Follow These Inbound Marketing Steps for a Successful Program
Over the past few blogs, we’ve discussed WHY inbound marketing is needed and HOW it helps achieve desired results. Today, we’re going to address WHAT specific content distribution steps are required for a successful inbound marketing program. Again, I need to make two assumptions:
- Your branding work is done
- You have the ability to create great content on an ongoing basis
Goal 1: Develop Qualified Leads from Targeted Verticals
A main objective of many inbound marketers is to develop qualified leads from targeted verticals. Start your inbound marketing program by placing great content where it will be seen by the right key business influencers. Position yourself as a leading domain expert by distributing great content via:
- Case studies
- Social media content
- Published articles
- Press releases
Use SEO (search engine optimization) best practices. Consider using an SEO tool like Yoast. If you do this, your Web traffic numbers will improve.
Goal 2: Create effective prospect-to-customer conversion strategies
Can improved Web traffic numbers by itself be monetized? Not really. You can’t sell to anonymous site visitors. So site traffic by itself doesn’t really matter. The trick is getting people to raise their hands once they’re there. This is where excellence in the following areas is needed:
- Place valuable content behind landing page forms requiring user self-identification and confirmation. Anytime you’re using a form, make sure you have good spam filters to filter bot activity.
- Use a marketing automation tool such as HubSpot, InfusionSoft, Marketo or Callidus Cloud. This will help you with user tracking, activity-based user ranking/scoring, auto prospect nurturing campaigns based on action triggers or time lapses, and A/B testing
- Trials and incentives
- CRM integration
- “Smart” Web content (automatically changed to be more relevant for each site visitor)
- Proper handoff of qualified leads to sales team
Goal 3: Upsell and cross sell current customers
Yes, smart content, a top-seven inbound marketing principle, can and should be used to upsell and cross sell your current customers. However, this is the one area where outbound marketing still outperforms or at least matches the effectiveness of inbound marketing.
A well-honed outbound customer nurture program is an excellent way to place upsell and cross sell opportunities in front of your existing customers. If you don’t directly and easily give your current customers reasons to use more of your products and services, shame on you. After all, you have the database and implicit permission to contact current customers.
Goal 4: Prove a return on marketing investment
Today’s leading inbound marketing tools have really good reporting capabilities. The math is easy. Add up all your converted revenue. Subtract all costs, including appropriate marketing salaries. Calculate your ROI.
Let’s close today by showing you another useful chart containing research data courtesy of HubSpot. According to their surveyed customers, these are the top inbound marketing projects:
Join me next week as we conclude this four-part blog series on inbound marketing.