Marketing is an essential part of any business and it can make or break a company. This is why many businesses are so cautious about their marketing today. One of the biggest dilemmas that companies are faced with when looking for the best marketing strategies to boost their brands is the choice between an in-house marketing and working with a marketing agency. The dilemma here comes from the fact that most companies operate on a very limited marketing budget. The choice made depends on the priorities and long-term goals of the company and how the decision makers choose to try and help their businesses grow.
Real estate marketing has really come a long way. From the days of physical distribution of flyers and door to door marketing to modern day online marketing, real estate marketing is really evolving at a rapid pace. The incorporation of technology into real estate marketing has created numerous opportunities for real estate teams to market differently.
Real estate agents are embracing the idea of infusing technology into their marketing strategy and it is paying dividends, but to see a real return you have to understand the techniques and marketing channels that are likely to work for your marketing campaign and those that are likely to have a lower return on investment. So what really works? Here are real estate marketing ideas and channels which when implemented properly, guarantee success:
While some may understand the importance of a structured sales program, others may not know how crucial sales can be to the success of a company, let alone the value of a structured program. Generating leads can be frustrating, and when the leads aren't being contacted, they can easily fall through the cracks. This was our challenge with PropertyADVANTAGE.
PropertyADVANTAGE is a property management company based in San Diego that focuses on residential property management and Homeowner Association or HOA management. Founded in 2007, the PropertyADVANTAGE team have been consistent in their business, but failed to grow much farther than just word of mouth referrals. The company decided, in 2015, it really needed help if they wanted to grow, so they contacted us.
The 41 Orange team was brought in to help the company figure out how to grow its business without relying on purchasing contracts. With a well-researched inbound marketing strategy and a tailored sales program, 41 Orange was able to help PropertyADVANTAGE achieve a 319 percent ROI by the end of the first year, projecting a 1,089 percent ROI by year two. However, the success wasn't easy to achieve. To learn more about our challenges and how we manage to grow the company despite those challenges, read on.
Even a savvy, well-informed agent can trip over marketing in the modern era. The methods have changed, the tools have transformed, and the preferred mediums are entirely new. Marketing has evolved rapidly, even in the past few years—so it’s crucial to check your techniques and make sure you’re not making basic mistakes according to the new rules. To help you with that, we’ve put together a list of five real estate marketing mistakes that are distressingly common and how to tackle those challenges:
Online marketing can be a daunting task for real estate agents and other real estate professionals. Some people get swept up in the metrics of online marketing, clicks, responses, emails, etc. It is easy to get excited at bumps in “traffic” to your website, but unless that traffic converts into a lead, it's not helping to grow your business.
Think about it like this, if you were running a print or television marketing campaign, would you get excited at the number of households you reached? That's the not key measurement you should be measuring in this specific situation. The key analytic that should be measured is one set by the goals of your marketing strategy. We've outlined a couple of tips on how to establish a marketing strategy for those within the real estate industry.
As the real estate industry has come around to using the multitude of online marketing tools available through the internet as opposed to past marketing methods such as direct mail, the speed and accuracy of all things marketing have increased rapidly. With search engine optimization and online real estate listings, marketing for real estate brands has become a lot simpler. If you're a real estate agent or a real estate business and your brand is falling behind the times, now is your chance to take advantage of these resources by creating a solid inbound marketing strategy for your real estate. The result will be more and better qualified leads all around.
Creating dynamic content is the basis of an inbound marketing foundation. The philosophy of inbound marketing is simple: potential buyers come to you when you offer them information or services they are already looking for.
For example, if you create an e-book or series of blog posts about increased longevity in investors and what this means for the field of financial advisory, you have made a desirable resource. There are search engine users looking for this content right now; as long as your search engine terms are optimized and your landing page is appealing, this resource will help potential clients find you.
If your brand is currently consistently blogging, that's a good start! Yet regular blogging may not be enough. What else can you do to capture audience attention? Keep these three strategies in mind:
A successful inbound marketing strategy is all about remarkable content. It’s the motor that drives your website’s traffic and, without it, your chances of increasing conversions are dim. The most effective way to increase your blog's traffic and SEO is to strengthen the quality of your writing. Most people can adequately string words and sentences together to get their point across. They know the difference between its and it’s and you’re and your. But create content that engages, enchants, and goes viral? That takes a lot more work.
Social media is more than a way to promote your brand - it's a connection to your leads that develops personal relationships. So what separates the good from the great in social media marketing?
In order to maximize the return on your SEO investment, it is important that you follow the correct formula for determining what your audience is searching for.
There are a wide range of tools available that can help you narrow down user searches to find specific keywords. Keywords are typically industry specific terms which your audience uses in Google or other search engine queries to locate what they are searching for.
In order for your site to rank near the top of the list when people search, the content on your web page must center around those keywords effectively. This process also allows you to weed out search terms that you do not want to be associated with by leaving them out of your content.
Here's how you can start researching your audience's search data to choose the best keywords available:
Inbound marketing has been proven as an effective method for lead generation. With a marketing strategy that focuses on a target audience through a combination of content marketing, SEO, social media, and email marketing, inbound is a more cost-effective method of generating b2b leads than traditional outbound marketing.
Implementing an inbound campaign can attract a variety of different visitors to your site with an output of B2B leads -- some may become worthwhile customers, others may not be ready to purchase just yet, and some may have just come across your site out of curiosity with no intention of doing anything other than looking.
41 Orange Marketing Coordinator Sarah Laoyan takes you through her experience of learning inbound marketing and HubSpot, and what she’s learned to help you get up and running faster.
As a recent college graduate, I was aware of basic marketing strategies and terminologies before starting my job as a marketing coordinator here at 41 Orange. During my training, I was introduced to HubSpot and inbound marketing, a technique that I only knew on the surface.
This past year has been a monumental year for inbound marketers. According to Hubspot’s 2016 state of inbound report, 73% of organizations use inbound marketing as their primary approach to marketing. Of these organizations, 81% of them deemed their strategy as effective.
With a lot of technological upgrades in the upcoming year, we’re anticipating a lot of changes coming to inbound marketing.
Here are a few things we believe are going to change the game and help you generate more leads online in 2017:
Here are 41 Orange, we learned pretty early on that clear and consistent communication is key to a successful relationship.
With advertisers and promoters constantly barraging inboxes with messages, what can you do to separate yourself from the masses?
Here are several tips to ensure your messages will be received:
It's nearly Thanksgiving, and in the spirit of giving thanks, our team decided to reflect on the amazing tools we use every day that allow us to work efficiently, effectively and intelligently as a team. Talent and strategy only get you so far -- the technology we use enables our ability to implement and scale those inbound marketing strategies and utilize our talent in the best way possible.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important tool to utilize to bring the right people to your website at the right time. It helps draw people to your website who are looking for your products and services, while establishing trust with your company and raising your authority as a website. When used incorrectly, SEO can push your content lower on search result pages, preventing traffic from coming to your page.
You’ve implemented several traffic driving techniques and you’re starting to see the results. But you’re still not getting leads? You could be missing a step in the marketing process to turn those visitors into customers.
With information readily available for any future customer, it’s important to understand where your ideal customers are within the buyer’s journey. By utilizing SEO, blogging, and social media, you’re targeting customers at the right moment, message, making it much more likely that they’re going to hear your message.
Each stage has its own unique challenges, and here are a few techniques on how to capture your leads attention during each stage:
It’s almost impossible to go through social media today and not encounter a video of some sort. And for good reason!
Most people know that successful campaigns require very calculated and precise planning to achieve measurable and desirable results. This isn’t any different for deciding what kind of content to share with your prospective clients. That is why Brand journalism is becoming increasingly popular. Brands are now able to share more information with potential leads prior to them even reaching out. The benefit of this is two-fold: You’re able to boost your SEO rankings and in turn attract more leads to your website.
If you’re considering adding more content into your marketing strategy, here is how to do it properly so you can actually generate more leads.
As one of the fastest growing marketing strategies for online businesses, inbound marketing is highly cost effective when it comes to lead generation.
Adblockers empower potential customers to opt out of traditional advertising methods, forcing businesses to shift away from traditional marketing tactics. Using inbound marketing, online businesses are able to utilize various methods to help customers find their brand. Tactics such as content marketing and social media marketing are used very effectively to generate leads, as well as inform and educate the consumer as part of the process to convert leads into sales.
Here are six ways creative inbound marketing tactics can help to grow your business in 2017.
I hate to tell you this, but there are only a handful of weeks before we enter 2017. I know, where in the world did the year go?!
Nevertheless, a new year is almost upon us. That means it is time to start looking forward, examining your marketing and planning for the new year. If you are like many B2B businesses, you're likely entering your slower quarter as the holidays approach. Take that free time and channel it into your marketing now so you can start off 2017 with a bang and just completely crush it all year long.
Here's what you should do before the end of the year:
You're reading this because you've been paying attention. You know that content marketing and inbound marketing are not just the future of marketing, but the now. Because it works. Why else would global brands invest so much into their content?
B2B online marketing offers immense value if used properly, but businesses that act without considering a particular channel's specific ROI risk wasting resources, money, and brand equity. You have to choose what is right for your company based on your goals.
Understanding how each approach impacts your bottom line relative to its expense is crucial. In this article, we’ll be outlining the most effective B2B online marketing approaches affect a business.
Online marketing is often the silver bullet that can take many real estate brands, property management companies and commercial design firms to new heights. But often these businesses either don't have the staff to manage a full marketing program in-house, or don't have the skills to do it at the level they'd like.
That's when a marketing agency can step in to save the day!
There are a couple simple ideas powering the current movement of online marketing: make it user-friendly, more informative, more authentic, not only because it builds brand equity but because the tools customers use to find their way online have become increasingly sophisticated.
While marketing trends seem to change every week, it's pretty easy to see where everything is moving. If you're wondering what will stand the test of time and continue to dominate the best marketing strategies, read on.
Marketing a mid-sized B2B company takes a lot of time and effort. You can't just assign the task of marketing your business online to employees with other responsibilities - you have to establish a team that is dedicated to launching and maintaining your online marketing. The thing is, even a small team of in-house marketers may not be enough to effectively manage your marketing efforts.
In this case, you should strongly consider the professional assistance of a marketing agency. Not sure if you actually need the help of an agency? The following are a few signs that your in-house marketing team is in need of outside help:
Marketing is complex, and savvy marketers are worth their weight in gold. But while a smart CEO makes sure to build a powerful marketing department, CEOs should also understand the fundamentals of marketing in their business sector. Here are ten myths which, while prevalent, will lead you down the wrong path:
On October 4th and 5th, from 9am to 4pm, Gregg Anderson Co-Founder & Strategist of 41 Orange will present four workshops on How to Maximize Profits When Selling Real Estate. The workshops are being hosted by North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® Download PDF
Where Google ads were 10+ years ago, Facebook is now. It's a landscape ripe with opportunity. Few mid- and small-sized businesses have figured out how to really use Facebook ads effectively, so there is still lots of room in the market to grow.
If you’re considering the value of Facebook advertisements for your B2B endeavors, it’s important to understand how far the platform has come in recent years. Once decried as a low-value investment due to poor targeting, ineffective delivery, and low engagement, Facebook has rapidly increased the potential of its advertising in recent years.
Any business willing to invest in leveraging Facebook’s targeted delivery mechanisms to the fullest will find it an incredible tool for securing B2B leads.
Here are a few facts to catch your interest:
Marketing automation allows a small team to do the work of an entire department.
It improves customer service, saves time and reduces staff error rates. In short, it could enable your company to reach new heights. It certainly helps increase your online leads and push leads through the sales funnel faster.
Have you considered using a marketing and sales automation tool such as HubSpot for your business? Read on to learn more.
Searching for a way to take your B2B online marketing up a notch in efficiency and efficacy? Instead of leaning into cold calls/emails or putting all of your eggs into trade shows or networking, consider leveraging the potential of authentic networking via LinkedIn groups.
Nowhere else on the internet can you find a better-qualified group of prospects to engage for B2B marketing. Previously we wrote about how to get business from LinkedIn in less than 25 minutes per day. Part of that strategy is getting involved in LinkedIn Groups. You can use participation in the right groups to feed the top of your sales funnel with the best possible fuel: those people most likely to engage with your content, appreciate your offerings, and develop into satisfied customers.
Let's dive in! We're going to use real estate as our example industry here, but know that there are groups for virtually any industry or vertical.
Right now, if you want to generate leads there is no more effective and cost-effective way of doing so than with inbound marketing.
According to Hubspot, inbound typically generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, and at only about one-third the cost.
On top of that, SEO-based inbound leads have an average 14.6% close rate, versus only 1.7% for outbound methods.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding what inbound marketing is and whether or not you're doing it already.
The fact of the matter is, yes -- most companies are doing pieces of inbound marketing. They may have an SEO optimized website. They might publish content a couple times a year. They may even have an email subscribe form on their site.
But these are all just slices of the inbound marketing pie.
With all of the emphasis that has been placed on search engine optimization, we often have clients telling us they want to increase their SEO efforts to generate new business.
Yes, SEO is definitely going to bring you sustainable traffic over the long-run. It is critical to your lead generation strategy, but it is not a lead strategy on its own.
It seems that every prospective client we talk to lately is buying lead lists to fuel their business. Many, many B2B industries are guilty of this, but real estate and construction seem to be repeat offenders.
The social media landscape has changed. Just a few years ago, marketers were able to build an audience, push out content, and know that it would reach everyone. Now, that's no longer the case. With Instagram, Facebook, and other social networks leaning on increasingly opaque algorithms, brands need to be smarter if they want to make social media work for them.
When blogging for business, it’s not enough to throw out whatever comes to mind; rewrites and rehashings may get you a post for the day, but merely filling up your blog with content isn’t enough.
On days when that writer's block gets in the way and writing good, strategic content seems like a climbing Mount Everest, all you have to do is pull up this post for some ideas.
Try any or all of these 20 approaches to break through writer's block, spark a good idea for a blog topic start writing some killer content:
Bringing in new customers is the lifeline of any business. In industries such as commercial real estate, construction, financial services or even architecture & design, marketers and salespeople alike have relied on handshakes and cold calls.
But what if there was a better, more effective way to market your business?
Blogging For Business: The Not-So-New (but effective) Marketing Frontier
Blogging made it's way on the marketing scene in the early 2000s with "brand journalism." Savvy brands utilizing online content to climb in search results, gain new website traffic and connect with customers on a brand new level.
Today, however, blogging has become an effective long-term marketing strategy that allows companies to bring in new customers with a more passive sales approach. The results of blogging over time typically result in more leads, contributing to sustainable and ongoing growth.
"Inbound marketing with HubSpot generally produces 2x the amount of leads within the first 6-months."
What is Inbound Marketing?
Good question. Inbound marketing is simply the term we give for the method of bringing the right people to your website and get their contact information for a potential sale.
Inbound marketing utilizes tactics like blogging, social media and search engine optimization to attract the right people to your website. For instance, if you're reading this right now, you're more than like the right person for us at 41 Orange because we work with marketers who want to increase leads or salespeople who need more prospects.
Then we entice web visitors with valuable offer, bringing them to a form where we can capture their information, like this:
Next, when you have that person's information (and permission to email them) you can continue to send them relevant and helpful content (such as blog articles) to them to grow the relationship. Eventually, you'll trigger a need in that lead and they may reach out to learn more about your services -- then you work your magic and close a sale!
Blogging is where it all begins.
A business-to-business company in any industry can take advantage of blogging for business to increase B2B sales. Here are a couple tips for how to get started:
All the cool kids are using Instagram, but if you are a B2B marketer, you might think that you don't need to be up on this popular social media app. This would be a mistake.
Instagram allows you to share photos and 15-second videos with your followers. It is a great way to promote visual content about your brand with the world.
When you think about it, marketing to businesses is really directed at the people who work at those businesses. These people are looking to solve problems, fulfill needs and meet challenges. Instagram is just another way for you to showcase how your products and services can help.
Best of all, since Instagram is used for social sharing and B2C marketing, your posts will reach your followers when they are not in work mode. This allows you to present a more fun and playful side to your brand. By making a more personal connection with your followers, you can cultivate long-term business relationships and alliances -- and perhaps even attract new leads.
You’ve perfected the top of your funnel, cultivating several well-designed points of entry. Visitors are pouring in to your website, drawn by top notch content and savvy SEO, and once they arrive they’re taking action. You have more leads than you know what to do with as guests sign up for newsletters and submit contact forms.
You’re halfway to success. What comes next?
In a world of instant gratification, "Get it Now"s and real-time results, "long-term" has somehow become a dirty word.
There's a pretty good chance that one of the main goals of your inbound marketing campaign is to improve your B2B lead generation. There are numerous strategies out there that can be extremely effective at generating leads if implemented into your overall marketing strategy correctly. However, the first step of creating an effective lead generation marketing program is understanding how to effectively reach your audience. This is accomplished through the creation of a buyer persona.
Have you started thinking about Millennials in your B2B marketing strategies? It might be hard to believe, since they were "just kids" a few years ago, but they are rapidly entering management levels. According to Pew research, they are already the largest generation in the US workforce, and their numbers are only going to grow in the years to come.
And if you try to talk to them like you talk to Boomers, they'll show you the door.
There are probably few generation gaps we know of larger than that separating the Millennials from the Boomers. They have had vastly different upbringings, creating vastly different views on life. Knowing how to talk to them is going to be key to B2B marketing strategies moving forward.
In order to run an effective inbound marketing campaign, a strong content marketing strategy is essential. Inbound marketing is all about putting yourself in a position for consumers to find you by allowing them to navigate the first part of the sales funnel on their own.
We've already discussed how to attract more leads to your website, but what do you need to do with them once they are there? It's time to capture their information.
To accomplish this, content is required to both attract consumers as well as to inform and assist them to the point that they are ready to seek guidance through the rest of their buyer's journey. The following will help provide you with a better understanding of how and why content is so important to an effective inbound marketing campaign.
Having a great website has been recognized as a necessity for B2C businesses for quite some time. Consumers have flocked to the Internet and love to search online for their favorite things to buy. Attractive websites with easy navigation have been proven to increase traffic, revenues and sales for retail companies. And now in the era of mobile search, these companies have jumped on the bandwagon of mobile-friendly websites.
The marketing landscape has evolved dramatically over the last few years. With over 198 million Internet users using ad blockers and 84% of viewers skipping ads on TV, the notion of a captive audience is a thing of the past. People have changed how they consume media and engage with brands in whole new ways. They have grown accustomed to ignoring invasive, irrelevant marketing messages and look to interact with content that entertains and educates.
The anatomy of a B2B marketing strategy is far different from consumer brands. Whereas most B2C brands will do business in volume to grow, we (B2B companies) rely on relationships, repeat business and loyalty to survive. Because this, it's crucial to know how to work each part of your sales funnel to build a long-lasting client roster.
It is very likely that someone has already told you that blogging is a good idea. Blogs are a good way to let your customers and prospects know about your products, your brand, and get to know and trust the people behind your company.
However, a blog alone is not going to attract the traffic you need to reach your goals for revenues and profits. Once your blog posts are written, they will not magically reach the audience you want. In fact, they might not reach any audience. That's where social media promotion comes in.
You might be saying, "But Sam, we already post all our content on Facebook and Twitter. What more do you want?"
To which I would reply, "Yes! That's great, but what else are you doing?" -- Do I hear crickets?
Here's what's up: A study conducted by KissMetrics found sharing content at least three times on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ increase shares more than 100 percent. If you're not sharing your content everywhere you can, multiple times, then you're doing social media promotion all wrong.
Let's talk about it.
Last year, we here at 41 Orange were lucky enough to attend Hubspot’s annual INBOUND conference in Boston, Mass. It was a three-day whirlwind of learning, listening and sifting through it all at the end. But one keynote really resonated with me, personally, and it was Seth Godin’s talk on permission marketing. If you’re not familiar with Godin, he’s the godfather of permission marketing and coined the term in 1999. In fact, he literally wrote the book on it, “Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends, and Friends Into Customers,” a winning must-read to enhance your permission marketing knowledge.
For best results with SEO, it is important to take key steps when creating content. On-page SEO is not difficult to implement, it is just a matter of going through each step to ensure that you are maximizing your SEO opportunities for each post.
The day of researching and qualifying every single business lead manually are coming to an end. Forget spending hours going through your leads to identify whether or not they are the right person. There's technology for that -- affordable technology. In fact, many of your marketing activities can, and should, be automated.
Blogging is good for business. Actually, scratch that. Blogging is great for business. In fact, among a slew of fabulous statistics about just how good blogging is for your business is this: Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. And you know what that means? More traffic. Thought leadership. Being seen as an industry expert in the eyes of your customers.
What sets apart good leaders from great leaders is the ability to drive and sustain growth in an organization. Successful business leaders know that marketing is the secret to successfully growing their company.
Over time, we have noticed a lot of commonalities in successful business leaders—almost like a secret sauce that all savvy business owners know and value. We’d like to share the top nine facts about marketing that all those successful business owners and leaders know.
As a business owner or head of marketing, your main responsibility is to grow your company. Everything you do is geared towards helping your company reach the next level. You know that in order to really grow, you need to invest in marketing your business.
But before you invest in your marketing or even engage an agency partner for any marketing services, you need to decide what success really looks like for you. And we mean really defining what you and your team want to achieve through your marketing efforts.
This is where "GPCT" comes in.
Agencies were born out of need. Looking back, Volney B. Palmer opened the first advertising agency in Philadelphia, Penn. in 1850—the first of its kind in the United States. Palmer’s agency placed ads produced by its clients in various newspapers—basically a modern-day paid advertiser. And since the 1700s, agencies across the world have been helping business owners make their business more profitable, helping said business’ customers experience a better service, or merely let the world know they exist. It’s a need that’s been a need since the dawn of commerce.
You've heard the rave reviews about how blogging helps generate new business. Excited and ready to give it everything you have, you jump right in. Blog posts are coming easily and quickly, and you're publishing regularly.
But there's just one problem: You're not getting leads.
If you're reading this article because your blog is not bringing in the business you want, let me just say this: You are not alone, friend. There are several reasons why your blog isn't generating new business for your company -- and they are quite common. Here's what to look for and how to fix the issue to start generating those leads!
Inbound Marketing. You’ve probably been hearing this phrase getting tossed around more and more. The digital world is changing, faster than we could have ever imagined. And with Google at the helm, we are all set on the course that this Silicon Valley behemoth guides us towards. Where are we headed? Well, Google isn’t too keen anymore on SEO-keyword-overload or extreme keyword density, or any of the other tricks of the trade that savvy marketers have been conjuring up for the last few years. Traditional outbound marketing isn’t working anymore, either. The average human today is inundated with more than 2,000 outbound marketing interruptions per day—not much room for your business to break through, huh?
The Story of Hydaway Bottle & How We Raised $263k On Kickstarter
Kickstarter has become the ultimate setting for the cinderella story. It’s the playground of makers and inventors, and the storefront for unique, one-of-a-kind objects. $2.1 Billion has been pledged on Kickstarter, and many people are vying for a piece of the crowdfunding pie.
But striking it rich isn’t as easy as crowdfunding makes it seem. Oh no, on the contrary. Successfully raising money on Kickstarter is a lot of work.
Just ask our good friend and client Niki Singlaub, inventor of HYDAWAY Bottle. Niki had a simple idea: What if there was a reusable water bottle that you could conveniently fit in the pocket of my backpack? Wouldn’t it be great if I could carry a water bottle for my kids instead of relying on store-bought drinks?
That’s when the HYDAWAY Bottle was born. Designed for an active lifestyle, HYDAWAY bottles are compact, folding down like an accordion to just over one inch to easily fit in a pocket, backpack, or carry-on --nearly anywhere.
With such a unique product, how could it fail?
The HYDAWAY Bottle collapses down to easily fit in a pocket while you're on the go.
It’s hard not to sound like an infomercial when you start pumping up the benefits of blogging for your business. “It’s great! Everyone’s doing it!” “You haven’t tried blogging yet?! You have no idea what you’re missing out on!” The cliches are endless, quite honestly. But, here’s the thing: They’re kind of true. Not only does blogging bring gobs of traffic to your business’ site, but that traffic is prime to be converted into leads. Once you shake that organic traffic tree, you have no idea what might come tumbling out.
Over the last couple years, 41 Orange has helped clients find more effective ways to market their brands through their website, social media, email marketing and beyond. But our service offering just got better...
Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter—it seems like the list of social media websites grows larger all the time. For the business owner who has decided to make digital and inbound marketing an essential part of the business plan, these social media websites are a crucial part stepping stone to success. However, it can become quite time consuming to hit every platform, every day. There may become a time where you have to pick and choose a couple of these social media websites to be your “go-to” source for social lead generation.
As a business owner or marketing manager of a small to midsize business, you may be wondering, "how much should I spend on marketing?" This is a question we get a lot from new clients, especially those who have aggressive growth goals for the year. While there is no one answer that suits every business, this is the advice we give to our clients:
This talk was originally presented by Samantha Anderson at SAGE Talks, put on by the Sage Executive Group in San Diego.
In order to invite your existing customers to offer referrals, you need to be able to prove to them why they should refer you to their friends. For them to refer you to qualified leads, they will have to trust you. But trust will come naturally after you have spent time building a relationship with them through the previous steps of the inbound marketing process, Attract, Convert and Close, and the final step, discussed in this article, Delight.
We've been going over the Inbound Marketing methodology, discussing how B2B companies can gain clients and grow revenue. The first step, attracting visitors, focuses on turning strangers into visitors by offering them valuable content through a variety of channels such as social media, blogging and SEO to attract them to your site. The second step is converting visitors into leads via the use of landing pages, calls-to-action and personalized offers. The next step is closing sales, turning those leads into viable customers using inbound techniques to establish a relationship, build trust and eventually make a sale.
Yelp has really become a necessary evil for most businesses. Let's face it, no one enjoys reading negative comments about their business. But we have to reshape that thinking. It's not so much a complaint as an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a brand evangelist. Remember, inbound marketing isn't just about getting business, but driving loyalty through delight too.
Here's a fun fact:
"Customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand." ( Harvard Business Review)
The customer journey in inbound marketing doesn't stop once they get to your website. Attracting potential customers to your website through a variety of tactics is just step one in the sales process. The next step in the sales funnel, what happens once the visitor lands on your site, is an absolutely crucial step to capturing traffic and understanding how to turn them into dollars.
It's the beginning of the year. Your boss tells the marketing department that he wants to increase the number of leads coming into generate more revenue by the end of the year. Your department just launched a beautiful new website and you're feeling optimistic -- but when you go to look at your numbers, nothing is happening. No leads are coming in. In fact, there is very little traffic coming to your website to begin with. You know that in order to generate leads through your website, you really need to drive in more visitors from around the web. There is little to no paid media budget this quarter, and you know asking for it is out of the question.
The online marketing climate has changed, and so have your resources. Inbound marketing utilizes constant information flow to invigorate the consumer. Gone are the days of spam emails, information-pumping services and general appeal. The Inbound methodology provides a strong framework for your marketing campaigns and your business as a whole. In fact, HubSpot found that companies, no matter B2B, B2C or nonprofit, are three times as likely to see a higher ROI on inbound marketing than on outbound campaigns. It really works.
Not so long ago, most marketing was called outbound or even interruption marketing. It consisted of advertisements that interrupted exciting TV shows or cold calls that interrupted important business meetings. The only thing that advertisers knew how to do was talk to consumers, even when those consumers were not in the stage of their buyer's journey where they were ready to be talked to.
Every year, HubSpot surveys thousands of marketers and salespeople about their priorities, challenges and the tactics they've used to tackle those challenges for their State of Inbound report. This year the company spoke to nearly 4,000 from more than 150 countries, many of whom are marketers at B2B small or medium sized businesses.
Live event coverage perfectly showcases all that an event has to offer, and is also a great way to get people talking about the event--especially if the event is reoccurring, like a trade show, conference or block party. It is also an effective way to show people what they are missing, and get them thinking about going next year. If you are not doing social media coverage for your events, you're missing out on a big opportunity to grow your audience.
We've run the live coverage for a couple of San Diego's biggest block parties, as well Ignite San Diego. Taking and editing photos, posting videos, and contributing to event conversations on social media is a lot of activity to juggle when you are just one person. Most of the events we do, we cover via mobile on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, at the same time. To do it all effectively, I have cultivated a solid repertoire of apps and tools that I like to use in the field during the event, and for measurement afterward. Here are my favorites:
If you read about how to brand your startup, it is likely you will get advice on how to carefully choose the name of your company. Some will say that you should choose a name that represents what you do. On the opposite side, others will say your name should be completely unique—you have to claim those urls, handles, usernames, etc., and you can’t do that if there is already someone out there with a similar name, right?
There is an endless supply of advice out there about how to name your brand—and the 'experts' all have different opinions; however, there is one crucial piece of advice almost always overlooked: Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what your name is, as long you tell a compelling story.