Inbound marketing is about content and context

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On Tuesday of this week I took myself off to an Inbound Marketing event in London run by the nice folks at @strangepr and sponsored, in the main, by @hubspot.

I saw some great presentations from @dmscott, @dianaurban, @jenniferyorke, @mvolpe, @fbelzer and @Richard_Y amongst others. Thanks to all.

Here’s some highlights and lessons from the day that stood out for me:

1. To be successful at inbound and content marketing you have to understand your buying personas.

  • The buyer persona theme was one that ran throughout the day. The bottom line: When producing content, make sure whatever you create is targeted at the people that you want to attract and engage.
  • Hubspot started selling to 2 personas and now sell to 6-7.

2. Inbound marketing = content + context

  • To be successful: make it personal
  • Your customer’s lifecycle stage is your context
  • Your inbound marketing efforts will be ever more effective if you are producing content that is right for your buying personas BUT is also aligned to where they are in their buying cycle.
  • Context marketing is saying the right things to the right people at the right time
  • Hubspot’s buying cycle: Awareness – Evaluation – Purchase – this could be applied to and useful for many firms:

Mapping your content and inbound marketing to the customers buying cycle

3. The biggest barrier to inbound and content marketing is fear – fear of doing something new and getting it wrong. Get over it and start. You will make mistakes but you will get better over time.

  • Stuck for ideas to write about: Use trendspottr as a source of ideas of what to write about.

4. Build your digital marketing assets over time – blog, video, flickr, slideshare etc – and you will build the long-term value of your business. This may not feature on your balance sheet but the more content that you create, the more links you will build (as long as it is good content), the more authority you will develop and the easier you will get found.

5. To be successful at inbound and content marketing you need to adopt the mindset of a media company not a sales or marketing department. Content and inbound marketing is not just about events or campaigns but about building a long-term relationship based on trust and value.

6. The only ratio that really matters in your marketing and sales is your LTV: CAC Ratio (Long term value of your customers (LTV) and the cost of acquisition (CAC)). Hopefully, your LTV is much higher than your CAC. If not, then you might want to figure out why.

7. Advice to ecommerce firms: Product content is not unique – So, to improve your ranking in Google etc create content that adds value to your customers, that is unique, gets linked to and gets shared.

Overall, I found the day really useful, met some interesting people, caught up with others, learnt some new stuff, added to my to-do list and conducted another couple of interviews with @dmscott and @mvolpe (watch this space for when they go live).

What I found particularly useful was the material on buyer personas aligning content to buying cycles. This will help me in some of my marketing and strategy consulting work with a couple of clients in the retail and technology sectors.

If any of this sounds too new and hard to you then do ask me about the small and fast growing business marketing consulting that I do.

In the meantime, watch this space for those interviews for more on this exciting area.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.

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