MARK BURKE DISCUSSES INBOUND MARKETING FROM BROWSERWEB’S PERSPECTIVE
There’s a trending set of new digital keywords which businesses have to learn when creating a marketing plan for their online strategy. So that begs the question, what is inbound marketing?
A decade ago, digital marketers would have called Inbound Marketing: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) + SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
The goal; Driving relevant and quality leads to your website via “organic growth” or “paid advertising” to gain new conversions (clients).
To achieve growth and new business leads you would engage in:-
- SEO + Local Search Markeing
- Link Building, Directory Listings + Social Media
- Website & Mobile Web Design and Development
- Quality Landing Pages and Calls-to-Action
- PPC Advertising
- Blogging + Content Curation
- Subscription Growth + Newsletter blasts via Email
- Advanced Setup of Google Analytics to monitor and analyze performance metrics
Inbound marketing includes all the above. It’s the new Millennium term that helped online marketing enthusiasts engage and inform consumers what SEO really means by removing the jargon and acronyms that confused. It is a more approachable and user-friendly term.
If you asked a youthful and inexperienced new business owner what SEO or SEM means, probably 88 percent plus would look at you with a blank stare.
Inbound marketing is far more descriptive and less like a mathematical algorithm. “Inbound Marketing” is now the new term, and recycles and renames the age old term for search engine marketing.
SEM, SEO and Content Marketing just sounded blah and confusing. That said, it’s also about the fact that SEO and indeed Google’s reign on search engine algorithms relevancy is being put to the test with the evolution of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.
But that’s for another newsletter, let’s stay focused on Inbound Marketing.
THE MARKETING BUDGET + STRATEGY
If you’re a startup or an existing business, I cannot express how important it is that you invest in a business and marketing plan (as a PWC auditor in my early career).
These reports will structure your digital budget for the year as well as forecasts for the future. Based on market studies, you should have a budget of between 12-20% of your projected income for marketing.
Now you have the budget, the next phase is to share the respective budgets you have allocated to marketing with any digital agencies or consultants that you wish to retain.
Ultimately, we are here to help you achieve your online marketing and financial goals. Trust in your advisors is a mandatory requirement.
Sometimes clients hold back on this information, as they have previously approached aggressive sales teams for quotes and are concerned it’s too much information to share. I do agree, that would scare anyone from sharing financials – but not so if you hire a reputable agency/consultant.
You trust your accountant and your legal advisors, so the same level of trust should go hand-in-hand with your marketing agency or consultant. Accurate budgets help achieve focused and measured results, keeping everyone informed in such an important area as marketing is critical.
With shared financials, we all know what’s to be done, the budget in place to achieve our goals and what we anticipate as the return on investment.
START WITH YOUR BRAND + WEBSITE
If you are a startup, then brand, website design and development is the first requirement. I’d strongly suggest ensuring you invoke the “mobile first mentality” along with page speed optimization, secure browsing via https and finally cross-browser compatibility tests and checks for web and mobile renderings.
The website development should also include on-page SEO, even if the time and budget initially does not allow for the recommendations presented in the inbound marketing plan.
This setup should include; SEO – focused on schema markup, on-page optimization, internal-linking, keyword analysis and content optimization. Image alt tags, menu and category structure for maximum keyword optimization and search engine friendly urls.
Once this is complete, head over to google, bing and other search engines and register your new website and xml sitemaps, making sure before you finally hit the launch button that you’ve installed pixel tracking codes, google analytics or enterprise tracking codes as required.
SHOULD I START WITH “ORGANIC” OR “PAID” MARKETING?
This is a popular question. Once you’ve launched the website, it depends on how much “time” you need to obtain new clients and revenues as to how we structure your marketing plan.
If you have a client base and revenues, then organic search engine optimization and ppc marketing can commence, once the strategy is agreed and ready to go.
However, for those who wish “immediate” results – as they have no clients – then paid marketing should be your first investment.
The good news is paid marketing, which includes pay-per-click advertising via Google, Bing, Social Media platforms and other ad tech platforms that are relevant to your online vertical and market, actually helps your marketing efforts when the time comes to start your “inbound marketing” strategy and plan.
Think keyword planning, calls to action (CTA’s) and landing pages. All this planning and investment will ultimately lead back to your online website(s) and is focused marketing for your vertical and business.
As explained in my last newsletter, we always treat digital marketing as one goal, it may have modules or categories that require to be separated for planning and implementation, however, the overall goals are the same, deliver quality new leads and convert those to customers via e-commerce or direct sales.
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
Browserweb’s experience in digital marketing is pivotal. We provide you with an enterprise-level inbound marketing strategy.
We will collaborate with you to develop user personas that will ensure you’re targeting the correct demographic and reaching the decision-makers that will subscribe and purchase your product(s) and/or services.
CRM, REPORTING + ANALYTICS
As most of you have worked directly with me on your project(s), you’ll have a good indication of my working style. However, if you are new or don’t know me, let me summarize my working style.
I really enjoy helping my clients and always go the extra mile to make sure they are being provided with sound advice, which also educates, informs and enhances our business relationship through improved technical and digital knowledge.
If there are any questions or concerns, I make sure these are always replied to expediently and with a detailed answer.
That said, I am also very direct. Personally, I don’t like to write up reports for clients that are “full of filler” and lack data and substance.
I value my time and your dollar as a consultant. When I say “filler”, I refer to providing clients with 100 page marketing reports that spin out generic content and about 1% of the report actually provides me or you with valuable data.
I can truly say some of my best clients have admitted that they fell into the arms of trending venture backed, fortune 500, startup tech companies with boiler-room style, captivating sales pitches.
They were wooed with the impressive digital marketing brochures and animated powerpoint presentations, buzz industry keywords, dedicated support and project management along with promises of gold at the end of the digital rainbow.
Instead, they left frustrated, with empty pockets, disappointingly poor results, no website (as the IP was owned by the tech company) and a contract that kept them from moving for a year to another agency.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE REPORTING
With Browserweb, you’ve retained a boutique agency with an owner dedicated to transparency, has a passion for data, solutions that automate your business along with intelligent reporting and dashboards.
We’ll provide you with easy to understand business intelligence (BI) and marketing reports that visually and quickly display the marketing results achieved with our combined collaboration and agreed digital strategy.
You can easily monitor key performance indicators (KPI’s) and return on investment (ROI). We make sure you have all the data and business intelligence reporting you need to review and make key decisions to improve future performance and results.
As an example of how far reporting and analytics has come, we only need to look at Josh James (currently of Domo and formerly Omniture).
Adobe bought Omniture, which you could call the next generation of enterprise web analytics at that time, and merged it into it’s enterprise marketing and analytics offerings.
The co-founder of Omniture then created a new startup in 2010, which is now a leader in the Business Intelligence SaaS world, namely Domo.
CRM + BI COMBINED
I spoke earlier about new “industry keywords”. Let’s review the definition of Customer Relations Management (CRM) software.
CRM helps your business communicate with your customers but let’s be honest, it’s more of an internal system, rather than an external system which augments your business sales, marketing, support and accounting profiles and departments into one easy-to-use SaaS platform.
As such, over time I believe CRM and BI will unify and combine into one offering as these types of providers are bought out and merge, as with Omniture’s sale to Adobe.
This will in turn result in a new “industry keyword” and rebrand. CRM and BI products are different but similar. However, I believe they will and should merge into suggested industry terms and product offerings:-
eg. Business Intelligence Marketing Management (BIMM) or BIMS – Business Intelligence Marketing Software.
This will be the remaining digital assets that require rebranding due to technological advances and will make “Inbound Marketing” whole and complete, in the world of digital marketing as we know it, circa 2016.
Browserweb.com, a Digital Media Company