One of the biggest problems I see when companies start with inbound marketing, or indeed any kind of marketing, is that they have no defined goals. Every business owner should first of all define what it is they want inbound marketing to do for their business. According to Hubspot business owners only spend 8% of their marketing budget on analytics.
“You can’t improve what you don’t track.”
The following explains the three main goals your business should be focusing on when building your business online. If you do not track and strive to improve these three goals then it will be really hard for you to increase sales online.
Inbound marketing goal number 1: Traffic
Let’s face it, without traffic there would be no sales. If no one visits your website then they can’t turn into a buying customer. One of your three main goals should be acquiring more relevant traffic to your website. Notice I said relevant traffic because not all traffic is good. You need to attract the best kind of people to your website who may be interested in buying your product or service.
The best way to do this is by creating content that is relevant to their needs. By answering your customers’ questions and addressing their pain points you will attract the right kind of people to your website.
By creating a business blog and frequently publishing relevant content (at least twice a week) you will drive the best kind of traffic to your website as 46% of people read blogs more than once a day.
I would recommend you start with written content but over time experiment with different types to see what your audience responds best to. For example a “how to” video may do better than a written blog post on the same subject.
Where your traffic is coming from is also important and by using inbound marketing analytics you will see which channels are driving the best results for your business. You can then promote your content more on the channels that work and less on the ones that don’t.
Inbound marketing goal number 2: Leads
Most of your website visitors leave your website without making a purchase so turning more of these people into leads can seem difficult. However, by using some tried and tested inbound marketing strategies you can turn this new found traffic into leads.
Since we are now drawing the right kind of visitors to your website we can now encourage them to identify themselves with landing pages and call-to-actions. By using call to actions on your blog posts you can entice your visitors to click through to a landing page.
A call-to-action is like a little advert that encourages your visitor to click on to register for a webinar, download content or even request a quote. These call-to-actions then move the visitor onto a landing page where they are invited to fill in a form to give some information, usually just a name and email address.
Now that these visitors are identified, you can nurture them with lead nurturing programmes to convert them into a customer.
Inbound marketing goal number 3: Sales
This is everyone’s ultimate goal. However without the two previous goals mentioned above there would be no sales. It is now possible to turn these leads into paying customers which, like I mentioned, is our ultimate goal. To turn these leads into customers we are now going to need to nurture them. Now that we have their email address we can send them timely, helpful emails. Notice I said helpful emails! This is not an excuse for you to spam these leads, you want to build relationships and trust and above all be helpful.
By sending timely, helpful emails that move your leads through your sales funnel you can turn more leads into sales.
To do this we create email workflows or lead nurturing campaigns that help to move your leads through the sales funnel and by using what is called ‘lead scoring’ we can assign points to each lead to determine how hot they are. As not all leads are ready to buy, what we are trying to achieve is to identify marketing qualified leads that we can send to sales.
By doing this you will cut down on cold calling and your sales team will be a lot more informed about the leads marketing sends them, not only this, they will already be aware of your company and will have shown an interest in you.
Since a lot of companies do not identify their inbound marketing goals at the start it will become very hard for them to improve. Knowing what is important can give you focus on what activities you need to do.
So by concentrating on driving the right kind of traffic and converting more of that traffic into leads and sales you will see your business steadily grow.
Now it’s your turn
What are the biggest challenges you face when marketing your business online? Please let us know in the comments below.