inbound marketing .of direct mail never opened. inbound marketing | 3 wha ... inbound marketing can
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The Key to Accelerating Your Companys Growth?
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The fundamental way the internet has changed buyer culture is by empowering them
to choose what, when and how they want to engage the purchase process. Today, U.S.
Internet users spend three times the minutes on blogs and social networks, than on
email--a simple fact that illustrates how much buyers prefer engagement with platforms
and processes that allow them to drive things, rather than the other way around.
86 %people who skip TV ads
46 %decline in trade show spending
44 %of direct mail never opened
I N B O U N D M A R K E T I N G | 3
What is inbound marketing?Know how moths are always drawn to a flame? That, in a nutshell, is inbound marketing
using something compelling to draw qualified prospects to your business. In this
case, the something compelling is relevant content that naturally attract leads you
can continue to engage over time. Gone are the days of buying ineffective email lists
and wishful thinking.
Inbound marketing is not a tool or a technology, but rather a methodology to be integrated into your organizations overall business strategy. Youre not just grabbing sales; youre creating a valuable relationship with a consumer by earning their interest and their trust not something that happens overnight.
The four pillars of inbound marketing Inbound marketing makes prospects more receptive because theyre engaging with you on their own terms. Wondering how this all works? Heres a quick step-by-step overview:
1. Attract qualified visitors. Effective websites generate traffic from people who are most likely to become your customers. So, using relevant content to draw in visitors who are searching for what you offer makes perfect sense. How do you do it? Some of the most important tools to attract ideal customers are:
Blogging Educate them with content that provides answers to their questions. This is the single best way
to attract new users to your site.
Social media Interact with prospects in the places where they spend the most time.
Keywords Choose keywords around most frequently searched terms.
User-focused web pages Construct web pages from a prospects perspective so design and content speak directly to his/her needs.
2. Convert leads to customers. If the traffic to your site is qualified, ideally a high percentage of these visitors will convert to customers. Inbound marketing encourages continued interest with tailored messages, landing pages and calls to action to draw prospects deeper into the purchase process. This can be accomplished by providing high-value resources such as white papers, research reports, e-books or webinars.
3. Close sales by delivering qualified leads to your sales team. Imagine filling your teams sales funnel with leads that are already deep into
the sales cycle. Closing tools like a lead scoring and qualification process or a marketing automation system help keep prospects engaged and primed for the sale, while ensuring youre closing the right leads at the right time.
4. Analyze, measure and report. Inbound marketing is a long-term investment that requires regular analysis, testing and optimization to keep driving results. Effective content generates leads on a consistent basis and improves the rate at which leads are produced over time.
Imagine filling your teams sales funnel
with leads that are already deep
into the sales cycle.
4 | I N B O U N D M A R K E T I N G
The buyer persona or personas if youre selling to multiple audiences or decision makers is not just a vague description of your ideal customer. Its a detailed snapshot that also uncovers why they act and how they buy.
The factors that drive the purchasing decision form the basis of every strategic inbound marketing plan, because theyre used to develop pitch-perfect marketing messages and positioning.
Take a minute and ask yourself, Can I answer these questions about my potential buyer(s)?
1. What triggers a buyers search for the solution(s) we offer?
2. What results or outcomes do they expect, both tangible and emotional?
3. What might prevent the buyer from choosing us?
4. What criteria are they using to make a buying decision?
5. What role does this particular buyer play, and at what stage of the process? Are others involved in the final decision?
6. What resources will a buyer turn to for information?
Thanks to the Internet, buyers are now in the drivers seat when it comes to the purchasing process. More than ever, your organizations success depends on just how well you understand their needs and motivations.
The importance of the buyer personaInbound marketing is all about your prospective buyer, not your company or product.
Thats why developing whats called a buyer persona is critical to the inbound marketing
I N B O U N D M A R K E T I N G | 5
Target MarketThe Old Way
Defining the target market was, for many years, the commonly accepted method for identifying for whom, with what and how a business might go out to the world.
Target market parameters typically include: Industry Company size Revenue Job title Geographic location
While all of this is important to understand about prospective buyers, they leave a lot to be desired for business owners who want efficient, effective marketing. Basic demographic information cant help you identify what occurred internally to make the purchase of your product or service a priority. Buyers are coming to the table educated and armed with information. They have a vast and unlimited source to go to learn about what they want, prior to ever having a conversation with a product or service provider.
Buyer PersonaThe New Way
Uncovering Buyer Personas, by comparison, is meant to create a fully-formed picture of your ideal customer. Beyond the basic demographic information listed above, a Buyer Persona will also include:
Triggering Incidents for Priority Initiatives Crticial Buyer Success Factors Buyer Perceived Barriers to Purchase Your Customers Unique Buying Process Specific Decision Criteria
Remember that your buyers should be the center of your universe. Armed with a strong buyer persona, you can feel confident about everything from the content you create, to the specific channels you use to share it, to the effectiveness of your infrastructure to support the needs of your buyer. Personas are powerful tools and a critical factor for long term marketing success.
On average (and with little variation among industries) customers will contact a Sales rep when they independently
complete about 60% of the purchasing decision process. -Ana Lapter, Marketing Leadership Council Blog
6 | I N B O U N D M A R K E T I N G
Is inbound right for your business?
Do you have quantifiable growth plans? Inbound marketing is rooted in long-term success not overnight miracles so its important to be realistic when considering your expectations for growth. Having a clear objective and timeline is essential to the inbound process, because they drive every marketing initiative and help you clearly measure your progress.
What are your plans to reach those goals? A formal marketing program is a smart investment for any business seeking to change the status quo. What strategies do you currently have in place? How are they performing? How does marketing fit into your overall strategic plan?
Have you identified your companys barriers to growth? Inbound marketing can be a solution to help overcome the challenges your business is dealing with. But these same challenges can also hinder the success of an inbound marketing plan. Consider aspects like the competitive landscape, your company sales culture, technical capabilities, even your capacity to manage what can be a time-consuming effort. Do you have the right mindset and resources to support a full-on inbound marketing effort?
Are there any negative aspects to reaching your goals?It may sound like a funny question, but too often business owners dont think about the downside of success. Can your current infrastructure everything from your sales staff to your phone or computer systems to your shipping department handle a significant sales boost? Will suppliers be able to come through with increased materials? Without a plan in place to manage sales growth, inbound marketing might not be a good fit for your business.
What are the positive effects of reaching your goals? Inbound marketing takes a significant investment of time and resources, so consider what success looks like. Why have you set the goals youve chosen, and what happens when you reach them? Is there a particular end game in mind? By identifying these next steps in advance, you can design an inbound strategy that grows with your business.
Is your current sales process or culture a good fit for inbound? Inbound marketing helps you get in front of the right people and it gets you there early, consistently and throughout the buying process. In order to achieve
While inbound marketing has proven successful for companies of all sizes, only
you can determine whether or not it correlates with your specific objectives.
A review of your goals and resources can help guide your thinking. Start with
these eight questions to determine if an inbound marketing plan might be
right for your company:
Direct Traffic, 15%