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Inbound Marketing Age

Messenger apps and B2B Marketing – what you need to know

Written by Keith Errington  |  25, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Depending on your mobile usage, your manual dexterity and your age, you may, or may not be using messenger apps such a Facebook Messenger, or Whatsapp.

Like them, or loathe them, what you can no longer do is ignore them. Messenger apps offer a real opportunity in B2B marketing and are an essential consideration as part of your overall inbound marketing strategy.

The rise of the chat app

Figures show that the growth in popularity and use of messenger apps has been huge in the past few years.

The top four messaging apps (Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber) now have more monthly users than the top four social networking apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+).

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Are you analysing your blog’s performance?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  16, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The internet is full of blog posts and articles suggesting the ‘perfect’ blog length and frequency; ‘To reach number one on Google, you should post X times a month’, ‘The most read blog posts are XXXX words long.’ 

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Keeping it green - how to ensure your content writing has legs

Written by Andrea Blades  |  11, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Creating evergreen content is a proven strategy for upping your search rankings and driving traffic to your site. But what exactly is it? Why is it so useful? And how do we go about creating it?

In this blog post we explore what makes certain content “evergreen”, why it’s so worthwhile, what differentiates it from other types of online content and how we can harness its benefits for our content writing efforts.

What makes content evergreen?

Evergreen content, as its name suggests, is any form of online content that is long-lasting (eternal or sustainable,) that is not time-sensitive, that offers tangible value and that addresses the needs of your audience.

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5 B2B Marketing Things to Avoid Doing in 2018

Written by Keith Errington  |  10, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

So many posts this time of year talk about all those things you should be doing in 2018, with many of those being fairly obvious, or a continuation of what you are doing already. So I thought I’d take a look at some B2B marketing things you should stop doing in 2018.

Don’t favour quantity over quality

A few years ago, content was all about posting as often as you could, anywhere you could. Many inbound marketing advocates pointed to data that showed the more you posted, the more traffic you would get and therefore more leads. One of the key statistics came from HubSpot; “B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month got about 1.75X as many leads as those blogging 6 - 10 times per month, and about 3.75X as many leads as those blogging 0 - 3 times per month.” B2B companies rushed to get out content, commissioning it if necessary from all sorts of sources.

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Diving into Inbound Marketing - my first six months

Written by Andrea Blades  |  21, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

May 2017 marked my first foray into the exciting and challenging world of inbound marketingI arrived with a background in journalism, creative writing and PR - but pretty much green to the world of inbound and excited to learn everything I could.

Suffice it to say, its been an incredible few months of listening, learning, reading (and reading) and immersing myself in a vast array of new topics.

On the one hand, marketing seems so much has changed since my first foray back in the 90s in New Zealand - and yet at its heart so much is still the same, with the time-honoured focus on building positive relationships and the solid value of providing audiences with “what they really want.”

This blog post summarises five key new topics that have particularly struck a chord over the past few months - and that look to be just as hot for inbound in 2018.

With massive thanks too, to the Equinet Content Team for their combined wealth of resources on the subjects.

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How to get the most out of your inbound agency

Written by Katie Hughes  |  13, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

More and more companies are moving from traditional marketing methods to an inbound marketing approach.

And those short on time or lacking internal resource or expertise are looking to external agencies for help.

Sure you expect an agency to deliver great results, but you also have a vital role to play in achieving this.

So if you’re considering hiring an inbound agency, here are our top tips for making the most of your partnership.

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5 ways to avoid content shock

Written by Nicola Risi  |  1, December, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

‘Content shock’ is real. And it’s happening faster than we think.

We’re reaching a point where the volume of online content is outweighing our human capacity to consume it. The rate at which content is being produced and published is doubling every nine to 24 months. And as a result, organic visibility is suffering.

Allegedly, 60% of content is dull and irrelevant to readers. And every content marketer is at risk of suffering from content fatigue if they fail to produce sturdy, sustainable content.

So what can you do to future-proof your content?

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Why a compelling landing page is crucial to your B2B marketing success

Written by Andrea Blades  |  22, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Landing pages, when done well, are highly effective conversion tools that enable you to transform your B2B marketing prospects into customers by capturing their information through a lead-capture form.

They are action-oriented, stand-alone web pages that serve a single and highly focused purpose - to move your potential customers through each stage of their buyer’s journey, from the top of the funnel (or the awareness stage) where they may be seeking out information to solve a problem, right through to the bottom of the sales funnel (or the decision stage) where they are ready to “buy.”

Well designed landing pages enable you to segment your prospects, to direct them to a specific product or service and, most crucially of all, to encourage them to take action.

So why are they so pivotal to the success of your inbound marketing strategy? And what are the key attributes of great B2B landing pages?

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Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing: What's the difference?

Written by Katie Hughes  |  15, November, 2017  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

You may well have heard of “inbound marketing” and “content marketing”.

But with the two terms so often used interchangeably, you'd be forgiven for not fully understanding what they mean, or the difference between them. 

Traditional marketing doesn’t work as well as it used to. As customers, we’ve become good at ignoring a lot of marketing noise. We filter out unwanted spam, we block cold calls, and we skip television ads.

As the marketer, you used to hold all the power. Now, the control is in the hands of your customers.

This power shift is the reason inbound marketing and content marketing are terms you need to get to grips with.

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How to find your inbound agency dream team

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  14, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we discussed whether you should recruit internally, or hire an inbound agency to manage your marketing.

But, if you do hire an agency, how do you know they have the right skill sets or are the right fit for you?

In this post, we look at who makes up an inbound marketing agency dream team, and how to spot them.

Strategic Analyst

Attempting any marketing activity without a clear strategy is like watching young children learning to play football. The kids all chase after the ball without thinking about where the game will go next, and adjusting their positions accordingly. They lack the experience to develop a clear strategy and think beyond their next touch.

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Is an Inbound Agency partner better than a unicorn?

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  30, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you're in the early days of implementing inbound, or if you're still considering whether inbound is the right fit for your company, one of the first questions that comes to mind is bound to be: what is it all going to cost? That's not just monetary value, but also effort and resource.

Inbound marketing, when done right, takes time. It requires precision planning, execution and analysis, which gives even the most capable of marketers a burgeoning to-do-list. It also won’t necessarily replace the valuable work of your existing marketing team - exhibitions, merchandising, trade shows, internal communications, paid media etc. So in order to do it properly, it is likely you are going to need to call in the experts. In this blog, we outline two options - recruiting an Inbound Marketing Specialist, or Hiring an Inbound Agency. 

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How to align your video marketing strategy to the buyer's journey

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  13, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Marketers who use video grow revenue 49 per cent faster than non-video users. And research shows one in four consumers lose interest in a company if they don't have video.

However, as with any inbound marketing strategy, success relies on you reaching the right audience at the right time.

The buyer’s journey will equip you with all the intel you need to do so. Knowing what kind of video to make, and where to incorporate it in your inbound marketing campaign, will ensure that you get a return on investment.

What is the buyer’s journey?

The buyer's journey is the process that a prospective customer goes through before making a purchase decision. 

Inbound marketing is driven by a consideration of your target audience and their likely mood, interests and expectations at each stage of their buyer's journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. For this reason, you might consider making different videos for each stage. 

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How to create more successful landing pages

Written by Katie Hughes  |  12, October, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A landing page is the gateway to your content offer. It is the web page someone lands on after clicking a call-to-action on your blog, email newsletter, or website.

It has one job - to convert visitors to leads.

A strong landing page will provide you with the top of the funnel information about prospects that you need to kick-start your lead nurturing activities. A weak landing page means visitors will bounce, and your chance of a blossoming relationship dwindles.

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What are video marketing metrics and how do they work?

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  26, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe
As with all of your inbound marketing activity, the impact and ROI for video is measurable. But with so much data knocking around, how do you process the information you have and paint a picture of success?

Video marketing metrics.

In order to conduct meaningful analysis of what is and isn’t working for your campaign, it’s important to understand the story behind how your stats are gathered.

Their interpretation isn't just a congratulatory game of numbers. In practice, metrics expose the way your content is being received, pinpoints audience concern and give you a precise idea of what will work for your content marketing.

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How to maximise the potential of seasonal marketing for B2B

Written by Nicola Risi  |  21, September, 2017  |  2 Comments  Subscribe

It seems September hit us with a bang.

The heat from a couple of weeks ago is a distant memory, the kids are back at school and already talking about Halloween, and the realisation dawns that we’re only three paychecks away from Christmas (you’ll thank me later, promise!).

What that also means is it’s time to start thinking about how these changes in buyer thought patterns, interests and behaviour can affect your content marketing strategy. And what should you be doing right now to garner more customers in your business?

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How to approach your inbound video marketing strategy

Written by Maddy Bogacki  |  20, September, 2017  |  3 Comments  Subscribe

With modern businesses investing heavily in their online presence, video represents more than the opportunity for creative venture – it’s an active response to the expectations of a web-savvy audience.

Hubspot research proved 69% of marketing, sales and business professionals had used video marketing before. A further 31% are planning to use it in the near future.

This steady rise in popularity has transformed video production from novelty to necessity for the most successful inbound marketing strategies. The upshot is, join in, get smart or get left behind.

So how do you fold it in to your overall inbound marketing strategy?

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4 inbound marketing tactics to delight and retain your customers

Written by Katie Hughes  |  19, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Many businesses spend the majority of their money and time on acquiring customers. As consumers, we see this all the time. Deals for new customers are everywhere, whether it’s a supermarket offering money off your first online shop, or a bank offering cashback for switching your current account. But what about those long-standing customers who consistently remain loyal to a brand?

Customer retention is one of the most critical challenges facing businesses today. So it makes good sense to keep your existing customers happy - you want them to continue to choose to do business with you. Studies show that it costs ten times more to attract a new customer than to keep one. And let’s face it, happy customers make great advocates.

The inbound marketing philosophy acknowledges the value of customer retention and advocacy. The four-step process - “attract, convert, close, delight” - works to turn strangers into not only customers but promoters of your business.

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The value of interviewing customers when defining buyer personas

Written by Katie Hughes  |  3, August, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For any business using an inbound marketing approach, defining buyer personas is an essential first step. Buyer personas are in-depth representations of your ideal customers. They go beyond the demographics of your target audience, and represent their attitudes, behaviours, challenges and aspirations.

Buyer personas are vital for creating content that will resonate with your target audience. Meaning you have a better chance of attracting new prospects, creating new leads, and converting them to customers.

Your sales and marketing teams will know a lot about your customers; the types of roles they are in, what they want to achieve by investing in a product or service like yours, and what the common objections to purchasing are.

But the best way to really understand them, is to speak to them.

While this will require some extra time and resources, we put forward the case that interviewing customers is the key to creating insightful and actionable buyer personas.

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What is the SaaS approach to buyer persona development?

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

We know that the key to success as a SaaS business is to reduce churn by retaining existing customers. SaaS is different to many other products and services in that it has a closer relationship with its users, over a longer period of time. So, more so than for many companies, whose marketing revolves around understanding new customers in order to serve appropriate content and gain leads, SaaS is also about understanding existing customers.

This duality makes the job of the SaaS marketer both more difficult and yet at the same easier. More difficult, because there are potentially two sets of people to understand and market to. Easier, because the level of contact with customers/users over a period of time means there is more data on existing customers. This should allow for a greater understanding of their needs and therefore, by extension, potentially make it easier to predict what new customers are looking for too.

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What changes are visible in the latest State of Inbound?

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Looking through this year’s State of Inbound 2017 report from HubSpot, what struck me is the massive contrast between the aspects of inbound marketing that have stayed the same, and the areas that are rapidly changing. So here are a few observations along those lines – three things that have not changed, and three things that are changing now.

3 things that have stayed the same

Establishing the ROI of marketing efforts is a continuing issue

Back in 2013, 25% of marketers stated their top challenge was proving the Return on Investment (ROI) of their inbound marketing efforts. In 2017, whilst 63% said that the top marketing challenge for companies is generating traffic and leads, 40% still said that proving the ROI of marketing activities was their top marketing challenge.

So why do companies find it difficult to measure inbound marketing ROI? Many companies struggle with defining metrics to track ROI, and others with the analysis of marketing data. Marketing success is often measured by how many prospects it produces, so to measure ROI you would compare the cost of your marketing to the value of those prospects to the company. However, establishing just how much a prospect is worth is far from easy, with a range of different approaches available, with different calculations and assumptions. 

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How to deliver successful inbound marketing with agile scrum

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  5, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound marketing is a labour-intensive exercise. When done well that is. Success or failure lies in the marketing mix and your ability to pull the right levers at the right time. And the levers and the pressure you apply will always differ dependent on your particular circumstance. And, of course, the situations impacting your customers.

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Why your SaaS company needs an inbound marketing agency

Written by Keith Errington  |  17, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we discussed how an inbound approach enables your SaaS company to connect with the right people,in the right way, at the right time. Inbound allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, answer your target audience's questions and, ultimately, help you to win their business (and keep it).

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How to avoid common pitfalls when defining your buyer personas

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  10, May, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In modern marketing, buyer personas are integral to everything you create as a content marketer. Buyer personas are representations of your target customers based on real-world information and educated guesses. Their likes, dislikes, habits, behaviours, motivations and concerns, as well as their job function, where they spend time online, decision criteria, and more.

The trouble is, as with so many recent marketing developments, the subtler ideas around personas are often not fully understood. Getting your personas right, and keeping them current is not as easy as it sounds. Here are some tips to avoid some of the common pitfalls when defining your buyer personas.

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How to prove the value of Inbound to your CFO

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  9, May, 2017  |  2 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound is more than just a marketing strategy; Inbound is a philosophy that is engrained into your company's DNA. However, one of the toughest challenges Marketing can face is getting buy-in from the top.

Inbound takes time, resources and expertise to implement correctly. How do you get your C-Suite to not only sign off on the time and money required but also emotionally and professionally invest in Inbound?

Out of all the C-Suite, it is often hardest to convince the Chief Finance Officer (CFO). It can seem that the finance and the marketing departments exist in two entirely different worlds; finance views marketing as a monthly expense while marketing view finance as a money source (Jim Lenskold).

Here are some ideas on how to communicate the value of inbound to your CFO.

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How to write excellent educational content for inbound

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you are in professional services, SaaS or manufacturing, at some point, you should consider creating educational content for your audience. 

Inbound marketing is about providing relevant useful content, and there is no more useful content than that which helps someone to achieve results or save time.

So how do you go about creating educational content?

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SaaS vs. Product Marketing - Why you need to think outside the box

Written by Keith Errington  |  12, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe
If you are a business that produces software, it is highly likely you have moved, or are considering moving, from selling an off the shelf product to delivering your product online - a method commonly called 'Software as a Service' (SaaS). But has your marketing strategy adapted?

There are several significant differences between the marketing strategy for selling boxed software than for selling SaaS. In this post, we are going to look at those key factors and explain why you need to think ‘outside the box'.
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Why your manufacturing company needs an inbound marketing agency

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  12, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we have discussed how traditional, interruptive sales and marketing tactics, such as cold calling, are not working as effectively anymore in the manufacturing sector. 

Inbound marketing offers manufacturers the chance to reach a wider audience. Unlike other marketing methods such as print ads and mailers that rely on outreach to customers' locations, inbound marketing, and more specifically content, can help bring in a steady stream of traffic from people actively looking for your services (HubSpot). 

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Inbound marketing for SaaS: putting in a lot to get a lot

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  5, April, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In a previous post, we discussed how an inbound approach could help your software as a service (SaaS) company. We talked about the importance of SaaS organisations not only winning customers, but retaining them over the long term - a challenge inherent in the SaaS business model.

As a SaaS company, you will know that you have to wait a bit longer to enjoy the fruits of your labour than in other industries. When you win new business, the payoff doesn't come straight away. You need those customers to keep on buying your services and you also want to sell more services to them over time. 

In the same vein, when you first start out on an inbound marketing journey, you won't reach your destination immediately. Implementing inbound marketing is a commitment (with all the challenges that entails). 

However, in both instances, the potential rewards to be reaped are well worth the wait. So, let's explore why and consider how adopting inbound marketing for SaaS could help you to reach more of the right people and grow your business. 

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Can inbound marketing help manufacturers close leads to sales?

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  28, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Many manufacturing businesses have traditionally relied on a direct or distributor sales force to generate growth. The founders, especially 50+ years ago, were essentially inventors – solving customers' pain through developing innovative solutions to problems in a way the competition couldn't. They did not need a marketing department to succeed, just pure guts and determination.

This traditional approach has continued through the decades with the role of marketing failing to evolve much beyond product brochures, maintaining the company website and tradeshows. It is not surprising, therefore, that many CEOs do not understand what marketing can do to help grow the business.

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How an inbound approach could help your SaaS company

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  23, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Across the spectrum, industries are facing change on an unprecedented scale – and the software as a service (SaaS) industry is no exception. In today's fast-moving and competitive environment, SaaS companies will live and die by their ability to acquire new customers and keep them on a long-term basis.

Therefore, it's important that you can reach the people that matter the most to your business. To do so, you need a targeted and effective marketing strategy that enables you to connect with and form relationships with the individuals and organisations that will benefit from purchasing your products and services.

Adopting an inbound approach can help you to achieve just that. In this post, we explore the current state of the SaaS industry and look at how implementing inbound marketing could help your company.

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