What was the top challenge reported in Hubspot's State of Inbound 2015? How to prove marketing ROI. How much of a challenge is this? Overall, 57% of respondents (just shy of 4000 companies participated) identified this as their top challenge. Wow! Does that remind you of the old ad industry joke, "I know only 50% of my marketing is working, I just don't know which 50%!"...sad but true. Is there a better way? Thankfully yes.
Marketing ROI Formula
Different marketing campaigns may have different goals for example more visitors to your website or generating more leads but regardless of a campaigns goal, in the end what is most important is how sales are positively affected...hopefully! The simplest formula to determine the percentage of marketing ROI is:
($Sales growth-$Marketing cost)/$Marketing costX100%= Marketing ROI%
$Marketing Cost= $2000
Wouldn't we all like results like that! For our purpose here let's assume a month long marketing campaign. This is a very simple example and ignores important historic trends, for example is there a monthly growth number that needs to be taken into consideration? If your company already experiences month over month growth in a historically significant way, you would need to subract that from the sales growth figure. For example, if your company already has new sales of $2000/month then the formula becomes:
($10000-$2000-$2000)/$2000X100%= 300% (Wow! Again, another number I'm sure we'd all like to deliver!)
It's important to note here that these are simple numbers for example purposes only, if you find a marketer that delivers these sorts of results with every campaign...please have them get in touch with us!
Ok, so far so good right? What's the problem?
Proving Your Company Marketing ROI Requires Data Tracking
Data, Data, Data!
In order to keep this post short we're not going to explore:
- the relationship between the sales and marketing groups;
- the hand off of leads from marketing to sales;
- whether these groups in your company are well aligned;
- whether your company has well defined buyer personas;
- whether the leads generated from a campaign are sales qualified;
- whether your marketing group has a lead nurturing campaign;
...and the list goes on an on. Instead we're going to focus on the key indicators that you need to measure and give a couple of ideas on how and where to get this information.
Whether your campaign is outbound through the old conventional print, radio or TV media (etc.) or completely inbound online you can accurately measure the results you achieve.
Each part of your campaign messaging must drive new activity to a specific landing page (a page specifically for the campaign that is designed to convert the visitor to a lead) on your company website. When we say "each part of your campaign" we mean radio would drive traffic to a 'radio' landing page (a separate page for each radio station), print ads in different papers, magazines etc. would direct action to separate landing pages for each print placement, and the same for any other media channels used.
(Note: If your campaign directs phone contact you must set up separate phone numbers, done inexpensively with services like Ring Central for example, so that you can track incoming calls and their source.)
Using the phone data in combination with your web analytics (by looking at the traffic to each of the landing pages you've created), you can evaluate the campaign results which provides you with the first layer of important data, that being leads generated. (This data also gives you a clear indication of which parts of the campaign are most effective at generating leads!)
As a marketer, creating interest in your company's product or service offering is your objective, whether that interest converts into sales is the sales groups responsibility and this is where sales and marketing alignment is critically important. In this post we want to give you some insight as to how you prove your company's marketing ROI. What we've covered here are a formula to calculate the ROI and a method to gather information so that you can evaluate each campaign's effectiveness in generating lead results. The assumptions made here are that your marketing group has clear buyer personas, an effective lead qualification process, a detailed understanding of the buyer personas buying process and a clear (and different) sales process for both inbound and outbound generated leads. If these assumptions are valid for your company, then the formula described here is a method for you to prove your marketing ROI. If not...well, there's more work to be done! Stay tuned, there's always more to come because...
We're at the edge of the future!
Inbound Marekting is THE Way to:
1- increase targeted traffic to your company website
2- generate leads
3- nurture those leads into sales ready prospects
Simply put, at IME we like to say that inbound marketing is the way to use the internet for business growth!
The fifth post in this blog was called "What Is Inbound Marketing?" and it introduced the idea of using content, social media, seo (search engine optimization), conversion landing pages, marketing automation (lead nurturing) and web analytics in an integrated fashion to achieve increased website traffic and generate leads that can be nurutred into qualified prospects...hmmm sounds like we're repeating ourselves. Well guess what? That IS what inbound marketing is all about! In the end analysis the essential elements of inbound marketing haven't changed and neither have the outcomes. It's all about leveraging the internet for your company's business growth. What has changed?
Our Understanding of Inbound Marketing and How It Can Help Your Company
After writing many many posts on inbound marketing and how it can help your business grow revenues in a very cost efficient way, one of the biggest changes is our (both IME's and the collective 'our') knowledge of how using the inbound marketing elements in a comprehensive way will achieve the results you're looking for, namely a more cost effective increase in business revenue. There was a time when the inbound marketing activities centered around more of whatever is better, but the evolution of this modern marketing strategy has refined this to a far more strategic series of integrated actions that drill into your company's buyer persona. How?
Inbound Marketing Software...Simpler, More Comprehensive, More Powerful!
The heading says it all the software available for inbound marketing is simpler to use, providing a more complete toolset and picture of your company's marketing actions and delivering better results than ever before. Of course we are talking about Hubspot's software platform, there is no doubt that they lead the market significantly in providing a comprehensive software platform to their customers. At Inbound 2013 (Hubspot's annual inbound marketing conference) the latest version of their platform was released which offers users greater insight on social media through 'social inbox' but also the new COS (content optimization system), a powerful way to build websites easily with a fully responsive design built in! This means that all of your effort in building your website is now fully available regardless of whether it is viewed on a smart phone, tablet, laptop or big screen...your company has all the bases covered!
What Is the Result of Inbound Marketing For Your Company?
Wouldn't it be great if you had an employee that worked 24/7/365, never called in sick or asked for a raise and in fact was actually costing your company less over time? That's what an effective inbound marketing program does for you. By creating content that is valued by your audience, providing them with opportunities to engage with your information, promoting your corporate message with social media and automatically nurturing the leads you generate into qualified sales ready prospects in a continuous cycle of improvement, your company has a new automated marketing employee. Unlike any other form of marketing where you pay and when the money runs out so to do the results, with inbound marketing what you build today is a legacy project that continues to deliver results long into the future. The very first offer IME created is an on page SEO guide and it still generates leads for us today. What marketing action has your company done that has that sort of long term payback? Welcome to the new paradigm in marketing...inbound marketing!
How Much Does Inbound Marketing Cost?
Of course this question will vary from company to company but the reality is the same for every company we've spoken with. There are many options for your marketing dollar. You can continue cold calling to phones that have called ID and voicemail making it more difficult to reach your audience and more costly to say nothing of how this deflates your sales team. You can buy print, radio and TV advertising that with technologies that are replacing them like the internet, commercial free satellite radio, PVDR's and services like Netflix all of which are reducing the impact of mass media in reaching your target audience and costing you more money with less return. Maybe your company does trade shows...notice how the participation level is down? We regularly hear from companies that they are now packing their bowling equipment to use in the aisles at these shows. Most importantly, once your marketing activity is over and the money is spent, the results come to an end...Why not take some of that money and use it to build an automated long term marketing machine? Why would you continue to throw good money away when there's an alternative...really...WHY?
We're at the edge of the future!
Do you like what you've read? Agree? Disagree? Let us know with your comments!
What are your company's website goals? Let's begin a conversation! We guarantee that we won't waste your time!
How Your Company Can Use Inbound Marketing For Business Growth
Think about this...how have your media consumption patterns changed in the last few years? Are you still listening to radio like you used to or do you plug in your IPOD or MP3 player in the car, at home or wherever you are? Maybe you've subscribed to commercial free satellite radio? What about TV? Still watching it in the way that you did a few years ago or do you use a PVR? How about Netflix? And print, while newspapers and magazines are still being sold the fact is that circulation is down and online news is up...way up! If you're like most of us, our media consumption has changed dramatically over the last several years (what an understatement!) and we are now consuming what we want, when we want and where we want and the impact on your company's marketing results confirms this, you have to spend more money to achieve the same outcomes through conventional mass media. What is your company doing to reverse this trend? Enter inbound marketing. (some might call this content marketing)
As Mass Media Marketing's Results Decrease Smart Marketing Organizations Change Their Media Buying From...
Here's the thing...the internet has changed everything (well pretty much) related to how your target audience is finding information. Again, think about it...how are you using the internet at home, at work, on your mobile device? It has quickly become THE WAY that both business and consumer audiences seek out the information THEY want WHEN they want it. It follows that the smart money is being invested to take advantage of the inbound marketing trend.
How Does It Work?
At Inbound 2013, Hubspot's annual inbound marketing conference, the following slide came up on the screen as part of the keynote address from Darmesh Shah and Brian Halligan, co-founders of Hubspot, as they presented the new developments of Hubspot's industry leading inbound marketing software platform.
This graphic shows the simple inbound marketing process that is proven to work for businesses that want to leverage the web for business growth. Notice, we said simple which is distinctly different from easy. There is no doubt that there is a lot of work involved and as you learn more you will have challenges along the way. That said, one of the most powerful elements of inbound marketing is that your company will now be able to adjust on the fly with the powerful analytics data that is constantly captured and on review and evaluation, allows your company to tweak successful actions to make them even more powerful, or alter course entirely for initiatives that aren't quite delivering the expected results. Hubspot's comprehensive software platform helps over 10,000 customers now, ranging from small consulting practices to enterprise sized companys, to attract visitors, convert them to leads and nurture them to qualified prospects ready to hand off to the sales process. On average, companies using Hubspot experience a 62% reduction in lead generation costs, shortened sales cycles with proper sales and marketing alignment and the best part perhaps? They create an information and marketing legacy online that serves them 24/7/365 that continues to grow in value over time.
Now the question...What is your company doing to take advantage of the web for business growth? If you haven't started there is no time like the present, the tools available to drive growth through improved marketing outcomes are better than ever, what are you waiting for?
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Our promise...if you click the above link, we promise not to waste your time with endless calls and emails, but if you want some perspective on how inbound marketing can help your company, let's talk!
...Not what the 20th century marketing was!
I've just spent a moment (a 45 minute moment) listening to Seth Godin delivering his keynote address to the audience at Inbound 2013, Hubspot's annual inbound marketing conference, to an excited audience of roughly 5000 inbound marketers...wow! There's a reason this man has emerged as one of the world's leaders in the area of how to use the internet to communicate with an audience, he's really good at it! With a clear line of thinking, in his address he manages to lay out why the concept of inbound marketing is so very important today, whether it's business or personal communication that you're trying to achieve. In this short post I'm not going to try to recap what he said in any sort of comprehensive manner, instead I'll try to condense for you some of the key points. I didn't take any notes as I prefer to listen and fully engage in presentations like these, so this is just a bit of a ramble on what was a remarkable moment...something you might want to consider for your business if you want to take advantage of what the internet can offer your business as a growth vehicle. There is no doubt, it is the vehicle of the forseeable future in my opinion and Seth gives clear reasons as to why.
The decline of conventional mass media as a viable advertising channel. Don't misunderstand me, of course there is still a place for conventional outbound approaches, they aren't dead, just in decline. Evidence is everywhere as we see various mass media struggling to stay afloat in a world that increasingly lends itself to custom media, or as Seth suggests, a tribal media culture. What this means in the business world is that the mass audience that as a business you once wanted to reach, is not there in the same way it was even 5 let alone 10 years ago. What has this done to the effectiveness of your conventional marketing spend? In most cases companies tell us that it's not delivering the results it once did. What are you going to do about it?
The rise of tribal or channel media is nothing less than remarkable. Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Youtube etc. are successful for a simple reason...they allow us to communicate and engage with the information we want when we want it. This means that we don't have to listen to the interuptive forms of shotgun marketing that have been used for the last 100 (roughly years) Conventional or mass media like TV, radio and print were specificall created to reach a mass audience and market to them. The internet alternatively was not, it was created as a way to communicate and has quickly (in record time) evolved into the most information rich media platform of all time and allows any and all of us, for the first time in the history of mankind to reach the world with our ideas. Think about that...
What does this mean for your business? First of all it doesn't mean that you should stop all of your current marketing activities but rather look closely at what your company is doing now, what's working, what the return on that investment is and look very seriously at what options you have for inbound marketing. Of course, for any of you that have read this blog regularly, you know that I will suggest looking at Hubspot, afterall Hubspot is the leaders in software that will allow your company to take full advantage of the internet for business growth. But more importantly, if you were going to pursue an inbound marketing approach for business growth, what would that look like? How would you move forward and how would you know whether it was working or not? Well, there are ways and I'd be happy to talk with you when you have the interest. But whether you talk with us at IME or some other inbound marketing company all I can say is I hope you will. Whether you like it or not, it is the way of the future and each investment that you make for your company today will pay dividends long into the future. Will you make mistakes? Absolutely! Most successes come from a series of failed attempts until finally the magic takes hold. The alternative is the status quo, and any of you reading this who are directly involved in your media buys know...returns from mass media are down.
This short post by no means covers or does justice to Seth Godin's address, but the reality is this. We are living in a time of communications revolution and your company can take advantage of this...or not. Simply put, it is a matter of choice that has significant implications for the future. What's your choice?
We're at the edge of the future!
Are you wondering if your company is missing out on emerging on-line opportunities to improve your business profile and increase sales?
Inbound Marketing Experts Inc. (IME) has identified a need for clearer information about how business can leverage opportunities provided by the web. Web-based “inbound” marketing strategies have, on average, a return of 100% to 300% on investment and have been shown to dramatically improve overall sales efficiency. IME has prepared a survey which will help us to understand the kind of information businesses like yours are looking for as marketing efforts shift from conventional forms (print, television, radio) to web-based delivery.
The survey should take no more than ten minutes of your time. To thank you for your contributions, all participants in the survey will receive, free of charge:
1- A copy of the survey results so that your company can reflect on its position with respect to peer companies;
2- A marketing report for your company’s website which will identify some of its strengths and challenges, and will provide you with insight into how you can improve business growth using your site;
3- A complimentary copy of “IME’s Essential Guide to Internet Inbound Marketing.
Important: Please note that in order to access our thank you offer, please send us an email including your name and the company website for your report.
To access the survey click here.
A sincere thank you in advance for your participation.
...Judge For Yourself!
Everyday I speak with companies who tell me woes of their sales teams and how 'dial and smile' is getting more and more challenging. This blog has written about this before, the fact of the matter is, cold calling is harder than ever before for many reasons, the challenge is how is your company supposed to successfullly replace the telephone sales team approach? Enter inbound marketing.
Today at 2PM EST , the Software Advice site is hosting a new Google+ Debate titled, "Does Cold Calling Still Work?" where the debate will centre around whether inbound or conventional outbound marketing approaches are better and I'm interested to hear what is said. This sort of conversation is happening all over the business world currently. Make no mistake, at IME we support the use of outbound approaches...if they're working! However the fact is that more and more of us are using the web for all of our information needs and so you have to be using inbound approaches as well...at least that's our opinion. Participate in this debate and make your own evaluation!
A great set of panelists will be leading this conversation including:
In a question and answer format each panelist will get to respond to three questions from moderator Derek Singleton, and there will be standard debate rebuttal as well. Additionally, you as a viewing participant can ask your own questions, what an opportunity! To watch the debate--and participate--just visit Singleton’s Google+ page this Wednesday, January 30th at 1pm Central Standard Time. You can add the event to your Google Calendar here. For more information about signing on, visit the B2B Marketing Mentor blog.
- Mike Volpe, CMO at HubSpot
- Ken Krogue, President at InsideSales.com
- Anneke Seley, CEO at Reality Works Group.
Not True...A Content Strategy Is Critical!
Check Out Our 7 Tips
As part of our ongoing series on a company website redesign proposal, this post is intended to provide your company with a process to help you create an effective website content strategy.
So you've heard from the experts and read the advertising that talks about the need today for companies to 'stay current' and still your company hasn't updated the company website or corporate content strategy? Maybe now is the time you're thinking of a website redesign project, that's what our current series is all about.
As you've probably heard by now the new name of the game is inbound marketing and a well planned content strategy is a fundamental building block of an integrated inbound marketing program. Long gone are the days of your company depending on fruitless cold calls or expense-incurring print ads to gain customers and leads from your market. Our goal at IME is to provide companies with a new and exciting way to entice potential customers. Inbound marketing is the 21st century way that doesn't annoy an already 'overly advertised to' population, instead you create as Hubspot says, "marketing people will love!". With the majority of the global community spending an increasing amount of time online, why not utilize the internet to generate reliable leads and optimize your business' revenue? The bottom line in our opinion is that a website redesign shouldn't be about the 'look and feel', it should be about your company's business revenue growth!
You have a product and you have a market for that product, the hard part is over, right? One of the ways we start the process of reimagining your web presence is by updating your website content strategy so that the content you create is responsive to what your target audience is looking for. Website content doesn't come out of thin air though, and unlike the previous outbound marketing approaches, your company's content strategy needs to be centered around what kind of content your audience would be interested in, what questions or problems they have that your company can help them with, and how you want provide that content for them. Web content takes many forms, text, video, graphics, audio etc. and all or only a few of these may be what your company will use. So...how can your company develop a strong website content strategy?
7 Tips For Corporate Web Content Strategy Development
- Clear purpose- If your company states clearly what it is trying to accomplish through the content strategy it will be much easier to both implement and track results achieved.
- Well defined audience- Make certain that your company has gone through a buyer persona exercise so that you can target your content to that audience.
- Establish the 'type' of content- This may be one of or a mix of things like industry news, tips and tricks, educational, infotainment etc.
- Determine the 'form' of content- Again, your company may choose one of or a mix of various content such as text, video, audio, graphics, etc. Maybe you start with one and progress into others over time as appropriate.
- Decide where your content will 'be'- Are you going to build content for your site exclusively or other site blogs, forums etc. It's important to understand where your target audience is online and to be found where they are.
- Assign, task out or outsource the content creation- As we said earlier, content doesn't come out of thin air...get it done!
- Measure results- Make certain you have a web analytics program that allows you to evaluate the impact of your efforts.
Important Note: Your company has many different options and thinking through your web content strategy will help keep you on track...take the time to do this work! As part of a website design or redesign project the time you invest in this process now will save your company countless hours in future.
Modernizing your website content strategy will bring your business into the digital age. This aspect of inbound marketing will transform your company's presence in the world in a way push marketing just can't compete with. If you've ever opened your email only to be greeted with an overflowing spam box, you know just how your customers feel about push marketing invading their web space. With inbound marketing the customer comes to you so, no more thrown away mail circulars or expensive advertising costs to incur. With more and more people joining the "do not call list", why not find a way of communicating with your customers that is interactive as well as informative? There's no need to buy your way into their hearts with ploys or gimmicks if your website content strategy involves delivers interesting, informative and or entertaining content that stimulates your potential client's interest, answers their problems, educates or entertains them..."build it and they will come".
One final message on your company's content strategy...it takes time and effort! Whether we're talking about developing the content strategy itself or creating the content, the pictures, graphics, videos, audio files or text, they all take time. Be patient and plan well because they add tremendous value to your business and ultimately play a key role in increasing your company's revenues when used as part of a comprehensive inbound marketing program.
Stay tuned in an upcoming post we'll be offering more information on a website redesign project for business growth that we hope will help your company save time and money by avoiding the mistakes we've seen so many times before.
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Whether it's just to answer a question or you're company would like some further guidance we're here to help...
How Have Internet Searches Evolved? How is this related to your company's website traffic growth?
In this post we continue to outline potential considerations your company should undertake as part of a website redesign proposal specifically search and content.
Do you remember your first time using a search engine? Maybe it was Google, to be honest I don't know if I remember which engine I used for my first internet search and I also don't remember what it was that I searched for...it was many years ago! Today we take search engines for granted don't we? We simply open our favourite search engine (many people have this as their 'home' screen) and type in whatever it is that we want information about. Really simple isn't it? But think about how you search the web now compared to when you first began your internet surfing, has your search pattern changed? I know mine has and in conversation with many others, they recognize that their pattern has changed as well. It seems that as we learn more about the capabilities of search engines to deliver refined responses to our search queries, we searchers are refining our searches. Let's look at this in greater detail and see if there are some implications to our corporate website design actions.
What is the goal of a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo etcetera?
Simply put, a search engine wants to deliver the best results it can to a search query. To accomplish this a search engine continually scours the internet with what are called spiderbots to find and index information on the internet, creating a huge library (mind blowingly huge!) to offer as results for any given search. Using complex algorithms, this data is sorted based on relevancy and authority so that when you type your query into the search bar, up pop the results that the search engine thinks most closely respond to what you're looking for. Makes sense doesn't it? Here's something I think is interesting. Did you know that every single day, in the billions of search queries that are carried out it's estimated that 15-20% are completely new, never been used before searches. The cumulative effect of this is that the greatest volume of traffic is generated by unique 'keywords' and not the prime keywords your company thinks are going to generate the traffic. (analysts suggest that well over 90% of all interenet searches are completely unique) Usually what we find is that these unique or longtail keywords account for about 80% of the traffic to a website...does that surprise you?
Let's look at how searching the web has changed and continues to change...
If you think back, perhaps not very long ago, you were probably searching in a very awkward fashion. Let's say you were searching for new office cubicle furniture for the company, you may have entered something like "office furniture" and you would get a number of results but many of them would likely be irrelevant, either by geography or some other qualifiying parameter of your company's buying policy. So you don't find what you want and you enter another search more refined something like "quality office furniture Ottawa" and get better results. With better results you're now feeling a sense of security about the quality of the information results you'll find when you perform more complex searches and this is the trend, that's why there are ever increasing numbers of unique searches. For those who use the web regularly, and this is a growing majority of businesses and consumers alike, our search sophistication has grown dramatically and the search that started out as "office furniture" might now be "Where can I find quality office cubicle furniture in Ottawa" (these are what we call longtail keywords). This is how the internet is evolving...now, what should your company do about it?
How your company's content strategy needs to reflect search engine use...
The simple answer to this is create abundant relevant content and your company will be found in many ways that you hadn't thought of. Here's an example for IME. In reviewing our analytics data for the last month, we had a visitor from an organic search that generated a lead and the term they used to find us was "elements of an inbound marketing strategy" which it turns out we're the number 1 ranked organic result in Google. (Yippee!) But prior to that event, we didn't know that we were the number 1 result for that term. (This is where it becomes important to have great analytics for your website, more on that in an upcoming post.) What we do here is continue to provide our visitors with information that we think will be helpful to them as they consider how best their company can use inbound marketing to grow their business and in doing that we get found for all sorts of searches that we never imagined, your company can achieve these results as well by continually creating content relevant to your audience.
Where does this information fit into a website redesign project?
What I've tried to explain to you in this post is why your company needs to think of a content strategy that will address the information requirements of your target audience. I've specifically stayed away from SEO (although this is a key inbound marketing element that will be addressed in an upcoming post) because the approach we take at IME is not a short term bump in results but a long term growth pattern and this requires a content strategy. When this appraoch is taken in combination with SEO, social media, and web analytics review and evaluation, we see a long term trend to growing the visitor traffic to your company website, that combined with conversion landing pages for lead generation, and marketing automation for lead nurturing and qualification generates business growth for your company.
At IME, we believe that the money you spend on your website should be an investment, not an expense. That means that the money you spend on your company's website needs to achieve an ROI, specifically business growth. As we've said previously, when your company is investigating a website redesign project, make certain it's for the right reason...business growth! Anything else is just an expense, please...don't waste your time and money.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post where we'll be looking at how to create a content strategy for your company.
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IF you contact us here's our promise...we will not sell you anything, we'd just like to help... Of course this could change over time, but you decide!
Many Companies Investigate A Website Redesign For The Wrong Reasons!
It's true. Far too often the underlying reasons for a company's website redesign project initiative is undertaken for all the wrong reasons here are the two most common I hear:
- The company leader (CEO/President) doesn't really like the look of the current website and wants it updated.
- It's time. The current site has been up for a while (this ranges from 2-4 years generally) and it's just time for a new site...it's what we do.
Why aren't these good reasons? In today's online world undertaking a company website redesign proposal shouldn't be based on 'look and feel' criteria because this has little or no payback for your company, there's no ROI. This kind of project can require many hours of input by people in your company who could be spending that time on core business activities that are building your company's wealth and profitability...and that's what a website redesign should do too! A website redesign should result in a website that is an asset to the company, a strong part of the company marketing program (with measurable ROI) and NOT just another 'expense item' in the budget.
What Are The Right Reasons For A Website Redesign?
The main reason your company should consider a website redesign is for business growth and with today's tools this is easily accomplished. What are the key factors in business growth as they relate to the internet? There are two:
- Gain website traffic
- Generate internet leads
While it's more complex than this let me be clear, these two reasons are THE reasons that will help your company transform the website from a brochure into a business generation tool. The reason to redesign is to positively impact your business, not because you're tired of the current design. This means your company needs to focus on the results you want, more visitors, more leads and ultimately more customers so every decision your company makes should be focused on improving those results. This means you'll be spending less time on the 'shape of this line', and the exact 'shade of blue' and more time on what will improve your company's marketing results. Be aware that most web design companies don't 'get this' and focus on the look and feel overlooking the importance of making a website a business development tool and company asset that works at generating new business 24/7/365.
With Business Growth As The Goal What's Next?
There are many elements of your company's website re-design project that need your attention. The approach that we take is based on an inbound marketing methodology that delivers the results your company wants for growth, more traffic and leads. With that as a background, here are the key elements that we recommend you incorporate into the specifications of your website redesign proposal, and over the coming posts we'll be looking at each of these in greater depth.
Six Key Elements That Are Critical For Business Growth Goals From A Website Redesign
- Content- What are your current assets, how will they be protected and deployed on the new site and what is your strategy for further content creation.
- SEO- (search engine optimization) What is your company currently ranking well for and what do you want to rank well for? What will your SEO program consist of going forward?
- Social Media- What are the goals you have for your company? Are they related to HR, product development, customer service or sales and marketing?
- Internet Lead Generation- What current offers do you have? What offers would be valued by your target audience? What is your current process for deploying offer campaigns and associated content?
- Automated Marketing or Lead Nurturing- Do you currently use automated marketing? If not, what are the plans?
- Web Analytics and Data- What is your corporate practice on reviewing web analytics data? How is the information used? Is lead data automatically captured and integrated into all other modules?
As I said earlier, a corporate website redesign project can be more complex than what has been outlined here, I've just scratched the surface, but these are what we at IME view as being the critical elements of a redesign (or initial design for that matter) project. In our next post we'll begin looking more deeply into one of these elements and by the end of the series your company will have a lot of information on how you might best proceed with a website redesign project for business growth, stay tuned.
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If Your Company Is Doing The Same Marketing Activities You've Always Done, Why Are You Expecting Different Results?
In conversation with many businesses I keep hearing the same thing in various forms basically it's getting more difficult and expensive to achieve the planned business growth through conventional marketing approaches. If your company continues to spend your marketing dollars in what we call outbound marketing such as the yellow pages or other print, radio, TV, trade shows etc. you're very likely in the same situation and wondering how your company should move forward to achieve the planned growth. What's the alternative? Consider an inbound marketing approach. Let's look at some facts.
Outbound Marketing Is Being Disrupted By Technology
- Print Media- When did you last use the yellow pages? Newspaper and magazine circulation numbers continue to fall. Direct mail is being thrown into the recycle bin.
- Radio- Do you have an Ipod? (or some sort of music player) Maybe you use your smart phone. Subscription to commercial free satellite radio service for automobiles is projected to double in the next few years and internet based radio service is exploding...again commercial free.
- TV- Have you heard of DVR's? (digital video recorders) Chances are you have one allowing you to skip the commercials, or maybe you're a subscriber to Netflix, either way, commercials are not being seen by the eyeballs you used to reach.
- Cold Calling- Do you have voicemail and caller ID? How often do you let your calls go to voicemail or not bothering to answer an unrecognized call? Do you think you're the only one engaged in this practice?
- Trade Shows- Can you bowl the aisles now of trade shows that used to be full of visitors? The fact is that fewer and fewer people are attending shows. Where they used to be a source of the latest and greatest new info, that's no longer the case.
Now Some Facts On Internet Use
- More than 100 billion- The number of Google searches each month, more than a 16 fold increase since 2006.
- 85%- Consumers who are looking for a local business when they search online. Yet 25 percent of businesses have no web presence and cannot be found. A further 70+% have websites that are poorly optimized for search and have little or no value to their target audience.
- 71%- Adults who spend their time online purchasing products for themselves or for their business
- 93%- Internet users who conduct an Internet search through a search engine to find information about the products they are considering purchasing.
- 98%- B2B buyers who search on the internet for business solutions.
With this information as a backdrop, over the next few posts an inbound marketing plan that will help your company not only survive but thrive in this new marketing environment that's characterized by the ever increasing use of the internet by your target audience will be laid out for you. Inbound marketing is a modern marketing strategy that will result in more traffic coming to your company website and more internet leads generated and nurtured into qualified prospects ready for your corporate sales team in a highly automated process that works for you 24/7/365...and what company doesn't want that? None that we've talked with.
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