The Essential Ingredients for Successful Inbound Marketing

Since 2006 inbound marketing has proven to be the most effective marketing method for generating leads online. Instead of using the traditional outbound marketing methods of buying ads, direct mail, or email lists

and sending out disruptive messages to the masses, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that attracts people to your company and product.

When you align the content that you publish with the interests of your buyer persona, over time, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close and delight.

Today the average consumer is doing most of their buying

research online, long before they contact suppliers. In fact, in a current research project produced by Google working with Corporate Executive Board’s Marketing Leadership Council, 1,500, B2B consumers were found to have completed, on average, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on—before even having a conversation with a provider. 

Clearly, being able to offer timely, relevant educational content to consumers in the buyer’s journey can have a positive impact on your marketing efforts. In order to deliver measurable online marketing results, you will need the ability to create a strategy that has the essential ingredients for successful inbound marketing which includes the following 5 elements;

research online, long before they contact suppliers. In fact, in a current research project produced by Google working with Corporate Executive Board’s Marketing Leadership Council, 1,500, B2B consumers were found to have completed, on average, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on—before even having a conversation with a provider.

Clearly, being able to offer timely, relevant educational content to consumers in the buyer’s journey can have a positive impact on your marketing efforts. In order to deliver measurable online marketing results, you will need the ability to create a strategy that has the essential ingredients for successful inbound marketing which includes the following 5 elements;

  • 1Attracting qualified buyer personas to your website. Attracting more traffic to your website is just like cooking, you need a variety of ingredients that work together to achieve a good result. Here are three essential elements to include in your recipe for attracting buyer personas; 

Keyword strategy; lay the groundwork for research around keywords that are attainable and worthwhile. Target keywords are placed in on-page website content so search engines can identify your products and services for the terms consumers are entering in the browser search bar.

Blogging; keyword optimized blogs that are published frequently show that your site is active, and fresh. The more blog posts you publish the more indexed pages you create for search engines to display in their results. Blogging also enables you to attract organic traffic and familiarize people with your business.

Social Media Sharing; once you’ve published your blog articles you need to promote them. Go where your audience is and share on social media. Track views, subscribers and shares and then compare the number of shares between posts to see which types of posts are getting the most shares.

  • 2Converting website visitors to leads; as you attract qualified buyer personas to your site by using your keyword strategy, blogging and social media sharing, these efforts won’t be productive unless your traffic is converting. If you want to successfully convert leads from traffic you must be able to create premium content offers, landing pages and call to action (CTA) buttons. Premium content offers like e-guides, infographics, demo requests or free trials are linked from CTA buttons to gated landing pages which require visitors to fill out a form in exchange for the content offer. When a visitor fills out a form, a lead is created allowing you to follow up with an email or a phone call.
  • 3Turning leads into customers; when developing your lead response process, you want to address not only the time that a qualified lead should be responded to, but the frequency as well.Building targeted content with offers that are suitable for top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel is an essential ingredient for successful conversion. Offers such as research reports, white papers and educational reports are good for top of the funnel conversions. Examples of middle of the funnel content include comparison white papers, expert guides and videos. Bottom of the funnel content should include vendor and/or product comparisons, case studies and trial downloads.
  • 4Generating promoters from customers; personalized communication in combination with educational information that’s useful and relevant. These are the ingredients for creating advocates for your brand. Studies show that customers who are delighted are worth their weight in gold. Customer advocates buy more, more often and may be able to actively convince others to buy as well.
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Lastly and most important of all is the ability for you to measure the leads you are handing off to the sales team. How are the leads that are generated being rated by the sales people? Are they converting those leads into customers?

Perhaps the most difficult part of developing a marketing plan is verbalizing your marketing goals. Smart Marketing goals are important because they turn dreams and aspirations into tangible objects which require commitment and action. They can also be used for measuring performance, increasing revenue and meeting business challenges. Goals should ideally include specific guidelines, details and outline the resources necessary for attainment.

Whether you have short-term or long term marketing goals we believe in using the acronym SMART when developing those goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. We offer a brief white paper that explains these elements in more depth.

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