Permission Based/Inbound Marketing
So we’ve been drinking a little bit of Kool-Aid these days over here at Allegory Studios. What has us so excited? The opportunities for us and for you provided through inbound marketing and a system we’ve been using called HubSpot. But before we delve into the story, let’s discuss inbound marketing a bit – you need to understand the machine before you sit down for a Kool-Aid break.
These days you hear about all kinds of Internet marketing – search marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, social media marketing, permission-based marketing, blogging – what? How can we keep it all straight? It’s easy really, the basic premise of any form of Internet marketing is that we accept the idea that search engines stand between us and our customers online. While we will of course have a certain percentage of folks visiting our online properties directly through the visibility we gain from traditional marketing methods, there is a very large percentage of people we have never met before that still need our products or services.
Various methods of online marketing serve our need to reach these folks.
Inbound or permission based marketing is the idea that we package up all the different kinds of online marketing we have available (search marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, blogging), we provide timely, unique and valuable content in a highly strategic manner of placement and we wait for folks to ask us to communicate with them at which point they become a lead.
They have given us permission to send them information by email from that point forward. When a person visits a search engine, they simply seek to find something they are looking for – any good online marketer knows that they must provide timely and valuable content that aims to answer their target customers questions.
All this sounds easy right? Well, it’s actually not that easy because there are many, many online tools that must be used together in order to complete a successful inbound marketing campaign. Consider the fact that you should have several things working in tandem at a minimum: business-based social media accounts (perhaps Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn), an active blog, a solid email system with a campaign mechanism, a method to create and serve landing pages, an analytics platform to measure your results, a way to create “call to action” web graphics, a CRM tool to store your collected data… are you tired yet, the list goes on.
Let’s take a quick look at a simple inbound marketing campaign.
(we will assume you have a website, blog, email system, landing pages and social media accounts in place)
- You begin by creating something (usually information/education) your target audience highly values that you can offer for free, let’s say an e-book for this example.
- Your goal is to get as much visibility as possible for this e-book, to make an eventual connection with a potential client and to get them into your funnel so you can continue conversations with them and hopefully sell them something in the future.
- You create a landing page that sits in front of the free download so you can capture at least a name and an email to begin building your list for future email marketing efforts.
- You create an email campaign that will automatically deliver future messages to those folks who download your free ebook and sign up via your landing page. This content is all pre-engineered and set to go.
- You do some keyword research and target market brainstorming to make sure you optimize any content you create to ensure you have the potential to reach the right audience in the search engines.
- You create an email campaign to your existing sphere of influence offering them the e-book, you create a keyword optimized blog post touting the value of this free download, you post on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in, you embed a graphic advertising the free download on your website, blog and other online properties.
- You use custom links throughout all your campaigns so you can measure the result of your efforts in an analytics program.
- Your efforts pay off and you meet an whole bunch of potential customers that found you because you offered them something of value and fostered a connection of authority and trust.
Now imagine all the tools you’d have to piece together to get something like this done. You’d have to utilize anywhere from 5-10 different platforms to make all of the above steps work, and then connect them all together manually. Sounds exhausting right? It can be but it also doesn’t have to be.
Enter the Kool-Aid.
Inbound marketing really does work, so all these steps are worth the effort, however something like HubSpot can make your life as a marketer much easier. It is an online system where all of these tools are packaged into one administrative area. Everything I describe above can be managed efficiently and effectively, cutting the process time significantly. A job that might take three people now takes one. The Kool-Aid is REALLY good!
Curious? Connect with us to get more information or request a free trial of the Hubspot software.
Still struggling with the tactics? Take a look at this simple inbound marketing infographic created by The Whole Brain Group – its a nice overview of the process: