Inbound Marketing is not only a lower cost per lead for many industries, it also yields higher quality leads.
To be more precise: Inbound marketing for some industries can yield 12,000% ROI. For others it’ll be a loss. It’s had a lot of hype of late, so we want to help.
Let’s start at the top: Most marketers will want to complicate (because it’s profitable) and play to your insecurities, but remember marketing is just 2 ideas:
- Compelling, irresistible offer…
- delivered to the right eyeballs.
Everything else is smoke and mirrors. Everything you buy and deploy must fall into one of the two above systems.
Inbound marketing is often commingled with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but the truth is they’re totally separate ideas;
- SEO is a traffic method, and…
- inbound marketing is an overall strategy and methodology.
So, who is SEO + Inbound Marketing good for? The dirty truth that competitors won’t tell you is inbound marketing is not necessarily the best lead acquisition strategy for all industries.
- Who it’s great for – unbeatable even: Niche, highly specific or highly localized industries with a high value per lead, relatively few competitors (< 100), and industry-specific terms that customers may search for, or highly specific problem-phrases.
- Example: Plastic food packaging, reverse merger consulting services, etc.
- Who it’s bad for: Commodity products and services with a lot of competition and/or a low value per lead / visitor, and serving a wide geographic territory.
- Example: a national mortgage company. This isn’t to say you can’t do it, but expect to either focus on super niche products (non-owner occupied investor financing > 80% LTV for example) or “go deep” on a geographic area i.e. just Topeka. Even then you won’t stumble your way to the top in most cases, it will take real effort.
Next you need to consider a few more vectors – sorry this is a bit technical, but we’re trying to genuinely help:
- Proactive vs. Reactive: Are you going to the gym to get a six-pack, or because you’re feeling overweight? For commodity / common services, that are proactively-bought and thus not as time sensitive (note every industry is mostly reactive (plumbing clogs, flat tire repair) or proactive (financial planning services). For time-sensitive reactive services, say, bail bond services, clogged toilet repair, free reports and that sort of thing isn’t going to work. Inbound marketing is better suited to proactive services and products.
- Buying Cycle / Price Point: Impulse or Consideration Required? If you sell WiFi booster repeaters for $19, there’s not much point in doing inbound marketing. If you sell $25,000 consulting packages, and someone will make a careful decision that’s not usually an impulse buy, then inbound marketing is a must, for people to grow and build trust brick by brick.
Assuming you’re still reading, it’s probably a good fit. Next, you’ll want to consider the customer journey, which goes from
- Problem-Aware. Searching for phrases like “acne solutions”, “how to get more sales”, “how to lower house payments”
- Solution-Aware. Searching for phrases like “Acne cream over the counter”, “marketing software”, “refinancing in orange county”
- TIP: This is usually when someone makes a brand decision and company branding and SEO is most important.
- Brand-aware. Searching for phrases like “ProActiv Acne Cream Prices”, “SwiftCloud Marketing Suite”, and “ABC Mortgage orange county”.
- TIP: This is when “brand dominance” and your online reputation are paramount; at this time someone’s starting to think about actually getting out their credit card or making a commitment or becoming a live lead willing to talk on the phone.
Still in? Great if so – let’s get you set up with Inbound Marketing!
What is Inbound Marketing: In overview…
- Identify an audience, and create an avatar of your bull’s-eye customer and what he or she wants
- Create “bait” – something of high perceived value that audience will want – blueprints, videos, software demo, etc that requires the start of a dance: the visitor gives up some info (name, email usually to begin) – they tell you more about themselves (and their company if relevant), and get more value from you. Each step of this dance builds trust.
- Create traffic to that bait, often done with SEO, but any traffic method will work, and we recommend “bet on the entire race instead of betting on a single horse”, meaning, what traffic methods are best for you will vary by your industry and technically any traffic will work.
- TIP: We highly recommend creating a “tripwire offer” – a low-cost $1 to $7 offer if possible after the first opt-in.
What is SwiftCloud’s Inbound Marketing Solution?
- A wordpress plugin which generates in-line “expanded content” offers (example below), popups (all the major types: Timed overlay, scroll-aware, exit-intent), landing pages (instant “page-topper” style, to leverage existing pages), and other lead-capture systems. Note it also works with our Bloodhound Ad Campaign Tracking. Also, note we leverage WordPress for this, instead of expensive and in our view inferior proprietary content management systems (CMSs).
- A software system in SwiftCloud Marketing Suite, to track audiences, bait, performance, and more.