Archive for the ‘Inbound’ Category

Infographic: Powerful social calls-to-action to increase engagement

Friday, July 5th, 2013

When you want someone to do something, the best thing to do is ask. This has long been the case and it is just as true in marketing as it is for children with messy bedrooms. Dan Zarella, HubSpot’s social media scientist in residence, recently carried out some research seeing just how much influence calls-to-action had on content engagement. The results were quite surprising.









20 great design tips for high impact calls-to-action by HubSpot

Friday, June 28th, 2013

If you want to convert website visitors in to leads you have to grab their attention. Ask yourself when was the last time you tested your conversion process? If you haven’t tested your calls-to-action, maybe now is the time to do so.

Calls-to-action are the high impact graphics that will deliver a message so compelling that your visitors cannot resist the temptation to click in order to learn more. That’s the theory. In practice, getting the design right requires an attention to detail to ensure all the variables are aligned: from the size and style to the tone of voice, there are many variables that can make or break the click-through rate of a CTA. (more…)

Three Tips on Effective Lead Nurturing from HubSpot’s Best Practices

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

If you’re involved in marketing, chances are that you’re constantly looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns. While there are many methods of achieving this, nurturing the leads already in your pipeline can be a great way to turn more of your leads into customers.

Lead nurturing requires effective communication and building a relationship with customers. It takes practice. In their time creating tools for other marketers’ lead nurturing campaigns, HubSpot has built an impressive lead nurturing program of their own. HubSpot’s Product Marketing Manager, Jeffrey Russo, shared with us their in-house lead nurturing best practices.

1. Create content that customers will love and want to share.

Successful marketers are moving away from a self-centred strategy, and adopting a more customer-centric one. Why is this a key to success? Customers will actually want to see emails directing them to your carefully thought out, well-written content that is useful and benefits them in some way.

A great example of content that does exactly this is HubSpot’s The Marketer’s Field Guide to Salesforce. Upon realising that many of Salesforce’s customers were also suitable target customers for HubSpot, they created a document for marketers, covering just about every aspect of Salesforce they needed to know — including methodology and best practices.

HubSpot Field Guide to Salesforce

The Marketer’s Field Guide to Salesforce

This document was downloaded nearly 8,000 times, even though it barely even mentioned HubSpot. Why? Because the information was valuable to the customer, and it wasn’t overly promotional. If you want to keep your prospects moving along the funnel, it’s important to create content that is genuinely useful for your customer base. Doing this helps build trust with the prospect and shows that you’re interested in more than simply closing a sale.

2. Segment your leads to better serve them.

Segmentation is another crucial component to effective lead nurturing. To effectively nurture leads, it’s important that you send tailored messages that speak to your prospect. And segmenting your leads is one way to make sure that the right message reaches the right person.

While creating logical and effective segmentation can seem like a daunting task for many marketers, it’s important to do if you want to see better returns on your campaigns. HubSpot divides their lead nurturing campaigns into two groups: persona and lifecycle stage.

Personas fall into separate categories, as well, and each of these categories is responded to (by HubSpot) differently. Here are some examples of personas they often see:

Example of Buyer Personas

Meanwhile, a lifecycle stage is where the contact is at within the customer lifecycle. This requires really honing in on the customer’s needs and responding to them based on that. Here is an example of a HubSpot campaign aimed toward Marketing Mary, who they know is actively considering a purchase:

Workflow step-by-step

3. Utilize tools other than email.

Having a focused email marketing strategy can be a great asset to marketers. But it’s not the only option, and sometimes it’s hard to see past something that is working well. There are many other points of contact on your site that prospects can get to in many different ways. That’s why it’s important to create personalised Calls to Actions (CTAs) to your site visitors. HubSpot has created a SmartCTA tool that allows them to create and place CTAs based on their segments. This way, certain CTAs are only seen by the specific segment that HubSpot wants to have see it.

Effective lead nurturing takes time and practice, but the important thing for marketers to remember is that quality lead nurturing takes time to develop. And if you try to take on everything at once, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the size of the task at hand.

To keep from becoming overwhelmed, HubSpot recommends that you start with your biggest groups of leads first and then work from there. By starting with your biggest group of leads, you can quickly gather feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Then you can apply these lessons to future programs as you scale up your lead nurturing efforts. Once you figure out what works for you, then you can focus on the minutia and optimise your lead nurturing campaigns.

What other lead nurturing tips do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is a guest post written by softwareadvice.com

Six sources of inspiration for fresh blog content ideas

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Inspiration

Do you recognise this scene: It’s Monday morning and you don’t have any evergreen blog posts ready to be posted so you have to write something off the top of your head. No topic springs to mind so you stare at your screen thinking… for far too long. Your time is valuable so try using these tools to inspire your future blog posts and avoid the dreaded Monday morning writers block.

Analytics

Without doubt one of the best resources for finding inspiration for your blog posts will come from your analytics software. You aren’t likely to find much inspiration from your bounce rate or browser details but you will find it in your traffic sources by seeing which search queries brought people to your website.

To find this information in Google Analytics you need to head to traffic sources > sources > search > organic. Not only will you find the queries that are bringing people to your blog and website but you will also find out which search queries are keeping people on your page longer and which are helping with conversions.

Even with the rather annoying (not provided) data [Note: this now accounts for over 60% of the search traffic to the Katapult blog], you can still find some great search queries that will inspire a blog post or two. (more…)

Best examples of brands using Instagram video

Friday, June 21st, 2013

instagram-logo
***Apologies for the autoplay video cacophony. Instagram videos will autoplay so having multiple videos on one page results in a lot of noise***
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Is PPC part of the inbound marketing methodology?

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Pay-Per-Click isn’t inbound marketing, is it? In recent weeks there has been much discussion around what is and what is not inbound marketing. This discussion really took off when SEOmoz rebranded as Moz and Rand Fishkin laid out the difference between inbound marketing and interruption (outbound) marketing as he sees it. In this blog I would like to tackle a few of the talking points that came up as I watched the discussion unfold online.

How does Rand see it?

In this infographic Rand has laid out what he sees as being inbound vs interruption marketing. In the red corner we have interruption marketing which seeks to interrupt people and grab their attention as they go about their daily activities. We see outbound sales calls, TV & radio advertising, print ads, purchased email lists, banner ads, display ads, trade shows etc. In the blue corner we have inbound marketing which seeks to earn people’s attention “organically without interrupting anyone’s path.” This includes opt-in email lists, press & PR, blogging, content creation, public speaking, influencer outreach, pay-per-click advertising…

That’s right. PPC is inbound marketing.

Much of the discussion in recent weeks has centred on PPC and whether or not it is truly inbound marketing. After all, is inbound marketing not about producing high quality content that gets found in search and via social and speaks directly to your audience, convincing them to exchange details for premium content and then nurturing your newly found leads to a sales-ready point? Well, yes, it is. This doesn’t mean it is exclusively through owned media channels though.

You see, inbound marketing is a process and a methodology that hinges on getting your content in front of people to produce leads at the lowest possible cost. This doesn’t mean channels that have to be paid for should be ignored. Quite the opposite. If using PPC proves to be the cheapest way of getting your content in front of people who are searching for the keywords you are chasing, it makes perfect sense to do that.

It’s how you use it that counts

The argument about PPC not being a valid form of inbound marketing appears to depend on how the pay per click campaigns are delivered. If I target keywords such as “Britain’s Got Talent Live Tour” to send people to my Introduction to Inbound Marketing eBook, then we could rightly argue that I’m not earning people’s attention “organically without interrupting anyone’s path.” Quite the opposite, in fact, as they want pictures of Simon Cowell being egged rather than an eBook focused on generating new leads.

On the flip side, if someone searches for “inbound marketing for beginners” and I get their attention with my free eBook advert, I am merely paying to jump the queue within the search results; the user’s end goal of finding content they are looking for is still achieved and we still hit our goal of generating a new lead. So, as I see it, and as Martin MacdonaldLarry Kim and Rand Fishkin see it, PPC is a perfectly valid part of the inbound marketing mix. It just helps move things along a little quicker.

Paid media, owned media, earned media… it doesn’t matter media!

If we want to demonstrate that inbound marketing is an effective method for getting found, engaging visitors, converting leads and analysing results we have to ensure the method works for all businesses. SEO is a big part of the process but it often takes time to get the desired outcome; this is where PPC comes in. PPC needs to be used for some businesses because they don’t have the right infrastructure to be able to succeed through organic search results alone. Over time you would look to reduce this by developing an SEO strategy but in the short term, paying for those clicks will suffice.

Outcomes matter. Methods less.

What inbound marketers are actually looking for is leads and sales. In the world of converged media where users seek information online and don’t mind whether they find it through advertising, editorial or your own website so long as the content is relevant, PPC is just another way of getting your content in front of people. Once they’re in your database, it’s time to segment, target, personalise and automate… as is the inbound way. With all that said, I think there is a bigger question to ask around the phrase inbound marketing; I think inbound marketing will be ditched in the near future in place of the much simpler term of “marketing”.

Radical, it ain’t.

By Martin Broadhurst









2013 mobile adoption statistics for B2B marketers

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Lists. There are plenty of them on the internet and I wanted to jump on that bandwagon. This one is specifically intended to show you just how important mobile is going to be (and is already) for marketing purposes. Business to consumer brands are well down the path of adopting mobile technology already and now it is time for B2B companies to make the change too.

  • Mobile internet use accounts for 15% of all internet traffic (Readwriteweb)
  • This is predicted to rise to 30% within 18 months (Readwriteweb)
  • Globally, 21% of mobile phones are smartphones, which presents huge growth for future mobile internet use. (Readwriteweb)

Four reasons why Sales Directors should embrace inbound marketing

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Getting buy-in for inbound marketing from Marketing Managers and Directors is relatively easy. It provides them with a clear methodology for generating new leads that ties together many digital marketing tactics and is entirely measurable. Sales directors may take more convincing though. Why spend valuable money on marketing when you could hire a new sales rep? Well, this is exactly why…

1. Attract more leads for your sales team

Sales reps love leads. Having a regular supply of inbound leads gives sales teams something valuable to work with and removes the need to make cold calls to people who have never heard of the business. A 2012 report on inbound marketing found that leads through the website increased for more than 90% of businesses using inbound marketing methodology.
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Six ways to improve your LinkedIn company page

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

LinkedIn Faces Image

How many really good LinkedIn company pages have you seen? How many company pages that really stand out when you look at them and make you pay attention and read more? I’d hazard a guess it isn’t many even though the much improved LinkedIn company pages were released late last year.

To help get your company page up to speed, here are six quick-fix solutions to make your LinkedIn company page stand out from the rest.

Use the banner image

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ all allow businesses to add a banner image to their profile and LinkedIn does too. This is the first thing people will see when they visit your company page so make sure the image is bold and says something about your business.

Images must be PNG, JPEG, or GIF; max size 2 MB, dimensions 646 x 220 pixels or larger.

Complete your products and services

If your company offers multiple products and services make sure you list them out on your products and services page. It’s obvious but often overlooked. If you want to be a little more creative you can add some links to your premium content much like HubSpot have done with their eBooks. (more…)

Infographic: What is digital marketing?

Friday, May 31st, 2013

This handy little infographic gives a simple breakdown of what is involved in digital marketing including on-page SEO, search engine marketing and content creation. (more…)