3 Online Marketing Strategies to Use in Regulated Organizations
Possessing active social media accounts with services such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is no longer a “nice to have,” but instead is a “must have.” To compete in the digital landscape, you need to shout through the social media megaphone to reach as many potential customers as possible.
Further, your customers now assume that you will have a platform, other than telephone or email, to interact with them and keep them up to date on topics surrounding your products or services. Your customers are leveraging social networks. Shouldn’t you?
Key Concepts and Statistics
- 93% of US adult Internet users are on Facebook.
- Marketers who spent 6 hours a week or more using social media and engaging/sharing content on it saw 52% more leads than those who did not.
- Companies that use Twitter average double the amount of leads per month than those that do not.
- Both B2C & B2B companies are acquiring customers through Facebook.
- More than 1/3 of marketers say Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business.
Social media is an effective way to not only create exposure for your business online, but it is a proven way to significantly engage with prospects and generate leads.
Website Lead Generation
The above points highlight the importance of leveraging different strategies to drive traffic to your website and increase the number of page views of your blog, but how exactly does one go about converting readers to leads?
The answer is: through incentivizing your readers to provide you with their contact details by offering additional value-added content in the form of whitepapers, webinars, videos or free offers. As in traditional forms of marketing, you must make it crystal clear when you tell the reader exactly what he or she will get in exchange for contact details. Also, the offer must be compelling enough to entice the user to click it.
We accomplish this clarity through eye-catching devices called Calls-to-Action. A call-to-action is an area on your blog post or website page- often the footer or sidebar- that in very simple and plain terms describes what the reader will get if they click on the offer.
A good example of a Call-to-Action from Firefox’s website.
The offer itself will normally contain a heading that serves as a hook to entice users and an image or clickable button. The image or button, when clicked, brings the user to a landing page (website page) that provides more details about the offer and gives the reader a chance to submit his or her details in exchange for the offer.
Without adequate calls-to-action, you have no direct path to convert a reader to a lead. Doing so gets you one step closer to landing a new customer.
Key Concepts and Statistics
- According to FOCUS, it is only in the last third of the sales process that prospects actually want to engage with a sales representative.
- Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
Content offers on a website should educate your prospects, and help them get smarter about what they need. By providing them with this advice, they will come to understand how your goods and services could potentially fill that need - they should also map to different stages of your sales process, so that leads generated can be nurtured accordingly.
So you’ve created valuable content which you blog regularly, your website has good rankings in the major search engines, you have a loyal band of followers on various social media channels and you’re building up a nice sized database of leads. What’s next?
Lead Nurturing. Once you generate a sizeable amount of traffic to your website that results in leads, you need to manage and nurture your leads. By this, we mean you should have an automated system in place to follow up with your leads after they’ve received their free whitepaper, webinar, video or offer. This can be accomplished by automatically sending an email to your leads after a specified period of time that encourages them to take the next step: a telephone call with one of your sales representatives.
You should have a series of pre-canned emails that follow-up with the lead according to set intervals. For example, 3 days after your lead received your free offer, a follow-up email is sent which instructs the lead to take the next step. 10 days after that, if no action by the lead has been taken, another email can be sent with another offer and so on. The goal is to get your lead on the phone and to convert him to a paying customer.
If you end up with many leads, you can see how this process may become difficult to manage without an automated system in place to handle email follow-ups for you. Therefore, it can prove efficient to leverage one of the software applications that can handle this for you.
Key Concepts and Statistics
- According to an MIT study done with InsideSales.com, 78% of sales that start with a web inquiry go to the company that responds FIRST!
- According to a DemandGen report, nurtured leads produce – on average – a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.
- According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing are able to generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead.
Lead nurturing campaigns help you further educate and build relationships with non-sales ready leads in a scalable, effective way.
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