A huge part of a successful inbound marketing effort is converting visitors on your website into leads for your sales effort. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. One way not to approach this is to drive visitors to your home page and hope they click on your Contact Us page. This is a recipe for failure.
Instead, you want to manage the visitor’s experience and options very carefully. For example, when creating a landing page, keep the navigation options to a minimum. We have found that landing pages convert at a much higher rate without navigation than with navigation. When you think about the change, it makes sense. As human beings we are easily distracted; eliminate the distractions and our behavior becomes more predictable.
Another tip is to use a visual image of the offer being promoted on the landing page. When you promote a specific whitepaper or tip guide, create a visual image of the content. Make it look interesting. Excite the visual pathways of your prospects. If the content is an eBook, give it some depth with 3D formatting.
Again, as human beings, we are looking for visual cues that make us feel more comfortable. Our data shows that landing pages with compelling graphic representation of the materials convert at twice the success rate than pages without a visual image of the educational content being offered.
Sticking to the theme of graphics and visuals, your call to action (CTA) buttons also have to be visually appealing. We have tested all types of buttons and have found that the highly visual graphic buttons (like the one we used below) outperform a text link by 10 times and a flat button by four times. This is significant when you are counting on those conversions to drive leads for your sales team.
Keep the text short and focused when you write copy for the converting landing page. You want to give the visitor an idea of what they are going to learn, why they should care, how it’s going to help them and why it’s different than any other piece of content they might have come across. The challenge? This all has to be done in short, bulleted text that quickly gets to the point. A long landing page is the quickest way to a low conversion rate.
Finally, too many fields might limit the conversions. In the past, we tried to stick to just email address for standard landing pages, but we have found over time that adding a few other key pieces of information to the form had little effect on conversion rates. In fact, these extra form fields actually produced more qualified prospects. When people take the time to give you more information, they are usually a little more serious and a little further along in the sales process. These prospects are the most promising for your sales effort.
The bottom line: You need a conversion strategy to deliver leads. You can't just jump in and figure it out page by page. That only leads to inefficiency and wasted time.
Start Today Tip – Create a conversion strategy for your landing pages. It’s not as hard as you think. What are the key pieces of information you need to know from your prospects? Start with a form that collects that information.
Take out all the superfluous navigation, add a visual graphic and write compelling copy that is short and sweet. Boom. You have a landing page.
Now test the page. Test it for two weeks. After the two weeks are up, create a different version and run it for two more weeks. This is called an A/B test. Did the second version outperform or underperform? Make additional adjustments accordingly. Before you know it, you have a proactive, performance-based inbound marketing conversion strategy for your business.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing Revolution!
If you're taking our advice, you've been creating educational content that helps your prospects at each stage of your sales cycle:
- No Risk Offers: free reports and tip sheets for people just getting started
- Low Risk Offers: webinars for people a bit farther along or a video reference reel for prospects making final decisions
- Direct Business Offer: a creative business proposition, like our offer to create a complimentary content map for your business’ specific sales process
This is exactly what you need when potential prospects visit your website, but what about those people who don't know you yet? How do you get that roaring stadium, jampacked with your perfect prospects cheering you on?
This is one of the many challenges associated with inbound marketing, and one that we solved when we cracked the code on inbound marketing.
The answer is this: content sourcing.
When you content source your educational materials, you offer it up to people who meet the profile of your target prospects. A very specific example of this could be a LinkedIn Group.
For example, one of our clients, DVL, provides cooling, power and storage products to large datacenters. There are LinkedIn Groups dedicated to helping Data Center Managers. The team at DVL joined those groups and regularly post their educational content to help those group members.
The members digest the content and often click on the links, visiting the DVL site and downloading the materials. Now they reside in the DVL email database and become part of the DVL lead nurturing process. The results are increased traffic to their website, increased leads and increased sales. That’s inbound marketing at its stadium-cheering best.
Content sourcing doesn’t end with a single LinkedIn Group. To get content sourcing really humming along, you need to consider all the groups that your target prospects belong to and participate in. You need to know what blogs they read, what emails they subscribe to, what websites they frequent and what eMagazines they browse. You need to consider your entire social media marketing efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social sites like Google+, Pinterest and Instagram, if applicable. Make your content easily accessible and attractive to your prospects on the sites where they're spending their time. Makes sense, right?
Once you identify these sites and sources, you're ready to proactively pitch your content. This takes time, so it's best to get started as soon as you can. Ask for guest blog posting opportunities, provide special educational content tailored specifically for that specific source and grant limited distribution rights to their members. Offer to write a special article for inclusion in a monthly email to their members, a.k.a. your prospects.
Sound familiar? It should: This effort is a bit like the old public relations pitching story. You target editors and pitch your story until someone bites.
The beautiful element of this new content sourcing effort is that these relationships often turn into reoccurring opportunities. Guest blog posts can be submitted monthly, and now your business is a thought leader writing monthly guest blog posts for a blog that targets your perfect prospects. Those are marketing dollars invested wisely with a high return on inbound investment.
One hint to keep in mind when working on sourcing content: Don’t source the same content to multiple sources. Google is inherently tough on people who post duplicate content. While it is harder to create original content, it’s a requirement. And it's worth the extra effort. Consider working with a partner to create content on a regular basis.
Partners who specialize in content creation, design and sourcing -- the inbound marketing agencies are the best in this area -- typically have processes that allow them to scale, streamline and produce quickly. In the end, it’s more efficient and cost-effective to work with a content marketing expert than to break your back doing it all yourself.
Start Today Tip – Start with the research part of content sourcing. Check out LinkedIn Groups and identify those that have your target prospects as members. Count up the groups and the total membership to make sure you have a good-sized audience. Then search with your industry's keywords and terminology to identify all the associations, eMagazines, blogs and email newsletters that already target your prospects. Start working down that list with content specifically for your perfect prospects. You'll be surprised at how many people jump at the chance to offer their members, readers or fans your content.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing Revolution!
Last Thursday, we shared a post that unveiled the 10 secrets we used to crack the code on inbound marketing. Since then we elaborated on the first three of the 10 secrets. We discussed the importance of marketing strategy, the requirements for a complete and integrated set of inbound marketing tactics and yesterday, we dove deep into the marketing analytics required to drive program performance.
Today’s focus is on content marketing and how educational content pieces like whitepapers, research, eBooks, videos, podcasts, webinars, blog posts and infographics help your business get found, get leads and close sales.
But let's take a quick timeout and back up just a bit...
Why is content so important?
First, as we've blogged about in the past, buyer behavior has changed dramatically. Your prospects are online, right now, looking for educational information related to what you do. Don’t take my word for it. Go to Google, click on their keyword search tool and put in any of your relevant search terms. You'll see that tens of thousands of searches are being done every single month for exactly what you do.
You have valuable, relationship-building answers and solutions. Don't let that opportunity go to waste.
The key is that people aren’t searching for sales information, electronic brochures or even looking to engage with a sales person. They are searching for knowledge: answers to their questions and solutions for their pains and problems. Your marketing effort has to change from a feature and benefit distribution function to a prospect education function.
Your marketing energy needs to be redirected towards creating a remarkable experience for your prospects. The process starts when they use certain keywords in their searches, find your site, choose to visit your site, review your site, download something from your site and continue to receive helpful information from you all throughout their sales process -- up to and even after they become a client. This experience creation is a pivotal part of successful inbound marketing and it lives, breathes and flourishes with educational content.
You need to start mapping out your entire prospect experience and determine how educational content spread out across that buying experience is going to help that prospect make a good, safe purchase decision. When do you provide a whitepaper and what topic do they need? When is video important? What are you teaching them on the video? How do eBooks or podcasts become more appropriate for certain audiences and topics? What about demos or assessments? Webinars are an excellent way to move prospects through the new sales funnel, so how are you going to use them in your new process?
This isn’t easy to do. You need a prospects-centric perspective and you need to create all the content necessary to tell your story. The moral of this story? Your company is the only one that delivers what they need, how they need it and when they need it.
Here is where it gets really exciting. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and other social sites are all designed to help you.
That's right! They are looking to promote the same educational content that you want to create and that your prospects want to consume. The search engines have recognized that THEIR CUSTOMERS want educational information, so they are moving that content up in the rankings. The more relevant, quality content you create, the higher up you will be in the rankings and the more legitimate your company becomes in the eyes of your prospects. This is what drives leads.
Social media is designed to help people share experiences. Create a remarkable experience for your prospects and they will tell all of their friends, family, colleagues, peers and associates. The world has never been more aligned from a marketing perspective.
Today, it’s not about who has the biggest ad budget. It’s about who creates the MOST REMARKABLE experience.
Start Today Tip – Use a piece of paper or a whiteboard to map out the end-to-end experience a new prospect has with your company. How remarkable is it? Be honest. Traditional sales follow ups, requests for meetings and requests for proposals just don’t cut it anymore. Consider a process that starts on your website by offering a wealth of educational content. The more content, the more you will get found (because that’s what Google is looking for), get leads (because that’s what prospects are looking for) and close sales (because that’s how prospects feel safe).
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing Revolution!
"What gets measured, gets done..." is a quote that has been attributed to Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Edward Deming, Lord Kelvin and others. Vince Lombardi was quoted as saying, “if you’re not keeping score, you're just practicing.”
We couldn’t agree more. If you’re not tracking the performance of your company’s marketing programs daily, weekly and monthly then you’re not even close to being in a position to drive your business forward with an inbound marketing program. Stop practicing and get into the game by using marketing metrics and analytics to get smart about marketing.
Data gives you power. The more you know, the better your decisions.
Here are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for an inbound marketing program.
- Website Traffic (total visitors to the site) this month vs. last month, this month vs. this month last year and this month vs. a rolling three month average.
- Conversion rate for the site as a whole.
- Leads from the website this month vs. last month, this month vs. this month last year and this month vs. a rolling three month average.
If you just watched these numbers daily, you could make the necessary adjustments mid-week to keep your program moving up and to the right, month over month.
Here are a couple of other KPIs for you to consider:
- Traffic and leads from organic search
- Traffic and leads from social media
- Traffic and leads from email marketing
- Traffic and leads from direct links to your site
- Traffic and leads from referring sites
This is a more detailed look at where traffic and leads are coming from, but it shows that if you are missing even one of these tactical programs, your results are going to be below expectations. Following these additional KPIs will also highlight if and when one of these individual programs is underperforming.
Content marketing is a huge part of inbound marketing but how do you know what to write about? Easy, look at blog views and identify those blog topics that are getting more views, more shares or more comments. The more your prospects’ community appreciates the content, the more views, shares and comments you'll see. You can also look at downloads and conversions on dedicated landing pages. Make sure each content item and source has its own landing page.
Don’t overlook lead nurturing. Marketing analytics give you insight into which content is driving prospects through the funnel. Today, marketing and sales have to work together to help, guide and educate the prospect all the way through the sales process. Data on lead nurturing gives you insight into which pieces move the prospect and which ones are being ignored.
Finally, make sure you tie marketing directly to new client/customer acquisition. This means you have to go in and tell your marketing automation system which prospects converted into new customers. This is a very important and often overlooked step. It’s great to get analytics on leads, but it’s even better to know where your actual new customers are coming from. Is it organic search, social media, educational content, or referring websites? These critically important insights allow you to double down on the most effective sources and find ways to improve underperforming areas.
Start Today Tip – Do you have marketing analytics installed at your company? While Google offers some data, it's not enough and it's not presented in a format that drives action. If you can't get access to the KPIs outlined above, then consider other options. HubSpot, Marketo, Elequa, Pardot and a host of other marketing software tools all provide similar access to the KPIs discussed above. Test drive one of these for your business today.
If you want us to take a look at your marketing analytics, click on the button below.
Square 2 Marketing - Leading The Reality Marketing Revolution!
If you have ever heard a single musical instrument and then a full orchestra playing together, you know the difference is significant. The same applies to inbound marketing. To make it hum, you need a full complement of marketing tactics working together to make it work and work well. Adding one or even two new inbound tactics won't get you to your goals. You need a complete set of tactics integrated and orchestrated to help your business get found, get leads and drive sales.
Here is an example. Most of you reading this already have a website design and it’s probably a nice looking site. Now you add a few new inbound marketing tactics to your site like a new Free Report with a fancy call-to-action button and a landing page.
The result is likely to be an increase in conversions and a couple of extra leads for your business. But you did nothing to increase the number of visitors coming to your site and you didn’t really do all you could to get more leads for the business from your website.
You are either all in on inbound marketing or you’re not. You are either doing everything you can to increase web visitors, convert those visitors into leads and then nurture those leads to closing OR you are leaving opportunities behind. The sooner you go "all in," the sooner you get the benefits of an integrated inbound marketing program for your company.
Here is where the example above went wrong. The Free Report is nice, but what about the 63% of people who prefer to watch a video? You need videos to be a part of your content marketing strategy. Videos also help with search engine optimization.
You need a blog on your website. Blogging allows you to add indexable pages to your site daily—the more you blog, the better your results.
What about the website itself? You didn’t do anything to make sure the site was optimized. You didn’t agree to a set of strategic keywords that are going to drive all the content development on each website page. You didn’t rework the messaging on the site to grab a visitor’s attention and emotionally connect them to your company.
You didn’t create a full set of offers for prospects at all stages of the purchasing life cycle. This typically includes webinars for those who are a little farther along and want to see for themselves how your company helped other businesses like them. What about a compelling Direct Business Offer? "Contact Us" just doesn’t cut it anymore.
As you start to get more leads, you have to consider how you nurture those leads. Remember: people don’t want to be sold to anymore. Now you have to use content to move them through your sales funnel, but move them through at their pace, not yours. How much content do you need? What kind of content? Who is going to write it? What about designing it? That’s right, if you do an ebook or infographic those pieces have to be visually appealing and designed by a trained graphic designer.
Yes, it sounds very complicated. Unfortunately, inbound marketing is much more complex than traditional outbound marketing ever was, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
Inbound marketing is 100% trackable and this data gives you real-time insight into what’s working and what’s not. This insight means you can stop non-performing programs, save the money and double down on the tactics that are driving real results.
Inbound marketing is far more efficient simply because it matches today’s buyer behavior. Your prospects don’t want to be sold to; they don’t want to be pestered for an appointment or pushed into accepting a proposal. They want to be educated, advised and counseled along the way. Inbound marketing gives you all the tools to do exactly that.
Let’s face it. You are going to have to change. You can start to change now, or wait until your largest competitor is already doing it and then you can try to catch up. Inbound marketing isn’t immediate, but it works. The sooner you start, the sooner you get found, get leads and close sales.
Start Today Tip – Review your current set of marketing tactics. How many of them are inbound-oriented? Do you have enough to really move the needle? We have seen clients generate significant improvements in both traffic and leads. If you aren’t seeing that kind of movement, then you probably don’t have enough inbound marketing tactics integrated into your program. There is a recipe, an optimal way to pair inbound marketing programs together to deliver results. Keep trying or reach out to a company with a proven track record of helping businesses like yours achieve inbound marketing success.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing Revolution!
Yesterday we shared the 10 secrets behind how we cracked the code on inbound marketing. For the next 10 days we dive deeper into each of the 10 secrets so you know exactly what you need to do to crack the code for your company.
Today’s secret is Marketing Strategy.
If you think inbound marketing doesn’t need an overall strategic marketing plan, think again. I know most inbound marketing people think strategy is related to the specific tactics they are working on like website design strategy, landing page strategy or even content marketing strategy. They are correct, but missing from that conversation is the overall company marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing attracts people to your business. You have to know as much about the people you want to attract as possible. What are their titles? What magazines do they read? What websites do they visit? What blogs do they subscribe to? What emails do they get regularly? What associations do they belong to? Are they male or female? How old are they? What is their educational background? What jobs did they previously hold? What are their personalities?
It gets very detailed when it’s done right. These profiles are commonly referred to as “personas” and in our case we literally create visual representations of these people with pictures and names as part of our marketing strategy process.
Once you know who you want to go after, then you have to identify their “pains” as they pertain to your products or services. This exercise ensures that your marketing messages are about your prospects and not about you. This is a very common mistake most people make. After all, it’s easy to talk about your company and it’s hard to talk about your prospects’ challenges.
Next you need to know how you solve those pains. More importantly, how do you solve them remarkably, differently than all of your competition? Most of the businesses we work with have this remarkable element to their business but they don’t talk about it, don’t market it, or don’t present it in a way that their prospects connect with it. We spend a lot of time, working with our clients, to help them be remarkable and then equipping them to tell remarkable stories to their prospects and clients.
Now that the core marketing strategy work is completed you still need to consider planning for the tactics required to execute the strategy. How often do we need to blog? What are we going to blog about? What keywords are important that we be ranked for? What are we going to email about? What content do we need to create? Where should we share that content?
This marketing planning schedule or calendar is critical to making sure you have enough tactics to drive your business goals. This is a common mistake made by many business owners, CEOs and marketing professionals. They don’t have enough tactics to get them to their business goals.
Here is an example to help you know if you have enough tactics. Let’s say you need 50 leads a month from your website to get you 5 qualified sales opportunities and you're pretty sure you're going to close 40% of those to bring in two new clients a month. Makes sense right?
To ring up numbers like that—conservatively, you need 5,000 website visitors a month. If you only have 400 visitors a month now, you're going to need to do a lot of blogging, create a lot of content, rework most of the pages on your website to make sure they are optimized, actively source your educational content to key website properties, email your clients at least once a month—are you starting to get it? You need a very aggressive marketing effort.
You can get there, but it’s going to take time and it's going to take work. The good news is that all of this is trackable, testable and actionable. You have a goal and you know how to get there. Now you just have to do the work.
Monday, I will start to share more insight into some of the secrets around how each of the inbound marketing tactics contributes to moving the numbers.
Start Today – Marketing strategy for an inbound marketing program should probably be done by someone with experience creating plans like this for businesses in similar industries. Inbound marketing requires a unique set of skills and an understanding of how digital marketing tactics work together.
If you’re not comfortable creating this on your own, reach out to an inbound marketing agency for help. In addition, make sure you are working with a full-service inbound marketing firm that specializes in delivering both the strategy and the full complement of marketing tactics. This will ensure your marketing strategy, plan and schedule is comprehensive enough to get you to your goals.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading the Reality Marketing Revolution!
Yesterday we unveiled to the world that Square 2 Marketing has cracked the code to inbound marketing. Our client results speak for themselves. We have found the secret recipe associated with inbound marketing and we are going to share it with you, our loyal blog readers.
Secret Number 1 – You have to create a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan before you start - Hope isn’t a strategy. You have to create an inbound marketing strategy that includes detailed personas, targeted messaging, real remarkable differentiation and details on all your inbound marketing tactics with schedules.
Secret Number 2 – You have to execute a full suite of integrated tactics – Single marketing tactics, even inbound marketing tactics, don’t deliver sustainable results. You need to plan for and implement ALL the tactics necessary to drive your lead goals. More importantly, those tactics need to work together, so they have to be integrated and orchestrated into a single, cohesive Marketing Machine.
Secret Number 3 – You need marketing analytics to make performance oriented decisions – Today’s inbound marketing requires automation. It’s too complicated to be handled without some help from key software support. Plus, the nature of inbound marketing makes it purely data-driven so you need access to metrics and analytics on the performance of your marketing. Google Analytics just doesn’t cut it anymore. Consider options like HubSpot, Marketo or Eloqua.
Secret Number 4 – You need a steady stream of content to attract prospects to your business – If you aren’t creating a steady stream of informative white papers, videos, eBooks, webinars, podcasts, blog posts and infographics then you aren’t creating the educational content required to attract prospects and build trust in your business.
Secret Number 5 – You need to get that content “out there” – Creating the content is only half the effort. The rest comes from putting that content in front of your target prospects. This is done strategically. When you understand the personas of your prospects you’re able to find the blogs and emails they subscribe to, the websites they frequent and the LinkedIn groups they are members of. This allows you to share your content with them in the places they are already spending their time.
Secret Number 6 – You need a conversion approach to your website – Chances are, your website is still acting like an electronic brochure. This approach has to change. You need a conversion machine that includes a wide variety of educational content. You have to consider the entire experience associated with your website and make that experience remarkable for every visitor.
Secret Number 7 – You need a website that connects emotionally with prospects quickly – You only have 10 seconds to get their attention. If your website lacks that emotionally connective message you are going to be sending a lot of potential prospects to your competitors. Give up the chess piece, mountain climber or picture of your building and replace it with images and messages that generate a strong emotional response in your target prospects.
Secret Number 8 – You need to nurture your leads – Your prospects buy at their own pace. People buy when they feel safe and when their pain is acute. You can get them there faster but not by selling them. You do it by educating them, helping them and guiding them. The more you educate your prospects, the faster they will feel safe, become emotionally invested in your solution and want to do business with you.
Secret Number 9 – Sales has to be part of the process – The days when sales roamed independently from marketing is over. These two groups have to work together to help today’s prospect. Marketing has to create educational content and help sales integrate it into the sales process. Together they have to create a remarkable experience for every prospect.
Secret Number 10 – You need to watch your analytics daily – Marketing is now a science. You have to look at your numbers every single day. Where are we with website traffic? Is it up over last month? Is it up over the same month last year? Is it up over a rolling three month average? The same goes for leads. You need this insight at your fingertips.
Now that Square 2 Marketing has cracked the inbound marketing code, you have the benefit of our expertise. Start adding these elements to your own inbound marketing effort and you will quickly see your business get found, get leads and close sales.
Start Today Tip – Do a quick evaluation of your current efforts. Are you missing any of the secret tactical recommendations above? If so, add one per week. In just 10 weeks, you will be on your way to improved marketing performance, reduced waste in your marketing budget and more leads for your sales team.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing Revolution!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
-- Philadelphia-Based Marketing Firm Becomes a Platinum Level HubSpot Partner in just 12 Months --
WARRINGTON, PA – February 27, 2013 – Square 2 Marketing, a full-service inbound marketing agency is proud to announce that they have cracked the code to inbound marketing and, as a result, currently leads all HubSpot partners in monthly revenue through January 2013. This achievement has resulted in Square 2 Marketing becoming a HubSpot Platinum Level Partner, only the second partner in HubSpot history to reach that elite level of performance.
In June 2011, Square 2 Marketing made the bold decision to go “all in” on inbound marketing and has since increased their website traffic by an astounding 359% solely through non-paid, web-based inbound marketing tactics. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the company has delivered a 10x increase in inbound leads for the firm. But the results don’t end with their own company.
Square 2 Marketing has applied their cutting edge approach to their clients too. Arbill, a leader in providing safety products and services, has seen their website traffic increase 43% month over month and their leads are up 185% month over month. Diagonal Consulting, an international SAP implementation firm, has seen website traffic rise 151% month over month and they have realized a 41% increase in leads.
Square 2 Marketing discovered a strategic connection between HubSpot’s marketing automation software, their own unique Reality Marketing methodology and the perfect combination of inbound marketing tactics to produce the results required to propel their inbound marketing agency to the top of the HubSpot Partner ranking and deliver clients quantifiable results from their marketing efforts.
Since then, they have transformed over 40 businesses from “old school,” traditional marketing tactics to the modern inbound marketing approach best-suited for today’s new buyer behavior.
Mike Lieberman, President of Square 2 Marketing said, “We are thrilled to have cracked the code and become the most successful inbound marketing agency. We are excited to be able to share this methodology with our clients and other progressive business owners, CEOs and marketing professionals.”
Inbound marketing is quickly gaining traction as more customers become immune to the traditional marketing and sales tactics like cold calling and direct mail. Educational offers and quality content are at the core of a successful inbound marketing effort. Brian Halligan, founder of HubSpot, said, “Square 2 Marketing is truly an elite agency and we are thrilled to be working with them to evangelize the inbound marketing story and help them deliver marketing programs that deliver results for their clients and create marketing people love.”
About Square 2 Marketing
Square 2 Marketing is a full-service inbound marketing agency designed to do one thing: get our clients leads. We bundle marketing strategy along with inbound marketing techniques including website design, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing and other digital marketing tactics to help our clients get found, get leads and close deals. With a national client base, we specialize in helping clients in all industries but offer specialized experience in professional services, healthcare, technology, business services, manufacturing, distribution and financial services.
For more information on Square 2 Marketing, click here or visit http://www.square2marketing.com/. To learn more about inbound marketing, click here to download our Free Report: The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing.
Let me know if this sounds familiar: You are watching a TV show and right at the best part, the show goes black and up comes an advertisement for some product or service. How do you feel...happy or annoyed? You don’t have to answer.
You are listening to music in your car and after one of your favorite songs, another silly ad for some product or service you couldn’t care less about...happy or annoyed?
How about you are reading your favorite magazine and, just as the article gets interesting, you hit an ad and have to page through the magazine to find the continuation of the article?
Last but not least, my personal favorite: You are in your office, working diligently and the phone rings. You study the number quickly, deciding whether to answer it or not. You dive in and pick it up…it’s a cold call. Ugh! Do I politely decline or sit there listening to the forced script read on the other end of the line?
Be honest! You hate these interruptive advertisements as much as I do. We all hate being interrupted with ads. The world has done its best to help us avoid them. DVRs, internet radio, the do-not-call list, spam filters and caller ID were all created to help us screen out these interruptions.
If we all feel like this—then WHY would anyone insist on investing dollar after dollar on the same interruptive marketing tactics that we all agree we hate? Seriously, why?
Could it be you just don’t know what other options are available? After all, these have been tried-and-true tactics for decades, right? Other people use them so they must be good, right? Big businesses use them, so they must know how to do it, right?
Wrong, wrong, wrong! Everyone using these tactics is wasting money and doing it the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-advertising just for the fun of it, even though it is fun. I don’t believe in these ads anymore because of one simple reason.
You don’t want to be advertised to. I don’t want to be advertised to. No one wants to be advertised to. Yet, as business owners, CEOs and marketing professionals, most of you continue to fund these interruptive, ineffective and inefficient means of marketing.
There is a better way: Inbound marketing!
The process by which marketers help their prospects with valuable educational content, feeding them bits and pieces of helpful information so that they are able to make a safe and smart purchasing decision. This process gives each individual prospect an experience worth talking about before they buy. Isn’t that what YOU want?
It might be new, it might be different, but I promise you it's scalable, highly measurable, results-oriented and by far the only marketing system that matches today’s buyer behavior perfectly. It’s what your prospects want.
If you haven’t tried it for your company, it's time. Businesses are seeing unmatched results.
- Increases in website traffic in the 100% to 200% range.
- Increases in leads from 2 or 3 a week to 20 to 30 per week.
- Decreases on annual marketing spend in the range of 50%.
Later this week, Square 2 Marketing will be announcing that it’s cracked the code on inbound marketing and is using it to deliver these kinds of results for its clients. Inbound marketing is ready for prime time and your business needs to start the transition from traditional outbound marketing to inbound marketing today.
Start Today Tip – Stop any old-school outbound marketing tactics like direct mail, cold calling or traditional SEO immediately. These just don’t work anymore. Consider starting an inbound marketing program today so your business can see increased website traffic, increased leads and increased sales.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing Revolution!
It's award season and we didn’t want to leave the marketing profession out of the fun. So we created the Inboundademy Awards. These awards are presented by us to the inbound marketing tactics that have distinguished themselves over the past 12 months. Just to be transparent, there are no independent third-party judges or professional auditing agencies, just us recognizing those marketing tactics that helped our clients get found, get leads and close sales.
Here are the categories.
Best Overall Marketing Tactic – And the winner is—Marketing Strategy and Planning! This is a perennial winner because without it there would be no results. Creating a marketing strategy for your business is the only way to start an inbound marketing program. Skip it and you will negatively impact your results. There is a reason this wins, year in and year out. It’s a mandatory first step.
Best Supporting Marketing Tactic in the Area of Search – And the winner is—Blogging! A recent newcomer to the Inboundademy Awards, blogging has had such an influence on the area of search this year, we just couldn’t ignore it. The more you blog, the more your company’s website will be found on the search engines. The more you blog, the more content you have to share with your prospects. The more you blog, the stronger your thought leadership position becomes and the easier it’s going to be for your prospects to know why they want to do business with you vs. your competitors.
Best Supporting Marketing Tactic in the Area of Website Design – And the winner is—Graphic Call To Action Buttons! This is their first Inboundademy Award and they earned it. By taking basic text links and turning them into visually appealing, graphically designed Call To Action buttons, you are able to dramatically increase the number of conversions on your website and then in turn, the number of leads created for your sales team.
Best Supporting Marketing Tactic in the Area of Content Creation – And the winner is—Video Marketing! Video Marketing isn't a stranger to the Inboundademy Awards stage. Video has been and continues to be a very hot medium in the marketing word. Why? It’s simple - we love to watch video. We don’t really like to read. Video tells a richer, more compelling and emotional story and we all love stories. Video has to be part of your marketing mix if you want to emotionally connect with your prospects.
Best Overall Sales Tactic – And the winner is—Sales Process Design! Another newcomer to the winner’s stage, sales process is an often overlooked part of your marketing and sales effort. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more critical to engage prospects early and keep them engaged all the way through to the closed sale. This process has to be strategically thought out, planned and supported from a marketing perspective with educational content all the way, from beginning to end.
Best Supporting Sales Tactic – And the winner is—Blogging! This is their second award of the night and you should see why. If you are blogging on a regular basis then your sales people have regular content to share with their prospects. When sales people share educational information and don’t sell, prospects feel safe and ready to purchase. Try adding blog content to your sales communications, you'll see results immediately.
Best Supporting Marketing Analytics – And the winner is—HubSpot! This software provides just enough summary marketing analytics to keep a busy CEO focused on what matters and it has the deep analytics marketing professionals need to make changes in real-time so that performance improves month over month.
We wanted to thank everyone who was nominated. You should all be proud; after all, it’s an honor just to be nominated. Some of the nominees who didn’t win include: email marketing, social media, content marketing, trade shows, public relations, pay-per click and web banner ads.
If you are thinking about implementing an inbound marketing program, or maybe you have started one at your business, the winners above need to be part of your program if you want to receive the level of performance we deliver for our clients.
Start Today Tip – You are going to want to add at least a few of these winners to your current set of marketing tactics. The payoff is results. In short order, you realize increased traffic to your website, increased conversions and leads from your website and last but not least, you see increased sales as a result of this top-of-funnel activity. These winners are proven to deliver. Add these to your company today to see the improvements tomorrow.
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