3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

3 Reasons Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

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

But why?

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

New call-to-action

01. Goal Setting Aligns Marketing and Sales Teams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

03. Goal Setting Helps You Focus Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do You Set Great Inbound Marketing Goals?

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

Great question. 

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

01. Figure Out Where You Are

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

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

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

New call-to-action

02. Figure Out Where You Want to Be

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

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

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

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

03. Set SMART Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking Down Your SMART Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

04. Measure Your Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

05. Set New Goals

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

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

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

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

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

Goal Setting is Essential to Inbound Marketing

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

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

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

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

A Quick Guide to 5 Types of Digital Marketing

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

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

Let’s get that straight right now too. 

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

New call-to-action

5 Types of Digital Marketing

Think of digital marketing as a huge umbrella. 

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

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

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

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

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

01. Inbound Marketing

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

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

02. Content Marketing

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

03. Social Media Marketing

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

04. Email Marketing

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

05. Outbound Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

New call-to-action

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

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

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

Let’s start with inbound marketing. 

Inbound Marketing Frames Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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

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

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

Content Marketing Delivers the Value You Need to Pull in Leads

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

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

The content you create works to: 

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

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

Social Media Marketing Amplifies Your Strategic Content

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

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

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

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

Email Marketing Nurtures Leads for your Sales Team

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

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

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

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

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

Outbound Marketing Pulls in Qualified Leads, Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digital Marketing Delivers Leads

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

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

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

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

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

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

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

5 Inbound Marketing Basics for Construction Pros

5 Inbound Marketing Basics for Construction Pros

5 Inbound Marketing Basics for Construction Pros

Making the transition to inbound marketing is a big undertaking for any construction company. Inbound is a huge methodology, with many moving parts, and the added pressure of continuous improvement. It can be a lot to wrap your head around implementing, but you have to get started somewhere.

We’ve found that breaking inbound marketing down a bit makes it feel more approachable. And, there are a few foundational elements you have to have if you expect your inbound strategy to produce results. 

New call-to-action

With that in mind, we’ve taken the whole inbound marketing methodology and broken it down into just 5 key inbound marketing basics, specifically for construction pros. These 5 basics will help you get started on the key foundational elements of inbound marketing that will deliver the greatest impact for your construction company. 

Let’s dive in:

Inbound Marketing Basic #1: Draw Leads In, Don’t Push Your Message Out 

Drawing in leads is the fundamental premise that inbound marketing methodology is based on. 

Traditional, shout marketing is over. You can extoll your construction company’s greatness from the rooftops, but it’s not going to do a whole lot for you if you’re not offering value to actually draw those leads in. 

Today’s consumer dislikes promotional marketing. 

At best, they’ll ignore your ads about how you’re the best builder or materials supplier in the region. 

At worst, they’ll unsubscribe from your emails, and tell Facebook and Youtube your ads aren’t relevant to them. 

And honestly, traditional promotional marketing is a lot of work. 

  • How much time has your sales or marketing team spent working on leads who really weren’t a fit? 
  • How much lost time was spent on designing print marketing? 
  • How much money was spent on those billboards, newspaper ads, even local radio ads? 
  • And what did you see as far as returns?

Probably not a whole lot. 

Inbound marketing works because it turns the traditional marketing goal of “getting the word out” on its head. Instead, it invites leads to explore and learn more about the things they’re interested in. 

What does drawing leads in look like?

Let’s say that a builder is looking for a new supplier. He wants someone he can trust to refund his credit pickups quickly. He wants someone who’s going to carry the brands his customers want, like Cambria countertops and Trex decking. 

He’s going to do research on suppliers that, a) have a credit pickup policy, and b) carry a certain number of brands he’s familiar with and likes. 

If your construction supply company has information about both of those things, that builder is going to find you, say “well, these guys seem decent”, and then consider reaching out to your sales team. 

Voila. You just got a lead. And it came directly to you — your sales team wasn’t out pounding on that builder’s door. 

If there’s one fundamental you take away from this blog, let it be this one: 

Draw leads in. Don’t push your message out. 

The more value you’re able to produce, the more leads you’re going to pull in.

For your construction company, that means more than just more leads. It also means:

  • More qualified leads
  • Less of your sales team’s time spent on unqualified leads
  • A more streamlined marketing and sales process
  • Significantly improved ROI — a result of leads coming to you, and much more focused, tactical marketing and sales strategy.  

Now, there is a lot that goes into setting up a successful inbound marketing strategy, and I can’t get into it all here. 

If your construction company is new to inbound marketing and I’ve piqued your interest, there are a number of resources to help you get started.  

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

Otherwise, let’s keep breaking down these 5 essential inbound marketing basics for construction pros: 

Inbound Marketing Basic #2: Content is Still King (Yes, Even for Construction Companies)

Inbound marketing basic #1 was focused on drawing leads in. 

Inbound marketing basic #2 focuses on how you deliver the value that draws those leads in. 

And that is content. 

When it comes to inbound marketing, no matter whether you’re a commercial builder or a construction supplier, content is still king. 

Content, in every form, from your blog to your social media platforms to your company’s Youtube How-to’s, provides the value that you need to draw in leads. 

While there are a lot of inbound marketing tactics, content development and content marketing are the pillars of any inbound marketing strategy.  

Why? 

Because without content there isn’t much to offer incoming leads. 

From helping your construction company rank well on search engines to providing the valuable information your leads want, content is the workhorse of the inbound marketing strategy. 

Not sure how to develop content for your construction company?

Start by thinking about the questions your sales teams get all of the time. 

Chances are, there are a few they’re sick and tired of answering. 

Work to develop content around those questions. Provide the answers your clients are looking for, whether that’s in a blog or a video. 

Maybe there’s a new product you’re selling that customers are interested in, but aren’t sure how to use. A quick 5-minute how-to video can go a long way to start drawing those qualified leads in for you. 

Picking up business blogging is also a great way to jumpstart your construction company’s ranking potential, while simultaneously drawing in those qualified leads you want.

That brings me to our next inbound marketing basic — how to figure out what content you need to develop to pull in the leads you actually want. 

Inbound Marketing Basic #3: Define Your Target Market with Buyer Personas

 

There are jobs your team likes, and jobs they don’t. 

The profitable jobs you and your team like are your target market. 

Another essential inbound marketing basic for any construction pro is defining your target market. We’ve talked about why contractors should know their target market before, and our reasons still stand. 

There are so many different types of construction jobs out there. You don’t want all of them. 

The key to reducing the number of jobs you don’t like, and increasing the number of jobs you enjoy and bring greater profit to your construction company is defining your target market and then putting a microscope on them to build out buyer personas. 

Target Market

The market your construction company prefers to work in. Maybe that’s custom homes at a certain price point or a specific type of commercial building project. 

Buyer Personas

Semi-fictional representations of your ideal clients within that target market. If you’re a construction supplier, your buyer personas might be custom home builders, commercial builders, and even a small group of DIY homeowners. 

Defining your target market and buyer personas is an inbound marketing basic for your construction company because those personas help you determine and refine what types of content you develop. 

Your buyer personas give you a picture of who you’re talking to, which helps you write content that really speaks to that ideal buyer. 

With defined buyer personas, your marketing team can focus on creating only the content that is relevant to the leads you want most. For your sales team, that means closing on more of those profitable jobs your team wants, rather than jobs you feel you have to do. 

Inbound Marketing Basic #4: Your Website is a Lead Generation Tool, Not a Brochure

When it comes to inbound marketing, it’s essential that you think of your website as a hub.  

It’s a place where leads, salespeople, your marketing team, and even your customer service team can turn for helpful information. 

When you have all of those key players in one space — one hub, if you will — you can use your website as a tool to nurture and convert leads for you. 

For construction companies, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that your website is a virtual brochure. You have a lot of beautiful photos of your previous projects, and it’s not always easy to conceptualize how to bring a marketing cycle to life digitally.

If your website just looks great, then surely people will give your sales team a call, right?

Wrong. 

Your website is a tool. And it’s a tool that your leads are comfortable and familiar with using. 

Consumers in every industry, including construction, are used to doing online research when they’re considering making a purchase. They like to navigate around websites, see who has the best information, and ask questions. 

They just don’t want to have to call anyone to do it. 

If you use your website as a lead generation tool, with calls-to-action, content offers, landing pages, and forms, you’ll start to see results. 

And that’s what inbound marketing is all about. Using your digital marketing tools to draw leads in, offer up the information they need, and build a relationship. 

When that consumer is familiar with your website, has maybe used your chatbot to ask a few questions, and is getting ready to make a purchasing decision, then they’ll call your sales team. 

But they’re only going to take that step if they’ve built a relationship with your construction company through your website. 

That means following inbound marketing website design best practices, implementing lead generation tactics, and implementing tools and updates that help your ideal leads move through their buyer’s journey on your website.  

Not sure if your website is a brochure or a lead generation tool? This website design checklist can help.

Inbound Marketing Basic #5: Work Smarter, Not Harder

This probably isn’t what you’ll see on an official inbound marketing definition from HubSpot, but it is an essential inbound marketing basic that we live by, and that we work hard to implement for our clients. 

At its core, inbound marketing functions to help your team work smarter, not harder. 

If you’re doing inbound marketing right:

  • Your sales team is spending less time on unqualified leads. 
  • Your marketing team is developing, publishing, and promoting only content that they know speaks to your ideal buyer, and will help a) build trust b) answer a question c) solve a pain point that buyer persona has. 
  • Your email marketing campaigns essentially run themselves. Inbound marketing automation helps both marketing and sales nurture leads who aren’t quite yet ready into warm and then hot leads. 
  • Chatbots keep new visitors and leads engaged even when your sales and marketing teams are off the clock. 

When you implement inbound marketing for your construction company, you’ll start to see that your team has more time to focus on the actions and connections that provide the biggest return. 

Instead of having sales teams connect with every sales lead that comes in, they can prioritize their time to focus on new, hot leads that have a high chance of converting. 

Marketing automation and other inbound marketing tactics will help take care of those cooler leads until they’re ready to make a decision. 

Inbound marketing helps you define what is important to your construction company’s growth, and enables you to focus your efforts on just the tactics that will produce the greatest results. Plus, when done well, it gives you the inbound marketing metrics you need to see which of your efforts are working, and which aren’t. 

The 5 Essential Inbound Marketing Basics for Construction Pros

So there you have it. The 5 essential inbound marketing basics for construction pros: 

  1. Focus on drawing leads in
  2. Use content marketing to provide value
  3. Define buyer personas to develop the right content
  4. Transform your website into a lead generation tool
  5. Work smarter, not harder

Inbound marketing is a massive machine. It takes some time to understand and implement, and it can be overwhelming to even think about if you’re considering moving your construction company towards a more inbound-focused marketing and sales strategy. 

If you keep these 5 inbound marketing basics in mind and start with buyer personas, content creation, and your website, you’ll soon develop a solid foundation you can build off of to draw in and convert more of the leads that can deliver the growth you want. 

And if you’re looking for a little bit of guidance doing that, we’re here to help. We’ve worked with construction pros and suppliers before, so we’ve got a pretty good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might’ve run into

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

What is the Purpose of Business Blogging?

What is the Purpose of Business Blogging?

What is the Purpose of Business Blogging?

I write blogs for businesses every day. It’s like, my job, man. 

But I can’t even begin to count the number of times people have asked me what the purpose of business blogging is. 

Inbound marketing has been around for years now, but it’s still a question for many people: why do we do it? What is the purpose of business blogging? 

Someone asked me about it the other day, and I thought, “Oh sure, let me just point them to the NUMBER of blogs I’ve written about business blogging.”

Only to find that well, I haven’t written any blogs about this. I’ve talked about blogging in the context of lead generation, website design, inbound marketing, lead nurturing, and so much more. But I’ve never actually written about why business blogging is so important in its own right, and why it’s a service we provide to nearly every single one of our clients. 
My bad, guys. Big hole in the content there. But I’m here to make it right. 

Let’s talk about what business blogging is, why we do it, and why for heaven’s sake I just need you to believe me when I say it’s worth it.

What is Business Blogging?

Business blogging is the process of blogging for your business. It’s an inbound marketing tactic that works to get your website more visibility. Just like social media, email marketing, and even digital ads, business blogging is another tactic used to get your company in front of the eyes of qualified leads. 

What is the Purpose of Business Blogging?

The purpose of business blogging is to get you and your company in front of the right leads. In the words of our fearless leader here at Evenbound:
“Content publishing is the lifeblood of SEO. Regular content updates (written around your target keywords) build topical relevance and authority. If you’re not writing blogs and your competition is, you’re gonna get smoked in SERPs.”

John Heritage  President, Evenbound

So you want to get found on the internet? 

You want to show up first when someone googles something you do or a product you provide?

You want to beat the competition?

Well then, business blogging is the tool for you.

3 Key Benefits of Business Blogging

Okay, so business blogging helps you get in front of the competition. But how? 

Don’t worry, I wasn’t just going to tell you something and not back it up. 

Like I said earlier, business blogging is a key marketing tactic. It does more than just help you rank well. When you do business blogging right, it can help you convert more leads through every stage of the buyer’s journey.

If you’re familiar with the inbound marketing flywheel, business blogging is one of those tactics you can use to optimize every point on that flywheel, helping you draw in more traffic, nurture those new leads, close on new prospects, and continue to delight your promoters and existing customers. 

Here’s a look at three of the key benefits of business blogging.

Drives Qualified Organic Traffic

First and foremost, business blogging helps you get eyeballs on your website. How else are people going to find you? Let’s think here:
No one is going to type in your website URL and go directly to your site. It doesn’t happen. When have you actually typed in “www.evenbound.com/blog” to see what’s new on our blog? Imma say never. I don’t even do that, and I live on our blog. 
Paid ads are expensive. Sure, you can get in front of the right people using paid advertising. We encourage it. But, it shouldn’t be your only tactic to drive traffic. Mostly because it’s expensive. You should be using marketing strategies tactically. That means only spend where you’re going to see big returns. For everything else, business blogging is your golden ticket to more, better traffic. 
Buying email lists is illegal. Just don’t do it. Aside from being illegal, cold-emailing random people doesn’t return great results. Again, we’re talking about tactical solutions. You can spend a whole lot on an email list that might return a few leads.
The key to business blogging that drives qualified traffic is keyword research. 
Since this isn’t a blog about keyword research, I’m not going to go all the way into it, but I will leave you with a few keyword research resources here and here.

Essentially, it should be your goal to write blogs that:

  • Are relevant to your business
  • Solve a common problem or pain point your target buyer faces
  • Are centered around a keyword or phrase with high search volume and low competition

That’s the sweet spot for a blog that will rank well, and that will pull in the leads you actually want. Once you do your keyword research, the real challenge is putting out quality content that’s in-depth, and that answers those questions your target buyers are asking. 

But, if you can do all of this, and regularly, you’ll start drawing in serious qualified traffic. The more you blog, and the more consistently, the better results you’ll see. 
That said, I know how hard it is to stick to a regular schedule. If you can work to put out a quality blog even once every two weeks, you should start to see your organic traffic start to rise. 

Business Blogging Builds Authority and Topical Relevance

Okay, stick with me. Authority and topical relevance are both big industry terms, and if your eyes are starting to glaze over, I get it. 
One of the key ways Google ranks websites is according to their authority. 
You build authority in a few ways, but content publishing and link building are the two biggies. (Here’s some info on link building and authority. Here’s some info from MOZ on link building and relevance. And here’s some info on link building itself.)
Content publishing, aka business blogging, is the other key factor that search engines use to determine your authority. And the more authority you have on a given topic, the higher you’re likely to rank. 
Let’s think of it this way:

You’re cooking a steak, and you want tips on the best way to do it. Which YouTube video do you choose? 

 

  • One published by Chef Gordon Ramsay
  • One published by your friend from high school
If you’re like me, you’re probably going to refer to the Gordon Ramsay video. 

Why?

He has authority on the subject. 

As a well-known chef with a body of work on things like grilling and cooking steaks, he’s built authority on the topic. 

That brings me right to topical relevance, which is similar to authority. 

The more quality content you have on a topic, the more topical relevance you have. 

Sticking with our Gordon Ramsay reference, let’s say the topic is cooking steak. 

If you have a blog on each of these topics:

  • How to Grill Steak
  • Step-By-Step Guide to Prepping Your Steak
  • How Long Should Your Steak Rest Before Serving?
  • How to Pan-Fry Steak
  • Which Cut of Steak is Best?

Then you have serious topical relevance. 

Google will always rank the website with the most topical relevance highest on its results pages. That’s why business blogging is so important. 

Though you can’t build authority or topical relevance overnight, steady, consistent posting of strategic content centered around one topic is one of the best ways to get there.

When you have more authority and topical relevance than your competition, you’re going to be the one clients look to first for answers to their questions. 
And that spells serious business growth for you. 

Your Business Blog is a Lead Generation Machine That’s Always On

Okay. So far we’ve learned that business blogging can help you pull in qualified traffic and beat your competition in rankings (drawing in even more traffic). Business blogging still has one exceptional benefit left. 
Your business blog is a lead generation machine that’s always on. 
If you develop it right and optimize it with lead capturing tools like calls-to-action and content offers, your business blog can capture leads every single day of the week, at any hour.
Once you publish a blog, it goes out into the world. You might (read: absolutely definitely should) promote that blog on your social media and through your email marketing campaigns. But after the newness wears off, that blog is still working for you (given that you’ve written a quality blog). 
The key to this benefit is making sure that you have content on your blog that addresses every stage of the buyer’s journey
When someone starts their journey, and queries your topic on Google, they’re met with your blog. They come on over for answers to whatever question they typed into Google. But, if you’ve got content for every stage of the buyer’s journey, and you make it easy for that new visitor to find, you’re not just generating leads, you’re also nurturing them. 
An optimized blog can nurture a new lead all the way through their buyer's journey, providing them with the right information, at the right time. Click To Tweet If that lead keeps coming back for information on your site when they’re finally ready to buy, guess who they’re going to call?
Yep, you. 
You’ve not only built authority on search engines, but you’ve built trust with the leads who read your business blog. By delivering them quality content that answers their questions, consistently, you’ve earned their trust and now you’re their first point of contact when they get ready to make a decision. 
And I think the best part of all of this is that you didn’t have to lift a finger. 
Since you’ve developed a solid business blog where all of this content already exists, your blog is the one doing the work 24/7, anytime a day. 

Business Blogging Gets You the Online Visibility You Need

If I had to sum up the purpose of business blogging in one sentence, I’d say it gets you the online visibility you need. 
Let’s be real. If you’re not on the internet these days, it’s going to be tough to get any kind of lead that’s not a referral. And even the ones that are referrals. If you’re not on the internet, you don’t exist. 
Blogging is one of those tactics that’s easier said than done. Trust me, I get it. If you’re having trouble coming up with topics, sticking to a consistent schedule, or converting leads from your blog, the Evenbound team is here to help. We’d be happy to set up a quick consultation to help you figure out what you’re doing right, and where you might be able to improve. 
If you’re still skeptical about the benefits of business blogging, may I direct your attention to the case study below? This is a great example of how consistent blogging with helped one of our clients make first page of Google and continue growing their business, even four years into our partnership. 
New call-to-action
New call-to-action

5 Key Qualities to Look for In An Incredible Inbound Marketing Agency

5 Key Qualities to Look for In An Incredible Inbound Marketing Agency

5 Key Qualities to Look for In An Incredible Inbound Marketing Agency

Inbound marketing is a proven, effective way to set yourself apart from the competition in the 2020s. But, it’s not always easy to implement on your own. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, unless you have a massive, dedicated marketing department, making the switch to inbound marketing can take a little help. That’s where inbound marketing agencies come in. 

An inbound marketing agency functions as your partner in your inbound marketing endeavors. (That is, to draw in qualified leads with relevant marketing that pulls people in, rather than pushing people out. Learn more about the basics of  inbound marketing here.) 

They help you define your goals, and then they create and implement strategies to help you reach those goals. And if they’re a good inbound marketing agency, they’ll refine those strategies based on their results to ensure you’re always optimizing and moving closer to your goals. 

But how do you find a great inbound marketing agency? We’re here to help you out. Check out these key qualities to look for in an incredible inbound marketing agency to help you sort through the crowd and find the best partner for you:

Key Quality #1: They Walk the Walk

The first sign of a great inbound marketing agency? They do great marketing for themselves. 

If you can’t find an inbound marketing agency online, if their website sucks, or if they’re really just failing on the email marketing game, it’s not a good sign. 

So? Use Google. 

 

Check out their website. 

 

Sign up for a content offer or for their monthly newsletter. 

If they’re not popping up when you search “inbound marketing agency near me”, or if their website is impossible to navigate, you might want to keep on looking. 

If, on the other hand, you find their marketing efforts to be engaging and worthwhile, that agency might just be a great fit for you. 

It’s important to remember that working with an inbound marketing agency really is a partnership. Everyone has different styles and approaches to inbound marketing. If you’re looking at an agency and you just don’t like their style, it might be worth it to keep on looking.

Key Quality #2: Their Team Has Experience in Your Industry

There are some who will say that inbound marketing is really the same for everyone.

I’m here to tell you it’s not. 

The marketing tactics we use for home builders are not the same tactics we use for industrial manufacturers.

It's important that the inbound marketing agency you partner with is experienced in your industry. Click To Tweet They should be able to give you examples and show you case studies of how they’ve produced results for previous clients with similar challenges and goals. 

Key Quality #3: They Get Your Goals

If you’ve found an inbound marketing agency that has a great digital presence and that has experience in your industry, you’re probably making the move to connect with them. 

It’s okay if they give you a little pushback on things like timeframe or implementation, but the bottom line is that they should get your goals. 

If they don’t understand why you want more of a certain type of client or haven’t come prepared with a few strategies that could help you reach greater traffic, lead, or revenue goals, they’re probably not a great fit. 

An incredible inbound marketing agency should at least have an idea of what you’re looking for before you even sit down for a meeting.

Effective inbound marketing plans start with solid growth goals. If your team and theirs can’t get aligned on what those goals are at the beginning, your partnership is going to struggle. 

You can help this part of the process run smoothly by being clear about what you want from this inbound marketing agency partnership. If they get your goals and have plans to help you reach them, then they’re a great fit and probably an incredible inbound marketing agency.

Key Quality #4 You Get a Responsive, Dedicated Point of Contact

Incredible inbound marketing agencies know that communication is the key to a successful partnership.

They might be doing everything they need to do on your behalf, but if you don’t get to see the numbers, or aren’t hearing from them very often, you’re not going to feel supported. 

On the other hand, if you’re always talking to a different member of their team, it’s easy to get lost in the process and lose sight of your goals. 

Choose an inbound marketing agency that sets you up with a responsive, dedicated point of contact. That person should be your go-to for any question you have about your inbound services, and they should be fairly quick to respond. 

If you get the feeling that the agency you’re looking at isn’t super responsive, ask them specifically how often you can expect to get updates. If you’re not comfortable with the answer, say so, and feel free to keep on looking. 

Key Quality #5: They Believe in Continuous Improvement

Digital marketing best practices and tactics are constantly changing, almost as fast as the internet, itself changes. That means you need an inbound marketing agency that works hard to stay ahead of those changes, ensuring your company is always seeing the results you need to meet your goals.

You’re not going to reach growth goals with one, static inbound marketing plan. Effective inbound marketing makes use of constant revision and optimization. 

In an inbound marketing agency, continuous improvement is actualized in monthly reporting meetings. Your point of contact should be able to bring you a monthly report and show you exactly what’s working, and what’s not. 

They should explain how all of those reports come together, and tell you what changes or adjustments they’ll be making to keep pushing you closer to your growth goals. 

With an agency that’s working to continuously optimize your inbound marketing strategy, you’ll see continuous improvements in your results. 

Choosing an inbound marketing agency is a big deal. They’re your partner in lead generation, which means they’re also your growth partner. If you’re not sure where to start, or how to decide if an agency is right for you, we’d be happy to help.

Just give us a call or send us a message, and we’ll answer your questions as best we can. No strings, I promise. We’re just here to help you find the best fit for your company.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

When we talk about growth strategies, we think it’s important to talk about tangible strategies your small or midsized business can implement today to help drive growth. There’s a lot of information out there about diversification, market penetration, market segmentation, and acquisition. Those are legitimate small business growth strategies, but they’re nebulous, not actionable. 

Yes, it’s important for your overall business health to do things like diversify and acquire new products/services and even other businesses, but that doesn’t help you grow in real-time. 

Those are strategies that bring you growth, but they don’t set you up to support that growth in the long term. That’s why we’re here to talk about small business growth strategies that can help you boost revenue in real-time, helping you prepare for long-term growth, and supporting your company in a sustainable way. 

Today we’re talking about small business growth strategies that:

a) help you get the word out, 

b) deliver you the qualified leads you’re looking for

c) help you close better deals, faster. 

Best of all, each of these strategies is measurable and results-driven. 

You want growth, right? There’s no point in investing in a growth strategy if you can’t see the results it’s delivering. 

So, without further ado, here are a few of our favorite small business growth strategies that boost revenue in ways you can track:

Set Growth Goals

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — it’s hard to implement a growth strategy if you don’t know where you’re growing to. 

Setting growth goals is an integral part of your small business growth strategy. Think of it this way: how will you know which strategies to implement if you don’t know what you want to grow?

It’s one thing to say, “I’d like to grow my business,” or “increase revenue”. It’s another to actually sit down and make that happen. 

I won’t belabor this point because we’ve already written a lot about it, but set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely), and develop your small business growth strategies to help you meet those goals. 

Once you’ve set your growth goals, you’ll have a better idea of which of the following small business growth strategies can help you meet those goals.

For example, driving traffic helps bring in more leads, focusing on customer loyalty helps with customer retention, and increasing local SEO helps do both, with the added benefit of increasing your digital presence. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of those key small business growth strategies:

Create Value that Draws in Leads

Sure, your product or service has value to people, but it’s tough for customers to take that at face value. Other than selling something, how can you create value for your potential customers and leads? 

Content is always a great place to start. You have the knowledge and you have the authority in your industry to create helpful content. Developing content that showcases both of those qualities and answers questions that your potential customers are asking creates serious value that will start to draw those leads into your business. 

It’s tough to grow a business without customers. 

By creating value with blogging, with content offers, and dynamic social media channels that offer the information your ideal audience is looking for, you start drawing in those customers you want.

How does creating value boost revenue? 

When you offer valuable information, you build both trust and authority with your prospects. By providing helpful answers to their questions, you become their go-to resource. So, when they do finish their research and get ready to make a purchasing decision, you can bet your business will be at the top of their list. 

Not sure your content creating is creating value? Make sure you have calls-to-action on your blogs and articles and make sure you're tracking conversions on your content offers. Click To Tweet All of these tools can show you exactly where your customers are coming from, and how your valuable content is contributing to your bottom line. 

Drive Traffic

When it comes to small business growth, it’s all about traffic. Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or strictly digital, traffic is important. You need people in your store and on your website if you want to grow your company. 

Drive traffic with:

Social Media

Point people to your valuable content, your new video, your awesome website, or your attractive content offer by sharing it on social media. Make sure you’re choosing the platforms that are best for your industry, too, like LinkedIn for B2Bs, Facebook for home services and local, community-focused messages, and Instagram for any exciting visuals. 

Strategic SEO

We’ll talk more about SEO later on, but developing a website that’s tailored to specific keywords and topics that your customers are searching for is key to getting the traffic you need to grow your business. 

Backlinks

Backlinks help you boost your domain authority (basically, how important search engines think you are) but they also drive traffic. When another site links to your page or piece of content, everyone who comes to that site has the potential to click over to you. If you don’t have backlinks yet or don’t have the power to get backlinks, it all starts with great content. If you’re writing unique, interesting content that people relate to, it’s naturally more shareable.

How does driving traffic boost revenue?

Well, if you’re generating more of the right traffic — that ideal target audience who’s genuinely interested in your product or service — you’ve got a higher percentage of qualified leads on your doorstep just waiting for your marketing and sales teams to close the deal. 

Traffic is also an easy one to track. Use Google Analytics to measure your influx of traffic over time. If you have marketing software, that’s also a great place to look for results. 

See where your most promising leads are coming from, which pages they’re landing on, and which content they seem to prefer, and you’ll be able to keep optimizing both your traffic growth strategy and your content strategy for better results. 

Increase Local SEO Efforts

For most small businesses, it’s all about location, location, location. You’ve got to start getting your name out somewhere, right? If your business is location dependent, meaning you offer a product or service in a specific area, local SEO is key to your small business growth strategy. 

As a local business, you want to be at the top of the list when someone searches for, “roofing near me” or whatever local search is relevant to your business. Local SEO is how you get there. 

As small business growth strategies go, local SEO is a solid one that offers tangible and measurable results. We won’t go into the key points of implementing SEO, but you can find plenty of information about how to get started with local SEO on our site, and from digital marketing leaders like Moz and HubSpot

How does local SEO boost revenue? 

Like I said before, this is a great small business growth strategy if you’re looking for measurable ways to boost revenue. 

First and foremost, when implemented properly, local SEO works to put your company in front of qualified leads in your area. 

You can tell that your local SEO strategies are working by tracking your traffic, your SERP (search engine results page) rankings, and just by measuring how many of your leads are coming from organic search results. Again, marketing software and Google Analytics can help you get all of these numbers. 

Like many growth strategies, local SEO does have its limits. When you’re working hard to get your company to rank well for local search terms, you’re going to see more local traffic. But all this growth strategy can do is get those leads to your website or sales team. From there, it’s still up to you to actually convert those leads into sales. 

That said, it’s hard not to grow when more of the qualified local leads you’re looking for are coming directly to you. 

Build Customer Loyalty

These days, consumers are more engaged than ever with the brands they choose to buy from. Most consumers take pride in supporting companies they believe in, whose beliefs they align with, and whose products and services they love. In the digital age, growing your small business is about a lot more than just selling a product. 

Today’s most successful small businesses stand out by building relationships and trust with their customers and prospects. 

How do you do that? 

Think about how your brand is interacting with people.

In the digital era, consumers are seeking that sense of connection wherever they can find it. They want to buy from brands that “get” them. Brands that understand their pain points and work hard to support their goals and needs are brands they’re likely to stick with. 

This might seem like a lot of personal, touchy-feely advice, especially for small businesses in B2B industries, but it’s true. No matter who your consumer is, whether it’s an engineer looking for the next great tool to support their research and development, or a local homeowner seeking a new roof — how they perceive your company matters. 

If your company and brand seem human and approachable, they’re more likely to buy from you. If they feel like they’ll get personalized customer service, and you deliver, they’re going to keep buying from you in the future.

Today’s consumers, in every industry, are looking for personal connections and exceptional customer service. If you can deliver that, your small business is going to start seeing your growth. Here’s how you can make that happen: 

Deliver personalized messages.

Email marketing is a great place to start. If you’ve been doing any kind of digital marketing, you’ve probably collected the email addresses of previous customers, potential customers, leads, and prospects. Use those email addresses to start delivering the personalized service and messaging that can build that customer loyalty. 

Segment your email list, and start putting out marketing messages that really resonate with each segment of that list. 

For new prospects, that might be information to help them through the consideration phase of their buyer’s journey. 

For past customers, that might be reminder emails when its time to get their product serviced or inspected, or helpful information on how to use your product or service for the best results. 

When you are able to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you’re not just developing a successful email marketing strategy for your small business.

You’re also building positive, strong relationships with leads, prospects, and previous customers, all of which keep your flywheel spinning and contribute to small business growth. 

How does building customer loyalty boost your revenue?

  • 70% of companies say that retaining customers is significantly cheaper than converting a new one. 

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a personalized experience. 

The more personalized and positive your experiences with leads, prospects, and customers are, the more business you’re going to win and retain. 

And of course, when your customers love your products, your services, and your company, they’re going to talk about it, which means word of mouth marketing for your small business. And that’s one of the most effective small business growth strategies out there if you can get it going. 

Growth strategies are integral to the success of your SMB. Whether you’re looking for more local leads, hoping to convert a greater number of leads into sales, or you’re looking for ways to increase customer retention, we can help

All of these small business growth strategies I’ve mentioned today can be combined into one overarching strategy that puts your business ahead of the competition. If you’re ready to grow your SMB, we’re ready to develop a tailored strategy that’s guaranteed to deliver. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action