Meeting SME marketing objectives the inbound marketing way

Posted by Rob Kendal on 21-Dec-2015 17:30:00

We talk to a lot of companies about a lot of business activities, but mainly - perhaps unsurprisingly for an inbound marketing agency - about their marketing activities and marketing objectives.

And their stories / problems might sound quite familiar to you:

  • We've tried some SEO but don't seem to be getting many conversions on our website...
  • We get a lot of website traffic, but we just struggle with generating a steady flow of leads...
  • Our company Twitter account has some followers, but we're not sure how to make the most of them...

Do any of these situations ring a bell? Don't worry if they do, it's quite common for B2B companies to try out a few digital marketing approaches with varying success, leading to frustration. 

Let's see if we can change the way you approach your marketing in 2016 and get your lead pipeline filled!

Meeting your digital marketing objectives with inbound marketing methodologies

Update: if you're not sure where to start when it comes to planning out your best marketing campaign yet, our marketing strategy blueprint can help your business growth goals.

The digital marketing landscape today

We find a lot of companies are masters in what they do, but when it comes to the confusing landscape of modern digital marketing they're confused and frustrated. And why wouldn't they be? There is a lot of contradictory information floating about the Internet on which approach is best, what you should be doing, not doing, what sort of midnight rituals you need to do to climb those Google rankings, and so on...

Image of a landscape showing the state of the digital marketing landscape in 2016

The reality is that modern digital marketing is like a large jigsaw puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle on its own doesn't necessarily have much effect, but put them together and ta-da, you have a marketing masterpiece!

So what does constitute a good marketing strategy then? Well, we're all about the inbound marketing approach at Red Guerrilla HQ because it's proven to work (check out these statistics from our State of Inbound Report) and covers all of the important puzzle pieces one by one, linking them together to deliver effective campaigns. 

Let's see how inbound works and how you can use it to meet your marketing objectives...

An inbound approach to meeting marketing objectives

Traditional marketing is not as effective as it once was. Buyers are smarter, more savvy, more selective, and generally better researched. Your potential clients are also becoming better at blocking out unwanted sales pitches and advertising.

The modern, inbound way of doing things prefers to give the buyer control, educating, informing, and engaging with them directly by creating content that attracts them to your website, products and services.

It focuses on 3 main stages:

  1. Attract - drawing your ideal clients towards you like a marketing magnet by providing them with content that solves their problems
  2. Convert - turning visitors into leads and potential clients through landing pages and appealing calls to action
  3. Close - converting these leads into valued customers and helping with the sales process through lead nurturing

Start with your ideal customers

We have lots of helpful information on defining and speaking to your ideal clients, which we'll share in a moment, but suffice to say that working out who exactly you want to talk to and why will make deciding what to talk to them about and how you start the conversation much, much easier.

Talk to existing clients and do some research on your potential clients' buying habits. What problems do they have? What are their goals? Where do they go for information?

Of course, we have some all important guides and articles to help you during your customer profiling endeavours:

Laws of attraction

The first stage of the inbound process is Attract. That is the process of enticing visitors to your business website with a view to starting a discussion around how you can help them solve their problems.

Image of a magnet representing how to attract your best customers through customer profilingThere are many ways of attracting visitors to your website and each method is stronger when used in conjunction with the others:

  • Creating and maintaining a blog full of rich content that speaks to your potential clients and addresses their questions, concerns, needs, solving their problems;
  • Ranking higher across search engines through search engine optimisation, keyword research, and website optimisation;
  • Social media scheduling and publishing. Maintaining an active and helpful presence across social platforms that work for your business (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

The examples above are great ways to gain a following across your marketing channels, but you can see that once you have your ideal client personas mapped out, a lot of these are much easier as you'll know what they want to know, how they like to search for and consume content, and much more besides.

Powers of persuasion

The next important step is Convert: we've worked on our customer profiles and are attracting visitors like never before, but now we need to move our visitors further into our sales funnel through some form of conversion.

Image of a handshake to show a conversion from a visitor into a leadA big fuss is made of conversions, but a conversion is really a point on a website (in this instance) where a visitor turns from a relatively anonymous entity into a known quantity, or where a visitor takes some kind of action (i.e. for an ecommerce website, a conversion point would be when a sale is completed). 

For our B2B, inbound purposes, we want to gain some knowledge about our visitors to be able to help them further down the line. Usually a name and some brief contact details is enough to achieve this goal. 

We can help boost conversions through a tried and tested process:

  1. A blog post or other compelling piece of content (e.g. web page) contains a call to action,
  2. Our call to action is clicked which leads to a landing page,
  3. The landing page guards a helpful, valuable content offer (such as our intro to inbound marketing guide) and is optimised to drive the visitor to fill out our contact form,
  4. The contact form captures some brief details from our visitor, thus converting them into a lead.

Analyse, analyse, analyse

We've missed out the Close part of the process as this leaves a lot in the hands of your company sales process, unless, of course you're using HubSpot for it's powerful CRM and lead nurturing abilities, in which case it's worth letting an agency manage your HubSpot services.

We will, however, talk about the importance of metrics and analysing what you're doing.

Image of a graphic equaliser showing the analysis of your inbound marketing performance

Whilst there are a lot of moving parts to any modern digital marketing campaign, the real difference between success and another trial-and-error situation is the ability to effectively measure what your different activities are doing and how they talk to each other.

By looking into what's working well and what's not, you can strengthen what has performed best for you and do less of the stuff that's not helping you out. Again HubSpot is a fantastic platform that allows you to measure what each individual component of your marketing is doing and what part it plays in the big picture

Being S.M.A.R.T - a word on goals

Analysing and measuring is definitely important, but it helps to know what you're measuring in the first place.

By establishing solid marketing objectives you'll be able to start any campaign safe in the knowledge that you can more easily measure if what you're doing is working during and after the campaign.

SMART goals are a set of targets for your marketing efforts that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. We have a great guide to setting SMART goals to help meet your marketing objectives here.


Go hit your 2017/2018 marketing objectives with inbound

You should now have a good grounding in how to follow an inbound approach to meeting your marketing objectives and understand how the sum of your marketing activities are greater then their lonely parts

If you'd like to know more about inbound marketing and how it works for B2B companies just like yours then we have a great intro guide on the subject, some impressive marketing statistics to back up our love for it, and you can of course get in touch with us to arrange an inbound marketing assessment if you'd like to get some free advice.

Update: if you're not sure where to start when it comes to planning out your best marketing campaign yet, our marketing strategy blueprint can help your business growth goals.


Talk to us about a bespoke Inbound Marketing Blueprint for your business

Topics: Guides & Infographics Inbound Marketing

Written by Rob Kendal

Rob has enjoyed a rewarding career in technology, from IT infrastructure through to software development, working with clients such as Virgin Holidays and the NHS. He understands the needs, challenges and logistics involved in making technology work for business and how to market it effectively.
Reach more customers with our intro to inbound marketing guide - front cover image

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