This week, over 14,000 business people have converged on Boston for the mother of all digital marketing conferences.
I attended in 2012, 2013, and 2014 ... and this year, Bari and I are excited to be back.
Here's why I attend INBOUND every year ...
and if you run a growing business, here's why you should pay attention to Inbound Marketing, too.
Why you need to consider inbound marketing
Are you thinking about 2016? It's right around the corner. What can you do now to lay the foundation for better results next year?
Pay attention to inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a term little used outside of digital marketing circles. A few years ago, inbound marketing was just a theory that sounded good. Today, it's a real, proven process that drives sales with a bonafide track record.
The reason inbound marketing works is simple. It's based on aligning marketing activity with how actual customers behave online.
And since online marketing is constantly changing, a conference like INBOUND helps agencies like ours stay on top of the current state of inbound. Lots of business owners and marketing teams attend, too.
Even if you're not here with us, the good news is that you can follow along from a distance! Simply follow hash tag #Inbound15 on Twitter. Or If twitter isn't your thing, then tune into our blog. A few days from now, we'll recap our most important takeaways from #INBOUND15.
How to ensure better 2016 marketing results
The reason Inbound marketing works, as I've mentioned, is that it's based on what your buyer actually does as he researches solutions online.
Since we're all about inbound marketing this week, here's a primer:
Step 1: Understand your buyer
Inbound marketers begin by developing "buyer personas". That's just a fancy term for understanding the person at the other end of the mouse.
Once you understand the benefits that resonate with your prospects ... what's most important, and how that lines up with your capabilities ... you can use this insight to differentiate your solution from your competition. Hone your message and choose your online tools for more efficient message delivery and engagement.
Step 2: Develop an inbound marketing plan
Next, shift marketing budgets and develop an inbound marketing plan.
That means, replace interruption-based "outbound" marketing tactics like print or outdoor with more efficient marketing methods based on offering helpful, solutions-based content online, for more impact.
Your new plan might look something like this:
- Publish consistently helpful and engaging content so prospects find your business online
- Generate a lead pipeline with specially designed content for lead conversion
- Use marketing automation for nurturing leads to sales-ready status.
Step 3: Measure, to optimize results
If we have one piece of helpful advice to give, it's this: inbound marketing is not a matter of trying one-off tactics. It's not a quick fix -- you need to build the foundation, and stick with it. That's where skillful planning and execution comes in.
The final, but essential part of creating an inbound marketing system has to do with measuring and fine tuning over time. To attract better quality leads, you need to learn what works, and iterate -- improve the system over time.
Once you have easy-to-use marketing tools in place, measure everything. Review results on a regular basis. Careful analysis leads to insights that help you to fine-tune the system, which leads to improved results, and ROI.
The Proof: Our inbound marketing results
When I first became certified as an inbound marketer, it was more religion than reality, for me anyway. I hadn't really used inbound on living, breathing clients yet!
Thankfully, however, I had a few trail blazing clients back in 2012 who were ready to try something new, and replace the older tactics that had stopped working. They put their faith in me, and happily, with discipline and commitment, we now have the business results and ROI to show for it.
To see how inbound marketing has worked for our clients, read the case studies.
Bottom line: inbound marketing isn't easy. It's not a substitute for solid marketing strategy and smart salespeople. It takes more time than you can believe, to do it well. But when it works, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing traffic grow, warm leads fill the pipeline, and sales soar!
P.S. To jump start your 2016 planning, tap our brains for ideas on moving your business ahead: Get in touch for a Whiteboard Consultation.