You know you’ve ignored certain digital marketing tactics. Admit it. Maybe it's because you don’t understand them completely or maybe it's because you don’t use them personally.
Or perhaps, you don’t think you have anyone on your staff who can manage them. Regardless, the time has come to include these eight digital marketing ideas in your company’s marketing if you want your business to get found, get leads and close sales.
Social Media – This has to be first. You would be shocked at how many companies come to us without comprehensive LinkedIn corporate pages or without any presence on Google Plus. The day where you could say, “I don’t use it and I am sure my prospects aren’t using it,” is long gone.
Everyone is using social media, and you need to make sure you have visually interesting, complete and message-appropriate Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter and YouTube pages. More importantly, these pages have to be updated weekly at minimum, and perhaps even daily.
Video Marketing – We posted a blog on video marketing last week, so if you want more detail about what goes into a strong video marketing effort, click here to read our post. But, the short story is that you need video on your website, in your email marketing and as a part of your sales process. People want to watch; they don’t want to read. Make sure any video assets you create are integrated into your search engine optimization effort, meaning they need to be written, created and posted with keywords and questions in mind.
LinkedIn Sponsored Ads – These ads, which are promotions for your educational content – not links back to your homepage – have performed incredibly well for our clients in a testing phase, and are now part of our standard inbound marketing program implementation. Why? They allow us to do micro-segmentation. We target very specific individuals in specific businesses in the perfect target market, and our clients get amazing results. This tactic is also inexpensive, with most clients budgeting about $300 a month for their ads.
Website Personalization – Netfix, Amazon and other big brands are teaching us that our website experiences need to be hyper personal. Today, the tools are available for you to deliver a very similar experience. Why is this so important? Your prospects are making their purchase decisions in the 10 seconds they spend on your website. That’s right. If they have an interesting, personal and educational experience on your site, they are ready to buy (at least emotionally ready). If they have a mediocre or highly generic experience on your site, they are pressing the back button and moving to your competitor’s site.
Today, we provide your website visitors with a personalized experience so they get pictures, copy, offers, insights and interactive opportunities created just for them. This approach gets them to stick around and increases the chance that they convert from anonymous visitors into leads for your business. Personalized experiences on the web have proven to triple conversion rates. This also means triple the leads for your business.
Lead Nurturing – Just because a person converts into a lead on your website doesn’t mean he or she is ready to buy today. Making that assumption is a catastrophic mistake. Be careful how you nurture your leads. You don’t want to pepper them with three emails the day after they've downloaded your materials.
You don’t want to call them when they haven’t asked to be called. You do want to carefully plan out a series of educational emails with additional offers, tailored just to them. You do want to make sure those emails are personal, friendly and scheduled so they come at a reasonable pace, such as one every three days. This keeps you in front of your prospects and it keeps you in the position of advisor. Most importantly, if done well, it should allow you to tweak their pains and move them through the sales funnel and closer to becoming new clients.
Blogging – If you want your business to be found on the web, you have to blog and you have to blog regularly. This means at least two or three times a week. The actual amount of blogging is directly proportionate to how badly you want to be found. If you’re desperate, blog every day. The more you blog, the more traffic you drive to your site. Of course, this assumes you are blogging correctly: using the right keywords, using the right blog tool, using the proper linking and correctly placing images.
Smart Offers – This is a great way to keep your website visitors moving through the sales funnel. Once I download one piece of educational content on your site, why should I see it on your site again? Smart offers allow us to know what people download, and then to present them with different, yet perfectly relevant offers, so they are always seeing new and interesting educational content on your site. This technology allows us to continue personalizing their experiences on your site and helps you nurture them throughout the sales process.
Online Assessments – Most of us like to compare ourselves, or our companies, against others. As a result, assessments, grader tools and online quizzes are usually very effective middle-of-the-funnel offers. Our inbound marketing grader tool (see the CTA button below), HubSpot’s website grader tool and other online scorecards, graders and assessments allow you to collect valuable qualification data on your prospects. This should help you provide them with a personalized experience as you educate them towards making a safe purchase decision.
You could choose to implement one or two of the above ideas to give your marketing a digital marketing jumpstart. But, the power of inbound marketing comes when all of these components are integrated and implemented as one.
Start Today Tip - It's time to step up your marketing program. If your marketing isn't delivering, it's probably because you are missing all or at least some of the digital marketing tactics discussed in this post. They're not "nice to have" tactics. Today, they are mandatory, especially if you want to get found by search engines. Consider adding all, or most, of these elements to your collection of marketing tactics. Then, set goals around results and track the results on a weekly basis. It won't be long until you start to see real results from these key digital marketing tactics.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolution!
More and more websites have video as part of their content marketing effort.
That’s great, because people like to watch videos, but how do you use videos to turn those watchers into leads?
That’s the difference between using video marketing as part of an inbound marketing program versus simply using videos on your website or in a YouTube channel.
Here are a few of the ways we turn videos into money for our clients.
Video SEO – Video is a great inbound marketing tactic, and a great way to rank. Google, especially, is looking for video to rank. To make sure your videos rank, put them on YouTube and other video-sharing sites like MetaCafe and Vimeo. Make sure your keywords and questions are highlighted in the meta tags and meta descriptions for all of your videos. Make sure your script has both keywords and relevant questions in the actual audio files. If you select less popular keywords, you have a better chance of ranking more quickly than if you choose the most popular and competitive keywords.
Video And Social Media – Social media users love video, especially those using Google Plus, which has become a hotbed for video posts. Make sure that your videos find their way onto your social sites on a regular basis. People love sharing videos, so the more you post them, the more likely they are to be shared. Sharing is caring when it comes to Google. The more your videos get shared, the higher they're going to rank.
Video And The Sales Process – As much as your visitors want video, your prospects want video, too. Make sure that videos are an active component of your sales-related content marketing strategy. You should be sending videos strategically throughout your sales process. One easy way to include video is to make a Reference Reel. You know your prospects are going to want to talk to references. Instead of bothering the same three or four great clients, create a set of videos that you can send out to prospects proactively, before they even ask.
Video On The Web – Make sure your content marketing strategy includes video. This means that your website has to have a set of videos that answers the questions your prospects ask on a daily basis. Make sure your videos provide the answers, and add a call-to-action button for more information at the end of the videos. This allows you to give your prospects additional information, and potentially convert those prospects into leads.
Better yet, include a mixture of un-gated and gated videos. After prospects watch the un-gated videos, direct them to the more specialized or even more detailed gated content. This will improve the number of leads you get from your inbound marketing tactics.
Mapping Video To The Buyer Journey – One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “What should our videos be about?” This is an easy question to answer when you know what questions your prospects are asking your sales team, or your customer service reps. Document these questions and start using video to answer them. Even your CSRs are able to send out links to videos while they are on the phone with customers. This is a brilliant way to improve customer service and drive people back to your website.
Once you have a list of questions from the beginning, middle and end of the sales process, you’ll know exactly how many videos you need and what those videos need to be about. Schedule them out over time; you don’t need to create them all in one day. Then, slowly deploy them into your sales and marketing. Follow the directions above and you are on your way to improving your ability to get found, get leads and close sales.
Start Today Tip – Most videos are easily produced with equipment that is readily available. This means you don’t need any fancy equipment to make videos. But, don’t skimp on sound. Your prospects are going to understand if the video looks homemade – we are all much more accepting of lower-quality video production. However, if they can't hear what you are saying, forget the whole project. Invest in a good-quality lavaliere microphone. This ensures that everyone can hear what you or your subjects are saying. Also, keep your videos under 3 minutes, and closer to 90 seconds if possible. If your videos are too long, viewers will lose interest.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolutions!
If inbound marketing turned marketing from art to science overnight, then you need to be clear about what numbers you should track and when to look at those numbers.
In today’s blog post, we reveal the 11 most important inbound marketing metrics you should be watching on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If you don’t know these numbers off the top of your head, you don’t know anything about your marketing.
Website Visitors – Forget about unique visits, return visits, etc. Just worry about how many people are coming to your site on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. After all, do you really care if people come back two, three or four times?
Wouldn’t people returning to your site be positive? One consideration is to set a visitor goal. How many people do you need to come to your site to hit your marketing goals? Set it and measure it monthly.
Conversion Rate – This is a key number and it represents the number of people who turn from anonymous visitors into identified leads. Historically, this number is between 1% and 3% across your entire site, but we have seen companies with conversion rates in the sub 1% range.
If you want to drive this number up, you have to create new educational content and publish it on your site monthly. This may drive a .5% conversion rate to a 2% conversion rate in just a day.
Leads – If prospects give you their email addresses and download or sign up for your content, they are considered leads. They might not be bottom-of-the-funnel leads, but they are interested in you, nonetheless. Just like website visitors, set goals and track this daily.
Cumulative Email Addresses – Every time you execute an email campaign, your list is going to change. Opt-outs and non-deliverables are automatically removed, and you are adding (or at least you should be adding) to your list daily. All the leads you generate are automatically added to your email database. But, you have to know whether you are growing that list or not. Keep tabs on it monthly and make sure it’s going up, month over month.
Soclal Media Reach Metrics – The same thinking holds true for all of your social media marketing sites. People drop off and pop on every single day, but you have to make sure you have more Twitter followers, Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and Google Plus followers in your circles each month. The more expansive your social media reach, the more people are able to share your content as you create it, expanding your ability to connect with new clients and prospects.
Email Open Rate – This is perhaps one of the less critical, but still important, metrics. Email has become a challenging marketing tactic. Open rates are down to historic lows, with some research showing 10% open rates now being the industry norm. Make sure your open rates are around 20% by sending educational content, and not sales promotions. In addition, open rate is entirely about the subject line, so don’t skimp on this and default to "January Newsletter" or "Free ____ Inside."
Email Click-Through Rate – If they open your email, that’s only half the battle. You really want them to click back to your website. Email click-through rates are typically around 3% to 5%. Click-through rates have everything to do with the content in the email, the format, the writing and the stories the email tells. If the stories are compelling and creative, people will want the rest of the details and are going to visit your website. If the email lacks depth or, even worse, doesn’t include links, then you might as well not even send it.
Opt-Out Rate – Every email has to include an opt-out feature for people who just don’t want to get your content anymore. Keep an eye on this number quarterly, it might bump up one month and then come down again. If your opt-out rate is anywhere below 1%, you are probably doing fine.
Blog Subscribers – This should be a number you are actively tracking, week over week. You want this number to be going up as fast as possible. Remember, the people subscribed to your blog are hearing from you almost every single day. Eventually, you should want more blog subscribers than email addresses. Blog subscribers regularly share content with their friends and colleagues. Your blog does wonders for all of your key metrics, including generating website traffic and leads. The more you blog, the more leads you generate.
Blog Views – Blog views give you direct insight into what your prospects and customers care about. If you write a blog post and no one reads it, don’t write about that topic again. On the contrary, if you write a blog post and 100 people read it, 20 people share it and you get two comments, you hit the jackpot. Keep writing about that topic and expand that topic to include related information.
Blog views also give you insight into what kind of educational material you need on your site. Instead of producing a 30-page e-book, create a single, 600-word blog post. The blog posts that are most popular should then be turned into more detailed, long-form content like e-books or whitepapers.
Top 5 Landing Page Conversion Rates – High performing landing pages typically convert around 30%, with some very successful landing pages converting at 50% or even higher. Keep an eye on your five most trafficked pages and make sure they are converting at a very high rate. Don’t worry about your Contact Us page. People often stop by that page to get information, but rarely fill out the form, so it's quite common for that page to convert at around 2%. You want to focus more on content-oriented landing pages; those pages should be converting at much higher rates.
If you really want to become an expert at tracking metrics, consider marketing automation that provides an app for your phone. HubSpot gives me instant access to the performance of our own program, and with the swipe of my fingers, I get access to every single client’s program.
Start Today Tip – Get the most important marketing metrics together for your business. Post them, share them and communicate them to your team. What gets measured gets done. Consider adding an iPhone or Android app to your tracking regimen and monitoring key metrics daily. Other metrics should be reported on and tracked weekly. Before you know it, these numbers will increase, month over month. The result is improved lead generation and more new business for your company.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolution!
It’s good to be the king. King James, that is. Unless you’ve been under a rock, or snowed in at the North Pole, you would know that LeBron James scored a career high 61 points in the Heat’s 124-107 victory over the Bobcats in Miami on Monday, setting a new Heat franchise scoring record in the process.
That got us thinking: How do we, as marketers, set franchise records for leads generated in a day, week or even a month?
Step 1 – You Have To Be Tracking.
If you want to measure your success, you have to track it. The great Vince Lombardi once said, "If you’re not keeping score, you’re only practicing." You have to set goals for leads daily, weekly and monthly, and then you have to implement the tools to track those leads. If you don’t have a tool in place now, consider adding it to your marketing strategy and plan for 2014. Tools like HubSpot, Marketo and even Salesforce.com can be implemented very quickly and for modest investments.
Step 2 – Set Your Goals.
You can't break any records of you don’t have any goals. Establish your reasonable expectations for leads on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You should start from real data; don’t make these numbers up and expect them to come true. Look at where you are today. How many leads do you get from your website? If it’s only one or two a month, don’t shy away from that past performance; rather, embrace it and set goals to improve it. If you want some benchmarks to help set your own goals, consider this: Leads typically account for 1% of total website traffic to your site on a monthly basis. If your site gets 1,000 visitors, you should expect 10 leads a month, minimum.
Step 3 – Do Your Homework.
There are plenty of resources to help you get a head start on how to generate leads using inbound marketing. There are e-books, blogs, discussion forums, conferences and individuals, such as the Strategy Team at Square 2 Marketing, who would be happy to chat with you about your specific business, industry and situation. Get as much information from the inbound marketing community as you can in order to cut the learning curve a bit.
Step 4 – Practice. Practice. Practice.
Sure, LeBron has natural ability, but he also practices harder than any other player on the court. You have to practice, too. You won't be a lead-generating machine right out of the gate. You have to hone your craft, make mistakes and change your approach. You have to try different tactics until you get the perfect combination for your business in your industry.
Step 5 – Make A Game Plan.
LeBron goes into every game with a game plan. You also need a solid plan if you want to tackle inbound marketing. Make sure your marketing strategy is complete. Personas are not enough. If you don’t have tactical details in your inbound marketing plan, you are going into the game at a major disadvantage.
Step 6 – Use All Of Your Tools.
If you know anything about LeBron James, then you know that he wasn’t always such a prolific shooter. Over the past few years, he has developed a more complete game. During Monday's game, he shot 80% from behind the three-point line. That is unheard of. You need to make sure that you are using all of the inbound marketing tactics available to you and that these tactics are well integrated and well orchestrated.
You need blogging, active content creation, social media, video marketing, solid conversion strategy, a website with compelling messaging and solid differentiation, content and a website that works on all types of mobile devices. Also, search needs to be considered for every tactic, as it’s no longer a standalone effort.
Once prospects engage with your company, you need active lead nurturing and email marketing campaigns to stay in front of them. You need to make sure that your content maps perfectly up and down the sales funnel and that your offerings are aligned with your buyer process.
Just like LeBron has to rebound, dribble, shoot threes, shoot foul shots, play defense, break the press, set picks, roll off the picks, pass to teammates and control the offense, you have to be equally adept at managing many different inbound marketing tactics, all running at the same time. That is the only way you are going to set any single game records for lead generation.
Speaking of records, here are some to shoot for. These are actual lead generation results from three different clients we’ve worked with over the years.
Single-Day Lead Generation – 259
Single-Week Lead Generation – 1,312
Single-Month Lead Generation – 3,019
Start Today Tip – The sooner you start practicing, the sooner you might realize results like those above. There’s only one LeBron James. But, if you start putting the processes, practices and inbound marketing tactics in place today, you'll begin to see your lead generation improve dramatically. Eventually, you can set your own lead generation goals, continually improving what you do to continually improve your results – day after day, week after week and month after month.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolution!
I love the movies, so we thought it would be fun to give out a few Oscars for success in the field of inbound marketing and match those awards to the recent Academy Awards ceremony.
So, without any long monologues or fancy production numbers, let’s get right to the awards.
Best Picture – Given to the inbound marketing tactic that has had the biggest impact on our clients' overall program performance during the past year. And the Oscar goes to … BLOGGING. If you want to get found on Google, Yahoo and Bing then you need to be blogging. The more you blog, the more website visitors you draw to your site. Our research and data across over 50 active clients shows that the clients who blog more than twice a week get all the traffic they need, while those who blog once a week or less often fail to meet their website visitor goals.
Best Actor – Given to the inbound marketing tactic that has had the biggest impact on one of our client’s programs over the past year. And the Oscar goes to … CONTENT SOURCING. Just as we mentioned in yesterday’s post, it’s not enough to create content for your website. You have to actively pitch that content to other sites where your target prospects spend their time online.
Trade group sites, LinkedIn groups, magazine sites, web community sites and blogs that appeal to your target audience are all good sources for your current content. Once you get a placement, the stream of new visitors to your site is hard to turn off, and that increase in traffic means an increase in leads.
Best Supporting Actress – Given to the inbound marketing tactic that has had the biggest supporting impact on one of our client’s programs over the past year. And the Oscar goes to … SOCIAL MEDIA. The more your content gets shared, the more new visitors find their way to your website. All of the major search engines are looking for content that gets shared.
Even more directly, content that gets shared drives traffic directly. If social media isn’t on your inbound marketing to-do list, you’re missing out. Inbound marketing programs with active social media components realize close to a 50% increase in website traffic vs. clients without active social media accounts.
Best Visual Effects – Given to the inbound marketing tactic that has had the most dramatic visual or interactive impact on our clients' ability to generate leads. And the Oscar goes to … VIDEO MARKETING. Video has so many direct benefits that it’s hard to consider any other contenders for this award. Video helps with SEO, it helps engage people on social media sites, it helps visitors get your message and stay on your pages longer when visiting your website, it works beautifully as a content component of your sales process and it can be gated to drive more leads. It’s one of the few tactics that drives results in so many different areas.
Best Screenplay – Given to the behind-the-scenes inbound marketing work that ultimately turned into one of the best and most successful inbound marketing programs of all time. And the Oscar goes to … MARKETING STRATEGY AND PLANNING. It goes without saying, but without a great screenplay, you rarely produce a great movie. The same holds true here. Without a solid, well-thought-out and creative marketing strategy and plan, your chances of success with inbound marketing are slim. If you don’t know what to say to whom and how to make your business different, you may want to consider holding off on the entire program.
If you haven’t thought through your content plan, mapped it to your sales process, infused keywords, overlaid prospect questions and created editorial calendars for the entire year, you are going to struggle to drive leads. You can't skip the planning process and expect to be successful.
Best Director – Given to the inbound marketing support tactic that helps us turn average program performance into remarkable program performance. And the Oscar goes to … MARKETING ANALYTICS.
You have to take direction from someone or, in this case, something. Data drives decisions. Once you see exactly what’s working well, what’s struggling and what isn’t working like you expected, adjustments in real-time should be made to improve performance. Without marketing analytics, it’s like driving on a dark road with the lights off.
Start Today Tip – This post might seem cheeky, but it’s true. If you are missing any of these Oscar-winning inbound marketing tactics from your marketing portfolio, then your marketing program isn’t firing on all cylinders. Worse than that, it’s possible that you might actually be sending some of your best prospects off to your competitors. If you want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to get found, get leads and close sales, then consider adding all of these award-winning inbound marketing tactics to your marketing today.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolution!
Over the weekend, one of our clients emailed us to share his overwhelming gratitude to see that an e-book we created for his company had found its way into a Forbes article. Click here to see the article. While this might look lucky to some, to us it’s all part of the science behind how we practice inbound marketing.
More importantly, as marketing continues to evolve, how you create, manage, publish and measure your content is becoming a core component of successful inbound marketing.
Marketing Strategy – Strategy before tactics: It’s our mantra, and without it, there's little hope that your content will ever find a place outside of your website or your sales process. But, with some strong thinking behind it, a solid plan of attack and a road map by which you manage your efforts over the course of the year, successes like this become monthly occurrences. The results become huge increases in website traffic and major improvements in lead generation, month over month.
Content Mapping – Making sure you have content for all phases of the prospects' buying process has always been important. Today, it’s critical. DO NOT proceed if you haven’t thought this out. You need to have content for the top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU) and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). But, you need the right content.
No-Risk Offers for the top of the funnel means educational content that requires only an email address. Low-Risk Offers for the middle of the funnel means educational content, such as webinars or online assessments, that requires the buyer to commit more personal information. Direct Business Offers are much richer than "Contact Us" or "Speak With A Sales Rep Today." Make sure they contain something more for your prospects. Make it about them, and not about you, and you'll see these bottom-of-the-funnel leads increase significantly.
Content Sourcing And Publication – This might be one of the most important and little-known ways to use content to drive results from inbound marketing. With some solid planning, you should be able to source and publish content across the web. Editors and site managers are constantly looking for content from outside sources – content that their readers will value. That is, as long as you’re not selling. You’re not selling, right? You should be able to leverage your current content to get traction with new potential prospects.
Embedded SEO Within The Content – You have to start creating content from a perspective of “get found.” Today, content is what drives people to your website. Content ranks, content gets shared and content gets people to know, like and trust your business. If your keywords and key questions are not a core part of the content you are creating, then you won't get new prospects to find your website online, and that means you won't hit your lead goals.
Make sure that everything you write is written for your target personas and the people who will be reading it, but don’t forget about Google and the other search engines, either.
Tracking And Testing – Inbound marketing delivers unmatched insight into what is working and what’s not working. Content works the same way. If you have a piece that isn’t converting, consider removing it, changing the title, changing the CTA button or reworking the landing page. But, do so with intent in mind. Blog posts give you direct insight into what content is moving the market. Focus your efforts on the content that is getting read, shared and commented on.
Start Today Tip – This blog post may have turned your content marketing effort on its ear. If so, that’s a good thing. It’s never too late to take a breath and create your marketing strategy, content map and overall content marketing approach. Content that generates leads takes time, and it also takes a professional effort in writing, designing and getting it to convert. If your landing pages or lead nurturing campaigns are weak, even the best content won't generate leads. If your content isn’t compelling and it doesn’t look great, don’t expect Forbes to link to it. Make this a focus for 2014 and you’ll soon be seeing the leads you need to hit your revenue goals.
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Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolutions
I could have written, "SEO Is Dead," and maybe that would have gotten me more views and more social shares, but that message has been delivered by other marketing firms over and over again. The point of this post is that you don’t DO search engine optimization anymore.
So, what do you do? In essence, search engine optimization has become a core part of all other inbound marketing tactics, so there is no need to DO SEO anymore.
Here is what I mean.
Before you do anything, you have to establish your strategic plan around getting found. What keywords do you want your prospects to use to find your business? More importantly, what keywords are people currently using? There is often a disparity between the answers to those questions. Clients want to be found for keywords that no one is using. But, what's more important today are the questions your prospects are asking. Google is moving to contextual search algorithms, which means people won't be typing in keywords, but speaking to the search engine in long-form question format. This means your content and website have to answer specific questions if you want to get found.
Website Design And Build
When you build, update or work on maintaining your website, you have to make sure it is properly built, and this includes page titles, page subheads, url naming, meta tags, meta descriptions and a whole host of other best practices to help your website get found. But, this is all part of a properly designed and managed website project, not part of "doing" SEO.
When you create educational content and new copy for your prospects to download, you have to infuse keywords into this material. Take those same questions we discussed in the strategy section and make sure your content answers those questions directly. Make sure that you have educational content for the top, middle and bottom of the funnel, and make sure your conversion strategy matches up perfectly with prospects' location in the buying process.
If you want to get found, you have to blog. The more you blog, the higher you rank. Again, you have to know what keywords and questions you want to rank for and you have to use them in your blog titles, the first paragraph of your blog, the last paragraph of your blog, the meta tags and the meta descriptions. Make sure your blog has an image with the appropriate tags. Each new blog post you write provides a fresh and indexable page for Google to rank.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see how popular video is from a marketing perspective. People would much prefer to watch over read, and they are more likely to share a video, so make sure videos are an active part of your inbound marketing program. Make sure your videos answer specific questions and your keywords are included in the script. Did you know that Google scrapes the audio track from your videos in search of keywords? Make sure the tags and descriptions have your keywords. Make sure those videos are on YouTube and other video sharing sites.
You won't be ranked if you don’t pay attention to social media. Just because you ranked last month for a keyword doesn’t mean you are going to rank this month. You need to be creating content that people share. Shared data is a major component of Google’s Hummingbird upgrade. If your blog and other content isn’t getting shared, you’re not getting ranked.
Don't think you are doing SEO because you have an SEO consultant, SEO expert or you tackle a couple of SEO tasks each month. If you’re not thinking about SEO as a broader element of your overall inbound marketing campaign, you are probably missing out on a significant amount of traffic to your website.
Start Today Tip – Put your efforts through a quick SEO audit. Does your SEO effort include socializing content, creating content, adding landing pages to your website, reworking copy on your website, using video and blogging? If it’s missing any of these elements, you should consider reallocating some of your budget into these areas.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolutions!
I have been at a conference for the past few days with sixty digital and inbound marketing agency owners. During lunch, one of the owners mentioned the “thirty magical marketing touches” required to get people to buy. You may have also heard that, historically, most marketers think it takes seven touches to get a prospect to buy. That got me thinking – there really isn’t anything magical about when people buy, and perhaps a blog post about buying might be helpful.
Since buyer behavior has changed so dramatically over the past few years, and the internet has empowered all of our buyers with the information they think they need to make sound purchase decisions, our marketing and sales processes must be adjusted accordingly.
No one buys anything until pain becomes acute. Think about your own buyer behavior. You know it’s true.
Now, apply what you learned in college marketing about reach and frequency: Tell as many people as possible, as many times as possible, about your business, and when they need it (their pain is acute), they will remember you and buy from you.
That’s fine if you're Pepsi, Coors or Acura, but not if you are any reasonable business with a limited marketing budget and a CEO who wants to know how many leads you generated this month.
If you want to get your prospects to buy, you have to press their “buy button.” The only way to do this is to make them feel safe. In fact, the buy button is controlled by the same part of the brain that controls the fight-or-flight reflex. Again, think about your own buyer behavior. How do you feel when you're approached by a sales person? Not great, right? You want to avoid creating that feeling for your prospects.
Educate, advise, counsel and coach your prospects instead of trying to sell to them.
This aligns perfectly with inbound marketing, content marketing, email marketing and many of the digital marketing tactics being deployed by innovative inbound marketing firms.
When you create compelling, helpful, creative educational content, you should post it to your website, share it on social media, publish it on relevant websites and marry that content with a well-designed conversion strategy.
The next step in pressing that buy button is to nurture those leads effectively. By continuing the educational conversation with them and by providing them with additional helpful information, you continue to make them feel safer and safer. By keeping them close to your company in a planned out and structured way, when their pains become acute (by the way, we never know when that pain becomes acute), they don’t search for companies like yours; rather, they slide down the sales funnel and ask to speak with you or someone on your team.
When you talk about getting people to buy, you can't leave the sales team out of the conversation. One of the major challenges associated with changing the way you market your company is changing the way you sell to your prospects. If your marketing team is guiding and your sales team is selling, you have a disconnect. This is one of the fastest ways to push your prospects away. Consider mapping content directly into your sales process, and consider revamping your sales process so that it is designed to help your prospects make safe purchase decisions.
Start Today Tip – You need to make sure your marketing and sales efforts are designed to make your prospects feel safe, and that they deliver a remarkable experience to prospects in each stage of the sales funnel. Make sure your content maps directly to the questions your prospects are asking. This goes a long way towards putting you in a position to press your prospects’ buy buttons.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolution!
You’re an enterprise-level company, so you need enterprise-level marketing. No arguments there. But, most CMOs and VPs of Marketing get it wrong when they’re building out their enterprise marketing programs. They exclude inbound marketing strategy and the inbound marketing tactics to go along with the strategy. And that is a big, costly mistake.
Your buyer has changed. Have you?
The shift in buyer behavior has been a long time coming. But, it’s finally disrupted the market enough to get marketing professionals repositioning their traditional marketing process.
- They need to start thinking differently about their marketing programs.
- They need to start connecting on an emotional level with their prospects.
- They need to start providing creative and entertaining educational content to their savvy, self-reliant audience.
Sound familiar? It should.
The only way to align your company with new buyer behavior is to integrate inbound marketing tactics into your enterprise marketing program. This doesn’t mean doing away with those traditional marketing techniques, but enhancing them with inbound marketing strategy.
Take trade shows, for example. The trade show may still be alive in certain business sectors, but the traditional trade show is six feet under.
You may have showed up, but that doesn’t mean your prospects are going to be there … let alone stop by your booth. Yet, organizations across every industry continue their stubborn reliance on the trade show, swearing that, “If we don’t go to that show, people might think we’re out of business!” Well, maybe. But here’s another thought: They may realize how smart you were for not wasting money on a trade show.
But, if you’re still going down the trade-show route, you need to do it right with a much-needed, results-driven spark from inbound marketing strategy.
The outbound advertising pain: When it comes to trade shows, it’s all about the show – and only the show.
Besides trade shows being a big time investment, their return on investment is unpredictable. If you don’t capture your audience at the show, your ROI is going to be a no-show.
The inbound marketing fix: Communicate with your prospective attendees before, during and after the event. Then, use your educational content and top, middle and bottom of the funnel offers at the show to generate leads.
- You need to create a compelling message that makes attendees want to stop by your booth and talk to you. The best compelling message? Compelling education.
- Publicize this compelling offer with pre-show emails to attendees and non-attendees. You never know, you might actually convince prospects to attend the show, just to see you.
- By offering educational content at the event, you’re able to capture lead information right there on the spot. Swapping education for information is one of the most productive exchanges out there (for both you and your prospects).
- Enter the information you gleaned into your database and add those new prospects to your lead nurturing campaigns.
- Make sure you have a post-show, follow-up campaign set up before the show and make sure it executes automatically after the show.
The main takeaway here is that contacting your prospects should not be restricted to during-the-show hours. Start the conversation before the show starts. Continue the conversation at the show and then contact your prospects after the show’s over.
Remember, today’s marketing is all about creating the experience. As the trade show ends and the experience continues through your organized, post-show follow up, you may just turn that ordinary trade show into an extraordinary lead-generating marketing campaign to grow your business.
Start Today Tip: Start brainstorming compelling content marketing pieces to offer your prospects at the next trade show you attend: top- and middle-of-the-funnel offers that range from free reports, tutorials and presentations to advice, assessments and upcoming webinars. Pinpoint your prospects’ pains (i.e., why they’re attending the show) and build out your content from there. Don’t offer free iPads to attract everyone, instead, aim to attract less, but more qualified leads.
Want more inbound marketing integration advice for your enterprise company? Click below to download our complimentary whitepaper, Enhance Your Marketing Channels With Inbound Marketing Strategy.
Square 2 Marketing - Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolution!
Email marketing is, without a doubt, the most overused marketing tactic in the book today. Why? It is one of the easiest for marketers to execute, and it is one of the cheapest, too. However, the combination of those two factors make it one of the most underperforming marketing tactics in play.
The good news is there are ways to improve your email marketing results.
Don’t over-email. If you are emailing your prospects, clients or customers more than twice a month, it’s probably too much. Your open and click-through rates are the true measure of whether you are over-emailing or not. If you are looking at open rates under 10%, click-through rates under 1% or opt-out rates over 1%, you are over-emailing your database.
Stop sending promotional emails. The next element to check is the content you are sending out to your prospects, clients or customers. If you are sending sales-y info, promotional offers, coupons or other pushy content, your performance is going to suffer. Your people don’t want that type of information; they want educational information and content that helps them, not sells to them.
Make your emails personal. If your emails are being sent from generic mailboxes like info@ or sales@, forget it. If your emails are being sent without personalization in the body of the email, forget it. Just use your own behavior as the measure. How do you respond to emails in your inbox from info@? What about emails that are addressed to Dear Customer? Of course, you delete them. Your prospects behave the same way. Make sure everything is personal.
Use both HTML and personal email formats. Email marketing is more diverse than ever before. Today, most of the CRM and marketing automation tools allow both html graphic emails and personal outlook-style emails. Both have a place in your email marketing effort. Use the html emails to deliver highly educational, visually appealing and well-designed content, and use the personal outlook-style emails to develop and nurture your relationship with prospects. All of your emails need to offer more educational content to move your prospects through the sales funnel.
Track results. Keep track of how your emails are performing, but, more importantly, make adjustments accordingly. The three numbers you want to track are open rates, click-through rates and opt-out rates. Open rates have everything to do with the subject line of your email – the more compelling and educational, the higher your open rate. The major goal of your email marketing campaign is to get people back to your website, so you need a compelling subject line. Top-performing campaigns generate open rates between 25% and 30%.
Click-through rates are related to the content in the email, how it’s formatted and, most importantly, how it’s written. If the email content is well written and compelling, you should be able to generate click-through rates between 5% and 8%. Keep adjusting the content and formats until you get to these levels.
Opt-out rates have to do with the overall experience and your readers' judgments of value for your email effort. Each email should generate a very, very small number of opt outs. Anything higher than 1% is cause for alarm. However, sometimes opt-out rates start higher and then settle into respectable ranges, so you do need to keep an eye on this regularly.
Segment your list. One way to make sure your fans are getting the best and most relevant information from your email marketing efforts is to highly segment your list. Although this does make email marketing exponentially more complicated, because you are sending many different email campaigns every single month, your magic numbers improve when you deliver a more personalized message.
Email marketing is an extremely effective tactic to nurture your best prospects, clients and partners. But, it takes planning, personalization, professional design and top-notch copywriting to deliver the goods.
Start Today Tip - Take a look at your current email marketing campaign. Examine the numbers first. If your performance metrics are on the low side, consider giving your emails a makeover. First, cut back on the number of emails you send, and then apply the recommendations above. Track performance monthly and make adjustments accordingly. Email marketing continues to be highly efficient, and the better you get at it, the more leads you generate for your sales team.
Square 2 Marketing- Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolution!