What is Inbound Marketing and Why Does It Matter?
Marketing in today’s world isn’t as cut-and-dry as it once was in the past. Putting your advertisements on the television, radio, or on highway billboards simply doesn’t bring in the customers or create the sales it used to. The old-school method of advertising (also referred to as “outbound marketing”) that you see in HBO’s “Mad Men” is also no longer effective in the modern era, as over-exposure to advertisements and excessive Internet usage has made the average consumer less receptive to media.
Today, inbound marketing is the strategy of choice for marketers. It focuses on creating relationships and building trust with customers through the use of valuable and relevant content. It’s also not concerned with bombarding prospects with branding and sales pitches but instead revolves around providing potential customers with something of value that they would actually use.
Imagine stumbling upon a great article from Campbell’s on how to cook a delicious beef stroganoff. You may have searched it on Google or you may have received the link from a friend. Later that night, you decide to use the recipe from the article to make the beef stroganoff and it turns out absolutely delicious. Your family even compliments you on your cooking ability. The next time you visit the grocery store, you remember the delicious recipe and the smiles on your family members’ faces and decide to pick up the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup instead of the brand you usually buy.
This is a vivid example of how inbound marketing works in the real world, but it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. With inbound marketing, articles, videos, landing pages, images, eBooks, and all kinds of content come together to create a cohesive marketing strategy that engages and converts potential customers.
In addition to creating this content, you’ll also need to distribute and promote it properly. Paid advertising on popular platforms like Google and Facebook is an essential part of getting your content out there. Without paying to play, your content will end up at the bottom of the search results page and out of sight for most internet users, rendering it worthless. Unfortunately, creating the content and paying to have it promoted on search engines and social media *still* isn’t enough to reach your target audience. There’s one more huge piece to the puzzle—technology.
Due to multiple platforms, distribution channels, and forms of media, you’ll need a variety of integrated marketing technologies to manage your online campaigns. Almost all online businesses use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software that helps them keep track of individual customers and allows them to monitor them throughout the sales cycle. In essence, the CRM is like a database that helps businesses easily store relevant information about their customers, such as lifetime value.
As useful as it is, the CRM is at the very end of the sales funnel. You’ll need to use a ton of other marketing tools to identify leads, get their information, interact with them, and nurture that relationship until the point where they are ready to make a purchase. Sending emails, posting on Social Media, gathering information from prospects, and other repetitive tasks need to be managed and automated by technology—it’s simply too much to handle at once. These individual tools also need to know how to communicate with one another and transfer information from one technology to the next (e.g. your landing page must send names and corresponding email addresses to your email tools).
On top of the monthly subscription for each of these tools, you’ll have to hire a marketing technology expert that can connect them together and create what is referred to as a Marketing Technology Stack, or “MarTech Stack” for short. Without this crucial step, you’ll be left with a bunch of individual technologies that don’t speak the same language. Improper setup between technologies can also result in lost information and leads not making it all the way to the CRM.
The Real Problem
So what does all this mean for you?
In summary, content, marketing technology, or distribution on their own are not enough to help you create leads and generate sales. Rather, it’s the combination of all three of these factors that spell success for your business. On top of all this, you’ll need to save additional room in your budget for paid advertising online.
After you’ve paid for an in-house team of writers and designers to create content, multiple monthly subscriptions to marketing technologies, a tech expert to set up your MarTech stack, and a social media manager to post content and monitor your social accounts, you’ll quickly find that there’s not much left in the piggy bank.
Even “all-in-one” solutions like Hubspot and Salesforce don’t provide you with content or access to distribution channels that you need to reach your target audience. That’s all up to you to figure out. You’ll also have to pay thousands of dollars just to set up their marketing automation services.
But how is a small-to-medium business supposed to generate revenue, find leads, and break even when the mere cost of a subscription to these services is astronomical?
The Sales Buddy Solution
Sales Buddy combines all three elements (content, marketing technology, and distribution) to create a lead generation trifecta that’s specifically designed with SMB’s in mind. Both our pricing structure and our customized solutions are made for those who want to grow their business without shrinking their wallet.
Our expert team of copywriters and graphic designers creates custom content that matches your brand voice and drives engagement with your target audience. When you sign up, you get all kinds of lead-generating content, such as articles, images, infographics, landing pages, ebooks, polls, surveys, and more.
We also provide you with your own custom MarTech stack that is built specifically for your needs. Each individual technology we use in your stack is hand-picked and chosen based on what works best for you. We even set it all up for you for a small one-time fee.
Finally, we distribute your content on our own social media channels and exclusive B2B network for maximum exposure. Our team then manages each distribution channel and takes care of the oversight for you. As we handle the prospecting, you’ll get hot leads sent directly to your CRM/Inbox while you monitor your campaign with your custom dashboard on your favorite device.
How it Works
When you sign up for Sales Buddy, we’ll have a deep dive session to learn more about your business needs. Once we have the details we need, we’ll start building your Marketing Technology stack. Then, we’ll analyze, A/B test, and choose the right tools for you, so you can focus on closing the deals instead of prospecting.
Included in your MarTech stack are technologies such as:
Once your MarTech stack is fully set up, we’ll schedule a follow-up meeting to hand you the keys to your new machine and show you how it runs. During this presentation, we’ll also explain how we chose the right technologies for you and give you training on how to use your stack to its full potential.
Even after it’s set up, we’ll continue to monitor and optimize your stack, ensuring that you’re getting the best tools at the best price. Every month, we perform a search for new technologies, pricing offers, coupons, discounts, integrations, and more to ensure you’re getting the best price possible.
As we manage and run your campaign, you’ll be able to read reports and check the current status of every technology we use—in real time. Last but not least, you’ll get hot leads sent to your CRM/Inbox without lifting a finger. Just watch your sales team go to work and close the deal.
Measuring Your Inbound Marketing ROI
B2B Sales Tips: How to Book an Appointment
Building an Audience: Why Content Isn’t Enough
7 Elements of a Successful Landing Page
The Lead Capture Form: A Living Fossil?
The Elevator Pitch: Is It Still Relevant?
How to Promote Your Brand With Storytelling
What Exactly Is Content Marketing?