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The world has shifted from traditional to inbound marketing

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Are you overwhelmed with the many elements that make up the digital business and communication landscape, like social media, responsive websites and search engine optimisation? Do you find that this exciting but somewhat threatening landscape is a constant challenge to work out the best way forward when it comes to marketing? Well, you don’t have to because we’ve done it for you.

No wonder it’s hard to keep up - in just 60 seconds online; 70 domains are registered, 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube, 11 thousand searches are performed on LinkedIn and 571 websites are created. The world has definitely shifted and now your brand needs to shift too.

How have you changed your online presence to meet the current demands driven by this shift?

Your online presence is vital in today’s digital world, yet many websites usually have no automation or conversion strategies in place and instead continue to be mere electronic brochures with a phone number and a contact form. Not surprisingly, these types of websites are not an effective lead generating tool and generally rank poorly on search engines as they are often not updated with fresh content and have little or no on-page search engine optimisation.

Jeff Ernst of Forrester Research estimates that only about 5% of marketers use a full-featured marketing automation solution. It’s time to shift your focus to inbound marketing.

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So what is Marketing Automation?

According to HubSpot, “marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to… nurture prospects with highly personalised, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers.”

An effective automated marketing platform helps generate new revenue, more qualified leads and delivers an excellent return on investment. It also saves marketers’ time as every part of the best inbound marketing methods have been consolidated into the one spot - giving you a centralised, easy to use and unbelievably powerful marketing hub – hence the name HubSpot. Sound good? Great! So now how do we do it?

Well, here’s 9 steps to creating a powerful inbound marketing strategy:

1: Create an enticing offer

Identify a pain point or a challenge faced by many of your customers then offer a solution that involves your own services or products. The basis for an offer has to be so good that your prospects would be happy to pay for it, but instead of charging for it, we just ask for a little bit of contact information generally. Not a huge commitment for them – but very useful to you.

2: Create your landing page and form

A landing page with a ‘top of the funnel’ offer enables you to connect and engage with visitors to your website. HubSpot makes it very easy to create landing pages that integrate with the rest of your automation and then track their engagement across your website giving you valuable analytical data to modify and refine your marketing offering.

3: Create a download/thank you page

After your prospect submits a form, a redirect page should them give them a link to download your offer and give them options to get more related information right away. You might link to recent blog posts, related offers, or a contact page. This is part of the process of moving your prospect down the marketing funnel. Your strategy behind this information and content gathering is to get your prospect closer to making a buying decision about your product or service.

4: Create a Call-to-Action (CTA)

A CTA is an image that links to your landing page. You’ll want to use these in emails, blog posts, website pages and on social media. It should be highly visible, clear about the offer, and difficult to resist. Try using colours that contrast with the rest of your design – your CTA needs to stand out and engage with the audience to get a high click-through rate.

5: Create a list for segmentation

After creating a great landing page for your offer with a fantastic visible CTA you will need to organise or segment the information you receive from your leads. This is important so you can further re-target the prospect and direct the right content to them thus moving them down the funnel. You can create a ‘smart list’ that segments every contact who completes a certain form to a specified list. This allows you to keep track of who is interested in what and makes for a more targeted email campaign in the future.

6: Create emails and workflows

Once you have received contact information from your prospect you need to use it by creating a new email series as part of a lead nurturing campaign.

Create a “quick follow up” email that thanks people for downloading and provides the download link again. Then create two or more nurturing emails – these should build on the topic of your offer and depending on your product or service they need to be timed for delivery – this is where using automated marketing software really shines. You should also share links to related blog posts, other offers, videos, case studies, etc. Anything that would be useful to someone through their buyer journey.

7: Write and publish blog post

Announce your new offer! Describe the problem you are solving and the value you will provide. Give them a number of reasons to click through to your landing page. Add your CTA to your blog post and resources page.

8: Watch the results - review and adjust

Check your email open and click-through rates, follow-up email and click-through rates and your landing page conversion rates. If your conversion rate is lower than expected, look at how enticing you’ve made the offer, the number of form fields you’ve included (more fields = more barriers to entry), the submit button text (never use the word “submit” its just not sexy enough!) and compare to previous, higher-performing landing pages.

9: Follow up

Automated marketing software allows you to monitor the buying cycle and see who is ready to engage with you so you can decide how you or your sales team should follow up.

In conclusion...

With traditional outbound marketing methods it was all about renting the space and sending your message to anyone hoping that your preferred client would see it and respond. It was costly and there was no analytical data to retarget and refine your spend. Today with inbound marketing it is all about owning the space that your prospects are engaging with and giving them solutions to their paint points. Inbound marketing is targeted directly to the buyers you want to engage with. It's about your customer buying from you instead of you selling to them.

At BrandManager we have researched and found the best way to oranise your marketng in one place. A way that encompasses all the tools and tricks that make you a marketing genius - you can instantly optimise keyword content in a blog post, check visitors and user engagement, analyse social media feeds, do email marketing, lead nuturing and view reports that actually measure the effectiveness of your marketing. To receive a free demonstration of HubSpot please click below to register your interest.

 

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Topics: Marketing