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How Inbound Can Grow Your Business

How Inbound Marketing Can Grow Your Business

By | Business, Inbound Marketing

Business owners today are faced with many options and challenges on how to market their businesses and make their marketing dollars go farther. From the Yellow Pages (yp.com), Angie’s List, trade show events to glossy print ads—the options are endless. However, I want to introduce you to a relatively new marketing and sales methodology that can help address one of your business’ biggest challenges: growth.

In this article, I explain 5 high-level factors of inbound marketing to help you understand how to attract customers, grow your brand and your bottom line. Inbound marketing harnesses the power of your company’s website to generate traffic and leads, automate marketing, acquire customers and understand your cost per lead more effectively. If you’re new to the concept of inbound marketing, read: What is Inbound Marketing? first.

1. Grow by generating website traffic
The World Wide Web celebrated its 25th birthday this past March. Since its inception, it has revolutionized the way we do business. According to iMedia, 93% of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process.  93 percent! If you’re serious about generating traffic month after month—it’s absolutely critical that the products and services you provide can be found online by your prospective customers/clients/dealers.

 

inbound marketing traffic

Actual Inbound Marketing Traffic Generation Data: 157% Increase in traffic!

 

So, how do you get more traffic? Well, once again the options are endless. A good place to start is with inbound marketing’s approach to blogging. If you aren’t blogging, you’re missing out on what could be your biggest opportunity to generate traffic.

Take a look at these statistics:

  • Blog frequency impacts customer acquisition. 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2013)
  • The global population of blog readers keeps growing. (eMarketer, August 2010)
  • 81% of marketers rated their blog as useful or better. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2013)
  • There are 31% more bloggers today than there were three years ago. (eMarketer, August 2010)
  • 46% of people read blogs more than once a day. (HubSpot Science of Blogging 2010)
  • Most people read 5-10 blogs. (HubSpot Science of Blogging, 2010)
  • Nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes. (eMarketer, August 2010)

As you can see, one sure fire way to generate traffic to your website is to tap into blogging. Blogging can expand your business’ digital footprint which, creates more opportunities to generate traffic. And with 60% of all organic clicks going to the top three search results; blogging will also contribute to higher rankings. Every blog post you create will continue to drive traffic to your website for the duration of its existence. 

You may be thinking, “we blog, but it doesn’t seem to help.” If your blog isn’t performing the way it should, you may be doing something wrong. Are you seeking to solve your customer’s problems, or do you use it for self-promotion? There is a big difference and each serves two different audiences. To blog effectively, you must seek to provide information that helps the people you are trying to attract. 

2. Grow by turning visits into leads
Now that you’re blogging correctly, it’s time to turn that traffic into leads. To capture leads, you must offer premium content in the form of webinars, whitepapers, ebooks or videos. By utilizing call-to-actions (CTAs), forms and landing pages, you create a method for gathering your prospect’s contact information so that you can understand their needs and better solve their problems. You also will begin to establish trust, gain credibility and thought leadership which is important to attracting customers/clients/dealers etc.

 

Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

Actual Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Data: 1150% increase!

 

inbound marketing3. Grow by marketing automation
To do inbound marketing effectively you will need marketing automation software. We recommend a tool like HubSpot that ties all your online marketing efforts together into one convenient web-based source. With HubSpot, you can automate a lot of the manual tasks like social media publishing, email and workflows. The Contacts feature in HubSpot allows you to understand the areas of interest on your website that your leads have visited—equipping you to have a more meaningful and impactful conversation with them. HubSpot’s Competitor analysis tool allows you to see what your competitors are up to and how to outrank them on the search engines. With a marketing automation tool like HubSpot, you will save time, energy and get the support you need to conduct a successful inbound marketing campaign.

4. Grow by turning leads into customers
Eventually—if you’ve followed points 1 through 3—your search engine rankings, blogging and social media following will increase over time and you’ll begin to see an increase in traffic and leads. 60% of the sales cycle is already over, once you’ve determined that a lead is ready to talk to you. It now becomes time to reach out personally if you feel they meet your qualifications and convert your lead into a customer.

So for example, you may send them an email asking them if they would like to set up an introductory phone call or you may choose to call them directly. Whatever method you choose, the prospect has already warmed to the idea of working with you and is interested in learning more about your products or services.

5. Grow by being smarter with your marketing dollars
Inbound marketing has shown a 62% reduction in cost per lead. (Source: Mashable) it makes it the perfect solution to save money and achieve your business goals cost effectively over time. Instead of investing heavily in outbound marketing methods like printed advertising, direct mail, billboard, radio, placards at bus stops or television ads, inbound provides the data, wherewithal and insight you need to make your marketing dollars work harder. Utilizing HubSpot’s Marketing Performance Module, you’ll be able to see how your marketing dollars are working and allow you to avoid the black box which is outbound marketing.

inbound marketing performance

Actual Inbound Marketing Performance

 

In conclusion, I’ve given you just a taste of how inbound marketing can grow your business by utilizing your website. Inbound marketing is a great solution for businesses trying to grow, stabilize or become more profitable. Its methodology enables you to generate traffic and leads, acquire new customers and provide ROI analysis to help you grow your business more profitably.

If you’re interested in learning more about inbound marketing please contact our Indianapolis or Denver Branding Agency for a complimentary inbound marketing assessment and begin growing your business today.

Inbound Marketing Toolkit

Free Download:
Inbound Marketing Tool Kit
 

Running a successful marketing campaign for your business is all about having the right tools. This guide will give you what you need to run a successful inbound marketing program.

 

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

The 5 Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

The 5 Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

By | Business, Inbound Marketing

 

Starting a business blog is tough. When I first started blogging for my branding agency it was difficult to generate ideas consistently and then write clearly and concisely about them; but over time, I became better—and faster. Blogging for business starts with the intention to solve your customers problems and to answer their hardest questions.

I set a goal to become a better writer. No matter what it took, I committed to writing at least once a week, twice if I got lucky. Every time I came across an interesting piece of content that sparked an idea I wrote it down. Over a few months, I had a growing list of healthy topics.

This in turn allowed me to create a content calendar that aligned with my inbound marketing campaign efforts which turned my idea list into a blogging factory.

I love this video from HubSpot that explains how to become a better writer:

Like training for a marathon, it’s hard at first, but you eventually become stronger and faster.

1. You stay on the cutting edge of your profession

Inbound marketing and blogging forces you to change your mindset about marketing. You become a natural curator of content as you peruse daily articles and blogs. By committing to blogging that leads to the search of new ideas, you become keenly aware of your industry and your client’s industries.

2. You have more things to talk, post and tweet about

Blogging creates the basis of your social media efforts. By posting and tweeting your content, you begin to attract visitors and gain followers.

3. Solve your customer’s problems

By blogging on topics that solves and answers your customer’s toughest questions, you become—over time—a recognized resource and expert.

4. Generate website traffic
Blogging is the secret sauce to generating traffic to your website. By blogging on topics that answers your customer’s questions, you create a bastion of posts that expand your keywords’ digital footprint on Google and other search engines. You increase your website’s authority by generating inbound links, social media shares and authorship through Google+.

Check out these stats:

  • 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing. (Source)
  • Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. (Source)
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not blog. (Source)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. (Source)
  • Blog posts incorporating video attract 3 times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source)

increase website traffic

 

5. Establish thought leadership
By blogging consistently, you quickly begin to establish thought leadership within your industry and amongst your prospects. By earning followers on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you begin to establish top-shelf awareness that allows you to constantly remind your prospects of your products or services.

In conclusion, the task of taking on blogging for your business may make you gag, but once you get the ball rolling, it becomes a habit that is easier to maintain over time. The benefits of being on the edge of your profession, having interesting topics to grow your social media networks, generating traffic and establishing thought leadership is an essential component of doing business with today’s skeptical customer.

Interested in learning more about our Indianapolis or Nashville inbound marketing agency? Contact us today to learn how we can help your business through blogging.

 

Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

Brand Development Rollout

Why Your Brand Rolled Out The Back Door And Down The Street – Part 1

By | Brand Development, Branding, Business

Completing the brand development process is a major milestone in any company’s history. After months of work it becomes time to introduce and roll it out to your employees and then your customers and the public in general. However after the party is over and the smoke has cleared, the brand is usually forgotten and your people return to status quo and it’s business as usual. Why?

In the first of two posts, here are 4 things to keep in mind to make the most of your brand development investment when rolling out your new brand internally and creating real brand change.

1. Get employee buy-in early
To make your brand rollout successful, get your employees involved early in the process. Identify the people in your company who are the centers of influence. Create a team of brand ambassadors. By getting your employees feedback and input—you will give them ownership of the new brand. Their feedback will provide the framework and direction of the changes that need to be made. When they see that the changes they suggested have been incorporated, they will be more likely to embrace the new brand. They will also act as advocates and defenders of the new brand when and if water cooler discussions turn negative about the coming changes.

2. Introduce the brand correctly
Also begin thinking about the brand rollout event early in the process. It can sometimes take months of planning depending on your budget. Each company is different, but you typically want to start by creating some buzz. Try to think of ways to get your employees excited about the new brand. Communicate some of the key benefits and changes coming and how they contributed to the new direction. Make the brand rollout party all about them. This will be your first chance to introduce the new brand and you’ll want to take some time to really think through how to best present it.

3. Leadership does the honors
The new brand should be introduced by the CEO or president. The brand development process is a top-down initiative and you’ll want to utilize the C-Suite’s influence. Take the steps needed to educate your employees on what a brand is and why it is important. After a little branding 101, go through the main communication points of the brand. Especially communicate what has changed and what will stay the same. Remember to communicate the purpose and the “why” behind the “what”. Seek to inspire through purpose.

4. Create “the change” through your employees

Lets face it, change is hard. Most companies—after the brand is rolled out—return to status quo. To create real brand change, new standards must be communicated and implemented within your workforce. To move the culture, changes must be made at the people level. So for example, you may want to consider the following:

  1. Through natural attrition, begin to replace the employees who leave with people who adhere and align with the brand’s new values.
  2. Use assessments to accurately determine the “jobfit” and “brandfit” of each candidate.
  3. Invest in employer branding to attract top talent.
  4. Train tenured employees to adapt to the changes being made.
  5. Pay employees to leave who are not adopting the change (See Zappos and Amazon examples)

The company with the best people wins. To create real brand change and to make the most of your brand development investment—start with your people early in the process and continue to build a culture based on your customers. Anything else is just pretty words and pictures.

In my next post, I’ll talk about the external rollout process.

For more information on how we can help you create real brand change within your organization, contact our Indianapolis or Denver branding agency for a complimentary brand assessment.

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.