When you wear the marketing hat, do you notice a cobweb or two? Dedicating time, resources, and meaningful analysis on engagement efforts can make progress on lead generation a scary undertaking, especially when content initiatives are reactive and writing content is not something you look forward to.
Don’t despair! Fortunately, there are proven ways to simplify and structure engagement and content initiatives. Let’s highlight the first two best practices and experienced that frame an effective online marketing infrastructure. Later, I'll discuss the rest.
It’s not about you. It’s about your buyer persona.
One of the painful lessons of reactive marketing is that efforts and expectations run high, but everyone is frustrated when things don’t turn out as “planned” because most organizations only talk about themselves, which doesn’t resonate with the intended audience.
There is no question that there are qualities of your product/service that set you apart from your competition, but talking about those qualities and focusing on a “you vs. your competition” messaging or tone actually hinders your brand online because engagement efforts are not focused on your buyer persona.
A buyer persona is your ideal customer or strategic value consumer (SVC), and they are the most important part of your online marketing strategy. Defining your buyer persona(s) will give you insight about your customers and prospective customers’ needs, questions, pain points, and behaviors, which will make it easier to create content online that is valuable and helpful to them.
Often in medium to large organizations, this truth is hard to see and appreciate because there is more money and resources to throw at commodity factors (like features and performance of a Droid phone). In addition, you may have already developed a strong business culture that has traditionally driven revenue through direct F2F engagement and strategic networking rather than online ventures.
As long as revenue keeps coming in, there is no real motivation to learn and leverage the science, efficiency, and beauty of effective online engagement.
The reality of the current situation is that the tectonic plates of consumer behavior have shifted toward online search and validation. Therefore, success looks like your organization engaging a buyer persona who is easy to transact with, who has the money to do business, and who can benefit greatly from the marketed product or service.
In addition, there has to be a strong connection when it comes to messaging and content that bridges either a valuable opportunity for the buyer persona or solves a pain point.
According to HubSpot, more than 60% of the buying decision is made before a consumer speaks to a representative. The significance of this metric speaks to the reality that your organization needs to compete for 100% of available consumers, not the dwindling minority that prefer to transact old school.
The takeaway is to start with your buyer persona in mind and learn enough to ensure your message resonates so that it will be well received, which then fosters meaningful engagement. This means you have to make data driven reason(s) based on who your ideal customer is.
You probably know who this buyer persona is, nevertheless, it is important for you to validate your position through meaningful consumer insight work. Learn how to define your buyer persona
Create Irresistible Offers to Revive Engagement
Now that the consumer insight work is done, leveraging truth and insights about your buyer persona makes offer development straightforward and practical.
Put together an exclusive, scarce, or in high demand offer that frames a solution or process of your buyer persona’s pain point(s). These elements work because they trigger a physiological reaction that makes an offer more valuable because the information resonates with the intended buyer persona eliciting what we call a “visceral” response.
People need to identify with and perceive the value of the offer to be greater than what you’re asking for in return (usually their name, email, and maybe a question about them or their organization). The key is to promote a high perception of value to enhance appeal and conversion on the offer. Principles to consider in this part of offer development are the element of scarcity, offer orientation (direct offer to where you believe visitor/lead is in the early, middle, or late stage of the “buying” process), and newsjacking.
Examples of offers can be:
• Ebooks or Guides
• Templates or Presentations
• Research & Reports
• Kits (multiple offers packaged together)
• Live Webinars
• On-demand Videos
• Blog (including offers in the nav or sidebar)
• Blog posts (if there is a CTA in the post)
• Middle-of-the-funnel offers: Demo Requests, Contact Sales, RFP, Etc (more sales-ready offers).
As long as you work on the offer from the perspective of your intended buyer persona, these irresistible offer elements can overcome a lead’s typical friction, doubt, or concern about doing business with your organization. The cool part about successfully developing a good offer is that the right people — who will get you the furthest the fastest — engage and transact.
Revitalizing your engagement and generating leads online has the power to transform your marketing. Once you create great offers that serve your buyer persona, there are three other elements that will help you capture lead information. Then, you can promote the offers in multi-channel online environments, which will boost engagement even more. This formula actually reduces your cost-per-lead and delivers higher quality prospects to your sales team.
This post is part of a series that will focus on the elements of online marketing that will boost engagement.