Your marketing budget is huge. You’ve got more funds than you know what to do with. And the C-Suite keeps insisting that you increase your marketing spend. Sound like your situation? Of course not. There’s not a marketing pro on the planet who can identify with that scenario!
We frequently discuss the merits of inbound marketing; I won’t waste your time in this post defining it again. While there is clear evidence that inbound marketing is growing in popularity among marketers, I’m convinced that it has the potential to rock your world.
Sara is a marketing manager who recently started an inbound marketing initiative for her company. She implemented HubSpot, developed a content marketing plan, and hired some content developers. As they got up to speed and began producing some very compelling pieces, Sara began to see certain similarities in them. In fact, she noticed her growing content library falling into five categories. Sara is wise, and her content marketing program will thrive.
Generating qualified sales leads can be one of the most challenging jobs of any sales or executive team, and almost always the most important. Historically, filling the sales funnel required either a lot of cold-calling, or a lot of dollars spent on advertising, i.e. outbound marketing. That doesn't have to be the case today, as so much has changed with the way consumers buy. Today, with inbound marketing and content marketing, you can see a great return on investment, as inbound leads cost dramatically less than outbound leads. Here are eleven ideas on how to generate more leads with inbound marketing:
If only people who are interested in your product or service would buy it the first time you offered it to them. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. More often than not, you have to "touch" them with your marketing outreach anywhere from 5 to 10 times (or more) before they finally make a purchase decision.
We’ve been developing custom apps for 25 years, so it’s hard for us to fully relate to the question. But the bottom line is that the companies that need a custom app are limited to those who would like to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, or who would like to make it easier for customers to do business with them... and thereby create repeat customers or even customers for life. (All those who would NOT like to do that, please raise your hand.)
Abbie is on a website landing page reading information on one of the many companies she’s researching as she looks for a product that meets her needs. She’s left other, similar landing pages without ever engaging further. But here, the word choice, button color, and other aspects of the call-to-action (CTA) cause her to click through and move further into the "sales funnel." While she’s not consciously aware of it, the well-crafted CTA has given this company a chance to win her business.
Technically, any page on a website where visitors can arrive or "land" is a "landing page." However, when marketers use the term, they are typically referring to a page that is distinct from the rest of a site and created for a specific purpose—to generate leads by enticing visitors to supply contact information, to give visitors details about a company’s offerings before sending them to a "shopping cart" page, etc.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) typically do not have large marketing budgets. Consequently, they have to make very wise choices about how to allocate precious funds. One of the things they must decide is whether to focus on outbound marketing (pushing their message to customers via advertising, email blasts to purchased lists, etc.) or inbound marketing (publishing quality, relevant, valued content to entice prospects to engage with your marketing information, i.e. content marketing).
If you haven’t downloaded the latest State of Inbound Marketing 2015 report from HubSpot, be sure to click on the link below for a free copy of this important report. It has some extremely insightful findings regarding the challenges facing marketers, and the opportunities Inbound Marketing presents.
The costs and benefits of requiring prospects to provide their contact information before receiving your content—also known as “gating” your content—have been debated for as long as there has been the technology to do so. You produce content for the express purpose of getting your prospects to engage with your brand. But if they are never required to provide any information about who they are and why they are consuming your content, are they really engaging or just… well… taking?
Forbes describes a “thought leader” as “An individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries, and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise."
Webopedia.com defines a configurator as follows:
While there are certainly more than six types of custom apps for your website, our hope is that this list will stimulate your creativity and encourage you to explore how YOU can develop a custom application that will elevate your inbound customer experience.
While we are huge proponents of the importance of creating amazing inbound customer experiences, it occurs to me that not EVERY business needs to worry about it. Here are a few that come to mind:
- Illicit drug dealers
I mean let’s face it, while a few of them may be so bold as to have websites, their customers will likely wade through whatever they have to in order to secure the drugs, regardless of how bad the experience is.
In 2013, KISSmetrics posted a great blog on 100 Conversion Optimization Case Studies (and yes, they actually show 100 success stories). Most of it can be summarized in the following:
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I dream of conversion rates that soar to the 30-40% mark. While not every industry can realize that level of success, we’ve actually seen those kinds of numbers with our customers. However, regardless of industry, you must be willing to invest in conversion optimization to attain substantial increases in conversion rates—and most businesses simply don’t yet see the value of such an investment. The truth is, there are few expenditures that can provide such an enormous, ongoing return.
We often talk about the inbound customer experience and our passion for helping others make them amazing. Here are five steps you can take that will have a substantial impact on the quality of interaction someone has with your brand online.
Because an inbound customer experience is the quality of interaction someone has with your brand online, surely there are few marketing efforts that are more critical to your success today. If you are in a small- to medium-sized business, the odds are that your website and social footprint are two of the most crucial branding and marketing tools you possess. So how important is your inbound customer experience?
Landing pages customized to the needs of specific buyer personas produce measurable results, from increased “time on page” to higher conversion rates. If you’re looking for a modest bump in your numbers, a good landing page will deliver that. But, set your sights on maximizing a landing page’s impact, and you can turn modest bumps into significant spikes—or better yet, produce a continuous upward growth curve.