How To Increase Revenues In Your Business By 208%

Inbound Marketing Strategy | IDM

An inbound marketing strategy may be the missing piece in your sales plan. Get it right, and you could increase revenues by more than 200%.

Traditional marketing methods are old and broken; they just don’t produce the same results anymore. Outbound and interruptive tactics such as buying advertising media and email lists, direct mail, cold-calling, and generally spraying and praying for leads are becoming less and less effective.

On the other hand, inbound sales and marketing can act like a magnet to attract the right people – people who want to buy your products and services. This is achieved by publishing content that your target audience finds relevant and useful. Inbound sales and marketing is now the most effective way to do business online.

For those companies who get it right, the rewards are significant. Recent studies show an average 208% increase in marketing-led revenues, 19% more growth, and 33% more qualified sales leads.

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The Buyer’s Journey has Changed

Today, the average decision maker will be doing most of their research online, a long time before they make direct contact with you. In fact, a whitepaper authored by Google and CEB states: –

“B2B customers are nearly 60% of the way through the sales process before engaging a sales rep, regardless of price-point. More accurately, 57% of the sales process just disappeared.”

This is why a strong online presence is crucial to the success of most businesses today. By the time customers are ready for the hard sell, the process is almost over. You need a digital strategy that engages potential customers, and convinces them every step of the way that your company is the one to solve their problem, before the hard sell starts.

If your inbound marketing strategy is inefficient or incomplete – or worse still, you don’t have one – you won’t be able to accomplish this. Your sales pitch will likely miss the target, or you won’t get the opportunity to pitch at all!

To achieve maximum return on investment, your inbound marketing strategy should align your sales and marketing teams. Businesses with synchronised sales and marketing teams generate on average 208% more marketing revenues, so it’s worth getting this part right.

A Proven Methodology for the Digital Age

So how do you create a robust sales and marketing strategy that will drive business growth in today’s economy? Today, we’ll suggest seven core areas for you to focus on.

Attracting More of the Right Kind of Visitors

The first step with any inbound strategy is attracting customers so they first find your business online, and then become aware of your brand. Most probably you already have a website. Hopefully it has a blog and you’ve published a few posts. Perhaps you’ve got a Facebook page that you update occasionally. Maybe you’re starting completely from scratch. Whatever your current situation, it’s important to lay the solid foundations of an inbound strategy and create a strong presence online which will drive customers your way.

1: Search Engine Optimisation

Generating more traffic for a website is a bit like mixing a cocktail: you’re going to take several complementary ingredients and mix them together in the right proportions, to produce a pleasing result that really packs a punch!

There’s no stand-alone tactic that’s been proven to deliver worthwhile results by itself. Instead, the better approach is to combine a number of strategies and supporting technology platforms, which all work together.

The first thing to do is to draw up a solid search engine optimisation strategy. Meeting or exceeding your traffic goals will be difficult without a plan.

The content on your website should contain targeted keywords that your potential customers are interested in. Consequently, when customers search for those keywords in a search engine like Google, your website will be displayed in the results.

It’s important to invest time to find the right keywords and phrases to target. Do some research ahead of time to make sure your chosen keywords are attainable and worthwhile.

Identify respected influencers and bloggers within your industry. You can build relationships with these people and create backlinks to increase your website’s authority with search engines. Monitor page rankings and traffic, as the analysis will show you what’s working, and what isn’t, so you can adjust your tactics accordingly.

Each page on your website is another opportunity for a customer to find your site. The more pages the better, and you should have a page for each individual product and service you offer.

2: Blogging

It’s vital you understand the importance of blogging. Whilst the number of product pages on your site is limited to the extent of your product range, topics for relevant blog posts are infinite. Regular and frequent blogging shows the search engines that your website is ‘active’, current and ‘fresh’, and this will really help boost your search rankings.

Blog posts are known to influence purchasing decisions, because they leverage customer language and topics.

3. Social Media Sharing

“If a blog gets posted in the forest, will anyone read it?”

The point being, investing time and effort creating lots of keyword-rich, useful content isn’t enough on its own. You can’t afford to wait around for customers to stumble across your website. Instead, you need to actively promote your blog, and that’s where social media comes in.

Establishing a presence on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn will give you a number of channels through which you can share your blog with people interested in your company and your products and services, or your industry in general. What’s more, social media gives your audience the perfect opportunity to share your content with their social circles, widening your reach even further.

Converting Visitors to Leads

Imagine this scenario: all your static product and services pages are optimised with well-researched targeted keywords, and search rankings are improving as a result. You’ve developed an editorial schedule and you’re sticking to it. Regular posts are appearing on your blog. You’re sharing these posts on social media, and you’re actively engaging in online conversations with your audience.

Second Inbound Marketing Strategy Image

Things are happening, and monthly traffic figures are steadily climbing.

But actual sales and revenues remain the same. What’s going wrong? Well, nothing’s going wrong, but generating traffic is only the first step. Those website visitors now need to be converted into viable sales leads. How is this done? By creating landing pages, with premium content designed for lead generation.

Once you’ve generated the traffic, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff – identify who’s genuinely interested in what your company is offering, and who’s just kicking the tyres.

4. Content Creation

You know your ideal client better than anyone, and you know the challenges they face. So, next you should create premium content offers that help them solve their problems. This content can take the form of white papers, e-books, guides, webinars, and other information that goes into more depth about certain topics. This content is generally offered free of charge, but to get access to the information, your prospect must register with your website and give their email address and other contact details.

These premium content offers move potential customers further down the sales funnel. If they’re willing to take the step of downloading the content, and registering with your site, then it demonstrates that they are genuinely interested in your topic.

When s/he fills out a form to access information, a lead is created. You can then use what you know about the content they’ve accessed to build out either a human or an automated electronic follow-up process.

To successfully convert anonymous website visitors into leads, you must craft compelling premium content and offers, well-designed landing pages, and persuasive call-to-action buttons.

Businesses serious about leveraging their website as an enabler for growth will quickly understand the efficiency of this whole process. From a sales perspective, leads generated from premium-educational, persona-targeted content are massively productive and far more likely to convert into sales revenue, because that persona’s requirements have been met.

Turning Leads into Customers

From a ‘leads-into-customers’ perspective, you will need to create content for each stage of the buying process, and for each buyer-persona. Industry trends and ‘how to’ guides are perfect for the top of the sales funnel.

As prospects move down through the sales funnel, their content requirements will become more specific, and probably more closely aligned with your products and services. Think product specifications, product comparisons, ROI calculators, video tutorials, webinars, etc.

To successfully convert leads into new customers, you must be able to deliver this content in the format they require, on whatever device they’re using.

5. Marketing Automation

The sales leads that have downloaded your premium content and registered with your website must have human follow-up, or an automated process must be set up to do a similar thing. Automated follow-up should be used in moderation, as a personal follow-up will always be more likely to achieve a connection.

The right technology platform will allow you to segment your sales leads, deliver further, relevant content, and nurture leads down towards the bottom of the sales funnel. All this can potentially be done on auto-pilot. You decide the right point at which your sales team enters the process to close the deals!

If you want your marketing efforts to be indisputably connected to sales and revenue goals (and we strongly suggest you do!) you need to be able to connect the dots between how content feeds and nurtures leads throughout all levels of the sales funnel. You must be able to determine how many web visitors it takes to generate a sales lead, and how many sales leads it takes to generate a closed deal.

6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Now you’ve generated traffic, converted some of this traffic into leads, and used marketing automation to nurture these leads to the point where they’re ready-to-buy. They’re now qualified sales leads for your sales team to handle. Now what?

Today businesses want closed loop reporting on their marketing activities so they can demonstrate a return on investment (ROI). With the right tools, you can track ROI right from the top of the funnel all the way down to new customers generated at the bottom. How?

A 2014 study by Nucleus Research revealed that for every £1 spent on CRM software, a company would see a £8.76 increase in sales revenue.

7. Sales Enablement

Sales enablement. You’ve probably heard the term, but what exactly is it?

In broad terms, it involves any resources or processes that enable greater efficiencies in the sales process. It can take many forms, from email templates for sales prospecting, to allowing prospects to book time directly into the sales rep’s diary. Anything that makes the sales process more efficient and drives down the cost of sale.

Measuring, Analysing, and Interpreting

It’s crucial that you monitor and track your results throughout the whole marketing process. Clear analytics not only demonstrate your ROI, but help you perpetually fine-tune your tactics. Understanding your analytics will inform you what’s working and what isn’t, so you can engage in a continual improvement program.

In Summary

An inbound marketing strategy represents a seismic shift from traditional marketing, but the opportunities for improved ROI are immense. Getting sales and marketing teams to work in unison may be a daunting challenge. But when orchestrated together, the tactics discussed in this article will help you attract more qualified prospects, convert more sales leads, and close more deals.

Talk to us and we can help you develop and implement the right strategy for your business.

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Ryan Sedgwick
Managing Director & Marketing Consultant at Impact Digital Markeitng
A Chartered Marketer, Ryan has gained extensive B2B and B2C marketing experience working across a broad spectrum of industries. Having graduated with a Masters in Marketing Communications from the University of Huddersfield, Ryan successfully utilises his skills and knowledge to effectively support businesses in getting the most from their marketing investments.