Businesses today don't do well if their marketing team only relies on traditional marketing tactics such as cold calling, direct advertising, or pay-per-click. Because buyers of today are not just savvy, but they also know when they're being sold to.
Besides, good businesses don't wear their time on prospects who aren't interested in what they've got to offer. Rather, they focus on attracting and retaining interested clients. And this is what will ultimately drive your business forward.
Wondering what we are talking about? Do you know what Inbound Marketing is? Are you familiar with this buzzing word in the global market? Well, Inbound marketing is something every entrepreneur and every business must learn if they want to have a high return on investment over time.
All Marketers think of expanding their business with more traffic but get stuck when it comes to the implementation. You might have tried every strategy or have made enormous business plans to attract more visitors and leads. Right? However, taking a step ahead requires an extensive understanding of the marketing trends, and types.
In traditional marketing, the main concern is that there's a fundamental mismatch between how organizations are marketing and conversational selling their offerings and how people want to shop and buy. Besides, we all want to see our organization's growth, but nobody knows how to get it done effectively.
So here I am providing a deep insight into Inbound Marketing- the ultimate guide to getting more leads. It covers the overall HubSpot marketing techniques, with the actionable steps that will definitely help your business enhance your ROI successfully.
Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing Insights
Inbound Marketing is the best strategy where marketers focus on developing content where it would be blog posts, eBooks, and broadcasts that attract buyers, rather than cold calling to the clients or paying for advertising.
The primary objective of Inbound Marketing services is to create valuable content people care about and which attracts them to you rather than the other way around.
It is the primary way to generate traffic. Inbound links maximize the visibility of content on search engines and other websites by boosting its ranking in search results.
Typical inbound marketing tactics include:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Content creation
- Lead magnets
Inbound marketing tactics like these are designed to help prospects discover your business in the early stages of the Buyer's Journey and educate them on your solution's benefits, all while building trust throughout the process. With the help of HubSpot's inbound marketing strategies, you can quickly build credibility, trust, and momentum. Using this methodology, all your potential customers can find your channels via search engines, blogs, and social media.
Using inbound marketing, you need not struggle for your potential customers because all the content added over the site will resolve all the customers' problems. According to the business perspective, if you want to provide energy and fuel to your business growth, you need to make your customers happy. It is only possible by aligning your team members around an inbound approach.
The Start of Inbound Marketing
The term "inbound marketing" has become a buzzword for online marketers looking to attract visitors, generate leads, and establish customer bonds.
In short, inbound marketing refers to creating web pages and blogs featuring high-quality content spread with targeted keywords and niche key phrases to maximize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and attract visitors and leads via content and social media sharing. In succession permits customers to provide their contact information for promotions, follow-up, and ultimately sales.
Origin of the term
HubSpot co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan have been credited with creating the inbound marketing term of art.
In concurrence with marketing theories promoted by his partner, Dharmesh Shah, and HubSpot special advisor David Meerman Scott, his ideas have spawned thousands of new websites and gurus devoted to tweaking tuning and tout inbound marketing as the next great business boon.
But according to marketing leader Peter F. Drucker, the core principles of the inbound marketing mindset evolved well over a century ago. In the mid-1850s, Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor of the mechanical harvester, developed basic market research techniques and primitive inbound strategies to generate consumer interest in his radical new farming machines.
In the 1950s and '60s, Drucker often emphasized the value of market research where customer interests and orientations could be readily identified, quantified, and implemented. In explaining the fundamental theories about the essence of marketing, Drucker emphasized "customer orientation" and "market segmentation" as cornerstones of his oft-referenced "The Marketing Concept."
"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product and service fit him and sells itself," Drucker said in 1974. "Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available; i.e., logistics rather than salesmanship, and statistical distribution rather than promotion."
From these ideas, entrepreneur and best-selling change agent Seth Godin synthesized his concept of permission marketing. Marketers assume a less aggressive sales approach and seek permission from customers to send literature, emails, promotional materials, etc.
Another factor in the formulation of the inbound marketing paradigm, relationship marketing, emerged in the mid-1990s. Consultant and author Regis McKenna became a major proponent of the dictum that "marketing is everything." Organizations should focus on satisfying and retaining customers to create lasting relationships over time.
Importance of Inbound Marketing in businesses
According to me, Inbound Marketing is the best marketing strategy to get success in your business. Besides, 76% of marketers use the Inbound Marketing approach as their primary strategy. From content creation, SEO, social media to lead generation, lead management, and analytics, marketers who follow the inbound methodology have a lot of different channels and tactics to manage and master.
And, the great thing about inbound marketing is that it pays off over time. It sets businesses up to get found by their target buyers more quickly and then helps them through every single stage of the buying process -- from strangers to brand advocates.
Role of HubSpot Inbound Marketing
Being an inbound marketer, your goal is to attract new prospects to your company, engage with them at scale, and delight them individually. You also partner with your sales and services teams to keep the flywheel spinning effectively and help the business grow.
Inbound marketing grabs the full faith of marketers as it delivers fruitful results in the end. See how HubSpot's features help you strengthen up your marketing efforts, focusing mainly on lead generation.
- Inbound marketing generates three times more leads per dollar compared to traditional methods.
- Persona-driven content generated by inbound increases the volume of Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) by 45%.
- Businesses that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost that’s 33% less than leads that aren’t nurtured.
- Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising.
When we work with our clients on their inbound and digital marketing efforts, there are many tools out there to help streamline their operations and analytics. Specifically for both our clients and ourselves, one can look upon HubSpot.
If you're not familiar with it, let me tell you that HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing automation software.
HubSpot has many other tools and integrations that make it a one-stop-shop for your inbound and digital marketing efforts and many different facets of digital marketing strategy that can tie into your marketing automation platform. Inbound marketing is powerful, and creating content effectively brings awareness to your brand and convinces people to buy from you. However, how do you know if an inbound marketing plan is right for your company?
You can take some steps to analyze whether your company or organization is a good fit for an inbound marketing strategy.
1. First, let's decide what your company's goals are. Are you looking to build a brand reputation and grow your customer base so that you can expand your business and generate more revenue?
2. Next, look at your audience. Is the audience that you're hoping to attract is the one that consumes content, one that spends time on the web, and one that is looking to be wowed and delighted?
3. Finally, consider your sales process. Do the people that you sell go through a journey before you finally close a deal with them? Do they need to be led through a buying process and convinced to make a purchase? Or, alternatively, do they get convinced to buy?
There's a gap that needs to be bridged, and inbound marketing can help. Instead of passing cold leads to sales, an inbound marketing strategy can nurture cold leads into warm and hot leads before moving onto sales. This provides the sales team with qualified leads and details (i.e., what content they're interested in, how long they've been in the funnel, etc.) to assist in a sale.
Here are a few interesting facts about HubSpot that lead the world in the approach and execution of Inbound Marketing.
Why is Inbound Marketing so popular?
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of inbound marketing, or you're at least familiar with the term.
But what many marketers don't know is why it works. Here we aren't focusing on what inbound marketing is (because you can find that information all over the web) instead of how it has allowed so many companies to become successful marketers. Inbound marketing works because the notion behind it is simple-- provide people with what they need. In turn, this will help prospects come to you and become leads.
Your prospects have an unfulfilled need or are experiencing a challenge, and inbound marketing closes that gap by providing educational content for that person's or business's challenge.
- Builds Better Relationships
- It Does the Work for you
- People Love Free Stuff!
- You’re Set up for Repeat Business
Inbound principles recommend offering premium content to your prospects free of charge. These are digital resources with useful information packaged into eBooks, comparison guides, or white papers, for example. A great example of why inbound marketing is so successful is HubSpot. This company started from a simple idea and grew to over $100 million in revenue, using inbound marketing.
Chapter 2: What all is involved in Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing with the HubSpot Tool
HubSpot is a business automation tool that uses inbound marketing techniques that helps businesses to take advantage of the marketing revolution by attracting visitors.
Inbound Vs Outbound Marketing
To understand why inbound works, we need first to take a look at what caused the shift from outbound marketing to this new era of inbound.
Outbound marketing tactics primarily take place offline and include: purchasing newspaper ads or radio space, exhibiting at a trade show booth, or sending out a flyer in the mail. While these strategies have been effective in the past, this style of interruption marketing has become less convenient today.
Comparing products, reading reviews, and connecting with key stakeholders became easier by leveraging the internet, which sparked the transition from offline marketing. Prospects began doing their research, and sales and marketing needed to migrate online to keep up.
Because inbound marketing proves to be more effective than outbound marketing, outbound marketing methods are getting less and less effective every day. Here are three major reasons:
- The average person today is inundated with over 1,000 outbound marketing interruptions per day. It continuously comes up with creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, Tivo, and Satellite radio. Everyone hates being interrupted.
- The cost of learning about something new and shopping for something new using the internet is now much lower than going to a conference or flying to a trade show in Orlando or Las Vegas.
- The cost of outbound marketing is much higher, and you cannot precisely track the ROI of Print, TV, Radio, or Billboard ad.
1. Costs are much Less - Outbound marketing means spending money by either buying ads, buying email lists, or renting a booth at a trade show. Inbound marketing means creating content and talking about it. A blog costs nothing to start. Twitter and Facebook accounts are free. Both can draw thousands of customers to your site. The marketing ROI from inbound campaigns is also much higher.
2. Very Accurate Targeting - Cold calling, direct mass mailers, and email campaigns are notoriously poorly targeted. When you do Inbound Marketing, you only approach people who self-qualify themselves. They demonstrate an interest in your content, so they are likely to be interested in your product.
3. It's an investment, not an ongoing expense - When you buy a billboard, its value is gone as soon as you pay for it. In order to maintain the position, you have to keep paying. However, if you invest your resources in creating quality content that ranks in Google's organic results, you'll be there until somebody displaces you.
That is the power of Inbound Marketing.
Leveraging tools that are available nowadays, the scale of any business can be unlimited. If you have a great product and the skills to communicate with your customers, you can compete with the biggest companies out there.
That is exciting, and for small businesses, it's empowering.
Chapter 3: The Evergreen Methodology of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology designed to draw visitors and potential customers in, rather than outwardly pushing a brand, product, or service onto prospects to generate leads or customers.
A detailed explanation of Funnel Flywheel
Before knowing the difference, first, you need to know about the funnel and the flywheel.
The funnel is a consumer-focused marketing model that illustrates the customer journey towards purchasing a product or service. An Internet marketing funnel is a marketing strategy whereby you are continually funneling new leads into your business in the hopes of developing sales and relationships with the user.
A marketing funnel is often seen as an upside-down pyramid.
Do you know the name of essential parts of the funnel? Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Decision, and Purchase.
Of course, businesses have tweaked the model over the years, adding extra steps and so forth, but the basic premise has remained the same. But there is one problem with the model: it’s the opposite of customer-centric. In fact, in the traditional sales funnel, leads are treated a bit like uniform widgets moving along a conveyor belt, with various things happening to them along the way.
The people coming out of the bottom of your company funnel can significantly impact the people going to the top of it. The bottom of the funnel can feed the top of the funnel. The people coming out of the bottom of the funnel can prevent other people from entering the top of the funnel. When they come out of your funnel, the attitude of people directly impacts the number of people who are willing to enter the top of the funnel.
The problem is that if you're not centered on the customer, your marketing efforts might be going to waste. If we had a nickel for every brilliant content strategy that seemed to explode with engagement while yielding little (if any) measurable return on investment, we'd have more than a piggy bank full of change.
Centering the customer in your sales model changes that because the customer now drives all marketing efforts than the other way around. In this piece, we'll explain a new sales model.
Maybe by the end, you’ll be like us: falling ever-so-slightly out of love with the funnel — and in love with the flywheel.
The flywheel effect centers on generating momentum. When applied to marketing, it helps marketing teams produce a surround-sound effect, creating momentum to generate leads and raise brand awareness. Successful marketing is the result of programmatic activities, similar to pushing on a heavy flywheel.
Like its predecessor, the funnel, a flywheel is a metaphor and a real-life tool that powers multiple modern-day inventions. Invented by James Watt of light bulb fame, the flywheel is a disc or wheel around an axis. It has assorted industrial applications and can be found in car engines, ships, and a lot of other places where energy needs to be generated, amplified, stored, and stabilized.
Flywheel - Happy customers provide the energy that fuels that growth. Everything you do should be done with the goal of creating customers who will add positive energy to the flywheel and accelerate your company’s growth.
That’s why the inbound methodology is a circle. It represents the flywheel that will drive your company’s growth. You aren’t alone in helping your company grow — you have all of those faithful customers helping your company grow, too.
Combining Funnels and Flywheels
The flywheel represents your company as a whole, but you’ll still have funnel-shaped charts and graphs representing the effectiveness of different processes within your company.
By layering flywheel thinking on top of your funnel charts, you’ll be able to find even more places where your processes can be improved. It’s a good practice to ask happy customers to refer people from their network. There might be specific things your services team can do to make it easier for your sales team to get referrals later.
By taking the individual funnels within your business and positioning them inside the larger flywheel, you'll unlock all kinds of opportunities for cross-team collaboration.
The useful Inbound Marketing Funnel
To put it simply, an online marketing funnel is a strategic way of tracking how your marketing guides potential customers through the buying process. Some businesses have straightforward marketing funnels: someone clicks on their ad and makes a purchase—end of the story.
Also, you can say that Inbound Marketing Funnel is the “ideal” process you intend your customers to experience as they go from Prospect to Lead to Customer to Repeat Buyer.
That’s why most experienced marketers use marketing funnels. A funnel is a system or a model that guides a prospect from first becoming aware of a company to eventually become a paying customer and, eventually, an advocate for your business.
With a marketing funnel in place, you’re able to close more deals with less effort. For example, a new entrepreneur might buy lists on the Internet and then just hand them over to his salespeople. But an experienced marketer would take a more systematic approach.
Methods of Inbound Marketing
Although “inbound marketing” has certainly evolved into somewhat of an industry buzzword, it has also grown to become one of the chief marketing techniques for online business development. Inbound marketing takes your digital strategy to the next level of lead generation and customer engagement.
Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, email lists, and hoping for leads (likely less than qualified leads), inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your brand by delivering relevant content as and when required.
- By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
- By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attract qualified prospects to your business and keep them coming back for more.
The best part about inbound marketing is that it is not a paid form of advertising. What is the benefit of this? Your content lives on your site as long as you want it to. The difference between that and paid is that when you stop paying for ads with Google Adwords, Facebook ads, etc., your leads and website traffic also stop as well. That is not the case with inbound marketing.
4 marketing funnels are critical when you are talking about inbound marketing: Attract, Convert, Close & Delight.
Let us explain each of these in more detail.
- Attract: Attracting customers is the first step in the inbound marketing methodology. At this initial marketing stage, the customer is provided with the right content, at the right place, and at the right time through search engine optimization and social media marketing.
- Convert: Once the right visitors have been attracted to the site, the goal is to convert them into leads by obtaining their contact information on a landing page. In order to receive this valuable information, the remarkable content they need at that very moment is offered to them. This helps give them the information they are looking for while providing you, the marketer, with their contact information to market to them effectively.
- Close: The closing stage is where leads are transformed into customers. At this later marketing stage, specific marketing tools such as marketing automation, lead nurturing, and social media monitoring are utilized to ensure that the correct leads are closed at the perfect time.
- Delight: Inbound marketing revolves around providing outstanding content to both your leads and your customers. This means that even after a lead is closed, they still must be engaged through dynamic content, social media, and trigger marketing. The goal of delighting the customers is both being able to solve their issues and turn them into promoters of your business.
The Inbound Methodology involves the marketer in every stage of a customer's journey to finding the perfect product or service by attracting the right visitors to your website, converting them into qualified leads, closing more sales, and delighting your customers. These successful results are achieved through inbound marketing channels and tactics that allow you to create and deliver specific and rewarding content and marketing for your leads and customers at exactly the right time.
How to apply Inbound Methodology in marketing?
The 4 stages of the inbound marketing methodology are Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. Following these steps will steer consumers away from being strangers and toward being promoters of your brand.
Step 1: Attract
As with most budding relationships, the first step is to attract. As a business, you want to draw in individuals who can potentially become your customers. These individuals are called buyer personas, and they are at the center of your inbound marketing efforts.
Attracting your buyer personas requires a focused inbound marketing strategy that starts with quality content creation. This content needs to draw your personas in and compel them to transition to the next step of the conversion process.
Here are the primary things you can do to attract your buyer personas:
- Start blogging
- Get active on social media
- Utilize keywords
Step 2: Convert
After you have attracted your buyer personas to your brand, the next step is converting them into marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
This requires lead nurturing, and to begin the process; you will need to obtain the contact information of your site visitors. Contact information is the currency of the inbound marketer. The challenge is going about obtaining it. Traditionally, when you want something, you need to offer something in return. The same rules apply to the inbound marketer who is seeking contact information from targeted consumers.
It would be best if you offered something of value to your buyer persona for them to be willing to relinquish their contact details. This "something of value" comes in the form of content – eBooks, whitepapers, blog posts, webinars, etc. – essentially any materials that your audience would find valuable.
There are some key tools that you need as a marketer to make this exchange of information effective:
- Calls-to-Action (CTA’s)
- Landing Pages
- Contact Tracking
Step 3: Close
The next step in the inbound marketing methodology is “closing” your leads and turning them into happy customers. Because this goal is consumer-focused, the process is typically a joint sales and marketing effort. Your leads should become “sales-qualified” and ready to buy by the end of this step.
There are a few techniques that will help guide your leads into becoming customers:
- Lead Scoring
- Marketing Automation
- Closed-Loop Reporting
Step 4: Delight
With inbound marketing, you don't abandon your customers once they have made a purchase. Your goal is to establish brand loyalty, and in order to do so, you need to continue to show your customers that you still value them.
You do this by continuing to engage with your customers online. Highly targeted calls-to-action, interaction on social media, email, and marketing automation are some of the most effective strategies you can use to achieve this. By delighting your customers, you create greater sales opportunities with your existing customers and those with whom they share their positive experiences!
An inbound approach to online marketing will undoubtedly give your company a lasting competitive advantage.
Chapter 4: The Inbound Principles and their Execution
What are Inbound Marketing Principles?
The inbound principles guide you in connecting the methodology with its execution.
The inbound principles of standardized, contextualize, optimize, personalize, and empathize are designed to build upon each other, and they enable you to execute the inbound methodology with excellence.
- Standardize for Consistency
- Contextualize for Relevance
- Optimize for Clarity
- Personalize for Impact
- Empathize for Perspective
How do these Principles work?
Developing a conversational marketing strategy can take time – it's not easy to think about the process when you're trying to keep up with the day-to-day demands of running a business. That's why HubSpot's Brian Bagdasarian created some tips for building a conversational marketing strategy.
Conversational marketing isn't something you can set and forget. You have to optimize your strategy to see the best results continuously, but there are five things you should keep in mind: Standardize, Contextualize, Optimize, Personalize and Empathize.
However, it's important not to get too caught up in personalizing your messages. While personalization and contextualization are important, standardizing elements of conversations helps bring a level of professionalism and consistency to your business.
Conversations should be repeatable and predictable. Figure out your customer's most frequently asked questions and draft approved answers for bots and marketers to use. Repeating conversations will help automate, optimize, and improve future interactions. Predictable conversations help users have a natural dialog with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Standardization is crucial to delivering clear, consistent answers across conversations and users.
Conversations that have context improve the end-user experience and help minimize misunderstandings and get straight to the heart of the issue. Because you don't have to waste time collecting information you already have access to, you're able to provide immediate value.
Context is necessary to help answer the right question, at the right time, in the best way possible. Conversations that aim to answer the most important question first will provide the best user experience.
Even though it's a conversation, this isn't like a conversation with friends. When customers interact with your business, chances are they don't want to spend time talking about cat videos or their weekend plans. They want to solve their most immediate need in the fastest and easiest way possible. Spend time analyzing your interactions to determine what data will help improve your customer relationships.
Finally, it's crucial to optimize. Learn from your past conversations so you can improve them in the future. Optimize for the strengths of the channel and for the answer – aim to provide answers that people would receive in a real, one-to-one conversation.
For example, live chat software or phone might be better for providing support, while Facebook Messenger could be a better choice for content delivery. Listen to your customers and observe their behavior as you build out your strategy and make changes where needed.
Conversational marketing is an iterative process — what you thought might work may not always provide the best experience. Take time to ask your customers for feedback. Their advice will help you delight your next customer. Remember, every conversation should be impactful and help add value to your business.
When speaking with a customer or prospect, conversations should be personalized with relevant shared knowledge. Shared knowledge is the foundation of good conversations.
Think about it: If you’ve already given a business you’re phone number, do you really want to waste time reciting it every time you have a simple question? Personalized details make the conversation feel more natural and help you to get to the root of the issue as quickly as possible.
When involved in a conversation, we often have to deliver the right answer before correcting the problem. For example: Let’s say you receive an email with a coupon code from one of your favorite stores.
You spend half an hour scrolling through their products trying to decide what to buy, but when you finally enter the code to make your purchase, it doesn't work. You're understandably annoyed that you wasted all that time when you weren't even planning on buying something without that code.
The business should emphasize your issue and assure you that they understand the problem before moving forward with providing a solution. Highlighting helps customers feel valued and heard.
Chapter 5: How to Implement Inbound Marketing?
Steps to Implement Inbound Successfully
When it comes to inbound marketing, the more you invest, the greater your return. Creating killer content is more about brains and commitment rather than budget. Don’t throw money at it - put your head and heart into it!
Here’s how to get started:
- Identify your target audience and learn all you can about them. You can’t write content to inform your customers until you know what makes your audience tick.
- Determine your unique, compelling story. Why should your audience listen to you?
- Choose your delivery platforms. Will you blog? Tweet? Use Facebook? Pinterest?
- Create and execute your content calendar.
It is vital to create a schedule that will consistently turn out fresh and relevant content to engage your audience. Keep in mind that your theme should be focused on customer issues, not on your business.
And don't forget to set aside time for analysis weekly. This step will aid you in understanding how effective your inbound marketing efforts have been and how they can be improved.
Inbound marketing is about drawing people to your company naturally and organically. In contrast to traditional marketing methods that involve buying attention through ads and other promotional material, inbound marketing centers on earning your audience's interest.
Benefits to Reap out of Inbound Marketing
So, inbound marketing is a method to enable your business to reach potential customers in an organic way. But what can your business expect to gain by adopting this approach?
- Better cost efficiency. Methods such as posting on social media and blogging on an existing website are inexpensive but are very efficient in attracting new customers. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing leads cost on average 61% less than outbound leads.
- More qualified leads. 93% of buying cycles start with an online search. Potential customers who interact with inbound marketing content are looking for information similar to what your company offers. This means they are closer to being qualified compared to contacts who have been interrupted and presented with content through outbound marketing methods.
- Clear alignment between sales and marketing. With inbound marketing, your sales and marketing teams work together more closely to create powerful content for prospects. Salespeople are the primary source for insights into what the customer needs and wants at different stages along the buyers' journey.
- With that information in mind, marketers can create targeted content that educates buyers, answers questions, and solves problems. This process is far more efficient than random outbound touchpoints and decreases the marketing costs by 61% per lead compared to traditional outbound marketing.
- Builds long-lasting relationships. HubSpot’s inbound methodology shows how a company should attract visitors, convert them as contacts, close them as customers and delight them every step of the way. The delight element of this methodology ensures a good relationship between your business and a prospect.
Even after a prospect has conducted some initial research on your industry, they may not make an immediate purchase. The odds are better that they will continue to research, learn and educate themselves before reaching out to your sales reps. The content you provide gives you a perfect opportunity to create a relationship with these prospects by positioning tips, suggestions, and insights into their queries.
They will begin to view you as a trusted authority, which in turn increases the odds that your company will be their chosen source when they are ready to make a purchase. In a fast-moving environment where the internet and social media are dictating daily decisions, buyers have more information than ever. Inbound marketing is not only making them more educated but is also shifting buyer behaviors.
Chapter 6: Buyer Persona: A Semi-Fictional Representation of Customer
Buyer personas provide tremendous structure and insight for your company. A detailed buyer persona will help you determine where to focus your time, guide product development, and allow for alignment across the organization. As a result, you will be able to attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business.
What to know about Buyer Personas?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better. Personas help us all -- in marketing, sales, product, and services -- internalize the ideal customer we're trying to attract and relate to our customers as real humans. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow-up, and really anything related to customer acquisition and retention.
The good news is, they aren't that difficult to create. You just need to ask the right questions to the right people and helpfully present that information so the people in your business can get to know your persona(s) better than the backs of their hands.
Now for the even better news: As you may have noticed above, we've put together an interview guide and a free template for creating buyer personas, so it's easy as pie to do your persona research and compile it all in to a beautiful, presentable, palatable format.
Before we dive into the buyer persona-creation process, let's pause to understand the impact having well-developed buyer personas can have on your business -- and specifically, your marketing.
Why are Buyer Personas so important to your Business?
Buyer personas help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to different groups' specific needs, behaviors, and concerns.
In other words, you may know your target buyers are caregivers, but do you know what their specific needs and interests are? What is the typical background of your ideal buyer? In order to get a complete understanding of what makes your best customers tick, it's critical to develop detailed personas for your business.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.). Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20.
But if you’re new to personas, start small! You can always develop more personas later if needed.
What About "Negative" Personas?
Whereas a buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer, a negative -- or “exclusionary” -- persona is a representation of who you don’t want as a customer.
For example, this could include too advanced professionals for your product or service, students who are only engaging with your content for research/knowledge, or potential customers who are just too expensive to acquire.
How Can Personas Be Used in Marketing?
At the most basic level, developing personas allows you to create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience. It also enables you to target or personalize your marketing for different segments of your audience.
For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by buyer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas. Furthermore, when combined with the life cycle stage (i.e., how far along someone is in your sales cycle), buyer personas also allow you to map out and create highly targeted content.
And take the time also to create negative personas. You'll have the added advantage of segmenting out the "bad apples" from the rest of your contacts, which can help you achieve a lower cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer -- and see higher sales productivity.
Here is one example of Buyer Persona you can check:
- The first and foremost step is to know your persona: "Who are they?" like their personal and professional background, demographics, etc.
- The second step is to know "what persona wants?" their goals, challenges, and requirements.
- The third step is to "why they buy your product?" it specifies why the persona needs your service.
Hope you get to know about the persona, so now it's time to know how to create a Buyer Persona Effectively? Are you ready to start building your buyer personas?
How to Create a Buyer Persona?
Buyer personas can be created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside your contacts database who might align with your target audience.
Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas:
- Look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
- When creating forms to use on your website, use form fields that capture important persona information. For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms.
- Take into consideration your sales team's feedback on the leads they're interacting with most. What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?
- Interview customers and prospects, either in person or over the phone, to discover what they like about your product or service.
This is one of the most important steps, so let's discuss it in greater detail. It is the journey buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service, and it consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.
Analyzing the buyer's journey through the inbound marketing lens allows marketers to conceptualize a prospect's path as a framework. The result? Persona-targeted content for each stage of the buyer's journey. (Of course, this means you need to have buyer personas in place to begin.
Steps to Create Buyers Persona
Personas are fictional, generalized characters that encompass your customers' various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns.
To create a new persona or edit an existing persona
- In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
- In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Properties.
- In the Search for a property field, click on the Persona property.
- Scroll down to the Dropdown options section. To edit a persona, click the name of the persona. To create a new persona, click add Add another persona.
- In the right pane, enter information into the fields about your persona. Only the fields with * are required. To learn more about personas, click the links under the Mastering Personas section.
- When you're done, click Save.
To delete a persona
- In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
- In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Properties.
- In the Search for a property field, enter Persona.
- Click the Persona property.
- Scroll down to the Dropdown options section and click the persona to delete.
- In the bottom right, click Delete.
- If existing contacts are assigned to this persona, in the dialog box, click the Choose a persona dropdown menu to select another persona for these contacts. Click Update contacts and delete persona.
- If there are no existing contacts, click Delete persona.
Role of Buyer Persona in Inbound Marketing
Buyer personas are one of the most important parts of any marketing strategy. By forensically analyzing trends, behaviors, similarities, and patterns amongst your target audience, you can then create a marketing and sales strategy built around their objectives, day-to-day challenges, and ‘pain points’.
By creating prospect-orientated marketing campaigns and content, you show your target audience you understand their business pains and problems intimately, encouraging them to engage further with your business.
Why are they important?
Buyer personas are situated at the heart of any marketing strategy, and throughout every part of the Inbound process. If you can’t engage with your potential customers in a relevant and contextual manner, you will lose their trust and interest. Once you have lost someone’s trust and interest, it’s hard to get that back. (You can’t make a second first impression!)
And that’s exactly why buyer personas are important.
Buyer personas allow you to focus on your prospects' challenges and pain points and provide you with an intricate and precise stream of marketing power to hit the right people at the right time with the right content. Right? Good stuff.
But more so than anything else, buyer personas inform you of what your business should be doing to help potential customers. Without buyer personas, we wouldn’t know what content to create, which material to share, how we should direct our marketing efforts or where we can improve our presence.
They are the context of the narrative, the framework which houses our efforts. They are the compass that determines the direction of our journey and where we should be going.
Remember, the purpose of constructing buyer personas is so that you know exactly who to attract who you want to delight with your excellent content and insight and, eventually, get on board with your business.
Furthermore, having concise buyer personas helps you segment your audience and contacts – allowing you to deliver forensically accurate, targeted messaging. In a time of information overload, you want to be specific and detail-oriented. The more personalized and accurate you can be with your marketing and content, the easier it is to break through the clutter of information online and engage with your target audience.
Cool right? Who would have thought that a bunch of data and analytics could be turned into something so useful!
Buyer personas require time, patience, strategy, and an inquisitive mind. In order to construct the theoretical framework, which is your 'ideal' buyer persona, you need to question yourself and your business to define just who would be interested in what you have to offer. You need to be methodical and thorough with your questioning and analysis, as the greater level of detail you have, the more variables you can assess and cultivate solutions for.
You are probably wondering what kind of questions and analysis you need to be doing, right? No problem, we can help (HubSpot can also help – they have a great tool called MakeMyPersona which you may find useful).
Generally, the questions you want to ask initially are the ones that will help you layout a framework of who your ideal buyers are, questions such as
- what they do,
- what industry they are in and how long they’ve been in that industry,
- their job title,
- their business agenda,
- their qualifications,
- where they reside,
- the challenges they face on a day to day basis,
- what triggers them to look for a solution,
- and what questions they ask the sales team during the sales process.
This will establish the base schematic for your questioning, but it’s important to move beyond the regular questioning context so that you can decipher the entirety of your buyer personas – you need to be able to understand them as people in order to ascertain their needs and desires.
- what activities they like to pursue,
- how old they are,
- why they work in the industry they are in,
- their aspirations and motivations,
- what they would change about their work or industry if they could,
- what publications they read,
- and where they go for news about their industry.
You should also be thinking about how you’ll be communicating your USPs to each persona. You should have a unique sales positioning statement per persona, which focuses on why that persona would benefit from your product or service.
And, if you have an extensive database of contacts, the information you have collected over time will help you validate the elements of the buyer personas you are creating. If aspects of your buyer personas align with your actual customers, that's a sign they are on the correct path.
Collect as much information as you can from your existing contacts. It is probably about their industry, business, demographic, geographical location, experience, job function, business pains, and day-to-day operations. This will allow you to support the personas you are developing.
It's important to incorporate different members of your team when creating these buyer personas. Think about who you want to include in this process and who can add value. It's important to remember that your sales team will have a lot of insight here, as they're talking to your potential customers every day.
Research your personas
Now that you are armed with the above information, you can form a textual or visual framework (whichever helps you digest information easily). This will allow you to see exactly where your buyer persona's pain points are and how you can relieve them and provide them with solutions to other problems. If you are using a growth marketing platform like HubSpot, you will be able to manage your buyer personas more easily.
The forms you create (you know, those neat little boxes on the right of the screen or at the bottom asking you to subscribe and provide details?) will allow you to ask all the necessary questions and receive the answers you need to venture further.
Once customers register their interest and subscribe, you can use the information you have acquired to start designing trend maps and find a common denominator between the people who visit your website. Alternatively, you can call up interested prospects without the intent to sell anything, just to have a conversation and determine exactly what they like about your website, what they know about you, and what you can do better.
Think of it as a reflective questionnaire; your aim is to gather as much information as possible to help this person. Don’t sell them anything. Another element to consider is your website’s analytics. They allow you to decipher the nature of the queries coming into your site, when they visited, what they typed in to get there and how long they stayed on a page.
You are probably thinking: why do I need this? It’s a fair question. The answer is: data is key. The more data you can collate about your audience and develop a trend or find consistencies – the easier it will be to construct your personas and integrate them.
In addition, having a common understanding of buyer personas and alignment across the business is crucial. Your buyer personas formulate the core of your content creation and content marketing strategy, which will bring you interested parties, which will bring you, customers.
If both marketing and sales understand the people they are marketing and selling to, campaigns gradually become more effective – enabling you to build great content which drives a particular business goal. This is another great reason to collaborate with your sales team when creating these personas – it will encourage their buy-in to the whole process.
There's no such thing as too much information when creating your personas (within reason, of course), as the more information you have, the more detailed and accurate your personas can be. Surveys are another avenue you can venture down, as you can get informative responses and collate statistics which can also inform your buyer persona creation and refinement.
What can I do with my Buyer Personas?
Implement them into your marketing efforts. Everything you do, create or intend should be linked to solving your persona’s problem. They are the embodiment of your ‘ideal’ customer. Sure, in some cases, your buyer personas will encompass a wider variety of people – but in an age of information abundance and excess, being accurate, not assumptive, is the key to success.
Your buyer personas are your marketing bibliography, the people your efforts are linked to. If you can consistently market your product, business, or service to these personas, our experience shows us that your marketing campaigns will bring you success. What you can do with your newly created buyer personas is start developing your content, produce targeted advertising and refine all aspects of your marketing to relate directly to these personas and their pain points.
If you have done enough detailed research, you will have a plethora of information that you can use to inform your future efforts.
Get out there. You are armed with the necessary details to research and create your own buyer personas. If you keep the comments above in mind as you pursue your agenda, you will have no trouble finding your audience and eventually engaging with them.
However, if you want expert help in developing buyer personas for your Inbound Marketing programs or content marketing, we provide expert content marketing and HubSpot support. Please get in touch for a no-obligation consultation to discuss possible options and evaluate your marketing situation.
Chapter 7: Buyer’s Journey: A Research Process
Buyer’s Journey: Definition and Importance
Modern marketers have learned that the purchase process is a journey, and consumers advance through a process the industry has called 'the buyer's journey.' The buyer's journey is a framework that acknowledges a buyer's progression through a research and decision process ultimately culminating in a purchase.
The buyer's journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider, evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service. The journey consists of a three-step process:
- Awareness Stage – Prospect has a problem he wants to solve or an opportunity they want to seize.
- Consideration Stage – Prospect has researched their problem, understands it, and is aware of potential solutions.
- Decision Stage – Prospect has narrowed down the products/services and must decide which one to purchase.
How to create Buyer’s Journey?
If you don't have an intimate understanding of your buyers, conduct a few interviews with customers, prospects, and other salespeople at your company to get a sense of the buying journey. Here are some questions you should ask to put together the buyer's journey for your company.
1. Awareness Stage
During the Awareness stage, buyers identify their challenge or an opportunity they want to pursue. They also decide whether or not the goal or challenge should be a priority. In order to fully understand the Awareness stage for your buyer, ask yourself:
- How do buyers describe their goals or challenges?
- How do buyers educate themselves on these goals or challenges?
- What are the consequences of inaction by the buyer?
- Are there common misconceptions buyers have about addressing the goal or challenge?
- How do buyers decide whether the goal or challenge should be prioritized?
2. Consideration Stage
During the Consideration stage, buyers have clearly defined the goal or challenge and have committed to addressing it. They evaluate the different approaches or methods available to pursue the goal or solve their challenge. Ask yourself:
- What categories of solutions do buyers investigate?
- How do buyers educate themselves on the various categories?
- How do buyers perceive the pros and cons of each category?
- How do buyers decide which category is right for them?
3. Decision Stage
In the Decision stage, buyers have already decided on a solution category. For example, they could write a pro/con list of specific offerings and then decide on the one that best meets their needs. Questions you should ask yourself to define the Decision stage are:
- What criteria do buyers use to evaluate the available offerings?
- When buyers investigate your company's offering, what do they like about it compared to alternatives? What concerns do they have with your offering?
- Who needs to be involved in the decision? For each person involved, how does their perspective on the decision differ?
- Do buyers have expectations around trying the offering before they purchase it?
- Do buyers need to make additional preparations outside of purchasing, such as implementation plans or training strategies?
The Real Connect: Buyer’s Journey with Buyer Persona
Every single interaction your persona has with your company should be tailored to where they are in the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the active research process someone goes through leading up to a purchase.
Why do I need to know the buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey is in the perspective of your potential customers. That’s why figuring out your personas before looking at this is important. You need to know and understand your personas before you can delve into figuring out how they move through the buyer’s journey.
Buyer’s Journey in Real Life
You feel sick, but you're not sure exactly what you have. You have a list of symptoms, but you have to do more research to figure out what you're sick with.
You’ve done your research, and you’ve got enough information to name your problem. It turns out that you’ve got strep throat! Now you ask, “What are my options for relieving my symptoms?”
You come up with a list of options that you can do to fix the problem. You can either go see your doctor, go to the Emergency Room or go to a clinic. After thinking it over, you decide to go to the Emergency Room.
This example shows how simple the buyer’s journey is. The key is just figuring out how your company’s personas will move through their own buyer’s journey. You also want to make sure that your website attracts all stages of the buyer’s journey.
With the example above, imagine yourself as the patient. Typically, your doctor will listen to your symptoms, provide options for you to get better, and prescribe your solution. Now, imagine if you went in there and the doctor paid no attention to your symptoms and just gave you some medicine right away. You wouldn't be pleased, right? You would feel like you weren't getting what you went there for.
That’s what can happen when prospects visit your site and don’t see the web content they’re looking for. Instead of creating content that covers all of the stages in the buyer’s problems and potential solutions, most jump into explaining their products and/or services and why they’re the best option.
You have to be careful with that because prospects can come to your site at any stage of the buyer’s journey. You need to make sure you have content prepared for each and every stage so it’s easy for your potential to follow and hopefully turn them into a lead!
Now you can see why buyer personas and the buyer's journey are great tools to understand to really master your inbound marketing strategy. Doing these two key exercises will help get you on the right track to ensure you're reaching the right people at the right time, all by simply researching your customer base.
You've probably had moments in your life where you seemed to meet just the right person at just the right moment. Whether it was a new friend or romantic interest, a career mentor, or someone in your professional network, whoever they were, they gave you exactly what you needed at that particular time.
Creating and refining your buyer personas helps you be the right person for your customers. And understanding the phases of the buyer's journey and creating customized content for each stage helps them find you at that seemingly serendipitous moment.
Chapter 8: Result-Oriented Content Marketing with Inbound Methodology
Content Marketing and its Vitality
It is a type of marketing that involves creating and sharing online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
It is a technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – to drive profitable customer action.
How Content Marketing differs from Traditional Content Marketing?
These are marketing strategies in which companies create valuable content to educate potential customers so as to be able to lure them in. This can be done in so many ways, from blogging to postcards to videos to quizzes to email newsletters.
Its purpose is to add value to your potential customers’ life so as to make them appreciate your existence which may turn them into loyal customers. The experts in content marketing at the content marketing institute sum up the definition of content marketing and its purpose as:
“Basically content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyers more intelligent.
This essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”
What is Traditional Marketing?
This is an interruptive marketing strategy in which advertisements or promotions for products or service reach customers whenever and wherever companies want them to.
Traditional marketing like content marketing comes in various forms; it can occur in print (magazine ads, billboards), broadcast (television ads, radio ads), and a slew of other formats (direct mailings, telemarketing etc.). This strategy avails the information to a wide audience of people- even when they haven’t necessarily asked to see it.
Content marketing vs. Traditional marketing
Permission vs. Interruption
The key difference between the two is that; content marketing is a permissive marketing technique while traditional marketing is an interruptive one.
Traditional marketing is available to consumers while doing something else, e.g., watching television, driving or listening to music, and interrupting whatever they were doing. Other digital marketing efforts are interruptive, like pop-ups, pre-roll videos, and social media ads. Consumers discover content marketing and consume it whenever they want to; they've given their permission to be marketed to.
Earned audience vs. Rented audience
Content audience offers something of value to its audience. The customers who discover it chooses to consume it because they choose to do so. This means that you own them- they are your audience.
On the contrary, traditional marketing strategies are seen by a “rented” audience. Traditional marketers pay money to other platforms that already have an audience to get their message viewed by a certain set of people. Rented billboard space, purchased radio airtime, and bought PPC ads are good examples of traditional marketing.
One drawback of a rented audience is that when the campaign is complete, and the rented audience cannot view your message, you no longer have a crowd of potential consumers. The benefit of earning your audience is that it is more effective in building trust.
Two-way conversation vs. One -sided conversation
Some strategies in traditional marketing, like commercials, don't ask for an immediate response from the audience. They provide information about the product or the service to the audience, hoping that they will be motivated to buy.
In contrast, content marketing is meant to start a conversation with the audience. It is meant to engage the audience with your brand to be able to trust it and eventually decide to buy it. Content efforts that spark conversation with potential customers include webinars, in-person events, and many more. According to experts,
“Your content is now a conversation. It’s a story that needs an audience to respond. So, yes, go out and create great content. Be the leader in your industry because you consistently share value. But, share it.”
For every marketing strategy that is considered, money is the overall concern. That is, however, what all this is all about.
Research has shown that if you compare traditional marketing and content marketing, it is seen that content marketing is a more affordable marketing strategy. According to a report by Demand Metric, content marketing efforts cost 62% less than traditional marketing efforts, and they generate 3x as many leads.
Appreciated vs. Tolerated or Ignored
Content marketing is easier and more affordable than traditional marketing, but the audience also appreciates it more. According to the study:
- 70% of consumers would rather get to know a company through articles than advertisements.
- 85% of B2B buyers believe that companies should share useful information through social media.
- 90% of people say that informative or instructional videos are helpful in the purchasing process.
- 33% of people on the internet find digital displays ads “completely intolerable”.
- 54% of people won’t click on banner ads because they don’t trust them.
If you are thinking of a marketing strategy to incorporate into your business, content marketing is the way to go. It is cheaper, more effective, and easier to accomplish than traditional methods.
However, this does not mean that we should do away with traditional marketing efforts. Market experts now believe that the best marketers are the ones who can incorporate both content marketing methods and traditional marketing methods.
How to Leverage Content in Inbound Marketing Methodology?
The inverse of outbound marketing, inbound marketing attempts to attract potential customers who are looking for products and services related to what your company offers. When compared to an outbound approach, inbound marketing:
- Uses relevant, helpful content and interactions to generate leads. Prospects find you through channels such as search engines, blogs, social media, inbound email, content marketing, and paid advertising.
- Offers a more targeted approach. Rather than use a mass market approach such as radio or television, you can leverage personas to target the right people with the right content at the right time with hyper-personalized advertising and social media.
- Attracts qualified prospects. You can create content that addresses the specific issues and requirements of your ideal customer. Interested in your content, potential buyers come to you.
- Provides a lower-cost approach to converting prospects into customers. Many outbound marketing messages get distributed to huge audiences in which many members have no need for your brand. By offering greater focus, inbound investments avoid this waste.
Inbound marketing is great for targeting companies whose decision-makers are researching solutions online. It allows you to harness that demand and fill your sales pipeline. It leverages content marketing, search, mobile, social, and local marketing to match your offerings with buyers looking for what you do.
Chapter 9: Role of Blogging in Inbound Marketing
What is blogging & why is it important for Inbound Marketing?
There is some debate about whether blogging is still relevant in today’s social media marketing environment. Regardless if you are a small business or a multinational company, blogging is integral to your online content marketing strategy.
Here are four reasons you need to blog:
- Drive traffic to your website. Your blog allows you to create relevant content for your customers. So, use this as a marketing tactic to drive traffic back to your website and make it the foundation for all of your social media platforms.
- Your business might be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or anywhere else. Post healthy links- with relevant visuals - of your blog articles to your social sites. Give your social followers a reason to click through to your website. Additionally, post inbound links directly in your blog articles, to drive traffic to specific landing pages of your website.
- Increase your SEO/SERP. Blogs increase your SEO. Fresh content is still a key to beating out your competitors in the search engine results page. Use keywords in your articles. List out the keywords, topics, and categories you want your business to be found with. Use these words, and related expressions when writing your posts.
- Of course, whether you actively seek these out or not, blogging regularly about your business, industry, product or customer lifestyle will naturally increase your search keywords. Being intent on your words will only increase results. Keywords and topics on your website are a significant way in which Google (and other search engines) find your site for these searched words.
- Position your brand as an industry leader. Well-written articles demonstrate your company as an industry leader. By posting topics that resonate with your market and showing your knowledge, you are marketing your business, service, or product skills.
- If you are a retailer, for example, write blog posts about your products. Your customers will get to know you as the knowledge source for the products they want. If you are in B2B, post articulate, well-researched articles about your service. Become the hub or the place to be, for most of your industry.
- You are building trust, too. The more you can show that you are well-versed in your field, the more likely your consumer will trust you to supply what they need. Your customers additionally benefit from the learning you provide them.
- Develop better customer relationships. Blogs provide another source to deepen the connection with your customer. By connecting directly on your website, your clients are able to get to know your business or product from the comfort of your online home base. Use this. Again, build trust by being a source of information.
- Consumers like to be informed, and appreciate that you are the one teaching them. Additionally, just as on your other social sites, respond to comments and interact with your consumer. If they have questions about a product you are writing about, respond to them directly on your website.
- Unlike many social sites, a blog is generally searchable on your site for some time. Your website comments last longer than on a Twitter response or Facebook post. Other customers will see your interactions too.
Steps to create Blog Posts effectively
To create a new blog in HubSpot, add a new blog in your blog settings. You can host multiple blogs on the same subdomain you've connected for your blog tool.
- In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
- In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Website > Blog.
- Select your blog from the dropdown menu in the upper left or click Create a new blog.
- Enter the name of your blog into the Blog name field. This is an internal name only, used to segment this particular blog’s performance in the blog’s overview tool.
- If your blog templates use the public title tag in the header, add the title that you'd like to be displayed in your header to the Blog header field.
- Fill out the blog’s Page title field. This is the title that's displayed in the browser tab and search results. We recommend this be no longer than 70 characters.
- Enter the blog’s meta description in the Meta description box. This is the summary that will appear in search engine results for your blog.
- Set up the domain and URL for your blog in the Blog root URL field. Use the dropdown menu to select the domain your blog is hosted on. If you'd like to add a subdirectory (e.g. /blog or /news), enter the desired subdirectory into the field.
- This URL will be the URL of your blog listing page and the root URL of your blog posts.
- Click Save.
How to Optimize Blog Content?
Review and optimize your blog post
- Use the optimizer in the content editor to review suggestions to improve your content for SEO best practices.
- Click the bar graph icon on the left pane. A sidebar pane will open with recommendations for you to optimize your content.
- Hover over the information icon info to see more details and suggestions.
- You can also attach your content to SEO topics to optimize your content strategy.
Preview your blog postClick the eye icon to see the preview options. From here you can update the following:
- Device preview: click on one of the device type icons to see a preview of your page in the page editor on a specific device and orientation.
- Smart preview: use the Preview page as specific contact dropdown menu to choose a contact from your contacts database. This will show you how the page content will render for that specific visitor, which can help you preview any personalization or smart content on your page.
- Shareable preview: Click Open in a new window to see a live preview of your page in your browser. This preview link will work before your page is actually published. Click Copy to copy the link to your clipboard to share with your team.
Publish or Schedule your post
- After you've added your content, optimized it for search engines, and reviewed the preview, you're ready to publish your post.
- Click Publish or schedule, and choose to publish your post now or schedule to publish it at a future date. If you choose Schedule for later, make sure you update the scheduled date and time.
- Once you've made your selections, click Schedule or Publish.
Chapter 10: Build Strong SEO Strategies with Topic Cluster & Pillar Page
An Explanation to Topic Clusters
The basic premise behind building a topic cluster content program is to enable a deeper coverage across a range of core topic areas while creating an effective information architecture in the process.
You’re probably thinking, “This sounds difficult to implement? How can I start using this strategy for my own content marketing?” Don’t worry, it sounds more complicated than it really is.
In simpler terms, a pillar page is a broad overview of a specific topic. You can think of it as a summary or road map. We built pillar pages for each of our major focus areas. Linking into the pillar content is a range of content that covers individual, more specific subtopics, otherwise known as cluster content.
Each cluster topic page for the pillar focuses on providing more detail for specific long-tail keywords related to the main topic. The pillar links to each cluster page, and each cluster page links back to the pillar with the same hyperlinked keyword.
In addition to organizing your site architecture, the benefit of this model is that one high-performing cluster page can elevate search rankings for all the other pages linked to the same pillar. By aligning sets of web pages this way into topic clusters, you can manage the internal linking between each page more efficiently, boost your search ranking, and also provide a better user experience for visitors.
Building a solid information architecture is incredibly important for ranking well in organic search across a broad topic area. Creating hyper-focused clusters of content geared around a specific topic will help solve that and enable you to keep focused on creating content that your target audience actually cares about.
That means higher efficiency for your search marketing and less time wasted on producing repetitive content that doesn’t help advance your search goals. The typical way to structure a topic cluster of content, which we outlined earlier, is with one larger piece of content that broadly covers the core topic, otherwise known as pillar content. Here’s an example to illustrate this
In the above example, the core topic is “workout routines.” Each of the surrounding subtopics focuses on a more specific branch of the core topic, for example, “workout routines to build lean muscle.”
The role of the pillar content is to cover the core topic broadly while also converting visitors into leads (or whatever your conversion goal is). The cluster organization also signals to search engines that the content has more in-depth information on the topic, in turn giving your pillar page a higher level of authority on the topic while gaining higher search placement from orderly linking.
The beauty of this model is that you can spend a lot more time optimizing your pillar content for conversions and your cluster content for traffic. This saves a lot of time compared to the traditional model of optimizing each individual post. It also makes it easier for you to give a better user experience while sending positive signals to the search engines with this site architecture.
For example, the typical organization of a blog may look like the below, with lots of overlapping and repetitive posts on a few focus topics:
A blog using topic clusters would look like this, with multiple posts all linking back to their respective pillar pages for each core topic This pillar content brings in a substantial amount of new leads every month and gets a considerable amount of traffic. Tools work particularly well for pillar content because they’re often evergreen content and get shared a lot.
We’ve built out a wide range of cluster content that ties into specific subtopics. An example of this would be our blog post titled, “How to Think Up a Year's Worth of Blog Post Topics in an Hour,” which has an internal link pointing to the Blog Topic Generator tool.
This content will drive traffic to the pillar content and push positive link signals to the search engines in the process, increasing both the organic search visibility and leads generated from the overall topic cluster.
How to create a Topic Cluster Plan?
Before you get started creating new topic clusters of your own it’s important to determine if this is the right approach for your site. You can figure this out by asking yourself three simple questions:
- Does the topic you want to rank for have enough search volume to be worth the time and effort?
- Do you already have content covering the topic? If so, you may be better off using what you have and adding internal links.
- Is the topic something you want to cover in detail? If you’ve made it this far and the answer is “yes”, you can start creating your own topic cluster.
When it comes to mapping out topic clusters, there's a general process that works particularly well. Follow these steps to create your own pillar page.
- Map out 5-10 of the core problems that your buyer persona has (use surveys, run interviews, and do some secondary research within online communities).
- Group each of the problems into broad topic areas.
- Build out each of the core topics with subtopics using keyword research.
- Map out content ideas that align with each of the core topics and corresponding subtopics.
- Validate each idea with industry and competitive research.
- Create, measure, and refine.
This is a simple overview but should help you to begin to prioritize content ideation and production. Following this process will help you to structure your editorial calendar for the topic cluster content model.
But how do you figure out what content to focus on? This is where keyword research comes into play. Keyword research is a helpful way to determine what content your target audience is already looking for so you can reach them in a relevant and impactful way.
To get started, create a list of broad topics that are important to your business. Then fill in each topic with potential keywords you think your audience will search for. It's better not to self-edit during this stage and write out as many keywords as you can think of.
For example, if your main topic is Instagram marketing, your subtopics might include Instagram business accounts, Instagram captions, Instagram hashtags, and Instagram analytics. Once you have your list, search for these terms or use a tool such as Ubersuggest to find related keywords and terms you may not have initially included in your list. Make sure you have a mix of long-tail and short-tail keywords.
Now that you’ve finalized your keyword list, see how your competitors rank for each of them using a service like SEMRush. This will allow you to find gaps in their search strategy as well as single out important words and phrases to aim for in the pillar content you create. After all of those steps are complete, use Google’s Keyword Planner or HubSpot’s keywords tool to narrow down the keyword list.
Once you’ve developed your core topic and cluster content, create a tracking document to keep track of your existing content and cluster strategy. Tracking documents can help organize your clustering process to make sure all of your content has been linked correctly.
For HubSpot customers, you can automate clustering using HubSpot’s content strategy tool.
How to Measure the Success of Your Topic Cluster?
You’re probably wondering, “how do I measure the success of a piece of content?”
The answer to this question is complicated because, for the most part, it’s not a great idea to evaluate the success of your campaign on a content-by-content basis. Just looking at the success of one blog post is difficult at the best of times, but more often than not, the definition of success is too narrow to account for indirect benefits that it has.
A good example of this would be with more brand-driven content. The focus here isn't around generating sales or even capturing email addresses. Yet, instead, it can be around elevating the brand, attracting new talent, or even earning backlinks or press coverage.
Why is the topic cluster important for marketing?
Using the topic cluster model helps you organize and link together related pieces of content to each other. Doing this helps your readers find more of your content more quickly. They also spend more time on your site (another factor to help boost your rankings).
How do you create an effective topic cluster and pillar pages?
In the SEO tool, a topic is a grouping of your content related to a specific topic. Your content can come from your HubSpot content (blog posts, landing pages, and website pages) and your externally hosted content.
A topic includes a pillar page on your main website and subtopic keyword content that links visitors back to this page. Linking supporting content back to your pillar page to establish authority for your topic in search engine results.
- In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Planning and Strategy > SEO.
Create a topic
- In the upper right, click Create a topic.
- Enter a topic in the text field, then click Add.
- Review the topic's Monthly Search Volume and Difficulty validation metrics, which you can compare with the validation metrics for Recommended Topics.
- Use the country dropdown menu in the upper left to view topic validation data for a different location.
- After researching the data for your topic, select a topic. Then in the bottom left, click Create Topic.
Add pillar page
- To attach a pillar page to this topic, click Attach content.
- In the right slide-in panel, Click Create a post to create a new piece of content.
- Click Add external URL to link to an external resource.
- Use the Select pillar page search bar to search for and add a HubSpot blog post, landing page or website page. The Suggested Content section will automatically display any existing content that is most related to your topic.
- Select your pillar page, then click Save.
Add subtopic keywords and supporting content
- After you've attached a pillar page to your topic, you'll add more supporting content based on subtopic keywords.
Please note: subtopic content should include a link back to the topic's pillar page to establish your website's authority for your subtopic keywords in search engine results.
- In the upper right, click Add subtopic keyword.
- In the slide in the panel, enter a subtopic keyword, then click Research Subtopic Keyword. You'll see metrics for the average monthly searches for the subtopic keyword, along with a listing of similar subtopic keywords.
- Select your subtopic keyword, then click Save.
- Next, you'll be prompted to attach content to this subtopic keyword.
- Click a piece of suggested content to attach it to your subtopic keyword.
To attach another page, blog post, or URL
- Use the Content-type dropdown menu to select the content type: blog post, landing page, or website page.
- Enter a title for your new page or post, then click Create to attach your new draft content.
- Use the Subtopic content search bar to select an existing HubSpot blog post, landing page, or website page.
- To create a new piece of content, click Create a post.
- To attach an external page to your subtopic keyword, click Add external URL.
- After you've attached your support content, click Save.
Edit subtopic keyword content
- To edit your attached subtopic content
- Click on a subtopic keyword in the SEO tool.
- In the upper right corner of your Subtopic content, click Remove Attached Content.
- Select a new piece of content to attach.
- In the upper right, click the X.
Delete a subtopic keyword
- Click on a subtopic keyword to open the slide in the panel.
- In the lower right, click Delete.
Examples of successful pillar pages
A pillar page is a comprehensive resource page that covers a topic in depth. This page links to high-quality content for supporting subtopic keywords. A pillar page should apply on-page SEO best practices, referencing the topic in the page title, URL, and H1 tag.
Content on a pillar page should also be adapted to convert visitors since all your supporting content links back here.
Chapter 11: How Social Media Marketing mingles well with Inbound Marketing?
What is Social Media Promotion?
Social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy. Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it's no passing trend.
How to promote on social media through Inbound Strategies?
Social networking is essential at every step of the funnel, especially in attraction and conversion. They help expose blog content, landing pages, or other relevant media to people. The publication should be periodic, and the texts' themes focused on what customers want to know, understand, and/or buy. As a result, positive engagement results can become a reality as long as the relationship strategy is involved in the process.
Inbound Marketing is characterized by the use of strategies for the organic and spontaneous attraction of new customers in the digital environment. Offering well-segmented content and information that meets the needs and interests of the public is the foundation of this new way of doing marketing.
In addition to gaining visibility, Inbound Marketing prioritizes constructing a trust relationship between the company and its public as a way of captivating and loyalty to customers who become brand spokespersons, contributing to their consolidation in the network.
Inbound Marketing works to attract and win the target audience's trust, arousing their interest, and at the right moment, after this audience has already given the signs that it is ready for the purchase, part for a more effective selling approach.
How to use social networks for Inbound Marketing strategies?
1 – Know who you are talking to
You have to start from the beginning to do social media marketing in the right way and with high return potential. Therefore, it will not do any good to open official profiles in all the media if you do not know your audience. Understand who the people who buy from you are, how they live, and their wants and problems. With this data, it will be easier to select the most appropriate channels and create content that truly appeals to your customers.
In addition, social networks are excellent tools to understand the public of your store better and, thus, intensify marketing and sales actions and even launch new products.
2 – Humanize and be Interesting
Let's be honest, no one likes to follow and interact with brands that only talk about themselves, that seem cold and distant, or that only share repeated and outdated content. People access social networks for entertainment, sharing experiences, and tips to improve their lives or solve problems. That's why you need to invest in unique quality content. Well, besides making your brand look as human as possible.
For this, it goes from creating a character to showcase the backstage of the store and post in the first person. The important thing is to find the right language and direct the content so that it makes sense and is attractive to your audience.
3 – Offer exclusivity
Another strategy that draws a lot of attention in marketing in social networks and, of breaking, still contributes to increasing sales is exclusive promotions. You can, for example, offer a discount coupon or a special condition for customers who follow your brand on social networks.
Another good idea is also to tell the news and make announcements in advance, especially for the followers. With this, they will feel special and motivated to accompany the store on these channels!
4 – Do not leave videos and pictures aside
When we talk about social networks, the visual part also counts many points to deliver quality content to followers. Invest in beautiful and professional photos of your store and products and, preferably, on videos.
These are features that tend to draw a lot of attention in social media and encourage more engagement.
5 – Invest in ads
It will not do any good to create incredible content with the great potential to help or entertain customers in your store if they do not know about it. That’s why we need to spread brand profiles across all communication channels -from printed leaflets to emails and messages via WhatsApp.
Do not also forget to take full advantage of the ads on Facebook or Instagram. With this type of campaign, you can direct messages to specific groups of people. And look forward to increasing content engagement and, of course, encouraging more sales!
Social Media Channels
“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.” – Amy Jo Martin.
As a social media marketer, it’s crucial you determine which platforms you’re going to share your content on. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to which social channels your business should use — it’s more about the needs of your target audience and where they tend to spend their time.
For example, suppose you are going for that target audience of leisurewear-loving millennials. In that case, you may want to focus most of your social media efforts on Instagram because millennials cover the largest portion of users on the platform.
Other examples of social media platforms you may choose to incorporate in your strategy include:Snapchat: Generation Z makes up the largest portion of the 300 million users.
Facebook: Millennials make up the largest portion of the 2.2 billion users.
Youtube: Millennials, closely followed by Generation Z, make up the largest portion of the 1.9 billion users.
Twitter: Millennials make up the largest portion of the 335 million users.
Pinterest: Older millennials and younger baby boomers make up the largest portion of 250 million users.
To help you choose the right platform or platforms for your specific type of business, buyer personas, and target audience, consider the differences between social media channels so you can make an educated decision.
Social Media Audits
One of the most important aspects of social media marketing is ensuring your efforts are successful in helping you meet your goals. To determine this, you’ll need to keep track of all of your posts, on every channel. You can do this by reviewing and managing your social media metrics.
Social Media Metrics
Social media metrics are data related to the success of your posts and your impact on your audience and customers on various platforms. These metrics may include data about your level of engagement, likes, follows shares, and all other interactions on each platform.
Here are 10 of the most important metrics for you to track:
1. Engagement: This includes clicks, comments, likes, and replies on your social media posts. There are also platform-specific types of engagement such as “Saved” posts on Instagram and “Pinned” posts on Pinterest.
2. Reach: The number of people who have seen any content associated with your page or profile is your reach.
3. Followers: This is the number of people you have on your profile who have clicked your "Follow" button and regularly seeing your content in their feeds.
4. Impressions: This is the number of times a post from your profile or page is seen, whether or not your audience members click on it. This is often what happens when someone is scrolling through their news feed, but not clicking on anything.
5. Video Views: On Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or any other social channel with video capabilities, this is the number of views each gets.
6. Profile Visits: The number of people who have opened your social media page is your number of profile visits.
7. Mentions: This is the number of times audience members in their posts have mentioned your profile.
8. Tags: This is when your audience adds the name of your company’s profile or your hashtag to another post.
9. Re-posts: This is when a member of your audience posts a piece of your content on their profile.
10. Shares: These are the posts your followers and audience take from your profile and share with their network.
You can influence all of these metrics, increase your social following, and improve overall engagement on your profile by using the same tactics you would to generate leads and boost conversions.
You can also interact with your followers more frequently by tagging them in content, responding to their questions, like their posts, encouraging them to use your hashtags, and share your content (and you can also re-post user-generated content).
How to measure Social Media Metrics?
You can review social media metrics in a variety of ways, For example, you can use the analytics tools built into the various platforms you use. Here are a few examples:
- Twitter Analytics
- Facebook Analytics
- Instagram Insights
You might also choose to use an analytics and tracking tool such as Google Analytics. This is an excellent option if you want to track your social media and website metrics. Lastly, as we reviewed earlier, many social media management tools have monitoring and tracking features automatically built-in.
These metrics tracking tools will give you a better understanding of what your followers and audience respond well to and what you should consider modifying to improve engagement. After publishing social posts through HubSpot and engaging with your social followers, you can view and analyze reports on how well your social media efforts perform.
Please note: social posts do not need to be published through HubSpot to appear in the social reports. When you connect a social media account to HubSpot, the last 60 days of social post data will be pulled in automatically.
Filter your reports by account, time period, or campaign.
- In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Social.
- Click the Reports tab. Here, you'll see reports with a performance overview of all your connected social media accounts, broken down by the social network.
- In the top left, use the filters to filter your reports by:
- 1. Network: filter by the social network.
- 2. Time period: filter by this week, this month, the last 30 days, last month, the last 3 months, or a custom time period.
AudienceThe Audience report shows your current number of followers, compared to the number you had in the previous time period, for each of your connected social accounts. The Facebook Page audience number shows your current number of page likes, not followers.
Published PostThe Published Posts report shows the number of social posts that were published across your social accounts within the selected time period. This also includes posts that were published to your connected social accounts outside of HubSpot.
InteractionThe Interactions report shows the number of likes, reactions (Facebook), and comments on your social posts published anywhere on your connected accounts. This also includes posts that were published to your connected social accounts outside of HubSpot. Twitter retweets are excluded in this report but are included in the Shares report.
The Clicks report shows the number of clicks on social posts published through HubSpot. Instagram and YouTube posts cannot be published through HubSpot, so clicks on such posts are not included.
Please note: HubSpot can only track clicks for social posts published through HubSpot, as these posts use shortened link URLs to track clicks.
SharesThe Shares report shows the number of published social posts that were shared, including Twitter retweets. This also includes posts that were published to your connected accounts outside of HubSpot. LinkedIn personal profile shares and Instagram shares won't be included, as these networks do not provide share data.
ImpressionsThe Impressions report shows the number of views that social posts on your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram company pages received. This also includes posts that were published to your connected accounts outside of HubSpot. An impression is defined as the first time a unique viewer sees your post.
The Sessions report shows the number of web sessions on your site (HubSpot-hosted web pages, or web pages that have your HubSpot tracking code installed) that took place within the selected time period that was driven from social media. Social posts that drove these sessions could have been published at any time, and from any social source.
For example, if a third party publishes a Twitter post containing a link to your site, any clicks on that link will result in web sessions which will appear in the Sessions report.
Chapter 12: Conversational Growth Strategy to Drive Organic Traffic
Conversational Growth Strategy
A strong conversational growth strategy allows brands to build relationships with prospects over time, as they “deliver the right information to the right person at the right time, every time.
Whether you're a marketer, salesperson, or services rep, the priority of your conversational growth strategy is to provide the person you're working with not only a pleasant experience but also make them feel that they have your full undivided attention.
A conversational growth strategy is the application of conversations across various channels — live chat, email, or a chatbot — in such a way that enables one-on-one relationships at scale, which in turn will help your business grow better.
A conversational channel is nothing but a medium for communication or the passage of information via a conversation.
Conversational Channel Requirements:
- The channel must allow the conversation to happen in real time.
- By default, the channel provides the ability to have the conversation be one-to-one.
- The channel must be interactive and allow for two-way communication.
- A conversational channel has to have a primary role in facilitating conversations.
Elements of a strong conversational growth strategy
Shared knowledge is information or data that is accessible by all tools and participants in conversations. Deliver the right message, at the right time, with the right information, on the right conversational channel, every single time.
To accomplish this, refer to SCOPE:
- Standardize: You’re delivering Consistent information across all of your channels.
- Contextualize: People are served with targeted advertising based on terms they search for or their recent browsing behavior.
- Optimize: You want to ensure you are using the right mixture of conversational channels.
- Personalize: Identity what your visitors are trying to accomplish, or their “jobs to be done”. Use this information to start crafting a conversational experience that delights your visitors by delivering the right information when they need it most. Conversations are about building one to one relationships with people. Speaking directly to each and every visitor with what information you’ve progressively gathered is a great first step to doing just that.
- Empathize: People want to feel like they have an actual connection with your brand persona.
How to implement Conversational Growth Strategy?
There are 3 types of conversational growth strategy available:
As you design your conversation, plan ahead for all the places that users may stray away from the ideal path.
You need to iterate and optimize them over time. Customers will tell you in their own words what they want out of a conversation with you. A great conversational growth strategy is about taking this skill and applying it to your website experience.
Strategy to select the right Conversational Channel
Having the right conversation with your buyer persona means selecting the right channel to have that conversation.
Delivering the right information at the right time on the right channel is where you are providing the most human and helpful experience.
Three Most Important Conversational Channels: Email, Messenger, and Live Chat.
It comes down to bringing content and context together. A strong conversation provides information to your buyer persona with the right context. So its totally depends upon your visitors that what they liked the most and according to that you can conversate with them.
Applying the conversational growth strategy to your events allows you to connect and foster one-on-one personal relationships with your (potential) attendees. Apart from that, it can help you figure out what type of communication and platform works better for your attendees, and you can focus on strengthening the aspects that work best.
It is a moment when a website visitor takes the desired action. The conversion process in HubSpot is the method by which you turn a website visitor into a lead. This process within HubSpot begins with having a specific offer (like an eBook) that you've created and asking your website visitor to provide some of their information in order to receive this offer.
How to build an effective conversion path?
The method by which you encourage someone on your site to move down your funnel. Clearly, conversions are a big deal. So how can you optimize yours? By creating conversion paths optimized to most effectively convert your ideal visitors into leads.
What's a Conversion Path?
A conversion path is a process by which an anonymous website visitor becomes a known lead. A conversion path is comprised of a remarkable content offer, call-to-action, landing page, and thank you page. In order to convert into a lead, a visitor sees a content offer of interest to them (that’s your remarkable content), click on the call-to-action button to access that content, and is then taken to a landing page.
On that landing page, the visitor can provide their information on a form in exchange for access to the offer itself. Upon submitting that form, the now-lead is taken to a thank you page where they receive the offer.
Voila! Conversion path complete. By designing and implementing the right conversion paths, you can most effectively move website visitors through the buyer’s journey and help them become customers and promoters.
What Makes a Good Conversion Path?
Well as you might have guessed, you need content, a call-to-action, a landing page, and a thank you page. But with so any conversion paths out there on the internet for your potential customers to explore, it’s now more important than ever to create the RIGHT paths -- paths that your ideal customers are drawn to and most effectively convert the right visitors into leads.
Let’s explore the four items you need in your inbound toolkit to create effective conversion paths.
1) Context-Appropriate Content
Content is the fuel that powers effective inbound strategies -- and it’s what you’ll use to convert those website visitors into leads. The good news is that content is everywhere! Content is what your website pages are filled with, what goes into your emails, and what’s hosted on your blog -- your website pages, emails, and blogs are just vehicles to deliver that content.
Although the content is in no short supply, in order for it to act as your inbound rocket fuel, you need to create the right content. As you can probably guess, the right content is optimized to appeal specifically to your buyer personas. It should focus on the challenges they’re trying to overcome and the goals they're looking to hit. Most of all, it should be relevant and interesting to them.
But here’s the kicker -- it’s not enough to just create persona-specific content. That content needs to be relevant to your persona based on where they are in the buyer’s journey.
The Buyer’s Journey is the active research process your personas go through leading up to making a purchase -- and specific content is more relevant to your personas at different stages of that journey. This is where the “context” piece comes in: It’s not enough to just create content for your personas. You have to make sure that content is relevant to what they’re interested in and hoping to learn more about.
Most visitors to your site are still at the very beginning stages of that journey -- they might not even know what your product does or how it can help them. All they may know is that they have a problem or there’s an opportunity at hand. So, the content that will most appeal to your personas when they’re first visiting your website and converting a lead will generally be high-level and educational in nature.
In order to be an effective tool in your conversion path toolkit, make sure you have remarkable content tailored to your buyer personas and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
2) Landing Pages That Speak to Your Personas
After you’ve developed a remarkable content offer that speaks to both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey, the next step is to leverage that piece of content to convert website visitors into leads. That’s where landing pages come in.
Landing pages are specialized website pages whose sole purpose is to collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for something of value to them. Landing pages contain forms that potential leads must fill out and submit before getting access to your remarkable content offer.
And like that offer, great landing pages must also be tailored to both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey. In order to most effectively convert website visitors into leads, your landing pages must present the benefits of your offer that are most relevant to the particular problem your persona is experiencing -- and discuss the aspects of that problem that are most important to where your persona is in the buyer’s journey.
Imagine, for example, working at a pet store and creating an eBook on raising a puppy.
Someone who’s at the beginning of the buyer’s journey probably won’t be too interested in downloading your eBook if your landing page talks all about how your eBook contains the best techniques for housebreaking. Instead, an effective landing page for this persona might highlight how your eBook discusses how to choose the right dog breed for you.
Great landing pages focus on both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
3) Attention-Grabbing Calls-to-Action
While having great content and a great landing page are key to creating a successful conversion path, your website visitors need a way to actually access that landing page in the first place. That's where calls-to-action come in.
Call-to-action is a button you can embed throughout your website that advertises your content offers. When a user clicks on one of these calls-to-action, they'll be taken to your landing page. In effect, every call-to-action you have on your website is the beginning of a conversion path. To create calls-to-action that get those clicks and act as key steps within your conversion paths, you must ensure that the message displayed on your call-to-action aligns with the message on your landing page -- and the content itself.
Great calls-to-action should be just that: action-oriented. Since their main objective is to garner clicks and direct people to landing pages, ensure that they’re click-worthy by using actionable language and colors that help them stand out from the rest of your website.
4) Optimized Thank You Pages
If a call-to-action is the beginning of a conversion path, a thank you page marks its end. Thank you pages are the final item you need in your inbound toolkit to lead your website visitors down a conversion path to becoming, well, a lead.
Thank you pages are specialized website pages from which your now-leads can download the offer promised by your call-to-action and landing page. They’re also an opportunity to move people further along in the buyer’s journey by including things like additional calls-to-action that complement the offer you've just provided your lead.
Chapter 13: Conversion Optimization Strategy and What it Holds?
Why is Conversion Optimization Strategy important for Inbound Marketing?
In inbound marketing, conversion optimization is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that converts into customers, or more generally, takes any desired action on a webpage.
It is important because it allows you to lower your customer acquisition costs by getting more value from the visitors and users you already have. By optimizing your conversion rate, you can increase revenue per visitor, acquire more customers, and grow your business. The process of testing hypotheses on elements of your site has the ultimate goal of increasing the percentage of visitors who take the desired action. It's all about data and experimentation.
As you all know, your website is the digital representation of your business, so you need to improve your website experience and optimize it. It is not a static resource. If you're considering your company's bottom line, you could take two approaches. The first one is that invest more time and resources, and the second one is to increase the chances of your current traffic by choosing to convert.
How to implement Conversion Optimization?
Conversion Optimization is an iterative and replicable process. It contains five steps:
1. Define your objective: Narrow down the page element you want to experiment on first.
2. Establish your baseline: Create an initial set of critical observations or data used for comparison or control.
3. Form a hypothesis: In clear, simple language, write a hypothesis statement about what you think will happen.
4. Design your tests: It is the most important phase of conversion optimization, and this test totally depends upon the six factors that are:
- Value Proposition
5. Analyze your data: It is the time to analyze your third step and find out whether the prediction and hypothesis you made correct or not. So if the result is correct, then it's good for you; otherwise, you can continue this process until you succeed.
Conversion optimization is the consistent, structured, ongoing process of improving your website over time.
To enhance your website conversions, you can add testimonials and photos of the clients to increase the conversion rate. The reason behind it the social credibility of our work that makes us seem more genuine to cold prospects coming to our website to sign up for a consultation.
Roles of Reporting and Analytics in Conversion Optimization
Analytics is the process of using analysis, and reporting is a written or spoken description of a situation, event, etc.
Basically, analytics is used to examine anything complex to understand the nature or determine the essential features. The analysis piece can provide a deeper understanding of the behavior of your visitors, leads, or customers. Reporting is a document that presents information in an organized format for a specific audience and purpose.
Chapter 14: Lead Nurturing: Build Long-Lasting Relationships with your Customers
Fundamentals of lead nurturing strategy
Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel and through every step of the buyer's journey. It focuses on marketing and communication efforts to listen to prospects' needs and provide the information and answers they need.
It is a fundamental strategy every business owner should know about, including how to nurture your leads effectively and convert them into a deal. However, the main motive of marketing is brand awareness with revenue generation.
Understanding the fundamentals of lead nurturing will help you build long-lasting relationships with your customers. The purpose of a lead nurturing strategy is to help you and your company create meaningful relationships with the people at any point in their journey.
Elements of a Lead Nurturing Strategy
- Contact management
- The buyer’s journey
How to create an effective lead nurturing campaign?
Your marketing automation software and your conversations, including emails, live chat, Facebook Messenger, and social — will work together to fuel your lead nurturing strategy. Lead nurturing uses automation tools that help you take specific actions, guiding your marketing efforts toward a specific goal.
5 Steps to Creating a Lead Nurturing Campaign:
1. Setting goals: Determining what you want to accomplish is the first step, because without a goal, how do you know if you’re successful or not? A goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
2. Selecting personas: According to your business requirement, you can select the persona. It is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
3. Creating content: Instead of pitching your product or service as the greatest thing ever, you should first offer value.
4. Identifying the timeline: It is the most beneficial aspects of lead nurturing.
5. Measuring and improving: You need to ensure the accurate tracking of your conversations as the whole process depends upon this step. Through measuring the overall result you can easily improve the errors.
Start your inbound marketing strategy today!
Chapter 16: The Success story of Inbound Marketing
Success stories of any business or tool totally depend upon their clients' feedback. It is imperative that the services businesses provide must be up to mark and fulfill their requirements. HubSpot always takes care of their clients need and satisfy them by providing the best services.
Here are some reviews of HubSpot Inbound Marketing Users.
Yay, you did it! You finally completed the ultimate guide to inbound marketing! Now, you know everything about the core objectives and values of inbound marketing.
Remember, inbound marketing doesn't have to be a shot in the dark. Use everything you learned in this guide for strategic planning and implementation of your Inbound marketing strategy. And in no time, you will have a solid lead generation plan working actively for your business.
So what are you waiting for? Use this guide to create a solid inbound marketing strategy, and if you already have one, perhaps, it's time to improve it.