In this month's NurtureNotes newsletter we teased our subscribers with five important things you should know about inbound marketing and I want to continue that conversation here because inbound marketing is important people!
With a reported cost per lead at 62% LESS than outbound marketing you should be paying close attention and working on inbound marketing strategies right now (after you read this blog of course). Without further ado, let's get right to the list.
1. What is Inbound Marketing?
In simple terms, inbound marketing is a set of strategies and tactics you use to make it easy for prospects to find you. It’s a pull model instead of a traditional push model. Inbound tactics include things like search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), social media, blogs, websites and landing pages. An effective inbound strategy also includes the thing you find us preaching about all the time – valuable content. Not your company brochure or one single article but a steady flow of articles, tips, infographics, white papers and videos. Make content accessible – don’t hide your brilliance behind a form or make your prospects work to learn more about you.
2. Why do I need to worry about Inbound Marketing?
One of the main reasons you need to adopt inbound marketing is that we are on average bombarded with 2,000 messages a day! Inbound marketing creates an environment by which someone who needs your service can easily find you. Need a better reason? Hubspot’s recent 2011 report on the State of Inbound Marketing shows that the cost per lead for inbound marketing is 62% less than outbound. Now that’s a reason to get you pulling in the right direction isn’t it?
3. Should I abandon Outbound Marketing?
No way! In spite of what some are saying – inbound is not a replacement for outbound marketing such as direct mail, email, trade events, advertising, etc. The two should go hand in hand. Because inbound generally has a lower cost per lead than outbound, you can start shifting your budget to the inbound side, but don’t slow down your outbound marketing just yet. Inbound marketing takes time and patience and isn’t the answer to fill your pipeline or get leads – at least not right away. Let it build momentum before you drastically alter your outbound model.
4. How can I use my website for Inbound Marketing?
Socialize it! Getting people to your site is only the first step. Once they are there, how do you keep them there? Offer stuff they care about and share it without a bunch of forms. Engage with your visitors through videos, polls, articles, tips, blogs and fresh content. Take a look at the copy on your website. Is it inviting or is it overly technical or stiff. Make sure your site is easy to navigate so people want to stay awhile. Most of the time the inbound path leads directly to your website so make sure it’s ready to greet your guests.
5. How do I know if it’s working?
Inbound marketing is totally depending on automation. Get yourself a good marketing automation platform that gives you the ability to track visitors, score leads and nurture visitors with automated workflows. This gives you the flexibility to remove some of those intimidating forms without losing the intelligence that you need. If you would like to learn about the marketing automation tool we use every day, please email Eric Rabinowitz or call him at 732-636-10014 (x27). He’s pretty passionate and knowledgeable about marketing automation so it’s worth a call if you get a minute.
6. Link baiting is good.
It may sound like a “black hat” practice, but link baiting is a good thing. Link baiting refers to anything on a website that encourages links from other websites. It can include content like blogs, online tools, downloads, or anything else that another site owner might find compelling enough to link to. Link baiting is important because most search engines use backlinks as a major factor in determining ranking.
7. Blogs RULE!
According to another great report by HubSpot, sites with blogs gathered 68% more leads than sites without one. If you can only invest in one content type – make it a powerful blog. Not a writer? No problem. Hire someone who can help you not only come up with some awesome topics but write your blogs for you. We have a talented team of blog writers here at Nurture Marketing if you need some help.
8. Long Tail is More than a Keyword Concept.
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “long tail keyword” and in case you’re not – long tail keywords are those search terms people will use that are later in the sales cycle or focused on a niche market. For example – if you are estate lawyer in Hoboken you might think “estate law” is a good phrase to focus on but you’ll face a lot of competition for that phrase and your local prospects might never find you so why not dig deeper with something like “estate lawyers in Hoboken, NJ”? The concept of long tail is something you can bring into your entire inbound strategy. What offers resonate more with people later in the sales cycle for your services, what issues are most compelling in to your prospects? Keep the concept of long tail top of mind when creating offers and messaging and you’ll see higher responses. Another example: “Best Practices in ERP implementation” is nice – “Best practices for automotive manufacturers ERP implementations” is better.
9. The Importance of Anchor Text.
Click here for more info. How often do you see some variation of that phrase? Why not use descriptive text in your links for maximum SEO impact. For example: Download our free report on B2B Nurture Marketing Best Practices. Now you have some SEO power.
10. Measure the right thing.
If you use typical outbound marketing metrics to measure your inbound marketing you’ll be disappointed. A different tactic calls for different measurements. At the same time – the metrics you use to measure inbound need to change as you build your inbound engine. Early key performance indicators (KPI) such as clicks and followers will now be joined by metrics like conversion rates and PPC ROI as your methods mature. For a list of what you should be measuring with inbound marketing, download our Quick Tips for Inbound Marketing KPIs.