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What Your Dog Can Teach You About Inbound Marketing In 2017

Man’s Best Friend Has A Lot To Teach Us About Inbound Marketing

Let me start by saying I’m not really a “dog person.” I didn’t grow up with a dog, my parents never had a dog and we didn’t get a dog when our kids were young. But a year ago, after much deliberation, we decided to get our first dog. The past 12 months have included several important life lessons, and I can’t help but apply them to the lessons I’ve learned practicing inbound marketing and using inbound to get results for our clients.

Our Goldendoodle, Baxter (pictured here), is coming up on his first birthday. I have to say, he’s a great dog. Yes, I’m biased, but I also hear stories from other dog owners and it appears that Baxter actually is a very good dog. However, I’ll also tell you that we invested time and money in helping him to be a good dog, and I think the same applies to inbound marketing. In fact, I think several lessons apply to inbound marketing as well as caring for your pooch.

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What Is Demand Generation? How Is It Different From Inbound Marketing?

Is It Different And Why Should You Care? How Knowing Is Going To Make You A Better Marketer

Wikipedia, which has the answer to every question, defines demand generation as "the focus of targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a companys products and/or services."

HubSpot defines demand generation as programs to "help your organization reach new markets, promote new product features, build consumer buzz, generate PR and re-engage existing customers." HubSpot notes that demand generation "is more than just a branding concept or early funnel marketing tactic. Demand generation programs are touch points throughout the conversion optimization and sales cycles."

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Your Home Page Might Be Stopping Your Inbound Marketing From Working

If You Ignored Your Website And Youre Expecting Inbound Marketing To Work, Think Again

We’ve looked at so many inbound marketing programs that we’re usually very sure what’s preventing the program from performing to expectations. Most of the time, it’s your website.

It might look great, it might be just a few months old and you might have written every word yourself, but unless the home page grabs a prospect’s attention, pulls them into your story, tells them why they want to do business with you and explains how other people have had success working with you — and does this all in 10 seconds — your marketing is dead on arrival.

Yes, your website is the most important marketing asset in your collection of marketing tactics and it’s the most complicated asset you’ll work with. It also needs to be continuously updated and upgraded based on performance data. If you’re not using your website like this, this is why your inbound marketing might be underperforming.

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Why Inbound Marketing Pay-Per-Click Isn't A Quick Fix For Lead Gen

Your Expectations From Pay-Per-Click Are Critical If You Want It In Your Inbound Marketing Mix

Pay-per-click used to be the marketer’s easy button. Buy some ads, get some clicks and generate some leads. Don’t misunderstand my flippant attitude; I know it doesn’t work exactly like that, but most of our clients and potential clients sure thought that’s how it worked and were disappointed when it didn’t work exactly like that. I even had one client pumping $40,000 a month into Google AdWords to fill up the top of her funnel, even though her sales team couldn’t work the leads she had through the funnel.

Today, all forms of pay-per-click campaign management (search engine and social sites) are much more complicated. Many more people are bidding on the same keywords, the mathematics that drive the programs are more complex, and more inexperienced users are contributing to over bidding and inefficient program management. This is contributing to more pay-per-click programs that are producing lower and even disappointing results. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean pay-per-click won’t work; it just means you have to be smarter and have more realistic expectations.

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Earned Attention Vs. Rented Attention: Why Inbound Marketing Works

Earned Attention Fuels Scalable, Repeatable And Predictable Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

There are a variety of definitions for inbound marketing, but at its core inbound requires you to earn your prospects’ attention instead of renting it.

Here’s what I mean. If you buy advertising  like a print ad, a radio spot or space at a trade show — you’re renting the audience of the magazine, radio station or conference company. You pay to get your name or message in front of those potential prospects once. Very rarely do you get the names or contact information for those people; you simply get access to them. The rest is up to you. This is what we’re calling rented attention.

On the other hand, if you publish high-quality content, create a compelling educational website, work to have your content (or site) found in the search engines and provide your content to other related websites, you have the potential to earn your prospects' attention because you provided value, insight or educational information that helps them with their goals. The marketing described here earned the attention of prospects.

Earned or rented? Which seems better to you?

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The Evolution Of The Marketing Mix (And What Inbound Has To Do With It)

As a marketing professional, you're likely familiar with the 4 Ps of the marketing mix: product, price, place and promotion. Whether you first discovered these industry pillars as an eager marketing major or uncovered them later on as you pursued your professional career, you understand how they contribute to a comprehensive strategy. What you may not know is that the 4 Ps have changed, and inbound marketing is a driving force. 

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An Open Letter Of Thanks To Our Inbound Marketing Family

This is the time of year that I like to reflect on the last 12 months. We end up running so fast that taking a break to look back and realize our accomplishments takes some effort.

As business leaders, it’s hard to say thank you to every single client. It’s hard to appreciate your commitment to our business and your trust in our ability to help you grow your businesses.

But as we wrap up the year and get ready to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s, I thought it would be appropriate this year to say thank you to all our clients, partners and all the friends we’ve made over the past 12 months.

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Prediction #9 — Customer Advocacy Now A Part Of Inbound Marketing

Transparent Businesses Will Need Customers To Tell Their Story Early And Often

It makes sense that if your customers are talking about you, you’ll get more leads. It also fits in perfectly with the changes in buyer behavior. We’ve already seen it on the agency side. Want to see how good we are? Visit Clutch.co, Agency Spotter or HubSpot’s Partner Directory.

Information on your business is going to be available to anyone wanting to know anything about you. The faster you get out ahead of this, the more new customers you’ll get compared to any competitors that beat you to the punch.

We’re all-in on customer advocacy marketing as part of a well-thought-out inbound marketing program, but as with all new tactics, it’s going to require some change management. The question for 2017 is this: How quickly will companies adopt this, get it rolled out and then see the impact?

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Inbound Marketing Agency Recognized Among Area's Top SEO Firms

Clutch, An Independent And Verified Review Site, Calls Square 2 Marketing Tops At SEO

Press Release

Conshohocken, PA — Square 2 Marketing, an inbound marketing agency, has been recognized by Clutch as one of the top SEO firms in the Philadelphia area.

We've always been a results-first agency and any rewards or recognition is typically unsolicited and unexpected. At Square 2 Marketing, our biggest rewards come from clients that see dramatic improvements in the amount of leads flowing into their companies from our inbound marketing and search engine optimization efforts.

One lesson we learned early on is that clients want results, and we’ve been delivering results to our clients since 2003, which is a long time in the digital world. While new firms are cropping up all the time and crowding the digital marketing landscape, not many firms are able to stand the test of time. So how has Square 2 Marketing done it? By focusing on one thing: improving revenue generation for our clients.

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Prediction #7 — Inbound Sales Still Stuck In Neutral

Businesses Are Attacking Marketing First And Putting Improvements In The Sales Process As A Secondary Priority

A lot has been written this year about improving the alignment between sales and marketing. But what are the challenges to making this a reality? Sales teams have historically been much less likely to change, much less accepting of new processes and present much bigger risks for organizations when it comes to introducing new methodologies.

Regardless of how many new sales enablement software tools roll out and how much people talk about sales enablement services, if company leadership isn’t ready to tackle this typically underperforming area, then there’s little to be done.

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