Ever wondered what makes one inbound marketer more successful than another? It was one of the first questions we asked when our agency began our inbound marketing services practice. To help us answer the question we hired a Hubspot coach, Nick Salvatoriello – a personal trainer for inbound marketing - who showed us the best practices and made us accountable to continuously improve our results every day.
Working with our coach over the past 12 months we’ve experimented with our own inbound marketing, taking the combined complexity of activities, repetition and analysis and distilling it down into 6 simple inbound marketing habits that result in transformational success whether you’re working to increase business, achieve full enrollment or enhance donations to a non-profit:
- Define a keyword strategy that supports your brand
- Blog at least twice a week
- Spend 20 minutes in social media each day
- Post a new call to action and offer twice a month
- Learn something new from your lead data every day
- Review your analytics once a week and make adjustments
Here are some tips from our experience that may help you develop each of these habits of highly successful inbound marketers:
Define a keyword strategy that supports your brand
Your keyword strategy is the foundation on which the rest of your inbound marketing is built. Sure you can throw up a few billboard-like calls-to-action and some landing pages and get a few leads but if you want to build a scalable, sustainable lead generating machine, you’ve got to have a keyword strategy that reflects your brand values and positioning statements. As a brand marketing agency, keyword strategy and positioning statements are two of the first exercises we lead our clients through. Follow this link to learn some of our tactics for brand building.
Blog at least twice a week
The habit of frequent blogging impacts your inbound marketing performance a number of ways. Hubspot has done extensive quantitative studies over the past few years on both B2B and B2C organizations that show a clear and consistent correlation between blogging frequency and lead generation. But I’d like to suggest a few reasons why this is true based on our own experiences. When you’re blogging regularly it forces you to think about your prospects and about your business in a relational way. Blogging specifically forces you to think about how your business can solve the problems your prospects have. The more you engage in this exercise, the better aligned your business becomes with its prospects. When we started blogging about inbound marketing agency services, it forced us to look at the shortcomings of the outbound marketing agency services we provided for 14 years. The effect was transformational, enduring and incredibly beneficial.
Spend 20 minutes in social media each day
Social media is one of the easiest inbound marketing tactics to get wrong. It’s easy, especially for businesses, to think of social media as a megaphone rather than a telephone. Bloviating instead of conversing. Blasting instead of engaging. We’ve found the best approach to social media is to invest small amounts of time each day, developing some simple habits that, over time, create engagements that leads to sales. One of our associates, Max Traylor documented these habits, and their impact in this contributed blog, 20 minutes a day to social media success.
Post a new call to action and offer twice a month
There’s nothing more disappointing than having Google reward your search with a result that promises new insights and analysis only to find the same old premium content day-after-day, week-after-week or month-after-month. Your prospect’s challenges change constantly. Are you their go-to resource? Only if your offers are fresh, packed with wisdom and expertise that set your school, business or non-profit apart from everyone else who’s just selling stuff. As you post new and different offers – video content, webinars, ebooks, whitepapers – you create the opportunity to learn more about your prospects with lead nurturing campaigns that equip you to initiate meaningful sales engagements that shorten the sales cycle and the time-to-revenue.
Learn something new from your lead data every day
Another business that shares our building has a sign tacked to the front of the door that says "The customer is always right!". I take exception to that statement on a number of levels. First, if it were true, we'd all be right, because we're all customers. Second, if the customer is always right, why do they need you? The sign should say something like "We can always learn from our customers!" - which is absolutely true. By reviewing your lead data frequently, looking for patterns, understanding what's not working as you assumed and understanding which content drives conversions you'll develop an understanding of your customer and sales process that enables you to segment your marketing tactics, improve engagement and shorten your qualification process.
Review your analytics once a week and make adjustments
Perfection isn't the criteria for success, improvement is. Experiment, learn, adjust, improve. Our own data shows the wisdom in this habit.
It’s easy to either ignore your analytics or become so fixated on them that you waste resources making changes faster than the changes impact your measurement. It can take 2 – 4 weeks for on page SEO to impact your organic search results… so why fixate on the change in your keyword rank every day? Look for trends, not one-day miracles or disasters. That said, make it a habit to review your analytics weekly and correlate your activities to the trends you observe. Do the same for your competition. If you make adjustments, note them and note the date you make them so you can observe the impact – good or bad. If you see data that doesn’t make sense, look at it from another perspective - try Googling your own keywords for instance - to see if you get the same answer.
These 6 inbound marketing habits will transform your organization
Whether your goal is to materially increase sales in 180 days, achieve full enrollment in the coming admissions cycle or increase pledge commitments in your donor base, developing these 6 habits will put you in the echelon of highly successful inbound marketers. Just as a personal trainer can help you achieve your full potential in the gym or on the track, having an inbound marketing agency that knows your goals and specializes in these techniques can make the difference between getting by and winning. If you have goals you’re serious about achieving for your business, school or non-profit, check out this ebook, 180 days to increased sales, or contact Innovative Marketing Resources today for a complimentary consult.