Inbound Marketing is going mainstream. More and more companies are convinced about the value it can bring to their organisation, and as a result, you probably start to produce high volumes of content.
Significant amounts of Content Marketing material that lead to high volumes of leads. Maybe the open, click and response on your campaigns are a little bit above average as well. Feels great, doesn’t it? However, if at the end of the day this all does not translate into good quality leads or even better opportunities that convert to revenue, your efforts and investments are wasted.
Having a week-over-week growth on your website and email list is is all great to see, but are also a bunch of Vanity Metrics that might look shiny but it is not going to make a difference to your bottom-line.
For you to maximise your ROI on the content that you’re creating, you need to convert these leads into something tangible. Something that you can assign a dollar value too.
If you’re not at this point yourself yet, don’t worry you’re not alone. According to a 2013 research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 93% of marketers are using content marketing, but only 9% of them thinks it is “very effective”.
So how can you move your leads to the next level and start seeing the benefits to the bottom line of your company? In this post will be looking at different ways why your leads are not converting and what you can do about it.
You’re targeting the wrong people
Is the person you’re talking to the decisions making within the organisation? Are you talking to the right people? The fact that someone from company X leaves their email address on your website doesn’t mean the entire company is interested in using your product. All you know at this point is that someone doing something for some company shows interest in your product or service.
A lead coming in via one of your pieces of content can be a gateway to a bigger opportunity, or it can be the opportunity itself, but you don’t know that from just one sign-up for your newsletter. You need to figure that out; you need to find out who is the decision maker and who the influencers of these decisions makers are within a company. Never assume that the person who signed up is automatically the person who decides whether or not to use you.
You’re not targeting visitors at all points of the sales funnel
Next, to targeting the wrong person in an organisation, you could be targeting the wrong content in general. We talked about this before on using Content Marketing to drive sales through all five stages of the customer Buyers Journey.
At each stage of the buyer’s journey, people are expecting different content. Someone who just became aware of you needs different content than someone who is ready to convert. Make sure you’re targeting the right people towards the correct content, will help them move smoothly along their journey.
Talk, talk never listen
When a lead comes in your funnel and your sales team steps in, a lot of times your inbound lead doesn’t get converted because the content you start sending is too pushy. Your sales team never stops talking instead of listening to the real problems, the real needs of your prospects.
Just like sending the wrong type of content for the stages in the sales funnel, if you’re only talking and never listening, you fail to build trust with your leads. Your content and possible follow-up sales call should be about listening to the prospect, understanding their problem and providing a solution to them through your product and services.
At the end of the day, the solution to their problems matters and not your sales pitch.
You forget Content Marketing leads still need to be sold.
Too many companies think if they run an add, they will get leads. They will then send some good copy email to them and everything the sale will be made. This, however, is not a normal reality.
How do people make a buying decision? When people are in the market to buy a particular product or service they need to be reassured and convinced that this is the right decision to make at the right time. How are you communicating this to your potential leads?
A lead will stay a lead if they don’t hit that “order” button on your website and checks out. Otherwise, they would be a customer. Your lead did their research, and they are going through the journey of potentially becoming a client. At the same time though, chances are they are at the same spot in the funnel at a two or three of your competitors at the same time. It’s like you go on a first date with your lead, just because they showed up does not mean the date will go well. You still need to make a good impression. And how do you do that? With speed, with delivering the correct information that builds trust and at the end making it a no-brainer for them to make that sale.
People seldom go home with someone after a first date, and the same happens on your website. Once they leave their information, according to research done by Dr James Oldroyd, it takes around 8-12 contact attempts over a 10-14 day period to maximise the value of every lead. Never miss that opportunity to close the sales.
You’re not utilising remarketing
One of the easiest ways to stay in contact with people is by using the power of remarking (also known as retargeting).
Think of retargeting like you just had a customer walking into your store. He or she walks around for five minutes, checks out some products and leave without buying something. For the next couple of weeks, he or she finds visuals of your store everywhere as a reminder of you and your business.
Offline this is almost impossible to achieve, but when you do this online, it is super efficient. According to a study done by comScore, it showed that remarketing resulted in a 1046% uplift in branded search queries revealed that remarketing resulted in a 1046% improvement in branded search queries. And where the entire industry of online banners gets an average Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of 0.07%, remarking banners get an average CTR of 0.7%.
Even if your company is not ready yet to start spending lots of money on online banners, because of these strong numbers it makes sense to at least already start collecting this type of data using the Google Adwords pixel and the Facebook tracking pixel. These pixels also help you by gathering information about your visitors for building look-a-like audiences so you can better target your ads in general.
Larry Kim of Adwords even called remarketing ads “such a crazy effective marketing tactic I can’t believe everyone isn’t doing it… If you’re not, you’re not just leaving money on the table – you’re throwing it out the door.”
So time to start implementing them right away
Poor customer experience
The final point we want to address is a possible poor customer experience that you’re delivering.
When you want to convert your leads into a client, they need to feel a connection with your brand. They need to trust you; you need to be there for them whenever they need you. There are no excuses for this when a lead asks for your time; you need to make the time for them otherwise they might be gone forever.
If they took time out of their busy schedule, to ask you a question, it means there are some doubts still before buying. It is your job and that of your entire team to take away that doubt and start delivering more than you promise. The longer you wait, the bigger the chances are that they already moved to a competitor. Responding as quickly as possible will help your sales in three different ways:
- Your lead is mostly likely to be behind his or her computer, when you give them your attention straight away it prevents them from wandering around looking for other solutions to solve their problems.
- Your leads will feel more special after an immediate response, they feel valued, and that helps to build that trustworthy relationship.
- According to research done by the Harvard Business Review showed that with an immediate response you increase your change of setting up a meeting 21 times more.
An Inbound lead isn’t a customer until they converted. It is just the first step into the door, but it doesn’t guarantee any success. You and your organisation still need to put in a lot of effort to get the rewards of getting a new customer in the door. As more and more companies start to rely on getting inbound leads, it is your job to rise above your competitors and make your leads feel extra special and warm welcomed.
Is your company ready to take on the challenge? What efforts are you making to convert those leads into customers? Leave a comment below!