Inbound marketing and the importance of analysing everything

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  7, April, 2013  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

(THIS IS THE VIDEO TRANSCRIPT) This is the fifth and final video in our series on inbound marketing. In the first video, we defined the term. In the second, we looked at how important it was to define your key persona and then map content to their interests, and profile.

In a third video, we looked at filling the top of the sales funnel, the tactics you use to get found by people who are looking for what you do. And then in the fourth video, we looked at how you nurture leads through the sales funnel using marketing automation and email.

In this fifth and final video, we're going to take a look at the underlying software and the importance of measuring and analysing everything.

At Equinet, we've been distributing and publishing content for clients for many years now. But increasingly, managing the multitude of channels available has become very difficult.

The overview
As the number of channels and tactics available for modern inbound marketing have grown - blogging, social media, e-mail, for example - so the number of tools and platforms to manage those channels and tactics have also exploded. It's gotten so you need a PhD or a small army to manage everything you need to do.

So some smart people decided to use technology to help. They created platforms that bring together, in one place, all of the functionality required to run and to measure integrated inbound marketing programs. There are a few on the market. At Equinet, the one we use is HubSpot.

The deeper dive
Let's take a closer look under the HubSpot bonnet and see how the tools hang together. It's important to know which of your keywords are working and how they trend over time. You'll want to know how your pages are performing and how to fix them if they're not.

Integrating your social media, blogging, and SEO makes good sense. Then you can see how your posts are optimised. Create, schedule, and automate publishing aspects of your social media, and find out which posts are resonating best with your community.

Create calls to action that seed across your site, your blog, and emails. And build landing pages and forms with progressive profiling that help you understand prospects better. Every interaction is captured in the system, and it all integrates with your CRM, too.

Slice and dice your database, and send highly tailored content using customised emails that really resonate. Trigger automated campaigns that nurture your prospects through the sales funnel. And get analytics that give you real-time statistics on contact activity,

With HubSpot, you can analyse the best return on investment, comparing conversions by channel and drilling into detailed reports, all the time keeping a close eye on your competitors.

analytics_iconHow it all hangs together

OK, now let's look at tying this all together and understanding an end-to-end, integrated, inbound marketing program. The first thing, if you remember from video number two, is to create a key persona. That is that in depth understanding of our ideal buyer.

And at the same time, we need to understand the process that key persona goes through when making purchasing decisions. Now, if you take those two pieces together, we're able to map our helpful content to the buying process, delivering the right information at each stage of that process. And all of this, actually, as a side product, helps inform the way our funnel is going to work. But let's come on to that in just a second.

So now, here's where technology first starts to help us. By understanding the key persona in the buying process, we are able to understand what keywords that buyer would be using when searching and having discussions around this topics. And we're able to use our keyword tools to inform us as to which keywords we should be using when creating content ongoing.

Now, over to the funnel. If you remember from video number three, the first thing we need to do is fill the top of the funnel with interested traffic.

And how we do that is by writing helpful, informative, entertaining blog posts, by spending time in the social spaces where our key persona spends their time, and also being helpful and human and informative, and also by structuring our online content and our presence online for the search engines and attracting back-links from other people.

If we do all of that, we drive traffic to the top of our funnel, interested traffic, people that are interested in what we're saying. But that's just the first step.

We need to take that early interest and turn it into leads and then into sales. So how do we do that? Well, if you remember, by offering further content, larger pieces like eBooks, in exchange for permission to continue to have the conversation with those people.

And we use technology here to create landing pages and calls-to-action and Smart Forms to attract that permission, to gain that permission, and to move beyond it.

So technology helps by allowing us to create all of that. But what it also does is allows us to measure the effectiveness of each of those tactics and to learn how effective they are and to maybe make changes when they aren't that effective, or to do more of what is effective.

Now, at this stage, we've got their permission, so they become leads. And we move them down into a lead nurture process. And again, this also is underpinned by technology. This is email, smart e-mail, not spam, not interruption.

It's smart email that we have permission to deliver. And remember, we mapped all of our content to the buying process, so this email delivers that content at each stage, hopefully, ideally, moving the leads down to become marketing qualified leads.

Now, again, this marketing automation piece in the centre, is underpinned by technology and, therefore, it's transparent. We understand what's working and what isn't working. And if something isn't working, if we recognise that some of these leads are not resonating with this content that we're delivering or they're not clicking further, or they're not interested, we can deselect them.

We can pull them out and, perhaps, even spin them around, and drop them back into the funnel and offer them a different campaign path with different information or deselect them entirely if we don't think they're ever going to be the kind of person that's going to buy from us. And that's fine.

The ultimate goal, using the technology and our content, is to move likely purchasers down to become marketing qualified leads. And when they're a marketing qualified lead, they're warm, and they're friendly, and they're ready to hand over to sales where they can have a productive conversation about making a purchase.

Wrap up
Well, there you have it, Equinet's overview of inbound marketing, what it is and what it entails. Hopefully, you've got a pretty good idea now of what you need to do to create your own inbound marketing program.

But if you still have questions, feel free to get in touch. We offer a no sales, no obligation inbound marketing consultation. Just fill out a form, or drop us a line, and we'll be happy to have a chat.

At the very least, stay in touch through the social spaces, or read our blog, or in some other way. We'd be happy to hear from you.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing

Jeremy Knight

Written by Jeremy Knight

Jeremy spent 20 years as a B2B publisher, creating publications targeting the private equity and fast growth business sectors before launching Equinet Media in 2009.