10 Inbound Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking

10 Inbound Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking

Even if you don’t know what the term inbound marketing KPIs means, you probably already know what they are. Here in the inbound marketing world, KPI is short for Key Performance Indicators. You might just know them as metrics. Tomato, tomahto.

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Just kidding — it doesn’t really matter what you call them, so long as you use them. 

 

Inbound marketing KPIs, or metrics, provide your best estimate of success. They tell you how well your marketing efforts are working and what results they’re producing. They can also tell you where your marketing strategy could use work. 

 

While there are dozens of KPIs to measure depending on what your marketing, sales, and growth goals are, here are a few of the KPIs that every team with an inbound marketing strategy should be keeping track of:

#1 Qualified Leads

You want leads. Who doesn’t?

 

But, not all leads are created equal. There are leads you’re actually interested in — leads who are a great fit for your product or service. And there are leads you’re not interested in — leads who aren’t a good price fit, don’t really need your product, or who aren’t ready to buy. 

 

The qualified leads KPI tells you exactly how many qualified leads you’re getting. Sounds basic, but qualified leads vs. plain ol’ leads is key.  

 

Even if your campaign is seeing a relatively low number of leads, but all of those leads are highly qualified and likely to close, then you know you’re doing something right.

 

That’s a much better sign of an effective campaign than one that delivers a ton of leads who never convert into prospects or sales. 

#2 Organic Traffic

Inbound marketing is built (loosely) on an “if you build it, they will come” mindset. At its core, the inbound marketing methodology believes that if you are putting out the right, helpful content that speaks to your target audience and that is optimized for the way your consumers search, then you will draw in the right leads. 

 

Organic traffic is one of the best inbound marketing KPIs to measure your website’s success in drawing in the right people

 

The organic traffic KPI is an oldie, but a goodie. It’s been around for a while because it’s relatively easy to track, it’s straightforward, and it can tell you a lot. The higher your organic traffic rate, the more your content is resonating with the right people. When you have a high organic traffic number, you know that your content marketing strategy is working to 1) place you ahead of the competition in search rankings, and 2) speak to your ideal audience. 

 

And when you’re drawing in big numbers of organic traffic, it means you’re getting a whole bunch of leads without paying for them. Major win.

#3 Social Media Traffic

Social media traffic is also a great inbound marketing KPI to watch because it can help you figure out which platforms are best to focus your efforts on. 

 

These days, there are tons of social media platforms. They’re all great for engaging new potential clients and keeping your existing clients in your inbound marketing flywheel. But, not every social media channel works for every company or industry. 

 

By monitoring the traffic coming to your website from social media, you can determine:

 

  • Which channels are driving the most traffic and the most leads to your site
  • How many conversions you’re seeing through social media channels
  • How much website traffic is coming to your website from social media

 

This inbound marketing KPI helps you determine which channels are delivering the most qualified visitors who stick around and tend to read your content or convert into leads. And when you know that Facebook is the one delivering you 15 new leads every month, while Pinterest has delivered none, you can invest more money in your Facebook strategy, and forget about Pinterest for now. That’s marketing optimization at its finest. 

#4 Time-on-Site

If inbound marketing is your focus, the time-on-site KPI is an important one to keep track of. Again, the point of inbound marketing is to teach and engage new potential clients and qualified leads with content that solves their pain points and answers their questions.

 

The time-on-site KPI tells you how much engagement your content is getting. 

 

If you have a long average time-on-site, then your visitors are browsing around. They’re reading your content and navigating deeper into your website.

 

 A short time-on-site is a good indication that it’s time to change something up. Consider adding a different image or a different content offer on your front page. Change up your calls-to-action and make sure you’re really working to answer the questions your ideal buyer is asking the most. 

#5 Time-on-Page

Time-on-page is just as important as time-on-site. Though it might sound obvious, the time-on-page metric measures how long a site visitor spends on a particular page of your website. 

 

This is an especially useful metric if you’ve been working to incorporate pillar pages, or are working on developing longer-form content. 

 

The time-on-page inbound marketing KPI can give you insight into which pages are keeping your readers' attention, and which might still need a little work to retain their concentration. Click To Tweet

 

It’s not easy to get readers in the digital age to stick around for long, so when you start to see pages with lengthy time-on-page metrics, you’ll know your content marketing strategy is working. 

#6 Bounce Rate

On the opposite side of the time-on-page coin, you have bounce rate. As an inbound marketing KPI, bounce rate means what percentage of people make it to a page on your site and bounce right off, or navigate away immediately. 

 

The bounce rate metric is useful for everything from a web design standpoint to understanding if your landing pages are working properly. 

 

If you have a high bounce rate, your visitors probably aren’t resonating with the particular page they’re being sent to. 

 

Are they bouncing off of a landing page? Consider taking out some of the required fields on your form. Maybe tighten up the content a little, and take away the navigation bar. 

 

High bounce rate on a piece of content? Your hook might not be strong enough, or your content might not seem like it’s offering enough information. Add in an exciting first paragraph, make sure you have plenty of eye-grabbing, but informational headers, and check to make sure that your content is actually saying something. 

 

High bounce rate on your home page? Maybe you’re not being clear enough about what you do. Consider changing up your headers, adding in new visual elements like images or video, and see if that KPI starts to improve. 

#7 Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is one of those KPIs you hear about all. the. time. 

 

That’s because it can tell you quite a lot about your inbound marketing strategy. 

 

Like bounce rate, conversion rate is used in a variety of contexts. It can be used when talking about a landing page, about an ad, or even about how many site visitors convert into leads. 

 

In its most basic form, a conversion is defined as a lead or prospect taking a desired action. Click To Tweet

 

That could be downloading a content offer, clicking over to your site from an ad, or even closing on a sale. 

 

No matter what version of the conversion rate metric we’re talking about, it’s always important to track, because it tells you how effective your campaign is. 

 

If your weekly newsletter has a high number of content offer conversions, for example, that shows that you’re doing a great job of nurturing those email subscribers closer to a sale. 

 

If your landing page has a low conversion rate, that might be a sign that what you’re offering isn’t attractive enough, or that you’re asking too much in return for what you’re offering. 

 

Conversion rates are always important to follow because they tell you more than just how many people are seeing an ad or a page or a content offer. They tell you how many people are actually interacting with that item. And engaged visitors are leads

#8 Customer Acquisition Cost

Your customer acquisition cost KPI is a measurement of how much it actually costs your company to acquire a new customer. For most companies, it’s more expensive to pick up a new client than it is to retain an old one. But your customer acquisition cost (CAC) can tell you more than that. 

 

It can also tell you if your marketing strategy is effective. If you’re spending thousands of dollars on Facebook and Google Ads, but you’re only bringing in one or two new customers, then you’ve got a pretty high CAC, and it’s probably time to change something up. 

 

For example, if your outbound marketing strategy isn’t converting at the right CAC, you might want to invest more heavily in inbound marketing. 

 

Your CAC can also be used to help calculate the overall ROI of your marketing campaign. We’ll talk more about that later, but read this blog about Calculating Marketing ROI for more info. 

#9 Lifetime Value of A Customer

Just as your CAC tells you how much it costs to acquire a customer, the Lifetime Value of a Customer tells you how much you earn from a customer over the term of their engagement with you. To figure out the overall value of a customer, check out the following equation:

 

(Amount of average sale per customer) x (Average number of times a customer buys per year) x (Average retention time for a typical customer (whether that’s a year, a month, or more))

 

Typically, the lifetime value of the customer shows you how important it is to keep nurturing leads, even after they’ve closed on a sale. On average, most companies find that it’s more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to retain consistent business with an existing client.

#10 Return on Investment

Return on Investment (ROI) is the KPI that everyone wants to know. We probably don’t have to tell you that you need to be tracking it, because who isn’t?

 

But, we do have to include it on this list because it truly is one of the most telling inbound marketing KPIs that exists. 

 

Your return on investment tells you how much you're actually making, compared to how much you're spending on your inbound marketing campaign. Click To Tweet

 

This is an important metric if you’re trying to convince your boss that inbound marketing is legit, but it’s equally important after you start using inbound marketing. 

 

The ROI metric tells you when your efforts are paying off, and when you might be spending too much on an effort that’s not performing. 

 

Let’s say, for example, you still take out a Yellow Pages ad. That costs you a few hundred dollars each time you place the ad. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say you never get any referrals from that Yellow Pages ad. In this situation, there is virtually no ROI. You’re spending money on a marketing effort that isn’t returning any revenue. 

 

So, you see that your Yellow Pages ad isn’t working out. You decide to take the money you would’ve spent on that ad, and use it to hire a content writer to start your blog. After a few months, you have a ton of leads calling in, and they’re all referencing information they saw on your blog. 

 

When you close on some of those sales, for more than you spent on the content writer, you have a positive ROI. 


In the end, if you’ve got a great ROI percentage, then you know your marketing strategy is working. If you’re spending more than you’re making, or if you’re not seeing a great return on your marketing strategy, it’s probably time for a change. 

 

Check out this blog from Impact for more information about calculating your marketing ROI. 

Deciding Which Inbound Marketing KPIs to Track


As you probably know, there are way more than just 10 inbound marketing KPIs to track. But, if you’re just getting started with the inbound methodology, these 10 are some of the most important, and the easiest to make sense of. 

If you’d like to learn about more inbound marketing KPIs you can track to better optimize your marketing strategy, or if you’re interested in an inbound marketing agency, let us know. We can help you determine which KPIs make the most sense for your goals, and we’d be happy to explain a little bit more about the inbound marketing methodology, too.

 

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What is a HubSpot Partner Agency, and What Can They Do For You?

What is a HubSpot Partner Agency, and What Can They Do For You?

If you’ve been considering investing in HubSpot’s CRM for your business, you know it’s a huge, robust tool. If your company can implement those tools effectively, you’ll definitely start to see results in the length of your sales cycle and the growth of your company. But, that’s the problem.

The HubSpot platform offers so many tools, and if you’re thinking about choosing one of their paid subscriptions, you might be worried that your team won’t be able to learn and implement them correctly, and in a reasonable period of time.

That’s a realistic concern. That’s also where a HubSpot Partner Agency comes in.  

What is a HubSpot Partner Agency?

If you know what HubSpot is, you might know a little about their Partner Program. Essentially, it’s a program offered to marketing agencies who already use the HubSpot platform and who are dedicated to the inbound marketing methodology.

Marketing agencies apply to be a partner, and once HubSpot accepts them, they’re given additional sales and marketing training, direct account managers through HubSpot, and a bunch of other tools they can use to provide better service to their clients.

Each HubSpot Partner Agency is ranked according to HubSpot’s tier system. The higher a company’s tier, the better the services they provide, and the more clients they have helped to use HubSpot successfully for themselves.  

Are There Different Types of HubSpot Partner Agencies?

Yes.

As you probably already know, there are tons of different types of marketing agencies. As long as they use HubSpot and approach marketing with an inbound mindset, an agency can apply to be a HubSpot Partner. That means that there are all different kinds of HubSpot Partner Agencies available to you.

Some, like us, are full-service agencies who handle inbound marketing, web design, email marketing, content marketing, paid search, social media advertising, and more.

Others might have a focus in one specific area — they might just design websites, they might just offer inbound marketing consulting, they might specialize in sales support, etc.

So, if you’re considering choosing a HubSpot Agency Partner it’s good to remember that we’re not all the same. You’ll have to do a little digging, and probably a  bit of interviewing to find an agency that fits with your culture and with your company’s overall goals.

But before we get to choosing a HubSpot Partner Agency, which we’ll talk about in a later blog post, let’s talk about what a HubSpot Partner Agency can actually do for you.

What Can A HubSpot Partner Agency Do For You?

Since HubSpot has more than 2,500 partner agencies, there must be some benefit to hiring them. But if you’re new to HubSpot, or if you’re already using HubSpot, you might not know exactly what a HubSpot Partner Agency can do for you, and how their services can benefit your company. Let’s talk about that. Here are 3 benefits that come from hiring a HubSpot Partner Agency:

HubSpot CRM Support

This one might seem obvious, but it’s important. As a HubSpot partner agency, your marketing agency can help your team better use the HubSpot CRM and all of its bundled tools.

If you don’t have HubSpot, a partner agency will help you onboard, will teach your team about all of the tools, and will walk each member of your team through the CRM, step by step.

If your team is already using HubSpot, a partner agency will help you figure out how to optimize that use. They’ll look at your analytics, talk to your sales and marketing teams, and implement new strategies that help you perform even better, across the entire platform.

The HubSpot CRM is an impressive tool, but it does take a little bit of work to master. Partnering with a HubSpot Agency minimizes that work, and essentially gives you a HubSpot coach who’s on-call anytime you need help.

The other bonus of working with a HubSpot Partner Agency is that you have a direct line to HubSpot support.

When you’re having trouble figuring out a new tool, or are troubleshooting an issue in the system, your agency can either help you fix the problem themselves, or talk directly to their HubSpot account managers for a quick resolution. This is a lot easier than working through customer service on your own, as partner agencies are one of the few who have their own direct line to HubSpot itself.

Exceptional Inbound Marketing Service

The benefit of using HubSpot in the first place is its impressive, powerful tools. The HubSpot CRM offers advanced analytics tracking and reporting, email tracking, blog publishing, social media publishing, and more. With all of these tools and the metrics that go with them, your marketing agency can offer you a much better overall marketing service.

Essentially, hiring a HubSpot Partner Agency is a two for one deal. Click To Tweet

You get the expertise of a marketing agency — their web design support, their unique inbound marketing strategies, the tools they use to deliver quality inbound marketing service, and their team of experts — plus all of the additional tools and organization that the HubSpot CRM offers.

Sales Alignment Support

When you work with a full-service HubSpot Agency Partner, you get more than just a bunch of cool tools and marketing advice. You also get sales support, which isn’t something you see from every marketing agency out there.

Inbound marketing methodology relies on the idea that for the best possible results for overall company growth, your sales and marketing teams have to be aligned.

To address that fact, the HubSpot CRM offers a vast suite of sales tools that work hand-in-hand with marketing tools, to help you get both teams on the same page, and working towards your company’s growth goals.

Working with a HubSpot Agency Partner takes those benefits just a step further. The HubSpot Partner Program offers partners training in both sales and marketing. That means your HubSpot Agency Partner (if you choose a full-service agency) is trained to coach not only your marketing team, but your sales team as well.

They can provide tools, content offers, and training that help your sales team shorten the overall sales cycle, and close on more, qualified leads. Combined with HubSpot Sales tools like lead and deal tracking, automatic notifications when a lead opens an email or lands on your website, and targeted email workflows, that’s a huge step towards company growth.

Our Experience As A HubSpot Gold Partner Agency

On a personal note, we’ve found this piece of sales and marketing alignment, specifically, to be one of the most helpful, and most popular services that we now offer our clients. As a HubSpot Gold Partner Agency, our clients love that we’re able to help with their marketing strategy, but they’re finding even more success now that we’re able to coach their sales team and teach them how to use the marketing content that we’ve been developing for years.

This really is one of the biggest benefits for our clients, and we’re seeing it produce some real results. Instead of just helping our clients get found, and get the qualified leads they want, this sales support has helped us teach our clients what to do once we deliver those qualified leads. And with that information and training, plus HubSpot’s user-friendly sales tools, they’re able to grow incredibly.

WHAT YOU GET:

HubSpot, HubSpot Support, the Marketing Agency You Were Looking For, and the Sales Coaching You Weren’t

In the end, the reason companies choose to partner with HubSpot agencies is because you get a whole lot of tools and expertise rolled into one deal. Here’s what you get:

  • The HubSpot CRM, plus all of its tools. That means blogging, social media publishing, landing pages, content offers, marketing campaign metrics, traffic metrics, lead tracking, email tracking, and more, all in one platform.
  • HubSpot Support. A company who can walk you through each and every one of HubSpot’s tools. They can use the tools for your benefit, and they’ll teach your team how to use them, too.
  • A Marketing Agency. This is what you were looking for in the first place, right? A marketing agency who can handle the more complicated aspects of digital marketing, from developing a new inbound-focused website to writing your blog posts and content offers, and setting up your ad campaigns.
  • Marketing and Sales Support. This is usually the benefit people are most surprised by. When you hire the right HubSpot Partner Agency, you get more than just a marketing team. You also get sales support that can completely turn around the way your company nurtures and closes leads. If you’re looking for company growth, this is the benefit that should be most important, and most exciting, to you.

Is a HubSpot Partner Agency Right for You?

While a HubSpot Partner Agency isn’t right for everyone, it is a great choice for companies who don’t have a marketing team, who need help finessing marketing strategy, and who are looking to streamline overall business operations, from marketing through to sales.

If you’re interested to learn a little bit more about whether a HubSpot Partner Agency is right for your company, don’t hesitate to reach out. As a HubSpot Gold Partner Agency, we’ve got plenty of info and would be happy to share with you more about how the partnership works.

And if you’re ready to hire a partner agency? We’ve got the experience and the expertise to help your company onboard to the HubSpot platform, and keep your business growing with marketing and sales support.

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8 Questions to Ask A Digital Marketing Agency Before You Sign On

8 Questions to Ask A Digital Marketing Agency Before You Sign On

So you’re thinking about hiring a digital marketing agency?

Great! A digital marketing agency can do wonders for your company, from helping you develop a website that works for you to building a strategic inbound marketing strategy that will draw in and convert the leads you want most.

When you hire a digital marketing agency, you’re partnering with a team of experts who are all focused on growing your business. That’s a pretty cool partnership, but it’s also one that takes a lot of work.

If you’re considering hiring a digital marketing agency, or if you’re in the process of hiring a digital marketing agency but aren’t sure how to make a final decision, this blog should help. Here are 8 questions you should ask a digital marketing agency before you sign on and hire them:

Can You Show Me Case Studies or Examples of Previous Work?

When you’re looking at digital marketing agencies, your first step should always be to ask for references, case studies, and examples of previous work.

It’s important to see what they’ve done so you can gauge if they have enough experience in your industry and if their strategy can deliver the results you’re looking for.

Digital marketing agencies are everywhere, and no two are exactly the same. Some just design websites. Others focus specifically on social media or PPC. Still others offer a comprehensive marketing strategy that can tie your website, email marketing, paid advertising and inbound and content marketing strategies all together into one.

But all of these digital marketing agencies will tell you they can get you the leads you want, for less. Make sure you’re hiring an agency that walks the walk. Ask to take a look at some of their previous work through case studies, or see if they’ll walk you through some of the projects they’ve done in the past.

The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll be making a decision to sign a contract with that agency.

What Tools Do You Use?

Digital marketing is a tool-centric industry. Even the best marketers rely on third-party optimization tools to improve campaigns and ensure their strategies are delivering the very best results possible.

Before you hire a digital agency, ask what tools they’re using and what tools they plan to use to develop your digital marketing strategy further. Then ask yourself if those tools make sense for your overall digital marketing goals.

For example: If your goal in working with a digital marketing agency is to align your sales and marketing teams, and your digital marketing agency doesn’t use a CRM, isn’t familiar with CRMs, or doesn’t plan to teach your team how to better use a CRM, they might not have the best tools to achieve your specific digital marketing goals.

If you’re looking for SEO help, your digital marketing agency should have a team of Google Ads, Keyword Planner, and Bing Ads professionals, who also use supplementary third-party tools like SEMRush, Moz, Buzzsumo, Ubersuggest, or Infinite Suggest to build quality campaigns.

Even if you’re not familiar with some of the tools that the agency mentions, it’s still important to ask. You can always look them up later to make sure they’re legit. It’s more important to know that your digital marketing agency isn’t flying by the seat of their pants than it is to admit that you’re not familiar with every tool on their list.

Can You Get Me On the First Page of Google?

This is an important question for one reason — any agency who answers “yes” to this question is one you might want to step away from.

No matter how good your digital marketing agency is, only Google understands how Google’s algorithm works, which means a first-page ranking isn’t something a digital marketing agency can guarantee.

If they respond with an answer like, “well, this is what we’re going to do to try and get you on the first page,” and go on to give you specific strategies they’ll use to boost your company’s ranking potential, you’re probably in good hands.

No one can guarantee a first-page ranking, but there are a lot of quality digital marketing agencies who have strategies that will certainly try. It’s just good to know that any agency who promises you a first-page ranking is starting your relationship with a promise they can’t keep.

What Goals Are You Setting for My Project?

There’s nothing more telling about a digital marketing agency than their goals for your project. What you’re looking for are SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Here at HA Digital Marketing, we like to break our client’s goals down based on thorough research we’ve completed by analyzing their site, their site traffic, and their industry. We look at existing traffic, existing conversion rates, and more, to determine how much we can reasonably improve in a specific period of time.

One of our SMART goals for a client might sound something like this:

Increase organic site traffic to 2,000 monthly visits by 2020

  • Specific: we want to increase organic site traffic, specifically.
  • Measurable: our goal is set at a number of at least 2,000 monthly visits. It’s easy to tell when we reach and when we pass that goal.
  • Attainable: the attainability of a goal will change depending on the client’s existing site traffic. If this client was averaging 1,000 to 1,500 monthly organic site visits, then 2,000 is definitely an attainable goal.
  • Relevant: If the client’s overall goal is to increase web conversions and leads, then a boost in site traffic is how we can make that goal achievable. That makes it a relevant goal.
  • Timely: We’ve specified exactly when we’d like to achieve this goal.

When you’re talking to digital marketing agencies, these are the types of goals you want to see.

Any company who says, “we’ll grow your traffic and get you qualified leads”, might do that, but without SMART goals, it’s hard to say if they’ll actually deliver the quantity and quality results that you’re looking for. To effectively measure your progress and theirs, you need SMART goals.

When Can I Expect to See Results?

This is another question where the way an agency answers the question is more important than how they answer it.

If you’re hiring a digital marketing agency to do any kind of content marketing or SEO work to boost your organic ranking, you have to remember that you’re not going to see immediate results. If you’re working with a digital marketing agency who advises otherwise, you might want to take another close look at their strategies.

Because of the way that organic search results work, there’s no way to guarantee quick results. Search engines need time to crawl your site, and then index it based on the information they find. That means your organic search results can take weeks and even months to seriously improve.

That said, if you’re hiring a digital marketing agency to handle both organic and paid search efforts, they can leverage paid search and social media advertising campaigns to deliver you more qualified traffic immediately. But it’s important to remember that these are different results than organic search results.

With paid ads, you'll start seeing the traffic you want immediately, but you'll be paying for it. This is a great short-term strategy, while you wait for your organic search rankings to catch up, but it's not a complete solution. Click To Tweet

Bottom Line: Ask the digital marketing agencies you’re considering hiring how soon you can expect to see results. If they say “immediately”, ask what they mean by that, and also consider walking away.

If your digital marketing agency takes the time to explain how exactly you’ll see results, and why your organic search results will take a little time to come to fruition, you’re probably in pretty good hands.

What KPIs Do You Track, And What Reporting Will You Offer?

A digital marketing agency is a business partner. They’re not a set and forget solution. Since you’re going to keep sending them money for a monthly retainer, you want to know where your money is going, and what it is doing for you.

That’s why you need to ask this question: you need to figure out what KPIs (key performance indicators or metrics) they’re tracking, and how often they’re sharing those results with you.

Most quality digital marketing agencies track a variety of KPIs ranging from metrics on your site to your search engine rankings to your PPC campaign’s overall performance. The metrics they measure will depend on your company’s unique goals, but you have to make sure, before you hire them on, that they’ll be measuring KPIs that are relevant to those goals.

For example: Let’s say your biggest goal is conversions. You already have the traffic you need, but you’re not seeing the conversion rates you want.

While your digital marketing agency will still be tracking your site traffic, they should place a higher priority on monitoring KPIs like click-through-rate, landing page traffic, content offer downloads, and, of course, your conversion rate.

If they’re focusing on things like your social media engagement and awareness, while those are important metrics, they aren’t the most relevant KPIs for your specific goals.

The second part of this question is what reporting will you offer?

You need to see your results regularly, so you understand what’s happening, what wins you’re seeing with your new digital marketing agency, and what challenges your agency and your strategy might still be facing.

In most cases, a regular monthly report is best. It gives you a clear picture of how your strategy is performing without overwhelming you with daily traffic stats of a year’s worth of data. A great digital marketing agency will also include suggestions and insights for moving forward in your reports, too.

Regular reports keep all teams on the same page, which is a huge part of partnering with a digital marketing agency. Speaking of, here’s your next question:

Who Will I Be Working With?

No matter what digital marketing agency you’re working with, you need to have at least one contact person for your digital marketing project, and it’s probably not going to be the salesperson you’ve been working with so far.

Every digital marketing agency is different. Some will have account managers, some will have project managers, and some favor a more all-hands-on-deck approach where you have a direct and immediate line to most of the team members working on your project.

No matter what digital marketing agency you’re considering hiring, you can ask to meet with, or at least get an introduction to, all of the people who will be working on your project.

This question does a few key things: it gives you a better idea about the type of company you’re working with, it establishes a relationship with the team handling your project going forward, and it gives your digital marketing agency’s team a better idea of what you and your business are all about.

If for some reason an agency doesn’t want you to meet the team or seems cagey about who exactly will be working on your project, you might want to dig a little deeper. Transparency is the key to hiring a successful digital marketing partner.

What Will You Need From Me?

We’ve made it to the final question. “What will you need from me?”

This is far and away one of the most important questions to ask before you hire a digital marketing agency. It gives you and the agency a better picture of what working on this project will like for both parties.

Your digital marketing agency is a team of experts in digital marketing. Though they should have a good working knowledge of your industry, they're not the experts in that — you are. Click To Tweet

A great digital marketing agency will tell you that they’ll need your feedback. They’ll need to know that they’ve correctly identified your target buyers, they’ll need to know that the content they write for your website is right for you, and ultimately, they’ll want your participation.

A digital marketing agency that says you can totally forget about marketing for the rest of your engagement isn’t a digital marketing agency.

Your feedback is essential to the success of your newly implemented marketing strategy, and without open communication between both teams, you won’t be able to optimize your strategy and positioning to reach those goals you set at the beginning of your engagement.

If you’re looking for a hands-off digital marketing agency, that’s awesome. It’s just good to remember that no agency can function completely without your input and feedback. And if a digital marketing agency says you won’t hear from them again after you sign the contract, you might want to dig a little deeper.

A digital marketing agency, on the whole, wants to partner with your company to help you grow. Their goals are your goals —  they want to increase the number of qualified leads you’re getting, so you can increase conversions, make more sales, and increase your revenue.

If you’re having trouble finding an agency who will work with you to achieve these goals, let’s talk. Evenbound is a true digital marketing agency —  we handle everything from web design, SEO and content marketing to paid advertising, email marketing, and social media. If you’re looking for a partner who will work on your behalf to grow your company strategically, we can help.

Get in touch with our team today!

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Inbound Marketing Automation [How to Generate Leads in Your Sleep]

Inbound Marketing Automation [How to Generate Leads in Your Sleep]

Imagine a world where you were generating leads, even while you were offline, away from your desk, and yes, even sleeping.

Believe it or not, it really is possible to generate leads without lifting so much as a finger.

Seriously. No more cold calls. No more knocking on doors. No more elevator pitches. When done properly, you can delegate most of that awkward, uncomfortable and usually frustrating outreach work to your website and your marketing strategy. The solution is marketing automation.

What is Marketing Automation?

Neil Patel says, 'Marketing automation is the process of using software and technology to optimize, automate and measure repetitive online marketing tasks.' Click To Tweet

Basically, it’s the process of using technology to automate marketing tasks that you would otherwise want to do yourself. The computer does it, so you don’t have to.

Most often, we think of marketing automation in the form of email workflows — you have a prospect’s contact information, and they’re sent a series of emails based on the landing pages they’ve viewed and forms they’ve submitted on your website.

Hot Tip: While there are tons of other forms of marketing automation, we’re going to stick with email workflows as our example for this blog, because they’re easy to conceptualize, and because most companies, even SMBs, use some form of email marketing.

While you do have to set up those workflows and optimize them occasionally, once they’re working it’s a set and forget tactic that allows you to generate and nurture leads whenever your leads are cruising your site.

It’s important to note that In the past, there’s been some really terrible marketing automation.

One look at the inbox of your junk email is the perfect example of marketing automation gone wrong. Hundreds of emails shouting at you about sales, last-minute deals, and “just for you” promotions that you really just don’t care about. It’s a nightmare.

While this is an example of marketing automation, it’s not good marketing automation. Tactics like this favor a quantity over quality approach that doesn’t deliver the “qualified leads in your sleep” results you’re looking for.

This is where inbound marketing automation comes in.

What is Inbound Marketing Automation?

Inbound marketing automation is any type of marketing automation tool that is applied with the inbound marketing methodology in mind.

It’s important to remember that inbound is a methodology. It’s a practice and a way of marketing that is actually helpful to your potential clients. The inbound methodology is not a tool.

Marketing automation, however, is a tool you can use to make the inbound marketing methodology come to life.

For example: Inbound methodology tells us that we need to deliver highly relevant, personalized content that answers the questions our leads are asking, even before they ask them. That’s what you’re supposed to do, what inbound methodology dictates.

Inbound marketing automation is the tool that makes that action happen.

Inbound marketing automation allows you to deliver personalized emails to individual leads with content they are likely to be interested in, based on all of their previous interactions with your website and your marketing/sales team.

This ensures the delivery of content with context, fulfilling the inbound consumer’s need for relevant content that answers their questions and solves their challenges. Best of all, it does it while you’re at home still brushing your teeth.

Check out this HubSpot video for a really clear explanation of what inbound marketing automation is, and why it is so effective for today’s consumers.

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The Inbound Approach to Marketing Automation

Why Use Inbound Marketing Automation?

Did we mention generating leads in your sleep? Hello, longer lunches and going home on time.

But in all seriousness, marketing automation is a key tool for inbound marketing because the inbound methodology is so customer-focused. Here are a few key ways inbound marketing automation makes your life easier.

Inbound Leads Aren’t Always Ready To Buy

Inbound marketing does a great job of drawing in qualified leads who are a perfect fit for your product or service. But, they’re not always ready to buy.

The inbound methodology puts a heavy focus on developing content that’s suited to leads in all stages of the buyer’s journey, which means you’re going to get a lot of leads in the awareness and consideration phases who will likely need/want your product, but who aren’t ready to buy yet.

Instead of having your sales team hound them with calls and emails, inbound marketing automation offers a simple, effective tool to keep those leads moving through the buyer’s journey.

Your automated workflows can send them relevant, interesting content that speaks to their stage of the buyer’s journey, as well as their particular industry or position, keeping them from dropping out of your sales funnel and moving them closer to a sale.

Inbound Leads Have Diverse Interests and Needs

If you’re one marketing or salesperson, you probably don’t have time to analyze the unique interests of every lead that comes in on your own. This is where technology comes in handy.

With a quality CRM, you can set up workflows and content delivery systems that automatically send the right content to the right leads, at the right time.

You still have to lay a little bit of the groundwork, by telling your CRM which leads fit into which personas, and where they are in the buyer’s journey, but after that, the system can manage that lead on its own.

That saves you thousands of emails, and it provides the leads with a better experience. They’re getting information and content that’s relevant to their experience and their challenges, and you don’t have to work as hard to make it happen.

Inbound Leads are Content Hungry

We’ve talked a lot about the modern consumer. The short version is that today’s consumers are content hungry. They want to watch videos, read reviews, analyze comparison blogs, and truly learn about every product and service they think about buying.

As a sales or marketing person, you don’t have the time to have all of those conversations, and more importantly, your leads don’t want to talk to you yet. The modern consumer wants to do their own research before they’ll even consider giving a company a call or letting them know they’re interested.

Inbound marketing automation solves this dilemma.

You can still deliver great content about your product or service to those qualified leads, without scaring them away or making them feel like you’re being too pushy by using marketing automation.

With inbound marketing automation, your leads are getting the content they need to complete their research, and you don’t have to lift a finger. Even better, by simply handing over the content that your leads want without a whole lot of trouble, you’re earning their trust.

And when you have a lead's trust, and they're ready to buy, they're going to buy from you. Click To Tweet

How You Can Implement Inbound Marketing Automation

Inbound marketing automation has some pretty attractive benefits. But how do you get it, and how do you set it up so you can roll into work at 10 with Starbucks in hand?

The best way to implement inbound marketing automation is to get a CRM. If you don’t have one, check out our blog about what to look for in a CRM, and choose your favorite.

We like HubSpot because it’s really easy to use, it’s less expensive (read: they have a version of the software that is totally free) than many more traditional platforms, like Salesforce, and it’s got all of the tools we like, plus they regularly add new tools when they see a need.

It’s possible to do a bit of marketing automation with an email service, like MailChimp, for example, but if you’re looking for legitimate results, you should really go with a CRM.

If you’re not sure about the process yet, we really recommend the free version of HubSpot. It’s a great way to learn how to implement a little marketing automation, and it’s always free — so you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money learning a tactic you’re not sure you’ll use.

Once you have your CRM, you can get started with inbound marketing automation.

We’ll explain how to to that in-depth in another blog, but if you’re looking for a how-to right now, check out this page from Neil Patel, this guide from Moz, go back and click on that video we linked above, or just give us a call. We’re always happy to walk you through it.

And if you know you want to use inbound marketing automation, but you don’t want to fiddle with it yourself, we’d love to help.

We use inbound marketing automation every day for ourselves and for our clients, so we’ve gotten pretty good. Whether you’re looking for a little content, a completely new campaign, or even help getting set up in HubSpot, we’ve got the resources to help you. Get in touch.

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3 Outbound Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

3 Outbound Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

If you’re into digital marketing at all, you’ve probably heard that outbound marketing strategies are over. And in a lot of ways, they are. Today’s consumers don’t answer cold calls, they hate being sold to with scammy commercials, and they’ve set their email inboxes to automatically filter out promotional emails. Outbound marketing, in the old, Don Draper version of itself, no longer exists. And if it does exist, it very rarely works.

via GIPHY

But that doesn’t mean that all outbound marketing is done or totally ineffective. It just means that we marketers have to change the way we approach outbound marketing.

If you’ve read our blog before, you know we’re inbound marketing junkies. It’s a way of life, and we love it. Inbound marketing is absolutely the marketing tactic that speaks to today’s consumers, and we often use outbound marketing tactics to bolster our inbound marketing strategy.

When used with tact and purpose, 21st-century outbound marketing tactics are an excellent way to draw more leads into your inbound marketing flywheel.

Not quite sure about that? Let’s take a look at three specific outbound marketing strategies that will actually work to draw in new, qualified leads:

PPC and Paid Search

Pay-per-click and paid search advertising are amazing ways to draw in new traffic. We especially love them for our clients who are just setting up a new website. Since it takes time for Google to crawl and index new websites, paid search is a great workaround to draw in new, qualified leads immediately, until the organic rankings can catch up.

PPC is considered an outbound marketing tactic because you’re paying for it. Instead of letting consumers come to you, you’re pushing your message out to them.

However, unlike outbound marketing tactics of the past, paid search can be highly targeted to address only the consumers who are actually good fits for your product or service. We’ve written extensively about PPC, so I won’t dive into it too far in this blog.

If you want to learn more about PPC specifically, check out this page, or this blog about optimizing your PPC budget for targeted results.

For the purposes of this blog, all you really need to know is that by bidding on quality, long-tail keywords that are relevant to your product or service, you can put your company front and center on the search engine results pages your target buyers are looking for.  

Paid search is a great way to get in front of the audience you want, pulling more of those qualified buyers into your inbound marketing flywheel. Click To Tweet

While it is an outbound marketing strategy, it’s not abrasive or in the consumer’s face. Instead, it offers a product or service that’s relevant to their search, and then it will bring them to your website, where you can use other inbound marketing tactics to further nurture your lead. It’s the perfect example of inbound and outbound marketing strategies working together to grow your company’s revenue.

Social Media Advertising

Don’t tell me you’ve never clicked on a Facebook or Instagram ad.

via GIPHY

Girl, same.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are so good at delivering tailored, personalized content to their users, and social media advertising is one way to take advantage of those platforms.

When you have a clear picture of who your audience is, you can develop social media ads that speak exactly to your target buyer. Social media platforms have robust demographic and targeting features that allow you to ensure your selected audience is very specific and highly likely to have an interest in your product or service.

Remarketing ads are a great example of social media advertising as an outbound marketing strategy that actually delivers. They follow someone who has actually been on your site and who has interacted with your content and maybe even thought about downloading a content offer or making a purchase.

When that prospect navigates away before making a purchase or download, they become a candidate for your remarketing ad. Now, when that prospect heads to their social media page, they’ll see an ad for your product or your brand on their social media feed. This remarketing ad is the perfect way to keep your company top-of-mind and keep calling those prospects back to complete their action.

Remarketing and other forms of social media advertising are especially effective outbound marketing strategies because they’re not delivering your message to just any consumer. They’re directed at specific individuals who are likely to, or who already do have an interest in your product or service.

Targeted Email Workflows

Many people don’t consider email to be “outbound marketing”. But, if you’ve ever gotten an email from a bot or about 15 follow-up emails from an insurance company you didn’t reach out to first, you know that’s just not true.

There's a right way and a wrong way to do outbound email marketing. And the first rule is to only email people who want to be emailed. Click To Tweet

(Check out the Golden Rule of Email Workflows here.)

Targeted email workflows work best if you have obtained contact’s email addresses in a white-hat way. That means, they gave you their email address, whether through a subscribe button or by downloading a content offer.

Buying email address is not quality outbound marketing. It’s obnoxious, and it’s unlikely to deliver any kind of quality ROI.

From there, you can use targeted email workflows to nurture specific segments of your email list according to their pain points, challenges, and needs. You’re reaching out to a client, so it is an outbound marketing strategy, but you’re doing so with the prospect’s best interest at heart, which is why it will be effective.

Again, we won’t go too in-depth here, because we have a lot of other resources about email marketing. See: Amp up Your Email Marketing Strategy: Use Segmentation.

The key takeaway here is that when you use email workflows to genuinely nurture leads with content they care about, and that solves a problem of theirs, you’re using outbound marketing to keep drawing new prospects back into your flywheel.

Bottom line? Outbound marketing, or the process of marketing by reaching out to consumers, leads, and prospects, is still a viable way to market. When you use outbound marketing strategies with 21st-century consumers in mind, you can actually produce some significant results.

Want to learn more about how outbound marketing can deliver you quality leads, right now? Let’s chat.

Outbound marketing is tricky in a world of consumers who don’t want to be sold to. We can help. Digital marketing, both inbound and outbound, is our bread and butter, and we’d love to see how our tactics can work to grow your company!
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