Inbound lead generation campaigns look a lot like fishing trips: build a great website (find a stream), attract traffic (cast your lure), get visitors to sign up for offers (set your hook), and then cultivate the relationship (reel time). It's a format that has worked for thousands of companies, including our own online marketing clients.
But, while lots of attention gets paid to the first two steps in the process – owning a great website and making it search engine friendly – the details of the offer itself are often overlooked. That's too bad, because what you're willing to give to visitors in exchange for a bit of their time and some basic contact information is the real key to providing value, not to mention laying the groundwork for a profitable relationship. In other words, it doesn't matter where you’re fishing, or how great your equipment is, if you haven't brought anything with you that your fish are willing to bite at.
Don't discount the importance of that bait.
Most people are going to be hesitant about sharing their contact information with an unknown business (aren't you, when you're looking for answers online?).
To make yours stand out, and get buyers jumping out of the water to do business with you, you'll have to follow our best piece of advice and learn to think like a fish… or in this case, a searcher or potential customer. Imagine the questions searchers might have in their minds when they come across your content, along with the answers they would do almost anything to get. Then, using that insight, ask a few questions:
Does it smell like fish food?
Titles need to be interesting and relevant if you want searchers and potential customers to take notice. Think like magazine editors do and use words, phrasing, and imagery that inspire and excite. The result should be something that your prospect can't wait to download.
Does the cover image look yummy enough to eat?
As much as we all know not to judge books by their covers, we still do. That's especially true for downloadable documents. Your cover doesn't necessarily need to be flashy, but it does need to feel professional and interesting.
Is it a tasty treat, or a trap?
Too many offers are filled with information that isn't really relevant to the target audience. Ideally, you want something they can take and use right away. Also, look for the right length; you want something that's short enough to be a quick read or view, but long enough to feel like it has a few substantial ideas.
How fresh is your bait?
It's no secret that online material starts getting stale the moment you post it. Make sure you're updating your offers on a regular basis, especially if the title and/or summary contains research studies or time-sensitive data.
Can you stand out from the other anglers?
Another problem facing content creators is that their offers are too similar to what other companies are giving away. Find a way to differentiate your offer by making it more insightful, more interesting, or more specifically tailored to your prospects.
Another way to consider and answer these questions in an instant is to ask yourself, "Is this something that my potential customers would be willing to pay for?" Even though you aren't asking for money, you are asking for something just as valuable – their time and trust. If you wouldn't be willing to bite, don't expect anyone else to be, either.
When you put the pieces of a successful offer together in a compelling way, people can't wait to read your ideas, and you've created the potential for a relationship that can be grown and cultivated. To do that, though, you have to learn to think like the fish you really want to catch.
Is your online marketing plan geared towards continual lead generation? If it isn't, now is the perfect time to talk to the team at Kayak Online Marketing. Our measures are accurate.
An avid angler of BC and Alberta streams, Randy recently published "Building a Better Business Website: 10 Crucial Strategies for Turning Your Online Presence Into Something Your Company Can Actually Use" available on Kindle Reader and Paperback now.