Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Boosting, Promoting, & Sponsoring to Increase Your Reach

Posted by Kami Valdez

July 25, 2015

Reaching your target audience on social networks takes time, effort, and quality content. You can cheat the time and effort involved by investing in social media advertising using targeted ad campaigns. 

Boosting, Promoting, & Sponsoring are the best way to ensure that your posts reach the audience you choose. Your post will appear in the news feeds of your prospects, giving you a better chance that it will be seen. 

How-To-Increase-You-Post-Reach-On-Top-Social-Netowrks 

Kristi Hines at the Social Media Examiner has written a great article "How To Increase Your Post Reach on Top Social Networks" that explores the top social networks that offer promoted post options and how they help you reach your prospects on each social site.

If you are curious to know what your leads are costing you, check out our Lead Cost Estimator.  

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Topics: Lead Generation, Social Media


Exactly When Did Marketing Stop Working?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

July 24, 2015

Marketing, well at least traditional marketing, stopped working in 2008!

The combination of the 2008 financial crisis and recession, plus the never-ending advances in technology, killed it.

Read on and I'll tell you exactly what happened.

My Marketing's Not Working Why?

Traditional marketing was never easy, but it did work. After all, people do need and want our products and services. Just get their attention and some will buy.  

Buyers used to keep Yellow Page phone books and other print directories handy. Not any more. Yellow Pages started to decline in 2008, and revenues are now just a fraction of early-2000 levels. Buyers have changed and don't do what they used to do.

No worries, prospects just moved to the web to find your business. Except the web changed. Apple launched the first iPhone in mid-2007. And by 2009, smartphone sales really accelerated.  By 2014, smartphone web use surpassed desktops for web searches. Technology changed and buyers don't do what they used to do.

At least prospects still rely on word-of-mouth referrals, right? Only, referrals changed. Social networking usage took off for most adults in 2008 and referrals went along for the ride. Of course, referrals still matter to many companies. But, you need to be on social sites to get great referrals. Buyers have changed and don't do what they used to do.

If you want even more data points:

  • The recession caused many businesses to rush to Google AdWords. Before 2008, you could buy many keyword clicks for 50 cents or less. Now, the same clicks cost $2 or more.

  • Before Google's Panda update in 2011, there were are bunch of SEO tricks that could get you easy traffic. Then Google put the Schemers and Scammers out of business, and they took out easy SEO, too.

  • That beautiful website you bought a couple of years ago still looks great. But, it's not setup for mobile devices and isn't "responsive." Google is now penalizing you for not having a “mobile-friendly” site.

Bottom Line: Buyers have changed and don't do what they used to do. Fast changes in web technology will keep changing the buying process, and you’ve got to keep up.

Buyers Have Changed - You Must Adapt

In many markets, buyers refuse to talk with a salesperson until late in their buying process. It used to be that your salespeople had all the relevant data. Not anymore. There's information on nearly any topic all over the web. Your sales team used to have control of the sales process. Now, the buyers are in charge.

There are a few exceptions, but they are hard to find. One of my business friends runs a waste management business. He's got a fleet of trucks that drive around and collect garbage, so he went looking for some Route Management software to maximize efficiency. The Routing software companies are all on the web, but their websites are bland and there's little information. My friend wanted to buy, but was frustrated. It won't be long before one of these companies discovers that buyers have changed, and they'll dominate their competitors.

What's a CEO to do?

Prospects and customers still crave useful information to help them run their lives and businesses. They want it on their terms and time schedule. Deliver quality education and they'll welcome talking to your salespeople—at least once they are ready for a sales call.

It makes no sense to resist the wave of changed buyers. Give them what they want. Create quality content (Information that's helpful, educational, and easy to read). Then, get the content in front of your prospects and customers.

And don’t forget your current customers. They want access to your knowledge, and they'll appreciate you for helping.

The method for creating and delivering quality content is called Inbound Out marketing. It provides affordable leads for nearly all business-to-business companies and for many consumer-oriented firms.

OK, but how do I get actual leads for my sales people?

Easy. You're being helpful and spreading your knowledge far and wide—prospects are paying attention. Add an offer to your content. To get the offer, prospects must provide their name and email address.

So now you can call and email like crazy? Well, no. The buyers are still in charge. You'll just waste the good will you've created.

Instead, create content and offers that pull prospects down the sales funnel. They won't go any further than they want. They are still in charge. You can't force it. Make them feel safe and add value.

Prospects who are qualified and have the budget will gladly move through your funnel. Even better, your sales team can focus on closing sales instead of prospecting and presenting.

How do I know this will work and will I get a good ROI on my marketing investment?

Digital marketing is very measurable which lets us carefully monitor what’s working and identify opportunities for improvement.

However, focusing on ROI is in some ways the wrong question.

Buyers have changed. If you want to stay in the game, you've got to have an Inbound Out marketing strategy and deliver quality content. Otherwise, your competitors will quickly make you irrelevant.

Digital marketing has become a cost of being in business. Like having phones or office space. When was the last time someone tried to calculate the ROI of office space? No one does because it’s a cost of being in business.

To learn how Inbound Out marketing can work for your company, get a free Lead Boost Review.

Schedule Lead Boost Review

Takeaways
  • Buyers have changed and don't do what they used to do.

  • Fast changes in web technology will continue to impact your business. Make sure you’ve got professionals on your team that can handle all the elements.

  • Inbound Out marketing delivers a framework to help you adjust to always changing buyers and get more good leads.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing


A 7-Step Method to Find Untapped Keywords in Any Niche

Posted by Michael Karp

July 23, 2015

Keyword research is the first step in any SEO campaign. If you get it wrong, you could waste valuable time and resources trying to rank for impossible keywords.

If you get it right, you set yourself up to attract heaps of traffic your competitors don’t even know about.

Here’s why:

If you pick a keyword with a ton of search volume, but it’s very competitive, you’re going to spend a lot of time and resources to rank for it, with little traffic to show for your efforts.

However, if you find a keyword that your competitors haven’t discovered yet, you can optimize a page around it and end up ranking in days/weeks (rather than months).

A-7-Step-Method-to-Find-Untapped-Keywords-in-Any-Niche

The success of your SEO campaigns all starts with keyword research. And the holy grail is finding untapped keywords that allow you to rank quickly and easily.

I use a 7-step process to find untapped keywords. That’s what I’m going to walk you through today.

Let’s get to it:

Step 1. Find Your Topic

Let’s assume you want to create a piece of content, optimize it around a keyword, and rank for it in Google. Here are the top two results we need:

  1. Social shares

  2. Backlinks

Social shares give your content exposure, help with ranking, and provide social proof (which makes link building easier). Backlinks tell Google that other people/sites think your content is valuable, which tells Google that it’s worth ranking. Simple as that.

To get these results, you need to find a topic that is 1) shareable and 2) linkable. Here’s how to do it:

Head over to BuzzSumo and type in a topic related to your niche:

BuzzSumo shows you all of the content related to that keyword that has gotten the most social shares. Look at each piece and see if they’ve received a good amount of shares:

If they have, you have just found a topic that’s prone to attracting social shares. If that topic doesn’t get a lot of shares, simply search for another one until you find a topic that does.

Now you need to make sure this topic is linkable. To do this, head over to Google and do a search for that same topic.

Grab the URLs for each article in the top 10-20 results. Then plug each one into a backlink checker (like Ahrefs or SEO Spyglass). This will tell you how many backlinks each article has:

If the top ranking articles are attracting a lot of links, you’ve just found a linkable topic. Now you know that this topic is proven to get shared on social media, attract backlinks, and rank in search engines.

You’re already miles ahead of your competitors.

Move on to Step 2.

Step 2. Initial Keyword Research

This step is quick and painless. Plug keywords related to your topic into a keyword research tool (like the Google Keyword Planner).

Make sure the top keywords are getting at least 300-400 monthly searches. This range isn’t set in stone, but generally, this means you will get a fair amount of traffic for the work you put in.

Here’s an example:

(Note: If you’re using the Google Keyword Planner, don’t worry about the “Competition” column. This is paid advertising competition. Not how hard/easy it is to rank.)

If your topic is getting a fair amount of monthly searches, move on to the next step.

Step 3. Gather a Master List of Keywords To Fit Your Topic

Remember, you’re looking for untapped keywords that will be easier to rank for than the ones your competitors are targeting. This means you need to find a lot of potential keywords to analyze.

In this step, you’re going to pull together a master list of keywords to potentially optimize your content around.

Here’s how:

First, create a spreadsheet to record keywords and their corresponding monthly searches. Then brainstorm as many possible keyword variations of your topic as you can.

Plug these into a keyword research tool and pull up their monthly search volume. If any have a fair amount of searches, add them to your spreadsheet.

Then, do a Google search for the keyword with the highest search volume, and scroll down to the “Searches related to…” section:

Grab any search terms that might apply to your content, plug them into your keyword tool, and pull up their monthly searches.

Add any that get a good amount of search volume into your spreadsheet. If you’re using the Google Keyword Planner, don’t forget to also scroll down and sift through the keyword ideas that it generates for you:

Then search for another high-volume keyword, scroll down to the “Searches related to section…” and repeat the process. Keep doing this until the only new keywords you’re finding have a very small search volume.

This is your master list.

Arrange them in order of highest monthly searches to least. Your untapped keyword is most likely hiding in the top 20-30. All you have to do is find it.

Step 4. Competitive Analysis #1 - Domain Authority and Page Authority

The next three steps involve running competitive analyses on the top 20-30 keywords in your spreadsheet.

The first metric you’re going to look at is the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) of the top ranking results for each keyword.

Here’s how:

First, install the MozBar Chrome/Firefox extension. Then do a search for your first keyword.

Click the ‘M’ symbol in your toolbar. This will pull up data for each search result:

Take a look at the PA and DA for each result. The higher the numbers, the harder it will be to rank above those pages (in general). The lower the numbers, the easier it will be.

Record the PA and DA for each result into your spreadsheet.

Step 5. Competitive Analysis #2 - On-Page SEO

On-page SEO tells Google what your content is about. It also tells Google how relevant your page is to the target keyword.

One of Google’s top goals is to provide the most relevant results for any given search term. So here’s where you can make a stand with your content:

If the sites currently ranking for your keyword are not well-optimized for that term, you can optimize your content better than them and immediately get a leg up. Often, this can trump Domain and Page Authority (all else being equal, like backlinks).

Remember, on-page SEO is about relevance. Let’s see if you can make your page more relevant:

Do a search for each term once more, and look at the top 10 results. How many instances of the exact-match keyword do you notice? Look in the title, URL, and description.

If you don’t see many, that’s one opportunity to optimize your content better than them.

Next, scan each article and look at the keyword distribution. Look for exact-match keywords and keyword variations in the intro, body content, and subheadings.

Are they over-optimizing and/or under-optimizing for the keyword? If so, you can optimize your content better than them.

Move on to Step 6.

Step 6. Competitive Analysis #3 - Length and Depth of Content

Next, go to each each article and look at content length. Google wants to rank long content, because in general, it contains more information and is more valuable/relevant to what people are searching for.

You also want to look at how actionable each piece of content is. Are people doing a search, going to this piece of content, and coming out of it with more knowledge? Or is it only surface level information?

Actionable content also tends to get linked to and shared more often, so if you can create content that is longer, more actionable, and provides more value than what’s currently ranking, that’s another opportunity for you to outshine the competition.

Come up with a metric and record how these two levels of competition (on-page SEO and Content Length/Depth) stack up for each keyword. I usually use a scale from 1-5.

Then move on to the final step:

Step 7. Choose the Keyword With the Best Competition-to-Search Volume Ratio

Look over your top 10-20 keywords and the data you’ve complied. Identify the ones with the least competition.

Then look at those keywords and determine which one has the best competition-to-search volume ratio. This will give you the best ROI when trying to rank for this keyword.

That’s your untapped keyword.

Simply create your content, optimize it for that keyword, build backlinks, and you're on your way to a first page ranking and targeted search engine traffic.

To Wrap It Up

I hope this article gave you some insight into keyword research, but also how to strategically navigate your SEO campaigns.

It’s much easier and faster to rank for multiple, lower competition, lower search volume keywords than one high competition keyword (despite how many monthly searches it gets).

Spend some time on the keyword research process, because it makes the rest of your SEO campaign that much easier.

Takeaways

  • Keyword research is one of the most important parts of SEO

  • The success of your SEO campaigns starts with keyword research

  • Follow these 7 steps to find untapped keywords that are much easier (and faster) to rank for

 

To learn more about Inbound Out Marketing Strategy, and to get a complete evaluation of your situation, schedule a Free Lead Boost Review.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing


Inbound Out Marketing – 3 Things To Do Right Now

Posted by Kami Valdez

July 18, 2015

Inbound Out Marketing combines inbound marketing with targeted outreach. When you combine these two strategies, you reach more prospects, find more leads, and close more deals--all at an affordable cost.

There are many different ways your business can use Inbound Out Marketing, but there are 3 specific parts of this strategy you can focus on right now to be successful.

Inbound-Out-Marketing--3-Things-To-Do-Right-Now-InboundTeam

1. Targeted List. It is essential that you have a very clear picture of who your ideal prospects are. If you start with the Precise Prospect Profile it will help ensure you focus on only the best prospects.

Inputs on LinkedIn, trade show lists, past customer lists, and purchased lists--any source is fair game, but these are just names. Filter the names through the Precise Prospect Profile and compile a list of great prospects.

LinkedIn can help you build a list of companies who are highly likely to need your services at some point in the future. You can read more about that here.

2. Buyer Focused Content. In parallel with targeted list building, inventory your existing marketing content and create appropriate new materials. You want buyer-focused content that helps prospects and answers their questions.

Know your buyers’ most pressing issue, pain or desire. Talk about benefits, not features. Use your website to teach prospects about your product or service and how you are the solution to their problem.

Quality content is what gets visitors to your site. Buyers love useful and interesting content because they can get insights and ideas to improve their lives--on their own terms and schedule.

3. Content Outreach. If you know and can discover your ideal prospects, contact them directly. Find them on LinkedIn or through other social sites and lists.

Send your quality prospects messages offering content. The objective is to see who responds--they are the likely buyers. Use different channels including LinkedIn, other social channels, email, and direct phone calls. Do whatever works to reach your buyers.

Once you know who your prospects are, and you have reached out to them with useful content, you can start establishing a connection with your company and building the relationship.

Takeaways

  • Knowing your prospects, and providing buyer-focused content, helps find hidden prospects
  • Combining inbound marketing with targeted outreach helps your team reach more prospects, find more leads, and close more deals.

To learn more about Inbound Out Marketing Strategy, and to get a complete evaluation of your situation, schedule a Free Lead Boost Review.  

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


9 Epic Articles to Sharpen Your Inbound Marketing Skills

Posted by Michael Karp

July 15, 2015

Like any skill, inbound marketing takes practice.

Your skills get rusty, your knowledge gets outdated, and you start to fall behind on the times.

But just like taking a few months off a sport, it’s much easier to brush up on your skills than it is to learn them all over again.

That’s why I collected some of the top articles out there on digital marketing. These posts get down to the nitty gritty facets of inbound marketing that tend to get neglected over time.

9-Epic-Articles-to-Sharpen-Your-Inbound-Marketing-Skills-InboundTeam

Here are the facets these articles will help you brush up on:

  • The types of content that drive traffic

  • Well-oiled sales funnels

  • Blog promotion

  • Lead generation

  • Conversion rate optimization

  • And more

Without further ado, let’s take a look at 9 epic articles that will sharpen your inbound marketing skills:

1. 15 Types of Content That Will Drive You More Traffic -- Quick Sprout

Neil Patel has grown Quick Sprout, KISSmetrics, and Crazy Egg into some of the top marketing/business blogs around. He’s done it through consistentlyproducing in-depth and valuable content and with an uncanny ability for growing blogs.

In this article, he identifies 15 types of content that tend to drive traffic more than others. These types naturally get shared more often, rank better in search engines, and spark more conversations about you and your business.

Here are a few of those types:

  • Infographics

  • Guides

  • Book reviews

  • How-to's

  • Lists

There are 10 more to check out in the full article, and Neil explains exactly how to create each one and what you need to keep in mind.

2. How Content Promotion Works: 11 Strategies to Try -- Buffer

The Buffer blog has done a great job of combining effective ideas with concrete data and results.

They regularly get hundreds (if not thousands) of social shares on their content (spearheaded by Kevan Lee). They know a thing or two about content promotion.

This article breaks down 11 of Buffer’s favorite content promotion strategies. Each one is packed with screenshots and insights to help you put them into action.

The article itself got more than a whopping 4,000 social shares. Check out the full article to snag a few of these shares yourself.

3. Customer Value Optimization: How to Build an Unstoppable Business -- Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer is one of the foremost experts in online business. They not only teach people digital marketing, they practice it with countless other businesses they own and operate themselves (in almost every niche under the sun).

In the process, they’ve developed a world-class sales funnel. They implement this funnel in almost every business they dip their feet into. The principle is called “Customer Value Optimization,” and it’s about understanding the buying cycle and how to get the most value out of each customer.

This is the same system that Starbucks and McDonald's use to dominate their industries, and your can read the full article here to learn how to do it yourself.

4. I Built A 6 Figure Blog In 12 Months - This Is How I Did It… -- Matthew Woodward

Matthew Woodward is a solo blogger who went from a lonely Wordpress site to a Technorati Top 100 Business Blog in one year.

He is one of the most transparent bloggers out there. Matthew puts all of his SEO, affiliate marketing, and content marketing secrets out on the table for others to learn from. He even divulges every detail of his revenue in monthly income reports.

This 14,000-word article chronicles Matthew’s 12-month journey to a 6-figure blog. Arguably, it’s one of the most epic case studies ever.

If you want to build a 6-figure blog, Matthew’s full article is your roadmap.

5. How I Grew My Email List From Zero To 1,634 Subscribers In 5 Months -- Robbie Richards

When it comes to actionable marketing advice, Robbie Richards gets it done. Almost every article is backed by his own experience and results.

From content promotion to link building, he covers the topics that so many businesses need help with -- including list building.

In this case study, Robbie shows you the step-by-step process he took to go from zero to 1,634 subscribers in just 5 months. He did it starting out with no traffic, no followers, and the only money he spent was on a $21 Facebook ad.

Email is still the number one marketing channel in terms of ROI. Read Robbie’s full article to learn how to tap into this resource.

6. The Psychology of Your Customers -- Derek Halpern

Derek Halpern is a legend in the marketing community. He’s largely credited with the “You should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it” philosophy.

He has also become a foremost expert in copywriting and selling online courses.

In this article, Derek breaks down a distinct “type” of visitor who comes to your site -- The Sideliner. The sideliner doesn’t buy your products/services right away, but they might buy them in the future.

Most of your visitors will be Sideliners. These are the people you need to convince to take action and become buyers.

Derek then breaks down Sideliners into four types:

1. The Indifferent

2. The Skeptic

3. The Worrier

4. The Procrastinator

Each one offers their own unique set of barriers to making the final purchase. Read the full article to learn how to break down these barriers and convert more of your visitors into raving customers.

7. 32 Clever Lead Generation Ideas For Your Next Marketing Campaign -- Unbounce

This article comes from Unbounce, one of the top pieces of landing page software out there. They not only produce a great product, but their blog is full of conversion-centered advice to help you take full advantage of it.

The author of this article, Josh Haynam, gives you 32 ways to improve your lead generation efforts. Each one is backed by either a case study or example (or both!) to help you see the idea in action.

Every business need to generate leads. Discover 32 ways to do just that by reading the full article right here.

8. 17 Content Marketing Tips for Any Size Budget -- The Content Marketing Institute

The Content Marketing Institute has established themselves as the authority in content marketing. They offer training, consulting, research studies, and, of course, lots of free content on their blog.

One of their most popular posts describes 17 subtle (yet effective) tips for taking full advantage of what content marketing has to offer. From repurposing your content to relating articles to your favorite TV shows, it’s hard to read this article and not have a few more ideas to add to your editorial calendar.

Struggling to keep your content fresh and lively? Check out the full article.

9. How We Made $1 Million for Moz -- Conversion Rate Experts

This is one of my favorite case studies of all time. Conversion Rate Experts live up to their name, as they break down exactly how they improved Moz’s conversion rate and increased annual revenue $1,000,000 in the first 4 months of work.

Wow.

So how did they do it? Conversion Rate Experts take a big picture approach to conversion optimization. It’s not about tweaking a headline here or a trust symbol there.

It’s about digging deep into the business, talking to customers, potential customers, uncovering pain points, and using that knowledge to break down objections on their landing pages.

Want to see how conversion rate optimization is done the right way? Grab a coffee and read the full case study here.

To Wrap It Up

Inbound marketing is a skill. Like any skill it needs to be practiced and brushed up on from time to time.

The information in these articles is not exhaustive. They don’t cover every facet of inbound marketing, but for the facets they do cover, these articles are some of the top resources on their respective topics.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much I did.

To learn more about Inbound Out Marketing Strategy, and to get a complete evaluation of your situation, schedule a Free Lead Boost Review.

Schedule Lead Boost Review

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


Secrets of Successful Inbound Out Marketing

Posted by Kami Valdez

July 11, 2015

What kind of leads do you want? The kind of leads that seem qualified or the kind of leads that actually turn into buyers? 

Inbound Out Marketing combines inbound marketing with targeted outreach. It is the one, two punch your business needs. When you combine inbound marketing with targeted outreach, you reach more prospects, find more leads, and close more deals.

How do you know what will generate leads for your business? Keep reading and I will help you. If you still have questions, schedule a Lead Boost Review

Combining-Inbound-and-Outbound-Marketing-Successfully-InboundTeam

Inbound Out Marketing is not about getting likes or followers. It is a methodology to start conversations with qualified prospects and generate more leads.

Let's get started!

1. Plan your strategy.

If you haven't already, look at your ideal clients and develop a persona for them. Make sure you know the company size, type, job title, etc. that you want to target.

If you want to really develop your personas, use the Precise Prospect Profile Kit. The worksheet and template will help you discover everything you need to know about the ideal personas for your business. 

2. Develop marketing content.

If you don't have it already, develop content for each segment of your sales funnel. Create content that builds awareness--pulling your audience towards you, and content that compels your audience to act--building trust.

For top of the funnel prospects, write list posts. For middle of the funnel prospects, write "how to" posts. For bottom of the funnel prospects write posts that help answer your top sales questions.

3. Put together a targeted prospect list.

Find the appropriate prospects for your business. If you are not talking to qualified prospects, the chances of anyone turning into a customer are very minimal. 

Do an Advanced Search on LinkedIn by job title, location, company size, etc. to find your target prospects. Tag these prospects in LinkedIn and add them to your CRM.

4. Establish a meaningful connection.

Building meaningful relationships takes time. However, there are definitely some things you can do to save time. 

Once you have your list of target prospects created, and you are certain you want to connect with them, there are a few things you can do to make a good first impression:

  1. Look at which LinkedIn Groups they are a part of, join these groups and join in on the discussion. Be helpful by answering any questions you can or commenting on posts in those groups. This will help make you known to this prospect, and others as well.
  2. Most people that use LinkedIn will have a link to their website and Twitter profile. If they have a Twitter account, follow them and retweet some of their content. If they write a blog, share some of their content. 

Once you have done this a few times, send them a message through a group you share and let them know you are interested in connecting on LinkedIn.

5. Reach out to those prospects.

Once you have a list of prospects put together, and your prospect has accepted your connection request,  it is time to reach out. Targeted outreach gets your quality content directly to the right audience.

Send your new prospect helpful information and you will build the relationship. You will become a trusted advisor before they are ready to buy.

Send emails with links to content you have created--things they would find educational and helpful. Use your CRM and automate follow up tasks to stay top of mind. Remember, persistence pays off!

Still have questions? We love a good marketing challenge. Schedule a Lead Boost Review.

Schedule Lead Boost Review

Takeaways:

  • Inbound Out Marketing generates leads faster and reduces the cost per lead.
  • Combining inbound marketing with targeted outreach helps your team reach more prospects, find more leads, and close more deals.
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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Sales & CRM, Content Marketing


Lead Cost Calculator: How much should leads cost?

Posted by Kami Valdez

July 9, 2015

Good leads are essential to grow your business. The kind of leads that will actually turn into buyers. But how do you find these leads?

Inbound Out Marketing combines the best of Inbound Marketing with Targeted Outreach. It gets your quality content directly in front of the right audience and is one of the most cost-effective ways to get more leads for your company. 

What-Do-Leads-Cost-InboundTeam

Most companies know how many leads they need to reach their revenue goals. But don't know how much it will cost and if they can afford it.

Every company is different and each market is different. So to give you an idea for your specific company and market, let's calculate what you should be investing for each lead using the Lead Cost Calcuator.

Lead Investment Estimator

For a more complete evaluation of your situation, schedule a Free Lead Boost Review.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


You're Closer To Inbound Out Marketing Than You Think

Posted by Michael Karp

July 7, 2015

Your digital marketing strategy probably looks something like this:

  • You take out pay-per-click ads to drive traffic from search engines and social media

  • You write guest articles on other sites to get more exposure

  • You invest in SEO and try to rank for important keywords in your industry

  • You drive traffic and increase conversions on your website

This is great. You’re doing what you’re supposed to do.

However, you might be missing out on a buyer-focused marketing process that could exponentially increase your leads. It’s called Inbound Out Marketing, and you might actually be closer to it than you think.

Youre-Closer-To-Inbound-Out-Marketing-Than-You-Think-InboundTeam

Inbound Out Marketing combines inbound marketing with targeted outreach. This outreach is laser-focused to your ideal prospects. It fills the gap that other digital marketing strategies may miss, because many prospects do not hang out in the traditional online channels.

Here’s the thing:

Your sales team is probably already doing targeted outreach. Your marketing team is probably creating content and finding prospects.

But they’re not combining their efforts as effectively as they could be. That’s why you’re close to Inbound Out Marketing, but you’re not quite there yet.

Let me show you why:

How Your Sales Team is Close to Inbound Out Marketing

Salespeople are masters of converting leads into customers. They reach out, they identify wants/needs, and they close the deal.

Your sales team is conducting targeted outreach. They get a list of potential customers and contact each one to weed out the tire kickers from the devoted customers.

Their outreach is effective, but it’s not as effective as it could be. You see, these leads don’t have a strong connection to your business yet. Your customers will eventually have this connection, but your leads don’t.

This lack of trust makes it more difficult for your sales team to close. It’s a snag in the marketing/sales funnel.

But you can remedy this by moving some of that targeted outreach over to marketing. This will make your sales team even better at what they do, and your marketing team will become a stronger asset to your business.

How Your Marketing Team is Close to Inbound Out Marketing

Marketing has one primary job: Generate leads.

But they also have many secondary jobs:

  • Get your business in front of potential buyers

  • Execute various online marketing strategies

  • Interact with potential customers after they find your business

  • And much more.

To do this, they probably create valuable content in the form of blog posts, videos, infographics, webinars, etc. This content is one of the best ways to attract prospects.

But they’re missing one key ingredient.

Your marketing team is only engaging prospects once they have found your business. They lack the targeted outreach to find potential customers who are not actively seeking you out.

These prospects aren’t on social media, they aren’t Googling your services, and they’re not trying to find you. Heck, they may not even know your service exists. (This is especially the case in specialized markets.)

You can fill this hole in your lead generation by adding targeted outreach to your marketing strategy. In other words, Inbound Out Marketing.

It involves reaching out to prospects with useful content, establishing a connection with your business, building micro-rapport, and ultimately developing a relationship with your company.

Then these leads are sent over to Sales, where they are much warmer than they ever would have been before.

Your sales team is more effective. Your marketing team is more effective. And your business grows at an astounding rate because of it.

What To Do Next

To find out more about how Inbound Out Marketing can grow your business, here are a few resources to check out:

Takeaways

  • You might be missing out on a buyer-focused marketing process that could drastically increase your leads -- Inbound Out Marketing.

  • Both your sales and marketing teams could benefit from adding this process to your strategy.

  • This helps your business grow faster and more efficiently.
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Topics: Lead Generation, Blogging, Inbound Marketing


5 Ways to Optimize Your Site for Lead Generation

Posted by Michael Karp

June 30, 2015

Lead generation is a crucial part of any business’s success. Those leads turn into customers, clients, and brand ambassadors.

But too many businesses make one fatal mistake in their lead generation efforts:

They don’t optimize their website to capture leads before driving traffic.

They create content, promote it around the web, and drum up some buzz, but that traffic comes and goes. Those visitors don’t stay long enough to check out their products/services (let alone buy them).

The fact of the matter is most people who visit a website aren’t ready to buy yet, but they might be in the future. That’s why you need a way to contact them, stay in touch, and remain a part of their lives.

5-Ways-to-Optimize-Your-Site-for-Lead-Generation-InboundTeam 

Amazon does this by making you create an account. This is how they email you deals and promotions.

Software companies usually offer a free trial. They collect an email address or phone number when you download, so they can follow up with you later.

Countless other businesses find ways to get that contact info and generate leads. Now you’re going to learn how to do the same thing.

Here are the five tactics you will learn to optimize your site for lead generation:

  1. Lead magnets

  2. Landing pages

  3. Pop-up forms

  4. Content upgrades

  5. Sidebar and end-of-post opt-in forms

Let’s get started:

1. How to Create Lead Magnets that Convert Prospects

Lead magnets are free gifts that are given away in exchange for contact info. They could be ebooks, checklists, free trials, quizzes, mindmaps, videos -- anything prospects would find valuable.

Before creating these lead magnets, you need to know who your ideal prospects are and what they will find valuable. Use our Precise Prospect Profile Kit to help discover who your ideal prospects are.

Precise Prospect Profile Kit

Lead magnets are targeted to your ideal customer/client. Here are a few examples:

Their value should be high enough so prospects are willing to exchange their contact information, but not so high that they take away from the value of your paid products and services.

Lead magnets should follow a few criteria:

  1. They’re quick to consume and attain value from. 10 minutes or less.

  2. They can be delivered online automatically (usually through an email service or redirection).

  3. They naturally lead into your products and services.

With each of the following four tactics, you will be offering a lead magnet to your prospects. Let’s check them out:

2. Use Landing Pages to Hyper-Optimize Lead Generation

Landing pages have one goal: Convert prospects into leads.

Landing pages are designed so that every aspect compels a visitor to opt in and download the free resource (or lead magnet).

A well-optimized website has landing pages sprinkled all over. According to a HubSpot study, businesses with between 31 and 40 landing pages got 7x more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages.

Here are some landing page best practices to follow:

  1. Remove site navigation from the page. You only want your prospects to be faced with one decision: Whether or not to opt in.

  2. Include a prominent call to action button.

  3. Use bullet points to outline the main benefits of opting in and downloading the free resource.

  4. Split test including/excluding certain elements, like testimonials, trust symbols, security symbols, certifications, and other aspects that can improve your credibility.

Once you have your landing pages set up, it’s time to spread them around your site. Link to them in your navigation bar, footer, and sidebar.

You might also want to share your landing pages on social media and generate leads that way.

3. Harness the Conversion Power of Pop-Up Forms

Many people despise pop-up forms.

  • They think they’re annoying.

  • They think pop-up forms diminish user experience.

  • They associate them with spam ads.

In some cases, these feelings are understandable. However, in terms of capturing email addresses, lots of case studies show that they can do wonders for your lead generation efforts.

Take a look at these numbers:

  • Visual Website Optimizer got a 50% increase in free trial sign ups by using a pop-up form on their home page. (case study)

  • WPBeginner increased email signups from 70-80/day to 445-470/day with pop-up forms (a 600% increase). (case study)

Those increases in sign ups (especially with WPBeginner) mean massive changes in their lead generation from that day forward.

Depending on your content management system and how your site is set up, the installation process of a pop-up form will differ. But due to the results other people are getting, it’s well worth testing on your site.

Analyze your sign ups for 30 days without a pop up form, and analyze them for 30 days with one. Then take a look at your user experience metrics in relation to the leads you’ve generated.

This will help you decide whether a pop-up is right for your business.

4. Upgrade Your Content to Capture Even More Leads

Content upgrades are powerful lead generation tools. Bloggers and solopreneurs have been using them with great success to build their email lists, but bigger businesses haven’t caught on yet.

This is where you can get a leg up on your competition.

Content upgrades are lead magnets that are targeted to a specific piece of content. Just like regular lead magnets, they can be checklists, mindmaps, videos, etc.

However, they help the reader get even more value out of the specific article they’re reading. So instead of a site-wide lead magnet, content upgrades are article-specific.

Why are they so effective?

Well, for one, they are hyper-targeted to the reader. Answer this: If someone is already reading an article on lead generation, will they be more likely to want an ebook on the benefits of inbound marketing or 5 extra strategies to generate leads?

They’d be more likely to want those extra strategies, because this content upgrade provides value over and above what they’re already reading (AKA what they’re already interested in).

You can deliver a content upgrade just like any other lead magnet, with one little twist:

  1. Create a landing page for your content upgrade.

  2. Make sure the resource can be delivered to subscribers automatically, either through email or by redirecting them to the correct page.

  3. Link to the landing page within your article.

  4. Include a benefit-rich call to action that compels the reader to opt-in and download your content upgrade.

If you create a content upgrade for each article you publish and drive traffic to, you can increase your lead generation substantially.

5. Sidebar and End-Of-Post Opt-In Forms

These are the two classic places to include opt-in forms:

  1. Your sidebar

  2. The end of your articles

As email opt-ins have gotten more popular, people have become more desensitized to these opt-in forms.

(That’s why other techniques, like pop-up forms and content upgrades, have become more effective.)

That being said, you should still include these on your site. As long as people are still opting in to them, you can generate leads. In other words, if you exclude opt-in forms in your sidebar and at the end of your posts, you could miss out on email subscribers.

But you do want to make sure these forms are as effective as possible. Here are a few best practices to follow:

  • Give each form a specific benefit for opting in. Quickly describe the lead magnet they’ll receive.

  • Make them stand out. Use an interesting design.

  • Make your call to action button prominent.

  • Make it quick and painless to opt-in. Simply ask for an email address.

To Wrap It Up

If you follow the steps in this article, you’ll avoid the one crucial mistake that far too many businesses make--they drive traffic before optimizing their site to capture leads.

This is a crucial mistake for a reason. They’re leaving quality business opportunities on the table!

These strategies can be implemented in one morning or one afternoon, and you can reap the benefits for the life of your website.

Have you tried any of these strategies? Which ones are you going to implement?

Let me know in the comments below.

Takeaways

  • Optimize your website to generate leads before driving traffic.

  • Use lead magnets, landing pages, pop-up forms, content upgrades, and sidebar/end-of-post opt-in forms to collect contact information.

  • This will help you avoid leaving quality business leads out on the table.

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Topics: Lead Generation


3 Ways Targeted Outreach Boosts Your Sales Team

Posted by Michael Karp

June 23, 2015

Targeted outreach is part of a new inbound marketing philosophy — Inbound-Out Marketing

This philosophy takes the best parts of sales and incorporates them into marketing for a more effective approach.

Why is this approach more effective? Well, that’s what you’re going to learn in this article.

Specifically, you’ll learn how targeted outreach through inbound marketing helps your sales team become more effective.

 3-Ways-Targeted-Outreach-Boosts-Your-Sales-Team-InboundTeam

Here we go:

1) Leads Are Warmer When They Reach Sales

Targeted outreach involves your marketing team reaching out to prospects and establishing initial contact. The goals of this contact are to:

  • Establish trust

  • Build a relationship

  • Develop micro-rapport

  • Introduce your content

Through this process, these prospects become accustomed to interacting with your business. They get to know your expertise and what you can do for them.

They also get introduced to your products and services, while building an interpersonal relationship with someone at your company.

By the time these prospects reach your sales team, they already know, like, and trust your business. Your sales team doesn’t have to shoulder the burden of achieving this anymore. It’s taken care of before a representative even picks up the phone.

2) Your Sales Team Becomes a Guide

Targeted outreach leads to warmer prospects interacting with your sales team. This means your sales team doesn’t have to “sell” and pitch your services as hard as they used to.

(Hint: Today’s prospects aren’t as receptive to this anymore, anyway.)

Your sales team is still an expert on your products and services. This is where their true selling power lies.

They become a guide. When speaking to prospects, their job is to uncover problems that your leads are having. They then use their expertise to determine how your products and services can help.

Your sales team doesn’t have to pitch. They can become guides who show prospects the best path for them to take.

3) Prospects Already Know What They Want

One of the goals of targeted outreach is to introduce your products and services. Prospects trust your authority through the content you produce, and they get introduced to your services naturally through calls-to-action on your website.

This process helps them decide which of your products/services could be right for them. They typically decide on one (or a few) that they might be interested in.

When they reach your sales team, they already have this list prepared. All they need is more information to help them make the best decision possible.

This makes your sales team’s job much easier (and more effective). People don’t want to be sold to. They want to be helped.

The most effective route for your sales team to take is to help prospects as much as they can. And it all begins with a targeted outreach campaign that warms prospects and introduces them to your business.

To Wrap It Up

Targeted outreach is one of the most effective ways to introduce prospects to your business. But it also provides benefits further down the marketing/sales funnel.

These prospects are warmer when they reach your sales team. Your sales team’s job now becomes that of a guide rather than a salesperson.

Why does this work?

Because today’s prospects are more receptive to being helped than to being sold to.

Takeaways

  • Targeted outreach is part of a new inbound marketing philosophy — Inbound-Out Marketing.

  • Through targeted outreach, leads are warmer when they reach sales.

  • Your sales team guides prospects, rather than sells to them.

  • Prospects already know, like, and trust your business. This is what leads to a more effective sales process.

more

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Sales & CRM


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