TIGER Talk Recap | Inbound Marketing: The Key to Successful Growth Hacking
Brian Penick has launched and worked with many companies including Soundstr, The Counter Rhythm Group, and Musicians’ Desk Reference. He has out-smarted the industry and has taken his companies to the top of Google with his inbound marketing techniques. He finished the HubSpot training on inbound marketing in a weekend but he does not recommend this.
Here is what HubSpot has to say about inbound marketing versus traditional marketing:
“Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.”
“Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers’ attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.”
Inbound marketing is customer centric; it is influencing the consumer throughout the buying journey through SEO, blogging, and other forms of attraction. Traditional marketing is marketer centric; the marketer is in control, taking the power away from the buyer.
The inbound methodology includes four steps:
Attract – attract your customers through educational content
Convert – convert your customers by giving them the appropriate content at the right time
Close – close your customer once they have digested enough content from you
Delight – continue to delight your customer and get them to become champions of your brand
Buyer personas are crucial for getting to know what buyers want and creating them is a necessity before you begin selling. Create representations of your customer segments. Think of the questions that your buyers are asking; this will give insight as to what they may be searching for on Google. Consider your buyers’ backgrounds, demographics, common questions, goals, challenges, identifiers, and how your product or service can help them.
When creating content, it is crucial that you are not selling directly to customers, but you are attracting them. Your content should be saying “Come here, read me.” “Come understand me.” This content should be educational and informative; let the education do the selling for you. Include infographics, webinars, checklists, videos, client testimonials, ebooks, white papers, calculators, worksheets, or slideshare decks.
Send content to your customers following each step of the buyer’s journey.
- When buyers are gaining awareness, share videos with them to help them get to know you and your product/service.
- When buyers are in the consideration stage, send them more informative content like webinars, case studies, FAQ sheets, and third party reviews
- When buyers are in the decision stage, offer them free trials, free consultations, ROI reports, and quotes/estimates.
Your content should always be clean and organized, as well as educational and not promotional. Focus on the quality of the content and good layout/design.
Blogs should include educational content; posts should be answering the questions your audience is asking. Your headline can make or break your blog post; make the value of your blog post clear within the title and use a long-tail keyword in the title. It is okay to promote offers on your blog posts to gain leads.
To convert visitors into customers, you first need to give them a call-to-action (CTA) like “Download Our White Paper on Current Higher Education Trends.” Once they click on your CTA, they will be directed to a landing page; it’s best to put visual emphasis on the offer along with a form to fill out to receive the offer. Once they submit the form, they should be directed to a thank-you page; you can continue with additional offers if applicable.
Email works because it can be customized and personalized if you use a CRM (customer relationship management system). 91% of consumers check email daily. Email is a channel that you own and get to control. Before sending emails, consider your buyers personas and ask yourself if that particular persona likes receiving emails. Define your goals with email marketing and focus on the engagement; analyze your results.
When using SEO (search engine optimization), you want to focus on keywords within your content so that Google can find your content. Add the keyword to title of your page, blog, the URL, the headers, the image alt-text, throughout the body, and in the meta description. Use long-tail keywords like “best women running shoes for flat feet.” Find the specific gaps in the marketplace that consumers are looking for and fill those gaps; exploit them.
Include relevant internal and external links within your content. Hyperlink the text with the keywords that are part of your SEO strategy. Link to other websites that provide relevant information to what you are writing about; you can even link to your competitors. 60% of Google clicks occur on the first three non-ad links. If you’re not in the top three, you’re less likely to be seen.
Brian ended the discussion with his top blogging and inbound secrets. He has used these tips to close many business deals.
- Your content should be less than or equal to 1,000 words
- Your content should be at or below a 10th grade reading level (check out Hemingway)
- Your blog posts should include at least 10 inbound and outbound links
- You should be blogging at least 1-2 times per month; consistency is key
- Emphasize keywords
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