This is a guest post from Brad Shorr, Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, a B2B SEO, web design and PPC company.
Half the challenge of cultivating freelance work is getting potential clients to open up their eyes to the opportunities — and the necessities — for Internet marketing.
When potential or existing clients see the full scope of what is possible, they are likely to expand their thinking, increase their expectations and invest more in their websites and supporting lead generation campaigns.
This is where the Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem infographic comes in handy.
The infographic is a visual depiction of the various components of an effective lead generation campaign. At the top we see the potential sources of website traffic and the primary options for Internet marketing campaigns to bring visitors to the company website.
The company website is the focal point of the infographic because visitors flow in and conversions flow out, in either form submissions or phone calls. The lower portion of the infographic describes the processes and data flow for processing conversions, and then using that data for reporting and conversion optimization to continuously improve campaign effectiveness.
Freelancers can get clients thinking by giving them a look at the infographic. First and perhaps most important, consider the company website hexagon itself. Is the client using all the content types at its disposal to produce conversions? Today, thanks to user preference in general and also the prevalence of mobile web access, user are showing a strong preference for visual content.
Video, high quality photography and images, infographics and animated slide presentations should be considered stables of a lead generation website rather than expensive frills. The typical website approach, lengthy inward-focused content and unimaginative imagery, probably drives prospects away rather than reels them in.
At the other end of the content spectrum, useful, relevant and ultra-high quality content also serves lead generation, especially for analytical-minded prospects and those further along in the buying cycle. White papers, research reports, case studies, ebooks and the like should also be woven into website pages, not only to stimulate conversions, but also to support SEO, PPC and email campaigns.
In terms of SEO, long form copy (as long as it is relevant and well written) is going to grow in importance, because Google is getting better at identifying and rewarding it. Much has been written about content overload, and we all know how much mediocre, unimaginative content is flooding the web. Google is aware of it, too. Tilting its algorithm toward high quality content is an important part of Google’s response to this vexing problem.
Strategically, companies also tend to develop campaign tunnel vision, for instance plowing forward with SEO without ever really considering a display advertising or PPC campaign. But really smart companies are always testing new approaches to lead generation: first, they may discover marketing approaches that produce higher quantity and/or quality of leads; second, the data from test campaigns can be used to make foundational campaigns stronger yet.
A good example of this is PPC as a complement to SEO. PPC ad campaigns facilitate the testing of as many calls to action and offers as a company can think of; the most effective can be used for standard product and service website pages that the SEO campaign is built around.
So, whether your freelancing focus is design, development, strategy, copywriting, or campaign-specific suites of service, the 30,000-foot view presented in the Lead Generation infographic may be the tool you’re looking for to meet with clients and prospective clients for a productive brainstorming session. I certainly hope it helps you!