We design and deliver Inbound Marketing campaigns to help you find new customers and for them to find you, achieve stickier relationships and obtain a higher marketing ROI. Our Marketing Methodology is based on the proven Inbound Marketing methodology used by more than 42,000 customers in all Industry Segments. We provide our Inbound Marketing and Sales Consulting using the Hubspot Inbound Marketing Platform.
It works for most types of companies in most industries. There are some specific characteristics about the product or service that must be true for it to work. For example, if there is not a need for a customer to do any research whatsoever about the product, then it probably isn't a good fit for Inbound Marketing. If your product or service doesn't cost enough, usually around $500 and up, then this approach probably isn't the best approach. Want to find out if your business is a good fit for Inbound Marketing? Take our Inbound Marketing Fit Quiz and find out.
If you want to start learning how to achieve Inbound Marketing success, then just click on the image below to get the free guide.
Let's start with an overview of all the tools in the Hubspot Growth Stack, which include both Marketing, Sales, CRM and Service solutions.
The very first, and probably the most critical step is setting your sales goals. Everything flows backwards from there.
Before you start marketing, you need to have a sales process, which is sort of obvious. To have a sales process, you have to know exactly what you sell and what you don't sell. If you're an established business, you probably (but not necessarily) have a defined and refined sales process. However, if you're just starting out and are using the Lean Startup approach, you may hardly have a product or service ready for Minimum Viable Product (MVP) testing, but it is never too early to start developing a sales process.
As Inbound Architects, we recommend you map out your process, step-by-step, as much as possible. But from hard won experience, we know that most processes don't survive contact with the customer, but at least you will know where the variation is occurring. This is how you set up a measurement system and ultimately, how you develop a scaleable sales process.
Knowing how you sell is almost as important as knowing who you sell too. Within the marketing world, they call this Buyer Persona while within the Sales world, it is sometimes known as the Ideal Buyer Profile. It is sometimes the case, when you don't have a strongly aligned Sales and Marketing team, that these two terms aren't actually the same.
But what is a buyer persona and how do you know who yours is?
There are several components to developing your Buyer Persona, which can include:
|Company Size||Age||Content Consumed|
|Industry||Job Title||Recency of Engagement|
|Location||Education||Topic Specific Engagement|
|Products/Services Sold||Role||Need for Our Solution|
|Strategy||Recent Job Change||Expressed Need for Change|
|Public vs Private||Goal Oriented|
Once you know who your Buyer Personas are, which we will refer to as users, you can start the process of content creation. Content creation can be broken down into 3 distinct phases:
|Customer Interviews||Content Plan by Phase||Create Landing Pages|
|Keyword Research||Content Type||Develop Social Media Booster Plan|
|Examine Existing Content||Create||Develop Paid Distribution|
|Competitor Analysis||Code - Calculators and Online Tools||Use variations of content in different channels.|
|Google Keyword Tools||Create Graphics||Combine content into related bundles.|
|Hubspot Keyword Tool||Develop Content Variations and Combinations||Provide Sales Enablement to Sales Team|
|Develop Sales Enablement Related Content||Measure, monitor and update distribution plan|
Technically, everything that appears on your website is a piece of content. That said, the most common types of content are listed in the following table. We're breaking them out by the Inbound Marketing Phase they are most commonly used in, but they can all be used in any stage given today's customer journey. This is only a partial list of potential types of Inbound Marketing content you can use with today's Inbound Marketing platforms.
|Analyst Reports||Comparison White-papers||Vendor Comparisons||Post Sale Surveys|
|Research Reports||Expert Guides||Product Comparisons||Custom Installations|
|eGuides & eBooks||Live Interactions||Case Studies||Guarantee|
|Expert Content||Webcasts/Podcasts||Trial Download||Upgrades|
|White Papers||Video||Live Demo||Reminders|
|Educational Content||Product Selectors||Benchmarks||How to Use Videos|
|Calculators||Interactive Tools||Payment Terms||User Community|
There are a lot of Social Media channels you may need to use. The problem is, you only have so many hours in the day, and not all channels work for all types of business. For the majority of service firms, LinkedIN, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter will be of primary importance to your Inbound Marketing efforts. For others, perhaps Pinterest, Snapchat, Whatsapp or Instagram will prove to be the most profitable channels for your efforts.
The key thing you need to understand about Social Media marketing is that it is first and foremost a social channel. That means people are there to interact with people, not necessarily companies. That doesn't mean they don't expect or won't react to messaging from your company, but keep it personal.
It also takes on-going effort to achieve success on social media. For instance, LinkedIN is based on your relationship to other people. More 1st level connections means more ability to interact with people who you presumably have a deeper relationship to. With tools such as LinkedIN Sales Navigator, sales teams can leverage the vast treasure trove of information that is LinkedIN, but it works far more effectively when your network is working for you. So, ABC (always be connecting).
For other channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, the social dynamic is different, and much more visual in nature. You can also mix in video with this channel, and with a bit of paid advertising, you can get high levels of engagement. For e-commerce type businesses, Facebook can be an especially powerful channel.
Video should form a key part of your social media efforts. If you have the time and budget to produce slick, Corporate 500 level videos, that's great. But that isn't going to get you to the finish line. You need to concentrate on getting video produced as often as possible and then upgrade the quality. Pay particular attention to engagement levels and do more of whatever type of video resonates most with your audience. Facebook insight is particularly useful for determining how your videos are doing on Facebook while YouTube's Creator studio will tell you virtually everything you need to know about your videos.
What type of videos work best?
For the Inbound Marketer, equipped with the right digital marketing platform, such as Hubspot, you have the tools available to design and test every element of your website. If you combine it with Google Analytics, you have analytical power that is nothing short of amazing.
Once you have sufficient traffic, usually around 1000 visits per month and up, you should be designing a test with one goal in mind - improving conversion performance. You can improve a lot of elements of a page, such as how the boss thinks it 'looks' but unless and until you test, you will not know what works best.
It may be that an 'ugly' page works better than a pretty page. You may find that no one single element of a page actually accounts for the performance of a page. Instead, through testing, it may turn out that it is the combination of imagery and functionality, i.e., having a calculator on a page that causes a page to convert at extremely high rates.
You should also be testing your Marketing and Sales Funnel, not just individual elements of a given page. This is a much higher and more difficult level of testing. That's why we call Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Sales Conversion Rate optimization, as that is always what we see you should be optimizing for.
As advanced users of Hubspot's Inbound Marketing platform, as well as hard core SAP users, we rely on our systems to replace expensive labor - and you should as well. By combining Smart List and other types of lists with workflows, you can make the system do a tremendous amount of both automated marketing for you as well as administrative tasks. It may or may not rise to the level of Artificial Intelligence (AI), but we're driving towards that level of task automation.
Some of the key tasks you need to learn to make the tool do for you include:
While you may think your marketing is performing well, unless and until it turns into sales, it doesn't matter. Fortunately, with Predictive Lead Scoring, you can evaluate each and every lead on both a score you develop manually and with the closed loop nature of the Inbound Marketing and Sales Platform, with a score that is automatically generated by the system based on what actually works.
Once you have enough deal flow happening with your system, you can use it as part of your improvement feedback loop. Marketing can use it to judge what works and do more of that, while doing less of what doesn't work as well.
Predictive Lead Scores should also be incorporated into your testing process. Keeping careful records of what you have done in the past will help you avoid wasted efforts.
Blogging remains one of the key tools in the marketing tool kit. With it, your content distribution plan will work, without it, there is little hope.
It is also one of the key ways you will need to use to reduce your Paid Ad Spend. Why does it work? Because each new blog page is a new page for the search engines to index on. The basic Content Marketing model involves a piece of downloadable content behind a form on a landing page. Along with it, you typically will publish one or more blogs that have as a goal to get someone to press a button that takes them to the content offer.
Blogs also typically allow people to subscribe to them. That means that people have agreed to receive an update from you every time you publish a new blog. They cannot do this for a static landing page and even if they did, the landing page, once published, is not going to be updated and thus there would be no ongoing interaction with a subscriber.
Blogs can also incorporate a wide variety of media, both visual and text based or even embedded calculators. A well written blog, when part of a series of well written blogs, can provide a high degree of user engagement. In short, if you want your website to generate a lot of high converting traffic, you're going to need to blog, a lot.
Just how much. There are several key numbers to keep in mind as far as blog numbers go.
Once you have published about 60 high quality blogs, there appears to be an exponential increase in traffic to most sites. Once they hit 200, they are seen as authoritative. Keep in mind, there are many other KPIs or Metrics you should also be aiming for in terms of content offers and overall domain authority.
For truly high performance you will also need to hit a certain frequency - twice a day or more on a sustained basis seems to be what works. This is no small task, especially if you want to produce high quality blogs that all have tightly focused conversion goals.
According to InsideSales and based on our own real world experience, if you don't call someone who converts on your site within 5 minutes of a conversion, you have almost no chance of actually getting someone on the phone who has just converted on your website - ever.
That's why you need both a marketing and sales automation system as well as a highly responsive sales team. For many people in Sales or even more importantly, many small business owners, calling someone on the phone remains challenging. But if you don't - and within that magic window, you're basically wasting your marketing budget.
Even before you start on an Inbound Marketing journey, you can make improvements to your site by taking care of common technical SEO issues. The easiest way to do that is to run our Website Grader, which quickly grades your website for 48 separate common SEO issues. It will provide you a report which you can use as your improvement roadmap. Of course, our team can help you fix any issues that might be identified by this free website marketing grader.
- Elizabeth Sanjenis, Sr. IT Global Sales and Marketing Business Analyst, Johnson Controls