“Content Marketing” is all the rage these days, and with good reason. Rather than the traditional approach of filling web pages with meaningless corporate jargon about how awesome you are, why not provide some actual value to the visitor, right?
This makes great sense, but how do you put it into practice?
Most people don’t do a lot of longform reading on the web, where attention spans are short and people often scan rather than read.
The typical way to deal with this is to put a preview or teaser on the page, and offer a longer form “Lead Magnet” that someone can download in exchange for their email address, and perhaps other information.
There are a few problems with this approach:
- People tend to mentally skip over forms in web pages, just as we often tune out or fast-forward through commercials.
- Most web forms ask for too much information. You can tell a lot about someone from their email address and location. Demanding too much upfront requires a very high value lead magnet and decreases conversion rates.
- You usually only get one “at bat” with the prospect. If you wait 24 hours to contact a lead, you’re over 50X less likely to get a conversation than if you respond in 5 minutes. But what if we can’t respond in 5 minutes because we’re helping another client, on an airplane, or heaven forbid, not working? We miss that opportunity.
A lot of people who’ve tried content marketing find that it doesn’t deliver many leads because of these challenges, and they give up.
Or, they find there’s no traffic. The natural response to this is spend money on ads to drive traffic quickly. But, if the conversion mechanism doesn’t work well, you spend hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars without results. So I’m told. 😉
Sales Robot to the Rescue
What could we do to fix these issues and have an effective conversion mechanism for B2B services?
First, let’s replace the unfriendly form with a friendly button. We know based on the page that the visitor probably has an interest in the topic of the page, so we can put a call to action on the button that will resonate with the visitor. For example:
- If the page is about “HIPAA compliance for pediatricians”, you might offer a “5 Step Guide to HIPAA Compliance for Non Technical Pediatricians” as a lead magnet. And then the button can just say “Get Your Free Guide.”
- If the page is about HR and employment law, you might offer a guide to upcoming changes in state laws (be careful to offer to a disclaimer that your lead magnet does not represent legal advice for a particular situation).
- If you offer financial services, may some type of ROI calculator would make sense.
The main idea is to offer something valuable to the visitor, make it easy for the visitor to convert to a lead, and easy for you to get a conversation with the lead.
This is where Mimiran (your friendly sales robot) helps. You can set up a lead magnet and lead capture widget (the mechanism to create the button and the simple pop up form on your pages) and easily install the widget on your site.
You don’t need a ton of information– an email address and a location can tell you a lot. I often add an optional field for phone number. This way, people who want a call can give you a number, but you don’t lose leads from visitor who aren’t ready to give their number.
Now you’ve got a friendlier way to convert visitors to leads, but the best part is that unlike traditional lead conversion systems that send an email or a link to a PDF, you know when your prospects come back and look at your content, so you get more chances to follow up and get a conversation.
Now business will just start flowing in, right?
If you’ve got a great stream of traffic, yes. But what if you don’t?
People will tell you to post your content on social media, which is great advice. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can help drive traffic. (Of course, all these services really want you to pay them to “promote” your content, but you can still get good mileage from posting appropriately.)
Great, now you get a rush of traffic, and some leads and you’re really excited. The next day the traffic dwindles, and then there’s nothing. All that hard work of creating the content and posting to social media has no leverage. It’s a one time deal.
Of course, you can repost it on a periodic basis, but that gets really cumbersome really quickly.
Not sure what you should offer as a lead magnet? Check out this list of 22 Consulting Lead Magnet ideas:
I thought you said something about an Octopus?
OK, so we’ve put links to our content on social media.
The tweet disappears into oblivion within minutes or even seconds. Who knows if anyone even sees the FB post. The LinkedIn link sinks off your feed in a day or two. That initial rush of traffic dwindles and disappears. All that hard work for what we hope are good leads, but now we have to start all over again. Yuck.
What if instead, we could take advantage of the content on a recurring basis?
What if we could recycle social media posts?
This is where the octopus is handy– in the form of “Edgar” the cephalopodic mascot of MeetEdgar.com. You add your posts to a library in your MeetEdgar account, and set a schedule of posts by category, and the octopus posts them for you, over and over. So you get great leverage from your content and your conversion mechanism.
This seems like it would get boring pretty quickly, but with a mix of content in your library, people will rarely actually see the same post twice, but they are much more likely to see a post once, click the link to your site, and have the chance for a conversion.
Now you can keep the content party going, and exponentially increase the value of your content, first by increasing your conversion rate with Mimiran (not only from visitor to lead, but lead to conversation) and then increasing your traffic with MeetEdgar, all without endless manual work.
You create content once, for the page and the lead magnet, drop it into Edgar, and Edgar automagically reposts. Better results AND less work. It’s a beautiful friendship between a robot and an octopus. Who knew?
Full Disclosure: This blog post has been on my marketing to-do list for a year. (I wanted to say “marketing calendar”, but clearly it’s not.) MeetEdgar founder Laura Roeder reached out a few weeks ago to do a customer interview. That reminded me that I still hadn’t written this post. In the meantime, I thought Laura would make a great guest on Sales for Nerds, so we recorded an episode (coming out soon). This also reminded me that I still hadn’t written the post. Then, MeetEdgar announced a referral program, which I joined, because I use and recommend the app, and because it would save us both $10 (affiliate link/non affiliate link).