Buyer personas are a major component of any effective inbound marketing strategy. The truth is, you have to know who you’re marketing and selling to before you can make a sale. Today’s consumers only pay attention to marketing messages that are personalized, and highly relevant to their unique experiences. Buyer personas are a key way to address that consumer need, while streamlining your marketing and sales process so you’re only spending time on the leads most likely to convert.
We can say the word “buyer persona” as many times as we want, but they’re not going to do much for you if you don’t know how to create or define one. That’s why we’ve put together this Step-by-Step Guide to Defining your Buyer Persona. Here, you’ll learn what exactly a buyer persona is, and how to define your own buyer personas in a clear, manageable (we hope) step-by-step way. Let’s get started.
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The first part of any great guide to defining your buyer persona should be a definition of what a buyer persona actually is. Buyer personas are an integral part of any quality marketing or sales plan. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client or target audience. With a clear picture of who you’re marketing to, it’s much easier to develop effective, targeted content that speaks to your ideal buyer’s goals and challenges.
Think of your buyer personas as a personal narrative. You’re developing a story for and context around the people who are most interested in your product or service. You want to know as much about them as possible, so you can provide personalized service, relevant content, and helpful sales information. Your buyer personas are the best place to organize all of that information into a story that will resonate with you, and with the rest of your team.
Creating Your Buyer Personas in 5 Steps
Defining your buyer personas might seem like a big, unwieldy task. But, if we break the process down into manageable steps, you can move through them one-by-one to develop thorough, thoughtful buyer personas that will genuinely improve the way you market and sell. And don’t feel like you have to create all of your buyer personas at once — taking it step-by-step is a great way to make sure you’ve got all of your bases covered, without feeling too overwhelmed. This guide to defining your buyer persona is set up so you can leave and come back whenever is most convenient for you. With that in mind, let’s get into Step 1.
Step 1: Research Your Buyer Personas
All great personas start with a little bit of research. Even if you feel like you already have a pretty good grasp on who most of your clients are, it’s worth it to take a hard look, not just at who you’re already working with, but who you’d like to work with in the future.
It’s always easiest to start with what you know. Begin your research by taking a look at your existing clients. Here are a few questions to get you started:
Who at their company contacted you first?
Were they the final decision maker?
What does their job look like?
Are they your company’s primary point of contact?
What are their roles at work?
Do they manage people or processes?
Do they have to answer to a boss or supervisor, or do they make most decisions?
What does their home life look like?
Do they have any hobbies?
How old are they?
Are they married or single? Kids or no kids?
These questions will get you started, but there are a few other tactics you might consider when doing buyer persona research:
Talk to Customer-Facing Employees
Your account managers are going to have the best insight into the lives of your clients, since they’re the ones in direct contact with them. Talk to the customer-facing employees at your own company to get a better sense of the people your company is already working with.
Talk to Your Clients
If it’s feasible, it’s also a great idea to talk to some of your existing clients. Consider sending out a short survey to your main points of contact, asking them a little about themselves. You might have to send along a small incentive to get them to fill it out, but their answers will be worth their weight in gold. After all, the people who have already invested in your product or service are your ideal audience.
Who Would You Like to Buy From You?
Once you’ve pulled together as much information as possible on your existing clients, think about who you’d like to sell to in the future.
Is there an ideal prospect that your marketing and sales team just can’t get to convert? Maybe your competition has had a lot of success in a certain segment of the market that you’d like to break into, too.
To narrow down who you’d like to buy from you, we suggest starting by taking a look at your competition.
Where is Your Competition Seeing Success?
Are your competitors seeing a lot of success in a certain segment of the market you’d like to break into? Check out their website!
They’re probably developing content and sales offers that speak directly to that market. You can learn a lot about those ideal buyer personas you’re not quite hitting yet by seeing how your competition is successful.
Where Do You Want Your Company to Grow?
Another great way to identify buyer personas for clients you haven’t quite snagged yet is to think hard about where you want your company to grow.
For example, we often work with home builders, many of whom are working to break into higher markets. Even if they don’t yet have clients in that higher market, we still work to do as much research on those buyers as possible. We look at our clients’ competition to see what they’re doing to draw that market in, and we look at those buyers specifically to see what they’re most interested in, and what their greatest pain points are.
You can do the same thing for your company. Look at the clients you’d like to get in the future, and do the same research to see what they’re interested in, what their lives are like, and what challenges they face that your company can solve.
Check Out Your Own Analytics
Our third and final suggestion for the research phase of defining your buyer personas is to look at your analytics. You’ll find no better, more concrete data on your ideal buyers than through the analytics on your own website, social media ads, and pay-per-click advertising campaigns.
Take a look at the reports from each, and pay specific attention to the demographics of the people clicking your ads. When you’re looking at your website analytics, see what pages your visitors view the most, and the longest.
Are there content offers that are downloaded more often than others? Who is downloading those offers? Answers to all of these questions provide you with useful information and data you need to compile relevant, effective buyer personas.
Step 2: Segment Your Buyer Personas
I’ll be honest, the research step is the most time-consuming. Once you have that out of the way, feel free to step back and take a break. Leave that research alone, and let it marinate for a while. When you come back, you’ll have everything you need to actually start writing your buyer personas.
Organize Your Information
Alright, now that you’re back refreshed and ready to continue work on those buyer personas, it’s time to organize all of the research you collected. You probably learned a lot about a variety of your clients. Start looking for similarities in the goals and challenges you’ve uncovered in your research. These similarities — in what clients and prospects are looking for from your company or your product — will help you group all of the many potential clients into distinct sets of buyer personas.
Decide How Many Buyer Personas You’ll Have
Now that you’ve reviewed and organized your research, you can start to determine how many buyer personas you’ll actually define. It’s good to remember that you don’t have to cover everyone right now.
If you’re just starting the inbound marketing process and are new to buyer personas as a whole, it might make the most sense to create buyer personas just for the market segments you sell to the most. You can always add or change buyer personas as you learn more about your marketing strategy, and as you gather more data on your leads and prospects.
The way you segment your buyer personas is totally up to you and to your company. You know best who you’re in contact with most. But, if you’re not quite sure where to start, here are two very common ways to segment your buyer personas:
Segment Buyer Personas By Industry
Some companies work with clients in a variety of industries. In a situation where you sell a variety of products, each corresponding to a different industry, it might make sense to dedicate one buyer persona to each industry you serve. It’s good to remember that this is only worthwhile if clients in each industry have different goals or pain points. For example, let’s say you manufacture a product that’s useful for both the automotive and marine manufacturing industries.
If your clients in the marine industry have different goals than the clients in the automotive industry, it makes sense to have two buyer personas.
But, if your product helps both marine and automotive manufacturers in the same way — by helping them streamline processes, manufacture more efficiently, and develop a better product, then it probably won’t make as much sense to segment your buyer personas by industry. In that case, let’s look at the second way we often see clients segmenting their buyer personas.
Buyer Personas By Job Title
For many companies, their sales process remains the same regardless of the industry they’re working with. Here at Evenbound, we work primarily with manufacturers, home builders, and construction professionals. Even though clients in each of those industries are fundamentally different, they approach finding a marketing partner in the same way. So, we’ve segmented our buyer personas to align with the job titles our sales process touches.
This often works similarly for manufacturers. Let’s say you manufacture a product that is useful in a variety of industries, but that is most often used by a lead engineer at any company, regardless of industry. In this situation, it doesn’t make sense to have a buyer persona for each engineer in each industry, because they have the same goals and pain points. Instead, you can write one buyer persona, and then use that buyer persona as a guide when you write content that’s specific to each industry later on.
Step 3: Create a Name and a Story
You’ve completed your research, and you’ve decided which buyer personas to start with. Pick one, and let’s get writing. Everyone writes differently, so do what works for you. I always find it’s easiest to paint a full picture of your buyer persona and then pull out the most important segments for the final persona you share with the rest of your team. Here’s what that process might look like:
Who Is Your Buyer Persona?
Start by giving your buyer persona a name. The point of defining buyer personas at all is to help you market and sell more personally. Giving your buyer personas names makes it personal. Once you’ve got a name in mind, start writing down everything you discovered in your research.
How old is your persona?
What job titles might they hold?
Where do they live?
What hobbies do they have, and what do they like to do outside of work?
What are their career goals? Are they looking to move up, or just hoping to cruise through to retirement?
Answers to all of these questions, and any more that you can think of, help provide context for your buyer persona’s goals and motivations. The better you understand what they want, and why they want it, the better you’ll be able to interact with them in the future.
Give Yourself a Full Profile to Work With
When it comes to buyer personas, more information is always better. Challenge yourself to a free-write. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes, and write down everything you know about this buyer persona. And don’t be afraid to get a little creative!
So, get to writing, and see what you can do to make it fun. You can always take content out, but it’s good to let yourself get creative, and paint a full picture of this buyer persona. The more content you have at this step, the easier the next step will be.
Step 4: Focus on Roles, Goals, and Challenges
Take a break for a second. You’ve just written a full, creative narrative about one of your company’s ideal buyers. Pat yourself on the back and grab a coffee — you’ve earned it.
Back from that coffee break? Awesome. We’re going to take a close look at the narrative you’ve just created, and pull out the most relevant parts for your sales and marketing teams going forwards. That info falls into three categories: roles, goals, and challenges.
You have a full written picture of who your buyer persona is, what they do, and what they want. Take a look at that narrative, and pull out the information that’s related to their “roles”. This is going to be content that’s relevant to their job title and their role at work, certainly, but it can also speak to their role at home our outside of work.
Are they regular volunteers? A parent? Do they manage people at work? All of this information gives you context about what they’re really great at.
What’s more, it tells your marketing and sales teams what they do. When you know what a person does, and what roles they play in their life, you can create content that speaks to those specific roles.
Understanding what your buyer personas want is the key to offering them the marketing content and sales service that will genuinely help them.
Maybe your buyer persona is looking for ways to improve their business’s profitability. Maybe they have a goal to move up in the company and are looking to spearhead initiatives that exemplify their leadership qualities. Conversely, maybe your buyer persona is nearing retirement and wants to do their job well without making any waves until they can retire safely.
Pull out all of the goals you identified in your buyer persona free-write, and organize them into a goals section. Understanding a buyer persona’s goals is key to offering them personalized, helpful service.
When your team understands what a persona is trying to achieve, even if it’s not directly related to what your company offers, they’ll be able to better tailor their methods and strategies in a way that resonates with that persona.
The challenges section of a buyer persona is the most important. This is where you identify the pain points of each buyer persona. And when you understand your buyer’s pain points, you can work to solve them.
Take a look at that long narrative you wrote for your buyer persona. What is keeping them from reaching their goals? What parts of their job are difficult? Do they have trouble selling initiatives up to their boss? Are they worried about making big investments? Are they so busy that they don’t have a chance to even consider how their business could improve?
Whatever their challenges, this is the place to call them out.
Take the time to get specific, too. The more challenges you can identify for each persona, the more opportunities you have to deliver solutions. And the more solutions you deliver, the more attractive and helpful your company is to those qualified leads.
Step 5: Use Your Buyer Personas to Craft Tailored Sales and Marketing Strategies
When you know who your buyer personas are, and are familiar with their roles, goals, and challenges, you can develop sales and marketing strategies tailored to just those people who you know are excellent fits for your company.
You’ve gone to all the trouble to make these buyer personas, now is the time to use them!
Help familiarize your sales and marketing teams with each persona
Create ad campaigns that correspond to each persona’s favorite platform
Develop content that speaks to the specific pain points and challenges identified in your buyer personas.
Take stock of your existing content — does it speak to one or more of your personas? If not, make some changes.
Optimize your landing pages to speak to buyer personas, and in their language.
Buyer personas help give you inside knowledge into the ways your most qualified prospects function. From their favorite social media platforms to the way they talk to their career goals, you know a lot about these personas, and you can use that information to your benefit, and to theirs.
Work to create content that those personas want to read, and develop sales and marketing strategies that put your buyer personas’ goals and challenges at front and center.
When you’re writing, marketing, and selling with real people — your most qualified leads — in mind, you’re going to start to see some serious growth.
If you’re looking at your website traffic for the month and are disappointed by it, know that it doesn’t have to be this way. No matter what your product, service, or industry, there are things that you can start doing today to boost web traffic to your site.
These 5 strategies are proven to boost web traffic and can help you turn around those disappointing numbers.
Write More Content
More isn’t always better, except that it is, especially when it comes to content on your website. The equation is simple: more content = more keywords used = more opportunities for searchers to find you.
We can complicate that a little by adding that your search engine ranking will increase the more you use keywords in unique instances in your content (i.e., the more blogs and pages you have on a subject, the higher your ranking for the related keywords).
But aren’t people’s attention spans shrinking? I thought no one read anymore?
Here’s the deal: people aren’t necessarily reading all of your content. They’re skimming it. The more content you have, the more they’re going to get out of it, since they’re only seeing and digesting less than a third of the words on the page.
Plus, it establishes authority for your organization—the more you have to say about something, the more it seems like you know what you’re talking about.
Get Active on Social Media
Social media is one of the best tools for reaching potential customers and leads. Everyone (or nearly everyone) is using at least one form of social media, if not several.
For those reasons alone, not to mention the advertising, sharing, and engagement capabilities of these platforms, social media is a critical part of any digital strategy, and for increasing traffic to your website.
So, first of all, have a social media presence on all of the platforms that are relevant to your industry, whether that be LinkedIn and Twitter or Instagram and Houzz. Ensure that your website URL is in your bio (Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest) or in the designated profile field (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Houzz) so that people can find it.
You should also be using your social media to promote your content. Share your blog posts across your social media channels so that followers and their followers can read, like, and share them. You can also refer users to relevant content when they have questions about your company, products, or services. Those shares will bring users directly to your content on your site, boosting traffic.
Use Mobile-Friendly Design
Mobile-friendly design or mobile-responsive design is web design that accommodates different types of devices and different screen sizes, as well as the differences in the way that internet users interact with websites on different devices.
A website with mobile-friendly design will have pages that adapt to various screen sizes, ensuring that design elements and text scale to the appropriate size for the screen they’re displayed on and that text, buttons, menus, etc. are readable and usable.
Additionally, internet users searching on mobile are going to have different behavior than those using computers. They’re less likely to read long content (scrolling thumb is realllll) and they’re also less likely to complete long forms.
So, you may want to consider how your content presents to the mobile user, as well as shortening or autofilling forms.
Over 60 percent of searches are performed on mobile devices, and, according to HubSpot, 63 percent of people expect a mobile-responsive website design. What this means is that website visitors want to view your site on their tablets and smartphones. If they can’t, you’re going to lose their attention and they’ll navigate away from your site.
More to the point though, mobile-friendly design is crucial if you want to boost web traffic. Why?
The answer won’t surprise you: Google’s algorithm.
Since 2015, Google has been using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile searches. In 2016, Google began mobile-first indexing, meaning that rather than the desktop version of sites being what the algorithm uses to determine the value of the content to the user, mobile pages are indexed first.
People are using Google all day, every day, everywhere.
That means that people, all day, every day, everywhere are seeing Google ads. And that’s why they work.
Google ads are a simple, comprehensive, and targeted way to reach your desired markets and direct them to your website and landing pages. Whether through paid search or the Google Display Network, Google ads can drive traffic to your website.
Write Guest Blogs
Guest blogging is the practice of writing blog posts that are featured on other blogs in your field or industry.
You might be thinking, Why should I write content for someone else’s blog and boost their SEO and web traffic when I could post it on my blog?
Well, guest blogging:
Builds credibility—By being invited or allowed to guest blog, you’re having other industry professionals vouch for your knowledge and experience.
Reaches new audiences—The site you’re guest blogging for might have a greater or slightly different audience than your blog, and by writing a guest blog, you’re reaching a new audience for whom your products and services are relevant.
Gets your site a link—The site you’re guest blogging for is going to include some information about you, the guest blogger, and your organization. This will include a link to your site (or it should!). Google takes into account the number of inbound links to your site in search engine ranking, and higher search engine rankings equal more web traffic.
Doesn’t preclude similar content on your own site—Obviously, you can’t just copy one of your existing blogs and send it to another site as a guest blog, or they’ll get penalized for duplicate content. But what you can do is write on the same subject as a guest blog you wrote on your own site. Make sure the wording and formatting are fresh, but the ideas conveyed can be reimagined and posted.
More content to promote on social media—just because it’s not on your blog doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote it through your social channels. Your followers may find the content interesting and useful and choose to engage with it and with your company.
While you’re at it, you should have guest bloggers on your blog as well. The benefits of guest bloggers on your site include:
Building credibility by linking to other, credible industry professionals
More content and unique instances of keywords
Outbound links to reputable, relevant sites
Social sharing of the content by the author, amplifying your social media activity
Tried everything and still not seeing a traffic boost? Let’s chat. Inbound marketing is our thing, and we’re experts at driving the right, qualified traffic. We’d love to see how we can help.
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:
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” 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Growth agency is a new term you might be hearing a lot lately. It’s going to become more popular here in 2019, so if you’re not quite sure what a growth agency is or does, you’re in luck! We’re about to break it all down for you.
A growth agency will look at and improve all aspects of your digital and traditional marketing methods, but through the lens of overall growth. They’ll make every strategic marketing and sales move with the intent to grow each aspect of your company from the ground up.
Because a growth agency has such a big investment in their clients, the best ones tend to specialize in one or two industries that they know well, and have history delivering results for.
For us, that’s industrial manufacturing and construction.
What Does a Growth Agency Do?
A modern growth agency will help you grow your business in every possible way. This includes — but is not limited to — support in the following areas:
In a nutshell, it’s a growth agency’s job to partner with your sales and marketing teams to generate more qualified leads, nurture those leads effectively, and help you close on the leads you want for strategic, targeted, holistic company growth.
How Do I Choose the Right Growth Agency?
An agency that’s totally dedicated to your growth and success sounds pretty great. If you’re considering hiring a growth agency to help you boost your marketing and sales efforts, and grow your company overall, here are a few things to keep in mind while you search:
Look For a Team That Specializes in Your Industry
Like we mentioned before, a growth agency’s job is pretty big. They’re focused on growing an entire company that’s not even their own. There’s a lot to keep track of and a lot to remember. You need someone who understands your industry, your target buyers, and the ins-and-outs of your processes.
Most quality growth agencies focus on just two or three industries, so they can offer the absolute best service possible. Look for a growth agency who has worked with companies like yours before, or at least in your industry before. This will give you a leg up as you start to work together and expand.
Look for Numbers and Metrics
Growth agencies should function primarily on numbers. Once they know where your company is at, they should be able to offer up real, specific goals for your future together. They should set goals like:
How how many leads they’ll work to get, in a specific time period, like the next six months or year.
How many of those leads will convert to sales possibilities.
And how many of those sales potentials will close as customers.
Many inbound and growth agencies refer to these goals as SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
For example, a goal to “grow your business” is not a SMART goal.
A SMART goal might sound something like: Generate 30 new qualified leads in the next two months.
This goal is specific: it identifies one specific metric, new leads.
It is measurable: the goal is to generate 30 new leads.
Attainable is a difficult one to explain generally, but let’s say you had 15 leads in the last two months, but are now implementing calls-to-action and landing pages. 30 new leads would be an attainable goal based on your previous metrics, and the new actions you’ve implemented to boost that number.
This goal is relevant to your company growth, because more new, qualified leads means a greater number of potential deals closed.
Finally, this is a timely goal because it’s been given a specific timeline of two months. Without a deadline, it’s hard to say if you’re improving or not.
If you’re getting general goals that sound like, “Oh, we’ll help you grow your company this year” you might want to keep on looking. A great growth agency will offer SMART goals that provide tangible, measurable results.
One great way to know in an instant if the agency you’re looking at is legit? Their own business strategies. If they’re not implementing all of the strategies they say they’re experts in (website design, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, case studies, etc.) you might want to keep looking.
Set Up a Meeting
Do your teams jive?
A growth agency is more a partner than a contractor. You’ll be working closely with them to develop content and strategize ad campaigns that align with your message and boost your lead gen potential. You have to like them, or at least feel like you can work with them on a regular basis.
It’s not uncommon for companies to talk to two or three growth agencies before settling on the best fit. If you’re having trouble choosing between agencies, an initial meeting with each team might help you make the decision.
If you’ve been considering hiring a digital marketing, inbound marketing, or growth agency, let’s talk. We deliver specific, measurable growth to clients in the industrial manufacturing and construction industries, and would love to chat about how we can help your company grow in 2019.
Not sure if a growth agency is right for you yet? Not a problem. Take a look at some of our case studies and previous work for a few examples of the HA Digital Marketing strategy in action.