Is your inbound marketing strategy attracting the right leads?
Carefully-planned campaigns are must-haves for a company's inbound marketing strategy, but they're likely to fall flat if the right people aren't seeing them. So before kicking off a new campaign, here are some questions to ask to help you get a sense on whether you're attracting the right leads for your business.
First of all...what's inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a method of marketing that involves creating content specifically designed to appeal to your ideal customers. That content could be in the form of a blog, eBook, white paper, video, infographic, case study...or pretty much anything else that springs to mind! It draws on the customer trend of researching extensively online before deciding to buy – something that’s particularly apparent in B2B where the order values tend to be high and often involve long, research-based sales cycles. Inbound marketing gives you a fully-fledged digital marketing campaign that delivers relevant messages to your audience and excellent results, as shown here in this study by inbound pioneers HubSpot.
The attract stage
Creating fanfare around your campaign isn't about trying to get everybody to look at that content – it's about getting the right type of people to look at it. Who are those people? They're your customers. They're your ideal prospects. They're those who your product or service is most closely matched to. If you keep them in mind when you're creating content, then you'll be more likely to attract them as visitors to your website. Get that right and it'll benefit the convert, close and delight stages of an inbound marketing funnel. You'll be in a better position to convert them into marketing leads that you can nurture, before closing them as customers, and eventually delighting those customers until they become your advocates. Check out HubSpot's inbound marketing funnel below.
Questions to ask to gauge if you're getting the attract stage right.
1. Is your website seeing increased traffic?
a) Yes, my website is getting gradually more visitors each month
b) Yes, some increase
c) No increase in web traffic
2. Do you have a company blog, where you post at least once a week?
a) Yes, our blog is integral to our strategy
b) We blog sometimes, but it's sporadic
c) No, we don’t blog 3.
3. Is your web content carefully optimised for keywords to help you get found online?
a) Yes, SEO is important for us and we monitor keywords regularl
b) We occasionally analyse keywords
c) We don't really think about SEO
4. What percentage of your web traffic is converting? (ie. they give you their contact details)
a) Consistently above 1%
b) Give or take about 1%
c) Way below 1% 5.
5. Are you getting external websites linking back to your website?
a) Yes, backlinks keep rolling in
b) No, we’re not getting enough referrals
c) We don’t get any links 6.
6. Do you have a community of followers on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn that engages with your content on a regular basis?
a) Yes, we get plenty of retweets, ‘likes’ and shares on Facebook and LinkedIn, and Google ‘+1s’
b) We try to reach them but few people interact with us
c) We don’t use social media
So how did you get on? If you answered
a) to most of them, then give yourself a big pat on the back! You've got a clear idea of who your audience is, you engage them consistently, and you're on track for populating the rest of the inbound marketing funnel with the right kind of leads. Mostly
b) means you probably have an idea of what you should be doing, but feel like your department isn't quite doing enough of it. You're attracting some good leads but not quite enough of them to make the nurturing stage really worthwhile for your business. Mostly
c)...chances are you're either new to digital marketing or just starting out with an inbound marketing approach. No need to fret as they're plenty of blogs and resources to help you with your content strategy, SEO, and social media (here's a LinkedIn guide and here's one on social PPC for B2B). Whether you answered mostly a), b), or c), it's important to realise that having the right skill set in your inbound marketing team is essential for getting great results at each stage of the funnel – for more practical advice on that, download our guide on How to build a winning inbound marketing team.