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14 October 2019

Are You Using An Inbound Marketing Agency?

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A Digital Agency (or two) have been throwing the words ‘Inbound Marketing’ around in conversation for quite some time now, but what does it actually mean, and can it really help your business grow?

Inbound Marketing is the process of using social media platforms, blogs, newsletters and email campaigns to share insightful and compelling content to potential and already established clientele. This way of communication is a non-intrusive way of giving your clients a full access pass to your business expertise, background, and personality. Both established and new clients get to become part of your company’s journey and potential future customers.

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It’s one of the best and most cost effective ways to convert strangers into customers and promoters of your business

Hubspot.com

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding. Learn more about Inbound Marketing

Traditional marketing is a one-way conversation – the marketer talking ‘at’ the potential client until they either explode from information overload or buy the product the marketer is selling. Inbound marketing is an invitation to an ongoing dialogue in which you can communicate with your clients in both a professional and congenial manner.

If you publish the right kind of content, on the right platform at the right time, the sky becomes your limit. You can market to your clients without actively interrupting them when they see a ‘top tip’ pop up on their Facebook, they might read it and comment on/like it. Next time they’re thinking about who they can contact to get a website built (or whatever it is you sell) your name might pop up in their head. Inbound marketing should be subtle so that your clients don’t realise they’re being marketed to. This of course means that the correct messaging is crucial. An inbound marketing agency could certainly help with constructing the outward messaging and tone of voice to make this work.

Since 2006, Inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of using dated methods such as buying email lists, purchasing ads or hunting down leads, inbound marketing focuses on pulling people towards your company through content that interests/amuses/informs them. An inbound marketing agency will be able to collate the most accurate data, and collect it through compliant, ethical means that leave all the control in the hands of the end user.

Whether your company is big or small, you need to be smarter with your money when it comes to marketing. Inbound is 10x more effective than traditional outbound marketing, especially in increasing:

  • Website Traffic
  • Sales
  • Lead Generation
  • Customer Loyalty

By knowing who your buyer persona is (who your target audience is, what they’re looking for etc.) you can relate your content and naturally attract inbound traffic to your website/business where you can then convince, close, and satisfy them over an extended period of time. If you’re not sure how to go about creating appropriate personas, any good inbound marketing agency will be able to help you achieve the most accurate results.

Attract - Make Those Strangers Into Visitors

It’s all well and good having your mum and her friends ‘like’ all of your social media posts, but we need to be attracting people that actually want to use/buy your product. That’s where a buyer persona comes in. Buyer personas are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.

Some important tools you might use to attract those perfect strangers are:

Social Publishing
Successful inbound strategies are all about remarkable content – and social publishing allows you to share that valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.

SEO
Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. So, you need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when and where they search. To do that, you need to carefully, analytically pick keywords, optimise your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.

Pages
Your website pages are your digital storefront. So put your best face forward! Optimise your website to appeal to your ideal buyers and transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.

Blogging
An inbound marketing agency would usually suggest starting with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.

Convert - Make Those Visitors Into Leads

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding. Learn more about Inbound Marketing

Those strangers have now been made into visitors!  The next step is to convert those visitors into leads, by getting their information. At the very least, you should be getting their email addresses. Contact information is like the holy grail of inbound marketing. So, in order for your visitors to offer up their priceless details, you need to offer them something in exchange. I’m not suggesting you buy them the shoes they’ve been after for months or a new Mac! But something much more valuable; remarkable content. Ebooks, whitepapers, guides or tip sheets, anything that can be used to help them on their quest.

You can use programmes such as flipping book publisher to create really nice guide books. Also, Canva has been a god send for making white papers and tip sheets.

Some of the most important tools in converting visitors to leads include:

Forms
In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Optimise your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.

Calls-to-Action
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like “Download a Whitepaper” or “Attend a Webinar.” If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or if they aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate leads.

Landing Pages
When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them. When website visitors fill out a form on a landing page for the first time, that visitor becomes a contact.

Contacts
Keep track of the leads you’re converting in a centralised marketing database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense out of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts – be it through email, a landing page, social media, or otherwise – and how to optimise your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and delight your buyer personas.

Close - Make Those Leads Into Customers

Your strangers have gone from visitors to leads and now is the time to make those leads into customers. How can we accomplish this? By using certain marketing tools, that’s how! We have to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right time, so I have accumulated a couple of ‘closing’ tools that would be most useful to do this:

CRM
Keep track of the details about all the contacts, companies, and deals in your pipeline, and easily get in touch with the right prospects at the right time. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems facilitate sales by making sure you have the right information at your fingertips to better engage with prospects across every channel.

Closed-loop Reporting
How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales team effectively closing those best leads into customers? Integration with your CRM system allows you to analyse just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together.

Email
What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your white paper, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.

Marketing Automation
This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a whitepaper on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.

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It costs a business 7x more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one

- KissMetrics

Delight - Keep Those Customers Coming Back For More

Inbound marketing is a great way to retain your existing clients; just because they’ve purchased your services once, doesn’t mean you can forget about them!

Inbound-orientated companies continue to engage with, delight, and (hopefully) upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of the products and services they love.

Tools used to delight customers include:

Surveys. The best way to figure out what your users want is by asking them. Use feedback and surveys to ensure you’re providing customers with what they’re looking for.

Smart Calls-to-Action. These present different users with offers that change based on buyer persona and lifecycle stage.

Smart Text. Provide your existing customers with remarkable content tailored to their interests and challenges. Help them achieve their own goals, as well as introduce new products and features that might be of interest to them.

Social Monitoring. Keep track of the social conversations that matter to you most. Listen out for your customers’ questions, comments, likes, and dislikes – and reach out to them with relevant content.

Once you have ‘delighted’ your customers, they will no doubt become ‘promoters’. Use these promoters to further market your business; you have an excellent opportunity to share testimonials from happy clients and ask them to recommend you to a friend. The chances are that if you have managed to get them to the ‘delighted’ stage, they would be more than happy to recommend your business.

For more information on how we  conduct our inbound strategies, feel free to view our Inbound Marketing page. To discuss your business and the potential for an inbound marketing agency to put together a coherent inbound plan, please feel free to get in touch via our contact page or directly through Jeremy on 07940 485 965.

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