
Once you've clearly identified and attuned yourself with unique buyer personas, and you've crafted content that nurture's leads step-by-step, you'll have a much better idea of what it means to blog with an overarching and connected purpose.
Each of your blogs will be appropriately tailored to what qualified leads need to know. They become part of a bigger, larger story that is populated with a variety of offers, content in both short- and long-formats, social media posts and shares and plenty of well-crafted landing pages.
Pay specific attention to landing page content development
Landing pages are where the bulk of your inbound marketing strategy's action takes place. Keep in mind that the more landing pages you have on your website, the more opportunities leads have to convert. HubSpot found that business websites with 32 to 40 landing pages converted seven times more leads than businesses that have just handful of landing pages.
The rules for creating stellar landing pages aren't all that different from other content writing rules, but it happens at a more micro level. So, you want to create:
- Titles that captivate specific targets
- Easily scannable copy
- Obvious purpose and selling points
- A compelling benefit or solution
- Buttons that are impossible to resist
- Short, sweet forms (hint: you don't need their mailing address just yet)
- A reward or offer that is worth trading personal contact information
In other words, when they look at your page, they aren't wondering who, what, when, where or why, and they are inspired to make a further commitment.
Leverage nurturing PPC ads
The average small/medium-sized business spend $9000 to $10,000 per month on Google AdWords. If you spend anywhere near that, be smart about it.
First, PPC links should connect to pin-point targeted content, so never link them to a homepage or other overly-general content. Ads should be crafted using best practices - linking to target-relevant, compelling landing pages.
Second, don't focus the entirety of the PPC budget on high-pressure ads trying to force the sale. That inbound marketing strategy blasts through money via unqualified clicks. Instead, invest in ads that nurture prospects at the beginning and middle of the funnel. Sales may not come as quickly, but there will be more of them in the long-term.
Inbound marketing strategy's methods do work, so make development of content as far reaching as possible so you meet prospects and leads exactly where they're at. To learn more about developing a content strategy, check out our white paper, "What is a Digital Content Strategy? And Why You Need One!"