STRATEGY

How to Take Your Inbound Strategy to the Next Level

The great thing about inbound marketing is it actually provides value to your users. They’re able to find content that they actively seek out and is helpful to them, and that is why they are willing to exchange their email and other information for it. But how do you get people to engage with your content? What if they are reading your content, but not advancing through your buyer’s journey? That’s what we’re here to explore. These three tactics will help you take your inbound marketing to the next level and drive more qualified leads from your existing marketing efforts.

Personalization

The goal of personalization is to reach people with the solution they’re looking for and speak to them personally (hence the name). Instead of blasting content you want to share out to your audience, users are receiving content that’s tailored to their needs and behaviors. According to 2017 Hubspot Marketing Statistics, the open rate for emails with a personalized message was 17.6%, compared to 11.4% without personalization. So what makes personalization so effective? It puts the right content in front of the right user, when they need to see it and optimizes the user’s journey.

Granted, this tactic requires a time investment to set up. Not only do you need to understand what the main buyer’s journey looks like, you also need to understand the thought process behind the user’s behaviors at every stage and develop content based on their preferences. For example, if you have users who are constantly watching videos on your site, should you send them an offer for an ebook? Probably not. You’re going to invite them to join your latest webinar or invite them to follow you on Youtube.

This method of inbound marketing isn’t something you can do right out of the gate, but will need some data to back it up. Don’t let that deter you! Providing a better experience for your users is worth it in the long run.

Retargeting

So someone landed on your content, but wasn’t ready to make that next step. Retargeting is your chance to see if other content may help their decision to convert. Users who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website. Whether it’s through Google display ads or social platforms, showing other content offers to your visitors can help keep your brand top of mind and bring users back to your site with different content offers that convert better.

Retargeting can even help determine your buyer’s journey and learn more about your users. By AB testing different content, you can find which piece of content the user is ready to engage with next. Retargeting users on different platforms will also help assess which platform your users are actually engaging on. For example, you’re retargeting users on Facebook and Google Display ads, but users who click on the Facebook ads are more likely to convert, you’re going to want to adjust your budget to focus more on Facebook.

Lead Scoring

Not all leads are created equal. By associating certain actions with a score, you will be able to quickly sort through the leads to find those who are qualified versus a person that’s just poking around.

The basic principle for lead scoring is associating points based on certain behaviors or traits about a user as they interact with your brand. The more points they have – the more qualified lead they are. If a user doesn’t have enough points, they aren’t a qualified lead yet, and may need to be nurtured.

Before you can associate scores with actions, you’ll need to determine what a qualified lead is for your brand. This can be based on a few things:

  • Demographic information – Are there specific traits of people you’re selling to? As people are filling out forms on your site, you can ask specific questions to focus in on those who match your ideal customer.
  • Company information – Is your product for a company of a particular size? Do they need to make a certain amount of revenue? Are you selling to B2B or B2C?
  • Online behavior – Are there specific pieces of content that are indicators something is likely to convert? A user should receive a large amount of points when they visit that content. Have they visited your site in awhile? You might want to take points away from a user who hasn’t visited your site in a pre-determined timeframe (based on your buyer’s journey).
  • Email engagement – Based on their open and click through rate, you can determine how interested someone is in converting. If they consistently don’t open emails, they may not be a good fit versus someone who opens and clicks through most of your emails.  
  • Social engagement – How often are they clicking through on your Facebook posts or tweets? If your ideal buyer is someone very active on social media, you can score based on their Klout score.
  • Spam Filter – This is where you would want to use negative scores to filter out potential spam. For example, you might take points away if you’re selling to businesses and the user provides a personal email with a Gmail or yahoo domain.

Once you can determine where your best leads (and your not so great leads) are coming from, you’ll be able to effectively spend your time and budget more efficiently. If you have a sales team, they’ll thank you too. They will be able to focus on leads that are already qualified and ready to buy.

Inbound marketing can seem like a “set it and forget it” tactic, but for it to be effective and drive success for your brand, it needs to be nurtured. Basic promotion of your content may not be enough, but these tactics can help you engage your users and drive more conversions.

AUTHOR

Katie Frampton
Katie Frampton
Digital Marketing Strategist

Katie is a digital marketing strategist at Valve+Meter developing goal based strategies for clients. Her background is in content and inbound marketing with an emphasis on marketing technology. Katie also serves as the safety officer for the company and can often be found wearing her reflective safety vest during severe weather.