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Applying A Hub-And-Spoke Model To Your Content Marketing Strategy

This is an updated version of a blog article that was originally published in September of 2014.

Everyone is talking about content marketing.

It’s obvious that you need content in order to connect with your audience, pull them into your website, educate them on a topic and eventually help them make a smart purchase decision by working with your business.

The content strategy development process is complicated: What content do we create? In what format? How often? How do we promote it? How do we optimize it? How does each piece of content inform the next? How do we ensure it turns visitors into leads? The questions are endless.

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You Won't Rank For Keywords If You Can't Convert Your Landing Pages

How Inbound Marketing Connects Search And Conversion

No one knows exactly how the Google search algorithms work, but we know Google improves rankings for pages that deliver value. We’re also pretty sure that if your page delivers a conversion, Google views that as a mark of the page's value for the visitor. 

This means search engine optimization has a new paradigm, one that includes conversion strategy. No longer is it enough to deliver a page with the right URL, the right copy, the right tags and the right descriptions. Today, if you want to rank for keywords, you have to ensure you convert your landing pages too.

Here are a few upgrades you can make to your landing pages today to improve your rankings tomorrow.

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What's The Right Relationship For You And Your Inbound Marketing Agency?

Vendor, Partner, Guide, Trusted Adviser Or Friend? It's Complicated

You probably never considered this. When it comes to evaluating agencies, none of the e-books, whitepapers or blog articles ever talk about the kind of relationship you want to have with your inbound marketing agency.

Yet we think it’s so important that we’ve opted out of engagements when the right relationship wasn’t present. Now it’s a big part of what we screen for in the sales process. In many cases it’s been the difference between amazing results and modest results for our clients.

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5 LIttle Known Reasons You Want Your Inbound Marketing Agency To Use Points

Points Keep You And Your Team Focused On Inbound Results

Agencies are shifting away from hourly billing and toward points-based systems. Not everyone is excited about the change, and feedback from CEOs, business owners and VPs of Marketing is still mixed.

But I want to give you some insight into why points might actually be better when it comes to finding the best inbound marketing agency for you, and why points might be the best way to manage your internal marketing team.

First, you have to know your goals for hiring an agency. Points work well when you’re expecting business results from your marketing. If you’re looking for logo designs, fancy brochures or even a beautiful website, then points might not be for you. But if you’re moving with the trend away from “stuff” and toward “results,” then points are where you want to be in 2016.

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Inbound Marketing Website Design vs. Traditional Website Design

This is an updated version of a blog article that was originally published in June of 2013.

I recently had a prospect ask me: “Is there a difference between a traditional website and an inbound marketing website?”

While I answered emphatically, “Yes!,” I thought it would be good to translate (a revised set of) best practices around inbound marketing website design and position them against traditional website design practices.

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Digital Marketing Vs. Internet Marketing Vs. Inbound Marketing

This is an updated version of a blog article that was originally published in May of 2013.

Categories are confusing.

Digital marketing, internet marketing, inbound marketing – what’s the difference? And how do business owners, CEOs and marketing managers decide what’s right for their business?

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Plain-Text Emails Vs. HTML Emails: Which Performs Best With Inbound Marketing?

Five Mistakes You're Making With Plain-Text Emails And How To Fix Them Today

Everyone has seen these. There’s been an explosion of them over the past six months. What looks like like a personal email arrives in your inbox, you open it, and even though it sounds like they know you, you don’t have any idea who the sender is, who their company is or why they’re emailing you.

You’ve seen these, right? I included one from I got from Uberflip yesterday down below.

Clearly someone, somewhere decided that this type of unsolicited emails is better than designed HTML unsolicited emails as an email marketing strategy.

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Why Your Marketing Strategy Might Be Masquarading As Something Else

Don’t Confuse Tactics With Strategy When Thinking About How Your Company Goes To Market

I keep reading blog articles, talking to other agency owners and reviewing proposals (provided to us by prospects looking for our help) that make it seem like marketing strategy is everything except what it should be to impact your results.

Marketing strategy is not branding guidelines. It’s not a technical assessment of your current website. It’s not only target personas, though personas are an element of marketing strategy. It’s not a listing of marketing tactics to be delivered. It’s not a content calendar, nor is it a review of all your current outbound marketing.

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Why Inbound Marketing Could Be Called Start-Up Marketing

Start-Ups Have To Be Agile, And Inbound Marketing Is 100% Built To Be Agile

Start-ups are the sexy side of business. You get this brilliant idea, you kill yourself boot-strapping the business to get it off the ground, you struggle, you win, you lose and then suddenly – bang, you’re Facebook or Twitter or Uber and you’re rich. That’s the story many start-up business CEOs are looking for: the fast track.

The reality is that most businesses fail in their first year. The stats are actually abysmal: According to Forbes, 80% of new businesses are out of business in 18 months. This parallels what many businesses experience with marketing. Everyone is looking for the silver bullet, the quick fix to generate leads. Then reality sets in and most businesses give up on their marketing because it failed after just a few months. But did they really give it a chance to succeed, or was it destined to crash and burn from the start?

Many parallels make inbound marketing and managing a start-up dramatically similar. Here are a few. 

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10 Crazy Facts You Should Know About Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing Gives Us Data To Make Results-Based Decisions

Inbound marketing is still new, so it’s not surprising that many people are still skeptical about it. However, the amount of data supporting the successes of an inbound approach makes it worth considering it for your company.

Here are 10 amazing facts and figures tracking the application of inbound marketing across a variety of industries and sizes of businesses. In addition to the data, we’ve also included tactics you can apply to your business that allows you to take advantage of the trends.

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