By Guest Blogger Larry Levenson
“I can’t believe it! My blog went ‘live’ only 6 hours ago and I have a great lead already!”
~ Brian Bachman
Inbound marketing is very effective at generating leads for your senior living community. But like most internet marketing, it takes some time and the effects are cumulative. But what can we do to generate leads today?
By Guest Blogger Larry Levenson “I can’t believe it! My blog went ‘live’ only 6 hours ago and I have a great lead already!” ~ Brian Bachman Inbound marketing is very effective at generating leads for your senior living community. But like most internet marketing, it takes some time and the effects are cumulative. But what can we do to generate leads today? Generating leads online quickly is sort of like baking gingerbread, which happens to be one of my favorites. First, you need a recipe (that’s this two part article). Then you need to gather the ingredients and tools you need (mixing bowl, rubber spatula, 8×8” baking pan). The next step is to mix the ingredients – and this is where you have some options to consider: extra ginger? A dash of cloves? A little cinnamon? You make your decision about the options, mix it all together, and put it in the oven to bake. Now you wait. About 45 minutes later, you take the hot gingerbread out of the oven – mmm. . . it smells wonderful! – and let it cool a little bit before you dig in and enjoy the fruits of your labor. With that in mind (and I love having hot gingerbread in mind!), here is the recipe for quick results from your inbound marketing, complete with several options to consider.
Gathering the Ingredients
Step 1: The Offer
There are several ways you can start generating leads from your website right away. The key to this is to come up with some offer or downloadable content that would be engaging for your target prospects. This should be something that you either already have (possibly in another format) or that can be created easily. Here are some ideas:
- 11 Things You Must Know About _______ Before Talking with Your Parents
- 19 Questions to be Sure to Ask Your Aging Parents
- 13 Item Checklist for Assessing Senior Living Options
- FAQ – Take the 17 most-asked questions about your business and write three sentence answers for each.
You only need one of these for now. Note that I often suggest clients use a number (preferably an odd number) in their titles. Data shows that this creates interest and sets expectations, by telling your visitors exactly what they’re going to get. Using an odd number is simply more attention-getting. Put together your offer in Word or PowerPoint, or create an Excel checklist. Use whatever tools you are comfortable with. Each of these Microsoft tools has a variety of templates you can download and use for free. For free photos you can use commercially, checkout FreeDigitalPhotos.net or Flickr. For both of these services, be sure to click Advanced Search and select Creative Commons licensing for Commercial Use, and read and understand how to use the image commercially. Decorate your list as you wish, or keep it plain and simple. When you’re got it just right, upload it to your website. Don’t link it to anything yet, and don’t put it on a page. Just upload it to your site. In WordPress you should upload it using the Media Library functions. If you have FTP access to your website, you can upload it that way. Step 2: The landing page OK, now that you have the key ingredient, you’ll need some tools. Specifically, you need a page on your website that describes how wonderful this offer is, and a form for the web visitor to register for the offer. For example, here is a page that describes an offer and provides a registration form: This is often called a “landing page”, since you will be directing people right to this page, where they will “land.”
Part 2 will give you the rest of the recipe to generate on-line leads.
How happy are you with your on-line marketing program? You can read Part Two Here Larry Levenson is co-founder and Chief Inbound Officer of Sigma Web Marketing, an agency that works with senior living communities to generate leads from their websites. Larry can be reached at [email protected] or www.SigmaWeb Marketing.com.
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This is a good post. Someone who downloads the report is raising their hand saying they’re a prospect. Senior Living is a long sales cycle and, if you’re going to generate leads with reports, it’s very important to get these prospects in a good follow up system that educates and moves them through a proven sales system.
From LinkedIn Groups
Thanks for sharing this, Steve. Once the leads are generated, the sales staff needs to believe in each and every one of them. In my experience in working with communities across the country, most teams do not value online leads as much as they do conventional leads. We also need to do a better job at convincing clients that these online leads are equal if not better to print ads or event responses. Those inquiring online are in the “shopping” mode, are doing their homework, and are working smarter, not harder, at finding that perfect place for them or their aging parent to call home. Tracking, tracking, tracking is key to these metrics and to convincing communities to value leads generated online.
By Jane Marie O’Connor, CAASH, MIRM, CAPS, CMP, CSP
Good points, Steve and Kevin. Thanks! With all the thinking about social media and blogging and inbound marketing today, we often forget the Sales Process.” Are our sales people intimately familiar with the content we’re creating and how a web visitor becomes a lead? And how that same web visitor can move themselves down the sales funnel if we have appropriate content on our websites to help them do that?
Many of our clients think that “marketing” belongs solely in the Marketing Dept, and are reluctant to “involve” Sales. But salespeople, by their nature, are great story-tellers, and content marketers love to share stories. Likewise, Sales needs to be closely aligned with Marketing to understand what content we’re publishing, why we chose that content, and what content the web lead has seen or downloaded. This will help them understand the value of this lead.
Finally, marketers often make the mistake of sharing leads with salespeople before those leads are sales-ready. Let’s make sure we understand the buying process for each organization, so we can provide high-quality, sales-ready leads to the sales staff as just the right time and with enough information attached that they understand the value of this lead and can act appropriately.
Marketing in a vacuum can’t be successful! We need Marketing and Sales to be closely aligned.