Increase Profits for Your Company
The marketing of products and services is a specialized field – and one that’s highly competitive. Marketing budgets are increasingly shifting from traditional cold calling and direct mail to online tactics, because they are both more cost effective and easier to measure the Return on Investment (ROI). More and more savvy business owners are looking for information on how to implement these tactics to spend less and increase their sales.
Inbound marketing is successful for several reasons:
- leads are far less expensive than leads obtained through traditional marketing methods;
- helps you reach a wider audience through search engines and social media
- sets the stage for the next step in the sales cycle and aids in conversion;
- campaigns are easy to track and analyze, so you know where your efforts are best invested; and
- helps establish your brand and build your reputation as a provider of valuable information and services in your industry.
But what is Inbound Marketing,
and what can it do for your company?
It is a set of online marketing strategies and techniques that focus on achieving measurable results in three areas and tracking them – it breaks down like this:
- Drawing traffic to a company’s website
- Converting that traffic to leads
- Converting leads to sales
- Fine tuning by measuring and analyzing the results
Each category can be further broken down into a set of activities as described below.
What does a typical inbound marketing campaign look like?
1. Draw Traffic: Content Marketing and Social Media
Content marketing continues to prove its ability to perform in driving traffic from search engines and positioning brands as thought leaders in their industry. It does this by creating content on a regular schedule that is filled with relevant, useful information, which is also optimized for search engines. And as social networks continue to skyrocket in popularity, businesses understand that this is a great tool for increasing traffic and leads through the dissemination of this content.
So, loosely stated, inbound marketing uses search engine optimized content and social media to draw people to your website.
Tools: web pages, blogs, guest-blogging, video, podcasts, offers, SEO, SEM, social profiles, social media marketing
2. Convert Traffic to Leads and Prospects: Leveraging the buying cycle with ‘Content Offers’
By having a user-friendly website with ‘content offers’ crafted to the various stages of the buying cycle (awareness, evaluation, purchase), inbound marketers can influence visitors to exchange their contact information for something of value.
Tools: offers, whitepapers, ebooks, contests, webinars, demos, Calls To Action (CTAs), forms, landing pages
3. Convert Prospects to Sales: Lead Nurturing
Once you have collected contact information from people learning and evaluating your products and services, you have data on what they are interested in and can move them further into your sales funnel by creating email campaigns and workflows. These scheduled emails leverage what you know, which includes what they have already downloaded and whatever information you collected at the first download, to offer an item at the next stage in the buying process. It is never pushy, just helpful.
4. Fine Tuning: Measuring, Tracking and Tweaking
Most activities in inbound marketing are measurable – that is one of the reasons it is so successful. Once you can measure something – you can benchmark it.
You can measure:
- website & landing pages activity
- search engine optimization efforts
- paid search investments
- business blogging efforts
- social media marketing
- lead conversions
- email marketing campaigns
There are many different programs to help you analyze such things, but the reason that the company Hubspot has become so popular in recent years is because they provide software that allows you to measure, track and analyze all of these activities from one dashboard. It’s very powerful.