If your business is focused on generating more leads, Inbound marketing is a great way to do that. Done correctly, it can produce a steady and predictable stream of new qualified leads. However, publishing useful content through your site and optimizing it through search engines to drive traffic, takes time. Think about this as the organic side of inbound marketing.
Here’s the thing though, if you need to generate a certain number of leads every month to feed sales pipeline, and your traffic right now is too low to get that done, you need to supplement your organic inbound marketing efforts with inbound marketing stimulants. Over time, these stimulants will become less and less important as your organic website traffic grows.
These inbound marketing stimulants will require some extra marketing budget but all three of these stimulants are measurable and if they are generating a and immediate bump in website traffic and a positive ROI, the extra spend is easily justified.
These are 3 inbound marketing stimulants to drive more website traffic today!
1) Targeted PPC Ads
Some may argue that PPC (pay-per-click) ads are not an inbound marketing tactic but that simply is not true if you use PPC as an extension of your inbound marketing efforts.
There two PPC opportunities that you should consider, Adwords and Social PPC. Plan on spending at least a $1,000 per month on this type of inbound marketing stimulant. However, this budget number may be high or low depending on the keywords you focus, how competitively contested those keywords are, how good your keyword ads are and how aggressive your goals are.
Here are some tips on optimizing your PPC ads as an extension of your inbound marketing efforts:
- Start with your inbound marketing personas, choose a set of relevant keywords that cover off different phases of the buying cycle
- Take the time to research these keywords for cost and traffic potential. Where feasible, focus on long tail keywords for lower cost and improved lead qualification
- Focus ads relevant content and do not drive them to your home page, drive them to a specific page within your site or a dedicated landing page that specifically relates to the keyword. If you are not driving them to a lead gen landing page, be sure to have a compelling lead gen CTA on the page they land on, to convert them into a lead.
- Be sure to focus ads on different stages of the buying journey. If all you focus on is product related, you’ll only attract prospects in the decision stage of the buying journey, missing approximately 80% of lead prospects.
- Also, be sure to factor in negative keywords into your PPC campaign to attract better qualified traffic.
2) Persona Channels
As part of your inbound marketing playbook, you have developed a set of targeted personas. Now it’s time to leverage all of that hard work by identifying online avenues connected to one or more of your targeted personas. More specifically, what blogs do they read, what associations do they belong to, what e-newsletters do they receive, which linked-in groups are they active in?
You have an opportunity through each of these contextual channels share valuable/ educational content. Best approach is to work with whoever is managing each of these channels to figure out the best way to share your valuable content so that their audience benefits from it. They should be happy to work with you because you are offering more value to the avenue and that helps them deliver on their goal of increased subscription and participation.
One of the best ways to reach your target audience through these channels is through valuable content offers (i.e. webinar) through email, special online posts from moderator and/ or a website CTA.
3) Content Franchising
As to amass more and more content inventory, there is a real opportunity to deepen your audience reach by working with other non-competing publishers, to promote your content. Where should your content be, beyond your website, to reach your targeted audience? Many publishers are starving for great content and would welcome having your contextually relevant content show up through their publication.
For example, many trade journals (print and online) lack the content depth they need because of a shortage in editorial resources, relying too heavily on repurposing news RSS feeds. Meanwhile their advertisers want better quality opportunities to drive more business using these targeted publishers.
What does this mean for you?
You have a real opportunity to develop a unique publishing program in partnership with contextual publishing channels like trade journals, focused blogs, directories, video channel and discussion boards. This type of partnership can take many forms and even go as far as sponsoring/ publishing through a dedicated and themed channel. If it’s a blog, you could offer to be a guest blogger. If the publisher has an e-newsletter, you could publish through a themed sub-section of it.
There is huge opportunity through this 3rd avenue to drive significantly more traffic to your site and grow your credibility and presence with the process, cost effectively. Forbes is an excellent example of a publisher who welcomes participation from commercial contributors. It takes effort and some creativity but is well worth it if you are seriously interested in adding muscle to your inbound marketing playbook.
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