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Aug

20

2014

Grow Your Leads: Gather

Inbound Marketing

Our e-book “Grow Your Leads Like A Garden” shows the 3 steps for growing a marketing platform inside your website, as you would grow plants in a garden. In this blog series, we will go over each step in greater detail. (View step 1)

Step 2: Gather Your Marketing Materials

After you have developed your “soil” for your marketing garden, you can begin collecting the rest of the ingredients.

In gardening, the basic things you’ll need are seeds, sunshine, water, fertilizer and tools. In web marketing, your seeds are content; everything else is distribution.

Content

New, thought provoking content is the key to attracting the right visitors to your website.

Content comes in many different forms. However, a blog, embedded into your website, is the fundamental content “seed”. Every time you create a post in your blog, you are creating a new web page to distribute to the search engines.

Developing content is a complex art. It will attract your visitors, but in order to convert those visitors into leads (and eventually, customers), it’s important that the content strategy utilizes the science of inbound marketing.

Distribution

Without distributing your content, it will remain static on your website. Distribution will allow your content “seeds” to grow and flourish.

SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization, is the sunshine for your garden. Your content will thrive with great SEO.

When people do a search for a particular keyword or phrase, the search engines will give the best material for that search, according to how the content is categorized and how useful it is.

Social Media is the water for your garden. It facilitates communication and trickles down information to your market.

It is a way to connect and share content with your fans, so they can share it with their networks, and you can make more raving fans. It enables you to tap into what people are saying about your brand (product and service), provides a way to participate in conversations, and gives strangers a way to find you.

To be successful, it’s important to be open to new ideas, and use the insights you gleam from social media activity to make better business decisions.

Email is a multiple purpose gardening tool. If utilized properly, can weed, prune, spread, gather, and transport your leads into customers.

This is by far the most underutilized tool, because it’s the hardest to master. Your email contacts should be segmented by simple data points (like industry or location). Those segments are then assigned to automated marketing workflows that can do a number of things, including sending personalized email content. This process keeps your leads warm until they are ready to buy.

If you have tried email marketing in the past and aren’t seeing results, make sure you’re using these tips:

  • Start with acquisition- Analyze the places where customers are engaging with you, then think of ways to enhance that experience with email.
  • Optimize for mobile- There is a good chance they are checking their email from their phone.
  • Update your data- Regular updates to your current data will ensure you are sending targeted communications, not “batch and blast” messages.
  • Personalize- Your subscribers will appreciate it, and it can increase click-through rates by 25-35%.
  • Get permission- If you’re buying lists or not getting permission before sending customers email marketing messages, you will turn off potential leads. Also the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 dictates that it must be easy for subscribers to opt out of receiving emails.
  • Create automated messages- If a buyer has purchased from you, or downloaded an offer, always send them an email thanking them, and give them their offer or receipt of purchase.

SEM is fertilizer for your garden. It increases traffic tremendously for your website.

SEM are the paid ads shown in highly visible locations in search engines and social media sites. Each time a user clicks on your ad, you’re charged, and the user is sent to a page on your website you’ve created for the ad.

The five best-practice areas for SEM:

  • Spread out your SEM spend across multiple channels, and optimize them to their best potential.
  • Set up the SEM accounts to be managed effectively .
  • Use targeted placements to minimize your costs.
  • Increase conversion rates with unique messaging for each campaign.
  • Develop a bidding strategy.

WERK!

You have your materials, your garden is prepped, now it’s time to work.

In our next blog, “Plant Your Marketing Garden” we will discuss the best ways to start and manage your web marketing program.

Ready to discover how Inbound Marketing can impact your business this year?  Let's Talk!

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