Demand Generation

Develop a Marketing Breadcrumb Trail to Lead Prospects Home

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Despite what many marketers would like to believe, the digital marketplace is not quite the place where “if you build it, they will come”. You’ve got to create a savvy mix for B2B marketing success and carefully place your messages where buyers can find them at the right time.

Because consumers are driving the action, digital marketing is a trend that’s growing in leaps and bounds. According to the “2011 Digital Marketing Outlook,” study conducted by the Society of Digital Agencies and Answerlab:

  • 95% of survey respondents say they’ll be using social media this year—specifically their corporate web sites, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Eight out of 10 marketers project an increase in the number of digital projects they’ll produce in 2011.
  • A large portion of marketers expect to augment their mobile efforts this year and next with such tools as smartphone apps, location-based services, e-coupons and social games.

Look at the landscape by way of the Grimm brothers – there are loads of leads wandering in the forest. They want to come to somebody’s cottage, why not make it yours?

In order to lead prospects to your doorstep, lay out a carefully planned breadcrumb trail by using these five inbound marketing tips:

1. Create targeted email marketing tie-ins into new social media feeds through such sites as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Remember that once viewers have signed up, they’ll be more likely to stay apart of your community and engage when you provide valuable content.

Delivering a consistent and thoughtful sequence of content with timely calls-to-actions can help convert someone from a reader to a clicker, thereby helping them get to the website and complete a call-to-action.

2. Link followers to your latest blog post or email newsletter online through Twitter. Doing so can help you generate buzz and hopefully create an additional breadcrumb trail of re-tweets.

3. Include Q & A features within social media streams. Not only can you create further engagement, but you can identify current topics and hot buttons among your audience.

Armed with this knowledge you can create content in a resource section or blog on your website that addresses said topics and capture more search traffic.

4. Host webinars and live chats. Make your company and its thought leaders available via webinars and other online discussions. This gives your brand a face that prospects can connect with and also gets you in front of hundreds or thousands of relevant people at once.

As you wrap up your presentation, offer a compilation of your tips via the PPT or an e-guide for download at a unique URL. You can drive traffic to your site and encourage further, relevant calls-to-action once the visitor has arrived.

5. Give your employees a voice by letting them engage in social networks on your behalf. They can be a great asset to monitoring and answering questions across a larger spread of sites.

Create guidelines to help establish rules and protect the brand, but ultimately prospects want to connect with people, not a logo. Determine which departments are best suited for online community management and test this model, ultimately building relationships and sending people to the website for more information.

Remember that too much of a good thing can be overwhelming. If your message is spread over multiple channels with little thought to their interconnection and relation to your overall marketing plan, you’ll muddle the lead generation process and it may just be that nobody winds up at your door.

Concentrate on the foundational truth about today’s marketplace. Businesses that put the time and effort into networking and talking with their customers will reap the benefit of happy leads throughout the sales process.

This will result in a group of satisfied customers who will go out and spread the word (and more crumbs) through the forest.