Thought Hive: What You Need to Know About Inbound Marketing

Posted by Cydne Stewart Apr 17, 2017 6:00:00 AM

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Technology and the digital space has positively and indefinitely changed marketing as we know it. With the introduction of the Internet and the advent of digital marketing, it is now possible to reach more consumers in a personalized manner, create a standard of convenience and value while having your marketing materials accessible day and night.

A business website has morphed into a place to gather data and develop a better understanding of consumer likes, dislikes, and pain points. It is also, a tool. Having a well developed website with proper content strategy will allow your business to spend less and earn more, and the ultimate way to provide a medium to create and incubate a valuable business to consumer relationship.

Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart. –Joe Chernov

Traditional marketing served its purpose well, but inbound marketing has changed the concept of traditional marketing and created the urgent need for high-quality content. With an emphasis on the importance of content relevancy and consumer-to-business relationship, a solid, responsive website design coupled with a successful inbound marketing strategy has become the ultimate necessity.

Let's take a deep dive into what you need to know about inbound marketing in 2017.

Inbound Marketing and Your Website

The foundation of HTML5 and inbound marketing was established with the millennial generation in mind, and their focus on content as a value-added service is one of the most significant effects the Internet has had on traditional marketing.

Content is the atomic particle of all digital marketing.– Rebecca Lieb

The ability for business to create a community, a resource, or campaign completely designed around the needs of a particular buyer persona has provided consumers with an ability to make educated purchasing decisions on their own, when it is convenient for them.

Not only has the Internet positively impacted the marketing community, but it has raised the bar for consumer standards. Consumers now have higher expectations when it comes to quality of products and services.

No longer can a company partially invest in the needs of the consumer. As each day passes, quantity over quality is fast fading from the distance as the Millennials take the reins. With the raising of the bar, comes the demand, for not only the best products and services, but the best overall experience.

A good customer service experience does not end with a successful, hassle-free purchase.

The Internet has leveled the playing field and broadened the horizon for startups and small business owners. The concept of inbound marketing brings a whole new meaning to a creative ad agency, content development, and the way you market your business.

Leveraging the Internet, your website, and inbound marketing is the key to create true value with return on investment. No longer is the marketing goal about budget capabilities, but it is about the time spent nurturing the relationships of current active consumers.

Not everyone can provide clever, beneficial, and interestingly addictive content to complement and reinforce a solid product or service offering. But with inbound marketing, a well developed website, and automation you’re on the right track.

The Principles of Inbound Marketing

Marketing is always changing, constantly evolving and innovating new ways to attract customers. We have reviewed a lot about launching and measuring a remarkable inbound marketing campaign in the past year.

Let us take a moment to look back at some inbound marketing best practices:

ENGAGEMENT is the driver of your marketing machine. After all, if you don’t have engagement you don’t have much in the digital world. The importance of this lesson is the types of engagement you can create and ways you can engage with your audience (list is in no particular order, simply listed):

  • Blogs
  • Email
  • Surveys
  • Interactive Tools
  • Social Media
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Pinterest
    • Instagram
    • G+
    • YouTube
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts

Pro Tip Avoid asking everything at once! No one likes to be inundated with questions, requests, or tasks you ‘need’ them to take care of so ‘you can continue to help them.

FREQUENCY of new information posting is important. If you are looking to get an audience that comes back to your site or social channel, give them something to come back to. More than once per week is ideal, but if you can only get out new material once per week or once per month, schedule it for the same day of the week or same day of the month so that visitors know when to expect new content from you.

TACTICS or how you are going to apply the strategy you have developed.

Marketing is not what it used to be; a concept that should excite you as a content marketer.

Your content must be innovative, educational, and creative. There is a content overload epidemic attacking the content consumer, and as marketers we have to excel at presenting interesting, accurate content that is presented to the right person, and the right time.

Think of your website as an education playground, not a megaphone.

Your inbound marketing tactics will only be efficient if your web site design and functionality is properly addressed. User experience and ease of navigation are at the forefront of marketing, and are vital to the success of any business.

Set in stone the tone and style of your call to action and freemium content. ALWAYS make it look good.

Pro Tip Promote subscriptions to your blog, email list, podcast, or other channels. This also includes cross-platform social media invites.

AUDIENCE is paramount in your content marketing and inbound marketing success. Understanding your audience is even more crucial. Focus on content and relationship.

Your content should complement your audience’s preferences—speak to them in a way that addresses their concerns, and deliver content via their preferred channel of communication and on their optimal timeline.

A useful way to be sure you are creating the right content is to find out if your content satisfies the needs of your audience—customers, leads, and all others who come into digital contact with your brand.

Also, consider your audience members that have a parallel life to the services or products related content you are creating. Always keep details like this at the forefront of your content creation.

If you are interested in learning more on this subject, take a look at this blog post: Back to the Basics with Buyer Personas.

Pro Tip Develop an engagement strategy. Do you want to increase engagement on a particular distribution channel, or are you looking to drive traffic to your website, blog, or a specific piece of content? This is where strong and structured goals come into play. Always keep your strategy and goals parallel so that all efforts directly contribute to the achievement of a particular goal.

The Inbound Methodology and HubSpot

If you have heard of inbound marketing, chances are you’ve heard of HubSpot (and if not, you will today—keep reading). Direct Images Interactive is an inbound marketing agency partnered with HubSpot to better serve your inbound marketing and branding needs. Inbound marketing is unlike traditional marketing and as we review the basic terms and concepts you will see why.

Inbound marketing is a relatively new term in the marketing world, but is rapidly increasing in popularity. Let's review getting started with HubSpot and inbound marketing.

HubSpot is a marketing automation platform, specifically inbound marketing software. Inbound is the method of marketing and HubSpot is the tool used to perfect your marketing strategy and deliver exceptional inbound content. If you are new to all of this, don’t worry—we are going to review the inbound marketing, content marketing, and HubSpot basics.

Inbound Marketing: A successful method of marketing used by online businesses globally.

The Inbound Methodology: The best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business. (HubSpot)

Inbound Marketing has 6 major recurring themes.

Content Development: Planning, strategizing, and developing high-impact and brand centric informational media to be shared.

Content Distribution: A way to deliver or present the information media to potential leads.

Lifecycle Marketing: A way to approach marketing at each stage of the prospect’s purchasing journey from a stranger, to a visitor, to a contact, and finally to a customer. One of the major standouts with inbound marketing is the continued marketing tactics that encourage current customers to become repeat customers and brand promoters.

Marketing Content Personalization: The HubSpot platform allows brands to tailor their marketing efforts to brand-established buyer personas. This feature allows for customization, smart marketing features, and delivery methods where every move is tracked and documented to better assist sales teams.

Multi-Channel Marketing: A marketing approach that allows brands to present content in a readily available manner and via the preferred form of consumption of their buyer persona.

Buyer Personas: “Holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.” (HubSpot)

Like any platform, new product or service it is important to learn the lingo, layout, and location of all your essentials. Stay tuned and keep up to date on the latest inbound marketing strategies, content marketing and working with HubSpot by subscribing to our blog below.

The Cost of Inbound Marketing

If you are in search of the truth behind the cost of inbound marketing and getting started with HubSpot, look no further. There are numerous ways to digest the cost of inbound and many factors to keep in mind when calculating return on investment. Some of the variables include the overall business goals, the time allotted for the HubSpot content marketing integration, and the amount of manpower required to create and distribute the content necessary to manage a successful brand using inbound marketing.

Although it may seem like a lot, the inbound marketing methodology—and the brands using it—are at the top of their marketing game. This is particularly the case when speaking to lead generation, return on investment, and brand recognition. Doesn’t that sound awesome? So, the real question may be: what will it cost your business if you are not using inbound marketing?

Not surprisingly, outbound marketing is on its way out, and the average consumer is gladly holding the door as it exits.

  • There has been a 9% drop in the amount of direct mail opened by the average consumer.
  • 28% of businesses reported that their success at trade shows is on a rapid decline.
  • 86% of consumers admitted to fast forwarding through commercials.
  • The amount of money spent on telemarketing has exponentially decreased since 2011.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is on the up and up. Because inbound marketing is a form of multichannel marketing there are many ways to leverage the cost of your allocated inbound marketing budget.

If your company has informative, well-developed content, and is using the Hubspot all-in-one inbound marketing automation system to properly distribute said content, your website is probably a well-oiled marketing lead generation machine. If not you are well on your way to generating the leads you have planned for. This machine will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and even holidays. Starting to sound better?

The fundamentals of inbound are pretty simple. The inbound methodology starts with attracting website visitors with beautifully designed strategically distributed content. Once people find the content by visiting your website, they become leads when they download your gated content. Ideally those leads will become customers with fine tuned marketing automation. And once they are customers it is ideal for them to become brand promoters, or your very own word of mouth marketers.

Never let ads write checks your website can’t cash. –Avinash Kaushik

If you have determined that inbound marketing and HubSpot are for you, it is time to start thinking about the logistics of your strategy and content machine.

Let’s look at three ways you can approach the staffing portion of your new marketing model:

In-house: All marketing efforts are facilitated by you and your staff.

50 / 50: An in-house liaison or team of in-house representatives will work seamlessly with a 3rd party agency or consultant to create and distribute the necessary marketing efforts.

Agency driven: All marketing efforts are facilitated by an agency or 3rd party marketing consultant with clear lines of communication.

Don’t forget to include the HubSpot software package that best supports your business goals and size.

There is a perfect fit for every business no matter what product or service you are marketing. Rest easy knowing that like your business, these options can change and grow. The cost of paid ads are on the rise. Society’s unrest with interruptive outbound marketing tactics has demanded a change in the way business is conducted. Commercials and ads are avoidable and attention spans are getting shorter.

How much is your business missing out on without inbound marketing?

Pro Tip Like any platform, new product or service it is important to learn the lingo, layout, and location of all your essentials.

Video Marketing—Inbound & Automation

Today, no marketing campaign is considered complete unless it is graced with the presence of eye-catching and informative videos.

The use of video as an advertising tool is not new. Video advertising has been around for a long time, but nowadays the importance of videos has increased dramatically due to their frequent use in inbound marketing. More and more companies are experimenting with this user-friendly method of marketing.

We are sure that as a marketing consultant or business entrepreneur, one thing must be hovering over your mind and that is why you should opt for corporate video production when there are number of methods in which you can market your products/services.

Below are three benefits of using corporate video production, which are bound to make you an ardent admirer of this valuable marketing tool:

Video Captures Your Attention

Video is a highly engaging medium which is capable of holding the viewer’s interest for a long duration of time. Creating video content should be a part of your inbound marketing strategy. It is a great way of spreading the word about your products and services among a larger and more engaged audience.

The Value of Video Production

A number of entrepreneurs shun the idea of using videos for marketing their products because they fear that the cost of video production would burn a large hole in their pockets, which is nothing but a misconception.

No doubt, video production cost is high as compared to other methods, but video production return on investment is much higher than average compared to other traditional methods involving text and static image marketing.

Boost Sales Conversion with Video

It's no surprise that video helps boost ROI. Videos have contributed to a sales increase of up to 40% more than those who are not leveraging the power of video in their marketing strategy. By the same token, customers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product sales video.

Make your marketing so useful people would pay you for it. – Jay Baer

Stay tuned with Direct Images Interactive, SUBSCRIBE to our blog, and keep up to date on the latest inbound marketing strategies, content marketing and working with HubSpot.

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You may also be interested in:

FAQ Friday: Questions to Ask When Choosing an Inbound Marketing Agency

Planning and Executing Your Inbound Marketing Strategy in 2017

Thought Hive: The Challenges of Inbound Marketing in 2017

FAQ Friday: The Top Inbound Marketing Trends and Tools for 2017


Topics: Inbound Marketing

Direct Images Interactive is an inbound marketing agency specializing in high-impact video production and online graphic design. We are centrally located between Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. Come see us at The Gate in San Leandro, a thriving tech-hub of innovators. What can we do for you?

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