Category Archives: Lead Generation

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How to Build A Website that Generates Leads

How to Build A Website that Generates Leads written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In today’s day and age, every business owner knows they must have an online presence to be competitive. But not everyone understands how to optimize that online presence. Your website is the heart of your business’s online existence, so ensuring that it’s designed to maximize lead generation is critical to securing long-term success for your company

How do you create a website that is easily found, catches a prospect’s eye, and keeps them around long enough to decide to give your product or service a try? Let’s take a deeper look at how to build a website that generates leads.

Make it Easy to Find

The obvious first place to start is in designing a site that is easy to find. You’re not going to generate any leads from a site that is in hiding.

The first step here is making sure that your domain name makes sense for your business. If you’re not able to secure your first choice, what are your alternatives? Pick a domain name is memorable, easy to spell, and is something prospects and clients will be able to easily associate with your company.

From there, you’ll want to keep track of how people are finding your site in order to understand which social channels are driving traffic and who’s talking about you online. You can then use that information to be more strategic about where you place your marketing efforts in order to drive traffic to your site.

And you mustn’t forget about SEO in this discussion. If your site isn’t ranking on the first page of Google results, you’re missing out on catching the eyes of a lot of prospects. Keyword research is a critical part of ensuring that your business is actually being found by people who are in the market for the goods and services you offer.

You’ll also want to undertake an SEO audit of your website to make sure that your current content isn’t hurting your search rankings. Screaming Frog offers services that allow you to check your website’s current SEO status: find broken links and crawl errors, analyze how existing pages rank for SEO terms, check site speed, and more.

Give Visitors a Way to Reach Out

When a visitor comes to your site and they like what they see, you want to be sure that you’re providing them with a clear, easy way to get more information from your business. Getting strategic about where and how you ask for information from prospects can help you to generate even more leads from your existing site.

The first step is to put forms on the pages that get the most traffic. Make sure that these forms ask for as little information as possible and that they auto-populate; bogging prospects down with a million questions is a surefire way to scare them off.

You’ll also want to be sure that the forms you create make sense in the context of the other information on a given page. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, don’t put a form offering a free white paper on website design on a page that’s about print work that you’ve done.

You should also provide users with as many ways to contact you as possible. Make your phone number and email address easy to find, and consider incorporating a chat function into your site’s design. No one wants to have to go on a search mission across all of your website just to find a way to ask you a simple question.

Build a Variety of Landing Pages

Creating highly specialized landing pages is one of the keys to generating more promising leads. In fact, research from HubSpot has shown that business with 30 or more landing pages on their website generate seven times more leads than those websites that only have one to five landing pages.

The best landing pages are those that keep it simple. Depending on where the traffic is coming from, you can create a specific messaging that speaks to that particular subset of your prospect population. Make sure that your succinctly outline the problem your business can solve, and that there’s a clear way for prospects to reach out—a call to action button or a simple form—and leave it at that.

Landing pages that are cluttered with too much information or that do not clearly demonstrate your company’s value proposition can leave prospects feeling confused and returning to their Google search to consider one of your competitors. If you’d like to see some examples from a variety of industries, HubSpot has some great ones here.

Create an Eye-Catching Homepage with a Clear CTA

While each of your specific landing pages should have tailored messaging and calls to action, you’ll also want to be sure that your homepage has a general call to action that serves as a catch-all for anyone who might want to learn more about your business.

This CTA shouldn’t be for a specific product or service; after all, this is the page on your website that the general population is most likely to see first, so you don’t want to single out only one of your numerous offerings on this page. Instead, give visitors the chance to learn more about your business. A CTA that asks prospects to subscribe to your newsletter or try your service for free are great ways to catch the attention of the widest swath of visitors possible.

Once you get to know these prospects better and have a deeper sense of where their specific interests lie, then you can begin to target them with more specific offers through email marketing and audience segmentation.

Use Content to Generate Leads

Having a website that’s filled with rich, valuable information is what will keep prospects on your site and entice them to come back for more. This means that your website needs to go beyond answering the basic question of how your business can solve a prospect’s problem. It must provide in-depth content on the topic that establishes your business as an authoritative voice in your industry, and provides prospects with the assurance that yours is the team for the job.

Creating valuable content and sharing that content regularly on your site is a critical part of the lead generation process. In order to do so, you need to establish a content strategy. I have advocated in the past for a strategy that organizes your content thematically. If you pick a different area of interest each month and offer a deep dive into related topics on your blog, you’re creating value for your prospects and continuing to offer interesting content regularly that will keep them coming back.

Once your blog has become a go-to source of information for your prospects, you can target them with offers for related white papers or your newsletter that’s dedicated to a relevant topic. This helps to move these prospects further down the marketing hourglass, as you begin to establish your brand as one that they know, like, and trust.

A poorly designed website will do nothing to generate leads for your business. When you begin to think strategically about all of the elements of your website—from SEO and keyword search to blog content and calls to action—you can build a website that is fully optimized to generate leads for your business.

The Seven Steps to Marketing Success – How to Build a Marketing System

The Seven Steps to Marketing Success – How to Build a Marketing System written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Building a Marketing System

The key to an effective marketing approach is creating a marketing system. This is Duct Tape Marketing’s point of view and our key differentiator. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the seven steps you must undertake to build a successful marketing system for your business.

1. Focus on Strategy Before Tactics

The first step to creating a successful marketing system is to know who your ideal customer is, and what their core problems are. If you don’t understand the value that your business can bring to each engagement, it’s nearly impossible to select the tactics you should use to reach your audience.

When you understand the ideal customer and create the narrowest definition possible for who that is, you can then connect what you’re offering to solving the customers’ problems. This makes your approach not just about your products and services, but about your promise to solve those problems. If you don’t take the time to understand your ideal customer, there’s no way to build a marketing strategy that will speak to them.

2. Guide the Customer Journey – The Marketing Hourglass

Because of the internet, the way people buy today is largely out of your hands. They have so many places to do research, ask networks, find out about you, and discover the products and services to solve their problems before they ever contact a company.

The customer journey comes into play at Duct Tape Marketing with something called the marketing hourglass. The hourglass has seven stages: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. These stages represent the logical behavior in buying that many of your customers want to take. Your job is to help them move through those stages sequentially.

Your first step is to understand how somebody would come to know about a company like yours. Likely, they’d turn to a search engine or they’d ask a friend. At these early stages, they know they have a problem, but they haven’t yet concluded how they’re going to solve it. Marketing at this stage needs to show that you understand their pain points and that you might have the right solution for them. From there, you need to establish trust in your brand and perhaps even give them a way to try you. When they do finally buy, that experience must be excellent in order to create repeat business. Not only that, but happy customers will also generate referrals.

All marketing efforts must be built around the concept of the marketing hourglass. When you understand how your customers buy and what they’re expecting to achieve at each stage, you’re able to build a marketing plan that exceeds their expectations along the way and creates happy, lifelong customers.

3. Make Content the Voice of Strategy

Content is not just a tactic, it is the voice of strategy. You have made a promise to solve a problem for your customers; you now need to be ready to meet people where they are (search engines, social media, etc.) and generate enough valuable content to dominate in those arenas.

We use something called content hubs to outshine in search and to create content that is valuable to read, find, and share. This content must also meet customers at every stage of their journey, from know and like all the way through to referrals.

4. Create a Total Online Presence

Even if you do the majority of your business offline and in person, in today’s world, you must have a total online presence. The internet is where people go to have an experience with marketing, to understand a company, and to do research. When someone refers you to their friend, the friend turns to a search engine or your website to learn what other people are saying about you and to see if you actually solve the problem that they have.

No matter what kind of business you run, you need to be tackling all the elements of online marketing. This includes social media, search engine optimization, content, website, and email marketing. All of these pieces must work together as an integrated whole.

5. Build a Reliable Flow of Leads

Leads are the lifeblood of getting your business going, and so you have to find a predictable way to generate enough leads to grow your business. There are numerous channels through which to generate leads, and again, integration is key.

Sales, content, advertising, networking, and online and offline events all play a role. There is no one way to generate leads; the key is in finding the three or four channels that you can consistently mine and establishing a process to develop leads through those channels.

6. Make Lead Conversion Your X Factor

Lead conversion must be your multiplier. The key here is to focus on all forms of lead conversion. Obviously someone buying your product or service for the first time is a conversion, but what about signing up for an ebook, registering for an online course, getting a free evaluation, or making an appointment? Those are all conversion activities.

You need to map the experience of each of your leads and clients so you can be sure that they’re having a great experience throughout. This is how you create repeat business and reactive those clients who have been lost. Once you begin tracking customer experiences, you then need to measure these activities. When you understand customers’ behavior, you can create better experiences; even if that only increases each conversion activity by one or two percent, that has a huge impact on the business overall.

7. Live By the Calendar

When you’re developing a system, you have to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be long-term—focusing on three to four important priorities for the quarter is ideal. From there, you can break those priorities down into activities and projects so that you can plan the quarter and not expend energy chasing the next new thing.

You have to have fewer priories, and you have to make marketing a habit. It has to be something that you do daily. You have to build meetings with the appropriate people to make sure that you’re moving those priorities along. Once you establish that habit, you should start documenting your processes. From there, you can decide what tasks you can delegate, either by adding more staff or outsourcing to others.

The reality is that marketing never ends—it’s a cycle. Once you go through the seven steps and build your marketing system, you want to constantly be reviewing, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and changing your approach accordingly.

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The Impact of Understanding Customer Acquisition Costs and Customer Lifetime Value

The Impact of Understanding Customer Acquisition Costs and Customer Lifetime Value written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing, and today’s post is from Dan Kraus – Enjoy!

Have you heard someone talk about customer acquisition cost (CAC) or customer lifetime value (CLV or LTV)? If you’re in the tech business, and especially if you work with SaaS products, you’ve definitely heard of, and can likely calculate, these values. If you’re not in the tech industry, you should learn about these numbers, as they have enormous value for businesses of every type and size.

CAC is how much you spend to acquire a customer. In the simplest of calculations, it’s the amount you spend on sales and marketing divided by the number of customers you get during the period you’re measuring.

CLV is the net value of a customer to the company–how much money a customer spends during their entire relationship with you, minus the costs of products and services they buy.

Used together, these numbers help drive your overall business strategy, including your marketing approach.

Here’s a simple example. I met with a plumbing services business that cleans out drains as their primary business. We talked about their starter offer (how they get new clients in the door), which focused heavily on emergency clog removal through their 24-hour hotline.

They historically charged $149 for an emergency cleanout. Their loaded cost to do this, including technician time, vehicle wear and tear, and materials, was about $70. They wanted to clear a net profit of 20% ($30). Backing the cost and profit allocation out, we had $49 left to cover marketing and non-allocated overhead. After talking, we determined we needed to acquire a job/customer for $35 if the emergency clog removal was all they sold–a very challenging number to achieve in a market as big and competitive as Charlotte.

So we talked about the lifetime value of a customer. Less than 10% of the customers they worked with bought any other services–on the first service call or in the future–and their additional purchases were around $200. After taking out costs, we determined that their average CLV was approximately $42. They quickly understood that they needed new business strategies if they were going to grow.

They needed to increase the lifetime value of a customer. If they did, they could afford to spend more to acquire new customers. This realization drove them back to business planning because they needed to make decisions about customer service, cross-sell and up-sell plans, marketing to previous customers, and even compensation plans for their techs.

No matter what business you’re in, you can figure out your CAC and CLV and use the numbers to support or change your strategies and tactics. If you’re in professional services, use the numbers to understand if you need to focus on getting more repeat business or acquiring new customers. If you sell products in a brick-and-mortar store, the numbers will help you plan your promotional budget and adjust your product mix. If you’re a local services business–plumbing, car repair, landscaping, etc.–you can use your CAC and CLV values to determine how much you should spend on marketing to new customers versus providing better service to current clients.

John makes the point in this blog post that CLV is unlimited if you have delighted customers because they refer you, and those referrals have no CAC. If those referrals then refer you again, you end up in a virtuous cycle. I couldn’t agree more, but you have to start that cycle somewhere, and that somewhere is understanding where you are now so you can be smarter about where you invest going forward.

So, break out the spreadsheet and get some help from your bookkeeper, accountant, or financial advisor to figure out a basic cost of customer acquisition and customer lifetime value.

Those numbers will help you answer critical questions like:

  • How much should I budget for marketing based on the goals I have for gaining new customers this period?
  • How much should I be investing in customer delight, customer experience, and customer support?
  • Where should I focus my sales team and how should I structure their compensation plans for the results I want?
  • Which products or services should I concentrate on to get the customers I want to work with, and who are also profitable for our company?

Want to learn more? Try these other resources:

The Cost of Customer Acquisition: How Much Can You Spend to Earn New Business?

The Ultimate Guide to Calculating, Understanding, and Improving CAC in 2018

How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value

Dan Kraus

Dan Kraus is the founder and president of Leading Results, a marketing consulting agency based in Concord, North Carolina. Through his firm, Kraus helps business owners develop a marketing strategy that empowers them to be self-sufficient and ensures their long-term success. Find him on TwitterLinkedIn, or on his blog.

Why You Need Inbound For Outbound Marketing and Vice Versa

Why You Need Inbound For Outbound Marketing and Vice Versa written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In recent years, outbound marketing has gotten a bad rap. It’s seen as expensive, time consuming, and it feels like a relic of the past. And the numbers bear this out: in 2017, HubSpot’s State of Inbound report found that 71 percent of businesses worldwide are focused primarily on inbound marketing.

But I’d argue that there is real value in outbound marketing, when it’s done correctly. In fact, you can develop a sort of symbiotic relationship between inbound and outbound marketing tactics in order to create an even stronger overall marketing strategy.

Here, we’ll look at why you need inbound for outbound marketing (and vice versa) and what you can do to strengthen your approach in both arenas.

Tailor Your Inbound Approach Based on Outbound Success

Nowadays, people are trained to tune out most traditional outbound tactics. Television commercials are muted or skipped over entirely, direct mailers are tossed in the trash without a second glance, and radio stations are switched as soon as ads begin playing.

So what information can you glean from an outbound campaign that is successful? If you begin to generate responses to an outbound campaign, you’ll know that you’re onto something. Your messaging was powerful enough to cut through the noise and grab the attention of someone that wasn’t actively seeking out the good or service you offer. And that’s valuable information.

You can then take that knowledge and use it to strengthen your inbound approach. Revamp your call to action on your website to reflect the messaging in your outbound campaign. Create blog posts that are related to the topic you presented in the ads. Adopt a similar tone in your social media posts. Understanding what it was that grabbed a stranger’s attention can allow you to bolster your relationship with those who already interact with your brand or who happen upon it via inbound channels.

Use Outbound to Identify the Strongest Prospects

Tracking responses to outbound marketing can also allow you to gauge who your most promising prospects are. If someone goes out of their way to react to your outbound efforts, it’s likely that they’re very enthusiastic about your business. This is a prospect with a high likelihood of conversion, and if you then open up a dialogue by presenting them with the appropriate inbound tactics, you have a good chance of winning them over.

These are the people you should be reaching out to with targeted offers and discounts. Make sure they’re encountering your paid ads on social media so that your business remains top of mind. Send them a free white paper and ask them to sign up for your bi-weekly newsletter that’s filled with valuable content. You’ll feel confident that you’re getting the greatest return on your inbound investment because you’re going after your most highly engaged prospects.

Catch Customers at Any Stage of the Marketing Hourglass

Outbound and inbound marketing come into play at different stages of the marketing hourglass. Typically, outbound strategies are deployed at the top of the hourglass, where new customers are just getting to know and like your brand. Inbound strategies become useful a bit further down. Because inbound allows you to develop a two-way conversation with prospects, these techniques can be valuable in the trust and try phases of the hourglass. This is where prospects will want to gain a deeper understanding of your brand, and perhaps hear from you or from your clients about what it is that you excel at, and why a prospect should give you a shot.

However, the customer journey is never a straight line, so you have to be prepared for the fact that existing customers will sometimes encounter your outbound marketing efforts and brand new prospects who aren’t familiar with your brand may discover your inbound approach before they ever see one of your ads. This means that you need to be thinking about how to create both inbound and outbound campaigns that are appealing to prospects and clients no matter where they are on their journey.

Your outbound approach should not only be a catchy introduction to your brand, it should also have a voice that aligns with the rest of your marketing, so that your existing customers feel that what they already understand to be true about your brand is just being further confirmed by any outbound efforts they come in contact with. Similarly, your inbound marketing strategy should be accessible enough that a stranger can happen upon any tweet, Instagram post, or paid search item and be able to easily glean what your business does, and what you might be able to offer to them.

Use Inbound and Outbound to Tell Your Story

If you’re only focused on either inbound or outbound marketing, you’re missing out on the opportunity to provide a holistic picture of what your business does, what your value proposition is, and how you stand out from the competition.

Outbound marketing only allows you to present a small sliver of the solutions you can provide to prospective clients. A good outbound campaign can tell a story in a direct mailer or a commercial, but outbound media are by nature briefyou’re limited to a 30 television commercial, one page mailer, or 15 second radio spotso prospects can’t get the full picture. And you can bet that in today’s digital world, even if you’ve gotten their attention through outbound tactics, they’ll be doing some digging on your business before converting.

That’s why pairing an outbound with an inbound approach is crucial. Your inbound marketing efforts, like social media and curated content on blogs or in white papers, allows you to tell prospects a broader story about who you are and what you do. Your social media accounts should have a clear point of view and should demonstrate your guiding vision and principles for your business. Your content should prove your deep industry knowledge and confirm your status as a thought leader.

Prospects want to trust you, and in order to trust you, they have to feel like they know you. The outbound will put you on their radar screen, but the inbound will open up a dialogue between you and the prospect, helping to prove to them that you’re the best company for the job.

A marketing strategy that focuses only on inbound is missing out on valuable opportunities. Pairing inbound and outbound marketing strategies allows you to create the fullest picture of your brand for prospects and clients alike, and gives you the greatest shot at winning new business and maintaining the trust and loyalty of existing customers.

How to Use Advertising as a Lead Generation Tool

How to Use Advertising as a Lead Generation Tool written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing is a broad term that encompasses a number of channels and approaches. Advertising is just one of them, and in our increasingly digital age, it can sometimes feel like a tactic of the past. However, when advertising is used properly, it can become an effective lead generation tool.

Below we’ll take a look at both online and offline advertising and explore the best ways to harness each approach to generate leads.

Online Ads

Online ads are a highly effective way to generate leads because you’re able to collect and access so much information about your customers when they interact with you online. And the major players in the online game are making it easier than ever for you to create online ads that are highly targeted.

Facebook and Google are the two major players in the space, and they offer small business owners all sorts of opportunities to better understand their current users, find new potential clients, and generate leads and conversions. They do this by providing highly-granular analytics on all of their users and by allowing you the opportunity to customize your advertising approach and target market.

There are a few critical steps any business owner should take before starting an online marketing campaign to ensure they’re going to get the most out of their approach.

Know Who Your Customers Are

You can’t possibly know who you should be targeting without knowing the demographics of your current client base. How old are they? Where are they located? What’s their income level? This is the kind of demographic information you should be collecting on your current clients. You can also get information on prospects with tools like Facebook Pixel, which allows you to track visitors’ behavior on your own website so that you can send them targeted ads on Facebook later.

Go After Your Audience

Once you understand more about the people who already use your service or have expressed interest in your website, you’ll want to go after those specific people with online ads. Facebook and Google also make it easy to target people who might not have encountered your business yet, but are similar to those who already interact with your business. Facebook’s lookalike audiences allow you to present your ads to those who have attributes that are similar to people already on your mailing list. And Google Ads allows you to advertise by location, while tools like Google Local Service Ads put you in front of potential leads right as they’re looking for the service you offer.

Track Your Results

Google and Facebook both offer robust analytics on how many people are seeing your ads, whether they’re then visiting your website, and if that is resulting in a conversion. You should be keeping regular tabs on these analytics so that you can easily catch and solve an issue, or jump on a successful approach and amplify that across other channels.

Testing Makes Perfect

Based on what you’re seeing from the analytics, you can go in and make strategic changes to your approach. A/B testing is regularly used in website design, but the principles can be applied to advertising as well. If a campaign isn’t succeeding, make a change. This might be a change to the content, the delivery method, or the demographics of those you’re targeting, but whatever changes you implement, make them one at a time so you’re able to see how each change moves the needle on the campaign. If you hit on a successful tactic that results in leads, apply that across your other channels. The beauty of online advertising is that if something isn’t working, it’s possible to change it quickly, easily, and without great cost.

Offline Ads

While there is great value in creating effective online advertising campaigns, a robust advertising approach will also incorporate offline ads. And while you may not have the specific analytics to see precisely how your offline ads are performing, there’s still immense value in investing in print, television, radio, and direct mail.

With offline advertising, there’s usually more upfront cost involved, and once a print ad or radio spot is out there, you can’t make modifications. All of this means that there’s value in taking more time up front to be strategic about your approach–you really can’t skip the research step here.

However, many of the same basic principles from online advertising should also be put into use offline.

Identify Your Medium

Different types of customers will interact with different kinds of offline media. That same demographic information you needed to establish a successful online campaign can help you to determine the type of offline campaign that will afford you the greatest reach with the types of customers you hope to find. If you run an auto repair shop, it might make more sense for you to create radio spots, as people tend to listen to the radio while they’re driving. If your target customers are millennial men, consider running your ad during the college football game on your local sports network. Understanding your customers allows you to hone in on a broader audience that will likely have a similar interest in your product or service.

Think Outside the Box

It’s more difficult now to approach offline advertising because a lot of people are conditioned to ignore it or have the means to avoid it entirely (DVRs and streaming services, for example, allow you to skip commercials entirely). This means you’ll need to get creative with your approach. Forget the 30 second radio spot; have you ever thought about texting as advertising? There are lots of possibilities out there, if you’re willing to think beyond the traditional. Hiring an advertising professional is a worthwhile investment because they understand the landscape, the latest trends, and can create a campaign that really stands out.

Create Your Own Analytics

It is possible to get a broad sense of how your offline advertising is being received. While it’s not the same as the incredible detail you can get from online analytics, you can get useful information about how your campaigns are playing offline. If you’re launching a new print or direct mail campaign and include an offer, provide a unique code that allows you to track how new leads who approach you came across your business. There’s also value in creating a brief survey for those who sign up for more information on your website. Simply asking “how did you find out about us?” and listing your individual offline advertising efforts below can provide you with insight into where leads are coming from. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to focus your efforts more on the medium that’s working best, and over time can gain insight into the campaigns and approaches that prove most fruitful.

No matter what advertising approach you choose to take, understanding the results of your advertising efforts is what’s going to lead you to create more effective campaigns in the future that will generate more and more leads. Taking the time to know your audience up front and gather more information as the campaign unfolds will empower you to make the most out of your advertising approach.

Local SEO for Lead Generation

Local SEO for Lead Generation written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Justin Sturges
Podcast Transcript

Justin Sturges

SEO tools and strategies are constantly changing. All the while, it’s never been more important that you get found online when people go out there searching – particularly if you’re a local business.

Your website is the foundation for how you get ranked and found locally. It’s important to have a well put together website with unique content that is tailored specifically to the search results you want to show up in.

It is very difficult to rank for your most desired keyword phrases without great content.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Justin Sturges. He is a local SEO, website building & lead generation expert, Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant, and co-author of the award-winning book The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Lead Generation. We discuss SEO, website design and the keys to getting your business to rank.

Being immersed daily in SEO, Sturges knows what works (and doesn’t work) to help small businesses rank locally.

Questions I ask Justin:

  • What are common SEO mistakes that businesses often make?
  • What role do reviews play in your ranking factor?
  • What are some good resources for local SEO?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • The driving factors in organic placement
  • Key aggregators often missed in citations
  • How using the right extensions can increase your click-throughs

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Justin Sturges:

Interested in joining Justin as a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant? Find out more about the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network and attend a Discovery Call here.

Perfecting Your Lead Generation Efforts: A Guide for Service Professionals

Perfecting Your Lead Generation Efforts: A Guide for Service Professionals written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

If you own a professional services business, odds are you’re trying to get leads in the door. What I often see is that these types of businesses develop automated lead funnels, because that’s what they’re told to do, and spend a lot of time vetting these leads, but let’s face it, they probably don’t have a ton of time to do that!

Instead of focusing on building an endless supply of leads, you should only be focusing on the amounts you actually need as well as how to balance bringing new customers in, and keeping new customers around. For example, if you’re a CPA, wouldn’t it be easier to focus on the clients you already have year after year as opposed to constantly be looking for new ones?

Here’s how I believe you should approach lead generation for your business.

Define your ideal client

Hopefully, you have a pretty good idea of who makes an ideal client for your business, but if not, you should figure that out ASAP.  To get started, it’s easiest to target the group you can help the most, the fastest because you’ll probably be able to demonstrate how you can get quick results and build raving fans.

Develop a client generation system

I have worked with a lot of service professionals, and from what I’ve seen, most of them want to work with roughly ten of the right clients at any given time. That’s it.

The typical service professional acquires new clients by attracting a lead that wants to meet and learn about how they might help them. Let’s say you have four clients now and you’d like to get six more. If one in four meetings turns into a new client (this is very low for our approach but will use this for easy math), it will take 24 meetings to get those additional clients you’re looking for.

You need to ask yourself what it takes to schedule consistent appointments and how you can increase the conversion rate of these appointments. If you can understand this and build a system around it, you’ll remove a lot of headaches that many service professionals experience in their lead generation efforts.

Set a revenue goal

Before you put any meetings on the calendar, you need to determine your annual revenue goal. This will give you insight into how many clients (and in turn, meetings and proposals) you need to obtain in order to reach that goal.

You simply need to factor how many appointments it will take to land one new client, and move forward from there.

Create a workhorse piece of content and focus on Facebook audiences

Content development may not necessarily be in your professional wheelhouse, but it’s essential for your business. You must create a valuable piece of content that will resonate with your target audience. Many find blogging to be the easiest way to format this content.

To ensure this one piece of content is the workhorse you need for your system, spend time researching the questions and problems your audience experiences the most.

Do your research. Interview past clients, conduct keyword research, and/or look at online forums to better understand what your audience experiences and common questions they have. The information found in your research may provide invaluable information as you search for hot topics for your blog post.

Once you know who you want to target, develop a list of people that you’d like to reach. If the list is properly targeted, it doesn’t have to be very large.

Use this list to build a custom Facebook audience and further create an expanded lookalike audience to increase the number of potential targeted prospects.

Add a content upgrade

In order for your promotion to work, add a “content upgrade” to the blog post you created. This is an offer for related content made inside the blog post that entices visitors to exchange an email address to receive the upgraded version of the content as well. Your content upgrade can be in the form of a checklist, ebook, or even a video. The email should then be used for follow-ups and lead nurturing efforts.

Advertise the blog post

Once your audience is in place, create Facebook ads driving people to your piece of content. To make things easier, you can even promote your blog post in a status update and “boost” your post to the custom or lookalike audience you created to get their eyes on it. The post will then show up as a sponsored post in the timelines of those you’ve targeted.

Offer value

Once a person responds to your content upgrade offer, reach out to them and offer a valuable service for no charge as a way to demonstrate how great it is to work with you and the type of service they can expect.

Set appointments

Make sure that your prospect is qualified to move forward before you propose any services to them. Remember, you want to enjoy working with them too. Even if they’re an ideal client on paper, they may not be the best match based on personality which can make it a difficult working relationship for both of you.

Provided all seems good to go, be sure to understand your lead’s objectives, goals, and potential challenges.

Then, make the appointment.

Deliver

Once the lead is qualified, over deliver on what you promised as you set the appointment. Identify the ways you can truly help them and really show them the value of working with you.

Master the close

The key here is to help your lead tell you in their words what’s wrong and what not fixing it costs them. Listen to them before you mention anything related to your services.

Once you’ve heard their story, at that point you can identify ways to help them, but just make sure they know they have been heard. Show them how they can get immediate and long-lasting results by hiring you.

A customer generating system doesn’t have to be that complex, but it does have to be based on your overall growth needs and goals, so make sure you know what those are from the beginning.

The Role of Content Has Changed – Here’s How You Can Adapt

The Role of Content Has Changed – Here’s How You Can Adapt written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

It wasn’t too long ago that you could follow the formula below to attract and generate leads for your business:

  • Develop a content upgrade, like an ebook
  • Gate it behind a form on a landing page
  • Drive people to your landing pages through blog posts, social media, advertising, and email campaigns
  • People see the offer on the landing page, are interested, and give their contact information in exchange for the content
  • Voila, you have a new lead that you can nurture to a sale

While content upgrades still work well as a lead capture tool, you need to now get creative with how to get eyes on it. The market is so saturated these days and so many businesses are now following this approach that it can be easy to get lost in all the noise.

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and began testing an approach that I had seen to start to emerge that I want to share with you. While my results have been significant, it may take time for business who are just getting started to see the same results, but in my opinion, it’ll be well worth it in the long run.

The key is to continue to position yourself as the expert in your field, and the best way to do this is to create and aggregate content into one place to show not only your visitors that you know what you’re talking about, but search engines as well.

Have I lost you? I hope not! To understand what I’m talking about, take a look at the details below.

Creating content – An evolved approach

As content continues to grow in importance for your business, it now must take on an elevated position in your strategy and planning.

The use of high-quality, education-based content has become a necessary ingredient in creating awareness, building trust, converting leads, serving customers and generating referrals.

Marketers these days have a lot in common with the traditional role of publishers. The good news is that the days of creating an infinite amount of thin content are over. You can create content less frequently, provided you structure it correctly and include a ton of value within it.

Today we have evolved into the “less is more” approach. Big content projects, even if there are only three per year, is better than writing a blog post every week, just because you think you should.

I’m currently experiencing great results with something that I’m calling Hub Pages. This is something many have already started doing and I understand why.

Content planning has really risen to the strategic level. It’s no longer an SEO tactic or simply content marketing. While we should certainly use it for those things, we must plan it at a foundational level.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, content really is now air for your business as it impacts every channel, which elevates how we have to think about it.

Content becomes an asset over time

Content is no longer created for today or tomorrow. It is created as an asset that can be used throughout every stage of the Marketing Hourglass. Because of this, you need to think about the time and energy you need to invest to get it right.

Hub themes

local marketing

I’ve talked about the Total Content System for years and it’s really driven by what I’m starting to call “hub themes.” These themes can be monthly, quarterly, or whichever timeframe you think is best.

Let’s say the theme for the month is “local marketing.” You’d want to drive all the attention you have to this idea of local marketing, so one of the main tabs on your website may become “The Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing.

Instead of it just being a page that talks about local marketing services, it becomes a foundational page that has a tremendous amount of value about what local marketing is, with tons of resources and links that people can click through to for further information (it may even end up looking like a course).

All of the content you have pointing to it are like the sub-chapters of the hub theme. I not only have all of these internal pages driving back to this one hub page, I also include links to external, high-quality content on the page that can also be linked back to the hub page.

Hub pages are also a great way to organize existing content and get more use out of it. Driving it to, and including in, these hub pages is a great way to give old content new life.

With so many pages driving to one another, you’ll start to gain a lot of trust and authority from Google, which will eventually help to increase your rank in search engine results pages over time.

The role of content upgrades

Content upgrades are still the new free. When you put these hub pages together, still include content upgrades, like an ebook or webinar signup, on these pages. People will now see these content upgrades because you are driving more traffic to these pages and they are easier to rank for instead of individual posts.

So, what do you think about this approach? Have you started to implement these types of efforts in your business?

If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Building a Small Business Marketing Consulting Practice…see what I did there?

Why Local SEO is an Important Lead Generation Channel

Why Local SEO is an Important Lead Generation Channel written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Justin Sturges
Podcast Transcript

Justin Sturges

SEO tools and strategies are constantly changing. All the while, it’s never been more important that you get found online when people go out there searching – particularly if you’re a local business.

Your website is the foundation for how you get ranked and found locally. It’s important to have a well put together website with unique content that is tailored specifically to the search results you want to show up in.

It is very difficult to rank for your most desired keyword phrases without great content.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Justin Sturges. He is a local SEO, website building & lead generation expert, Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant, and co-author of the award-winning book The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Lead Generation. We discuss SEO, website design and the keys to getting your business to rank.

Being immersed daily in SEO, Sturges knows what works (and doesn’t work) to help small businesses rank locally.

Questions I ask Justin:

  • What are common SEO mistakes that businesses often make?
  • What role do reviews play in your ranking factor?
  • What are some good resources for local SEO?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • The driving factors in organic placement
  • Key aggregators often missed in citations
  • How using the right extensions can increase your click-throughs

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Justin Sturges:

Interested in joining Justin as a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant? Find out more about the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network and attend a Discovery Call here.

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5 Tips to Get More Accurate Data and Improve Your Lead Generation

5 Tips to Get More Accurate Data and Improve Your Lead Generation written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

If you can measure it, you can improve itPeter Drucker

Tracking your lead generation campaigns allows you to get more info about the effectiveness of your campaigns. When you know which campaign performs well, you can improve your lead generation tactics and get more qualified leads.

In this post, I will show you five tips you can use to get more accurate data and improve your lead generation.

Tip 1:  Create UTM tags for referrals       

As a marketer, it is important to measure the success of your campaigns.  One tool you can use for this is the UTM tags.

UTM (Urchin Traffic Monitors) are coded short text snippets added to the end of URLs. It helps you to track the success of your campaign such as:

  • Social media channels traffic to your website
  • Guest posting referral traffic
  • Clicks on the content on your blog, etc.

You can also use it to track the incoming traffic to a web page.

Below is a sample UTM code from a Hubspot article:

How to create a UTM tag

You can create a UTM tag using Google’s free URL Builder as shown below:

 

The form is easy to fill.  You can start by:

  1. Pasting your campaign landing page URL inside the “website URL” box.
  2. Type in your “campaign source” e.g. Blogs, Newsletters, Google, Twitter, etc.
  3. Type in the “campaign medium” i.e. the content or image you want to use. This can be an email, a banner, etc.
  4. Type in your “campaign name”. This can be your product or service name, promo code or slogan.
  5. Type in your “campaign term”. This is where you can type in your paid keywords
  6. Type in “campaign content”. You can use this feature for A/B testing and content targeted ads. This feature is optional.

 

Once you finished filling in the information above, submit it. Google will generate a campaign URL for you that you can use to track your website visitors.

Tip 2: Create UTM tags for paid traffic

As a marketer, you may want to track the traffic coming from your ads. This will give you the data you need to evaluate if the campaign is profitable or not.

You can do this by creating UTM tags for paid traffic, such as Google AdWords, Facebook ads, YouTube, Bing ad, LinkedIn Ad etc.

There are two tools you can use to achieve this task.  They are Google analytics and UTM tags.

For example, if you created an ad on Facebook and wanted to track incoming traffic i.e. where your visitors are coming from, you will need to add a UTM tag to your destination URL.  This will enable Google Analytics to collect data for you and give you a report on the people visiting your website.

The first thing you will need to do is to create a UTM Tag.  Follow the steps highlighted in tip 1 above to create it.

When you have finished filling in the information, click submit to generate the UTM tag. Copy the UTM tag and paste it in Facebook as the destination link you want to promote.

You can view your campaigns in Google Analytics to know how it is performing.

To do this, log into your Google Analytics, under your website profile, click on AcquisitioncampaignsAll campaigns.  There you will see an overview of your campaign as tagged using the UTM tags.

You can click on the campaign name to see the details as tagged using the UTM tags.

Tip 3: Set Google Analytics goals

A goal, according to Google is defined as:

In other words, goals help you to measure how and when users take a specific action you want them to accomplish.

How to set up your goal in Google Analytics

Setting up your goals in Google Analytics is simple. For instance, you can track when a visitor signs up for your free ebook on your website. To do this, you need to set up a goal for it in your analytics by following the steps below:

  1. Click on the “admin” tab
  2. Click “goals” under the third column (All website data)
  3. In the goal section, click on “+new goal” as seen below:
  4. The image below shows different kinds of templates you can set for goals. The goal that matches what we want to do is the acquisition goal i.e. a goal to track successful sign-ups. So, click on “create account” under the Acquisition tab.
  5. This will take you to a page where you can describe your goal as shown below:

The goal description here will be “e-book download“, click “continue”.

  1. The next step is to enter in your website URL, where your visitors will land after completing the action i.e. signing up for the free ebook.
  2. When you are done, click on “save”. You will see the information arranged as shown below:

Your goal is now active and it will start recording the data as visitors download your free e-book.  This data will help you to track all visitors that complete the goal.

You can set up more goals. In fact, the more goals you set, the more data you will get to help you improve your lead generation strategies.

Tip 4: Use the Facebook Pixel

Facebook pixel is a tool you can use to add a code to your website. It helps you to track your website visitors so you can advertise your product or service to them at a later date. This process is referred to as retargeting.

A Facebook pixel also help you to track the behavior of your previous website visitors when they come back to visit your website.  This will enable you to know more about the people that are visiting your website.  You can use this data to produce products or better content that your audience loves.

You can also use the data to target your Facebook ads to the right audience that will convert. The pixel will also help you to track the people who got to a specific page on your website but did not take the required action.

A Facebook pixel can help you to generate leads and also track your campaign results.

There are two types of Facebook pixels – the custom audience pixel for retargeting website visitors and conversion pixel for tracking website conversions.

How to create a Facebook pixel

To create a Facebook pixel, click on “the ads manager”.  Under the ads manager menu click on “pixel” found under the “asset column” as shown below:

Click on “create a pixel” and name your pixel as shown below.

Click “create” and the code for your pixel will pop up.

There is a plug-and-play tool you can use to create a custom audience for your campaign.  It is called Pixel enhancer.

It will help you to create custom audiences that you can target with your ads.

 

Tip 5.  Use Offline Conversions

A great challenge for most digital marketers is how to track and measure offline conversions resulting from an online marketing campaign.

How do you know that a marketing campaign or online ad has led to physical sale/ purchase in the store? This is the essence of tracking offline conversions from an online campaign.

It serves as a tangible proof to marketers that their marketing campaigns are performing well online and offline.

Recent development and technology advancement has made it possible to track offline conversions from digital campaign particularly from Facebook and Google AdWords.

With a proper setup, marketers can track their store visits, offline purchases and phone calls to merchants from a consumer. This will help you to generate more sales and calculate your ROI.

How to set up an Offline conversion on Facebook

Connect your Facebook to your CRM. For example, if a user signs up for your free e-book or resources, you can add him to your customer’s list on your CRM.  If the user views your ads, Facebook will match the data and track the conversion.

When you do it this way, Facebook will help you to optimize your campaigns. It will be easy to understand your advertising game. You will know how many sales you get from your ads online and it will be easy to know the ROI of other channels.

For example, if your ads generated 20 sales running campaigns on Facebook and Adwords. If Facebook data reveals that you got 15 sales from Facebook, you know automatically that the remaining 5 sales are from Google AdWords.

Conclusion:

You need data to succeed in lead generation. To generate data on your website visitors, you can create UTM tags for referrals and paid traffic, set Google Analytics goals, use the Facebook pixel and offline conversions.  The data you collect from these sources will help you to be effective in creating marketing campaigns that will perform well.  This will also help you to get more qualified leads.

What methods are you using to collect data from your website visitors?


Stefan DesAbout the Author

CEO and co-founder at LeadsBridge. A suite of automation tools for Facebook Advertisers. Social Advertising and Marketing Automation enthusiast.
Download my Facebook Ads Insider’s Hacks here.

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