Tom Shapiro, author of Rethink Your Marketing, shares the goal-setting framework he has created after helping hundreds of businesses with digital marketing strategy over 20 years.
Management | Sep 6 2017
Peter Caputa IV on April 4, 2017 • 6 minute read
As employee #15 at HubSpot, I’ve been preaching the inbound marketing gospel for longer than, well everyone except for 14 other people. But, other than some marketing work I did here and there in my role at HubSpot, I mostly have just talked about it.
Now that I’ve joined Databox, it’s time for me to put up or shut up.
Since, shutting up isn’t in my repertoire, here’s how we’re applying the simple, four-step inbound marketing process to grow Databox.
HubSpot’s marketing benchmark report analyzed data from 7,000 businesses using the platform. The big lead generation take away? Companies with more landing pages generate more leads. In fact, when companies increased the number of landing pages (and the content offers behind the landing page form) from just 10 to 15, they saw an average lead volume increase of 55%.
If you’re a software company, try offering a free product or a free version of your product like we do with our free marketing KPI tracking software. Every time we launch an integration with another software product, we launch a new landing page. As an example, we’ve generated 100s of new signups from our HubSpot Marketing Connector landing page. Tomorrow, we’ll be launching a directory of report templates for our most popular connectors. Each of those templates will be hosted on a landing page too.
If you sell products online, try offering free samples or product selection guides.
If you sell a product or service through sales people, run webinars and publish ebooks behind your landing pages.
From the same HubSpot benchmark report mentioned above, companies that blog 15 or more times per month get five times the traffic of those that don’t. Sound daunting? Producing that volume of content may require a full-time person, or contributions from everyone on your team.
That is why one of my first hires is a content and co-marketing manager. Plus, I still prioritize content creation as part of my role.
Don’t fret if you aren’t a great writer or don’t have that much time, though. In HubSpot’s survey sample, even companies that increased blogging output from a paltry 3-5 times/month to slightly less paltry 6-8 times/month doubled the amount of leads generated.
How’s it working for us? We see a direct correlation between blogging and increased search, social and referrer traffic, which has lead to new signups and new customers for us. In the last three months, we’ve more than doubled our traffic and signups via our website and tripled our revenue.
You can too.
“Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.” according to Demand Gen Report.
Unfortunately, most email marketing campaigns don’t drive action. Nor are they very targeted to the needs of the recipient. Admittedly, we could improve our use of email at Databox.
Right now, we merely send out a monthly newsletter with product updates and blog posts. It works to a degree. But, not all updates or articles are relevant to every recipient.
What can you expect from us? First, we’ll do more segmentation. We’ll start using the information we have about our users to target educational messages to them. For example, if you connect your HubSpot account with Databox, expect to receive suggestions on how to get more value out of your HubSpot account. If you connect your Facebook Ads account, we’ll provide suggestions on how you can improve your yield on your ads.
Second, we’ll send you things that are more immediately actionable. If you’re a user of our product, expect to get help analyzing and visualizing new metrics for the data sources you’ve already connected.
Selfishly, we expect this will help us turn more of our trial or free users into paid users and help us improve the loyalty of our existing customers too.
If you segment and personalize your messages, you can expect more of your leads to turn into long-term customers too.
Even without doing segmentation, we’ve been using email in our one-on-one sales efforts. Marketing agencies can apply to become a partner and we proactively reach out to our free users when we know we can quickly help them. This is helping us validate approaches we will later automate and helping us acquire new agency partners and customers in the meantime.
As recently as a few days ago, I was talking to a small business owner about how to grow their lead volume by implementing more landing pages with solid offers behind them. It was news to him.
He thanked me for the advice.
I can’t believe I’ve been giving that advice for a decade now. While I never thought I could build a career on such simple advice, it’s as true now as it was then. And it’ll be true for a long time. Sure, new forms of lead capture will come along that complement the landing page — or even best it. (Drift is making a good case for website chat.) But, just like people still buy books printed on paper, people will fill out forms to receive things they want.
Recently, I’ve also spoken to a bunch of marketing agencies who say that inbound marketing is harder than it was just a few years ago. I agree. More companies than ever are publishing content online. It seems like the companies that got a head start are achieving success more easily than the ones who are just getting started, even if their content quality is pretty equivalent. If you’re new to the game like we are, it’s certainly not good enough to just push out blog posts and offers and newsletters and expect revenue to happen.
But, inbound marketing still works just fine if you do it well. It just needs to be executed within a well-planned marketing strategy and it won’t work if your product or service isn’t appealing.
So, assuming you’re selling something worth selling and you’ve built a solid marketing strategy to create demand, there’s no reason you shouldn’t double down on inbound marketing.
We are. Stay tuned. We’ll share updates as we continue to make progress.
Management | Sep 6 2017
Thoughts | Mar 28 2017