If you’re in either marketing or sales, you may have already heard about inbound marketing. This growing form of marketing helps businesses drive people to your website through diverse forms of content, turning visitors into high quality leads. If you're still unfamiliar with the concept, be sure to read "What Is Inbound Marketing & How Do I Start?" to get up to speed.
Inbound marketing is as effective as it is exciting. Why is it exciting? Because unlike many other forms of marketing, it empowers companies to delight and help their prospects and customers. Last week, we took part in a webinar with HubSpot, “Secrets of Inbound Marketing: How To Prove Your ROI.” During the webinar, our own David B. Thomas along with Mike Volpe (Chief Marketing Officer, HubSpot) shared several empowering secrets for success.
Here are 14 secrets that will get you reconsidering your marketing efforts and/or fine-tuning your existing initiatives:
1. It’s a relatively low-cost solution
Inbound marketing can be a great low-cost solution for leaner (and meaner!) teams looking to boost their efforts in driving leads and delighting customers. In today’s marketing space, “going inbound” shouldn’t be an option. According to the HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, the advertising business has changed consumers’ attention, making them less responsive to often intrusive generic advertisements. Inbound marketing can solve this problem.
2. Inbound marketing is formed by seven pillars
The "7 Pillars of Inbound Marketing" are:
- Useful content
- Intelligent blogging
- Coordinated social media efforts
- Tactical value
- Customer focus
3. Always listen before acting
Marc Benioff has said: "We believe strongly that listening as a vendor is the most important thing you can do.”
Listening empowers businesses to identify their buyers’ personas, ultimately allowing them to understand their customers on many levels.
4. Align with your business goals
Successful inbound marketing aligns with your customer-centric business goals, and you must consistently convey their value through great content.
5. Give your audience what they want
Thomas notes, “Content and inbound are the logical extension of social.” Always aim to build content that your audience is truly interested in. How? Be sure to listen to them (see number 3).
6. Be scrappy
Inbound marketing requires you to be scrappy, and you don’t necessarily need a large team or infinite amounts of content assets to delight your customers while driving leads. Instead, create one useful piece of content at a time, share it, and coordinate to maximize your success.
7. What is great content?
It’s useful, tactical content that will help your customers become more efficient at what they do. This is the price companies must pay in exchange for customers willingly sharing their contact information with them.
8. Blog about your content
Think of a content asset (like an ebook) as a theme for your blogging efforts, and use your assets as calls-to-action. Blogging about your asset helps maximize its value.
9. Recycling is good
Implement a content engine to recycle your content assets by creatively leveraging them in other formats such as webinars, eBooks, blog posts, or other multi-media forms of content.
10. Sharing is caring
Make it very, very easy for people to share your content. You’d be surprised by how many great pieces of content are wasted because simple sharing tools are absent.
11. Measure what matters
Don’t forget to measure the outcome of your efforts. Today, effective marketing strategies should be agile. Being able to change or fine-tune tactics on the fly is critical. You’ll want to measure how your campaigns affect business growth and apply this knowledge to future campaigns.
12. Break down the silos
With inbound marketing, you can break down silos between sales and marketing. Volpe sees the solution in creating a type of Service Level Agreement (SLA) where specific, measurable metrics are connected amongst these departments.
13. Set the right metrics
To implement a good SLA, look at your company’s customer acquisition costs and lead conversion rate for other marketing methods. Then, add a dollar value to each lead that engages with each different call-to-action on your site, and create a goal that's relative to that of your sales teams.
14. Feel good about yourself!
Companies with SLAs between marketing and sales teams perform better, because sales teams see a higher conversion rate for inbound leads for much lower costs. The value of their marketing team’s efforts become much more obvious.
Do you have any secrets to share about inbound marketing success? If you'd like to catch the full presentation, be sure to check out the Slideshare deck below or download the recorded version.