Article

Kayli Kunkel
Kayli Kunkel 29 July 2016

Why Your Lead Generation Strategies Are a Mess (And How to Unite Them)

What's your marketing game plan? If you refer to your "marketing strategies" in plural, you're probably already at a disadvantage. You might be overseeing a mess of strategies — website, content, social, and SEO — like different silos that operate more or less independently of one another. If this is the case, you're at a disadvantage from your competitors who have united their strategy into one.

What's your marketing game plan? If you refer to your "marketing strategies" in plural, you're probably already at a disadvantage.

You might be overseeing a mess of strategies — website, content, social, and SEO — like different silos that operate more or less independently of one another. If this is the case, you're at a disadvantage from your competitors who have united their strategy into one.

Why? Imagine you're the General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. You wouldn't hold individual practices for each player, would you?

lead-generation-strategies-mess.png

Separating your lead generation strategies would be like separating Lebron James from the rest of the team. Sure, Lebron can make a few key plays by himself, but if he doesn't have Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love to pass to he's severely limited in what he can accomplish. And, just like in basketball, that chemistry is at the heart of marketing!

When all of your players are working together, you enable the best possible outcome and you work to achieve a united goal.

You can optimize your social marketing strategy to pull in a bunch of traffic from Twitter, for example... but are you effectively "passing" that traffic to interact with your website, read your content, and discourse with the sales team?

Marketing is a team sport, and all your strategies are the individual players. It's important that each strategy is in "tip-top" shape, but most important is that they function as one unit with a common goal.

Here's how each of your lead generation strategies should be team players, united for the best lead generation.

Content marketing strategy

Of all your lead generation strategies, content is the crux. Remarkable content is what brings leads to your brand in the first place. Anybody can write content, but the most successful marketers write contentstrategically.

What does your content marketing strategy look like right now? You should have some kind of editorial calendar to indicate a clear schedule of content production. This schedule should be consistent. For example, at SparkReaction we always post blog content on Thursdays. Consistency will make the "pass" to your social media strategy a breeze — we'll get to that later.

Once you've established a consistent schedule, your content strategy should be rooted in purpose. I know clients (and have been occasionally guilty myself) who skip strategic brainstorming altogether and write out their ideas on the fly. This creates an isolated content strategy silo — lots of content that doesn't benefit your entire "team."

Instead, tie every piece of content back to a specific intent. One suggestion is to map content to the buyer's journey. Long story short, don't write anything that isn't directly tied to your buyer personas or that doesn't guide them along their purchase path.

Wondering how to do that? Check out my "secret sauce" for better blog post ideas.

To fully prep your content strategy for team play, tie it into your SEO strategy. Every piece of content you create should be rooted in a solid SEO keyword, repeated throughout the piece — more on this below!

SEO Strategy

Your SEO strategy is more than just finding keywords to get you found. It's about defining your business in the eyes of search engines — and therefore potential buyers! You can race to the top of Google, but it's no good if you're not racing to the right results pages.

You can identify the right SEO keywords by reflecting on your website and content strategies. Your content should be targeted to stages in your buyer's journey, like we mentioned. Different SEO keywords identify the content as either Awareness, Consideration, or Decision Stage.

For example, "Basketball playing tips" is an Awareness Stage keyword, and "Buy best basketball shoes" is more Decision Stage. Your top-of-funnel content should be paired with an Awareness stage keyword, and so on down the journey.

lead-generation-strategies-mess2.png

You should know where buyers are in their journey so that you can effectively guide them with the proper keyword and content.

Then, this content should be served up on your website with landing pages and smart content, which gather info on your new leads so you can continue nurturing them. Phew — that's a complicated play!

(Need inspiration? Read our SEO case study on how SEO optimization skyrocketed one company's content impact.)

Social media strategy

Content does little without promotion. Social media is a high-powered engine for sharing your work to many people. Is your strategy working for lead generation?

Your social media strategy should do two things: attract new visitors, and draw them towards your content. Like we mentioned before, a consistent content posting calendar is vital. With time, your audience learns which kinds of posts to expect, and when to expect them.

Your social media strategy can't succeed without a solid content backbone. What does this mean? If you aren't blogging consistently to the right audience, your social posts will fall on deaf ears. It's so important to get your content strategy in place before posting a single tweet! Otherwise, you won't have anything helpful to share.

And, of course, your website strategy needs to be in place, too — otherwise your social links lead nowhere!

Email marketing strategy

Email should be rooted in your content strategy and employ the same principles. For example, every email should address a certain customer lifecycle stage and target to your personas. And every email should have a clear tie-in to a targeted offer or page on your website. See how it all works together?

Maybe your email marketing strategy seems a little all over the place, or it lacks direction. Make sure each email (or email series) you send has clear purpose. One way to ensure purpose is by creating HubSpot workflows: emails triggered by a specific action, and sent to achieve a specific goal.  

Check out our guest post by a HubSpot expert on five branching workflows that make your email strategy more powerful.

Website strategy

The concept of a website "strategy" might throw some marketers off. It's all too common to create a website and then move your efforts to a marketing strategy. Really, though, your website should be rooted in strategy from the very beginning.

lead-generation-strategies-mess3.png

Your website should act as lead generation tool by hosting your content marketing strategy. These pages get found thanks to your SEO strategy. And every promotional social media post ties back to a particular site page. The ultimate team, turning together like clockwork!

Your website should be the ultimate uniter of your marketing efforts, but it should also do much more. Aninbound website functions as complete lead conversion machine. It acts as the central hub for all things marketing and sales.

If your website isn't a team player, you just can't win the marketing game. It needs to play nicely with your other lead generation strategies. For example, if your social media is driving the wrong audience to your website, you won't see lead conversions.

Conversely, if your content strategy isn't solid, your website won't offer much to new visitors and they'll bounce quickly out of your funnel. And if your SEO strategy is out of whack, traffic generation will suffer.

Tying it all together: An inbound marketing strategy

An inbound marketing strategy is like the ultimate game plan. It explains how each lead generation strategy works together as a team — a team on a winning streak. Content, SEO, social, and website, all in tandem.

We only skimmed the surface here. The connections between your lead generation strategies run deep in an inbound marketing strategy. The strategy is like a complex highway network. Every single place connects to another. No decision, post, or click is made in a silo. And inbound marketing takes your new leads and moves them down the funnel into sales.

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