Consistently exceeding sales targets begins with a steady flow of leads into the top of your sales funnel.
Your sales funnel is the path your leads take on their journey to becoming a customer, and all your inbound marketing efforts will go for naught if your sales funnel is not consistently replenished with net-new traffic.
While each of your leads will follow a different path through the sales journey, there are a few steps you can take to keep a greater portion of that traffic moving forward towards the end goal of becoming a qualified lead, converted site visitor, and/or a verified customer.
Here are 10 smarketing tips to fill the top of your sales funnel to help generate more traffic consistently every month.
1. Social Media
Make use of social media to create interest in your company, products, or services. Syndicating blog posts on LinkedIn (especially LinkedIn Groups), Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook is an easy way to draw in more traffic from your existing network.
2. Partner Programs
Develop partnerships with companies who offer complimentary products or services, and use joint marketing and co-branding to leverage each other's network.
3. Inbound Links
Acquire inbound links from industry-specific websites, where you can generate traffic from individuals who already have an interest in your industry. Offering to write a guest blog post for industry-specific websites is an easy way to acquire a linking domain.
4. Direct Mail
Use direct mail campaigns to send information, samples, or invitations to pre-qualified prospects.
5. Thought Leadership
Develop a blog and use it to become a trusted advisor and expert in your field. When you are recognized as the voice of authority in your niche, it's easier to drive traffic as you build followers who trust you as a value-added resource. A blog is also a great way to increase the number of indexed pages on your website and helps tremendously with SEO.
6. Free Offers
Provide "freebies" like our Social Prospecting Workbook, white papers, tutorials, how-to videos, gated assets, and other content. This helps draw in top-of-the-funnel traffic and, more importantly, allows you to capture more leads from your website.
7. Referral Channels
Generate repeat business through your existing customer base and offer referral incentives to encourage them to spread the word.
8. Networking Events
Don't stick to the Internet as your only means of inbound marketing. Attend business events and industry conferences that provide you with the opportunity to network in person, and make the most of "meet and greet" events.
Make sure your online content is optimized to target the keywords used most frequently by people who are searching for information relating to the products and services your company is offering.
10. Marketing Software
Use software and applications (like HubSpot) to help you keep track of your inbound marketing campaigns and their success (or lack thereof), and work to increase the visibility of campaigns that are most successful.
Above all else, make sure your content marketing efforts are focused on creating valuable and original content that reaches out to the wants and needs of your target audience. You are providing something they "need" to have, so tell them why they need it and do so in a way that is fresh and engaging. Your online content and inbound marketing material should never be a rehash of something seen elsewhere on the Internet.
Once you've applied the right mix of methods and strategies to your marketing efforts, your sales funnel will stay full and you will see a noticeable increase in your site traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, and your return on investment.
The positive results won't happen overnight, but they will happen if you consistently work toward your goals.