The idea of Inbound marketing comes along with very specific expectations – getting found, getting leads and closing sales. The beautiful aspect of inbound marketing is that you can make changes to your marketing execution right now and see results today, tomorrow and next week.
That being said, inbound marketing is a long term play, the longer you do it, the better the results. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint and you need to be constantly marketing. You should never consider marketing finished. You should never “take a break.” Do it every day!
However, there are real improvements that can be made today that will impact your results in a positive way all through the rest of the year. Here are 10 of the best ways to use inbound marketing to drive results this month:
1. Make sure your website has the right messaging. This is a very common challenge for marketers. You have 10 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention before they hit the back button. What do you say? It’s much easier to talk about your company than it is to talk about your prospect. But your prospects have to feel like you “get them” – that you understand their challenges and that you have solutions to help them.
Marketing takeaway: Make sure your web design does this quickly and does it in a way that emotionally engages your visitors. People make purchase decisions emotionally, don’t overlook that important point.
2. Add graphic call to action buttons on your website home page and across all your pages. Simple links just don’t cut it anymore. Today you need colorful, graphic, visually appealing images to attract your visitors, get them to click and clearly communicate what they are getting and why they might find it valuable.
Marketing takeaway: Try adding a few of these to your website home page and throughout your site, you will find that this dramatically increases the number of leads from your website.
3. Add offers to your website and make sure they appeal to people at all stages of the buying process. Most business websites have a single offer, “Contact Us.” This makes sense for those people who are ready to speak with you. But what about all those other visitors who aren’t ready? Inbound marketing has proven that by offering educational materials like whitepapers, videos, ebooks, podcasts or an invitation to a webinar, you are increasing your likelihood of generating leads.
Marketing takeaway: Consider people who request this material LEADS but they just aren’t ready to speak with one of your sales people yet.
4. Add a blog and make sure you are blogging at least 3 or 4 times a week. Blogging does so much for your inbound marketing effort. Blogging helps you with search by adding fresh content to your website on a regular basis. Google rewards sites with fresh content by increasing the likelihood of moving up the search results page. Blogging also gives your business an authentic voice and allows you to display thought leadership.
Marketing takeaway: Take a stand, make point or share your perspective. In the end your prospects will connect with your business more quickly and likely convert from visitor to lead as well.
5. Share your blog content with everyone who follows you on social media. Another positive result from blogging is that you’re able to share it across all social media platforms. Social media marketing offers businesses a huge opportunity to connect with potential prospects. Remember, your prospects are probably already on social media and actively looking for educational content.
Marketing takeaway: Share your blog posts with your friends, followers and connections on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and you will drive more traffic to your website, get more leads and close more sales.
6. Share your blog content and other educational material with key groups on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Groups offer you a perfect place to connect with people who match your target prospect’s profile perfectly. There are hundreds of thousands of LinkedIn Groups for every industry, every role and every size firm. Some of these groups have over 50,000 members.
Marketing takeaway: Identify groups that include your perfect prospect, join those groups and start sharing your blog posts.
7. Create dedicated landing pages that use best practices to convert visitors into leads. I know it’s easy to send everyone back to your home page and let them find their way through your site. But easy isn’t always better. If converting visitors into leads is your goal then you are going to need a conversion strategy – enter landing pages. Some landing page best practices include:
- No page navigation. This is a distraction and functions to take visitors away.
- Using images of the material you will be providing and offer brief description of the material including what they will learn if they download it.
Marketing takeaway: Help the visitor feel comfortable that they are going to be getting value in exchange for their email address or contact info.
8. Build out a lead nurturing email series (aka campaign) to continue the conversation with new leads even after they download your educational materials. The process shouldn’t end when you get a new lead from your inbound marketing effort. In fact, it’s just beginning. Now you have to nurture that lead all the way through your sales process. You do that by sending them regular emails with more educational content.
Marketing takeaway: Don’t sell. Don’t push. Just offer helpful guidance.
9. Identify two or three other websites that your prospects frequent and offer to share your educational material with their visitors, drive them back to your site and capture their contact info. Reusing content is very important with inbound marketing. It can be challenging to constantly create original content. But you can offer your blog content, whitepapers, eBooks and slide shows to other websites that are looking for content of their own. They post your content, with a link back to your website and you get more qualified visitors, leads and potential customers.
Marketing takeaway: The idea isn’t to duplicate content but share thought leadership, so be sure to update content when you do repurpose it.
10. Track and test everything. Inbound marketing moves lead generation from an art to a science. But if you are going to take a scientific approach to marketing you have to track and test everything you do. This typically requires tools for analytics, testing and even content creation. Marketing automation SaaS providers like HubSpot provide marketers a complete package for tracking results, measuring effectiveness, creating testing environments and producing scalable, measureable, repeatable results from an inbound marketing program.
Start adding these elements to your own inbound marketing effort and you will start seeing your business getting found, getting leads and closing sales.
About the Author:
Co-founder and president of Square 2 Marketing, Mike (@Mike2Marketing) is an inbound marketing evangelist and passionate about helping entrepreneurs and marketing professionals turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 10 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand to help them create strategic marketing plans, compelling marketing messages and deploy innovative inbound marketing tactics that drive revenue.
Mike’s interest in entrepreneurialism has spread beyond direct clients. He is a member of Vistage, the world’s leading CEO organization. In addition to coaching business owners and fellow Vistage members, Mike has been coaching junior baseball for more than a decade. In his spare time, he is an active supporter of the Future Business Leaders of America, an avid biker, kayaker and runner. His personal mantra is “Be bold and mighty forces will follow.”
Mike is the author of the popular RemarkaBlog, a guest blogger for a number of marketing-related blogs including SmartBlogs, Talent Zoo, MarketingProfs and Business 2 Community, a frequent public speaker on the topic of Inbound Marketing and a regularly quoted marketing expert in the media.