4 Ways to Get Better ROI through Inbound Marketing

ROI With Inbound Marketing

According to HubSpot’s ‘State of Inbound 2014’ report, more than twice as many marketers (45%) cited inbound marketing as their primary source of lead generation versus outbound (22%). But the question is, how do you make inbound marketing work for your business?

Here Are 4 Things You Can Do For Better ROI  

Creating a Buyer Persona

Buyer persona

A buyer persona can be created with the help of demographic information, challenges, goals and objectives of your target customers. Your target audience can be your existing customers and prospective customers. This can be done by interviews, surveys and research. Here are some practical ways of creating your buyer persona:

  • Uncover trends, by looking into your database, about how your leads find you and how they consume your content.
  • When creating forms for your website, use fields that record important information. For example, if your personas vary based on geography, make sure to ask each lead about their geographic location in the form.
  • Speak to your sales team and consider what they have to say about the leads they are speaking to the most. Are there are observations they have made about the leads?
  • Get feedback from your current and prospective customers. Analyze what they have to say about your products and services.
  • There is no definitive number of people you should interview. But once you can accurately predict what your interviewee is going to say, we’d say it’s time to stop.

How to use your information to create a persona

  • Fill in your personas demographic information.
  • Share what you have learned about your personas motivations. Tie it all together to show how your company can help them.
  • Prepare your sales team for conversations with the personas. Create a list of concerns your customers had and prepare the team to answer these questions if they come up.

Choose The Right Platform

Social Media

Whatever social platform you choose; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ your social presence and engagement is responsible for creating a good brand. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself, to find the right platform for your business.

  • Who are the present users?

For example, Pinterest is dominated by the female demographic. Of its estimated 10.4 million users, 80 percent are female. Nearly 30% are between the ages of 25 and 34, with the average user spending nearly 98 minutes a day perusing the site. Ask yourself if this audience is a relevant target for your business. Do not try to fit your business model to suit a social platform.

  • What type of content do they like to share?

Are your products and services popular with the trending topics on a particular site? Do they have similar interests? Facebook and Twitter are on top when it comes to sharing content. But for business audiences, LinkedIn or any such industry specific social sites might be a better choice. It provides wonderful networking opportunities with others in your industry.

Understanding the difference in social sites will help you choose the right one for your business.

  • How much time do you require to participate in a social site?

You need to make sure you do not have too much on your plate. You will get better ROI if you choose a few key networks and put the required effort to utilize its full power. Leading social sites have made sharing fairly easy. But the key is to have quality content ready to be shared on these sites.

Designing a Successful Campaign

successful online campaign

Marketing campaigns aren’t just for product launches. You need to treat every single marketing activity as a marketing campaign. Here is how you go about doing that:

  • Start by identifying your audience. The demographics, values, challenges, objectives etc.
  • Set attainable goals. You should know where you want to reach before you start. For example, generate 5000 leads who are interested in search engine marketing by December 2015.
  • Zero-in on the keywords you want to rank for as a result of the campaign. Use them across your headlines and your content. Do not stuff your content with keywords. Be consistent in keywords you use to optimize for search.
  • Create landing space and offers. Create offers to attract prospective customers and landing pages to convert those visitors. Make sure you include the keywords that you decided to rank for.
  • Get the word out. Send an email. Write related blogs. Share content on social media.

Marketing Automation

marketing automation

Once you have leads, it becomes very important to nurture these leads. Marketing automation helps in doing so. Here is how:

  • Set specific targets. Targeting a group of buyers with relevant messages increases the likelihood of purchase. Do not limit yourself to their job titles and demographics. Hone in on how they responded the previous campaigns or what they do when they visit your site. Jupiter Research compared untargeted campaigns with targeted campaigns finding that conversion rates can be up to 400% higher for the latter.
  • Nurture leads till they are ready to make a purchase. This is the biggest advantage of marketing automation. When people first visit your site they are not ready to make a purchase. But eventually, they will be. Marketing automation lets you set up a series of communication designed for different stages of the marketing funnel.
  • Get personal with your customers. Having access to a high level of data about your customers and prospects, it will be easier to personalize communications and services to your customers.

 

Use these steps for your inbound marketing and it will improve your brand value, customer satisfaction, and retention. All in all, it will hike up your ROI through inbound marketing. Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

The Thin Line Between Using Social Media Effectively And Polluting The Social Web

Social media as an effective marketing channel has been around for a while now and at times it seems the word has been thrown around so much that some businesses fail to really understand what it means before deciding they want to “use social media” to “increase traffic”, “increase sales” and demand “ROI”.

Among the Indian business fraternity, this divide in understanding how social media is used to build a presence or a brand is seems ever so prevalent after speaking to several business development executives in charge of using the social web in their marketing mix. There some Indian businesses that have used social media “brilliantly” to carve themselves a niche on the web using innovative and authentic ways to engage an audience. They’ve been able to make a connection with their target audiences by giving them something new, something useful, using blogging as a medium to communicate effectively engage their community.

These are often the companies who have said:

– We’d like to try something fresh, we need to communicate to our audience in a way that’s not direct selling or pushing people to buy from us but rather letting them know we’re here in this space and we’d like to connect with others who are interested too

– Let’s plan this right, take the time and invest in building a strong relationship with people online via quality content and engagement

– Of course we need ROI but we’re in it for the long haul and we want our online audiences to “like us” so we won’t jeopardize our brand, reputation or values as a business by crossing (invisible) boundaries that exist in the social web world.

These are the kind of companies you will see:

– Blogging with  a personality and a genuine voice

– Developing content that audiences will find useful

– Using Twitter not just on auto pilot to advertise a single link or two from their website but share, have conversations and open a communication channel with others there. You’ll notice their followers may grow more gradually but they have relationships with these followers and a genuine following.

– Using Facebook to build communities while understanding that peoples privacy and online space also needs to be respected

Lesson : – Everybody Loves Elmo As Well As Businesses That Understand And Respect The Social Web Environment

Then there are companies who see the social web as another marketing channel not very different from a large telemarketing or email list which needs to be pounded, messaging needs to be pushed out in front of people as possible and the objective is use all means to drive sales fast! These are businesses (And sadly a large number of so called SEO / Web Marketing / Social Media / Content Generation firms) that end up not using…but abusing the social web and effectively pollute it with a lot of the unwanted or spam content that you and I see and ignore out there.

These businesses have said:

– We need rapid link building to our website… we don’t care how you do it but we need to see 4000 links every month. Use auto commenters, leave multiple comments on anyone else’s sites,   publish hundreds of posts with links to our sites….we don’t care what the posts say as long as they have our keywords.

– Our objective is to go from 0 visitors to 100,000 visitors in the first month. We don’t care who they are or how they come to our site….just make it happen.

– If we spend $X for the first 2 weeks, we would like to see $X into 10 in sales by the end of these two weeks otherwise it means social media doesn’t work.

– We’ll create a Facebook account and Twitter account, link them to an auto sharing tool that lifts feeds from rss and then get someone to add 500 random followers everyday so they follow our advertising links and we get clicks that convert

– If you have a few hundred followers on Facebook and Linkedin, lets direct message each one with a bulk message and measure the results

– Create 20 profiles on each social bookmarking and networking site to promote our website.

– Post 30 Facebook updates on the page daily so all that a follower sees in their feed is us….doesn’t matter if it’s useful for them or not.

– Have all our content and links to the site replicated on all social sites like Squidoo, Article marketing tools, article distribution sites, Blogger and every other site.

– Join forums and we’ll post several great reviews of our own business under fake names

It’s these businesses and companies that claim these are genuine social media marketing tactics that are responsible for automated junk comments, tonnes of irrelevant articles and posts, spam email campaigns, spam messages in your Facebook, Linkedin and social accounts, shares that annoy you in your content sharing accounts, un related ping backs and links to your blog and sites, spam discussions in your forums or discussion groups and all that’s polluting the otherwise awesome social web environment.

It’s possible that with the sheer number of people these campaigns are pushed at that it could result in some short term benefits. However, do you really develop a positive vibe about a business that does this to you and ruins your social web experience? Would you really want to buy from or connect with them?

Nobody Likes Darth Vader Or Businesses That Pollute And Disrespect The Social Web For Profit

There’s a fine line between using and abusing social media. Each business needs to respect that the social web world exists on it’s own terms and to fit in, you need to be a part of that experience and contribute something constructive to peoples experience while respecting that they get to choose whether they want to engage with you or not. One needs to understand how to build a presence there gradually developing your influence and not try and get there with brute force like the offline marketing and advertising world.

The social web is not kind to those who use “corporate might” and “hard selling”. Take the time to understand what people want, what they don’t mind, how they interact in this online environment and  you’ll make a place for yourself there that will be yours for a long time to come.