Earlier this year, I conducted a survey of around 120 digital marketing consultants to understand the kind of leads they were seeking for their business. Not surprisingly, nearly 70% of the respondents had more than 25% of their leads coming from online search. Beyond these organic leads, Adwords, word of mouth referrals and content marketing were all extremely popular marketing channels to secure inbound leads for business.
Inbound lead generation is often regarded a better alternative to cold calling and cold-emailing. This is because the leads that you receive are from targeted prospects who are looking to hire a marketing agency. On the other hand, cold calling requires experience with sales and is often a numbers’ game.
However, such inbound leads are not as easy to convert as they appear to be. For one, prospects looking to hire a consultant seldom send out feelers to just one company. They often fill out enquiry forms on multiple websites that they come across on Google. This way, it is not only easy to evaluate the various bidders, but thanks to competitive bidding, they can often extract a sweet deal. As a marketing agency, you have to hence compete with other providers for the client, although it is technically an inbound query.
So how do you convert these leads better? Here are a few tips to remember.
Always capture phone numbers
Your customers are spoiled for choice today thanks to the internet. But even today, a number of marketing agencies do not bother displaying a lead generation form on their website and simply wait for the prospect to call them for appointment. Prospects do not call up agencies as much as they used to. The onus is on the agency to call the prospect and fix an appointment. So the first thing to do is display an enquiry form and gathering the prospect’s phone number.
Call back immediately
Think of this from the perspective of the prospect. They have just realized that their website needs work and they are spending a lot of time evaluating various providers to identify good agencies to work with. If you call them back the instant you received an enquiry, you are likely to catch them at the very moment they are seeking an agency. Waiting for it to be business hours or getting back “within 24-48 hours” is not really something that a prospect wants.
Set up appointments to discuss audit reports
One reason why agencies take the cliched ’2-4 working days’ to respond to enquiries is in order to thoroughly study the prospect’s website and provide them with useful inputs while talking to them. While this is noble by intent, it does not help converting clients. Instead, the strategy that works is to call the prospect immediately after receiving an enquiry and asking for an appointment date. This way, you can demonstrate to the lead that you can be trusted and is “always available”. Also, setting up an appointment ensures that the prospect does not go ahead and finalize another agency before they talk to you.
Discuss face-to-face whenever possible
The points mentioned above are not “strategies’ in the sense that they are the bare-minimum that an agency must do in order to be seen at least as qualifiable as the rest of the agencies that the prospect is talking to. For higher conversions, you must however walk the extra mile and see if you can set up a face-to-face meeting. Nothing establishes credibility and trust like a physical meeting does. In doing so, you shall be able to establish a personal rapport with the prospect; something that other agencies may not have. This typically helps with raising your conversion rates. However, do realize that this is only helpful if the expenses in meeting prospects justifies the project costs.
Do you rely on inbound leads for your SEO business? What tips do you have for fellow marketers looking to increase their lead conversion rates?
As a small business today, you simply can’t have enough funds to promote your brand, and this is why you need to find inexpensive, yet efficient methods to get more exposure! One way to achieve that is video marketing, and before you navigate away from this page because you think that video marketing is super expensive and only for the chosen few, bear with me for a minute.
Today the costs of video marketing are much lower than you would think, making video marketing an amazing investment into the future of any company. It used to be that you needed fancy cameras and super complicated software that only a rocket scientist could navigate, or sell your soul to the devil so you could afford to hire a video agency. But not anymore, today all of us are walking around with an HD camera in our pockets, and video software is getting more and more powerful and easier and easier to use.
And besides being easier and cheaper than ever to use video marketing, there are a bunch of real, actual rewards to using video marketing. Here are a few of them:
If you didn’t already know it, YouTube is a huge untapped SEO goldmine. In fact, YouTube is the worlds second largest search engine (and often it’s easier to acquire a first page rank with a video than a blog post) and can be a massive traffic driver to your business.
Being first in the search engines will help you drive traffic, and the same happens on YouTube as well. Through video marketing you get better rankings for your keywords, which means more traffic, more customers and a higher revenue margin in the end. Google (and other search engines) place a lot of importance on videos and see them as supporting signals for the quality of your site’s content.
Thanks to the ability of ranking higher in search engine results, video marketing simply generates a lot of trafficto your website, traffic that allows you to raise brand awareness and grow as a company in the online world. Every marketing tactic that can create leads is good and you shouldn’t ignore the potential gold mine that is video marketing.
Video can be used in a variety of places, for example social media, websites, as Google AdWords (YouTube pre-roll ads), as case studies, tutorials, testimonials, company culture, explainer videos, special offers, digital signage and a host of other use cases. Good video marketing comes from an understanding of which channels and type of video work for your brand and target audience.
Videos can be seen as the driving force when it comes to online content, and with video marketing you can harness the power of video on social media, something that can lead to some very impressive results.
Users love visual content, and having a strong presence on social with video will surely delight your audience. Big brands have used video on social media for a long time with good results, and you should as well.
Videos engage people more than other content, which helps you build a community! That video engages people are a fact, with Diode Digital reporting that video promotion is 600% more effective than print and direct mail combined. As well as that, the report states that before reading any text, 60% of website visitors will watch a video if available.
And these figures are consistent if you look at B2B as well. Compared to text, 59%of senior executives favor video, 75% view videos whilst at work, and 65% visit a website after viewing a related YouTube video. Videos are a wonderful way to generate a name for your business, and at the same time you can get real, valuable customer engagement.
Press and exposure
Videos also help your business when it comes to connecting with the press, since you can engage with the press much faster and at the same time in more of an interactive manner. Well produced video give you credibility and authenticity.
Through video marketing you can, at the same time, obtain the much-needed exposure you need, because publications can link to your videos immediately and share information with their readers a lot faster.
Many people believe that video marketing isn’t for them because it’s so expensive and complicated to get started with. But fact is that it’s a very efficient marketing tactic while at the same time it doesn’t cost that much to begin with.
Unlike other marketing methods that require a lot of investment, video marketing is nothing like that, because even with just a small amount of money you can easily obtain the exposure and help you need at any given time! Today it’s easy to make great video, either by yourself and your smartphone camera, editing in free tools like iMove or using video templates from services such as Shakr.
In conclusion, video marketing is a very efficient, inexpensive and engaging way to promote your content online. With the help of video marketing, any small business can obtain astounding results by successfully promoting their brand in the online world.
Video marketing has started a new era in the promotional world, and with its help, any business can achieve success. At the same time videos always have the capability to become viral, so video marketing is definitely the way to consider if you want a to promote your business online!
Your content is one of the greatest tools you have at your disposal, from a marketing point of view. It gets your name out there, attracts attention, bring in regulars, markets your brand, builds your authority, connects you to other experts… you would be hard pressed to find a way it wouldn’t be helpful. Having a consistent, high quality blog can launch your entire career, and turn a hobby into a money making venture.
But how does it rank with the content of your competitors? Competitor blog audit involves gathering data that allows you to compare your work with someone else’s, or to get a feel for what your target audience is looking for in a successful blog. It is something that every blogger should be taking part in regularly; to make sure they are constantly evolving with the needs of their potential readers.
Step 1 – Determine Your Competition
While you may be able to get some idea of what people are reading by looking at the biggest industry blogs on a topic (such as TechCrunch or Gizmodo, for example), chances are that you are nowhere near their level of visibility. Maybe someday you will be, but for right now you should focusing on websites that are more direct competitors.
Put as few as three on this list, and as much as five. If after you have made this list you feel the need to put some big names on there, one or two could be added. Just keep in mind that these big names will be best case scenarios for the future, as a goal in mind. When comparing their data, it should be as part of a longer term strategy, with the bulk of your information coming from the direct competitors to start out with.
Helpful tool: Use BuzzSumo to find recently active and successful blogs on any topic!
Step 2 – Look At What Content They Provide
Not all blogs are all about text blog posts. Multiple media forms is just a part of an overall, well rounded content strategies on the web today. Look and see what your competitors are doing on a regular basis. Infographics? Podcasts? Videos? Slideshares? Mini clips, like Vines? Comics? Are they specializing in one or two, or have they branches out into every niche possible?
Helpful resource: Here’s an easy guide to understand blogging easier
List all content under each name, and see what sites have what media in common. You should be able to narrow down what is working and what isn’t based on who is trying what.
Step 3 – Figure Out What Is Popular In Each Media Type
It is pretty simple to get an idea of what is bringing in the most benefits for your competitors blogs. SEO ranking is part of this, but we will look at that in another step. Right now, you should be looking at their engagement.
Helpful resource: Give this tool any blog RSS feed and it will pull out recent articles and their social media numbers
Comments, social media shares, and referral traffic present a clear picture of how people are reacting to those topics, the tone of the post, and the media style. Take a collection of links to the most engaging content on those sites, and include it in your spreadsheet.
Step 4 – Start Sorting Out The Most Popular Posts In Each Category
Take the links you are finding, and start sorting them into categories by media type, topic, or style. That will give you a look at what is working most for each site. Note any patterns that begin to emerge, where the sites have data in common. If three of your five competitor blogs are getting a lot of engagement on posts that include infographics, but not a lot on audio podcast downloads, that should tell you something.
Helpful tool: Our Social Media Tool will process lots of links for you and return helpful social media stats and author details:
You can also start to compare these links to your own content, to see what it has in common (or doesn’t) with your own posts. This process is excellent for pointing out things you may have been doing wrong, or just not quite nailing down.
Step 5 – Look At Competitor’s SEO Tactics
Finally, you want to know how people are driving traffic through direct searches. That means taking a look at the keywords they are properly exploiting, and those they aren’t.
You may be able to find some keywords they aren’t targeting, and take advantage of those ones yourself. Or find some keywords that you should be pushing for, as pushing past their SEO rank is an easy way to start getting more traffic.
What To Do With The Data
Essentially, this is just a way to seeing what is working for others, and what isn’t. How you choose to use it is entirely up to you. You could either start to focus on the same topics and media types that they are, or you could go the alternative route and start to focus on the areas that they are lacking. Both have a chance of improving your content strategy, and so boosting the popularity of your site.
Personally, I prefer to use it more loosely. I will see what topics or content get the most mileage, but will try and find a way to incorporate that into my own interests and work. Never forget that while you are auditing your competitors to see how they are improving their own success, you don’t want to copy them. You have your own strengths, your own readers, and your own style. You want to be easy to distinguish from the rest of the crowd.
You should be conducting a competitor audit at least once every few months. It just lets you keep an eye on rival sites, as well as find opportunities to connect with others, or get warning when something on your own site needs to change. As you can see, the positives are endless.
Do you have any tips for conducting competitor blog audits? We would love to hear about them, so let us know in the comments!