When setting up your inbound marketing funnel, it can be easy to get caught up in the process of creating a campaign, qualifying leads, and creating the relevant content to push leads through. While all of these are important aspects of the inbound process, new marketers can sometimes get too focused on these consuming parts of the funnel rather than focusing on how the marketing funnel operates as an encompassing entity for marketing success. Though this may be beneficial for a business starting out with inbound, it can prove dangerous for businesses who fail to move beyond this narrow field of vision. In truth, while inbound requires a thorough funnel in order to qualify leads and work for your marketing, without lead generation, the inbound funnel becomes stagnant and obsolete.
Focusing on the Funnel
Inbound marketing is all about the marketing funnel, but for newcomers it can be overwhelming to think in terms of the funnel and where your efforts should lie. It’s not uncommon for those new to inbound to hash out campaign after campaign, paying painstaking attention to the buyer’s journey at each stage and thinking through the conversion process.
However, most inbound experts will agree that while campaigns are important, people make mistakes by focusing their upfront efforts on too many campaigns. Instead, your marketing efforts should be focused primarily on the top of the funnel, especially if you are a newer business, as this is where lead generation occurs. Without leads to generate, there are no leads to nurture.
This goal of lead generation is that a business can benefit from building an audience. A key tenant of content marketing, the building of an audience is contingent on understanding the audience you are writing towards and knowing your content tilt—that is the unique proposition or view that your content brings. Creating this niche for yourself allows you an audience that will continue to consume your content, and therefore, promises a steady visitation. From there, it’s a matter of converting this audience into leads. When you can do so consistently, your lead generation is considered “steady”.
Making Your Funnel Scalable
The key to any business growth is scalability. But how do you translate a marketing funnel to meet scalability needs? The first requirement is to look solely at the numbers. If you’re struggling to bring in site traffic of about 1,500 a month and are only converting that traffic to leads at a rate of 3%, the outlook for company growth isn’t promising.
When faced with this kind of issue, it’s important to make changes to your funnel, albeit one at a time. Again, your concern should be primarily on your traffic generation, or how to increase that visitation from 1,500. If nothing else, an increase in site traffic to something around 5,000 monthly with a steady lead rate of 3% can still have great impact on your top-of-funnel leads from 45 a month to 150 a month. But how do you increase this traffic to such a rate. Again, your focus should be content. Experimenting with your content tilt, increasing your content amount, and even changing how you promote your content can all contribute to higher traffic.
Another important factor to a scalable marketing funnel? Maintaining consistent conversion rates. This means following best practices and business experience when it comes to your landing pages, forms and content offers. If your visitor to lead conversion rate is 5% and your lead to customer conversion rate is 1%, and your current visitation numbers make it possible to meet marketing and sales goals at those rates, then it’s absolutely vital that those rates don’t change negatively. Ideally, these rates would even improve to allow for continued growth.
However, consistent rates at the very least allow you to account for the amount of lead generation you can expect in any given month, and in turn, how many of those leads you can anticipate moving into the sales funnel. Through maintenance of your buyer’s journey content and feedback from your sales team, you can ensure that your content is working in the way it should at the rate it should, allowing your team to make better plans about your growth.
Keeping Up With the Content
For businesses seeing inbound success it can be tempting to lapse in your efforts, or even change direction due to comfortable growth. However, this can be incredibly damaging to your lead income. In order for your lead income to be steady and consistent, content must also be steady and consistent.
Again, we return to the issue of scalability. Knowing that content is the basis of visitation and lead generation, it’s important to maintain that generation in order to maintain results. But how do you do that without your content growing stale? It’s a matter of not only knowing your industry and audience, but also becoming an authority so that you can take an innovative and leading approach in the content you create. Ideally, as you grow it should be simple for your business to put processes in place to make you a content machine. Taking the step to keep up with your content ensures that your business is able to continue to grow with ease.
With the slow to start methods of inbound marketing, it may seem difficult to grow a business off of inbound marketing alone. However, the power of inbound marketing and content creation to generate leads can be a powerful tool for a business looking to grow. The key in continued success with inbound marketing and business growth is to promote and nourish this lead income to ensure that the marketing funnel is working to full effect, and that your business can sustain.