Driving targeted traffic to your website through both outbound and inbound marketing efforts is important. However, funneling that web traffic to becoming qualified leads is another hurdle that many marketers and businesses alike continue to face.
To put things into perspective, it’s pretty straightforward to throw up ads and get them running on Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. But the ability to really attract the right personas really boils down to the fine tuning of every single piece of content (organic and paid) that you push out there.
In today’s blog post, I’ll walk through specifics on how you can optimize the buyer journey to drive qualified leads to your business, including:
- Building out the right marketing funnel.
- Aligning your content assets to each lifecycle stage within your funnel.
- Laying out the framework for your buyer journey, and much more.
Let’s dive in…
Defining the buyer’s journey
Long overdue are the days of trying to sell without being highly educated on ‘who’ your target personas are. More specifically, understanding ‘where’ they are digitally, the type of conversations they participate in, and the content they consume are all things that will benefit your team.
Once you know this, you can then begin to figure out the specific touchpoints that empower them to engage with your company. In other words, you know what the buyer looks like and exactly where marketing and sales will work together to inject valuable information that will build the pipeline.
Let’s quickly recap from this blog post I wrote on how to map out the buyer journey:
- 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs.
- More than 80% of companies who prioritize customer experience are reporting an increase in revenue.
- Customers will spend 17% more for a good experience.
- Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren’t.
Knowing the buyer journey means that you are aware of what triggers a purchase and movement throughout the funnel. These are important data points that can be leveraged to shorten the sales cycle, be more effective and efficient, and enhance productivity with meeting business goals.
Be contextually relevant with your content
There are a multitude of ways that your target customers can and will interact with your content. In other words, you may publish the full gamut from videos, webinars, guides, infographics, etc. and leverage all of your social channels to distribute that content; however, you’ll notice that not every piece of content is going to perform as well as you want it to.
In simple terms: you should stop trying to make every piece of content go viral. Instead, focus on contextual relevance that’s going ensure that you are speaking to the pain points your target personas are facing and you have a solution for those pain points.
For instance, people who are at the very top of the funnel aren’t going to want to see demos or fact sheets about your awesome product/service. Rather, they’re most likely going to gravitate towards the thought leadership pieces which are broader in nature. It’s not until they’ve built some sense of affinity to your brand that they will then want to give you their contact information in exchange for a downloadable piece of content.
Therefore, you have to make sure that the content you produce keeps the buyer journey top of mind and that you know where the specific marketing injection points go.
Here is are two reasons why context marketing matters per HubSpot:
When you have context around your relationship with a contact, you’re able to provide more personalized and relevant marketing content that’s targeted at their needs. Personalized and relevant marketing is the foundation for creating content people love.
When you’re creating marketing that’s targeted at people’s point of need, it stands to reason that marketing will perform much better for you, because you aren’t delivering marketing content that’s misaligned with their interests or stage in the sales cycle. Think about it: If you know that our B2B lead from the previous section is getting new budget in January, she’s downloaded a couple buying guides in the past two weeks, she’s visited your product pages, and it’s December, you’re able to send her insanely targeted content that addresses her needs — like, say, an offer for a custom end of year demo of your product with a rep that specializes in the finance industry. That’s content that she’s pretty likely to convert on.
Test as much as possible
Nothing is going to hinder your ability to optimize the buyer journey and funnel in highly qualified leads than falling stagnant on your executions. This is why testing as much as possible should be ingrained into your processes and just everything you do.
Have a hypothesis? Test it. Something working really well? Test more.
It’s about isolating variables and also pushing the throttle as much as you can until you hit the ceiling and can clearly see exactly what is moving the needle. This means that you are seeing a positive ROI, great engagement, shortening the sales cycle, etc.
More specifically, everything you test, you are tracking and measuring against benchmarks and KPIs you have in place. This will help you not only better understand your target customers but also make sure that you are not wasting marketing dollars on crappy opportunities that aren’t going to yield you any results.
Finally, here are some stats around A/B testing that you should be aware of:
- Better UX design as a result of user testing can increase a company’s conversion rate by 400%.
- 71% of companies run two or more A/B tests a month.
- 77% of companies perform A/B tests on their websites.
- 60% of companies perform A/B tests on a landing page.
- 59% of companies perform A/B tests on emails.
- 58% of companies perform A/B tests on paid search campaigns.
- Fewer than half of companies (44%) use split testing software.
- 58% of companies use A/B testing for conversion rate optimization. 60% of companies believe A/B testing is highly valuable for conversion rate optimization.
Wrapping it up
By optimizing the buyer journey for more quality leads, you then have a greater impact on shortening the sales cycle, focusing your efforts on personalized executions, and yield better results that push business growth.
As you continue testing and learning, you’ll find that different personas will venture down different paths so you can easily replicate methodologies to support these paths. From there, the more data you collect, the better off you’ll be in terms of increasing conversions and making better decisions with where you need to spend your marketing efforts as well as dollars.