How Landing Pages Get Salespeople Interested in Inbound Marketing

Posted by Todd Hockenberry on Jan 13, 2013 7:03:00 AM

In my last post, I talked about how to convince your salespeople to help you create content for inbound marketing by showing them that they are already creating engaging content every day. The deep connections between salespeople and prospects mean that salespeople are often the best people to understand what messages resonate with customers and what questions customers want answered. Once you've gotten great content out of salespeople, your next step is delivering that content in the best way possible.

Create Highly Focused Customer Centric Content

The content that salespeople create is highly customer-focused and has great potential to convert into prospects. However, when customer-focused content is paired with interesting calls to action and landing pages then you see those prospects become leads. Landing pages themselves may not interest salespeople that much but what comes from them certainly does. The formula is simple — the sales team helps create the right content for target prospects. Calls to action and landing pages bring in what the sales team needs — qualified leads.

The job of a landing page is, at its simplest, to connect content with visitors and convert them to leads. However, a landing page can do a lot more than deliver some well-crafted content to the right audience. If salespeople are helping shape and craft excellent content that is being released through a landing page created by someone in marketing, the landing page then serves as a point of connection between the sales team and the marketing team. Landing pages can also be leveraged to drive traffic from a site, or part of a site, that was generating little or no traffic before.

Increase Incoming Leads Quickly

For example, one of my clients had the fairly standard "Contact Us" form on a simple landing page. There isn't anything wrong with a Contact Us page, but in this client's case that form wasn't creating any leads for them. We came in and took some of the content already on their site, made it into downloadable content, attached the content to landing pages, and then added calls to action across their site. Adding landing pages as gate keepers to content that was already there resulted in a lot of leads very quickly. This client increased leads per month from the website from 0 to over 60 just by adding a few basic offers and landing pages to the site.

manufacturing marketing

Not all landing pages are created equal, however. To get the most out of a landing page you should shape them around the same kinds of customer-centered thinking that drives good content. Great content is driven by a persona and is focused on their issues, needs, interests, and problems. The landing page that you build in front of that content should be just as shaped by that persona as the content itself was.

Qualify, Qualify, Qualify Those Leads

Having targeted landing pages in front of your customer-focused content is how you create leads that are more qualified. Qualified leads, in turn, allow salespeople to follow up at a much higher level. This is why it is so important to understand your target persona and to create the best, most focused content for them.

Beyond that, however, the form on your landing page represents an amazing tool for lead segmentation. You have a great piece of content that prospects want to get to, so make them answer a few basic questions first. By adding a few segmenting questions into your landing page form, you can get your leads to self-qualify and help drive them further into the sales funnel. Ask them what their job title is, what their biggest problem is, what their main goal is, budget, when they need a solution – be creative and see if you can actually interest the prospect because you're asking the same questions they are asking themselves. The more answers you get, the better the lead is qualified. Now sales can start the conversation at a much higher level.

One of our clients grew their business 86% in the first year of working with us. They generated this significant increase while doing fewer proposals than the previous year. This was a big deal because they are a small company and doing a proposal is a big time investment. By segmenting leads using landing pages they were able to sort the best leads from the top of the funnel inquiries and spend their time closing sales, not writing proposals.

I love this success story because it reminds me of something one of my first sales bosses said to me. He asked me how things were going and I responded with something like “I am doing great, I did 14 quotes and made 43 calls.” His response? “We don’t sell quotes here, son.”

Landing Pages For Testing Ideas

Finally, landing pages are a great way for sales people to test the interest in a given market for a new offering or to test new positioning for a product/service. If the idea behind the call to action and landing page converts, then sales can assume that the offer has some legs. A landing page is a very easy, inexpensive way to perform a litmus test that tells sales whether or not they should promote a new idea in their direct calls and selling.

One of the ways we have used this technique to test the waters for a client was to offer engineering documents (drawings, specifications, test results) on landing pages to see who would convert and download them. My client had purchased a series of product lines and did not know everyone who had previously purchased the products. These old customers found the landing pages and converted. Sales now had a reason to talk to these leads and an insight into their business. The leads that converted showed that there was interest and demand for after sale support and proved that these documents could be used to attract new contacts previously unknown to sales. The conversions on our test landing pages put sales into a position to deliver more value and make more sales.

Creating great content is always going to be the first step, but putting time and effort into landing pages is essential. What's more, the time and effort you put into landing pages pays serious dividends. Whether you need to do some quick market research for a new product, better qualify your leads, or leverage your website to bring in leads, landing pages can be serious work horses in your inbound marketing campaign.

About the Author: Todd Hockenberry is the founder of Top Line Results, an inbound marketing agency that specializes in leading top line revenue growth at small and medium-sized companies with a focus on manufacturing, technology and capital equipment.

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Topics: landing pages, business to business lead generation, business advice, marketing for manufacturing, Top Line Results

How to Enhance Inbound Marketing Planning With Creative Visualization

Posted by Ryan Malone on Nov 27, 2012 12:50:00 PM

inbound marketing planning visualizationWhat do golf legend Jack Nicklaus, basketball great Michael Jordan and decorated Olympian Michael Phelps all have in common? They have all embraced creative visualization to become better athletes.

In fact, visualization is widely embraced by athletes in nearly every sport. Terry Orlick, a noted sports psychologist and high-performance coach to thousands of Olympic and professional athletes in more than 30 sports, states in his book, In Pursuit of Excellence, that most Olympic athletes and world champions practice at least 15 minutes of visualization daily. 

Don’t mistake visualization for hokey, self-help speak. It is one of the most widely accepted methods in sports psychology and is supported by significant scientific evidence. And it isn’t only applicable to sports--visualization is a practice used by successful people across a broad range of professions.   

We use visualization technique to drive our strategic planning and the planning of inbound campaigns for clients and ourselves. Why? We’re all busy. And many of us get sucked into tactics all too frequently – sacrificing the planning team that can bring our marketing to the next level.

What is Visualization?

Most simply put, visualization is a technique for creating a mental image of a future event. It involves focusing your mind to visualize yourself in a certain situation and succeeding in that particular situation. Through the practice of visualization, we train our brain to believe that attaining a desired goal is possible. For instance, a golfer may visualize the perfect stroke over and over again to mentally train muscle memory.

According to David Yukelson, Ph.D, sports psychologist for Penn State University, “when you vividly imagine yourself getting ready for competition, your central nervous system becomes programmed for success. It's as if the activity you visualized has already happened.”

Apply this to inbound marketing planning and it means visualizing the metrics that will yield a successful campaign – literally seeing those results in Hubspot or whatever analytics tools you use.

How Does Visualization Work?

Research done using brain imagery suggests that visualization works because the neurons in our brains interpret imagery as the equivalent to taking a real-life action. When a person visualizes an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells their neurons to “perform” the movement. So when an athlete imagines him or herself performing their sport to perfection, he or she is physiologically training their mind and thus teaching their muscles to perform exactly how he or she wants them to.

Using Visualization to Become a Better Marketer

In today’s fast-paced business environment, so many marketers are guilty of getting wrapped up in the day-to-day minutia that it becomes difficult to focus on long-term planning and strategy development that will ultimately lead to our success. Visualization techniques could help you achieve your ultimate goals by improving your planning skills.

We’re all short on time but we can easily incorporate visualization into our marketing daily routines. It's something you’ll need to do outside of the office, where you can be alone and get deep into your thoughts. Try doing it on your morning run, in your yoga or spin class, when you take the dog on a walk or even on your daily commute. If you’re in California like we are, some time at the beach for lunch is a great way to isolate your mind and your thinking.

So once you have your alone time, how do you get started?

1. Pick a specific goal: That can be anything from increasing sales by 30% to becoming the leading blogger in your field to improving your lead conversion rate.

2. Choose your mental image: Really visualize your campaigns and their specific outcomes. Imagine writing your strategy; envision the steps you took to achieve this successful marketing campaign. See the words, the content and the metrics that drove your success. Hear the call where you share your success with your team, your boss or clients. Imagine yourself celebrating your success with your colleagues and imagine how it will feel to have reached your goal.

3. Visualize daily: See that image of success you painted in your mind and make that feeling very real.

4. Write it down: When you’re done, write down the key success factors you see and build them into your daily routine. Make them part of your planning.

Once you visualize all of the steps that it took to achieve your success, and the specific outcomes of each of those steps, you have a clear plan for your activities and how to create a successful campaign. Think of each of those steps and work backwards to what has to happen and it will help you develop your marketing goals, strategy and objectives, so that you can create a plan that will help you to become incredibly successful.             

Keep in mind that just visualizing your success isn’t going to get you to your final goal, but what it will do is give you an effective way to begin planning. And planning is something that a lot of us don’t do well. But if we can improve planning skills, we can stop wasting time on the little things and start spending time on the specific actions we know will help us reach success.

What ways could you use creative visualization to improve your marketing planning? Leave your comments below.

About the author: Ryan Malone is the founder of SmartBug Media, a California inbound marketing agency and Silver Hubspot Partner that help companies increase revenue and marketing ROI.

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Topics: blogging for business, business advice, inbound marketing, marketing strategy, marketing planning, internet marketing coach, inbound marketing agency, smartbug media, ryan malone, strategic planning

Business Advice from Mark Paskell

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 22, 2008 11:14:00 PM

Business advice from design build remodeler coach, Mark Paskell:

  1. What is your unique selling proposition? The Contractor Coaching Partnership coaches and mentors residential contractors, using litmus tested, proven, best practices specific to the residential construction industry, and combines them with a powerful self improvement program.
  2. When & why did you start your current business? When? I started my business in February of 2008. Why? To have my own business and go after my dreams.
  3. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? To build my business through referrals and personal introductions.
  4. What do you like most about internet marketing? I like the fact that you can reach many economically.
  5. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be? Do not waste your money on unproven website and IT services or people.
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Inbound Marketing Advice from Betsy Davison

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 21, 2008 12:23:00 PM

Mike Volpe interviewed my HubSpot Client, Betsy Davison, Founder of ArtID, the artist marketing community website:
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice

Business Advice from Darcy Cook

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 9, 2008 8:17:00 PM

Business advice from CPR recertification expert, Darcy Cook:

  1. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? We purchased a subscription to salesforce.com and transferred all of our client information into a client and sales management system.
  2. What person has had the most impact on the success of your business? My brother, Joe. He is the behind the scenes, "make it all happen", unsung hero of my company. I don't make a decision on growth unless I have his support. I create it and he makes it happen. He allows me to manage the business while he works hard to operate the business.
  3. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be? Do it right the first time. Moving toward the "latest and greatest" technology is inevitable. So, spend the time and research all of the options out there. Learn about how to maximize your website, SEO, Blog, Social Media, Video, webinars, etc..... Find someone who is already doing and using all of the tools, buy them a cup of coffee and listen.

If you're in central MA, I recommend you beg Darcy [or Joe] to buy her lunch (not just coffee) and ask her to tell you how they've become Central MA's latest internet marketing success story.

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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Internet Marketing Advice from Gabe Amey

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 7, 2008 8:13:00 PM

Small business internet marketing advice from Gabe Amey:

  1. What's your unique selling proposition?: HawaiiVALoans.com is an informational website provided by VA approved lender, HomeLoan Financial. Our main goals are to provide Veterans the facts about the VA Guaranteed Home Loan Program so that they are aware of this great benefit. As a lender who specializes in VA Loans, HomeLoan Financial has the people, tools and resources to streamline the home buying process and help Hawaii's military personnel and Veterans enjoy the benefits of Homeownership.
  2. When & why did you start your current business?: HawaiiVALoans.com was Launched in December 2007. Through my years in the mortgage industry it was apparent that VA eligible home buyers were not properly informed about their benefits and many of these home buyers chose to acquire mortgage financing through subprime sources that had high interest rates that were not locked in - rather than doing a VA loan. I knew I had to educate these buyers to help them understand that utilizing their VA loan benefits would provide a better long-term financial situation for them instead of doing a subprime or Alt-A mortgage.
  3. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business?: Building the website HawaiiVALoans.com.
  4. What person has had the most impact on the success of your business?: Frank Schilling - Domain Investor (http://www.SevenMile.com).
  5. What do you like most about internet marketing?: Internet Marketing is still in it's infancy. First participants in this marketing channel have an advantage over their competition for the specific keywords they are targeting. Also, internet marketing is easier to measure and track than traditional marketing methods.
  6. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be?: There are many levels of internet marketing, and the methodology behind internet marketing is always evolving and changing. You constantly need to be reading, learning and testing new strategies to stay current with the most effective methods of internet marketing - or you will be left behind. "If you are not growing, you're dying".
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice

Internet Marketing Advice from Daniel Elliot

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 7, 2008 5:43:00 PM

Business advice from Daniel Elliott:

  1. What's your unique selling proposition? As is evident in our Big Canoe real estate blog, we love the community where we sell real estate. We have intimate knowledge of the community and our passion shows through in our blogging and the way we serve our real estate clients.
  2. When & why did you start your current business? We started IBA Mountain Homes in August 2005. Selling real estate in the North Georgia mountains, and more specifically Big Canoe, is a great way to make a living. We have no commute and get to enjoy the natural beauty of the Appalachian mountains.
  3. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? Using the internet to advertise. Originally, our internet advertising campaign was completely PPC driven. Since we've started blogging, our natural rankings have soared, and we no longer have to rely on PPC.
  4. What person has had the most impact on the success of your business? My wife Karin. How could there possibly be any other correct answer? :)
  5. What do you like most about internet marketing? I think the best part of internet marketing is the freedom to engage our blog visitors in a friendly and conversational way. Writing about our mountain community here in Big Canoe isn't a sales pitch to buy real estate. It's an honest testimonial to what a great community Big Canoe is.
  6. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be?  We started our real estate blog in December of 2007 for our Big Canoe homes for sale site. We wrote blog after blog, and we often wondered if anyone was reading a single word. Nobody ever commented on our blogs which was discouraging. Nobody ever contacted us regarding our blog. Sometimes, I felt a little like the village idiot of North Georgia talking to myself and writing notes that nobody would ever read. Then things started to change. Even if nobody was reading, we were creating a larger footprint / presence on the web. In late February, the New York Times contacted us to be included in a tiny article in their travel section. They would not have found us if it wasn't for our blog. This resulted in several leads for us. In April, we started to have the occasional visitor leave a comment. In May and June, the comments increased more, and ALL the leads we have received in the past 2 months have resulted from our blog articles. We also have found that often our leads come from blog articles that aren't specifically discussing real estate. These people felt they made a connection with us for another reason. Recently, we had our community paper contact us (and link back!) about a local event we had blogged about. So while some people may think I am still the village idiot, at least I know that they are reading what I write. :) Simply put, my advice is to be persistent and try not to get discouraged. Blogging will produce quality leads.
For the record, based on my interaction with Daniel in the HubSpot client only forums, Daniel is certainly not a village idiot. I'd consider him a very clued-in internet marketer and I'm sure he's equally sharp when it comes to real estate.
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Topics: business advice, internet marketing advice

Business Advice from Kara Brook

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 7, 2008 10:37:00 AM

Business advice from internet marketing expert, Kara Brook:

  1. When & why did you start your business? I started my business to get through college (I was self supportive from a very young age), on the day that I graduated I figured that not all 12 clients would fire me on the same day. I stuck with it for the last 20 or so years, reinventing it every five years or so out of necessity to keep up with the times.
  2. What was the smartest decision you made in your current business? Focusing and specializing purely on the web, rather than trying to do everything (print, broadcast, etc.)
  3. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice to give to another business owner, what would it be? Start your web projects with a keyword strategy. Don't go right to design without first considering how people will find you using your most important keywords.
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Business Advice from Dave Lima

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 3, 2008 9:18:00 AM

Business advice from MA bankruptcy attorney, Dave Lima:
  1. When & why did you start your current business? I worked as in-house counsel for a real estate developer in Concord, MA. He did projects in New Mexico, Florida, the United States Virgin Islands and Martha's Vineyard. In addition to doing his legal work I acted as his office manager. In 1992 he told me he planned to retire in 2 years and I should plan for that. I decided to open my own practice with a law school room mate. He did workers comp and personal injury. I did real estate, bankruptcy, and family law.
  2. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? Using the Hubspot marketing software. It's already produced 3 new bankruptcy clients and 1 divorce client since May. Much more than the yellow pages EVER did.
  3. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be? Put the time in and follow a plan. Create the content. Then optimize for key words. Then build links. Most importantly blog, blog, blog!
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Business Advice from Dr. Edwark Kwak

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 3, 2008 9:17:00 AM

Business advice from Dr. Edward Kwak:

  1. What is your unique selling proposition? Our business is one of the few practices that specializes in Asian Cosmetic Facial Surgery.
  2. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? First and foremost was incorporating an effective and targeted internet marketing strategy.
  3. What do you like most about internet marketing? What I find most rewarding is the immediate and direct changes you can make on your business plans. If done right, the impact can be significant and immediate.
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

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