Do you want to generate more visitors, leads and sales for your business? That’s a dumb question, of course you do!
The purpose of this blog post and SlideShare is to provide you with an easy-to-understand overview of inbound marketing.
What you will learn:
- How marketing has changed.
- What is inbound marketing?
- Why is it important?
- Inbound methodology & tools.
- Tips, tricks & best practices.
How marketing has changed.
Traditional marketing is broken…
- 86% of people skip TV ads
- 91% put spam in their email junk folder
- 44% of direct mail is never opened
- There is 200 million people on the Do Not Call list
Consumer behaviors have changed, they are good at tuning out marketing.
But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news.
- 90% of internet users browse or research products online
- 50% intend on purchasing a product or service
This means you don’t find customers anymore, they find you. The world has changed, your marketing needs to change.
If you want to attract customers you need to give them something they will love.
So how do we accomplish this? Inbound marketing!
What is inbound marketing?
A holistic, data-driven approach to marketing that attracts individuals to your brand and converts them into lasting customers.
Inbound marketing is about: attracting not intruding, building trust not skepticism and being loved not ignored.
Traditional marketing is like being a cheetah hunting in the jungle.
The internet has created a digital watering hole. Go where your customers are, stop hunting in the jungle.
People want access to great insight, people and recognition before products and services.
- Direct mail
- Print ads
- Cold email (spam)
- Cold calling
- TV & radio ads
- Banner ads
- Trade shows
- Social media
- SEO & blogging
- Content marketing
- Lead nurturing
- Landing pages
- Email marketing
Inbound marketing is content + context.
Content - Build your marketing assets.
- Presentations & ebooks
- Videos & podcasts
- Visual content
Context - Right content, right place, right time.
- Customer personas
- Segmented email lists
- Personalized messaging
Content + Context = Marketing People Love
Why is it important?
We conduct 131 billion searches per month of the web. That’s 4,000,000,000 per day, 175,000,000 per hour and 2,900,000 per second.
Inbound marketing statistics:
- 70% of links search users clicks are organic, not paid.
- 60% of all search engine clicks go to top 3 links.
- 54% more leads are generated by inbound than outbound.
- Inbound marketing costs 61% less to acquire a lead.
Inbound methodology and tools.
Use inbound marketing to generate visitors, turn them into leads, convert them into customers and create life-long fans.
You can also visualize inbound marketing as a funnel.
Step 1: Get found and generate visitors.
Search engines automatically populate local business in search results, this helps you get found by people who are searching for businesses just like yours in your local community.
- Google Places
- Bing Places for Business
- Yahoo Local Listings
- Yellow Pages
- Super Pages
Keywords & SEO:
Short or long phrases people use when searching online. Using these pre-determined keywords on your social networks, blog, content and website will help you get found by more people, drive new traffic and increase your search engine ranking.
- Google Keywords Planner
- Hubspot Marketing Grader
- Quick Sprout SEO
- Open Site Explorer
- Uber Suggest
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal prospect that help create more targeted marketing. They are based on real data, behaviors, and demographics. Where do they spend their time online? What language do they use when searching online?
Grow, interact and engage with multiple online audiences that help your business improve visibility, promote your content, generate leads and create brand advocates that help promote your business.
- Industry specific networks
Drive more traffic, build online marketing assets and establish thought leadership by crafting insightful articles that solve your target audiences problems and helps them reach their goals. We recommend using WordPress unless you have a really good reason not to.
The is your digital store front, this is the place where it’s okay to promote your products, services and business. Use your website as a place to educate leads and host your content. Remember to focus on value, not features and be sure you’re not forgetting about mobile visitors.
Step 2: Turn visitors into leads.
The best way to start generating leads is to create content offers, this content should provide leads with real value. Content can come in the form of ebooks, presentations, webinars or videos. You use this content to trade visitors for their contact information in order to generate leads.
- Keynote or Powerpoint
- Pages or Word
These are images that act like “road signs” for your blog and website visitors that entices them to check out your content offers. While they can be used anywhere, you’ll find they are most effective at the bottom of relevant blog posts and website pages.
- Keynote or Powerpoint
- Vertical Response Button Builder
- Button Optimizer
It’s likely visitors will not purchase from you the first time they visit your website or blog. Use forms to capture quick contact information about your visitors, most time a simple email address will do. Make sure it’s a worthwhile offer and they know exactly what they are signing up for.
- Form Stack
- Email Me Form
Don’t let your visitors leave your website empty handed. Using landing pages you can capture lead information in exchange for a content offer you have. This helps you gather more lead information over time and segment leads based on which content they are interested in.
- Lander App
- Ion Interactive
- Page WizLander
Step 3: Convert leads into customers.
Creating content that educates your leads about your products will help them make buying decisions. Not only does this generate qualified leads for your business, it helps leads become more ready to buy.
Proving your product works with numbers and graphs will make leads more comfortable converting. If numbers are not applicable, use a before/after, problem/solution approach for your case studies.
Social proof, also known as social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others. Use testimonials and numbers to demonstrate the value others find in your products and services to help leads convert.
In sales, timing can be a big problem. Use email marketing to nurture your leads by consistently sending them useful content. Be sure that you are segmenting email lists based on lead behavior, interest and their place in your marketing funnel. Take advantage of automated emails to save your business time and resources.
- Constant Contact
Sometimes called CRM software, this tool will help your sales team stay on top of your qualified leads, track where they are in the sales process, know which have gone cold and much more.
- Base CRM
- Zoho CRM
- Free CRM
Step 4: Keep customers and create fans.
Generating online reviews is the new word of mouth. As you learned, your customers find you, not the other way around. This means you want customers to be saying good things about you around the internet.
- Google Places
- Angie’s List
Social media is not only a great place to find leads, it can also be used to engage influencers and brand advocates. Use these people to help spread your content to a wider audience and generate more leads.
Value add content:
Content can be used for more than just generating and converting leads. Give customers added value by teaching them how to get the most out of your products and services. This type of content also gives you the chance to up-sell and re-convert old customers.
Understanding which aspects of your marketing are working and which are not is crucial if you want to be sure you are using all of your resources efficiently. Analytics help you learn, make changes and grow.
- Google Analytics
- KISS Metrics
Step 5: Closing the loop, your fans help generate new visitors.
Tips, tricks and best practices.
- Focus on helping your audience reach goals and solve problems.
- Do a content audit and see what resources you already have that can be repurposed.
- Keep a backlog of content and keywords ideas that you can refer back to at any time.
- Include all relevant keywords when creating content to optimize for search engines.
- Content should have great headliners and use a problem/solution, desire, action approach.
- Create content for leads in different stages of the buying process and help them make buying decisions.
- Content promotion is just as important as creation, if you spend 10 hours making piece of content, spend 10 hours promoting it.
- Use segmented email and lead lists to personalize messaging and send targeted offers.
- Find tools to help automate parts of you marketing like social media and email.
- Focus on important metrics such as cost per lead and cost per customer.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.” - Old Chinese Proverb
To succeed at inbound:
- Understand your audience
- Align content with their interests
- Promote value, embrace transparency
- Leverage brand advocates
Now you’ve got the tools you need, build your inbound marketing machine.