Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Kami Valdez

Content Marketing & LinkedIn Strategist at Inbound Team
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Inbound Marketing Checklist for Your Next Trade Show

Posted by Kami Valdez

October 29, 2015

Recently, we compared inbound marketing with trade shows. Then, I came across a great article from our friends at Square2 Marketing about how to maximize trade show success with inbound marketing.

If you attend your industry's top trade show, you may invest $10,000, $20,000, or more. Do you want to spend that money for your people to stand around in a booth and collect business cards? Or, would you actually like to get some real leads and have that event pay off?

Trade_Shows_Inbound_Marketing

Inbound marketing can help you have a completely different experience at your next tradeshow. If you take an inbound approach, it will be money well spent.

Planning is key for your event to be considered a real success. You need to start planning for your event 8-12 weeks in advance.

Create your schedule first. Start backwards from the day of the event, and plan your pre-show, in-show, and post-show marketing tactics. Once the plan is complete, assign the individual tasks to your team.

Inspired by the Square2 article, I made a handy checklist you can use for your next trade show. If you need help with any of this, don't hesitate to call and talk to us—inbound marketing is our passion!Trade Show Marketing Checklist

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Sales & CRM, Content Marketing


Inbound Marketing: The Definitive Guide

Posted by Kami Valdez

October 17, 2015

Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Inbound marketing brings visitors to you. It earns the attention of customers, makes your company easy to find, and draws prospects to your website with interesting content.

Inbound marketing is all about attracting visitors (with high-quality, targeted content) and nurturing them until they're ready to buy. 

Inbound Marketing: The Definitive Guide

But inbound marketing is not something you can learn in a day or two. It requires a very diverse, yet specific skill set that you must learn and develop. 

We've gathered articles on every inbound skill you need to learn and put them in one easy to use guide. From lead generation to SEO, this guide has got you covered.

Read the Definitive Guide to Inbound Marketing and learn:

  1. The Basics of Inbound Marketing
  2. How To Create Content That Attracts The Right Prospects
  3. How To Drive Boatloads of Hungry Traffic To Your Website
  4. Long Term Inbound Marketing: SEO Techniques From The Pros
  5. Strategies That Convert Prospects Into Leads
  6. Sales Funnel Tactics: Close Leads Into Customers
  7. How To Keep Your Customers Coming Back For More
  8. Inbound Marketing Success Metrics
  9. Advanced Inbound Marketing Skills
  10. Inbound Marketing Case Studies

Inbound Marketing: The Definitive Guide

Making the switch from traditional, outbound marketing to inbound marketing can seem a little overwhelming at times, but the benefits are indisputable. The sooner you can learn the skills you need and take action, the sooner you will be reaping the rewards of inbound marketing—more leads, at a lower cost.

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

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Topics: Inbound Marketing


My Marketing Isn’t Bringing Me Leads—It’s Frustrating!

Posted by Kami Valdez

September 17, 2015

“I am doing everything I know to do, but my marketing isn’t bringing me leads!”

Too many CEOs and business owners we talk to are frustrated. You are doing all you know, but your website still isn't delivering leads.

Frustrated Marketing Is Not Working

You're creating blog content, publishing it on social media, and driving some traffic, but still struggle to generate leads.

If you're finding it's difficult to get leads, or your website isn't working, you may have a strategy problem. Follow the steps below and I'll help you get started.

1. Start With A Clear Goal

Trying to grow your business without having a goal is like going on a road trip without a map. You'll get lost!

Decide on a goal that is specific and measurable. How about 25 qualified leads per month? Great goal! Now you just need to map out the route to get you there.

2. Identify Your Ideal Prospect

To generate 25 qualified leads per month, you must first clarify who you'd like to attract. Use your sales team and identify all the dimensions of an ideal prospect.

The more precise you can be about knowing your buyers, the better your results. Download the Precise Prospect Profile Kit for help.

3. Discover Your Audience

Once you have your goal, and know who your audience is, you can get started looking for them. Think about where they spend their time online.

For B2B companies, start with LinkedIn. That is where a lot of professionals spend their time. Search for groups within a target market and you will find there are plenty of them, full of your future prospects.

Use Google to search for blogs, forums, and other websites where more of your target audience could be spending time, searching for answers to their questions.

Put links to all the places you come up with on a list so you can refer back to it again.

4. Pinpoint Pains, Problems & Questions

Search blogs, social media sites, websites, and forums to identify the challenges and pains around the product or service you offer.

Write down common questions and problems you find and use them to build your content and stories.

5. Create Content

When you create content, think about your prospects goals. What are they trying to accomplish or get away from? What is keeping them up at night and how can your product or service help?

The content you create must match the needs of your customers. Write content that is valuable that addresses top questions, goals, and pain points.

6. Targeted Outreach

Reach out to your audience and share your content where they are. That is how you will drive them back to your site so they can discover all your amazing content.

Here are some things you can do to reach out to your target audience:
  • Share your blog articles as discussions in LinkedIn Groups.
  • Comment on other websites and blogs and reference your content.
  • Share your article on Twitter using relevant hashtags—schedule multiple tweets over several days.
  • Find individuals on LinkedIn or other websites and send them a personal email with a link to the article.
  • Send an email to relevant leads in your CRM and share the article. You do have your contacts segmented, right? Only send relevant content to prospects.

Remember to do this for each article you publish!

In Conclusion

Following through on the steps set out above will increase the number of leads you get from your online marketing. It will help get you and your business where you want to go and get the leads you need to grow your business. Write your own road map to success today and then enjoy the ride!

Inbound Out Marketing takes a lot of work and the right tactics vary from one company or industry to the next. Read the CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing and learn how to create and execute your own 2016 marketing strategy.

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

Takeaways

  • Create a road map to achieve your marketing goals.
  • Create or fine-tune your stories to target your ideal prospect.
  • Use content tailored to your audience to reach out online.
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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing


CEOs Must Care About Inbound Marketing

Posted by Kami Valdez

September 10, 2015

Eighty-nine percent of Internet users search online before they make a purchase, even if they don't buy online, according to Fleishman-Hillard

It's absolutely essential for successful CEOs to care about marketing. If you are not found on the Internet using inbound marketing, you don't exist. 

CEOs Must Care About Inbound Marketing

Buyers have changed, so there has been a significant shift from outbound marketing to inbound marketing. More and more businesses are using inbound marketing to connect with prospective clients and nurture leads, and for good reason.

Search engines are usually the first place people go when they are researching a topic or a purchase. It has become second nature to "google it."  So when people go to Google to research a product or service your company provides, will they find you?

Here are four top reasons every CEO should care about inbound marketing:

1. Inbound Marketing is Measurable

CEOs have long been frustrated with marketers because the effectiveness of traditional marketing is hard to measure. Fortunately, inbound marketing is much easier to track and measure.

Comprehensive reporting regarding online marketing activities allows you to make more informed decisions and easily get insight into what’s working and what’s not. You can easily see traffic data such as unique website visits and social media engagement, but even more insights can be easily discovered.

With the right analytics tools, you can discover actionable metrics such as conversion rate, referring keywords, bounce rate, and much more.

2. Inbound Marketing is a Machine

Your online content can be your dream employee. It keeps working even after your employees go home. It works 24 hours a day, seven days a week—rain, sleet, or snow!

You can easily reach audiences at all hours of the day—or night. And inbound marketing helps you do it a thousand times over, all day every day!

3. Customers Are Turning to the Internet First

There once was a time when CEOs didn’t need to pay attention to the online world because audiences were small. Those days are over.

The move from traditional advertising to online advertising has been steadily occurring for a long time now. And, rather than slowing, this trend has accelerated because of the huge surge in smartphone usage.

4. Inbound Marketing is Effective

Finally, CEOs should care about inbound marketing for one simple reason: it’s effective.

According to Demand Metric, inbound marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, yet each dollar spent on inbound marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.

So in addition to saving you time and money, inbound marketing can help grow your business faster.

Ultimately, CEOs need to care about inbound marketing because it finds and converts customers, raises the bottom line, and builds your business by drawing prospects to you.

If you want to learn what leads are costing you, visit our Lead Investment Calculator for an estimate tailored to your specific situation.

Lead Investment Estimator

Takeaways

  • Eighty-nine percent of Internet users search online before they make a purchase, even if they don't buy online.
  • Buyers have changed the way they do business. Inbound marketing helps you connect.
  • Each dollar spent on inbound marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.
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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


Inbound Marketing: With A Magnet Not A Megaphone

Posted by Kami Valdez

September 1, 2015

Inbound Marketing—It’s marketing with a magnet, not a megaphone. Communication that acquires customers by attracting and nurturing with exceptional content. Information that helps them and doesn't constantly interrupt them with "Ooh, ooh, look at me ..." noise.

It seems like new marketing tactics get invented every day—some of them will actually help you get more great leads. Read on, and I'll show you how tactics you've heard about are used in Inbound Marketing. 

Marketing_Megaphone

How does it work?

Think of your sales and marketing process as a funnel. Fresh prospects come in at the top of the funnel, happy customers flow out the bottom. As a business owner, your goal is to maximize both the number of people you attract at the top of your funnel as website visitors and the number that become satisfied customers at the bottom.

Create remarkable content for all stages of the buying cycle

Before potential customers can find you, you must first create content that attracts them to your site. It's called content marketing because it uses content to attract visitors and increase traffic.

What are some examples of content? Really, it's anything you create that can be read or downloaded on the web:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Tools & Apps
  • Slideshare
  • Podcasts
  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Cartoons

Google loves content and just having the content will naturally start to attract visitors. Still, there's more to do for full Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Get found by people who need your products and services

Social media marketing and search engine optimization drive prospects to your website. Optimizing keywords targeted to your desired audience will ensure your content is found by online users who are actively searching for the information you are providing. And social outreach lets you connect with prospects wherever they hang out on the web.

Convert visitors to leads and leads to customers

Landing pages allow visitors to share their contact information with you and help you identify the type of content they are interested in. Calls to action also help convert website visitors to leads and customers.

And please, don't get email addresses and then ignore your fresh new prospects. Use email to continue to add value and nurture your leads.

Analyze and adjust your marketing tactics

Monitor your results and adjust your tactics and messages. 

Wrap Up

Inbound marketing puts your company squarely on the path of your customers' decision making process. Use inbound marketing to deliver the perfect message, at the right time, in the right place, for the right person, at the right price.

Inbound Marketing does take some work and the right tactics vary from one company or industry to the next. Visit our Lead Investment Calculator for an estimate tailored to your specific situation. 

Lead Investment Estimator

Takeaways

  • Inbound marketing tactics help potential buyers find your business when they are ready to buy.
  • Use inbound marketing to increase the number of people who enter the top of your funnel as well as the number who flow through and become customers.
  • Create remarkable content to attract visitors and delight them as they move through your sales funnel.
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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


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.  

Lead Investment Estimator

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Topics: Lead Generation, Social Media


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.  

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


Top 3 Strategies For Inbound Marketing Success

Posted by Kami Valdez

June 20, 2015

Inbound marketing is about producing relevant, helpful content and placing it on the web where your ideal prospect can discover it. Inbound marketing is not just about getting traffic to your website, it’s about drawing people in who are actually interested in what you’re selling.

Top-3-Strategies-for-Inbound-Marketing-Success-InboundTeam

Inbound marketing will help you attract the right people through the use of blogs, keywords, and social media that feature content relevant to your target audience. And if you create the right content, the right people will come.

Before creating any piece of content, you must have a clear picture of the following:  

  1. Who your buyer personas are.
  2. The characteristics, demographic attributes and personal interests that influence their buying behavior.

If you have not done so already, create a precise prospect profile for your persona(s). Use the Precise Prospect Profile Kit to help clearly define who your ideal prospects are so your marketing will have success.

Precise Prospect Profile Kit

Let’s take a look at the top three strategies that will help your inbound marketing to be successful:

Blogging

Inbound marketing is a strategy that is most successful when done consistently. The most important part of that strategy is your blog.

With your blog, you decide what information you provide your readers and how often you distribute it. The information you provide needs to address your prospects frustrations with the clear solution being your product or service.

You need to blog for two reasons:

  1. To get readers who learn to seek you out for your expertise.
  2. To get others to link to your material…thereby bringing more readers who will learn to seek you out for your expertise.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of inbound marketing. You don’t have to know everything about SEO, but you do need to know what the right keywords are for your market and how to use them effectively.

The goal is to increase your search rank. You want to be on the first page of search results when internet users type your keywords.

SEO can be tweaked and worked on to help your visibility. Over time, you will be able to determine what your effective keywords are, the words that are bringing visitors to your site.

Social Networking Platforms

There are many social media platforms out there. Start with two or three and build from there. Don’t assume more is better.

You should only have as many social media profiles as you can manage. Your main goal needs to be to promote your brand and distribute content, but don’t forget that these platforms are interactive.

They invite a conversation with the internet visitor. That’s something you never want to lose sight of.

In my next post, I will talk about the next steps you need to take to convert the visitors to your site into leads.

Takeaways:

  • Know as much as you can about your ideal prospect before you write.
  • Use blogging to provide answers and to become the expert in your field.
  • Use keywords to help visitors find your site.
  • Promote your content on only as many social media channels as you can manage.
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Topics: Inbound Marketing, SEO


CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

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