A Lead Generation Plan Begins With Content Marketing Strategy

Here’s a sample excerpt of a  digital marketing/ lead generation proposal we did recently I thought I’d share because it really is a compilation of recent blog posts in a way. Our approach to lead generation beings with a message strategy. From there, the lead generation plan is developed, followed by lead nurturing.  There’s more to the proposal than this, but the basics of a lead management plan is in place. In essence, this is what we do.

Introduction

NuSpark Marketing is proud to offer you this scope-of-work proposal.  We aim to be true partners with you, as we take pride on our commitment to build your business.  You have an outstanding business model primed for continued growth.  We look forward to sharing the joy in taking your company to new levels.

Objectives

Our Marketing approach is designed with the following objectives:

  • Increase your top-of-mind awareness towards key target audiences
  • Generate increased digital visits to your website
  • Complement current  marketing efforts
  • Increase conversions; a defined action on your website/landing pages
  • Provide ongoing marketing ideas to engage target audiences and generate leads

Phase One: Content Assessment

At the beginning of any lead generation and marketing effort, is the message.  Do COMPANY X Technology Group solutions embrace the needs of its target audiences?  Do the words; the tone; and the context of what’s written allow prospects to engage further with you?  Does your brand resonate with your prospects?  What is your value proposition and your differentiation? These and other issues need to be addressed via conversation with you.  If during our initial discovery efforts we find additional market research is needed, we will recommend that.

Additionally, our content approach covers three main goals:

  1. Increased website traffic. This goal focuses on SEO with the objective to bring more people to your site.
  2. Increased leads. This goal focuses on providing valuable content via landing pages in exchange for lead capture information such as email addresses and roles in the buying process
  3. Increase sales.  This goal is managed by putting together a content map, along with a marketing automation platform, in an effort to drive static, old leads to sales-readiness, by providing those leads with additional valuable content.

Therefore, our content plan includes the following elements:

  •  A deep dive into understanding who your audiences are and where they obtain information on your solutions.  Again, if marketing research is needed, we’ll address that accordingly.
  • An understanding of your target profiles, including demographics, interests, pain points, the type of content they prefer to consume, how they discover content, how they access content.
  • A determination on how your content can stand out. What will attract your target audience and make them come back for more? How does your content satisfy your prospects’ needs? How will you be differentiated?
  • Aligning your content to your business objectives. How will the content be leveraged for lead generation? Our content plan will include techniques that make your content contribute to your SEO as well as lead generation and nurturing objectives.
  • A review of your current content assets; and then a determination on what content can be rewritten, and what new content is needed to support your lead generation objectives (i.e. white papers, case studies, website copy, videos, podcasts, blogs)

Once the basis of a content plan is approved; it sets the stage for content implementation.  We’re flexible on how we wish to integrate based on roles and need, but for this proposal, we recommend a monthly coaching approach.  There are two coaching portions to our plan:

1.   Content Coaching

We’ll work with you to coach you on your blog content and any other content that you produce.  Your blog should have a unique point of view, address your audience’s problems, answer their questions, and reflect what you stand for.  We’ll help you generate ideas, structure your posts, organize them for readability, and make sure the posts make it easy for users to comment and call to action. We’ll also make sure keywords are utilized to support SEO efforts, and also research other bloggers and though leaders as opportunities for yourself to comment and create back links.

2.   Engagement Coaching

Now we get to social media.  Content is the fuel that drives social media, and engaging with audiences most likely to be interested builds relationships which can lead to sales.  You’ll be assigned an engagement coach, and each month we will evaluate your efforts in promoting your content by utilizing the channels the correct way.  Right now you’re using Twitter and LinkedIn to broadcast your messages rather than engagement. We’ll evaluate your LinkedIn and Twitter strategies, and get you on the path to proper engagement techniques that can increase your followers, find new prospects, and build better relationships.  We’ll also help you with your RSS feeds, other channels that can house your content (Slideshare, for example), making you’re your content and blogs are sharable, and measuring your success via analytics and insights.

 

Phase Two: Lead Generation

With the message approach confirmed, the next step is to leverage that content to build site traffic and leads.  As stated previously, there are two ways content can be utilized to generate traffic and engage prospects.

  1.  Search Engine Optimization.   Builds traffic to your website.

When a website is built or revised, people need to find it.  Based on research from comScore, 85% of businesses use search during the purchasing process.  The SEO process ensures web pages and online content have the highest potential to appear in the top rankings of search engines where prospects are looking. It’s important to know that SEO is a customized process, based on company objectives, that combines a mix of techniques.  The major tasks of our SEO plan are:

  • Keyword Research.  Determining the words and phrases your target audience uses when searching for your services.  We’ll look at not just how popular the keywords are, but the level of competition, and how relevant those words are to your services.  It’s impossible to be optimized on every keyword, so we will determine the words that are most relevant, but also give you the best chance of high search engine ranking.

 

  • Content Optimization. Google ranks a site through a variety of factors. A key factor is content on the site. Even though copy needs to be optimized for Google and search engines, the writing needs to be written for the customer first. That being said, keywords and phrases need to be incorporated into your website titles, descriptions, headings, body text, and images.

 

  • Link Building.  When Google determines website page ranking, they consider strategically placed inbound links to your site from other quality websites.  Links are signals to search engines that a web page is popular and has value.  There are a number of methods to acquire links, but the most important is to create content worth linking to.

 

  • On-Site Optimization.  We’ll work with your existing website designer (or utilize one of our own) to make sure your site architecture is clean, your meta tags are properly written and placed, and site maps are prepared and submitted to search engines for indexing.

 

  • SEO Maintenance. Once all recommendations are implemented, we will monitor, measure, and analyze performance monthly and make ongoing technical and content recommendations.

 

  1.  Downloadable Content via Landing Pages

Whether it is through pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, banner advertising, newsletters, or social media ads, relevant content targeted to your key audiences attract clicks, and then leads via form conversions. Per above, you’ll be coached on how to strategically promote content through the social media channels to generate leads.  Besides that, pay-per-click ads that promote valuable content can be an important method to generate immediate traffic.  Besides content, demos, seminars, and webcasts are also content approaches that require web form registrations for lead capture.   Testing approaches is essential for measuring the most effective, magnetic content.

A pay-per-click plan, as supported by the research, would include the following elements:

  • Reviewing product promotion strategy, geography strategy, and budgeting available
  • Creating adgroups (categories) and ads for each specific product/service
  • Populating each adgroup with specific appropriate keywords
  • Utilizing matching options and negative keywords to optimize quality traffic
  • Matching ads/adgroups with unique optimized landing pages
  • Managing bidding, ad positioning, quality score, and conversions
  • Implementing conversion tracking tools to track defined actions by keyword and ad
  • Preparing ongoing reports and make recommendations based on Adwords/Analytics results

Whatever the final strategy is determined, all clicks will lead to the key landing page that would promote the content or offer, and allow visitors to submit their information in order to download the content.

No matter what our final strategy is, we’ll make sure Google Analytics is implemented so that we can track how your website is used by visitors.  Among the outcomes we’ll be tracking are:

  • Bounce rates- which keywords are causing users to exit your site after one page
  • New Visitor vs. All Visitor comparisons
  • Webpage content analysis- how users navigate from page to page
  • Goals and conversions- how users reach your action pages and do they become leads
  • Referral Logs- how users get to your site, whether it be search engines, blogs, content sites, or social media sites, and which referrals bring quality traffic

Keep this in mind with pay-per-click: Pay-Per-Click  can be an effective tactic to complement an SEO program.  Whereby SEO is the method of getting a website favorable natural search rankings, PPC is ADVERTISING.   As such, it will generate immediate clicks to a website, whereby SEO, due to its nature, can take anywhere between 6-9 months depending on the keywords selected.

 

Phase Three: Lead Nurturing

Lead Nurturing is a systematic process for regulating the flow of leads between marketing and sales. The science behind selling says everyone engages in a series of steps before making a purchase:

  1. Defining a problem that needs to be solved
  2. Educating about potential solutions to the problem
  3. Determining the appropriate course of action to solve the problem.

What is described above is called the buying cycle. Lead nurturing helps companies maintain a continuous dialogue with potential customers during the buying cycle.

Where most companies focus on generating leads into the “top of the funnel,” most companies do not have an adequate system to handle non-sales ready leads. With the emphasis on new sales-ready leads, those leads that are deemed “not-qualified” now can very easily be qualified within 6 months to 2 years provided they are nurtured through their individual buying cycles.  By nurturing, we mean communicating problem-solving content on an ongoing basis through email and or social media channels.  When prospects engage with a vendor by downloading content or viewing webinars, for example, they inch closer to their buying decisions and their “lead score” increases.  Once the lead score reaches a defined threshold, those leads are sent to sales for closing, because they are deemed sales-ready.  Without nurturing, leads leave the funnel, and those leads engage with competitors who provide value and content consistently.

What is described above is the concept of Marketing Automation, a “software as a service” platform that manages the entire leads-to-sales funnel.  Visitors are attracted to a website or landing page because of their needs or research (pay-per-click, SEO, internet ads, blogs, social media content). Once there, landing pages need to be optimized for lead capture (ideally a web form so emails and relevant data are captured). Once the initial email is received, those leads are sent relevant emails that link to additional content.  Email campaigns are customized based on lead activity and engagement, then scored, then sent to sales.  The entire process is measured for success or improvement.  NuSpark Marketing manages this process.

The benefits of lead nurturing are:

  •  Increase in qualified leads
  • Increase in revenue by maintaining relationships with potential customers who aren’t ready to buy in the short-term
  • Increase sales rep productivity by reducing the time sales reps spend educating leads
  • Educate and influence potential customers about products and solutions
  • Decrease in cost of sales
  • Improved conversion rate
  • Increase transaction size
  • Increase marketing ROI

The main benefit for replacing manual lead generating processes with marketing automation is that it allows companies to reach out to potential customers in a timely, more efficient, manner.

Here’s a more detailed look at how marketing automation works:

  • A sound advertising and social media strategy is developed, and tactics like SEO and valuable content bring visitors to your website.
  • The website or landing page offers strong benefit copy and valuable content, and visitors fill out forms to become leads.
  • Based on the questions asked on the “contact us” web form AND website behavior (downloads, pages viewed), leads are automatically scored (a model defined before the system is in place).
  • Leads are segmented based on their score and enter various tracks for follow-up.  Following up with leads through email is called lead nurturing and includes links to additional valuable content such as white papers and webinars. Nurturing allows increased engagement of potential customers.  The more engaged they are, the more likely they will become customers.
  • Higher quality leads are turned over to sales immediately.  Lower quality leads remain in the system until additional engagement occurs.  In essence, salespeople receive less total leads, as they only receive the quality leads. When they can spend more time with quality leads, their time is spent more efficiently, they close more deals, and the revenue per deal increases, thus overall ROI increase.
  • By integrating with CRMs, salespeople report their deals and win values, which then are reported within the marketing automation system, which in turn allows us to evaluate what media sources, messages, events or other tactics generate the most efficient quality leads and sales, thus an analysis of “cost-per-deal” can be done.

Marketing Automation is more than a glorified email program.  By tracking website behavior of prospects and putting them into lead nurturing sequences, you can truly provide them with unique messages based on their behavior. When messages are relevant, increased engagement occurs and the likelihood of sales increases.

The key reasons to adopt marketing automation into your business are plain and simple:

  • You have a need to increase new customer revenue
  • You have an opportunity to resell/upsell existing customers
  • You have the ability to engage with prospects with relevant marketing messages

 

We’ll review the optimal, cost-effective program for your needs, and manage the nurturing process, including the content development.

 

 

 

 

About Paul Mosenson

NuSpark Marketing Founder, Chief Lead Generation Strategist and Online Media Director An experienced B2B and B2C marketer, Paul has been helping clients generate leads and grow their businesses for over 25 years. Paul helps plan and optimize marketing and lead generation programs.