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The Five Core Services Of Inbound Marketing

In order to deliver tangible online marketing results to clients, you need to have the skill sets and capabilities to deliver the Five Core Services. These services are each comprised of several tactical components. To execute in a way that delivers real value and maximum impact for your business, all of them need to be performed together.

1. The ability to attract qualified visitors (“buyer personas”) to a website.

2. The ability to develop custom web experiences and create premium content and CTAs/offers that convert those visitors into qualified leads.

3. The ability to construct targeted follow-up campaigns aimed at closing qualified leads and turning them into customers.

4. The ability to create online experiences that continue to delight and engage customers (and influencers) who promote your brand.

5. The ability to measure the results of all the numerous online efforts, and analyze and interpret them accurately to implement next steps is critical.

This core competency is fundamental to those agencies that are able to repeat successes and fine-tune underachieving campaigns to get better results.

1. Attracting More Qualified Visitors

A client or prospect has no online brand awareness. They are un-findable when their ideal buyer persona searches the web using words or phrases germane to his problem or need. Or maybe your business is a new business with zero web presence. Either way, these clients should make agencies with strong traffic generation skills salivate! When working with clients who have little to know brand awareness, you can lay they foundation for their inbound marketing strategy. In doing so you will also open the door to other, higher revenue yielding service opportunities – which you should include in any of your online services contracts.

Generating more traffic for a website is like baking: your client or prospect will need lots of complimentary ingredients that work cohesively to get a good result. There is no single tactic proven to produce worthwhile results by itself. Rather, it’s a set of strategies and supporting tools working together. Those strategies are search engine optimization,

1.1. Search Engine Optimization

You lay the groundwork for success by hashing out a solid search engine optimization strategy with your prospect or client. Meeting or exceeding traffic goals is impossible without this. Target keywords are placed in parts of backend code and in on-page content. This way, search engines can identify your prospect or client’s website as a result worth returning to for specific search terms.

You need to have strategic conversations around finding the right keywords and phrases to target, and do significant upfront research to ensure that the keywords you’re focused on are attainable and worthwhile. Identifying key bloggers and industry influencers with whom to build relationships and create back-links is necessary to increase the site’s authority with search engines.

Monitoring page rankings and traffic is also critical, as anaylsis shows you what’s working, so you can adjust your tactics accordingly.

1.2. Content Through Blogging

Each page on a website is an opportunity to rank for a keyword or phrase. More web pages mean more chances to rank — enter the magic of content creation.

If your client or prospect has a dynamic business with a long list of services and products, but doesn’t have individual pages discussing each one, create and optimize web pages for them. These pages will help improve rankings for branded terms, as well as key industry descriptors and terms.

Having an active blog helps your client to index more pages and rank better, as well as create a home to host more top-of-the sales funnel content to attract more leads.

1.3. Social Media

If a blog gets posted in the forest, will anyone read it? Point being, although lots of calories can get spent creating keyword-rich blog content, its impact on search engine traffic will be severely impeded if links to those articles are the sorts of things that people will want to share in social media – and can do so without much effort.

If you’re an agency with social media campaigning skills, you’ll use clever and provocative language and imagery to post content on networks such as Facebook and Twitter and generate interested clicks, and links, back to a client’s site. At the very least, whenever you include social sharing functionality on the site and blog, others can easily share what they just read directly with their followers just by clicking.

2. Converting Visitors into Leads

Take this scenario: all static pages on your client’s site have been optimized with targeted long-tail keywords, and rankings are improving as a result. You’ve developed an editorial calendar your client is sticking to, and three to four blog posts get published each week. You’re sharing those links in social media, and have client team members actively participating in online conversations around keywords and phrases.

Things are happening. Monthly traffic has started to point up and to the right.

The problem is, this traffic isn’t productive if it’s not converting. For longer retainer deals to be possible, you need to paint a picture for your client of how traffic translates into leads for his sales team. The answer is lead generation through premium content offers and landing pages.

What Does This Consist of?

Agencies who successfully generate website traffic for their clients are only partway there. They need to take what they understand of their client’s ideal buyer persona and develop more premium content offers. These offers move potential customers deeper into the sales funnel. If you who want to successfully convert leads from traffic, you must be able to craft compelling premium content and offers, landing pages, and call-to-action (CTA) buttons for your clients.

Where blogs are public-facing and available for all to digest, premium offers (e.g. webinars and e-book downloads) are linked to from CTA buttons and require visitors to submit their email address on a landing page in order to download or register. When a visitor fills out the form to access this content, a lead is created. You can then use what you know about that content, and your client’s target buyer prospect, to build out both an electronic and human follow-up process.

This is online lead generation in its simplest and most effective form. For businesses seriously considering their website as an enabler of growth, the efficiency in this process can be quickly understood. And from a sales perspective, leads generated from premium educational, persona-targeted content are hugely productive because that persona’s content needs were met.

3. Turning Leads into Customers

You need to work with your clients to build lots of targeted content. From a “leads into customers” perspective, it’s important that the content spans the length and breadth of the buyer persona’s sales funnel. Educational information such as industry trends and “how-to” blog posts are proven winners for the top of the funnel.

However, the middle part of the persona’s buying journey calls for content that is tied more closely to your client’s products and services, and is delivered to them in the format they prefer, wherever they happen to be looking, on any device — in order to turn a lead into a customer.

What Does This Consist of?

All leads, who have downloaded your client’s content, must either have a human follow-up with them personally, or an automated process must do so. Some of that follow-up should be deeper content offers, which invite them to access more of your client’s content. Let the quality of those leads set the priority for how deeply you follow-up.

This is great because these leads keep self-qualifying whenever they opt into these offers! The offers are typically presented through email marketing and marketing automation. They’re also presented on re-visits to your website. And if you are using HubSpot’s content optimization system (COS) and workflows, you personalize a visitor’s experience based on their past actions.

Specialized content will also most likely be available for different segments of leads to see, which you can often determine by their original conversion event. Using the COS and workflows, you’ll offer them additional relevant content that answers the different questions they’ll have at the various stages in their buying journey. Such lead nurturing and segmented email campaigns are used to better target leads and are intended to generate sales.

If you want your efforts to be indisputably connected to sales and revenue goals (and we strongly suggest you do), you must be able to connect the dots between how content feeds and nurtures leads at all stages of the sales funnel.

4. Generating Promoters from Customers

You’ll be working with your clients to create unexpected, valued, positive moments for their customers that are indelibly inscribed in each customer’s mind. Personalized moments that can be reproduced time and again with still more customers. Moments so awesome that customers can’t stop talking about what they experienced to everyone they know — online and offline.

Think about the pizza delivery guy who showed up with your order hot, and he brought some of the restaurant’s homemade salad dressing because he remembered you like to dip your Buffalo wings in it. Or the realtor who vacuumed your whole house after the open house and left you a box of chocolates. You’re still telling those stories, aren’t you?

When customers can’t stop talking about their amazing experiences, they’ve become advocates, evangelists, defenders, apostles, champions — promoters. Ask an Apple customer. Or a Ritz Carlton regular. Or the owner of a Harley Davidson. These folks arewilling to turn down a cheaper product to keep doing business with these brands. They’re energized by their chosen brand. For example: Apple customers are willing to stand outside, despite any weather conditions (sometimes for days!) waiting for a new Apple store to open, texting and tweeting others to join them!
Now that’s advocacy!

Various studies show that delighted customers can be worth 10x [or more] of the value of their initial purchase. Advocates buy more, more often, and actively convinc others to buy as well.

4.1. Creating Advocates

The ingredients for creating brand advocates are right at your fingertips: personalized communication, paired with educational information that’s useful and relevant. When you’re a HubSpot partner, you’ll already be doing this with blogs, premium content, social media, email, and marketing automation to attract, convert, and close. Aided by all of those plus smart CTAs, behavior-based workflows, and the HubSpot COS, you’ll create personalized and eagerly anticipated digital brand experiences for customers.

But creating customer delight takes more than merely implementing such tactics.

4.2. Know Your Customers

First and foremost you must get into your customers’ minds, deeply understanding their experiences, motivations, feelings, and expectations that come from using your brand’s products and services. You need to open the doors, throw out the rulebooks, figure out how to totally wow them, and then do it with style, zest, and sincerity. But “who” does all this? Your employees. All of them.

4.3. The Care and Inspiration of Employees

If your employees don’t love your company, nobody will. They’re the ones delivering the brand experience to your clients (and each other). So inspire them with a shared purpose, empower them with education and tools, hire for the right skills and attitude, and reward them for the right behaviors. That’s a key ingredient for creating delightion. Their behavior, along with products and services, creates the essence of the brand experience.

4.4. Great Brands are Crafted, Lovingly

Great brands don’t happen by accident. They’re the result of deliberate, conscious, strategic thinking, smart planning, and flawless execution. Great brands are more than just cool Super Bowl ads, fun events, and outstanding products and services. All the moments of truth, every customer and employee interaction, no matter how small, can make or break a brand.

5. Measuring, Analyzing, Interpreting

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” And an online marketer would add “worth doing again.

This old saying was seemingly built for inbound marketing. The web’s massive footprint allows for almost total traceability, which means all the tactics and campaigns you manage and build for your clients are instantly measurable. This makes it easy to replicate success and fail fast, but only if you watch the metrics that matter the most to your client’s goal. The set of numbers you need to watch differs according to which services you’ve been hired to deliver.

If you’ve been brought in to increase a client’s online awareness and drive more traffic, several sets of data will interest you and the client signing your checks: Has the site’s overall traffic increased? Have rankings for keywords inherent to the core business improved due to blogging? Have social media and link-building efforts translated into a worthwhile amount of referral traffic?

If you’ve been tasked with lead generation, you’ll focus on conversion metrics and landing pages’ performance. Have the webinars on XYZ topic been getting good registration and live attendance? How are the download numbers versus page visits of our ebook landing pages? What insights can you glean from the numbers to improve your client’s lead generation efforts?

If your client’s goal is growing brand equity, and increasing customer loyalty, then you’ll probably focus on engagement metrics: How many product tutorials were viewed? Which were most popular? How many retweets? Which ones got the most click throughs? How many Facebook comments, shares? How many YouTube comments, reposts? How many LinkedIn comments, shares? How many blog comments? What’s the tone of shares and comments – positive, neutral, negative?

And one of the most important factors across any assignment is an agency’s ability to hand-off quality, sales-ready leads is critical. How are the leads you’re generating being rated by your client’s sales team? Are they converting into customers at a high rate? Lead nurturing sequences and click through rates on segmented email blasts need to be heavily examined in order to make sure the right types of leads are getting handed off to sales.

And underlying all of these is the ability to analyze the data and glean insights into the behaviors and motivations behind them so you can eliminate unsuccessful efforts, tweak and fine-tune those that can be improved, and repeat the successful ones.

This post is courtesy Patrick Shea, Channel Marketing Lead and Matthew Wainwright, Principal Channel Marketing Manager at Hubsopt.

Dan is a Digital Strategist at - responsible for creating strategies to generate marketing leads for clients, utilizing a wide range of online marketing techniques including search; SEO and PPC. If he is not marketing, selling or analyzing data, he is playing soccer, cycling or traveling.

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