What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the process of assigning value to each lead you generate. Most companies function on a point system — the better the fit and interest of the lead, the greater the score of that lead. Lead scoring helps marketing and sales align their efforts so that everyone is always putting the most effort towards the leads most likely to close. 

Why is Lead Scoring Important?

The thing about inbound marketing is that it brings leads in. When your inbound marketing strategy starts to hit its stride, you’ll have leads, most of which are qualified, flowing into your website and inbox. 

What’s your sales team to do with all of those leads?

Not all leads are the same, and your sales team only has so much time in a day to work to close them. Lead scoring helps give your marketing and sales team a common valuation system they can use to determine which of those leads to spend their time on. 

If you want to avoid sales team burnout, and help them close the most deals for their time, lead scoring is the way to go. 

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What Does Lead Scoring Look Like?

Most lead scoring models work on a point system. Essentially, you assign a point value to each attribute or quality a lead has. 

Points can be both positive and negative. (My Harry Potter fans get it, right?)

Let’s take a look at an example. 

Say you’re a home builder that builds custom homes for families in the Grand Rapids area. 

For the sake of this example, you’d likely assign positive points to lead with qualities or attributes like:

  • The lead is looking to build a home
  • The lead is a parent of two kids in elementary through high school
  • The lead is interested in Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • The lead’s budget lines up with the average budget of your projects
  • The lead has looked at your gallery of projects
  • The lead has downloaded a content offer 
  • The lead regularly interacts with your monthly newsletters and email marketing campaigns

You might assign negative points if:

  • The lead wants to build outside of your service area (that’s probably -10 points)
  • The lead has a budget far below the projects you prefer to build
  • The lead hasn’t interacted with your website

As points come together for each lead, those with a higher score are going to be the most qualified leads. 

Two Things to Remember When Developing a Lead Scoring Model

Lead scoring will differ from company to company, depending on your product, the industries you work in, and more. There’s a lot that goes into developing a solid lead scoring model, so we’ll put together another blog that goes into detail on lead scoring models.

For now, there are two major categories that help you define the quality of any lead: fit and interest. 

Scoring a Lead’s Fit

A lead’s fit means how well they fit your product or service. If they’re in your service area, they work in the right industry, and they have the right job title or role at their company, then they probably fit your buyer persona. It’s likely that they’re a good fit for your product or service. 

You’d think that’d make them an excellent lead, and that they should have a high lead score, right?

Not exactly. 

This is where interest comes in.

Scoring a Lead’s Interest

It’s important to account for a lead’s fit and interest when you’re scoring leads. 

Has that lead engaged with your website? How often? Are they interacting with key content offers, and have they looked at your pricing page a few times? 

These are signs that lead has an interest in your product or service. 

How to Handle Different Levels of Fit & Interest When Scoring Leads

Okay, so every lead is going to have different levels of fit and interest.

What do you do if one has more interest, but isn’t a great fit? Or if a lead is a great fit, but doesn’t seem engaged with your brand?

Here’s a quick look:

  • If a lead has great interest and great fit, they’re a high priority lead and should receive a high score. This is the lead your sales team should work first. 
  • If a lead seems like a great fit, but they haven’t interacted much with your marketing team or website, they could still be a great lead, but they should be lower on your sales team’s priority list. This is a lead that marketing should work with to nurture a bit more before they hand them off to sales. 
  • If a lead has a great interest in your product or service, but aren’t a great fit — maybe they’re not a decision-maker, or maybe they’re in an industry that doesn’t tend to do well with your product or service, they’re probably a great candidate for some automated marketing and sales activities.

How Do You Keep Track of Lead Scores?

So you’ve figured out what lead attributes are valuable, which aren’t, and have a basic idea of how you plan to start your lead scoring model.

How will you keep track of your lead scoring model and the scores of each of your leads?

This is a ton of information, both to figure out and to keep track of. 

Your two greatest options are to 1) invest in a CRM that can keep track of all that information for you or 2) start manual lead scoring. 

Software or CRM Like HubSpot

The easiest way to keep track of your lead scoring model is to use a CRM that helps you manage and organize each of those leads based on their score. HubSpot offers manual lead scoring for Marketing and Sales Professional, and predictive lead scoring for Marketing and Sales Enterprise. 

Both options are great. When you have manual lead scoring all set up, it’s easy for sales and marketing to see which leads are the highest priority.

You can check out how that works in this handy video from HubSpot:

With predictive lead scoring, HubSpot takes all that data you’ve been collecting and helps rank leads for you according to who has the best fit, the most interest, and a historical likelihood to close. 

Manual Lead Scoring

If your company isn’t in a place to invest in software tools like HubSpot, manual lead scoring is your best bet. I’d recommend creating a shared document that everyone on the marketing and sales team has contributed to and approved. Then, you’ll need to set up a process for scoring each lead. 

  • Should each sales team member score a lead as they come in?
  • Or maybe the marketing team should be the ones scoring leads. That way, they know which leads to send to sales, and which to keep nurturing.

No matter how you do it, it’s important to have a set, repeatable process that everyone understands. 

It might seem like a lot of work, and a lot to keep track of at first, but once you have a lead scoring model in place, it will eventually become second nature to marketing and sales to score those leads. 

If you’re relying primarily on manual lead scoring, it’s most important to ensure you’re keeping sales and marketing teams aligned. Great lead scoring is only effective if both marketing and sales have the same shared understanding of what makes a good lead. 

Remember that as your business grows and changes, you’ll start to pull in new leads for different products and services. 

Your lead scoring model will need to adapt to that. 

Make sure marketing and sales have the time set aside to work together and make sure your lead scoring model is always working to clearly define the most qualified leads. 

Why Lead Scoring is Important to Sales Success

So there you have it — what lead scoring is, and a general idea of how to start developing and implementing your own lead scoring model. But why is it important to sales?

Lead scoring makes it easy to see which incoming leads are most likely to close. That means your sales team spends less time nurturing leads, and more time closing. 

When they’re able to see at a glance the top qualified leads, and reach out and interact with those leads first, they’re spending their time in the way that will deliver the greatest impact to your bottom line. 

Lead scoring is a helpful tool for any company looking to allocate their team’s time to the activities that will deliver the greatest ROI.

While there’s a lot of upfront effort that goes into developing a lead scoring model that works for your company, the payoff is that your marketing and sales teams are:

  1. Aligned on which leads are the most valuable to your team, and
  2. Spending the majority of their time on the leads that are likely to deliver the greatest return. 

Have more questions about lead scoring, or about setting up lead scoring in your HubSpot portal? We’re here to help.

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5 Proven Lead Generation Tactics for Construction Companies

5 Proven Lead Generation Tactics for Construction Companies

5 Proven Lead Generation Tactics for Construction Companies

Lead generation is a key metric many construction companies are working to improve. But, like anything, it’s easier said than done. You want to boost lead generation, but you don’t just want any leads. You want qualified leads — people and businesses who are looking to start the kinds of projects that deliver the greatest returns for your construction company. 

If you’re working to boost lead generation for your construction company, here are 5 proven tactics that won’t just get you more leads, but more of the leads that drive revenue.

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As you might expect, quality lead generation starts with your website:

01. Optimize Your Website to Convert The Construction Leads You Want

Your website is your construction company’s greatest lead conversion tool. Bar none. 

Sure, you’ve been getting a ton of word-of-mouth referrals. But where do you think those referrals go the minute someone recommends your construction company?

Your website. They go to your website. 

Even if it’s just to figure out what number to call, any 21st-century consumer is going to Google you before they talk to anyone on your sales or project team. 

When they do make it to your website, it’s important that there are plenty of opportunities to convert those leads. 

Beyond just word-of-mouth-referrals, you should also be optimizing your website to convert leads coming in from the web. 

If your goal is to increase lead generation, word-of-mouth-referrals shouldn’t be your only stream of leads. You should be optimizing your website and marketing strategy to draw in more traffic (we’ll get to that in #2), and you should be utilizing conversion tools that can help you generate those leads once new visitors make it to your site.

Three key conversion tools you’ll want to implement on your construction company’s website include:

Calls-to-Action

This is the best way to generate leads from your website. A call-to-action is any button or page on your construction website that encourages a lead to take an action. Buttons like “Request a Quote” and “Get a Project Bid” are easy to implement, and they make it really easy to generate leads. 

When calls-to-action are available and visible on your site, you’re making it easy for a qualified lead to convert when they’re ready to talk to your sales team. 

Content Offers

Calls-to-action are a great way to convert qualified leads who are getting ready to make a purchasing decision. But, requesting a quote might be too much to ask of someone who’s just started researching construction companies for their project.

For those visitors, a softer conversion opportunity is necessary. That’s where content offers come in. 

Content offers are pieces of content you put on your website behind a gate. That gate is usually a contact form. Here’s a great example of a content offer that’s directed to contractors. 

Contractor-Content-Offer

If you were a contractor interested in saving money, this content offer might appeal to you. When you fill out your contact information, you get the offer, and the company gets your contact information. 

Voila — that’s a new lead. 

Content offers present qualified lead conversion opportunities, without your sales team having to do a single thing. They’re a great soft-conversion opportunity that can increase your construction company’s lead generation, without putting a lot of extra work on your sales team. 

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Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is another great conversion tool you can use to boost your construction company’s lead generation, while also saving your sales team some time qualifying leads. 

Implement conversational marketing tools, like a chatbot, on some of your more highly trafficked website pages. Your home page is a great idea, as well as any pages that showcase your previous work. 

If a potential lead thinks of any questions, or wants to know more about one of your past construction projects, all they have to do is type a message to the chatbot the minute they think of that question. 

The chatbot can either answer that question according your pre-set conversations, or someone on your sales team can respond directly through the chatbot. 

If that lead seems qualified, the chatbot can collect their contact information for your sales team to follow-up, and you’ve just generated another lead.

If the lead doesn’t seem qualified, your sales team can point them in the right direction, and they’re on their merry way immediately. This helps remove a lot of the unqualified leads that could be clogging up your sales pipeline.

Conversational marketing is a newer technology, but it’s a great way to remove any friction between the visitor to lead conversion. Most studies have shown that the easier it is for a visitor to get an answer to their question as they think of it, the more likely they are to continue the conversation and become a lead. 

Conversational marketing tools solve the challenge of providing the right response to a question at exactly the right time, by ensuring your website is always on, answering questions even when your sales team is out of the office. 

02. Create Content That Draws in More of the Right Leads

More traffic = more leads. 

And you get more traffic by putting out more content. 

I’m not going to go into the mechanics of blogging or content marketing, but if you want more info there, check out these resources:

The long and short of it is that if you’re putting out content that is:

a) targeted to keywords that people are searching for, and 

b) relevant to the questions your ideal leads are asking,

 you’re going to pull in more qualified traffic.

And when you have more qualified traffic coming to the website that you’ve already optimized with conversion opportunities (See step 1) you’re going to generate more leads. 

Topics like, “How to Determine A Budget for My Business Construction Project?”, or “How Long Will My Office/Hospital/Apartment Building Construction Project Take?” are things your ideal buyers are probably searching for. 

If those don’t sound great to you, then what do your customers typically ask? Ask your sales team what questions they field the most when it comes to starting a new construction project. 

When you’re writing blogs and articles that answer those questions, you’ll start pulling in the qualified traffic you want. When they do, your conversion tools will be ready and waiting to help convert those visitors into leads. 

03. Put Effort Into Local SEO

Most commercial construction companies function in a specific geographical range.

Even if you’re a large industrial construction company, you’re probably restricted to a region of the country, like the Midwest or the Pacific Northwest.  

While you want to boost your construction company’s lead generation, you don’t want to pull in leads that aren’t relevant to your company. 

Leads from other countries or from regions you don’t serve are a waste of time. 

A key way to ensure your lead generation efforts are only working to pull in the right leads is to put effort into your local SEO. 

That means, tailoring your digital presence — your online listings and your website — to clearly state where you work. 

Google My Business

Your Google My Business listing is a key place to start. 

Anyone who searches “commercial construction company near me” is going to pull up a search engine results page that highlights companies with Google My Business Listings. For example, I searched digital marketing in our area, Grand Haven, and three marketing agencies popped up on top. 

When you click on Evenbound, you pull up our Google My Business Listing.

This is a free listing that Google puts together to help users find the best business for whatever service they’re searching for. It’s got everything from our hours to our website to pictures of our team.  

The more optimized your listing, the better. 

At the very least, you should claim your construction company’s Google My Business Listing and adjust your service area details. 

The service area business details allow you to say what areas you serve customers in, where you business is located, and more. 

This helps Google figure out where you are, which in turn helps you. When Google knows where you are and what areas you serve, they’re more likely to show your business when someone searches for a commercial construction company in their area. 

When that happens, you get more qualified, local leads.

Pro Tip: If you can, try to get some reviews going on your Google My Business Listing. As you can see from our results, our high rating put us at the top of local search results. Here’s some more info about how customer reviews can drive quality local search results

Optimize Your Site for Local SEO Too

It’s a good idea to optimize your website for local SEO too, especially if you want to rank ahead of the competition. This is another great way to make sure you’re boosting your lead generation potential for the right, qualified leads. A few ways to optimize your construction company’s website to draw in more local leads include: 

  • Add location pages to your website. If you’ve got multiple offices or locations, create a dedicated page for each, and include each location’s unique hours and service options. This will help you rank well for both locations.  
  • Develop local content. People looking to complete a commercial construction project in your area probably have questions about what they should prepare for when it comes to local building codes and requirements. Developing content that answers those location-specific questions can help boost your presence in local search results. 
  • Make sure your construction company’s name, address, and phone number are consistent across the web. This makes it easier for people to find you, and to establish where your company is. 

Putting just a little effort into your construction company’s local SEO can go a long way. The more optimized you are for local search, the more qualified traffic you’ll get. And as we talked about earlier, more qualified traffic = more qualified leads. 

04. Use PPC and Social Media Advertising Intuitively

Up until now, these lead generation tactics have been largely focused on organic efforts. 

Paid advertising is also a great way to generate leads if you use it well. 

Unlike organic search efforts, which take a bit of time to gain traction, PPC and social media advertising can generate those leads you want, right now. This makes paid advertising a great supplement to any inbound marketing strategy looking to boost lead generation quickly. 

Paid search and social media advertising are both great options for construction companies. 

PPC is a great lead generation tactic because you can pick and choose the keywords that you want to bid on. 

For smaller PPC budgets, we recommend bidding on keywords that signal buyer intent, like “commercial contractor quote”, or “commercial construction timeline”.

Though you might not get as many leads from these long-tail keywords, the lead you do get are likely to be highly qualified, and more likely to convert to sales. Since you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, there’s not much to lose by giving PPC a shot.  

Social media advertising is great for construction companies because it’s highly visual, and so are your projects. 

You can highlight images of the beautiful buildings you’ve completed, while also using Facebook, Instagram (yes, Instagram can work for commercial construction companies), and LinkedIn’s robust targeting features to send those ads out to just the leads you know are likely to be interested in your commercial construction services. 

05. Analyze Your Efforts and Optimize for Better Lead Generation in the Future

The best way to boost your construction company’s lead generation is to take cues from your past efforts. 

What lead generation tactics are working best for your construction company? Which tactics flopped?

It’s important to keep track of your efforts and analyze what works and what doesn’t, so you can continue to generate leads more efficiently in the future. 

We always recommend a CRM to help you keep track of and analyze data associated with your marketing and lead generation efforts, but you can also use the people you talk with every day to figure out what’s working to generate leads for your company. 

Here’s how:

  • Talk to new leads — how did they find you? This will help give you a better idea of where those leads are coming from. When you know that, you’ll be able to figure out which of your lead generation efforts are working to deliver new leads. 
  • Talk to customers — why did they choose your construction company? Did they love a guide or content offer they found on your site? Were you the first result on Google? What tipped the scales for them and made them choose your construction company over the competition? Answers to these questions should also give you insight into what lead generation tactics are working for your team. 
  • Talk to your sales team — what efforts, tools, or platforms are delivering the most qualified leads? Your sales team works with leads and customers every day. They’ll know, from talking to these people, what information is most relevant to them, and what’s helping to convert new visitors into leads. 

The better you understand your current lead generation efforts, and their effectiveness, the more intuitively you’ll be able to tailor your efforts in the future.

Take the lead generation tactics that are working the best, and allocate a bit more time and budget to them. If something isn’t working, take a break from it, or come at it from a different angle. 

Construction companies often struggle to generate qualified digital leads, either because they lack an online presence, or because they’re not exactly sure what leads they want. If you can nail those two things, and implement even just a few of these lead generation tactics, you’ll start to see a boost in the leads coming to your construction company. 

Looking to boost your construction company’s lead generation potential? The Evenbound team is here to help. We’ve worked with a number of construction companies to boost site traffic, align sales and marketing, and most importantly to generate and close leads.

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Understanding the HubSpot Flywheel

Understanding the HubSpot Flywheel

Understanding the HubSpot Flywheel

If you’ve been using HubSpot services or inbound marketing for a while, or if you’ve done any kind of marketing or sales work in the past, you’re probably familiar with some sort of funnel. A marketing funnel, a sales funnel, a buyer’s journey funnel — the list goes on. 

For years, we’ve all used a funnel model to track our marketing and sales leads’ progress towards making a purchase. And while that worked alright, you’ve gotta admit it’s pretty linear. 

People come in at the top of the funnel, and they leave at the bottom. 

While that’s a nice, tidy way to think of leads, prospects, and customers, it doesn’t do a lot to keep the momentum going. As soon as a customer makes a sale, they drop out of your sales funnel, never to be seen again. 

But, we know that pulling in and converting a new customer can cost 5x more than retaining an existing customer. The marketing or sales funnel just doesn’t illustrate this well. 

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What is the HubSpot Flywheel?

It’s an updated method of conceptualizing how your marketing and sales efforts affect your customers and your company’s overall growth. 

It looks like this:

You’ll notice some similarities here with the original HubSpot inbound marketing funnel, but also some differences. 

Let’s talk a little about what each of those stages mean:

Attract

The attract stage focuses on drawing in new, qualified visitors, usually to your website. 

This is fundamental to inbound marketing methodology — drawing visitors in with high-quality content that answers their questions and solves their pain points is considerably more effective than pushing your message out to a general, unqualified audience. 

To attract qualified visitors, you’ll want to:

  • Identify who a qualified visitor is — what are their pain points? What are they looking for? What information would be helpful to them?
  • Develop content that addresses those questions and pain points. 
  • Publish and promote content on your website, social media platforms, and more. 

Your goal in the attract stage is to draw more visitors to your site, introduce them to the product or service you offer, and then answer any questions they may have about it. The key here is drawing in qualified visitors, which you achieve by developing targeted content that is specific and relevant to the leads you’re hoping to pull in. 

Engage

From the attract stage, you continue to circle visitors through the HubSpot flywheel by engaging them in a specific, personalized way that delivers the best experience possible. 

The engage stage focuses on making a connection with those visitors as they become qualified leads. You may provide content offers and more in-depth resources that help them through the consideration stage of buying, or you may engage directly with potential leads and existing clients over social media platforms and through email marketing strategies. 

Engaging with your leads and customers helps build authority and trust. When you have a solid, positive relationship with new leads and even existing customers, they’re more likely to turn to your company when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. 

Delight

Once a lead has chosen to purchase your product or service, you continue to delight them with the highest caliber service, and additional content that helps them better use your product and engage positively with your company. 

This turns your customers into promoters: they love your company and the products you deliver and are happy to share their great experience with other consumers. 

Each stage of the flywheel highlights a specific stage of the buying process, and there are specific inbound marketing tactics you can use at each one. We wrote a guide about which inbound marketing tactics to use at each stage of the HubSpot flywheel, if you want more info there. 

How the HubSpot Flywheel Is Different

Okay, so now we get the general premise of the inbound marketing flywheel  — attract, engage, and delight. It’s not so different from the old-school funnel, right?

Well, not exactly.

Though many of the stages are the same, the fundamental premise of the flywheel vs. a funnel is what’s important. 

Rather than thinking of each customer having a specific start and end point with your company, they’re always at the center of your flywheel. 

Your communications with a customer shouldn’t end just because they’ve made a purchase. By keeping that customer at the center of the flywheel, and continuing to deliver content, support, and service that’s relevant to their needs, you keep your flywheel spinning. 

Customers who made a purchase might flow automatically back into the attract or engage stage as they consider additional services or products that your company offers. 

It’s this fundamental change — putting the customer at the center of your flywheel, and visualizing it as a continuous circle, rather than a funnel — that sets the flywheel apart as a more efficient and productive marketing and sales model. 

Check out HubSpot’s transformation video for a visual:

You’ll see in the funnel, the customer makes up a very small percentage of the total funnel. What’s more, they’re almost portrayed as an afterthought. 

Why the HubSpot Flywheel Works

The inbound marketing flywheel puts customers at the heart of everything you do. 

You can use the positive relationships you’ve built with existing customers to attract and engage new leads, convert new clients, and delight customers that help you continue attracting new ones. 

When done properly, the flywheel spins in perpetual motion. 

The flywheel lends itself much more to a holistic inbound marketing approach, where every customer, lead, and visitor matters. Because really, they do. 

When you’re visualizing your marketing and sales efforts in a flywheel, rather than in a funnel, it’s much easier to remember how important each contact is to your company’s growth. 

We hope this blog helps you understand the HubSpot Flywheel just a little bit better. If you’ve got more questions about how the flywheel works, or about how to pair it with your existing marketing and sale processes, the Evenbound team is here to help.

Let us know what kind of support you’re looking for — we’re happy to answer questions about anything ranging from marketing to sales to HubSpot services, and even company growth. 

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3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

If you’ve read any of our recent content, you’ll notice that goal setting is a topic that pops up, well, a lot. It’s usually the first step we recommend for any content marketing, digital marketing, outbound marketing, and of course inbound marketing strategy. 

But why?

Goal setting is essential to any inbound marketing effort. Here are three reasons why you just can’t (and shouldn’t want to) skip it. We’ll also throw in a few tips about setting great inbound marketing goals, too. 

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01. Goal Setting Aligns Marketing and Sales Teams

A common problem with any marketing or sales initiative — inbound or otherwise — is a disconnect between sales and marketing.

Marketing feels like they’re delivering tons of leads to the sales team, and they’re not doing the work of following up with them. 

Sales feels like marketing keeps delivering unqualified leads that aren’t a good fit or that will be really difficult to close. 

Goal setting, especially when you define and determine your goals with both teams in the room, eliminates this problem. 

Just getting both teams in the same room will do a lot to foster alignment, but setting shared goals can really make an impact on how your sales and marketing teams work together to reach your overall revenue goal. 

And when sales and marketing are working together seamlessly, you’re closing more of the right sales, faster. That means greater ROI for your company. 

02. Goal Setting Helps You Measure the Success of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

It’s pretty difficult to figure out how well you’re doing if you don’t have a benchmark for success. Setting your goals upfront, at the very start of your inbound marketing process helps you determine what success will actually look like. 

Let’s say you’re implementing inbound marketing to draw in, convert, and close more qualified leads. 

You implement an inbound marketing strategy, and 3 months later, you’ve closed 15 sales directly from your inbound marketing efforts. Congratulations! But let’s think about those 15 sales:

  • Are 15 sales good? 
  • Are they the sales you were looking for? 
  • From the right market? 
  • Have they contributed to your sales teams’ revenue goals?

It’s hard to know the answer to those questions if you haven’t set goals ahead of your inbound marketing strategy. 

Goal setting is an integral part of the inbound marketing process that enables you to: 

  • Take stock of your company’s current situation
  • Evaluate where you are, and where you’d like to be
  • And set specific goals and benchmarks that show you when you’re making an effective effort to get to that place

If you don’t have goals to work towards, it’s difficult to say whether your inbound marketing efforts are working successfully to drive leads, close sales, and improve your bottom line, or not. 

03. Goal Setting Helps You Focus Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

Inbound marketing is a massive methodology. There are a million tactics you could be using right now, but they’re not all suited to every company or every goal. 

Setting goals helps you focus your inbound marketing efforts on just the tactics that will deliver the best results for your company. 

For example, if your goal for the moment is to increase qualified traffic, you know not to focus the majority of your time on your email marketing campaign. 

Email marketing is great, but it only really works to nurture leads you already know. It doesn’t draw in new traffic. 

If your goal was to increase qualified traffic, your marketing team would know that they’d need to up how much content they’re putting out, perhaps beef up your paid ad campaigns, and step up their work on social media in order to increase their reach. 

But without a goal, your team’s efforts are likely to be disparate and disconnected. 

Goal setting enables your teams to put their valuable time and resources to the efforts you know will produce the greatest results, and affect just the improvements you’re looking for from your inbound marketing strategy. 

How Do You Set Great Inbound Marketing Goals?

We’ve established that goal setting is important to effective inbound marketing. But how do you set great inbound marketing goals? 

Great question. 

We get that it’s not always as easy as it sounds to set  goals, so here are 5 steps to setting great inbound marketing goals:

01. Figure Out Where You Are

Before you can set relevant goals, you have to have a clear picture of where your company is now. 

  • How many leads did you pull in this month?
  • How much traffic does your website see on a monthly basis?
  • How many sales are you making per month from your inbound marketing efforts?
  • Are you pulling in the qualified leads your sales team wants to talk to?
  • If so, how many per month are qualified, and how many aren’t?
  • What percentage of your inbound marketing leads convert to sales?

When you understand where your company and your inbound marketing strategy stands now, you can set better goals for the future. 

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02. Figure Out Where You Want to Be

What’s your end goal with inbound marketing? What’s your big picture goal for the company this year?

You should have a pretty good idea of where your company stands at this point, so now let’s think about some big-picture goals that describe where you want your company to be in the future. 

  • Maybe you want to grow sales revenue by 20% this year. 
  • Maybe you want to beat out the competition and secure your place at the top of your market. 
  • Maybe your goal is to streamline your marketing and sales process so your sales team is converting a high percentage of the leads coming in. 

Think big, but reasonably here. It’s a good idea to set yearly or quarterly goals now, and then we’ll break those into monthly SMART goals in the next step. 

03. Set SMART Goals

You know where you are, and you know where you want to be. SMART goals are the goals that help you reach that big yearly goal. Let’s say you want to grow sales revenue by 20% this year — that’s your big overarching goal, and it’s what will drive your inbound strategy throughout the year. 

SMART goals are individual goals within that large goal that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. 

You’re not going to increase sales revenue by 20% overnight. SMART goals make up the interim benchmarks between now, and the end of the year, that help keep your marketing and sales teams on track to reach your yearly goal. 

Here’s an example of a monthly set of SMART goals that would apply to your year-end goal:

  • Increase monthly website traffic to 10,000 new visitors/month. 
  • Convert 300 leads from the website/month.
  • Convert 15 of those new leads to sales. 

This set of goals assumes that your company converts about 3% of your site traffic into leads and about 5% of those leads into sales. If that’s pretty close, or just slightly better than your company’s current conversion rate, then these are SMART goals. 

Breaking Down Your SMART Goals

They’re specific — they say exactly what you want from each step of your inbound marketing process: new visitors, leads, and sales. 

They’re measurable — they tell you exactly how many leads, sales, and site visitors you want. 

They’re attainable — they’re based on your company’s current performance, and give you a little bit of room to improve, but not so much that it’s impossible. 

They’re relevant — increasing qualified traffic, leads, and sales will, of course, lead to an increase in revenue (your overarching goal)

They’re timely — all three of those goals set a time frame: a month. This tells you when you want to reach those goals. 

SMART goals give your team the direction they need to put the right inbound marketing tactics into play while keeping everyone on track to reach your overarching goals. 

04. Measure Your Results

It’s one thing to set goals, but they don’t do you a whole lot of good if you’re not measuring your progress against them. 

If you’re setting monthly goals, you should check at least at the end of every month to see how you did. 

  • Did you meet one or all of your goals? 
  • Did you seriously exceed your goals? 
  • Maybe you didn’t meet any of your goals. 

How you did doesn’t matter as much as circling back to measure those results does. 

Of course, you want to meet all of your goals, but if you didn’t it’s more important to figure out why. 

Maybe you met your traffic and marketing lead goals, but your sales team wasn’t able to close 15 of those marketing leads. That shows that somewhere along the line, there’s a disconnect between sales and marketing. 

It could be that the leads marketing is pulling in aren’t right for your sales team, or it could just be that your sales team needs some help — sales enablement training or sales enablement resources to help them nurture and close those leads faster. 

Reviewing your goal progress at the end of the month is really what will give you the insight you, your marketing team, and your sales team, need to hone in on the efforts that produce the results you’re looking for. 

05. Set New Goals

Once you’ve reviewed your goals and measured your success, you should set new goals according to your findings. 

For example, let’s say that in the first month you exceeded all of the goals you set. That’s awesome, but you don’t want to just stay where you are. Setting new goals will help your company continue to grow. 

Now that you know how you did in month one, you’ll be able to set even better, more relevant goals. Since you exceeded all of your goals last month, you know you can probably set a more challenging goal for this month. 

The most important thing to remember about goal setting is that it’s central to continuous improvement. Setting new goals, once you’ve reached the old ones, helps your company keep pushing forward. 

The more you set goals, measure your success, and implement new, optimized goals, the more efficient your company will become at inbound marketing, and more importantly, at growth. 

Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

Goal setting is essential to inbound marketing, and really to any strategy — sales or marketing-related — that’s designed to help your company grow. If you want to increase revenue, boost your company’s number of monthly retainers, or even expand your client base geographically, the first step should always be goal setting. 

With clearly defined goals in hand, your team can work efficiently at the tactics that will produce the results you want. 

Struggling to set and define your company’s growth goals? Let the Evenbound team help. We work with all of our clients to set yearly and monthly goals, and then we put inbound marketing and digital marketing tactics in place to help them get there. We’d be happy to help you, too. 

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A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

When it comes to digital marketing, there’s a lot of confusion. Is inbound marketing also digital marketing? Is content marketing digital marketing? What about outbound marketing? 

There are so many different types of digital marketing, and the differences between digital marketing and inbound marketing and every other type of marketing you can do from your computer aren’t always clear. 

Let’s get that straight right now too. 

If you’re totally new to the industry, you might want to check out this inbound marketing vocab list to bring you up to speed. 

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5 Types of Digital Marketing

Think of digital marketing as a huge umbrella. 

It encompasses every marketing strategy you can implement on a digital platform. If you can do it, or see it on a smartphone, tablet, computer, or Elon Musk’s spaceship, it’s digital marketing. 

Inbound marketing is a methodology, a specific way of marketing, that draws people into your company. 

The goal is to draw people to your website or platform with great content and positive, helpful interactions. In an age where consumers value agency, inbound marketing allows the consumer to navigate to the information, decide what information they’ll read or download, and then make a decision based on what best suits their needs

If you offer the best content, the most information, and have quality, positive interactions, you’re the company most likely to come out on top.  

Inbound marketing, though, is just one type of digital marketing. Here’s a look at all 5 types of digital marketing we’re going to talk about today:

01. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is primarily used in a digital capacity, where your website functions as the central hub to which all traffic is drawn. 

Most inbound marketing tactics are relatively inexpensive and rely on organic results, rather than paid ones. Inbound marketing and digital marketing serve different goals, but can work together beautifully to deliver the results you’re looking for. 

02. Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a marketing tactic that supports an inbound marketing strategy. Used most often on digital platforms in the form of blogs and content offers, content marketing works to draw in qualified potential clients by offering up high-quality content that answers people’s most pressing questions about your product or service. 

03. Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is a marketing method that uses your social media platform to provide quality content to your followers. Social media advertising is the paid version of social media marketing. 

04. Email Marketing

Email Marketing has been used since email came out. For many, it’s those spammy emails you get from Target and Art Van about their latest sales. Email marketing that’s done with inbound marketing methodology at heart helps nurture leads by providing the relevant content leads are looking for, when they need it. 

05. Outbound Marketing

Outbound Marketing is any type of marketing that shouts or advertises your product. (Don Draper, we’re looking at you.)

In the digital marketing world, outbound marketing means paid ads, social media advertising, and pay-per-click. 

While these methods are all still under the digital marketing umbrella (and very useful in specific situations), they don’t fall under inbound marketing because they push your product to people, rather than pulling them into your website naturally. 

As we’ve all learned, outbound marketing doesn’t have to be bad or annoying to consumers. Outbound marketing advantages actually do exist — outbound marketing can help you get more of the right people to your website, right now. It just costs a little bit of money. 

But it is good to remember that outbound marketing is separate from inbound marketing. 

While inbound and outbound marketing can and do work together seamlessly, they have opposite goals. Inbound marketing aims to pull people in, and outbound marketing works to push a message out. 

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How All 5 Types of Digital Marketing Can Work Together to Drive Leads

Now that we’ve got clear definitions of what each of those types of digital marketing are, and how they’re different, it’s important to know how they all fit together. 

And more importantly, how they can work together to drive leads. 

Let’s start with inbound marketing. 

Inbound Marketing Frames Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. It provides the guidance your digital marketing strategy needs by dictating how you market. The inbound methodology gives you the foundation you need to truly build a digital marketing strategy by forcing you to answer questions like: 

  • Who do you want to market to? Your ideal buyers, defined by buyer personas.
  • How do you want to market? By pulling leads in with great content.
  • Where do you want to market? On your website, which you’ve designed to be a lead generation tool.

Once you have the answers to these questions, you have a foundation to build the rest of your digital marketing strategy on. 

Content Marketing Delivers the Value You Need to Pull in Leads

With your inbound marketing framework in place, you can start to develop content that’s geared to your buyer personas. 

Content marketing strategy helps you deliver value to those leads, and when written or developed for keywords, it helps your website rank higher on search engines. 

The content you create works to: 

  • Help you rank for keywords
  • Increase your site traffic
  • Pull in more qualified leads
  • Nurture those leads through the buyer’s journey

The more aligned your content strategy is with your inbound marketing strategy, the more leads you’re going to pull in.

Social Media Marketing Amplifies Your Strategic Content

Once you’ve spent a ton of time developing content that you know will speak to your ideal buyer, you can amplify it with a social media marketing strategy

Your social media platforms enable you to share your message with your followers on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Houzz, Twitter — whatever social media platform you have the greatest foundation on. 

Social media marketing takes all that hard work you’ve done creating content, and broadcasts it to an even greater audience that you’ve already curated. Your followers on social media are people who already have an interest in your product or service. That means your content should be hyper-relevant to them. 

The better you’re able to promote your content on social media, the more qualified leads you’re going to pull into your website. 

Email Marketing Nurtures Leads for your Sales Team

Your content marketing and social media marketing efforts are driving a ton of people to your website. Thanks to your inbound marketing strategy, you’ve optimized your website with calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms that are capturing qualified leads’ contact information. 

Email marketing helps you take that contact information, and turn it in into something valuable — an email list. 

With that contact information, you can enter those leads into email marketing campaigns that are specific and relevant to their unique pain points. 

Maybe you have a regular newsletter. Maybe you’ve got unique email marketing campaigns set up and segmented to address each unique buyer persona. 

Either way, your email marketing strategy uses more of that great content you’ve been creating to keep building relationships with and nurturing those leads. By answering their questions and solving their pain point, you’re keeping those leads warm and in your sales funnel, until they’re ready to talk to your sales team. 

Outbound Marketing Pulls in Qualified Leads, Now

The only downside to inbound marketing, and the digital marketing tactics that support it, is that it can take a bit of time. 

Content has to be indexed by search engines before it can climb in rankings, and that can take time. 

Outbound marketing solves that lag by delivering the qualified leads you want to your site, right now. 

When done well, by identifying long-tail keywords with buyer intent, and by targeting your social media advertising audiences intuitively, outbound marketing is a great way to draw in only the right leads, right now

And it serves the secondary purpose of helping you build brand awareness. The more recognizable your brand, the more likely people are to follow your blog, sign up for your newsletter, and follow you on social media. 

And as your digital platform grows, you’ll only continue to pull in more and more of those qualified leads you want. 

Digital Marketing Delivers Leads

So there you have it. That’s how all 5 of those types of digital marketing can work together to deliver leads. 

When you implement a digital marketing strategy that’s founded on inbound, and supported by digital outbound marketing tactics, you develop a lead generation machine that’s always working to draw in qualified leads for your company. 

It’s a long, complex process to both understand and implement, but we can say from years of experience — it works. 

Not sure about digital marketing? Sounds great, but also like a lot of work? Yeah, we get it.

We’ve helped dozens of clients implement a digital marketing strategy from the ground up. We can help you too.

If you have questions about where to start with your digital or inbound marketing strategy, or if you think you’d like a bit of help getting started, let’s chat. A quick conversation can help you align your efforts in no time. 

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