When you think of what characteristics make a successful company, marketing campaign or team there are certain traits and factors that help to sort out the best and worst, the winners from the losers. This is true with inbound marketing and lead generation programs as well.
The Center for Sales Strategy works with inbound marketing clients on a daily basis to build and implement successful inbound marketing strategies, and we have put together 5 common characteristics of successful inbound marketing programs.
Does your company’s inbound efforts mirror these characteristics?
1) Target the Correct Persona
One of the first steps in developing an inbound marketing strategy is determining what your objectives are and which audiences you are trying to reach. If you don’t know who you are trying to reach, chances are that you won’t reach them.
From day one, set out a clear definition of who your blog is intended to reach, and continue to come up with blog titles and topics that your audience is interested in.
2) Relatively High Frequency of Publishing
Simply put, blogs that are published more frequently have a higher number of visitors and do better in search. Don’t confuse quantity with quality in focusing on frequency though, you don’t want to be publishing poorly authored blog posts several times per week just to keep up your frequency of publishing.
Our Inbound Marketing Consultants at The Center for Sales Strategy recommend to our clients that they publish at least 2 blog posts per week and preferably 3 posts. As content marketing experts we have numerous tools and writing services to assist our clients with making sure they have enough content to publish each week.
3) Focused on Lead Generation and Not Just Blogging
The best lead generating blogs are not always the best written or the coolest looking. A great lead generating blog is sometimes the one that simply gives the reader an action to take.
The differences between blogging and lead generation is very minute. It's typically a sentence or two or a graphic at the bottom of the blog post that tells a reader to take a certain action. It could be “subscribe to our blog” or “contact us if you have questions” or something more formalized like “download our latest white paper”. If you are not including these types of Call to Actions (CTAs) at the bottom of your blog posts you are simply blogging and not focused on lead generation.
4) Using the Proper Tools
If you could imagine trying to cut down a tree in your backyard using a pocketknife one day and a chain saw the next, you can certainly understand how difficult it is to accomplish something with the wrong tools. Building a website, integrating Google Analytics, and signing up for an email program like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact can get you started on the road to inbound marketing, but there will be bumps along the way.
Let’s face it… most likely the designer of your email program didn’t factor in which CRM you are using or which CMS you will be authoring your blogs in. You have to put together all of these systems and make them work together if you are not using a tool, like HubSpot, that’s designated for inbound marketing. It seems simple enough to put this infrastructure together to build an inbound marketing system but in reality it’s quite challenging.
5) Focused on Inbound Marketing and ROI
The last, but possibly the most important reason why a company’s inbound marketing efforts succeed, is the amount of focus that’s placed on the inbound initiatives by management and those writing the blog.
A lack of focus can be indicated by long gaps between blog posts, lack of premium content or landing pages, and not having enough interest from employees to author blog posts.
Companies that are focused on inbound marketing keep management and their teams of writers engaged by; providing periodic updates on the blog, capturing success stories (no matter how small at first), integrating inbound within all areas of the company, and periodically reminding everyone involved the long-term benefits that are being sought.
Does your company meet the above characteristics of a company that’s successful with their inbound marketing? If not, maybe it's time to have an expert look at your company’s inbound marketing efforts.
Watch the prerecorded webinar about the 4 Types of Companies in Need of an Inbound Marketing Makeover and learn more about how to be successful with inbound marketing.
Brian Hasenbauer is an Inbound Marketing Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy