What is Outbound Marketing in 2020?

What is Outbound Marketing in 2020?

What is Outbound Marketing in 2020?

Outbound marketing is and has been a lot of things. If we’re honest, it hasn’t always been great. Outbound marketing is probably best known for annoying push marketing.

Yeah, we’re talking telemarketers, cold calling, that delightful junk mail you’re always throwing away, and basically any form of marketing that pushes a product or service on you, without even attempting to be personal. It’s not relevant, it’s usually poorly timed (ahem, telemarketers who call at dinner time), and it doesn’t usually put you in a positive frame of mind to make a purchase. 

But now that we’re clear about how terrible outbound marketing used to be, we can talk about what outbound marketing is in 2020, and how it can be successful and useful today. We’re going to focus on effective outbound marketing because even though there are companies out there still using traditional techniques like telemarketing, there are better, more efficient, and more positive ways to implement outbound marketing in 2020.

What is Outbound Marketing in 2020?

In 2020, outbound marketing is an effective way to get your message in front of the right people immediately, and on a larger scale than organic and inbound tactics can deliver. 

It’s important to remember that while outbound marketing has been frustrating to consumers in the past, it’s still a successful marketing strategy when applied correctly in a non-interruptive way. As we move into 2020, outbound marketing will continue to evolve. We’ve already seen outbound marketing deliver results for our clients in forms like pay-per-click advertising, social media advertising, and even strategic outbound email campaigns, and we expect that trend to continue throughout this new year. 

In 2020, successful outbound marketing has less to do with what platforms you use, and more to do with how you apply your own strategy to those platforms. Let’s take a look at what outbound marketing that works will look like in 2020.

Successful Outbound Marketing in 2020 Will Be:

Outbound marketing doesn’t have to be disruptive. In fact, it can be a really helpful form of marketing, especially for consumers who are ready to make a purchasing decision. Here’s a glance at what outbound marketing in 2020 should look like.

Personalized

Impersonal, disruptive messaging is the number one reason that traditional outbound marketing strategies fail. When done right, outbound marketing can produce serious results for your company. It puts you in front of a large pool of the right consumers. 

But, you’re only going to get their attention if your message is relevant to their goals and pain points and if it’s not disruptive to their life.

That’s why we’re hoping that in 2020, more people start to look at outbound marketing through an inbound marketing lense. There’s nothing wrong with paid and outbound tactics — they really do work! But, they work best when they’re approached with an inbound mindset of incorporating your message seamlessly into the consumer’s day, rather than interrupting them to shout out an impersonalized promotion. 

Take the time to understand what your audience is looking for. If you’re on Facebook, choose audiences who have a legitimate interest in your product or service. If you’re working on paid ad sets for Google, choose search terms that are relevant to what you’re promoting. No one wants to see an ad for gym shoes when they searched “ice cream near me.”

If you’re hoping to implement successful outbound marketing strategies in 2020, personalized, relevant messages that aren’t disruptive are the key.

Efficient

Outbound marketing tactics in 2020 have a specific purpose — to convert qualified leads more efficiently than inbound tactics can. Outbound marketing gets your message in front of the right consumers, right now. Make sure you’re using that to your advantage. 

Implement your 2020 outbound marketing campaigns where you know they’ll be the most effective, and efficient. Outbound marketing tactics like remarketing and paid search ad campaigns targeted to end-of-funnel keywords are great ways to quickly convert leads who have already shown interest in your company. They just need that little extra push to convert. 

That’s what you use outbound marketing for — efficient, tactical conversions of the leads you already know are interested in your product or service. If you’re trying to use outbound marketing tactics to nurture leads and build relationships, you’re not going to see those immediate results or the ROI you’re looking for, because that’s not what outbound marketing is designed to do. 

Cost-Effective

The time for massive outbound marketing budgets is over. We’re not saying you shouldn’t spend money on outbound marketing, but we are saying you should be strategic about where you spend your budget. Digital outbound marketing methods can be exceptionally cost-effective if you know what you’re doing. How to know what you’re doing? Here are a few good ways to start:

Target End-of-Buyer's-Journey Keywords

It’s worth it to spend money on outbound marketing campaigns that target people at the end of their buyer’s journey. They know exactly what they’re looking for, they just need to make a purchase. 

Long-tail keywords like “Honeywell Commercial Alarm System Installation in Grand Rapids” show you that the consumer has already done their homework, and made their decision. Now, they just need to find a provider. When you bid on these keywords, you’ll show up as a first option for those consumers who are ready to buy. 

Spend on High-Return Markets

If you have a specific product or service that secures higher returns, that’s where you should be allocating your outbound marketing budget. If you can spend less to make more with your outbound campaigns, you’re going to see the ROI and the results you’ve been looking for.

Above all, analyze your outbound marketing campaigns constantly. Keep a close eye on where your money is going, and where it’s delivering leads.

In 2020, the paid advertising market will be more competitive than ever. The best way to get ahead without breaking the bank is to spend strategically on just the campaigns sure to deliver you the best results, and the greatest ROI. 

Strategic

Outbound marketing is one part of a complete digital marketing strategy. It’s important to apply outbound marketing tactics in the spaces where they can provide you with the greatest returns. 

In 2020 outbound marketing will be one of the fastest ways to get your company out ahead of the competition, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only marketing tactic out there, and it shouldn’t be the only component of your marketing strategy. 

Outbound marketing costs money. And as more and more people are buying into paid social media advertising, pay-per-click ads, display campaigns, and more in 2020, the costs of outbound marketing will continue to rise. 

In order to see significant returns, and to get the leads you want at a price that allows you to keep growing, it’s important to be strategic about where you use your outbound marketing tactics. 

For example, inbound marketing can help you nurture leads with relevant content that answers questions. Outbound marketing can’t do that. Outbound marketing can raise brand awareness, get your company in front of the right leads, and help you close those buyers who are ready to make a decision, but it can’t do the long, hard work of lead nurturing, educating, or building relationships — all important components of an effective long-term growth strategy. For that, you need other tactics and strategies like inbound marketing and excellent customer service. 

In 2020 the key to a marketing strategy that delivers growth is understanding how to balance inbound and outbound tactics for the best results. Use outbound marketing where you can get those quick wins: targeted and remarketing ads, calling consumers back to you at the end of their buyer’s journey, and raising brand awareness. But remember that in the end, outbound marketing is a tool to help you build on an already solid marketing foundation. 

If you use your outbound tactics to supplement an already amazing website, rich original content, and a robust digital marketing strategy, you’re sure to win in 2020. 

Not sure how to implement outbound marketing in 2020? Don’t hesitate to reach out! We’ve got a ton of resources on outbound marketing, and we love to chat about how inbound and outbound marketing can complement each other. We’d be happy to help answer any questions you’ve got. 

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Advantages of an Outbound Marketing Strategy

Advantages of an Outbound Marketing Strategy

Advantages of an Outbound Marketing Strategy

Why are we talking about outbound marketing? Isn’t everything about inbound marketing now? We’re not knocking on inbound marketing, and we don’t think it’s a mutually exclusive, either/or situation. We just think that outbound marketing strategies have been getting a bad rap lately, and we want to correct that. 

Used strategically, outbound marketing tactics are an essential component of a balanced, holistic, and effective marketing strategy. Here are the key advantages to an outbound marketing strategy that you should be aware of, so that you can take full advantage of all available tactics and strategies to get what you really want from your marketing efforts: more conversions, more leads, and ultimately, more sales.

An Outbound Marketing Strategy gets Immediate Results

Inbound marketing works, but it’s a long game. You have to create a lot of content, strategically share that content via every available and relevant platform, and you have to do it consistently, over a long period of time to truly see results. While that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing—it’s definitely worth doing— you are going to have to be patient.

Sometimes, you just can’t play the waiting game. You need to get something out there and in front of the eyes of your potential clients, and you need to do it now. That’s where an outbound marketing strategy comes in. 

When you’re willing to pay to play, you’ll start seeing results a lot sooner. Why? Well, it’s partially because if you didn’t, those advertising platforms wouldn’t be able to show ROI, and they wouldn’t be able to get or keep clients. These advertising platforms are motivated, therefore, to present your ad to the right people, people who have a potential interest in your products and services and are likely to take action on your ad.

It Allows You to Target Messages Strategically

With inbound techniques, you’re drawing in people to your brand and your offerings. They are people who are actively in the market for your product or service and who are searching for what you have. This is great because these leads are already qualified to a degree; they’re much further down the funnel or the buyer’s journey than someone who doesn’t yet know he has a problem to begin with, let alone one that your product or service solves.  

Outbound marketing strategies bring your messages to the people you want to see them—whether they are already searching for your products and services or not. This is useful to supplementing your inbound marketing efforts, which while effective, may not be working as quickly as you’d like. With inbound marketing, you can’t choose who is seeing your content. You can optimize your content for search and share it strategically, but you can’t guarantee that the purchasing manager or another key decision-maker at your ideal account is going to see it.

But with outbound marketing, you can. The targeting options for pay-per-click (PPC) ads have expanded over the years to include a wide range of demographic and interest-based criteria that allow you to be extremely precise in how your ads are served. For example, with LinkedIn Ads, you can target your ads by job title and company. With this targeting capability, you can serve your ads to nearly the exact person you want to see them.

It Still Gets Qualified Leads

If You Do It Right

While the inbound process does a lot of qualifying of leads for you, it doesn’t mean that inbound is the only way to get qualified leads, or that the leads that you do acquire from outbound techniques are necessarily unqualified or lower quality. You have to be strategic with your outbound marketing efforts, but you can still get qualified leads, which makes it a valuable part of a balanced marketing strategy.

Strategic is the key word here. A lot of the people who say outbound doesn’t work are usually doing it wrong. It’s not going to be as effective for an industrial manufacturer to run Facebook ads for a whitepaper as it is for a publisher to run ads for the release of a new book, right? 

Facebook doesn’t have the information about its users that would be most effective in targeting professionals in the right industry for whatever you’re manufacturing, but it does have information on people’s interests like authors and books they like.

If you’re going to use outbound strategies, you need to have a clearly defined target audience: what they do, where they work, what are their roles and needs, what is going to appeal to them. It’s the same information you need to create an effective inbound strategy and create good content. You also need to know where to find your audience, which platforms are they using, and where can you reach them with your messaging most effectively. 

Clear and effective messaging is also essential to obtaining qualified leads. Misleading or vague copy and less-than-relevant keywords might help you get more clicks, more impressions, or more email addresses, but if you’re not delivering on what these leads want and expect, they’re not really qualified. 

You’ll get more leads, but they’ll be lower quality. And quality is the name of the game here. One perfectly qualified lead is better than 50 leads more dubiously qualified. Which do you think is going to lead to the most sales, and the greatest lifetime customer value? 

An Outbound Marketing Strategy Supports Your Inbound Efforts

If you have an inbound marketing strategy already in place, integrating outbound tactics is a great way to support it. You have great content, whitepapers, guides, ebooks, blogs, etc., and you shouldn’t let it languish unseen on a landing page or your blog that gets very little organic traffic. 

Sure, you share it on social, and that gets you some clicks and engagements, but most organic social content is seen by only a fraction of an organization’s or page’s followers. Organic reach (meaning how many people see a post organically, through it showing up in their feeds) can be abysmal. According to Hubspot, on Facebook, organic reach can be as low as 2%. This means that your posts aren’t getting seen, at least, not as much as you want to be.

What’s one way to guarantee that your social posts that contain your amazing and thoughtfully-created content get in front of people’s eyes? Promotion. Depending on your industry, messaging, and the platform, this could be as simple as boosting already-well performing posts with your content. It could also mean creating new sponsored posts or even display advertising on those relevant platforms. 

Maybe you have an amazing email list and amazing emails that your subscribers love, and that’s one way you disseminate your really good content to them. Cool, awesome, we love it. But, how are people finding out about your newsletter? How are they signing up? Outbound lead generation campaigns can garner sign-ups for your email list, and get them in the pipeline for receiving your content that’s sure to convert.

Outbound marketing has been a little less popular lately, but when done properly, it can offer some serious advantages. Let us help you develop a plan that works. 

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7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

Content marketing tends to get a bad rap. First of all, it’s hard. It takes a lot of effort, and no matter what type of content marketing strategies you’re invested in, you need a writer to make it happen. 

As a content strategist and writer myself, I could be a little biased in my love for content marketing, but study after study has shown that content marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing methods to take your company to the next level when it comes to digital presence, lead generation, and most importantly to you — ROI. 

Once you have a good content marketing strategy in place, it can provide some of the highest returns, with very little investment on your part. With all of those awesome benefits in mind, then how do you get started with content marketing? 

Are there some strategies that are better, more proven, or easier than others?

We say yes. 

While nearly all forms of content marketing are effective, there are a select few that are proven to drive serious results, especially when implemented and executed properly. We’re here to talk about those seven. Use the menu below to jump to the strategy you’re most interested in, or read all the way through for everything you’ve ever needed to know to set your company apart from the competition with intuitive content marketing strategies. 

7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

#1 Blogging Strategy

Blogging feels like a given, but we’re going to talk about it anyway because it’s that important. If you want to up your company’s digital presence — that is, rank ahead of key competition, be the first in search results, and more — you need to blog, and you need to blog with intention. 

Start by developing a true blogging strategy. Do keyword research and figure out which search terms are:

  • Relevant to your business
  • Highly searched
  • Easy to rank for (that is, they have low competition for organic search results)
  • Interesting and useful to your ideal buyer personas

Then, develop a blogging schedule and strategy around those keywords. When you’re developing a blogging strategy to stick to, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Blog regularly (on a monthly or weekly schedule)
  • Write blogs that satisfy a buyer persona’s pain point or question
  • Ensure that your content creation structure makes sense. This is important for SEO and ranking purposes. See this blog on topic clusters for more information there. 
  • Write blogs that are long enough to satisfy readers and search engines alike. We recommend at least 1,000 words.

If you blog regularly, on topics that are relevant and useful to your ideal buyer personas, you’ll start to see results. And if you’re honest, and your information is actually helpful to those ideal buyer personas, you’ll keep rising up through the SERPs for those keywords that matter most to you, and your ideal buyers. 

#2 Email Marketing Strategy

If blogging is how you leverage content marketing to reach strangers, then email marketing is how you leverage content marketing to reach leads you already know. 

Email marketing gives you a decided advantage when it comes to nurturing leads through to close: 

  • You already have the lead’s contact information
  • You have a general sense of what they’re looking for — which product or service they’re interested in
  • You likely know what company they work for
  • You know that they already have at least some interest in your company — they did give you their email address, after all. 

Use this information to your benefit. Email marketing is about strategy. Given what you know about your contacts, what information will they need to keep moving towards closing a sale?

And, considering that many email marketing tools allow you to automate workflows, you can use these features to set up email workflows and let the tools do the work for you. While you can’t quite forget about your workflows, you can check back on the analytics and optimize as you go. 

Email marketing is one of the only tools that allows you to market directly to people who are already interested in the products or services you’re offering. If you’re looking to boost your digital presence and close more deals while you’re at it, a solid email marketing strategy is a must. 

#3 Social Media Marketing Strategy

If we’re talking about taking your company to the next level, we have to talk about social media. 

There’s no better way to get the word out about your company, and build a brand and personality, than on social media. And remember that building your social media presence is about more than just getting likes and comments. The more followers you have, the wider reach the rest of your content will have. 

Your social media marketing strategy should be just as calculated as your blogging strategy — it’s a common misconception that keywords don’t apply to the wild west of Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. 

That’s not true, especially for a platform like Linkedin, where people are searching for companies and employees by the keywords you’re already trying to rank for. For a killer social media marketing strategy check out this post, and keep the following tips in mind: 

  • Follow a regular posting schedule
  • Curate content that’s specific to each platform. What resonates on Instagram isn’t what resonates or is appropriate for Linkedin.
  • Vary your topics. Don’t just talk about what’s happening in your office or promote your blog posts. Share great posts from other industry leaders, share fun content when appropriate, and make sure you’re curating an interesting feed for followers.
  • Incorporate your keywords where it’s relevant. Don’t spam your followers with unnecessary hashtags, but do be conscious about what terms you’re using in social media copy. 

If your company is new to social media, we always suggest starting small. Pick one platform, like Linkedin or Facebook, and put all of your efforts into building a following there. When you feel comfortable managing one platform, and you feel like you have a handle on how to get and maintain followers, you can expand into additional platforms. 

#4 Video Strategy

Video is hands-down one of the best ways to engage visitors. 

People love video content, search engines love video content, and you should love video content, too. 

That said, we know that developing a video strategy can be a little scary. It’s a much more involved process than writing a blog post, and it takes more time and money than any other content marketing strategy out there.

Remember that you don’t always have to produce professional-quality videos. While you might invest in professional help for videos that are going up on your website, a simple how-to video can be done on a smartphone, as long as your audio quality is good, and you have plenty of natural light. 

It’s true that video is a lot of work. It’s usually one of the last content marketing strategies that companies tend to invest in, for that reason. But if you’re really looking to stand out online, video is a surefire way to do it. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are a few stats that should convince you, if I haven’t already:

Okay, so not only are most marketers already using video content, but one-third of all the internet activity online is spent watching video. Put that with the fact that video is highly shareable, and that most marketing professionals report it as having a very high ROI, and you really can’t go wrong. 

We live in a visual culture. 

People are watching videos constantly. 

Most millennials would prefer to watch a two-minute explainer video that tells them about your services, rather than read about it. 

Investing in a quality video strategy will boost your digital presence far beyond your competitors. Just make sure you’re transcribing all of your videos, so search engines can rank that valuable content for you, too. 

#5 Content Offer Development

One of the most tried-and-true content marketing strategies to exist in the digital world is content offer development. Plain and simple, content offers work. 

When you take the time to put together a valuable resource that someone interested in your product or service genuinely wants or needs, it’s going to pay off. 

Since we’re content marketing strategy fiends, we’ve tested, written, rewritten, and retested about a million content offers. I can tell you with confidence, nothing converts leads better than a quality content offer. 

So what does this do to grow your company? 

Well, if you have an awesome content offer, you can share it around social media and promote it on your email marketing strategy. It’s great for your company’s digital presence in that way. But, if we’re talking big picture, which we should be, content offers are what get you leads. 

If someone is interested enough in what you have to say that they give up their email address, they’re a qualified lead. 

And when your content offers are drawing in qualified leads, your company is going to see some growth. 

But how do you develop content offers that work?

Think about the questions you get the most often.

What holds people up from making a purchasing decision? Do they have trouble deciding between your products? If so, create a product comparison guide. Are they on the fence about how much of a difference your service will make for their company? Create a content offer that talks about the specific benefits your service provides. 

Develop content offers for specific stages of your buyer’s journey.

You know who your buyer personas are. You know what they’re looking for. You should know the places that they tend to fall out of the buyer’s journey. Whether they get stuck comparing your product to a competitor, or they just can’t decide if your service is worth the money, develop content offers that speak to those specific stages of the buyer’s journey. 

When you have at least one content offer for the awareness, consideration, and decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey, plus content that nurtures potential leads through some of your most common sticking points, you’ll start seeing more leads convert, in less time. 

Only gate the content offers that matter most. 

No matter how many content offers you’ve developed, make sure you’re only gating the ones that matter most. 

The new, most effective trend in digital marketing is to leave most of your content offers open to the public. Instead, you can offer those content offers as downloadable PDFs. This works to help you weed out unqualified contacts. Readers who are really interested in what you have to say, and want to take your offer home with them to read again, are likely to download the PDF and give you their contact information.

While you can still gate a few content offers — like checklists or product pricing guides — try to make your content as accessible to leads as possible, while still giving them the opportunity to give you their contact information. 

#6 Targeted Landing Pages

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — your home page is NOT a landing page. You’ve dedicated time and effort to a specific, relevant content development strategy that’s designed for multiple buyer personas — why would you send them all to the same bland, basic landing page?

They don’t have the same goals for your company, they don’t have the same needs, and they’re not all at the same place in the buyer’s journey. Targeted landing pages are one of the most effective content marketing strategies you can implement to directly improve your company’s digital ROI. 

Don’t take my word for it though. This company increased online ROI by 60%, just by optimizing their landing pages. 

That’s so easy! Landing pages are some of the shortest, most simple pages of content. Just write a lot of them, and develop them with specific keywords in mind, and you’ll start to see some serious results. 

Before we get off the landing page rant train, let’s just close with one more example. 

Say you’re scrolling through Instagram, and an ad comes up for a really awesome hoodie. It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, and you’re ready to make the purchase. But when you click the ad, instead of being sent directly to that hoodie’s product page, you’re sent to the Amazon home page. 

What a disappointment. 

Are you going to search through Amazon’s massive website to find that specific hoodie and checkout while you’re on your 10-minute coffee break? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

That’s all targeted landing pages are. Pages that offer your ideal buyers exactly the content they were looking for in the first place. Invest just a bit of time in landing pages that are targeted to specific buyer personas and specific content offers, and you’ll start to see results. 

#7 Content Promotion Strategy

Our final content marketing tip is to have a content promotion strategy. All of your other content marketing strategies — your blog, your social media, and even your email marketing — won’t mean much if you’re not working to get the word out. You should spend at least as much time promoting content as you do creating it. 

When it comes to content marketing, you can do all the work of building and developing an awesome content marketing strategy, but if you’re not drawing people into your website to read your content, you’re not going to see the benefits you were looking for. Here are a few ways to take your content promotion strategy to the next level:

  • Cross-Channel Promotion. Promote your blogs on social media channels. Add social media buttons to the bottom of your email newsletters. Share your email subscribe link on social media, at the bottom of blogs, etc. You’re creating content in a variety of channels, as this blog has shown. Make sure your followers know about all of the opportunities you’re offering them to read more amazing content. 
  • Search Engine Optimization. The better optimized your site and content are, the more likely you are to boost organic traffic coming to your site. And when you have more traffic, you have a greater potential for leads. Check out this blog for tips on ensuring your content is following SEO best practices. 
  • Paid Search Advertising. If you’re just getting your content marketing strategy up and running, paid search is a great way to draw in the traffic you need now, without waiting for your site to organically come up in SERPs. Make sure you’re only bidding on relevant keywords, and stick to a budget, but with a little help from paid search, you’ll start seeing the traffic you’ve been looking for. 
  • Boosted or Paid Social Media. Boosted social media posts and paid social media promotion is a great way to get your social media marketing strategy off the ground, too. Boosted posts help ensure your content is reaching all of your followers. Social media ad campaigns can help you expand your reach, by getting more likes, more followers, or just getting the word out about your company.

Start with one or two of these content promotion tactics, and see how they work. Then, make sure you’re adding them to your content marketing strategy and schedule. When you’ve scheduled in time to focus on content promotion, you’re more likely to make it happen.

Content marketing is tough. It takes a lot of work and it takes a good writer — or three. If you don’t have a writer on staff, or if you’re just not sure how to jump into more content marketing strategies, we can help. Get in touch with the Evenbound team for more information, or check out the case study below to see exactly how we’ve helped our clients stand out from the competition with killer content marketing strategies.

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Building Better Landing Pages With HubSpot

Building Better Landing Pages With HubSpot

Building Better Landing Pages With HubSpot

When it comes to nearly any digital marketing strategy, landing pages are absolutely essential. The way you build, track, and optimize your landing pages can make or break your lead generation strategy, which is why we’re going to talk about building better landing pages using HubSpot’s landing page tool. But first, let’s make sure we’re all starting on the same page (no pun intended):

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is any web page a visitor lands on when they navigate to your website from somewhere else. Technically, a landing page could be any page on your website — your home page, a blog, or a services page. But if you’re doing digital marketing right, your landing page is an important lead capture tool that looks a little something like this.

What’s On a Good Landing Page?

We’ve covered just about all there is to cover when it comes to building a landing page, so if you’re looking for more in-depth information about what a landing page is, why you need one, and what a good one looks like, check out these awesome blogs for more detailed information:

To give you a quick refresher, just know that a great landing page has these four key elements: 

  • Attention-Grabbing Title
  • Helpful, Concise Content
  • Interesting Imagery
  • Easy to Complete Contact Form

These four elements make up the basic design of an awesome landing page.  

What Does HubSpot Have to do With Building Better Landing Pages?

If all you need is a title, content, an image, and a contact form, then how hard could building a landing page be?

Honestly, the design and build of your landing page is just a small component of a great landing page. The goal of any landing page is not just to get you leads, but also to give you information about the overall success of the product, offer, or event you’re promoting with this landing page.

Okay, So How Can I Use HubSpot to Build Better Landing Pages?

Now that we know why we care about HubSpot landing pages, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of building a better landing page with HubSpot. HubSpot offers a ton of features with their landing page tool, so while we won’t cover every single one in this blog, we will cover the features most important to the success of your lead generation and digital marketing strategy. Let’s start with our favorite benefit of HubSpot’s landing pages:

Optimize with Detailed Reporting

HubSpot’s best landing page feature is the detailed reporting they offer. You can assign landing pages to a specific campaign (more on this next), attach a landing page to a workflow, and generally just see everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how your visitors and leads are interacting with your offers, products, and events. A HubSpot landing page report looks a little like this: 

While HubSpot’s reporting is interactive, this image still gives you a great initial feel for how much data you can receive.HubSpot can tell you exactly how many views, submissions and new contacts that landing page delivers. Click To TweetIt will also tell you where those views, submissions, and contacts are coming from, whether that’s organic traffic, referrals, direct traffic, etc.  

You also get a bunch of helpful information that tells you how people are reacting to the landing page, like what the page’s bounce rate is, what its exit rate is, and how long (on average) people spend on that landing page. All of this data can help you improve your landing pages for even better performance.

For example, let’s say your bounce rate is really high. That tells you that people coming to your landing page aren’t getting what they thought they were going to get. Maybe your landing page is still connected to an old ad or an old social media post that’s no longer making the same offer.

You can use HubSpot’s reporting to see where the visitors to that landing page are coming from and troubleshoot your high bounce rate from there. Now that’s optimization made easy.

Inbound Marketing Tools that Improve your HubSpot Landing Pages

In addition to offering you in-depth data and reporting on the performance of your landing page, HubSpot has really geared their landing page tool to help inbound marketers succeed. Their landing pages are paired with some exceptionally robust inbound marketing tools that make your landing pages work for you, without you putting in a ton of extra work. This is where the HubSpot landing page feature really starts to flex its muscles.

Here are just a few of the tools we love to use when we create our own HubSpot landing pages:

Add to Workflow

You’re into marketing automation, right? Us too. HubSpot makes it really easy to associate any new landing page with an existing workflow. Just click the “Add to Workflow” button, and any contact who completes the landing page form will immediately be entered into the workflow of your choice. This is great when you’re building landing pages for specific content offers or webinars geared to just one buyer persona.

Send a Follow-Up Email

That all-important follow-up email. Let’s automate it. HubSpot also offers another easy button you can click to send a follow-up email immediately after a lead completes your form. You can develop the follow-up email however you like, but it’s a really important tool to keep those new leads in your sales funnel.

Add to Campaign

 If you’re on the inbound marketing train, you identify potential leads according to their buyer persona. You’ve developed a number of marketing campaigns geared specifically to each of those personas. Easily add a new landing page to any of those campaigns, and track that landing page’s performance in relation to that campaign. This sets you up to get all of the reporting data you need to see how successful your product, offer, or event really is.

SEO Help

One thing we don’t touch on a lot with landing pages is how they help with SEO. The quality of your landing page is one of the big factors Google and other search engines use to determine the quality of your ad. So, if you’re directing a paid search ad to one of your new HubSpot landing pages, you’ll be happy to know that HubSpot makes on-page SEO a breeze.

Custom URL

Easily create a custom URL for your landing page. While any landing page’s URL will default to whatever your page title is, HubSpot makes it easy to change your URL to a more custom option.

This is great when you’re trying to get a particular keyword in there or shorten the URL up so it’s easy to for potential leads to remember or share on social media.  

Meta Description

It’s easy to forget about a meta description when you’re developing landing pages. Since they don’t hold a lot of content, they don’t jump out as an SEO ranking opportunity.

But, writing a quality meta description that tells both visitors and search engines what your landing page is about can be that extra step that sets you apart from the competition.

HubSpot’s landing page builder has an easily accessible meta description field that allows you to write and save a custom meta description to fit your new landing page, so you reap all the potential SEO benefits. 

Quick, Intuitive Layout with HubSpot Templates

Of course, we couldn’t talk about building better landing pages with HubSpot without talking about their handy, fast design features. Whether you’re not comfy as a web designer in your own right, or your in-house designer just doesn’t have time to crank something out every time you need a new landing page, you really don’t have to worry when you’re using the HubSpot landing page tool.

HubSpot offers a variety of landing page templates, or, your in-house designer can develop one or two landing page templates, and you can build out unique landing pages from each of those templates. Either way, you benefit from a beautiful, high-quality design that puts your offer front-and-center, without taking up your entire day.

Simply choose the template that best fits your landing page, and make sure it has those critical four elements we talked about earlier:

  • Title
  • Copy
  • Image
  • Form

Setting up a landing page is as easy as choosing a template, filling in your information, and hitting the publish button.

Simple Drag and Drop Design

Last but not least, we just couldn’t leave this blog alone without mentioning HubSpot’s easy drag and drop landing page builder. While it might not sound like a huge feature, the amount of time it will save you makes it worth mentioning.

When you build your landing page in HubSpot, you can easily add and move around modules on your landing page with a simple drag and drop. Each module will snap into place on your template, making for a flawless design in a fraction of the time it would take you to manually build a page. Whether you’re adding fields to a form, reformatting your landing page’s imagery, or working to get that headline just right, HubSpot’s tools make it easy to develop an intuitive landing page in just a few minutes. 

And that’s our spiel on HubSpot landing pages! If you’re looking for a landing page builder that offers fast, intuitive design, reporting and seamless connectivity for your existing digital marketing strategy, you really can’t beat HubSpot. 

Their landing pages are fast and fun, and you really won’t find better data reporting with any other tool. Combine that with the fact that you can easily connect any HubSpot landing page with an existing campaign, automated workflow, or follow-up email campaign, and you’ve got a robust tool that can help you get way more out of your landing pages.

Not sure if HubSpot’s right for you? No worries. Evenbound is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, and we’d be happy to show you the ropes. Get in touch with our team for a quick run-through of HubSpot’s tools, and an honest consultation about whether the platform is right for your company.

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Lead Generation Tips and Tricks for SMBs

Lead Generation Tips and Tricks for SMBs

Lead Generation Tips and Tricks for SMBs

Everybody is looking for new leads, but sometimes it seems like there are only a few ways to draw them in, and for SMBs with smaller budgets and specific locations, lead generation can be tiresome work. If you’re looking for great ways to jumpstart lead generation for your SMB, you’re in the right spot. Let’s talk about a few lead generation tips and tricks for SMBs that will actually work.
We’re going to start by first looking at how you convert leads. When it comes to any business — small, mid-sized, and even huge corporate companies — there are really only three key ways to convert leads through digital marketing:
  • Content offers
  • Calls-to-action
  • Landing pages

If you’re in the digital marketing game, you probably have all three of these tools, and you’re probably using them to convert your leads as often as you can.

But, while content offers, calls-to-action, and landing pages convert leads, the rest of your digital marketing strategy does the actual work of guiding the right potential leads towards those conversion opportunities.

You can have all the landing pages and content offers you want, but if you don't have any traffic coming to your site, you're not going to see the lead generation you're looking for. Click To Tweet

For SMBs, this aspect of lead generation is quite possibly the toughest. You can have picture-perfect conversion opportunities, but if you don’t have the traffic, you’re not going to see results.

And drawing in a ton of qualified traffic can be easier said than done. Not only are you competing with other local SMBs in your industry, you likely also have to go up against corporate giants who have more manpower and budget than you. This is where strategic digital marketing comes in. 

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We’re going to break down 8 lead generation tips and tricks for SMBs, that will help your small-to-midsized business stand out from larger competition and draw in the leads that will help your company grow. It all starts with your target buyer.

#1 Identify Your Target Buyer

The first and best way to make sure you’re generating only the leads you want, and none of the leads you don’t, is to identify who you want to sell to.

Odds are, your product isn’t for everyone. There is a specific industry, a key job title, or type of person your product or service is right for. Where do they live? What do they want? What do they do?

Understanding your target buyer through and through will help you implement lead generation tactics that are accurate and specific. And the more accurate your targeting, the less you’ll spend to get the best results.

 

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#2 Leverage Social Media

One key lead generation tip every SMB should take advantage of is social media. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mid-sized manufacturer or a small local lumber supplier, social media is an inexpensive way to build awareness throughout your community. 

We’ve provided a ton of resources about how SMBs can get ahead on a variety of social media channels, (see this blog, this blog, and this article about Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising) but at the very least it’s worth it to create accounts on platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Start with one, if your company doesn’t have any yet, and build from there. 

We recommend starting with Facebook and LinkedIn if you’re planning to do any social media advertising. Both of these platforms make advertising easy, and they have powerful targeting abilities that can help you create effective ad campaigns, without spending more of your budget than you’d like. 

#4 Create Targeted Content

Today’s consumer wants content that is specific to their concerns. The best way to boost lead generation for the leads you actually want is to create content that is very targeted. General solutions aren’t going to help those potential leads. 

A lot of times we’ll hear from clients, “well, we don’t want to give all of that information away because [insert reason here: you don’t want your competition to know, you don’t want clients to solve their problems, you’re afraid if you give information away, they won’t call your sales team, etc.].”

The fact is that if you’re not educating your potential leads with content that truly answers their questions and solves their problems, you’re not going to get any leads. 

Today’s consumer will not contact a salesperson until they’re 80% of the way through the buyers cycle. Until then, they want to find the information that answers their questions and empowers them to make an educated decision about why your product is their best option. 

When you’re creating that content, your company will be the first your ideal consumer contacts when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.

#5 Focus on Quality over Quantity

If lead generation is your SMB’s goal, quality should always be your priority. You can write a million short blog posts and not see a single leads from all of your posts. You can also write a million general blog posts and end up with a million leads, but none of whom are good sales fits for your company. 

If you want to generate quality leads, you need to generate quality content. 

Consumers can spot an unhelpful, keyword-stuffed, general blog post from a mile a way. They can also pick out a quality blog post, just as easily. 

If you’re creating content that’s focused on keywords, but doesn’t really say anything, you’re not going to see the lead generation you want. Why?

Because content creation is about more than lead generation. It’s also about setting yourself up as an authority in your industry. 

When you’re putting out the best, quality, in-depth content in the industry, people are going to start looking to you for answers. When people look to you for answers they can trust, they’re also going to look for you when they decide they need your product or service. 

When you create quality content, you boost your SMB’s lead generation capabilities threefold. 

  • You are able to draw in quality leads with great content that ranks well.
  • You set yourself up as an authority in the industry. More consumers turn to your SMB when they have questions about the product or service you offer.
  • You boost your company’s awareness. As an authority in the industry, who is providing quality content, more people are going to refer potential leads to you, and more potential leads are going to turn to your company, just because they’ve heard your company name around.

In the end, quality content keeps delivering quality leads. The more great content you put out, the more qualified leads you’ll generate in the long run. A great content creation strategy works like a snowball effect — the more great content you put out, the more qualified leads and brand awareness you generate. The more leads and awareness you have, the more authority you build. 

#6 Always Include a CTA

If there was a golden rule of lead generation, “always include a CTA” would be it.  

Why? Because a CTA gives you the chance to convert a lead. And worst-case scenario, the lead doesn’t click on it. You have nothing to lose by including a few relevant CTAs with every blog post, whitepaper, or helpful article you put into the world. 

Your calls to action should always provide something useful to your readers, like more information about the topic they were just learning about, or a free consultation or audit of their company. 

#7 Give Things Away. For Free

Gated content still has its place in the digital marketing world, but it’s not the end-all-be-all way to generate leads. In fact, more customers prefer companies who are offering up the content they want, with no strings attached. 

A new popular lead generation trend is to develop long-form, ungated content. Then, instead of putting the gate on your content on the site, you offer a PDF version of that long-form content, so people can take it home with them and read it at their leisure. 

This is a really great tactic to get you contact information for just the leads who are really interested in what you have to say or sell. While a lot of unqualified leads might give up their email to download a gated content offer, only the leads who are genuinely interested in your content are going to download the PDF and take it home with them. 

#8 Track Your Leads

This is the last tip we’re going to cover, and while tracking your leads doesn’t necessarily help you generate leads, it is an important point to end on.

All of the work you’re putting into lead generation is real, and it’s going to deliver you results. The worst thing to happen is to get all of those amazing leads, and then not have anywhere to organize them and keep track of them. 

We understand that SMBs don’t always have the budget to invest in an expensive CRM, but there are a lot of free CRM options that will help you keep track of the leads that are coming into your website, and that stick around to learn more. Our personal favorite is HubSpot, of course, but do some searching around to find an option that’s right for your company. 

Lead generation for SMBs can take a bit of strategy, but it doesn’t have to blow your budget.

When you approach lead generation with a clear picture of the leads you actually want, and who are likely to purchase your product or service, you’ll be able to put your effort towards just the tactics that will draw those ideal clients in. Strategic digital marketing is the best way to get the local leads you want, at a price that makes sense for your company. 

Looking for a little more help? These blogs have answers:

We can help too. Get in touch with the Evenbound team to chat about your lead generation strategy. And for more information about how we generate leads for SMBs, be sure to check out the case study below:

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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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