Remember the Slap Chop™? Honestly, how could you forget it? What you may remember most about the ad is the spirited host, Vince, from other popular infomercials like ShamWow™, where he promises, “You’ll be saying ‘wow’ everytime you use this towel.”
While these infomercials generated undeniable interest and popularity (combined, over 9 million YouTube views), it’s safe to say not everyone who talked about the Slap Chop was interested in buying it. Even those who researched it online and may have filled out a survey weren’t always ready to become a Slap Chop owner. From there, even a smaller percentage turned into true qualified leads, and ultimately, customers.
While infomercials are a fun example of over-the-top sales techniques, they also serve as a great example of what the opposite of inbound marketing looks like. For companies practicing inbound marketing to optimize their website and attract new visitors, one of the most obvious questions that’s asked is, “is it working?”
When it comes to manufacturing, many businesses work behind the scenes, creating the components of things we buy and use every day. Whether it involves assembling shutters to creating the latest electric car, manufacturing can often be a technical, complex, and regulated industry to market. That’s why it’s so important to measure your website’s performance generating qualified leads.
Here’s a quick exercise to try: picture your manufacturing company website. Is it generating leads? Now, ask yourself, it generating qualified leads? If you have trouble answering that question, keep reading.
What are qualified leads?
In short, qualified leads represent people who have become more than a contact who has given information. It’s someone who meets established criteria that qualifies them as a potential customer for your service or product. Some of those qualifications could be their budget, their need, their timeframe for purchasing, their role in a company, or the platform that drove them to your website.
Qualified leads typically belong to two groups:
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL): Marketing qualified leads engage with your company beyond just submitting their information once. They have usually taken action to show their interest (downloading an eBook, signing up for email notifications, joining a webinar). These leads may not be ready to buy, but they benefit from being nurtured through their buying journey.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQL): A sales qualified lead is further along in the buyer’s journey, and is ready to talk to your sales department and make a decision about becoming a customer.
It’s important to remember that all leads are not created equal, and a very small percentage of leads are sales-ready initially. To determine if your website is generating qualified leads, first decide internally which criteria a lead must meet to be considered qualified, and begin applying that criteria to current leads and new leads you receive.
Steps to take to generate qualified leads
Now that you know how to begin the qualifying process, how can you generate more qualified leads from your manufacturing website? Here are a few tips to help move leads down the assembly line (pardon the pun).
Ensure there are clear conversion paths set up on your website. What actions do you want visitors to take? Are there noticeable, engaging calls-to-action to encourage visitors to take those steps? Make sure every page has an appropriate CTA that complements the message on the page for visitors to either learn more, download content, or contact you.
Take a look at your navigation. Does your current navigation quickly provide what visitors need to be able to find on your website? If not, consider updating your navigation to clearly represent your services, products, content resources, landing pages, and more.
Create and distribute optimized content. First, ensure your website content is optimized around a relevant keyword strategy, and offers useful, interesting information for visitors to easily find. Next, develop a strategy for creating and distributing blog posts consistently. Consider what your manufacturing buyer personas really want to know, and develop optimized content that’s educational and entertaining for your audience.
With these steps in place on your website, you’re in a position to begin generating qualified leads to nurture into new customers. Want to find out more about how to improve inbound marketing efforts in the manufacturing industry? Listen to our webinar, No Business is Boring for tips on how to create content for traditionally “unglamourous” industries and position yourself as a thought leader.