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A Step By Step Guide To Inbound Marketing

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Inbound marketing is the promotion of a company or other organization through blog posts, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel

 How Inbound Marketing Works:

  1. Write your compelling story – You’ll need a clearly defined, compelling story. Every company has a story to tell – a brand story, so you can attract your ideal customers and earn your rightful place in the market. Understanding your customer needs and persona can help to define your story as you must relate your brand to them personally.
  1. An effective website that works – 68% of buyers use online search tools to begin their buying process, and this percentage can be higher with certain types of products or services. That means your website’s first impression is crucial.

    An example of a well optimized website. Courtesy: Pixabay

Is your website creating the right impression? Are you able to provide the buyer with the information they’re looking for?  Can your customers clearly differentiate you from your competition? Is your website updated frequently so the information they find there is accurate? Do you have total control over your site’s content?

  1. Generate website traffic – The key to start generating traffic to your website with an Inbound Marketing strategy is that you promote the great content on your website by distributing the content created on your website. Content distribution is low cost and will save you on online advertising budget. Other ways you can drive more traffic to your site include; Search engine optimization (SEO), email marketingpay per click (PPC) advertising, bloggingand social media marketing.
  1. Convert website traffic into leads – To convert traffic into leads you’ll need to have funnels to help you collect those leads. This include free e-books, white papers, events and webinars that will attract your target audience.

Instead of giving information away for free, ask visitors to fill out a short form with their contact details in exchange for the information. Visitors who identify themselves by filling out a landing page form are then treated as leads. Now the prospect has given you permission to contact them. This way, you inform your audience through Inbound Marketing – rather than interrupt them. That means your communication to them is welcome, creating a warmer lead when the time comes for the conversation and ultimately the sale.

  1. Convert leads into customers – Though not every lead that comes through your website is ready for conversion, your ultimate goal is to convert each lead into a customer. To keep your brand – and product or service in the top of mind as prospects move through the sales funnel, you’ll need to implement a lead nurturing workflow. Leads can also be segmented by scoring them until they’re ready to be called by a sales person. This data can be seamlessly integrated into most CRM’s.
  1. Measure – If you care about your marketing ROI (and I bet you do), then you must be willing to invest in the measurement tools that help refine and perfect your marketing efforts. I prefer to use a powerful and fully integrated automation software tool called HubSpot. With HubSpot, you can see, in real-time, how many visitors are coming to your website, where they’re coming from, exactly who’s converting into a lead and who’s converting into a customer.

The four major ways your sales team benefits from inbound marketing.

  1. Lead Generation

Through the efforts of inbound marketing, your organization will create (either in-house or outsourced) compelling content optimized with call-to-action buttons that link to landing pages.. These initiatives work to attract prospects and help them easily navigate your website to find the additional resources you offer.

The intent is to provide them with enough value that they will interact and voluntarily give their contact information and thus turn into viable leads. Throughout this process, the sales team will be fed a list of new leads who are interested in the resources your company has provided. At this point it is worth noting that your sales reps have yet to lift a finger during this automated lead-generation process.

  1. Establish Initial Contact

Picking up right where I left off from the previous section, thanks to automated lead generation, the sales team has a steadily growing pool of leads that have interacted with the company website.  Now, when the sales rep picks up the phone or sends an email, they already have the foundation of the relationship.

Each lead has initiated the connection with your company, eliminating cold calls and other unsolicited sales efforts.  In addition, your sales rep can now tailor his or her phone call/email message to align with to the lead’s journey through your website. If the lead grabbed a particular eBook, your rep can leverage the eBook download as a context for the initial conversation.

Just like that, your cold call is now a warm call with whom it is much easier to establish credibility and develop a relationship.

  1. Enhance Your Position As An Industry Expert

When I mentioned “establish credibility” above, I was touching on the enhanced position achieved by the sales rep through the inbound marketing efforts of the organization. It is no surprise to find that people tend to put their shield up in defense when they receive a sales call; it is the sales rep’s responsibility to resolve objections and convey your company’s unique message to interested prospects.

When communicating with a warm lead, the objection resolution success rate is much lower than when cold calling. If the sales rep connects with a lead over the phone, they can leverage the fact that the lead was interested in their content online. By simply stating your organization’s name, the lead has no doubt you are a real company. Moreover, the lead already considers your brand an expert from the resources they’ve gathered on your website, and they likely will be much more willing to hear how you can benefit them further.

Your sales rep can further enhance this perception by encouraging leads to consume other relevant pieces of content from your website in an attempt to establish your company as the “go-to” source of insight and information.

  1. Build Lasting Relationships

Even after a lead has completed their initial research on your website, they may not be quite ready to buy; they will most likely continue their search elsewhere and gather more resources.

If you’ve established your company as an industry thought-leader, clients will be more likely to revisit your website for resources and continue to build a relationship with your brand. Your sales rep will have an easier time building a relationship with a lead who feels like they’ve already built a lasting relationship with your brand.

Through the efforts of inbound marketing and the personal touch of your sales rep, your company should consistently offer insights, suggestions, and more resources to leads in order to increase their trust in the rep and in your brand.

Winding Up

There are many more benefits that inbound marketing provides to an organization’s sales team, although these four stand out in my mind as the most impactful. By establishing initial contact and encouraging interactive behavior on your website, inbound marketing takes a substantial amount of work out of the sales process.

I challenge you to avoid sweeping these many advantages of inbound marketing under the rug and remain stagnant with your traditional marketing efforts; embrace inbound marketing methodology and be sure to analyze its impact. You won’t be disappointed with the results.

To discover more on Inbound Marketing and how to get started kindly send us an email at content@inversk.co.ke.

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Growth Strategies

Marketing Is The Heart Of Your Business Success

Without marketing, your potential customers may never be aware of your business offerings and your business will not be given the opportunity to progress and succeed.

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Almost every aspect of your business relies on successful marketing. The overall marketing umbrella covers; advertising, public relations, promotions and sales.

Your business may be offering the best product or service in the industry but without marketing, none of your potential buyers would know about it. Your sales may crash and your company may be forced to close. You may wonder why marketing is important. Well here are some of the reasons why you need to implement a successful marketing strategy right away.

  1. Marketing helps in getting the word out.

The initial step to take to succeed in business is to make your potential buyers aware of the product’s existence in the market.

Unless your business is already well known and you have established a customer base, you have to create marketing strategies to create product and service awareness.

Without marketing, your potential customers may never be aware of your business offerings and your business will not be given the opportunity to progress and succeed.

  1. Marketing helps in realizing higher sales.

Once your product, service or brand is familiar to your prospect clients, it increases the chances your clients will make a purchase. As awareness increases, new customers begin to spread word, telling their friends about this amazing new products that they have discovered. Your sales will steadily increase as the word spreads. Without employing marketing strategies these sales will not happen and you are likely to fail in business.

  1. Brand reputation.

The success of any brand rests on a solid reputation. Marketing helps to build brand recognition. When a brand reaches the high expectations of the public, its reputation stands on a firmer ground.

As your reputation grows, your business expands and the sales increase. The reputation of your brand is built through active participation in community programs, effective communication internally and externally, and creating quality products and services.

  1. Marketing fosters an environment in the market place for healthy competition.

Marketing efforts get the word out on pricing of products and services, which not only reaches the intended consumers, but also reaches other companies competing for the consumers’ business.

Marketing will help keep your prices competitive for your business to try to win over consumers before the competition does. Without competition, well-known brands would continue to sell while lesser known or new brands would stand little chance of ever becoming successful.

Marketing facilitates the healthy competition that allows small businesses and new businesses to be successful, enter and grow in the marketplace.

Although marketing is hugely important for a business to succeed, it can also be very expensive. In its first year, a company might spend as much as half of its sales on marketing programs. After the first year, a marketing budget can reach as much as 30 percent sometimes most of the annual sales.

A marketing program that gives your brand the best chance is a healthy mix of different forms of marketing, such as website development, public relations, print and broadcast advertising, design and printing for all print materials, trade shows and other special events.

 

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Business

Which One Suites Your StartUp Business, Publicity or Advertising?

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The process of building a startup company can seem difficult and make one feel intimidated and overwhelmed. It’s not so easy to convince people to buy into your new idea or solutions.

Building credibility for your business can be a tough venture. However it is very important for your customers to have trust in your brand. One of the ways of hacking this is through good publicity.

Publicity is the means of conveying information to the general public through the media. Media here being print media (newspapers, journals, magazine etc), television, radio, email, websites and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, blogs et cetera. With the aim to have the media attract the right attention for you.

Normally, publicity is done through a third party who may not have anything to do with the company,thereby their responses and reviews are given high weight. For instance consider going into television where you are featured because of the new product you have introduced or to give expert advice in line with your product. This gives you massive exposure at nearly no cost. It generates sales and creates awareness for your product.

With advertising, you pay for space or airtime so as to promote your product or service. This can be through print media, television, radio or billboards. This kind of marketing costs a lot of money and companies end up paying lots for this. It is a cost driven adventure, one which would be a hard nut to crack for startups.

So unlike advertising, with publicity we enjoy, a cut in expenses since it goes with nearly no cost and other benefits that come along with that.

How do we do this?

Here are some of the ways of doing this:

List events that may offer good speaking opportunities. Scout for such opportunities and use them wisely. Have you ever been into an event where the speaker spoke about a certain product or service, and then you later searched for more information about those companies? Well, that’s how this works.
Identify publications, reporters and bloggers who cover subjects that are relevant for your company. Offer good information that they can use for their releases. They quote you or an expert from your company and you hit the market. Be sure to prepare well and thorough. Write stories in their interest and offer it to them.
Event sponsorship. This is a great way to spread word of your product or service without actually organizing your own event. It’s a form of partnership where for a simple investment of funds you exchange for marketing. What’s important here is ensuring that the market targeted by the primary organizers is your target group too. Clearly know them and prepare accordingly.
Importance of publicity.

Publicity helps in building credibility and brand awareness putting you in a competitive position.
Publicity is the low cost or no cost strategy option.
Publicity can eventually help in the development of key partnerships.
Publicity places you as experts in your field.
It helps your business stand out and be noticed.
Be intentional.

Like all other things you have to be intentional about publicity. For instance if you have a story about maybe the solutions you offer and how they are better than your competitors, look for journalists. The work of journalists or bloggers is to find such stories. Make a call and present your pitch. When they say yes, this definitely becomes a plus for your business.

Used well, publicity can generate sales and place your business on the map.

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