Inbound Marketing Made Simple
At it's core, Inbound Marketing is simply getting the right content (stories and information) to the right people (those intersted in your content) at the right time (when they are becoming aware, considering, or making the decision to buy your products).
This is the basic path we use in HubSpot:
- Blog Posts
- Landing Pages
- Content Offers
- Web Forms
- Thank You Pages
Let me walk you through this step-by-step.
We'll use our website as an example. We're using the Professional version of HubSpot. We have a business blog, content offers, landing pages, forms that fill our CRM (customer relationship management software), and thank you pages.
Let's dive down into Modthink.com to see how this works.
First, we have static pages on our website to describe the problem you are likely searching for: Using digital marketing to generate leads and convert them to customers for your business.
We've optimized our content on these pages to target specific keywords using the HubSpot keywords tool and Google Adwords keyword tool. We've made sure each page, image, and link is optimized to focus on those keywords in our attempt to attract people who are searching for things like "using social media to grow my business", "what is business blogging?", and "how to generate leads for my business".
All of this is called "on-site SEO (search engine optimization)" in our attempt to land on the first page of Google. If you are reading this, you probably found us through a Google search (65% of searches are on Google, the remaining 35% is divided between multiple other networks like Yahoo and Bing).
The blog post is, obviously, what you are reading here. We're adding about two blog posts each week about inbound marketing, digital marketing, social media, online trends, how-to's and the like. We also share posts about our company and culture so you get an idea of how we work. This gives us content to share with you and also give our website a dynamic nature since we add new content regularly.
The search engines crawl our website regularly and assign us to show up in certain searches if we've done a good job.
Using the HubSpot blogging tool, we've optimized each post for searchability. This includes internal links to other relevant blog posts (like here is a post for "Is Your Website a 24/7 Sales Rep For Your Business") and external linkes to authoritative content on other websites that reinforces my message (like this link to HubSpot on "Inbound Vs Outbound"), images (here's a post I did about "using Internet image in blog posts", and metadata.
The tool also reminds me to include the keywords I'm targeting throughout the article and makes sure I don't over use keywords. So I should mention How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business and Generating Business Leads Using Internet Marketing, since that is what this is all about.
The HubSpot tool also tells me if I've overused a keyword - in this case, I'm getting a warning that I may have overused "Inbound Marketing" so I'll edit my post to not use it or use alternate words to describe it.
You'll see sharing widgets in the header and "Recent Posts" and "Subscribe to Email Updates" over in the sidebar to your left.
You will also see a eye-catching (hopefully) graphic in the here in the blog post presenting you with an offer for more information. That graphic is called a "Call-to-Action" or CTA.
Don't click it yet - I want to describe the rest of what happens. (If you did click on it, I'll provide a link back to this blog post so you can retrace your steps).
Landing pages are specific pages with information about the offering. In this case, I'm sharing this PDF with information about how to optimize your Facebook profile. The landing page will mention more about the content offer. The landing page will also include a form asking for your name and email address. The idea here is if I've provided a compelling enough piece of content that you find interesting enough to share your email with me, you will.
If not, you won't..
Content offers are specific pieces of content to the conversation we're currently having. I'm assuming you are somewhere in your "buyer's path" between Awareness and Consideration, meaning you know what your challenge is (you want to get more leads for your company) and you're formulating a plan (you've read some things about marketing automation, maybe inbound marketing, HubSpot and Marketo) and you're beginning to formulate how you want to move forward.
If we've setup our website, written our blogs informatively, optimized for search, and provide a compelling call to action, well, here you are.
The web form is where we'll start to track you in our CRM. At this early stage, we'll only ask for your name and email. If you come back to our site, that means you're interested, and the next time you see a form, we'll ask you for a little more information like your company's name and your position.
If you come back a third time, it probably means you are really interested and possibly getting closer to making your purchase decision, so if you find some content on Modthink.com and want to download it, we'll ask for some more details, like Company size, website, and a free form where you can explain your specific issues.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Once you complete the form and click the submit button, we'll send you a confirmation email and take you to a Thank You page.
As you'll now see, you received an email and it restates the content offer and provides a link back to the landing page so you can find this content again.
If you don't come back to our site, we may send you an email some time in the future, to see if you are interested. HubSpot will track if you opened the email, deleted it, marked it as spam, and let me know - all cues to your interest in our conversation.
If your response is negative, I'll take you off the list and never bother you again. If you come back in the future and explicitly say so (check a box saying you want to receive our emails), we might send you another message or give you a call.
If you respond positively, we may exchange a few more emails. I'll look for content that addresses your questions. We may setup a phone call with our sales team.
We can get even more detailed about email workflows, CRM's, qualified marketing leads, qualified sales leads, but that'll be another conversation.
Thank You Page
Before you go, I'll let you know we receive your submission and show you the link to the content offer. On that page, there will be some sharing icons with a link back to the landing page.
So you can see, if you aren't interested in this conversation, you will "op-out" of the conversation at the point it no longer interests you.
But if you are interested, you will give permission for us to continue talking.
That is Inbound Marketing.
Here's that content offer again. Go ahead and click it now so you can see how this works. See you on the landing page.