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Conor Douglas, Hubspot’s International Channel Manger joined the WSI Digital Summit in November 2014 Cto talk about Growing your business with inbound marketing. This post is based on his presentation.

So let’s start with what is inbound marketing? Conor explained.

Historically, marketers used to ‘shout’ about their products and services to get noticed, but the emergence of digital and social means that this has changed. The old marketing playbook is broken.

Consumers behaviour has changed and TV adverts, telephone calls and direct mail is increasingly being replaced with social media and content marketing.

You don’t find customers any more, they find you! What you blog about and what you say and do on social media attracts customers to you. Give your audience content that makes them want to come back to you – inbound marketing.

So, you need to understand your audience to be able to produce content that’s going to appeal to them. You need to bring people to you, engage with those visitors and convert them in to leads and ultimately customers. All the time, analysing the data as you go along. If you don’t analyse the data it will be difficult to see what’s effective and what’s not or to give your inbound campaigns real benefit in terms of targeted marketing.
Inbound marketing helps you get to the right people at the right time, but how do we understand our audience to the point that it will direct our content?

You need to build your buyer personas. These are fictional characters based on real data and some educated speculation about behaviour. Work out who your customers and potential customers are. Why do they buy from you? What are their problems? What’s their working day like? Make them human and speak to the human being.

Understanding your potential customers means you can write content directed at them and their issues. Blogging is a great way to get that content out to your customers. Give people regular relevant updates on the topics they want to hear about. Create things that your readers value like ebooks, podcasts, slides etc. Statistics show that people who click through to your site from organic methods (blog, social media etc.) are far more engaged.

Using a platform like Hubspot allows you to monitor that engagement and then personally address your messages to your website visitors. Personalising content on your website can result in a 42% increase in conversion performance.

But none of the above is any good unless you measure your data. Yes, you can A/B test and compare one campaign’s content with another, but that’s not the only measurement that counts when trying to prove return on investment (ROI).

Measure how many visits and connections your marketing channels create and where they came from. Then measure the conversions from those connections. This will allow you to tie down the ROI with those inbound leads who ultimately become customers.

Engage with your customers and address your messages to them personally – this is modern marketing.

Inbound marketing can help with the growth of your business in 3 ways

  1. Get to the right people at the right time
  2. Have your content speak to your personas and the human beings behind those personas
  3. Measurement allows you to test, tweak, repeat

But remember, you must always think of the humans. When writing your content, measuring results and running campaigns, always think of the humans behind the numbers.

A few quotes from the presentation:

  • You don’t find customers anymore, they find you!
  • Get to the right people at the right time
  • Have your content speak to your personas
  • Always talk to the humans