Demystify the craft behind inbound marketing and your pipeline’s lead generation with a guide to the key elements that make up the marketing phenomena.
In 2010, B2B ‘experts’ proclaimed social media as the ultimate solution for generating leads. But by 2013 content marketing was being declared as ‘the ultimate solution’. Now, in 2014, the wheels need to come off both these bandwagons and be replaced with a coherent inbound marketing strategy that fully embraces social media, content marketing and more to fully service your sales pipeline.
Inbound marketing is the complete content strategy solution. With bandwagons destroyed and marketing hyperbole thrown onto the campfire, how do you move your pipeline strategy forward with inbound marketing?
“Content is Ki--”
You know how the adage ends – and it's out of date. Content is king – but only if it is relevant to each and every prospect. Otherwise, it's just noise.
Your inbound marketing content strategy must feature content that...
- Covers the customer's basic questions and needs.
- Offers advanced and in-depth information for customers who want it.
- Doesn’t go for the hard sell – those days are long gone.
- Be available across all channels whether it be social media, email, blogs, and more.
- Evolve over time and be 'personalised' to each individual customer as they reveal more about themselves and their needs as they progress down your pipeline.
5 Steps to Strategy Success
Chicken & Egg
Segment your potential customer base. Develop persona lists; if you don't know who you're targeting your content at, how can you target your content?
Your content strategy needs to cover every base – from landing pages and calls to action through to email and blogs. And all need to be monitored.
Marketing automation highlights potential leads on the fly, letting your sales teams know exactly where each and every visitor is – essential to pipeline forecasting.
Evolve Or Die
Don't get complacent – monitor persona profiles and visitor patterns regularly. Are they changing? Evolving? Is part of your content journey not engaging with customers? Then change your content. It should be dynamic, not carved in stone.
If content is the backbone, marketing automation the muscle, then metrics are blood vessels that deliver vital information back to you about how customers are engaging with your content – and how successful your content is. If your content is not working, change it – see Evolve or Die...
- Get off any bandwagon, set fire to it and walk away.
- Buzzwords such as social media and content marketing are not the be-and-end-all – they should be integrated into your inbound marketing strategy to truly realise their potential, instead of acting as bullet points on end-of-year marketing reports.
- Don't take our word for it - according to Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing annual report:
- Non-inbound marketing has a site conversion rate of 6% vs. Inbound marketing’s site conversion rate of 12%.
- 82% of marketers who blog see a positive ROI on their inbound marketing spend.
- Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads into the traditional marketing funnel than traditional outbound leads.