Inbound - The Blog: The Secrets Behind Click To Close

 

Storytelling: The Lost Art In The Science Of Inbound Marketing

            Poor Results? It Might Not Be Your Tactics; It Might Be Your Message

Marketing can feel very militaristic with campaigns, targets and email as air cover and sales as the ground attack, but the reality is you’re attempting to talk to people. Thinking about your potential prospects as people and not targets is likely to produce a different result. Once you realize marketing strategies need to be a human-to-human effort, you might rethink what you’re saying to them.

For example, if you’re talking about yourself, people might not care as much. Instead, try to craft a message that’s more about them. If you’re talking about the features and benefits of what you do, it’s likely your prospects won’t remember many of these details. It’s not that those details aren’t wonderful, it’s just that our brains aren’t wired to remember stuff like that.

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Why Templates Won't Help You Improve Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

Marketing Strategy Can’t Be Packaged Into A Web Form Template

Everyone is looking for shortcuts. Be careful, because you might get what you’re asking for. Today, a wide variety of worksheets, templates and preloaded, automated strategy tools are designed to make the planning aspect of inbound marketing easier.

Even the marketing automation tools are starting to include modules that help you think out your content, nurturing and search strategy. There’s only one problem: I’m not sure these are going to help you produce results. They’re going to help you check off the action item. Strategy? Check! But that’s about it. In our experience, strategy is a lot more complicated than filling out a template.

Continue reading to learn why prepackaged strategy tools might not be the right path for your inbound marketing strategy.

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The 3 Phases Of Inbound Marketing: Plan, Build And Grow

Why You Need To Execute Them All To See Inbound Marketing Results

We’re constantly evaluating what’s producing results for our clients. We’re also constantly tweaking our engagement methodology to produce a more remarkable experience for our clients and to generate even more leads. One practice that has stood up to testing time and time again is the three phases required to create an inbound marketing machine for any business.

Skip any of the phases or shortcut any of the phases and the results are almost always the same — less-than-expected results. Here’s why each of these phases is critical to getting results from your inbound marketing plan.

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If Your Inbound Marketing Agency Doesn't Ask About Your Story, Find A New Agency

Marketing Strategy Must Include A Conversation About Your Stories, Or Else Your Lead Generation Is Dead On Arrival

Here I am talking about marketing strategy again. But do yourself a big favor and read this article, because you’re not going to want to miss it. I’m talking about strategy again because it continues to be the key to successful lead generation and the most overlooked, under-delivered part of every inbound marketing engagement.

Think about your own inbound marketing program. How much time did you or your inbound marketing agency spend on strategy? A couple of hours in an initial meeting? A day or two? Maybe a week? I know, you did personas, which took you a couple of days or maybe a week to create. Then what else did you do? Did you map out each personas buyer journey?

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Why Marketing Strategy Remains A Missing Link For Killer Lead Generation

Inbound, Outbound, Account-Based And Demand Gen; Marketing Strategy Makes It All Much Less Complicated

With all these different types of marketing flying around today, it’s hard to know what the right approach is for your company. Some of you are trying inbound marketing, others are doing demand generation and then we have an entire set of companies putting all their eggs into account-based marketing.

On top of that, companies are dipping their toes into search marketing, email marketing and content marketing. In all honesty, we still hear from companies that have tried it all and haven’t seen any results.

Unfortunately, if you skip the inbound marketing strategy and jump into the tactics, you’re going to be disappointed with the results. When we diagnose a prospect’s current marketing situation, it’s almost always the root cause for lack of results. They didn’t take the time to build out the personas, define the stories and messages, create compelling differentiation and plan their marketing attack strategy. They just jumped in and started doing stuff.

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Integrated Vs. Orchestrated Inbound Marketing: What's The Difference?

Orchestration Is The Key To Successful Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

Everyone knows marketing needs to be integrated, but do you know the definition of integrated marketing?

According to the DMA, "integrated marketing is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication, such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media and activities so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer."

But look up orchestrated marketing and you only find a handful of articles placed sporadically over the past few years. When you overlay inbound marketing, we think integration isn’t enough to truly make inbound marketing the lead generation machine it has the potential to be and that orchestration — all inbound marketing tactics working in seamless harmony (like a symphony)  is one of the secrets to success from inbound.

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Prediction #2 — Marketing Strategy Remains A Missing Element From Inbound Marketing Programs

2017 Continues With Companies Skipping Inbound Marketing Strategy And Executing Disconnected Tactics

I write about this every year hoping it will change, but it never does. Companies don’t value strategy, don’t want to pay for it, don’t want to work on it and don’t even want to talk about it. Yet its quality and presence within an inbound engagement is a direct predictor of inbound lead generation success.

So many factors contribute to this habitually absent element of almost every inbound marketing program that we’re asked to comment on. I recognize the complexity of attempting to get a company to change its messages, tell different stories and actually operate in a remarkable way. But if you want leads, it’s not an optional element — it's mandatory.

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Inbound Marketing Disrupts Status Quo So You Can Break Through To Prospects

Inbound Marketing Won’t Save The Day If Your Message Is Wrong

If you don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t say anything at all.

It’s a play on the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” They teach us that in kindergarten. Yet it seems like a lot of you might have forgotten that little saying, or maybe you thought it had nothing to do with your ability to drive revenue in your company.

If you think it’s not important or not a priority to invest money and to spend time creating compelling, emotional and disruptive messages to get people interested in your business, you're mistaken. Yes, there are people right now looking for businesses just like yours. No matter what you do, how you do it or where you do it, people are looking for you.

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$3,000 Or $10,000? How To Pick The Right Level Of Inbound Marketing

You Won’t Get The Same Results For Less Money, No Matter What They Tell You

It’s confusing out there. Knowing what to invest in your inbound marketing program and knowing what you’re going to get, plus having a complete understanding of the expected results, makes setting your budget one of the more complex aspects.

But, I can tell you with complete confidence that you won’t get the same level of results from investing $3,000 a month as you would from investing $10,000.

If you think about it, this makes sense. We can do so much more to drive people to your website and turn them into leads if we have $10,000 of budget each month versus $3,000. If someone is telling you differently, they’re simply trying to sell you.

The real question you should be asking is, “What level of investment do I need in order to hit my revenue goals?”

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Can You Get Results From Inbound Marketing Without Strategy?

Marketing Strategy Is Still A Requirement If You Want Leads

Over the course of 13 years, we’ve had conversation after conversation with CEOs who are resistant to the idea of marketing strategy before inbound marketing tactics. Just about everyone thinks the best approach to marketing is to start executing tactics. No one would like that to be true more than I would.

However, I’ve thought through this idea many, many times and find it extremely difficult to feel good about this approach. This is especially challenging for me when it comes to inbound marketing. Inbound requires a collection of so many tactics all executed in an orchestrated way. If one tactical input is wrong, the entire program suffers.

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