Essential. Guide to Inbound Marketing. For Business Owners & Executives. The

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1 The Essential Guide to Inbound Marketing For Business Owners & Executives a g u i d e f o r i n c r e a s i n g r e v e n u e a n d g e n e r a t i n g i n b o u n d m a r k e t i n g l e a d s f a s t e r

2 WELCOME TO inbound marketing Business Owners and CEO s Face a Great Challenge - How to Drive Revenue Consistent revenue generation is at the core of every successful company. For Business Owners, CEO s and their executives, it s also their greatest challenge. In recent years Inbound Marketing has proven to be an effective way to solve that. Studies have shown that businesses on average can generate 23 times more leads with Inbound Marketing with the right software and right approach. If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing. - GUY KAWASAKI FORMER CHIEF EVANGELIST, APPLE Inbound marketing is the process of: Attracting more traffic to your website Converting more traffic into leads Converting more leads into customers Measure & analyzing each step for continuous improvement This guide outlines the steps needed to develop a systematic plan to help you integrate Inbound Marketing strategies into your business and start generating revenue in 5-months. If you d like to learn more about Inbound Marketing, we invite you to visit our website at Let s get started! 2

3 phases of inbound marketing selling cycle An Investment That Keeps on Generating Unlike other marketing, advertising and sales expenses, Inbound Marketing is an investment that produces compounding results over time; As you create Inbound Marketing assets like optimized blog posts, landing pages, links and social media followings, they will help you attract traffic, capture leads and convert leads into customers - every day into the future. As you will see, it takes commitment, strategy and talent to make it effective. And results are directly proportional to effort and investment to lead customers through each phase of the social buying cycle. You need the kind of objectivity that makes you forget everything you ve heard, clear the table, and do a factual study like a scientist would. - STEVE WOZNIAK CO-FOUNDER, APPLE Phase 1: Provide Value Creating compelling content that your audience will find of value is key to capturing leads and converting them into customers. Phase 2: Interact & Engage To attract an audience you need to interact with them where they are. By sharing content and engaging in social networks you can reach new prospective customers, then nurture them along with additional until they are ready to buy. Phase 3: Transact Through your on-going committment you will build long term relationships that bring value to your customers and revenue to your business. 3

4 benefits of inbound marketing Brand Awareness You can t generate sales revenue without first letting people know you exist. Over 80% of people search online to learn more about a product or service before they buy. And they are finding out through blogs, social media and search engines. To effectively generate brand awareness you need to go where your audience is. Regardless of the age you want to reach, the internet and social networking is an effective way to reach them - and continues to grow. Customer Retention Getting a customer to do business with you the first time is a great first step, however you can t stop there. You need to build your relationship with your customers by consistently providing interesting content such as articles, ebooks, case studies, and videos. And encourage their feedback through comments, surveys, and social communication. Generating New Leads Once Inbound Marketing helps you attract traffic to your website, the next step is to capture qualified leads by encouraging visitors to leave their address or contact information. To do so successfully means understanding what your customers want or value, then making it easy for them to obtain it. Free ebooks, products or services, discounts, or events are often used to attract leads in conjunction with well designed landing pages. Once registered, leads are then moved further down the sales funnel. 4

5 benefits of inbound marketing Converting Leads Into Revenue Effective use of Inbound Marketing means that you align your sales and marketing teams so that they work in sync to generate leads and convert them to sales. Once prospective leads are generated, our Inbound Marketing approach nurtures them along until they are ready to buy. Content is created specifically for each phase of the buying cycle with warm leads provided to your sales team for more effective time management and high sales results. Lower Cost per Lead To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products. - BRIAN HALLIGAN CEO, HUBSPOT Inbound Marketing has been shown to generate more qualified leads at a lower cost per lead than traditional marketing (outbound). A 2011 study by HubSpot found the average cost per lead for Inbound Marketing was 62% less. The reason is because Inbound Marketing is about building relationships online. Through blogs, videos, case studies and other content, you consistently engage your prospects and spread the your message. Measuring Inbound Marketing ROI With any marketing strategy the primary goal is to generate revenue. Unlike traditional advertising, Inbound Marketing makes is easy to measure your return on investment. Our software tools allow you to analzye: Website Traffic Social Brand Exposure Leads Conversions What Content is Effective Sales Conversions Social Pass-Along Rate Landing Page Effectiveness Call-To-Action Effectiveness 5

6 inbound marketing investment Investing in Inbound Marketing Surveys have shown that companies are continuing to increase their budgets for Inbound Marketing. Because of its effectiveness in lead generation, sales departments are also seeing value in investing. Remarkable social media content and great sales copy are pretty much the same plain spoken words designed to focus on the needs of the reader, listener or viewer. - BRIAN CLARK FOUNDER, COPYBLOGGER Inbound Marketing requires a commitment of time, budget and effort to produce content, videos, webinars, social interaction, search engine optimization and analyze results. A typical plan may include: 3 blog posts per week, including search engine and social media optimization 10 social media updates per week on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Creation of 1 ebook, video or webinar per month Planning for new content, calls-to-action, landing pages, and campaigns Implementation of on-going social media and campaigns In-house vs Outsourcing Because of the high-level of strategy involved in Inbound Marketing and lead generation, most companies don t have the expertise on staff and instead outsource to Inbound Marketing agencies. Internal teams work directly with these agencies to develop content ideas, oversee strategy and maintain creative control. 6

7 Guide to getting started Strategy & Setup Creating Compelling Content Attracting An Audience Capturing & Converting Leads Analyze Results & ROI 7

8 MONTH 1 strategy and set up TEAM, WEBSITE & BLOG Building Your Team Team Leader Manages the team, develops the plan, sets tasks for the team, oversees on-going content creation and campaign development, outlines lead nurturing. Sales & Marketing Team Member A senior member of your sales and marketing team to assist with planning, integration with CRM, lead management and lead nurturing. Content Generation Manager In charge of creating all content including blog posts, ebooks, videos, webinars, case studies, e-newsletters and press releases. Institutions that once had to go through media to deliver information are now themselves media. - ANDREW NACHISON FOUNDER, WE MEDIA Social Media Marketing Manager Responsible for setting up all social networking accounts, promoting content via social media, building brand awareness, training internal staff, and engaging in social discussions related to industry. Inbound Marketing Specialist Assists team in evaluating and setting up Inbound Marketing software, CRM integration, social measurement tools, search engine optimization, and social media optimization. Designer/Website Developer Designs the website within content management platforms to appeal to target audiences, with clear navigation and calls-to-action. Develops blog and landing pages to optimize results. Design content to reflect brand image. 8

9 MONTH 1 strategy and set up TEAM, WEBSITE & BLOG Outline Inbound Marketing Strategy Align with Business Goals and Set Benchmark Inbound Marketing should be designed to help you achieve your business goals and measure ROI. Begin by ranking the importance of your goals such as increase website traffic, or convert more leads into sales. Then set benchmarks of current sales and marketing metrics as well as your traffic, lead generation, and customer acquisition goals. (For assistance contact Think Creative for an Inbound Marketing Revenue Calculator) Define Your Ideal Lead or Customer Describe the ideal type of company, or individual for your products or services. Create a buyer persona outlining specific characteristics, likes, job frustrations, interests, and what they value - the more detail the better. These are created to ensure you are directing your marketing at the ideal customer. Inbound Marketing Specifics Outline specifics such as keywords, content strategy, what social media you will utilize, calls-to-action, how leads will be handled, etc. Decide on CMS/Social Software Define which software platform provides you the greatest information, flexibility, and functionality and competitive edge. Provide setup and training for your team. Website Design Review your company website to determine its effectiveness. Redesign to add Inbound Marketing elements such as calls-to-action, social links, surveys, and lead conversion. Blog Setup and Implementation Set up a blog and develop a strategy for who will create content, how will it be optimized, how it will integrate with social media, and how often to publish. 9

10 MONTH 2 create compelling content FOR WEBSITE, CALLS-TO-ACTION & BLOGS Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm, and ideas about how to solve that problem. - LAURA FITTON FOUNDER, ONEFORTY.COM Execute Content Marketing Strategy Brainstorm Topics That Will Appeal to Your Target Audience Based on the persona you created of your ideal customers, brainstorm ideas on what topics and type of content would appeal to them most. Do they want to know the latest trends, how to s, ways to cut costs, etc. Do this as a joint effort involving your sales team, marketing, and an Inbound Marketing expert. Outline Content For Specific Buying Cycle Stages To keep prospects engaged and moving through your funnel, it is important to provide information that appeals to them at each stage within the process. Some content is good at generating the initial leads. Other content, such as webinars and case studies, help nurture the prospect along as they seek more information, followed by special promotions or offers to close the deal. Define Who Will Create Blog Content & How Often Review the individuals (we recommend more than one) within or outside your organization will be writing articles and content. Assign blog topics to each person. Provide clear direction on expectations and create a schedule (ideally at least 3 blogs per week). Create Advanced Content Advanced content should be created at least once a month and can include ebooks, videos, webinars, press releases, and case studies. The content should entice target audiences with sufficient perceived value to entice them to provide their contact information. It should then be marketed through social media campaigns. Optimize and Analyze All content should be keyword optimized before posting. Then all content should be evaluated for to determine how well it resonates with audiences, including how often each article was read, pass along rates, and link building effectiveness. 10

11 MONTH 3 attract an audience BY ENGAGING IN SOCIAL MEDIA AND IMPROVING SEO Build an Optimized Social Community Develop Social Media Marketing Strategy Based on your target audience define what social media to use to reach them, how you will position your brand, how to recruit fans and followers, and how you will interact with your audience. Promote Blog & Advanced Content Publish blog topics and promote through social networks, e-newsletters, and your website. Advanced content should be integrated with social media and lead generation campaigns with specific landing pages. Analyze Effectiveness Review statistics on the effectiveness of your blog articles and advanced content in generating leads and improving SEO. Adjust topics and strategy regularly to determine what resonates with your target audience. Optimize Your Website Make sure content is relevent to keywords on each page then update every page within your website with selected keywords, page titles, headings, meta tags, and text links. Then manually submit the site to search engines for indexing. Optimize Content Blogs articles that are optimize are keyword rich, include meta tags and meta descriptions, and generate links back to your website. Companies that blog and promote their content have 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages. Link Building Develop a systematic approach to link building using White Hat techniques. Analyze competitor sites to determine sources as well as industry blogs, directories, and publications. 11

12 MONTH 4 capture & convert leads INTO REVENUE Lead Generation is Just The First Step Develop a Lead Generation and Conversion Strategy Determine business goals in the amount of leads to be generated, target markets, calls-toaction, and integration with sales team. Define how leads with be nurtured and what content is needed. Create Valuable Offers Develop advanced content or offer free products and services, free trials, discounts, contests, or other values to attract your target audience and entice them to sign up. The offers are then promoted through social media and campaigns. Create Calls-To-Action & Landing Pages For each offer, create a call-to-action that is place prominently on your website or and links to a landing page. Landing pages are the final sales pitch to get them to sign up so test different approaches to determine which are more effective. Think like a customer. - PAUL GILLIN AUTHORS OF NEW INFLUENCERS Marketing & Lead Nurturing Once a lead is captured, start nurturing the lead further into your sales funnel by providing relevant information by . Segment your lists to specific buyer interests and use attention getting subject lines. Incorporate calls-to-action linking them to a landing page with a special offer. Evaluate Results Evaluate the number of leads generated from each offer and landing page conversion rates. Test different promotions, different landing page designs, and different headlines to optimize conversion rates. 12

13 MONTH 5 analyze results & roi Measure and Analyze for Continuous Improvement What to Review Monthly At least once a month assess the effectiveness of your Inbound Marketing strategy and campaigns. Analyze web traffic, traffic sources, inbound links, keyword rankings, organic search traffic, and social media reach. Identify any trends, determine causes, and fine-tune the strategy. Identify Best Lead Conversion Tactics Determine which lead generation offers are capturing the most contacts, what nurturing campaigns are working, and which needs to be altered. Analyze Social Media Sources Review statistics to determine which social media sources are generating the most traffic and lead conversions, which blog articles and tweets are being read and shared, and which advanced content campaigns are generating results. Review Benchmarks Compare data to original benchmarks and business goals to determine if goals are being reached or exceeded. Calculate ROI Determine your ROI by comparing the cost of Inbound Marketing to the increases in sales revenue over the same period. Compare factors such as leads generated, website traffic and lead conversions to traditional marketing efforts. Adjust and Keep Going As a positive ROI is seen, allocate more resources to what is working and fine-tuned Inbound Marketing areas that need improvement. 13

14 The Essential Guide to Inbound Marketing For Business Owners & Executives a g u i d e f o r i n c r e a s i n g r e v e n u e a n d g e n e r a t i n g i n b o u n d m a r k e t i n g l e a d s f a s t e r Next Steps Determine Platform Tools Do make the most effective use of time and budgets it is important to have the right tools. The right technology can make all the difference. For Inbound Marketing Think Creative recommends an integrated platform called HubSpot. The HubSpot platform integrates website hosting content management, blogging, search engine optimization, social media promotion and engagement, lead capture and conversion, and analytics. For more information, please contact us for a free demostration and trial. Seek an Inbound Marketing Professional Inbound Marketing has proven to be an effective lead and revenue generation approach when done correctly. We recommend that you hire an Inbound Marketing professional agency to help you increase revenue and generate leads faster and more cost-effectively. Certified Inbound Marketing Specialists The team at Think Creative Media Works are Certified Inbound Marketing Specialists. We are also Certified HubSpot Partners who specialize in online marketing. We work with a variety of Business Owners and Executives from Fortune 500 corporations to small businesses. We work closely with our clients to help them achieve success and would welcome learning more about you. Contact Us Today! 14

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