Using CRM for Inbound Marketing

First let me describe what I mean by “inbound marketing.”  Inbound marketing has the following attributes:

  • Written for the consumer’s needs and addresses their intentions in order to attract consumption.
  • Interactive and provides the reader with options to pursue their interests.
  • Is found by consumers during the regular use of blogs, Internet search and other medium which link back to your firm.
  • Is combined with an internal process by which inbound visitors and inquires via web forms, incoming calls and incoming emails are captured and handled.
  • Contrasts with outbound efforts such as telemarketing and advertising.

Studies indicate that inbound leads convert to customers 31% more than outbound prospected leads.  This is explained simply by the fact that searchers who come to your site are much more likely to have an intent for the products and services you offer than leads obtained through outbound efforts.

The two most important factors for effective inbound marketing:

  1. Relevant Content – Content is the magnet for better and more inbound inquiries
  2. Lead Management – An organized and well managed process for handling inbound inquiries

Keys to Strong Relevant Content:

Quality content generates far more leads and costs far less than the means required to do outbound lead generation.  When you speak to the interests of your consumer and address the questions that they are seeking answers for, inbound marketing results can generate 3x the volume of leads as outbound methods.

  • Alignment of marketing content with marketing/sales funnel stages
  • Alignment of marketing content with buyer personas
  • Alignment of content to specific characteristics of your buyers
  • Alignment of content to the buyer’s journey
  • Alignment of content with an SEO strategy

Blog Your Way Greater Success

One of the best ways tools for aligning content is by blogging.  Data indicates that 77% of Internet usage time is dedicated to social media and blogs.  That time is spent on topics that interest the consumer, so we must write relevant content.  In effect, we are not simply targeting our leads, we are also qualifying our leads through our content.

In addition to blogging, other social media options include:  LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest.  Videos on YouTube and other hosts are an outstanding and increasingly popular medium that visitors find appealing.  And, these media can be a way to distribute our blog posts.  (For example, Tweeting about new post to your blog.)

Video is increasing popular since marketers report much greater results from using video.  Companies using video enjoy 27% higher CTR (click-through rate) and 34% higher web conversion rates than those that do not.

There are some reasons that videos are so effective.  79% of us are visual learners.  45% of social media users watch more than an hour of social media videos per week.  Video is very suitable for certain activities such as an introduction, a demonstration, and a testimonial.  A video demonstration can dramatically increase the rate that a visitor converts to an inbound inquiry, let alone a sale.

Quality content which is being continually freshened up with new posts and timely topics will increase your results.  In the process of generating leads, you’ll also strengthen your brand and business image, improve customer loyalty, and stimulate more dialog (interaction) with your prospects and customers, all of which will add to repeat business, as well as new business.

When we do it right, a blog can generate 55% more website visitors, 434% more indexed page hits, and 97% more inbound back-links and interactions.

One of the other tactics a firm can use to improve the results of their inbound campaigns is to develop specific landing pages or sites which are highly tuned to their consumers’ interests, intent, and identity.  This can be a product-specific page or even a landing page that is personalized to a particular industry or application of your products/services.

Keys to Effective Lead Management:

Since an inbound lead is much more likely to be highly qualified and in a more urgent need/interest for your products or services, it is critical that each and every lead be handled the right way!  Here are 3 essential elements for doing so!

  1. Capturing of prospect traffic whether it is a website visitor, an incoming call incoming/email, or an interaction such as a registration or request for fulfillment.
  2. Responsiveness to the initial point of content and a process that is designed to nurture the lead, develop brand awareness, build trust and reputation, and increase the odds of future timing being in favor of advancing the stage in your sales funnel.
  3. The entire lead handling process can only be sufficiently and properly managed through intelligent and correct use of technology, more specifically a CRM application and possibly integrated add-on tools such as live chat, exclusive landing pages, etc.

All of this can be rather daunting for any firm to develop on their own.  Fortunately, there are excellent resources that firms can turn to for each of the elements I’ve written about above.  First Direct Corp is such a resource.  We offer products and professional services to help you in many of these areas.

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