Recently, I became certified by Hubspot in Inbound Methodology.
I want to define Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing is Marketing based on getting found by customers. It’s customer-centric. With Inbound Marketing, businesses create customer-centric content based on customers needs. Content could take the form of blogs, videos & SEO.
Inbound Marketing is very different from Outbound or Traditional Marketing. In Outbound or Traditional Marketing, businesses would: buy advertising such as TV or Display ads to interrupt prospects, cold call or cold email to get their message out.
For Inbound Marketing to be successful, businesses must understand their target market; analyzing their ideal customer. To analyze this ideal customer, businesses need to do research to understand the life of their consumer. What are these customers habits, concerns, needs and challenges? In other words create a buyer persona.
The four principles of Inbound Marketing are: 1. Attract, 2.Convert, 3.Close & 4. Delight.
image via http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing
The first things that any business wants to do is to attract customers. One way to attract customers is to have a website. In order to make sure that customers find this website, it must be optimized in relation to how customers find a business. To do this, a site must have relevant keywords, along with meta tags or page descriptions to index in search engines. Google & Hubspot have Keyword tools.
To attract visitors to a site, it is essential to create content to meet customer needs. Blogs are a great way to do this. Blogs posts could take the form of How to’s, case studies, industry trends, FAQ’s, videos etc…
Blogs are a great way to serve customers who are searching for information on a product or service. Each time blogs are published, they creates a new page to be indexed by search engines, which helps with SEO rankings. Customers who are interested in a site’s content will help to drive traffic to that site and may even link to it.
Sharing blog content to social media channels can help to drive traffic to a website. Popular sites are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc… I have received a lot of traffic to my own websites by sharing my content on my social media channels.
According to Hubspot, 80% of marketers & 60 % of sales professionals have found qualified leads on social media.
Once a prospect lands on a site, the goal is to convert them into a lead. To be able to to convert them into a lead, it is important to have a call to action such as: click here to get this ebook free. Once the prospect clicks on the the call to action button, they will be directed to a landing page where they will get more information on the ebook. At this point prospects will be asked to enter their name and email address. Once this occurs, they will be directed to a thank you page.
A Call to Action is a button that promotes an offer and links to a landing page.
A Call to Action needs to be clear and action oriented. In other words, it needs to tell visitors what to do. Instead of stating click here, say download this ebook.
On my blog, I have a call to action asking visitors to subscribe. It gives them clear directions to on what they need to do to subscribe
Get articles on Sales, Marketing & Social Media delivered to your inbox for free.
Join 9,178 other followers and enter your email address.
A Landing page is where the visitor ends up after clicking a call to action button. Landing pages serve as a digital sales rep and are designed to collect visitor information; converting them into a lead.
Landing pages should have the following:
1. Clear, concise action-oriented headlines
2. Explain the offer Clearly
3. Form length that matches the value of the offer
4. No menu or navigation links
When & if someone wants to change the layout of a landing page, it is important to change one element at a time to see what is working & what is not.
Thank you Pages
A thank you page is where visitors converted to leads land after they fill out their information on a landing page. This is the page that ends the conversion process. A thank you page is great place to provide visitors with more information about relevant products and services and thanking them. It does two jobs in one which brings the lead closer to being a customer.
Thank you pages should tell visitors what they should expect next such as: Thank you for signing up we’ll call you in 2-3 business days.
Email is a very important part of marketing communications. According to research conducted by Radicati & VERO, Email is popular for the following reasons:
1. Email is a channel that is owned by its users where social networks are not.
2. 91% of consumers check their email daily
3. 77% of customers prefer email for marketing communications
4. Email has a ROI of 4,300%
Sending your email to the right person
To send your email to the right person you must do the following:
1. Determine your audience
2. Segment your contact database
3. Send the right email at the right time
4. Nurture your lead into a customer
It is important to know the buyer journey which includes the stages of: Awareness, Consideration & Decision. This important because it helps marketers send the right message to customers in respect to their stage in the buyer journey.
image via http://image.slidesharecdn.com/ett2ttg9rcwm9bbzpepj-signature-9664dd7a09e50a71f5b3c20f7ade88de0461c5a928277ca809455799a11b0396-poli-140929200617-phpapp01/95/how-to-map-content-to-the-buyers-journey-the-marketers-funnel-inbound-2014-18-638.jpg?cb=1413970753
Content that would fit into the awareness stage would be videos, blogs, slideshares & free tools.
Buyers in the consideration stage would benefit from: Webinars, Case Studies, FAQ Sheets, Product whitepapers & Third Party reviews.
For the decision stage, offer: free trials, ROI reports, product demos, consultations, estimates & quotes.
What Great Emails Contain
Great emails contain the following, a personal reason for sending the email, image as CTA, encouragement to download & share with friends & colleagues, actionable language and personalized CTA signature.
Sales + Marketing or Smarketing
Smarketing is the process of aligning sales & marketing teams around common goals with in a business or organization, focused on improving revenue. Both teams must be aligned to the same goals for Smarketing to be effective. This makes both the sales and marketing more effective.
Prospects are visitors to a site or someone who has signed up for an email news letter
A Lead is defined as anyone who submitted contact information in exchange for an offering.
Two lead Types in Smarketing
Marketing Qualified Leads vs Sales Qualified Leads
Marketing Qualified Leads or MQLs indicate that prospects are engaged with a product or service and want to learn more about it. They are ready for the sales team to follow up.
Sales Qualified Leads or SQLs
Sales Qualified leads are described as leads that both marketing & sales feel are worthy of follow up.
Opportunity is a customer that a Sales rep has communicated with & logged in CRM as a legitimate customer.
Inbound Sales is the transformation of the sales process. Traditional Selling was Seller centric. It was based on cold calling, controlling information and a sales pitch.
Inbound Sales attracts potential customers because sales reps share compelling content, freely share information with customers and use the buyers situation to help them make the right purchasing decision. In today’s connected world. buyers have access to information at their finger tips. According to Hubspot, 60% of a buyer’s purchasing decision has been made before speaking to a sales rep.
Businesses spend most of their money on attracting new customers when in many cases it is cheaper to keep existing customers.
There are three pillars of delight which include: innovation, communication & education.
1. Innovation-is to change the status quo and provide customers with the right solutions.
2. Communication- it is better to be personal with prospects & customers offering customers help.
3. Education-it is better to empower people than to ignore them. Businesses need to educate their customers about what is the best way to solve their needs.
The three pillars of delight are what makes up a great sales rep or business. Everyone needs to help customers because they form impressions of your business with each interaction.
How do you use Inbound marketing in your business? Comment below & feel free to share.
Article & Image Sources
About the Author
Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. Hubspot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.
Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.
He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 13,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 8,000 on WordPress.
Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.