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Download the Totally Free White Paper “Driving Inbound Leads Part 1”

Do you have an inbound marketing strategy?

In this white paper, we discuss inbound marketing and how to drive inbound leads. This is the first in a series on this topic, and to begin—we’re going to talk content and the need to be agile.

Highlights Include:

6 Ways To Expand Your Content Creation
4 Steps to Keep Your Marketing Agile
How to Best Close the Feedback Loop

Get part two at
http://go.oneupweb.com/driving_inbound_leads_p2

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Download the Totally Free White Paper “Driving Inbound Leads Part 1”

  1. 1. FIND US ON 877.568.7477 • OneUpWeb.com ©2014. Intellectual property owned by Oneupweb® . Reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 1 I’M SENSING A CHANGE Something’s different. You’re pushing out banner ads and trying all-things- traditional marketing, and yet—practically, out of nowhere—your sales funnel has dried up (or else it’s filled with a plethora of weak leads that are sapping time and resources to unqualify). You’re breathing down your sales and marketing teams’ necks, wondering: what’s the problem? Where’s my new business? Sounds like you have an inbound marketing problem. But—do you have an inbound marketing strategy? In this white paper, we discuss inbound marketing and how to drive inbound leads. This is the first in a series on this topic, and to begin—we’re going to talk content and the need to be agile. Do you have an inbound marketing plan in place? Do you have the team and the resources needed to create and implement a sound inbound strategy? It’s okay if you don’t. We know a thing or two about pushing high-volume, relevant content that drives qualified leads to your always-hungry sales team. So let’s dig in. INBOUND MARKETING AND THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTENT First things first: what is inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is about creating and sharing attractive content with your target demographic in an effort to drive the most qualified traffic back to your brand with the hope that, once there—they’ll convert. Gone are the days of buying lists, creating ads and tossing a marketing-Hail-Mary for the ever-sought-after qualified lead. Inbound marketing, now in its promising prime, has replaced these “traditional” (read: old) methods of pushing out in favor of pulling in —and attracting prospects to your brand. It’s not necessarily a volume play, but the truth is: the higher the number of touches (i.e., the more content you have out there and available), the higher the likelihood of conversion—that key metric in your world that indicates your users are doing what you want them to (be that downloading a whitepaper, requesting a proposal, asking to speak with your sales team, etc.) with the end goal being revenue. OF CONSUMERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BUYFROM A COMPANY THAT DELIVERS CUSTOM CONTENT Custom Content Council Roper Finds Majority of Consumers Value Custom Media
  2. 2. FIND US ON 877.568.7477 • OneUpWeb.com ©2014. Intellectual property owned by Oneupweb® . Reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 2 So—what’s key to any inbound marketing plan? A marketing persona and content. Content, content, content. Be it blog posts, infographics, whitepapers, e-books, banner ad copy, website copy—whatever it is that boils your brand down to some digestible, shareable, tangible form and is—in all cases—relevant and useful to your target audience. So—this requires two things: knowing your target audience and creating content geared towards that target audience. For the sake of this being the first in a series on inbound marketing—let’s assume you know your target audience and let’s get down to brass tacks on how to get your content marketing house in order. HAVE YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER Do not simply create content for content’s sake. Content creation is not easy and (in the final analysis of your marketing efforts), it’s not cheap. Before you start any initiative, know why you are creating a particular piece of content and how you intend to measure that piece’s effectiveness (whether it is working or not). So: 1. Determine the campaign goals—if your leads are drying up, you want to drive a higher volume of leads. If you have a lot of weak leads coming in, you want to drive more qualified leads. 2. Define what a Qualified Lead looks like to your business. Don’t be afraid to involve other stakeholders in your business. Get with your sales team, talk to your project managers. Determine which leads are converting more and which leads bring in more revenue share than others. 3. Determine where your qualified leads spend their time. Where are they finding your brand? Where should they be finding your brand? What is their typical sales cycle? 4. Identify and/or create points of conversion. 5. Implement a closed loop marketing system using automated marketing software and a dedicated customer relationships management service.* *Need help with this one? It’s more complicated than you might think—but we wrote a white paper on that topic, too, and we encourage you to check it out: Closed Loop Marketing Whitepaper. With your house in order, it’s time to rev up your content creation and curation machine.
  3. 3. FIND US ON 877.568.7477 • OneUpWeb.com ©2014. Intellectual property owned by Oneupweb® . Reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 3 REVVING UP YOUR CONTENT CURATION MACHINE A steady stream of useful, relevant content is the key to any inbound marketing strategy. Armed with that, you’ll want to ramp up your content output, but not so much that the quality suffers. We recommend: 1. An agile (discussed below) curation and creation strategy. It’s time to make a plan, Stan—and it needs to be comprehensive and detailed. Now, we don’t suggest mapping out every piece of content for the next year. Given how quickly things change, you’ll run the risk of having a content calendar that is irrelevant next week. Instead, plan your attack in two or three week intervals. Describe what piece of content needs to be created (a blog post, an infographic, a white paper), where it needs to live (gated by a landing page, accessible in your social channels, etc.), who the content is for, what its call to action is and why it’s relevant. Think about your target audience: What is it they want to know from you? What are their pain points? 2. A plan for repurposing content. The last thing you need is for your content to dry up. Inbound marketing requires you to have big back pockets stuffed with content, waiting to be delivered. This means making a plan for repurposing, remixing or reformatting existing content (if it’s still relevant and useful) and the content you create. An e-book can turn into a series of blog posts. A section of your last white paper can become an infographic. An infographic can become a video and a video can become a presentation. Each repurposed piece of content will keep your content arsenal fully locked and stocked. 3. Create a “backlog bucket.” You’re going to run out of bandwidth—that’s normal. But rather than lose those ideas or that content, create a backlog bucket, which is a great resource for brainstorming new content with the content marketing team. 4. Be smarter with social. Because users now consume information in a variety of visual and text based formats, you can tailor your existing content to work smarter for your social channels. 5. Identify extra collateral needed to support your content. A blog post promoting your latest white paper needs your latest white paper to be done, after all. Know ahead of time what content and collateral you need to support other pieces of content. SOCIAL MEDIA SITES AND BLOGS REACH (THAT’S OVER 196 MILLION PEOPLE) OF ALL U.S INTERNET USERS 8OUT OF10 ExactTarget 50 Awesome Content Marketing Stats
  4. 4. FIND US ON 877.568.7477 • OneUpWeb.com ©2014. Intellectual property owned by Oneupweb® . Reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 4 6. Communicate. Communication is key. Keep the team informed on where each piece of content is in your strategy. Maintain a feedback loop for how content is performing: What content went live? What is the click through rate? How many whitepaper downloads or RFP requests did it generate? What was the referral site? Was it organic or paid? THE LAY OF THE LAND: BEING AGILE We’ve talked content and revving up a content machine—now it’s time to talk about how you keep that machine running in good order. It requires one very important thing: agility. You may hear the term “pivot.” Pivot and agility go hand-in-hand. You must be agile enough—and aware enough—to recognize the need to pivot (change direction or change strategy) quickly, without too much collateral damage (and ideally—with no collateral damage). Consider the adage: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” You cannot do it all, but must be able to do the important things—no matter when those important things happen to pop up. You do that by being agile and pivoting when the time comes. Agile development is a concept that has been around software development agencies for a long time now. It is an iterative way of tackling a project with a team that deals with bite-size chunks. Agile development is equally applicable—and important—to an inbound marketing strategy. Here’s a common example: You have a particular project/campaign, and a short deadline—30 days, maybe. This is known as a sprint. To sprint your way from start to finish, hold an initial kickoff meeting, where tasks are assigned and the team is made of key players across departments. Everyone is accountable for something and everyone is accountable to each other. After tasks are assigned, roles defined and lines of accountability drawn—it’s time to get down to it. Check-in regularly to keep the team on task. Digital marketing is an ever evolving medium—an agile approach is a must. Of course, because marketing is a lot like the weather—or life— there will be times where you’ll need to change course and to pivot. Here is how you stay agile: 1. Develop a process. Collaborate with your team and define a set of “To Dos,” “Ongoing Tasks,” “Completed Tasks,” and a summation of the project’s progress in general.
  5. 5. FIND US ON 877.568.7477 • OneUpWeb.com ©2014. Intellectual property owned by Oneupweb® . Reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 5 2. Prepare yourself for requirements churn. This is a fact: during a project, the customers can change their minds about what they want and need (a phenomenon known as “requirements churn”), and those unpredicted challenges cannot be easily addressed in a traditional predictive or planned manner. Don’t let this fact stop you; don’t let this fact throw a wrench in the machine. 3. Work together and rely on one another. Teamwork makes the dream work— check in often with your project teams (but avoid micro-managing or unproductive interruptions) to make sure everyone is still on the same page. Review the numbers and deploy. The frequency will depend on the needs of the project—we suggest weekly check-ins, but daily reviews of progress will help you stem off potential problems. 4. Cross train the skill sets. To remain agile, it is necessary to have a team with a balanced skill set. The individual skills and abilities should overlap. Because this is a high volume effort, you never want just one team member to house the know-how to accomplish as task, otherwise you’ll be scrambling if that one person is out of the office or, god forbid, leaves your team mid-sprint. Bandwidth is too limited to have to train a new member on the fly. Plus—it never hurts to have a cross-trained team, as they’ll be able to provide insights others may have missed. THE FEEDBACK LOOP: ALWAYS BE MEASURING Know the metrics. Measure your progress against the metrics. But keep in mind: Change is the only constant. If you are not changing, you are being left behind. One of the biggest advantages to digital marketing is the ability to quantify marketing efforts relative to traditional offline initiatives. Analytics are inherent to this space and not using them to guide and inform future efforts must be remedied. INBOUND MARKETING DELIVERS MORE LEADS THAN TRADITIONAL OUTBOUND MARKETING WebDAM 2014 20 Captivating Marketing Statistics INBOUND MARKETING OUTBOUND MARKETING 54% MORE LEADS
  6. 6. FIND US ON 877.568.7477 • OneUpWeb.com ©2014. Intellectual property owned by Oneupweb® . Reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 6 Share performance metrics. Ask hard questions. Don’t be afraid to take hard looks at the entire funnel—not just your content. Be transparent with your organization and answer: How are leads converting? How is this trending? How are these leads being followed up on? Is this being appropriately tracked? How many touches are the cold leads getting? How about the warmer leads? Are some touches working better than others? What is the ratio of connecting to all leads generated? Do you break this out by industry? By channel? By category? These are all considerations for making your inbound marketing efforts a veritable monster truck of marketing. Agility and content are only part of the inbound marketing puzzle, however. You’ll also need to examine your sales funnel. Your conversion points. The percentage of leads against the percentage of opportunities. But that’s a bigger conversation. For now, take the time to analyze your content and your overall agility as an organization. In the next part in our series on inbound marketing, we’ll dive deeper into the sales funnel, your work environment, knowing the right conversion metrics and more. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the next series to come out—our inbound marketing experts are standing by and we’re ready to build and maintain your content machine, help you become more agile and generally improve your digital marketing efforts across all channels. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call. Let’s turn your marketing dollars into company revenue.
  7. 7. FIND US ON 877.568.7477 • OneUpWeb.com ©2014. Intellectual property owned by Oneupweb® . Reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. 7 DROP US AN EMAIL info@oneupweb.com GIVE US A CALL 1.877.568.7477 SEND US A TWEET twitter.com/oneupweb JOIN US ON FACEBOOK facebook.com/oneupweb ABOUT ONEUPWEB Oneupweb is nearly a 20-year innovator in digital marketing—creating integrated online marketing plans that incorporate search, social, design and mobile services. Heralded by an independent research firm for their leadership team, work ethic and solid experience in optimizing complicated sites, Oneupweb has been named a Top 20 Search Marketing Agency by Advertising Age for five consecutive years, and CEO Lisa Wehr is recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Oneupweb is a privately held company located in Traverse City, Michigan. For more information on Oneupweb, please call 1.877.568.7477, or visit OneUpWeb.com.

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