1 Inbound Marketing: Best Practices We believe in empowering brands with the tools to achieve sustainable growth. Outline Suprising Facts 2. Marketing 3. Calls to Action 4. Landing Pages 5. Thank You Pages What to expect from this Ebook! When you want to boost your customer base and your bottom line, there is no better way than inbound marketing. Full of helpful tips and tools, this guide is meant to help you discover best practices that can help you grow your business. Introduction to Inbound Like Bob Dylan said, The times they are a changin. It s true all around us, but in this case, I m talking about marketing. Traditional forms of marketing were intrusive and more importantly, expensive. Imagine if a salesman sat down at your dinner table every night and every few minutes just started yelling about some new product they wanted to sell. That would be rude, right? That s basically been the approach to marketing for the past 20 years. Traditional, outbound marketing such as a pop up ad or cold calling only yield unqualified leads and wasted marketing budgets. Inbound marketing is a completely different approach. Instead of shouting at people hoping they hear your message, you work on making your online presence more attractive to qualified leads. Let s take a look at the benefits of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a more cost effective, proven strategy for growing your brand online, but how do we do it? There are many ways to improve your inbound marketing, but some of the most effective ways are through search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, social media, and lead nurturing campaigns. These methods ensure that you can be found by those people who actually need your product or service. If you take advantage of these tools properly, you will improve your online traffic, generate qualified leads, and increase sales. Still not convinced? Check the facts on the next page!
2 Suprising Facts Inbound marketing costs 62% less than traditional outbound methods. Inbound marketing can provide your business with the same number of qualified leads and sales while spending less money. Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links to their website. Inbound links are votes of authority for search engines based on how many people think your website is a valuable resource. Blogs can help establish your brand as a trusted source for topics relevant to your business. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. Inbound marketing is all about making yourself available to the right leads, and then guiding them through your conversion funnel. 81% of marketers claim that their blog is useful. If used correctly, a blog can have a huge impact on your online presence. My guess is that the other 19% of these people aren t utilizing their blog to its full potential. 72% of business executives say that social media helps their company close deals. Social media allows you to interact with your customers in a way that can nurture them along your sales funnel. You can not only share valuable information, but also interact with people in a unique way that builds brand loyalty. 46% of daily searches are for information on products or services. This means that people are out there looking for what you provide. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of getting your website to the top of the search engine listings so that your website can be found.
3 Suprising Facts continued Over 70% of clicks on search engines are organic. You know those ads you see on Google? Those ads are called Pay-Per Click ads, and some companies are paying to have their brand placed there in hopes you are a qualified lead. SEO can eliminate the need for that bidding war by getting you to the top of organic searches. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non nurtured leads. There are many ways to nurture leads. Social media allows you to reach out and immediately interact with leads in a way that can build confidence in your brand. 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles. Content is king. Give your prospects the right information to help guide them along your conversion funnel. Read a blog on the importance of content marketing. On average, people will spend only 10 seconds on your website before leaving if they don t immediately connect with your marketing message. Part of your nurturing process is making sure that people find what they are looking for on your website once they get there. You need to have a web presence that embraces your ideal customers so you can take advantage of search engine rankings. Buying habits have changed the way we all do business. People do not want to be sold to, they want to be educated so can make informed decisions about what product or service will best solve their problem. Do you have any questions about inbound marketing and how it can help your business? Next Up: Marketing
4 Marketing According to Hubspot, Inbound Marketing attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more. Every business wants customers and repeat customers, right? Recently, we offered you 10 surprising facts about inbound marketing to introduce this growingly important topic. Then we talked about the best practices for Calls to Action, Landing Pages and Thank You Pages. Over the next several weeks, we will be diving deep into the topic by outlining the best practices for several different forms of inbound marketing. We will start with marketing. 1. Personalize Where Possible It s important that your s be delivered in the most personal way possible. People don t like spam, and you don t want your accidentally ending up in that folder. Send your s from a recognizable address, use names in subject lines, and include signatures at the conclusion to avoid the junk mail feel. 2. Define Actionable Goals Because of our shrinking attention spans, being concise and consistent with your message delivery can be the main factor in deciding whether someone moves through your marketing funnel or not. Be specific and explain exactly what readers should do during and after the experience. 3. Segment Into Lists Content is king. But only when the right people are seeing that content. Your s should be specifically targeted to individuals based on unique characteristics. Creating personas and keeping in mind where each individual will be in their buyer s journey will help you segment your lists. 5. Be Valuable With any form of inbound marketing, one of the most important factors is being informative and valuable to those who are consuming the information. is no different. We don t want to nuisance, we want to be an asset. People are put off by a sales pitch nowadays. Instead, give out information that educates them, so they can make a decision on their own. This will build trust and develop a relationship where the customer feels like their needs are being met from the start.
5 Marketing continued 4. Be Engaging As already stated, people have short attention spans and need actionable language to help them get from one section of content to the next. From your under 50 character subject line onward, concise information presented in a friendly way is the best way to keep consumers engaged. s that look good on mobile are a must have. 6. Test and Analyze The advantage for any form of inbound marketing over their outbound counterpart is their ability to be tracked. is no different. You should be tracking bounce rate, click through rate, delivery rate, unsubscriptions, which subject lines get the most opens and many more metrics. By keeping track of these details, you begin to understand what works best over time and what doesn t work. Test small and keep your budget moderate. Expand your budget after you know what works best for your target market. Outbound marketing strategies are intrusive. When a person signs up for your business s campaign or requests information, they willing give you the chance engage them with valuable content. We have to make the most of this opportunity by making s personal, actionable, valuable and engaging. Then we have to make sure what we are doing is working. Nektur specializes in creating robust campaigns. If you have questions or want to know more about how you can reach potential customers with a targeted s. Next Up: Calls to Action
6 Calls to Action Calls to Action can be on pretty much any form of inbound marketing content. Calls to Action (CTA) can be used to get social media shares, provide informational downloads, or generate leads. A CTA is the link between any content your potential customer is interested in, and a landing page that has an offer or more information of value to persuade them to complete a short form. We will go over some best practices to make sure you have people clicking your CTA and starting their journey towards a conversion. 1. Action-Oriented A good call to action will be directive and action oriented. It will tell the visitor exactly what to do. Click, Register, Share are great examples. These kinds terms leave the the viewer no questions or have having to guess what s next. They know exactly what to do and how to move forward when they see the CTA. 2. Consistent Keywords Most CTAs will only have a couple of words on it, so you have to be very selective about the words you chose to use. On top of being action oriented, your call to action must be consistent with keywords and topic the viewer is interested in. If someone is searching for and finds your content about cooking, your call to action shouldn t say Download Free Gardening Podcast. Something more appropriate might be Register for Free Cooking Class. forward when they see the CTA. 3. Attention Grabbing If you want your call to action to get clicks, you re going to have to make sure it stands out from the rest of the page. If you have an accent color that will attract the viewers eyes, then use that to highlight your CTA button. If your CTA is grey and your page is white, people are likely to look over the whole reason you wanted to produce content in the first place. Make CTAs pop off the page.forward when they see the CTA. 4. Page Placement It s important to make sure the main call to action is one of the most prominent things on your page. CTAs need to be placed above the fold in order to ensure they are seen. The one exception to this is on blog posts, where it is acceptable to have them in the side bar and end of the post. Otherwise, make sure catch your CTA catches your visitor s attention as soon as possible.forward when they see the CTA.
7 Calls to Action continued 5. Make it Simple You should be catching on to the theme of simplicity by this point, but we are going to continue emphasizing it. Multiple sentences on a CTA button are unnecessary. If you need that many words to communicate what your visitors should do next, there is a problem. Use basic, but directive terms in your CTA. The content around your CTA should be enough to give it context. No need to explain again. 6. Use Links This might seem like an obvious point, but you would be surprised how many calls to action are images that tell a visitor what to do, but don t help them do it. The internet is all about ease of use. You can t ensure a customer will take extra steps to find your landing pages. If you re going to use an image instead of a button, help everyone out by making it a clickable link. 7. Test and Analyze Inbound Marketing is build upon a foundation of analytics, and CTA s are no exception. You can A/B test with several different keyword or action word combinations, test for amount of views per click, how many views per ultimate conversion and many more. Figure out what works, stick to it for awhile and then test again. If you aren t getting better, you re getting worse. Calls to action are found on all sorts of content and can be used for several different things, but no matter what you are using them for, we ve given you several tips to make them more effective. Nektur Marketing specializes in creating consistent Inbound Marketing campaigns that include well executed calls to action. If you or your business would like to learn more about how calls to action can start generating you more revenue. Next Up: Landing Pages
8 Landing Pages You ve learned that no matter what kind of content you re producing, a clear call to action can entice visitors to take the next step into your conversion funnel. Your calls to action lead them directly to a landing page. If that landing page clearly communicates the value of your offer, it can be a big producer of leads and conversions. Let s take a look at the best practices so you can start seeing real results! 1. Have a goal: Every form of inbound marketing should have this as the first step. Without a rational, reasonable, reachable goal, you re done before you start. A goal that makes sense, can actually be obtained, and can be measured for success is the key to long term performance. Set small goals, then build as you figure out what works best. 2. Clear, actionable header: The header is usually the first thing that catches a user s attention. Besides being a great way to improve the overall SEO of a page, it gives you the opportunity to communicate something of importance immediately. You want to include actionable language that clearly communicates why the user is here and how they can obtain it. Complete our contact form to receive your free consultation on inbound marketing. is a good example. Did you know that s actually an option for you? Just click this Free Inbound Marketing Consultation link Sentence Offer Explanation: Once you have given clear instructions in your landing page headline, the next step is to describe your offer. You don t want to take a lot of time or space here, but you do need to be thorough. Be as concise as possible, but tell the user exactly what they will be getting, how they will receive it, and how it will help them. 4. Require minimal information: If someone has to give you all their personal information to get a free cookie, they probably aren t going to agree to do it. But, if you are offering valuable information that could potentially make someone s life easier, they are very likely to give you minimal information in return. Require less details from people up front and in return, give them more than they expect. This builds trust and communicates that you have their best interest in mind from the start. If you do a good job of moving them through your funnel, you can gather any other pertinent information as the relationship moves forward.
9 Landing Pages 5. Make Facts Stand out: This is another attractive, clear, concise point, but it s because visitors respond to this stuff. Numbering, bolding and many other text formatting techniques can draw a visitor s attention to an easily digestible list of facts. You are trying to be informational throughout the inbound process, so make sure to highlight a few basic statistics or reasons your customer should learn more. 6. Include a relevant image: This point is true for almost any form of inbound content there is out there. Pictures are worth a thousand word, so stop using so many words! An expertly placed image that communicates the message about your offer can set the stage for all the facts and details you will provide later. It s all about quickly attracting attention and then keeping it. Just like attractive headlines, relevant images can give you a big SEO boost. 7. Content above the fold: Even though this is very basic requirement, it can be a huge factor. The fold is the area of your page that you have to scroll down to see. Unfortunately, you can t assume all visitors will get to the bottom of your page. This is especially true on mobile. If visitors are going to stay on your page, they need to know why immediately. Your headlines, descriptions and calls to action should explain exactly what you re offering and what the next step is within seconds of someone landing on your page. 8. No Menus or Navigation: When someone has taken the time to get to your landing page you want to have their full attention on obtaining the offer you ve presented. They don t need the option to explore other areas of your site. The exception to this rule is Thank-You pages, where you want to be moving your newly acquired lead to new areas of your website to keep their attention after converting.
10 Landing Pages continued 9. Make Conversions Simple: The internet is all about ease of access and ease of use. If your landing page is confusing and cluttered, visitors will likely leave it before ever gettin g the chance to convert. A simple, attractive design will entice users to complete your form, survey or questionnaire and increase your conversion rate. Using consistent, action-oriented language throughout your page is important. 10. Use Analytics: Real time data is what sets inbound marketing apart. Being able to track conversion and click through rate, use A/B testing matrixes, and consistently monitor ROI is key to success. With this data, you can constantly be updating what works and what doesn t. If something is working, keep doing it and scale your budget. If it isn t, try something new. Test. Test. Test. Next Up: Thank You Pages
11 Thank You Pages After someone has clicked your Call to Action and then completed the form on your Landing Page, it s time to deliver the content you ve promised. The biggest building block of Inbound Marketing is to provide our audience with great content isn t it? Your Thank You page is where you start to build a trusting relationship. It s best practice to thank someone in real life when they give you something. It s no different when someone gives up personal information online. We will outline 7 Best Practices to make sure you are optimizing this step in your visitor s journey to becoming a customer. 1. Deliver Content The most important aspect of any Thank You page is making it easy for visitors to get to the content they have been waiting for. How to get the content needs to be obvious immediately. Also, if you ve promised somebody 10 Facebook Hacks in return for their address, don t give them 15 Twitter List and Analytics Tools. We have to always keep SEO in mind, so make sure your offers and the content delivered are consistent. If it s a case where a visitor will be getting a follow-up from you before the offer is completely deliver, set very clear expectations. 2. Provide Directions Tell the users exactly what to do. Click Here to Download is a great example because a visitor knows exactly what to do and what will happen next. Assume they know nothing about how to get to your content and provide simple, concise directions throughout the process to minimize confusion. If you make it hard, people won t get to the content, get frustrated and then go tell others about their negative experience. We want happy users. Make it simple. 3. Include Social Options Now that you have provided great content, make sure the visitor can tell all their friends. Highlight the difference between social buttons that SHARE the content and social buttons that will allow visitors to ENGAGE your social page. When someone shares the content they ve received, they should actually be sharing the landing page/form they filled out, not the actual content. Redirect people to the landing page and get more leads! Always encourage people to engage with you, but make sure they can tell the difference.
12 Thank You Pages continued 4. Encourage Exploration After you have given over your content, you want to keep creating value for your visitor. Because you wanted your customer to focus on the landing page content, you took away other pages or content from your site. Now that they ve completed the form and received content, you want to bring back options to explore. Make sure they can search through a few things that you have created that are relevant to the topic. 5. Bring Back Menus You also removed the Menus from your pages up to this point. Return them so that visitors have the option to view other sections of your site. Hopefully, your content will be compelling enough for them to continue their research about your brand. If you ve been doing your persona research and tracking keywords, you should be able to point them a certain direction on your site based on where they are in their buying journey. 6. Include New CTA A pleased visitor is one that will be willing to participate more. If your content has proved valuable, a customer may not only search around on your website. They may be willing to take the next step. Take time to tailor this new CTA to your buyer s journey. If someone subscribes through blog posts on doing social media well, maybe entice them with CTA that leads to a free social media starter guide. 7. Analyze and Reach One way to really do 6 and 7 well is to be using the data available to you. The awesome part about Inbound Marketing is that every step is measurable. See what visitor respond to most and optimize areas that are lacking. It s great to see someone follow all your steps and convert, but you need to send out an almost immediate Welcome , newsletter or promotion in conjunction with your Thank You page. Next Up: Conclusions
13 Conclusion Thank you for downloading our Inbound Marketing E-Book! We hope that this book gave you a few ideas about how to increase the performance of your online marketing campaigns. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to sit down and talk about how we can help you achieve some of your goals, let us know. We would be happy to help.