Marketing automation tools, as their name implies, simplify and streamline content marketing processes. However, because tools like HubSpot handle their assigned tasks so reliably and so well, enabling you to turn your attention to other things, it’s easy to fall into some bad marketing habits. As a content marketing agency, we try to ensure our clients are aware of, and avoid, these pitfalls.
Whether it lives on your website as part of your content marketing program or is taken by sales reps to initial meetings with prospects, or both, a solid sales presentation deck can be a powerful tool. But, too often, these items are neglected until the last minute and then hastily pieced together with a variety of mismatching resources. And of course, as they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Ignore the humorously ominous title of this post. Content intelligence isn’t something to fear. In fact, it’s something to embrace. “Content intelligence” is a term that’s been around for a decade or so, but it has been used much more frequently in the last few years. It refers to the knowledge gained from systems that use information on content consumers and content consumption to produce actionable insights for driving a content marketing strategy. Yes, that’s a mouthful!
The marketing automation system you implement can have a pronounced impact on everything from lead generation to website conversion rate. Needless to say, this is an important decision. However, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. As you evaluate your options, you just need to keep some key considerations in mind. Then, the right solution for you will reveal itself pretty readily.
One of the many great features of a marketing automation tool like HubSpot is the ability to set up email workflows that deftly and automatically nurture prospects by delivering the right marketing content in the right sequence. However, as one of the top HubSpot agencies in Colorado, we advise the clients we work with nationwide that in order to make the most of email workflows, you have to use them wisely. “Automated” should never be equated with “mindless” or “robotic.”
We are sometimes asked "What type of agency are you?" It's always a bit of an awkward moment, because often the person asking the question is not all that familiar with terms like "full-service marketing and advertising agency" or "digital marketing agency" or "inbound marketing agency." Sometimes all they "know" about marketing and advertising agencies is what was reflected in Mad Men. Still, there are others that have a real sense of the attributes that differentiate agencies, and may even have a strong preference for one over another. Because 30dps has been a boutique agency that has constantly evolved, the way we label ourselves has also changed through our 25 years. For example, multimedia & web design firm, new media marketing agency, full-service marketing and advertising agency, inbound customer experience agency, just to name a few.
Marketing automation is an awesome way to get things done without wasting a lot of time on small tasks. Any business consistently utilizing marketing automation is setting themselves up to achieve much more in a shorter span of time, including ad campaigns, email sends, prospect tracking, and of course, social media.
But wait a minute—isn’t the goal of social media to be personal? To tell people your story and allow them to take a closer, more personalized look into your business and the way it fits into the world?
Well, yeah… it is. There are so many social media automation tools, and they all do much the same thing, but should you even be using them? Good question.
Yesterday, a friend and colleague to whom I had long been singing the praises of HubSpot, finally made the leap. Immediately after taking the plunge he texted me and said "You're a great sales rep for them." I didn't hesitate to reply, "Ha! Well, it’s easy to 'sell' something if you believe in it!" Such a simple yet true statement.
The days of Mad Men—the golden years of the agency business—may be gone, but rocking someone's world with great creative and the smart use of technology make life in a boutique digital marketing agency equally as exciting, even if not quite so glamorous. And given the very changed world we live in today, the results are arguably more impressive.
While all of the components discussed thus far in this series are important elements to include in any digital marketing strategy, today's list includes some of the most critical.
Developing a powerful and effective digital strategy is increasingly critical for marketers today. Your strategy should define the specific goal, or goals, you expect to achieve with your digital marketing efforts. The key word here is "specific" because you want to be able to measure your success against those goals, and without specificity, you won't know how you're doing. Your strategy should also outline the specific tools and tactics you are going to use to accomplish your goals.
HubSpot's annual research report of 4,500 marketers worldwide reveals a lot of good news for inbound marketing practitioners. Most notably, it once again shows that inbound marketing is growing in both prominence and effectiveness. Interestingly, those who self-identify as outbound marketers largely acknowledge many of the shortcomings that have led to the growth of inbound marketing. Only 17% of marketers say outbound practices (e.g. cold calling, TV/outdoor ads, trade shows, purchased lists) provide the highest quality leads for their sales team. But as outbound marketers begin to shift priorities to more inbound techniques, it is apparent that there is still a gap between outbound marketers' priorities and the priorities of accomplished inbound marketers.
Throughout our 28+ year history, we have had some great nonprofit clients. The nature of these organizations is all over the place, including the following:
- Christian ministries
- Curriculum publishers
- Book publishers
- Relief organizations
- Political action committees
- Political parties
- Senior housing
- Mental health services
While all of these organizations have been a delight to work with, in recent years, those that have proven to be the most successful from a marketing perspective are the ones that have recognized the challenges that are surfacing as we shift from the age of information to the age of experience. Inbound marketing, marketing automation, content marketing, and growth-driven design techniques are a perfect way to address those challenges.
A properly planned and executed inbound-marketing strategy maximizes the return on every dollar spent on marketing and fundraising, while potentially improving the impact of the core services that support the organization's mission—making it ideal for most nonprofit organizations.
Inbound marketing is certainly not for everyone. It is really only for those that are passionate about doing things differently than they've been done in the past—those that are committed to creating meaningful and lasting relationships with customers, not just saying whatever is necessary to close the sale. While almost all of us would agree that the former is superior to the latter, much of traditional marketing and advertising is solidly rooted in the latter.
If you happen to be someone who has been, or is about to invest in, reading our blog (certainly a sign of keen insights and wisdom), you undoubtedly recognize that we talk a lot about buyer personas, inbound marketing, content marketing, conversion optimization, marketing automation, analytics tools, social media marketing, search engine optimization, custom application development, and growth-driven design. While each of these independently is an important tool for serious marketers today, when they are all employed in harmony, it is truly a beautiful thing.
One of the many things we love about HubSpot here at 30dps is that it’s a company that is always looking to improve its product, and consequently it’s a marketing automation platform that is better, darn near every time you log in. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point.
John walks out of the restaurant after having lunch with three of his friends. They’re all marketing managers or directors at companies nearby. He pauses before hopping into his car to head back to the office, thinking about their conversation. It covered a wide range of topics, but it’s funny how often the term “marketing automation” made it into the discussion.
While automation of any kind typically delivers a wealth of benefits including increased efficiency, greater consistency, and higher quality to name just a few, when paired with marketing, as in “marketing automation,” the term gives some people pause. Marketing is considered by many to be an “art,” as there are nuances to the practice that can only be mastered with much time and effort. Consequently, there can be some reluctance to introducing the science of automation to the process.
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:
Content marketing is not a short-term, campaign-based tactic, but rather a long-term commitment to producing amazing content that is unique, powerful, and effective... and most importantly, meets the needs of your target audience. But precisely because it is a long-term strategy, measuring your success is very different than measuring the success of, say, a typical advertising campaign. So, how do you measure the success of your content marketing efforts?