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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.



Why Inbound Marketing Is So Challenging

Marketing Used To Be Easy; What Happened To Make It So Hard?

This is a great question to kick off 2017. Marketing used to be easy. You bought some ads, you went to some trade shows, your sales team made some phone calls and you sent out letters from time to time. The results were cloudy, but you did see people responding and your business grew. You might not have known exactly why, but it worked. I know because this is how I used to run marketing at a $20 million software company.

But over the past 10 years or so, things have changed. The way people buy has changed. The way people make their decisions around purchasing has changed. From multimillion-dollar purchases to $50 purchases, it has all changed. It’s this change that has complicated marketing so dramatically, and while inbound marketing matches today’s buyer behavior, the process of delivering that match is complex.



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?



Prediction #3 — Shortcuts On The Creation Of Inbound Marketing Tactics Impact Performance

There Is No Easy Button When It Comes To Inbound Marketing, So Stop Looking For It

I get it; people are always looking for shortcuts. However, I’ve seen a major influx of new services, software and apps that appear to be cutting too many corners.

No, I don’t want an e-book created simply by having you look at my website. That’s not going to produce leads; it’s only going to give me a crappy e-book to give to prospects. The e-book will likely disappoint them and not get them to feel safe and hire me.

Resist the urge to cut corners next year. No, we can’t build you a 50-page website in two weeks if you want the site to support your prospects' buyer journey and get them to convert into leads for your sales team.



Your Thanksgiving Shopping List If You Want Inbound Marketing Leads

If You’re Not Celebrating A Banner Year In The Lead Generation Area, Pick Up Some Extra Items

We all end up at the supermarket with our list of items for the Thanksgiving Day feast. In the spirit of my favorite holiday, here’s a shopping list for all you CEOs, COOs, VPs of marketing and VPs of sales.

These are items you’re going to need in 2017. Buyer behavior continues to evolve away from the tactics that used to work. Cold calling, purchasing lists and trade shows are becoming less and less effective. But what do you do instead? Here is a list of items every inbound marketing and inbound sales program must have going into 2017.



100 Inbound Marketing Tips To Improve Program Performance

Over the last 100 days, we've been counting down our favorite 100 inbound marketing and inbound sales tips leading up to HubSpot's INBOUND 2016 conference. Whether implemented together or individually, these 100 tips are sure to improve the success of your program.

If you've missed any of the tips over the past few months, check out the complete list below. Also, be sure to follow us @square2 for the latest inbound marketing news and tips.



Don't Get Tricked: 7 Frighteningly Common Inbound Marketing Mistakes

Stop Sending Your Marketing Dollars Off To Die

In yesterday's post, I walked through seven Halloween-themed "treats" to enjoy when looking to drastically and quickly improve your inbound marketing results. In the spirit of Halloween, today's post is another seasonally-themed list.

Many clients come to us with inbound marketing programs or campaigns that are in serious distress. Across hundreds of engagements and years of experience with inbound marketing, we've found a handful of critical mistakes that are frighteningly common in unsuccessful programs. 

Here are seven "tricks" you should avoid when using inbound marketing:



7 Inbound Marketing Treats For Better Results

Snack-Sized Tips For Improved Inbound Marketing Performance

It’s that time of year again. You might notice a ghost hanging from a tree, an extra rat or crow propped up on your mailbox, or the occasional skeleton lying on the ground. It’s also a good time to start looking at what you’re doing with your inbound marketing program and finding what’s working and what might not be working so well.

Having done hundreds of inbound programs for hundreds of companies over the past 13 years, we've learned a lot about what makes inbound marketing drive the best results. We regularly install a set of improvements and upgrades that almost immediately improve results in every case. We've collected those in a Halloween-themed list for your snacking pleasure.



How To Get 100 Inbound Marketing Tips In 100 Days Leading Up To Inbound 2016

Every Day Get A New Inbound Marketing Tip To Help You Get More Leads

Inbound marketing
is incredibly complex and complicated. A number of pot holes, speed bumps and potential detours come up every single day when you don’t have extensive experience with planning, building and growing an inbound marketing program.

But don’t worry. We’re here to help and we want you to get leads from inbound marketing. So we’ve decided to bundle Square 2 Marketing’s extensive experience, which includes almost 14 years and over 100,000 man hours of inbound marketing experience, and share 100 of our top inbound marketing tips and tricks with all of you.



10.5 Secrets You Don't Know About Inbound Marketing...

...But Were Afraid To Ask (Or Your Inbound Marketing Agency Neglected To Tell You)

I’ve always felt transparency, honesty and authenticity would be the cornerstones of the kind of inbound marketing agency we’d create. I think we’ve done a pretty good job working with clients and helping them understand what they need to do, what we need to do and how we need to work together to get their inbound marketing program up and running.

However, the feedback we’ve been getting from prospects is that not everyone is providing all the information businesses need to go into an inbound engagement with their eyes wide open. Some people are telling people what they want to hear, as opposed to what they need to know.