Using Inbound Marketing to Grow your Firm
The more our world becomes connected, the greater the digital noise. A multitude of studies demonstrate the magnitude of the noise. One study states that consumers receive up to 10,000 brand messages per day (American Marketing Association). A British study states that the average person switches between screens up to 21 times per hour (that’s switching gears every 2.85 minutes). According to a Microsoft study, the average attention span is approximately 8 seconds. What does this mean for you and your firm? People are distracted.
There is hope. Even with all the distractions, people are still looking for answers to questions and for solutions. They still have challenges, business issues, and problems to solve. The solution is Inbound Marketing – a more sophisticated approach that helps firms attract prospects (prospective clients and prospective team members), convert visitors into opportunities, and close more deals.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing refers to all the activities a firm does to attract prospects through relevant and helpful content that nurtures the prospect throughout the buying cycle (buyer’s journey). Inbound marketing centers around content and utilizes marketing tools and channels (blogs, social media, SEO) as “magnets.” Rather than interrupt potential clients, like traditional outbound techniques, inbound strategies aim to reach people when they are searching for answers to their questions or looking for solutions to their problems.
Inbound takes digital marketing to the next level. The approach encourages firms to produce relevant content that offers solutions, answers questions, or addresses pain points. Such content is more likely to rank well in search engine results and more likely to attract click-throughs on social media.
One of the key strategies of any inbound marketing effort is tying specific content to the specific stages of the buyer's journey. The buyer's journey model includes the following stages:
- Awareness: During this stage, a "buyer" identifies a problem or a need and starts to research options. It helps to think of the buyer as a potential future client. This client may use Google to search for local resources and find an article on your firm's blog at this stage.
- Consideration: The potential client committed to solving the issue identified during the awareness stage but hasn't committed to any particular product or service. Such a client might find your firm's website through a social media post or a search for more specific details about a service.
- Decision: During this phase, the client is specifically looking to hire a firm, retain a service, or buy a product.
A potential client in the early awareness stage has different interests than one who is ready to make a decision. By attracting people early on, a firm can develop credibility and trust before the client is ready to make a decision. An inbound framework involves building a lead collection strategy in the early stage to facilitate this relationship building. Once a potential client voluntarily shares contact information and interest, it is much easier to convert them from a prospect to a client. The following are examples of type of content by stage.
How HubSpot Manages Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is run by software that streamlines, integrates and automates marketing efforts. At Hollinden, we are big fans of HubSpot, one of the leading inbound marketing platforms. In fact, we are such huge fans, Hollinden is a Certified HubSpot Partner and all of our team members are HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified.
HubSpot enables you to manage inbound activities through one unified platform, including:
- Email: Create email campaigns, personalization, and A/B testing to improve readership and engagement.
- Website management: HubSpot's website platform allows users to create professional looking, mobile responsive websites. One of the most beneficial capabilities is the ability to provide personalized content for every visitor.
- SEO: The platform integrates SEO and prompts you on best practices for each page.
- Marketing automation: Uses the visitor’s behaviors, as well as pre-determined workflows, to tailor email, content and outreach efforts.
- Landing pages: This allows you to offer dynamic content for that visitor while capturing lead information.
- Analytics: The built-in analytics tools brings the insights from all marketing channel under one umbrella.
- Social media: Create, schedule and post social media posts on most major channels. HubSpot also offers features that help with social listening, responding to comments about your firm, and generating leads.
- Blogging: The HubSpot system includes a sophisticated blogging system and also integrates with popular blogging platforms like WordPress.
HubSpot offers a sophisticated, integrated framework for inbound marketing activities. The inbound system can be coordinated with traditional outbound marketing tactics like cold pitching and advertising. Many firms find the framework, emphasis on strategy, and comprehensive hub to save time and boost marketing effectiveness.
Are you interested in learning more? Reach out! We’d love to help. And don’t be overwhelmed if it seems like a lot of work. Hollinden can manage the system for you
Are you interested in learning more? Reach out! We’d love to help. And don’t be overwhelmed if it seems like a lot of work. Hollinden can manage the system for you.
Posted on Thu, November 30, 2017
by Christine Hollinden