60% of B2B marketers report that their top challenge in 2016 will be producing engaging content. 57% say measuring content effectiveness will be their greatest challenge, and 57% say producing content consistently will be their biggest struggle.
— 35 Content Marketing Statistics You Need To Know In 2016 - Forbes, Dec 2015

Marketing In the New World

Online marketing has evolved significantly over the last decade, and mostly about competing for first-page Google rankings through SEO and and pouring money into banner and search advertising.

Now Google's much smarter and it actively indexes and preferences original, quality content - so online marketing nowadays is much more about creating interesting content that your potential customers will be interested in. Google will see when you create quality content which your audience shares, and reward you with higher search rankings.

In many ways, this is a great thing. As end users we can be more confident that the results that Google presents are of high quality, and as businesses, if we have a great story and unique perspective, we have an avenue to share it.

Furthermore, the path to your web site is not just via Google anymore. Social media networks, particularly Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest in Australia, have experienced massive local adoption and all serve as great platforms to connect to potential customers as well.

In this content-driven world of marketing, the challenge here is it's often difficult to think of new topics to write about and promote, let alone spend the time writing, proof-reading and publishing content.

And writing up content is really only one tactic of a much broader strategy that ought to be in place to maximise your businesses success online.

THE Inbound Marketing METHODOLOGY

Hubspot is generally accepted as pioneering the term (and the methodology) of Inbound Marketing back in the mid 2000's. They are also a leading software vendor when it comes to helping businesses structure and manage their marketing efforts, and we find their products are particularly well-suited to small and mid-sized businesses (typically from 5 to about 250 employees).

As Hubspot state, "Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be."

Inbound Marketing can be broken into four main areas;

  1. Attract - the purpose of this stage is to gain the interest of people who didn't previously know of your brand or what products and services you offer, without unnecessarily spending all your marketing budget on advertising. This is achieved through identifying your target audiences (known as persona's), understanding what interests them, and where they spend time online, then creating content which gains their interest and brings them in to your brand.

  2. Convert - once you have an engaged audience, it's critically important that you can identify each person to enable your marketing efforts to continue in a more personalised, targeted manner. The "convert" stage is about encouraging your audience to volunteer their details with you, in exchange for you providing them something of value and opening up a continued and more personalised dialogue by treating them as a "lead".

  3. Close - this stage is where the rubber hits the road - as it is where you aim to sell to your leads and win them as customers. More tactical, specific communications are typically shared with people in this stage, often in support of the sales team who will be owning the deal. In many cases CRM's become a core part of this journey as they enable marketers to measure the success of their campaign efforts over time in actually converting customers.

  4. Delight - marketing efforts really shouldn't end once a customer has been won. The delight stage of the Inbound Marketing methodology is focused on ensuring your customers have a great experience with your organisation. Some common tactics that can be used here are instructional video's, surveys (such as NPS), a welcome series of emails containing useful tips, and social media monitoring to listen and respond to any customer feedback.


Although these stages are all set out equally above, it is important to note that depending on your type of business, and your current marketing journey some stages are likely to require more focus than others, at least initially.

 

What We Do

As Melbourne based Hubspot consultants, we can help your organisation define what your Inbound Marketing strategy should look like, what activities you should do first, and how you can measure the success of your inbound marketing efforts. Depending on the amount of time and money you wish to dedicate to this initiative, we can spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks building this strategy with you.

We will also help you determine what software you may need to support your inbound marketing strategy. For example, if we think you will benefit from a CRM, whether you need to consider purchasing HubSpot, whether you need our help to establish and build a blog, or if simply signing up for a Mailchimp account will suit your needs.

Once you have defined your Inbound Marketing strategy, our content production service is designed to help small to mid-sized companies create some or all of this content (authoring whitepapers, commissioning surveys, writing blogs etc) so you can focus on running your business.