23 Digital Marketing Terms You’ve Always Wanted Explained

23 Digital Marketing Terms You’ve Always Wanted Explained

Digital marketing has a language of its own. It doesn’t matter if you’re a digital marketing guru or new to the ‘biz, this is an industry that’s full of constant change, and that means new words, acronyms, and theories all.the.time. We’ve created this list of 23 digital marketing terms to define some of the terms we get asked about the most often. Take a look for a refresher, or to help you get started if you’re just getting into the whole digital marketing thing:

Digital Marketing General Terms

We know you know what these mean, but here’s a refresher just in case.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management Software

This is software that companies use to track the interactions they have with each customer. Every CRM functions a little bit differently, but you’ve probably heard of big names like Salesforce and HubSpot. Essentially, this software helps you keep track of each client, lead, and potential client.

Your CRM should help you catalog each conversation you have with a client, and it should keep you informed of your client and leads’ activity on your website. Have they spent a lot of time on particular pages of your website? Are there key content offers they’ve downloaded? Maybe they’ve interacted with a chatbot on your site.

A quality CRM keeps track of all of the interactions your clients and potential clients have with your website, your marketing team, and your sales team, helping you provide the best service possible. Learn more about CRMs here.

ROI – Return on Investment

If you’re in business, you’ve heard the term ROI before. You know that old saying, “you have to spend money to make money.”? Your ROI, or your return on investment, is essentially that calculation: how much money you make by spending money on a marketing campaign.

ROI is typically expressed as a ratio or a percentage, and it’s calculated by subtracting the cost of a marketing campaign from its net profit, then dividing that number by the original campaign cost. A visual formula for ROI looks like this:

ROI = (Profit - Marketing Campaign Cost) / Marketing Campaign Cost Click To Tweet

Let’s say you spent $1 on a marketing campaign. (Bear with me, we’re going for easy math here.) Let’s also say that campaign earned you $5 in sales. For every $1 spent on marketing, you earn $5 in sales. Your ROI ratio would be 5:1.

For my percentage people, in this example, you’re spending about 20% of your revenue on marketing. That’s fairly average. You’re making money, but you’re not doing anything crazy or exceptional. An extraordinary ROI is closer to a 10:1 ratio.

Optimization

“Optimization” is undoubtedly a digital marketing buzzword. In the digital marketing industry, optimization means applying learned metrics and analytics to a marketing campaign to improve it.

For example, let’s say you’ve been blogging for a year now. You write blogs that focus on three categories: relevant industry news, informational how-to blog posts, and company updates.

When you look at your marketing analytics, you see that your company update blogs have no traction on social media, are the least read pages on your website, and have a very high bounce rate.

You might “optimize” your blogging strategy by minimizing the number of company update blogs you write, or by taking out that blog category altogether.

You’re using metrics and analytics to improve or “optimize” your blogging campaign. Thus, you are using optimization to increase your blog’s potential to convert visitors and leads.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is another digital marketing term that’s used all.the.time. The term lead generation means bringing new, qualified potential customers into your marketing and sales cycle.

Typically, lead generation is used in the context of describing a digital marketing effort. For example, blogging and deploying pay-per-click advertising campaigns are both digital marketing efforts that work to increase lead generation. That is, they work to draw more qualified potential buyers (um: leads) into your website and sales cycle.

B2B – Business to Business

This is an acronym we use constantly but rarely explain. It simply means a business that sells to other businesses, rather than to consumers.

Good examples include industrial manufacturers or companies that sell a service (like digital marketing companies).

A manufacturer who produces lug nuts is considered a B2B. They develop a very small part of an automobile, and they sell that part to another manufacturer, like Ford or Dodge, who sells to the consumer.

It’s a little trickier to market B2B companies than B2C companies because their ideal buyer isn’t a person, it’s a company. Some digital marketing companies (like us) have taken this challenge to heart, and focus the majority of their time and effort on implementing and optimizing campaigns for B2Bs.

B2C  – Business to Consumer

These are more traditional companies who sell directly to consumers. We mentioned above Ford and Dodge — these are manufacturers who sell to a consumer, rather than another manufacturer. More common examples would be grocery stores and online clothing retailers.

Digital Marketing Terms: Inbound Marketing

Alright, now that we’ve covered some general digital marketing terms, let’s look at a few that are specific to the inbound marketing side of digital marketing. If you don’t know what inbound marketing is, read this first.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a key concept behind the inbound marketing methodology. When you nurture a lead, you’re interacting with them in a positive way that leaves a good impression of your company. The more of these lead nurturing interactions you have, the further you draw that lead through the sales cycle. Stellar lead nurturing shortens the length of the sales cycle and delivers qualified customers more quickly.

Relevant email workflows and timely, helpful follow-ups are examples of lead nurturing actions.

Check out our blog, What is Lead Nurturing?, for more info on this one.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is the process of changing and improving your website for the best possible search engine ranking. Writing content that addresses specific keywords, implementing a mobile-responsive website design, and ensuring your website has a fast load time are all examples of search engine optimization tactics.

Anything you do to make your website function better and provide a more user-friendly, informative experience for web browsers is considered SEO.

CTA – Call To Action

A call to action is a tool you use on your website, or in your digital advertising campaigns to entice consumers to take an action. In an ad, the call to action might be to click over to your website. On your website, a call to action might ask a visitor to sign up for your newsletter.

Typically, CTAs take the form of a button. When a consumer presses the button and takes the action to visit your site, download your content offer, or sign up for your newsletter, they’ve completed a conversion, and have moved one step further through the sales cycle.

Landing Page

A landing page is any page on your website where a visitor lands after clicking over from somewhere else. Typically, when marketers refer to landing pages, they’re talking about a page on your website that has been designed to capture a visitor’s contact information.

For example, if you’re running a digital advertising campaign, your ads will take anyone who clicks on the ad offer to a specific page that contains a form and a call-to-action that will capture a motivated visitor’s contact information.

Learn more about what a landing page is, and how to make yours work.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a fictitious characterization of your ideal buyer.

Let’s say you’re a home builder that works in the higher market of custom home building and design. One of your buyer personas might be a doctor in his late 50s who is married and whose children are moving out of the house to pursue a college education.

To create a full buyer persona for this doctor, you would look at the pain points, challenges, and goals of this person, and write a very specific narrative for him to help guide your marketing decisions and target that person in the future.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that’s most often associated with the inbound marketing methodology. Any content you create that functions to be helpful to your ideal client or buyer persona is a part of your content marketing strategy.

People most often think of a blog when they think of content marketing. And this is true: your blog is an integral part of your content marketing strategy, as it offers up helpful information that’s targeted to keywords you know your ideal clients is searching.

That said, a blog isn’t the only part of a content marketing strategy. Your content marketing strategy includes any content that works to draw in new, qualified leads and potential clients. That means video development, social media marketing, guest blogging, and even email newsletters are considered aspects of a content marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Terms: Outbound Marketing

In case you haven’t heard, outbound marketing is making a comeback. When done properly, outbound marketing functions to draw in qualified leads to your website quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, outbound marketing is also chock full of acronyms and digital marketing terms that you might want explained. Here are a few of the most common outbound marketing terms that benefit from explanation:

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

KPIs are essentially all of the metrics you see results for from digital advertising campaigns. When an ad campaign ends, and Facebook or Google shows you the results of your campaign, most of the highlighted numbers in that report — like bounce rate, click through rate, cost per click, cost per impression, etc — are key performance indicators. KPIs can be any type of analytic, and in fact, most of the rest of the digital marketing terms in this section are key performance indicators.

CPC – Cost Per Click

How much you pay each time someone clicks on your digital advertisement. This is a KPI, and you’ll see it on reports for every digital ad campaign your company runs. Typically, you’re looking to run ads that have a low cost-per-click, unless your ads are highly targeted. If you’re showing ads to only a very small group of highly-qualified consumers, you might be willing to pay a little more for their clicks.

CTR – Click Through Rate

Click through rate is another metric that indicates how many of the people who saw your social media post or digital advertisement actually clicked on the link, and made it over to your site or the intended landing page.

Click through rate isn’t just for digital advertising. It’s also used in other digital marketing applications, like email marketing. An email’s click through rate refers to how many recipients clicked on a link in the email, and made it to a web page or took a desired action.

CPI – Cost Per Impression

One impression represents one time your ad was displayed on a website. Your cost per impression is how much you pay each time your ad is displayed. This metric doesn’t tell you anything about whether or not a user interacted with the ad, but it can give you an idea of how much reach the ad had. Impressions can help build brand recognition by getting your name out there, even if no one clicks on your ad. If you’re trying to build brand awareness, this is an important KPI.

CPA – Cost Per Acquisition

CPA or cost per acquisition is a metric that tells you how much it costs to acquire one customer. Cost per acquisition is calculated for advertising campaigns by dividing the total cost of your campaign by the number of conversions.

This is an important, high-level metric. CPA can tell you what the ROI of an advertising campaign is, and will show you if your ads are returning enough value. If your CPA is very high, you might consider changing or tweaking your ad targeting tactics.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is the number of people who immediately navigate away from your website or landing page after clicking on an ad or a link. A high bounce rate means that your visitors are probably not finding what they’re looking for on your site.

You can lower bounce rates by making sure your landing pages are specific to each ad you create, and by ensuring that your website and blog is full of informational content that makes sense for your industry, product, or service.

Remarketing

Ever shopped for something online, only to find that the next time you went to Facebook you saw hundreds of ads for that same product popping up left and right? That’s remarketing at its finest. Remarketing is an ad tactic that’s used to draw in customers who have already been to your site, but who have not yet made a purchase.

Digital Marketing Growth Terms

We’ve covered most of the FAQ terms that you hear when you talk about digital marketing. But there’s still one category left that we’d like to cover: digital marketing growth terms. Growth marketing is new, but it’s slowly increasing in popularity. Unfortunately, like most marketing methods, it has a few weird terms that you wouldn’t hear anywhere else. We’re going to try and explain them:

HubSpot

HubSpot is a CRM software, and company. The company acts as a resource for marketing teams and companies interested in the inbound marketing methodology. The HubSpot CRM is a powerful software that integrates your marketing and sales’ teams efforts to help you provide the best possible service to new leads and existing clients.

We wrote a whole blog called What is HubSpot? if you want to know more.

Marketing and Sales Alignment

This is one of those buzzwords (buzzphrases?) that marketers use constantly. But what does it mean?Marketing and sales alignment refers to the process of getting your marketing and sales teams to communicate and work towards one common goal, instead of functioning as silos. Click To Tweet Digital marketing and growth agencies make it their business to train clients on how to align sales and marketing teams for an effective, efficient sales cycle that helps companies grow.

ABM – Account Based Marketing

Account based marketing is a marketing strategy used primarily by B2B companies. It was developed to solve the specific challenge that B2B’s face trying to market to companies, rather than individual people

ABM focuses a B2B’s marketing efforts on a clearly defined set of target accounts — your ideal accounts, the types of companies you’d like to work with all the time — usually in the same one or two markets. ABM relies on highly personalized marketing campaigns that are created to speak directly to those ideal accounts’ specific pain points and challenges.  

Sales Enablement

At its most basic level, sales enablement is the process of empowering sales teams with content, guidance, and training to market and sell more effectively. Click To TweetThe term means different things to different industries, but for digital marketing, people usually refer to sales enablement when they talk about equipping sales teams with traditional marketing training.

For a long time, sales teams focused on making sales and making sales alone. Today, we’re realizing that companies can be more effective as a whole when sales reps also know how to nurture leads and provide helpful content to prospective customers. Training and empowering sales teams to sell, market, and nurture leads is what we call sales enablement.

We hope this little vocab list helps clear up any digital marketing term confusion! If you have any more questions about digital marketing terms or digital marketing in general, we’d love to help. Get in touch whenever is convenient for you.

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8 Content Creation Tips to Boost Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

8 Content Creation Tips to Boost Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

Content creation. One of the easiest, cheapest ways to get your company name out there. For some reason, it usually ends up being the most difficult, too.

As a content writer, or as the person who writes the website, blogs, or content offers for your company, you probably already know that content creation is hard. There’s just no getting around it. Whether you’ve hit a wall coming up with new topics, or you’re struggling to keep to a regular writing schedule, it’s tough to continually put out quality content that you’re proud of, and that gets the job done.

If you’re at a point where you’re feeling stuck, here are a few tips to jumpstart your content creation, in a way that also helps boost your inbound marketing strategy.

#1 Write What You Know

The first, and best tip for any writing endeavor, whether you’re blogging, writing a content offer, or even writing the next great American novel, is to write what you know.

When you’re writing about something you’re interested in, and have a breadth of knowledge on, your writing is going to be more engaging and targeted without you even trying.

If you’re a B2B, write about your product and how it solves problems in industrial manufacturing settings.

If you’re a home developer, write about your community — that’s what people care about and want to know before they consider moving.

The point is, don’t try to write something just to rank for a keyword or key phrase. While that’s also an important aspect of content creation, it’s more important that your content is honest, true, and meaningful. That’s what will keep people engaged and coming back to read more.

#2 Turn to your Pillar Pages for Inspiration

We all get stuck. Every content writer on the internet has thought at one point: there's nothing else to say about this topic. Click To Tweet

Luckily, we’re usually wrong.

When you’re stuck like that, your pillar pages are a great place to turn. After all, you wrote them to be a comprehensive overview of your key products, services, and methodologies, right?

Let’s hope so.

Examine your pillar pages to see which sections could benefit from a little more information, an example, or further clarification. Then, write that blog.

This tactic helps you expand your company’s overall content marketing strategy too, as the blog you write to support your pillar page can become a new subtopic. By linking properly, you can help boost traffic to that pillar page.

#3 Head To a Topic Generator

This is not a perfect fix, but it can help get the creative juices flowing when you’re having trouble thinking of content ideas. Topic generators are usually simple bots that string together words, phrases and questions to come up with a blog topic or title for you. Usually, the ideas they come up with are generic and boring, but they’re also a pretty good place to start.

If the topic generator gives you “10 Myths about Penguins”, spin that to fit your company in a way that’s more engaging. “10 Unbelievable Myths About Industrial Manufacturers”

Or something like that.

Again, not one-stop fix, but a good place to go for a little inspiration. We like Answer the Public and HubSpot’s Blog Idea Generator.

#4 Check the Keywords

If you have a few content ideas in mind, it’s good to check out the keywords. Which of the topics you’re considering has the highest search volume, and the lowest competition?

I use the Keywords Everywhere tool, and Neil Patel’s new UberSuggest to determine which keywords have the most potential, and to see which phrases my competition is already ranking for. Then, I can hit the best key phrase topics with some great, engaging content.  

Tools like these will give you a better idea of what to write, and more importantly, how to frame it.

They help you discover the intent of consumers — what they’re looking for when they search your topic keyword — which helps you write content your ideal buyer wants to read.

#5 Glean Ideas from Coworkers

If after using all of those tools you’re still stuck — hit the water cooler.

Ask your coworkers what some of their biggest frustrations are with clients. (It doesn’t matter what your company does, your coworkers will always have client pain points.)

Can you turn those frustrations into a blog post or content offer that could solve the frustration?

Let’s say your sales team gets frustrated when leads come to them without understanding the full range of products you offer. Creating a content offer or PDF download that lists out all of your products with a short description of each could solve this problem.

That PDF could be entered into a marketing workflow for MQLs, ensuring those leads have the right information before they’re transferred over to sales. Or your sales team can direct leads to that offer when they realize they don’t know about all of your available products.

Problem? Solved.

Your coworkers, especially those who work directly with clients, will also have a good idea of the questions your clients ask all the time.

You can take those FAQs, and turn them into blogs, or even a longer FAQ page or PDF download that clients can be directed to when they have questions.

#6 Think About your Target Buyer Persona

With a few topics finally in mind, it’s time to get to the actual writing process. For most content writers, getting started is the hardest part. I like to give myself a little extra prep time by considering my target buyer personas.

Who are they? What are their pain points? What interests them in their day-to-day life? Is there a way you can make your blog post or content offer hyper-specific to their needs, wants, and business goals?

It’s always helpful to include examples in your content that speak to a specific situation that your target buyer might encounter. This makes content more immediately and obviously useful to them, which boosts conversions.  

#7 Write an Outline — Seriously

If you’re a content writer, you’ve heard it a thousand times — write an outline.

Probably less than half of us do it less than half of the time.

If you’re like me, you might feel like structuring a blog post outline is a waste of time. You’re probably going to change the structure and layout when you finish anyway. But, an outline has a very significant purpose: it keeps us on track.  

Writing an outline helps shorten the time it takes you to write a blog. Click To TweetIt also makes it easier to come back to writing if you’re interrupted by another task or a meeting. With an outline in place, it’s easy to see where you left off, and what you still need to write.

Even if you only start with four or five bullet points, it breaks up the work you have to do into smaller sections, making it easier to get started. And really, getting started is the hardest part.

#8 Block Out Time

Like I just said, getting started is the hardest part of content creation. It’s tough to work up the energy to write a full-length content offer or pillar page — they’re intimidating.

Sometimes, the best thing to do is just block out time, sit in front of your computer, and write. Make sure your coffee is next to you, turn off those Slack notifications, and shut the world out. Deep work is real.

If you’re thinking, “There’s no way I can block out hours on my schedule!” think again.

Schedule a meeting with yourself for a few hours on a day when your calendar isn’t already full of meetings. Make it public or don’t, but make sure the time is reserved for your content creation.

Studies have shown that it's harder to get into writing and other creative projects than it is to start smaller tasks like emailing or posting social media content. Click To Tweet Dedicating a bit of time to write a tough piece of content ensures you have the brain space, and the uninterrupted time necessary to get the whole thing done, and done well.

Content creation really all comes down to time. Time to research potential topics, time to research each topic’s keywords, and then time to write, edit, and refine each piece of content.

We hope these tips helped break that writer’s block! Content creation is key to a quality inbound marketing strategy, and while it can be difficult and frustrating at times, the payoff of qualified leads makes it worth it.

If you’re struggling to keep your content marketing strategy running, or if you have questions about content creation, let us know.

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What is Lead Nurturing?

What is Lead Nurturing?

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is any action your company takes to develop strong, trustworthy relationships with potential buyers at every stage of the inbound marketing flywheel. Most often, lead nurturing refers to the communication your company has with specific prospects — people whose contact information you already own.

What is Automated Lead Nurturing?

Automated lead nurturing uses automated marketing tactics, like email workflows, sequences, or even chatbots to build trust with leads. The goal of automated lead nurturing is the same, its approach is just a little different, and often a little easier.

Why Should I Care About Lead Nurturing?

If you’re into inbound marketing (and you should be) lead nurturing is important because it’s what keeps your flywheel spinning.

​In the past, we used to talk about lead nurturing primarily in the engage stage of the buyer’s journey. Now, with inbound marketing’s flywheel in mind, it’s clear that any interaction you have with any potential or previous customer can be lead nurturing.

When your company leaves a good impression on a potential client, you’re nurturing that relationship and increasing the trust they have in your company. The more trust they have in you, the more likely they are to choose your product or service.

The fundamentals of inbound marketing are at the heart of lead nurturing: you're aiming to deliver the right content, to the right prospect, at the right time. Click To TweetThis is applicable to every stage of the inbound marketing flywheel. When done properly, delivering the perfect content with the right context keeps those customers and potential customers happy and keeps your flywheel spinning.

So, how can you implement lead nurturing in your inbound marketing strategy?

Understand Your Buyer Personas

The first step to lead nurturing is understanding your buyer personas. The best way to deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right person, is to know who you’re talking to.

Take time to sit down with other departments in your company and really flesh out your company’s individual buyer personas.

 

  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their business goals?
  • What are their personal goals?
  • What kind of content do they like best, and what channels do they prefer that content on?

Email, social media, blog posts, and even phone calls are all great examples of media channels you can use to deliver quality, lead nurturing content.

When you have a clear picture of who you’re marketing to, it’s easier to develop content that will solve their pain points and leave a good lasting impression, nurturing those leads closer to a sale.

Lead Nurturing Through Email Automation

With your buyer personas in place, you can get started on the actual work of lead nurturing.

Email automation — also known as email workflows, or email sequences if you’re a HubSpot fan like us, — is one of the most well-known ways to nurture leads. The basic concept is to deliver targeted content to a qualified lead in a way that pulls them through the buyer’s journey.

Here’s an example:

Step 1: A Lead Converts

Let’s say you’re a custom home builder, and someone on your website just downloaded a content offer about “6 Design Tips for Building Your Dream Home”.

Now, you have their email address, and given the content they’ve downloaded, it’s not too much of a stretch to assume that they might just be looking into building a new, possibly custom home, in the near future.

Step 2: Your Automated Email Sequence Begins

With email automation tools, you can set up an email sequence or workflow that’s triggered by this content download, and set up to deliver more relevant content to this buyer persona.

For this example, you might have your workflow send along a “Custom Home Budget Planner” a few days after they read the first content offer. Then you could send another email that asks if they’d like to see a few of your most popular floorplans, or even set up a free consultation with your sales or design team.

Step 3: Your Email Sequence Helps Nurture that Lead to Close

By delivering more content that’s relevant to what the lead has already shown an interest in, you’re offering great customer experience. They don’t have to go looking for the next step of information, it’s being delivered right to their inbox!

If the lead has already been delighted by your content and quality service, they’re likely to appreciate your effort. When they trust you as the best resource for home building information, you’ll be at the top of the list when they finally do decide to take the plunge.

Lead Nurturing Beyond Email

Lead nurturing has always been talked about primarily in the context of email. For the most part, that makes sense.

When you’re emailing a lead, you already know a little bit about them. You can ensure the message you’re delivering is personalized to that lead, which guarantees high-quality results.

The problem is that most marketers report less than 20% open rates on lead nurturing email. You can’t limit your lead nurturing to just email, because it’s not speaking to all of your potential clients.

That’s where some of these additional lead nurturing tactics come in:

Multi-Channel Lead Nurturing

Like we mentioned before, any action you take or resource you offer that improves someone’s perception of your company is considered lead nurturing. There are so many ways you can nurture leads outside of the small sphere of email. In fact, a multi-channel approach to lead nurturing is most likely to deliver the best results.

On the whole, it takes a consumer or prospect an average of 7 to 13 touches to convert to a lead or sale. Whether your marketing team reaches out to them, they see your product advertised on LinkedIn, or they see a paid search ad a few times while they’re researching, each of these touches helps you convert that lead.

And if the only place they’re hearing from you is through your email, you might not have huge success nurturing that lead. That’s where multichannel lead nurturing comes in.

A multichannel lead nurturing approach is one that makes use of all sorts of marketing channels, from social media and remarketing advertising to paid search ads to blogging and content promotion to direct calls from sales and marketing representatives.

Obviously, you don’t want to hit people over the head with your brand, or cold-call prospects before they’re ready to talk. However, delivering quality information, and remarketing products and resources people have already looked at is an intuitive method of lead nurturing on channels other than email.

If your email and automated lead nurturing strategies are already up and running, you might consider branching out into a few more channels. The more lead nurturing you do, the more warm, qualified prospects you pull into your flywheel. The end result?

Overall company growth, as a result of closing quickly on warm leads.

It’s all well and good to say multi-channel lead nurturing can help grow your company — but how? Let’s take a look at social media specifically because many people forget to consider it’s potential as a lead nurturing platform.

Can You Nurture Leads Through Social Media?

Sure! Any interaction your company has with a lead, from the time they come to your website and even after they close is a chance for you to continue nurturing that lead through to a sale.

Like we mentioned above, the best way to nurture leads today is to take a multichannel approach. Social media can play a big role in that.

Social media is the perfect platform to boost quality content, to implement remarketing ads, and to run ads that speak directly to your ideal consumer.

It’s true that social media lead nurturing will look a little different than email lead nurturing. For the most part, you’re going to be nurturing leads who you don’t know, and who might not know you. This is outbound marketing, but we promise that’s not a bad thing.

What makes social media viable, non-disruptive lead nurturing tactic is your ability to target your ads and conversations to your ideal buyer.

For example, remarketing ads are an excellent social media lead nurturing tool. They only target people who have already been to your site.

Other forms of social media advertising can also be lead nurturing. You can target people who already like your company, or who have an interest in your product or service.

Finally, boosted or promoted posts are excellent examples of lead nurturing through social media. For the most part, boosted posts only go to people who have chosen to follow you. By throwing a little money at the post, you succeed in making your post visible to a greater number of your followers.

If that post offers great content, solves a buyer’s pain point, or lets your followers learn a little bit more about your company, then it’s helping you nurture leads.

Too often, social media marketing and advertising get a bad rap as disruptive, outbound marketing tactics. When used properly, social media can offer serious lead nurturing capabilities. Click To Tweet

In the end, it’s just important to remember that you should be communicating with your clients and potential clients regularly. Any form of positive communication, whether it’s on email, social media, a sales call, or even a newsletter update, is a type of lead nurturing.

The better your relationship with your clients and potential clients, the more warm leads you’ll see flowing into your inbound flywheel. And when your flywheel is spinning, your company is growing.

Got more questions? Whether you’re not sold on outbound marketing, or you need a bit more info on lead nurturing or inbound marketing, we’re here to help. Feel free to reach out, or schedule a conversation with our team! We’d love to chat.

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What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot’s Software

What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot’s Software

If you’re at all interested in inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard of HubSpot. They’re a leader in the digital marketing industry, and their blogs, videos, and certification courses are pretty popular. While you might know who HubSpot, the company, is, it’s a little harder to know what HubSpot, the software, does.

There’s a lot of industry jargon thrown around, and to be fair, HubSpot is a huge platform; it’s hard to outline all of its capabilities in just one sentence. Since we use HubSpot every day, we thought we’d take a shot at breaking it down for you. Here’s our plain English guide to getting started with HubSpot: what HubSpot is, and what tools and benefits it can offer you:

What Is HubSpot?hubspotlogo-web-color0

HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM designed to help align sales and marketing teams, foster sales enablement, boost ROI and optimize your inbound marketing strategy to generate more, qualified leads.

Okay, but in English?

HubSpot is a software platform designed to help your company market and sell more effectively.

HubSpot’s Background:

To understand what HubSpot is and does, it’s helpful to know just a little about where HubSpot, the company, came from. HubSpot started back in 2005 as a resource for marketers. Back then, they offered tools and resources that helped companies get started with inbound marketing.

We won’t go too far into inbound marketing, which HubSpot sort of invented, but feel free to check out our complete guide to inbound marketing if you want to know more.

HubSpot works to help companies market better. Click To TweetTo do this, they developed one cloud-based platform where all of a company’s digital marketing efforts could be housed.

Everything from blogging to social media posting to email marketing was combined on one single platform that can be accessed from anywhere.

That way, every marketer in a company can use HubSpot’s tools to nurture qualified leads until they are ready to pass on to the sales team. When a lead is ready to convert, they’re easily passed onto the sales team for a simple, seamless experience that helps companies turn warm leads into happy customers.

But that’s just the beginning of the HubSpot software.

Now, years down the line, HubSpot offers that original software in the form of a free CRM, along with specific software for sales, marketing, and service departments, all of which integrate together seamlessly to help your company grow.

If you’re thinking that still sounds like kind of a lot, you’d be right.

That’s why we’re breaking each department’s service down here, starting with the free CRM:

The HubSpot CRM

HubSpot started with just their CRM (customer relationship management software), which we described above. It’s a platform where companies can organize their contacts and keep track of every conversation they have with each contact.

In the beginning, the HubSpot developed their CRM primarily for marketers. It offered a way for marketers to organize all of the leads they were talking to, nurture them according to their buyer persona and unique pain points, and then pass them seamlessly onto the sales team.

Today, the HubSpot CRM is still an essential component of HubSpot’s software — it’s just a little more robust. Instead of functioning primarily to support the marketing team, HubSpot’s existing CRM works to help every customer-facing team in a company, from marketing to sales to customer service.

Think of HubSpot's CRM as the launchpad for all other marketing, sales, and customer service tools. Click To TweetThe CRM stores every company contact and lead. Each department can access leads there, and use whatever additional tools they need from their own department to improve that lead’s relationship with the company.

The HubSpot CRM is completely free, for anyone, forever. It has no time limit and never expires.

Some of the benefits of the HubSpot CRM that we love for our clients are:

  • Unlimited Users — Your entire team has access to your company’s CRM. No limit.
  • You can store as many as 1 million contacts and companies on the free platform.
  • HubSpot will store all of your records and conversations with any of those contacts.
  • Gmail and Outlook Integration so your team’s conversations with leads and clients are stored, and their workday isn’t interrupted.
  • Email Scheduling — for your newsletters and email marketing campaigns
  • Team Email — to make sure everyone’s on the same page and working to the same goals
  • Live Chat for Your Website — so you can capture leads even after working hours are over
  • Deals, Tasks, Ticketing, and Prospects — allowing you to keep track of where every prospect is in the sales process, and make tickets for any clients who might have a question.

Ultimately, the HubSpot CRM is one of the most robust free platforms on the market. It offers a long list of tools you can use to draw in qualified potential leads and do better business with your existing clients. The rest of HubSpot’s software is built on top of this functional, free CRM. 

HubSpot Marketing Hub

The HubSpot Marketing Hub is a set of tools designed to help your marketing department. It integrates seamlessly with the HubSpot CRM and works to help your marketing team draw in and nurture more qualified leads.

The HubSpot Marketing Hub helps your company increase website traffic and convert more visitors into leads.

The goal of the Marketing Hub is to make life easier for your marketing department. It offers seamless content creation for your blog, email, social media accounts, and website, and provides exceptional metric tracking and reporting of all the data you care about most. See easily how many people are coming to your site, where they’re going, when they leave, and how much they like your landing pages.

Like all of HubSpot’s tools, the Marketing Hub is offered in tiers according to the size of your company, and the number of tools your company would like to use. HubSpot's first tier is always free, regardless of which Hub you're interested in testing out. Click To Tweet

Some of our favorite tools offered in the HubSpot Marketing Hub include:

  • Blog and content creation tools
  • Social media organization and scheduling
  • Calls-To-Action — Providing in-depth tracking of click-through rates, impressions, and other important KPIs.
  • Mobile Optimization — For everything from emails to blogs
  • Landing Pages Create landing pages that integrate seamlessly into your website, and then use HubSpot’s sophisticated metrics to track and optimize performance.,
  • Goal-Based Nurturing Your marketing team can choose specific goals based on buyer persona research and previous performance, and set the HubSpot Marketing Hub to help nurture leads with those goals in mind.
  • A/B Testing — Optimize your site and inbound marketing efforts for top performance

The HubSpot Marketing Hub also offers Salesforce integration and a whole host of additional tools that we couldn’t fit into this one intro blog. Check them out for yourself, or feel free to get in touch with us for more info.

HubSpot Sales Hub

The HubSpot Sales Hub was designed to help your sales department close better deals, in less time. Each tool offered on this software is designed with efficiency in mind — so your sales team can focus their full attention on what matters most — closing deals with qualified clients.  HubSpot Sales Hub has been very successful as it’s one of the few software tools that’s designed specifically for sales teams, with the inbound marketing methodology in mind.

HubSpot Sales Hub gives sales teams the tools they need to provide excellent service and close deals the minute a lead is ready to convert.

Sales Hub lets your sales team see what leads are visiting your site, on what pages, and how often. The software also offers instant alerts whenever a prospect opens an email, and sales team members can even automate personalized workflows that offer quality information exactly when a lead is ready for it. And because Sales Hub syncs up with the HubSpot CRM, your sales team can easily see which deals are won, lost, or still in progress.

Some of the tools the HubSpot Sales Hub offers are:

  • Email Sequences — Automated email workflows designed to nurture qualified leads
  • Email Tracking and Notifications — Your sales team is notified when a prospect opens an email or clicks over to your website.
  • Meeting Scheduling Forget confusing back and forth scheduling that can drop leads. Instead, let potential clients pick meeting times that work best for them.
  • Reporting dashboards —  So your team can see how their efforts are impacting business, and so you can see who is selling well, and why.
  • Multiple deal pipeline —  Not every lead is the same. Make it easy for sales teams to customize their service to the unique needs of your buyers, and implement and track distinct sales processes with multiple pipelines.

Just like the Marketing Hub, HubSpot’s Sales Hub has a vast offering of sales tools, depending on the tier that best fits your company. And, they all integrate with the Marketing Hub, the Service Hub, and of course the HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot Service Hub

The HubSpot Service Hub is designed to support customer service teams. It offers a full suite of tools that make it easier for your customer service teams to identify issues clients are experiencing, and resolve them quickly in a way that leaves your customers happy.

HubSpot Service Hub helps your client service teams offer the best solutions, efficiently.

The HubSpot Service Hub includes:

  • Live Chat and Conversational Bots — Customers and clients get the help they need, whenever they need it. No waiting for business hours; solve problems now.
  • Email Templates — Check in with clients you haven’t heard from in a while, or request service reviews with email templates that are easy to format and send, and even easier to track.
  • Canned Snippets — Those questions you get every day? Send back the perfect answer automatically with canned snippets.
  • Phone Support and Customer Feedback
  • Knowledge Base — Pull up all the information in your database on any client, so your service team knows who that client has talked to, and about what, so they can get to the right solution, quickly.
  • Multiple Ticket Pipelines — Easily Organize tickets based on customer query subject 
  • Customer Service Automation

The HubSpot Service Hub works on top of your free HubSpot CRM, so anyone on your service team can see previous interactions a client has had with marketing and sales teams, and determine quickly how best to resolve any potential issues. This streamlines the amount of time it takes for customer service reps to resolve a client ticket, and ensures your clients experience the best customer service possible.

HubSpot Growth Suite

The HubSpot Growth Suite is HubSpot’s complete suite of services bundled together. If your company can benefit from all three of the above Hubs, the Growth Suite is perfect for you. You’ll get the benefits fo all three hubs, for only slightly more than the price of one.

HubSpot’s Growth Suite is best for companies who are familiar with inbound marketing, or who have made a concerted effort to transition to the inbound marketing methodology. Since it includes all of the Hubs and is built on top of HubSpot’s CRM, the HubSpot Growth Suite platform is the best way to align your entire team towards a single growth goal.

Evenbound is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, which means HubSpot is what we do. If you have questions about any of HubSpot’s software offerings, whether it’s one of the Hubs, the CRM, or all of it, we’d be happy to help. HubSpot can be a little complicated to figure out at first, but once you see it in action, it’s one of the most user-friendly growth tools on the market today.

Get in touch to learn more about HubSpot, and how we can help you leverage it for overall company growth.

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Inbound and Outbound Marketing Can Work Together To Deliver Qualified Leads

Inbound and Outbound Marketing Can Work Together To Deliver Qualified Leads

Since the dawn of inbound marketing, marketers have been hatin’ on outbound marketing tactics.

And really, we get it. No one wants to see that McDonald’s commercial for the 100th time, and no one wants their Pandora workout station interrupted to hear once again how Geico could save you 15% or more on your car insurance.

 

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Outbound marketing is disruptive. But it’s also kind of effective — if you know how to use it for 21st-century consumers. Before we get into this whole thing though, it’s important to know what inbound and outbound marketing are, and why maybe, just maybe, they can work together.

Outbound Marketing

Like we mentioned earlier, outbound marketing is inherently disruptive. It gets in front of a consumer with a goal of distracting them from whatever they were already doing. In the past, you’d have seen this most in radio and TV ads, as well as billboards and honestly, the Girl Scouts selling cookies at the grocery store. (Seriously, they get us every time.) Outbound marketing is any form of marketing or advertising that pushes your message out to consumers, rather than drawing them in. Click To Tweet Outbound marketing is also usually paid (Check out our complete guide to outbound marketing for more in-depth info). You have to pay for ad spots on radio and tv, just as you now have to pay for ad spots on Google, Facebook, and other partnered websites.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is any form of marketing that draws consumers into your company, your website, or your building. It’s also usually free (ish). Inbound marketing relies on tactics like content development, blogging, and sending targeted emails to your existing email list.

These are tactics that take time and brainpower, but don’t cost much money. Inbound marketing has proven exceptionally successful in the 21st century. We’ve explained this more than once, so we won’t go too far into it, but generally, the idea is that people hate being interrupted, and inbound marketing gets the word out about your company in a way that feels natural, organic, and not pushy.

Pretty nice, right? It’s cheap, it gets you quality customers, and you don’t have to pound the pavement to find them.

via GIPHY

Inbound marketing methods are proven to be cost-efficient and effective, costing you 61% less per lead than outbound marketing tactics. The only problem is that it does take a bit of time. When you write and publish content to the web, you have to wait for search engines to crawl and index your site.

Once they do, they’ll evaluate your content and rank it relative to other sites writing about similar topics. Then, you have to see where you rank, so you can keep optimizing your site for better placement on SERPs, and better conversion rates on-site.

When fully deployed and implemented, inbound marketing draws in serious traffic and has the ability to convert like no other marketing tactic out there today. But sometimes you need a little boost when you’re getting started. This is where we start to get a little controversial:

It’s Not Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing can solve this problem of driving the right traffic to your inbound-optimized website immediately. The key is doing it properly. Unlike Geico, you don’t want to blast your message out to the general populace. Instead, you should use targeted, inbound-centric paid advertising and social media advertising campaigns to let the right people know about your product or service.

Choose digital advertising platforms that let you control who your message is going to, and how it’s delivered. With in-depth metrics, you can see which segment of your audience is responding best, and you can continue to optimize your paid ads to deliver the best results, for the least spend. (Check out this blog about optimizing PPC, and this blog about optimizing Facebook Ads, for more information on improving outbound marketing ROI.) When you’re developing targeted digital ads that are designed to meet your ideal audience, you’ll see better, more effective results, and more importantly, you’ll see immediate results.

It’s good to know that outbound marketing tactics aren’t just for new websites, either. When used properly, outbound marketing is a great way to supplement an already robust inbound marketing platform. The fact is, there’s a point where you might feel like you’ve saturated your existing market. Outbound marketing can help get your message out to a new group of people who can benefit from your products and quality customer service.

Inbound Marketing + Effective Outbound Marketing = Company Growth

If you take anything away from this blog post, it should be this: inbound marketing and outbound marketing can work together effectively. It’s easy to pit the two methodologies against each other because they do come from fundamentally different perspectives. But, if you apply an inbound mentality to your outbound marketing methods, and direct ads and promoted content to the audience most likely to care about what you have to say, you might just find that the two methodologies can work together to help grow your company. Outbound marketing tactics are a great supplement to any inbound marketing strategy. Click To Tweet When implemented properly, optimized for maximum ROI, and paired well with your inbound marketing strategy, they work to deliver qualified leads that can help stimulate overall company growth.

Not sure where to start? Let’s chat! As a digital marketing and growth agency, Evenbound doesn’t choose between inbound our outbound. We help our clients leverage the best of both inbound and outbound marketing strategies for overall company growth. Interested in seeing how we do it? 

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