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9 ways to improve your inbound marketing

Triana Jarman

Last month I attended my first Grow with Hubspot event in London. Arriving bright-eyed to the etc.venues at Bishopsgate, my expectation for the day was to hear what the inbound experts had to say on best practice, tips and tricks, and to see if the demand generation framework I’d been putting together was on the right track.

Luckily the content delivered that day satisfied both and I’d like to share the advice and insight around emails, content and conversion which were most valuable to me. By the end of this you should come away with at least one new inbound marketing idea yourself.

Emails

  1. Don’t just automate sh*tty, bad emails

Very obvious, but easy to do. Marketers have a lot of pressure to increase web traffic, sales leads and contribute to business revenue. It’s no wonder then that in an effort to achieve this some of us get caught up in the “let’s just do something” mentality. We need to stop this, now.

  1. Relevant emails drive 18% response

Another no-brainer, however being able to send relevant communications depends on data; good, clean and reliable. If you haven’t got this you will struggle, so make a point for your next email campaign to start cleansing and correcting that data.

  1. Brand improves likelihood of cold email success

This is good news if you work for a very well-known brand but if you don’t, this doesn’t mean all your email efforts are in vain. A good way to get in with a cold contact is to personalise with company context that is relevant. Is the company launching a new product, targeting a new audience? Learn what you can and sync that with your message to show the person you’re contacting that you’ve made some effort besides hit “send”.

Content

  1. Content should have long-lasting shelf life

Most marketers are aware that any content produced should be solving a customer problem. And because there will always be new customers, facing similar problems as those who traversed your content previously, then that post you wrote last year is still going to be relevant for the people encountering that same problem today. Go back to your old blog posts, give them a refresh if needed, and continue to promote them.

  1. Be the BEST answer in their industry

This was a fantastic message, whether you are an industry leader or not, your company has the chance to be the go-to resource for your customers. Look at what competitors are writing and also what they are NOT writing about. Lean on what you know best and write about that. And if you have a niche offering, that’s good. This means, when people are looking for your product or service, you have even more chance of your content being read.

  1. Just keep writing, just keep writing

Many businesses who think they are behind the content-bandwagon feel they need to suddenly churn out lots of content to catch up. However, this rapid-paced content creation usually means a sacrifice in quality, and as mentioned during the event, a high quality blog will result in more readers/subscribers. We blogged about content strategy basics which will help you get started. Best thing is to commit to producing one blog a week, or even a month, maintain that pace and soon enough you’ll have produced a substantial amount of inbound content.

Conversion

  1. So you want my personal details?

There is always an exchange going on, businesses want personal information from prospects, and those people giving it want something of value in return. Consider which content you do and don’t gate behind a webform. Ask yourself, “Would you feel disappointed if you provided your contact details for this?”

  1. Clear CTAs

Visitors to your site want a clear conversion path, be it from the blog to signing up to your newsletter, downloading a report or following you on social. Your Calls To Action must be visible and fit naturally within your site. We even wrote a blog post all about creating good CTAs.

  1. More traffic = more leads

As many marketers know, Google made a change earlier this year which shifted ads from the right side and now they stack in a single column above organic search results. Hubspot did a great post detailing more on this and its effect on marketers. The short and sweet is that this change means your website will be competing even more with paid ads for pole position on that first page, whether for an ad space or as an organic result. Don’t ignore this – do research, see where your website comes up when searched for with relevant keywords, and start testing how you can improve your ranking.

Go get ‘em

There was a lot of great information shared during the Grow with Hubspot event and these quick overviews should provide you with some new ideas for your own inbound marketing efforts.

As a final parting piece of advice, remember that inbound marketing takes time. This is not an overnight strategy. You need to build up your content, your data, define a marketing strategy for getting your wonderful content out in front of the right audience, and as ever, define your goal and metrics to see what works and what doesn’t.