5 STEPS to INCREASE WEBSITE LEADS. An Introduction to Inbound Marketing. a product of the

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An Introduction to Inbound Marketing

5 STEPS

to INCREASE

WEBSITE LEADS

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Businesses have a simple choice: jump on board, or get left behind.

This ebook may cause you to question your current marketing strategy. Some readers may think this is garbage and stick with their old marketing strategies, while some may experience euphoria, feeling that this is what they’ve been looking for all along. If this euphoria lasts longer than four hours, call Vital immediately. This could be a sign that you’re ready for inbound.

We’ve written this ebook for businesses who want more from their marketing, have maybe heard about inbound marketing or some of its tools, but don’t know where to start. Marketing is changing and the principles we cover in the next few pages are the present and future. We’re not saying making the switch is easy, but the move to inbound marketing has begun.

– VITAL’S INBOUND MARKETING TEAM

Inbound Marketing isn’t a fad -

it’s a proven strategy. And this ebook will help you get started.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Introduction

An Introduction to Inbound Marketing The Five Steps

1 Start a Blog 2 Use Social Media

3 Implement Email Marketing

4 Introduce Premium Downloadable Content 5 Measure and Improve with Analytics Bonus! Incorporate Video

Frequently Asked Questions

C O N T E N T S

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Inbound marketing is a content and analysis-driven strategy that pulls your target audience closer to your brand and converts them into leads.

Inbound marketing recognizes that consumers have evolved and technology has given them control over when, how and what information they receive – including marketing messages.

Of today’s consumers and consumer behavior, a staggering:

. Blog

. Social Media . Email Marketing

. Ebooks/White Papers/Case Studies . Analytics and Reporting

. Print Ads . Television Ads . Cold Calling . Trade Shows . Business Cards

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Inbound Marketing

INTRO

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing Outbound Marketing

86% skip TV ads 91%

unsubscribe from unsolicited email

44% never open direct mail

200 m

are on the Do

Not Call list

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.

Target specific audience

.

Permission based

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INTERACTIVE, two-way communication

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Customers come to you

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Marketers provide value

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Marketers seek to educate

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Spray and pray to everyone

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Interruption/Solicitation

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INTERRUPTIVE, one-way communication

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Customers are sought out

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Marketers provide little value

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Marketers rarely seek to educate

Inbound Marketing Outbound Marketing

Outbound Inbound

54% more leads are generated by inbound than outbound

- Hubspot

34 % 22 %

Businesses now need to meet their audience when, how and where they want to be talked to – and they better not come with traditional outbound marketing ads. Consumers want engaging content that’s tailored to them.

Inbound is not a line item on a budget sheet;

it is an overall shift in the way businesses need to think about and approach marketing.

vtldesign.com / Portsmouth NH / @vital_design

An inbound marketing

strategy is an investment

with an ROI, not a

marketing expense.

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A fundamental change in how to approach

marketing

A warning before we begin.

Each of these steps is important. While some may be new to you, and some you may have experience with, it’s important to remember

that using just one, or even a few, of these steps is NOT an inbound marketing strategy. Each step in an inbound strategy is designed to be

used together. This is how success is achieved. This is how success is maintained.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Inbound Marketing

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STEP ONE Start a Blog

Content created and published by you.

The content that you create for inbound marketing needs a permanent place to live on your website, and a blog is the most effective tool for publishing your content so visitors can access and share it.

Your blog is the foundation that will support your inbound marketing strategy.

It’s where you’ll drive all your visitors to, it will become a resource that people will want to share, and it’s where you’ll strategically place calls-to-action to convert your readers.

Having a blog that’s easy to update is essential for creating a repeatable content strategy. Content management systems (CMS) like Wordpress and Hubspot will allow you to update your blog with ease. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use these tools.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 1

69% of businesses doing inbound marketing attribute their lead

generation success to blogging.

- Hubspot

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How a blog increases leads

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Provides one place that you own where all your content lives.

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Creates a dynamic website with updated content that can be distributed across the site.

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Creates more keyword-rich pages to be indexed by search engines.

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Brings in traffic from search engines with keyword-rich posts.

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Builds thought leadership and trust with your audience.

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Is a platform for calls-to-action and conversions.

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Provides value to your visitors and positions you as a resource.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 1

Tips on getting started

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Install a CMS on your website that makes it easy for you to update your blog regularly.

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Create a content calendar to help plan your blog post topics, publish dates, additional assets, etc.

We suggest planning one to two months in advance.

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Update your blog at least once a week. Having a content calendar will help you plan appropriately and will keep your blog active.

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If you’re stumped on what to write, start by answering your customers’ frequently asked questions.

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Make sure your process is repeatable and that you make a long-term commitment to your blogging strategy.

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Use images in your posts to make them visually interesting.

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Don’t wait for perfect – just start!

Tools that Vital uses and recommends

STEP ONE | START A BLOG

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STEP TWO Use Social Media

Join the conversation.

Your business and your industry are being talked about every day online. You can choose to join those conversations or choose to ignore them, but they are going to continue with or without you.

Social media has become an essential inbound marketing tool for marketing directors. It’s how businesses tell their story, build communities of brand evangelists, respond to feedback, distribute content, share their culture and reach new customers. Social media isn’t A way your customers are learning and talking about your brand, it is THE way they are learning and talking about you.

Are you a B2B business? Social media responsibilities shouldn’t just live in the marketing department; they should be spread across the entire company. Social media is a great way for leads to get to know the culture and people that are behind your buttoned-up slide decks and sell sheets. It’s an opportunity for you to show what it’s like to work with your business.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 2

Approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision.

- Nielsen

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How social media increases leads .

It’s how the world is currently communicating and sharing ideas.

.

No matter who your audience is, there’s a social network for you.

.

It’s a key distribution channel for blog content.

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It’s a place to share your culture.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 2

Tips on getting started

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Set manageable goals. Social media isn’t a miracle drug, it takes time and energy to be successful.

The worst thing you can do is set unreasonable expectations and demotivate your team.

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DO NOT put your business on every social network – at least not at first or all at once. There’s just not enough time in the day. Better to be successful with a few than fail at them all.

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Optimize your accounts with branded graphics and business information. Please, don’t forget to link back to your website.

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Establish a brand appropriate voice and be consistent with it across all social networks.

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Similar to your blog, create a content calendar to ensure that you’re posting on a daily basis.

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Begin building a social culture by including all of your departments in your social media strategy.

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Make sure that your process is repeatable.

Tools that Vital uses and recommends

STEP TWO | USE SOCIAL MEDIA

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Implement Email Marketing

Create smart lead nurture campaigns.

When we talk about email marketing, we’re talking specifically about opt-in, permission based emails – don’t even think about purchasing lists. Every email marketing campaign should be targeted at and tailored to people who have signed up for and want more information from your business. Emails should be used to educate your subscribers about your business through smart lead nurture campaigns.

Email campaigns allow you to analyze a ton of data about each subscriber. Don’t just let that data sit there – use it to customize the emails you’re sending. Take the time to divide your email subscribers into different lists depending on their level of engagement, interests, position on the sales cycle, etc. And then use this information to create targeted campaigns that will nurture your leads.

Better targeted emails = more leads and fewer unsubscribers.

Think about the few emails you actually open, read, and enjoy. Then ask yourself, what makes you like them? And how can you create this same experience for your subscribers?

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 3

66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message.

- Nielsen

STEP THREE

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How email marketing increases leads .

Builds long lasting relationships with users.

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Educates subscribers about your business and services.

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Nurtures leads through the entire sales cycle.

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Connects with an audience that might be more comfortable with email than with social media.

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Makes direct contact, ensuring that fans don’t miss a message if they don’t go online that day.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 3

Tips on getting started

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Find an email service provider (ESP) that fits your needs and budget – keep in mind ease of use, size of email list, number of emails you want to send.

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Make sure to link your ESP to your CRM software to unlock the true power of email marketing.

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Segment your contacts so that you can target each email that you send out.

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Create lead nurture campaigns to automate your marketing and increase the quality of leads that you send to the sales team.

Tools that Vital uses and recommends

STEP THREE | IMPLEMENT EMAIL MARKETING

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Introduce Premium

Downloadable Content

Use content to convert.

The secret to inbound marketing is converting website visitors into actual leads you can pursue, including getting visitors to fill out a form in return for bigger pieces of information. And downloadable content is the most basic way to achieve these conversions. Ebooks, white papers and case studies are all great types of downloadable content because they are easy to create and they provide clear benefits to the reader.

Ebooks

eBooks are a great way to express concepts that may be too in-depth for a single blog post. They also convey commonly shared advice in a convenient and portable format. Once your fans trade their email to download your eBook, they’ll be able to take this useful information with them and refer back to it when they need to.

White Papers

White papers are a great format for sharing industry knowledge, policy, manifestos or research. White papers tend to be more text-heavy than an ebook, and more intended for an industry audience rather than the general consumer.

Case Studies

Case studies are an incredibly powerful way to prove your track record. Show before and after images (people LOVE before and afters), or show various options you created along the way during interesting projects.

Potential clients would love to see your process.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 4

Companies with 30 or more landing pages with conversions generate 7x more leads than those with fewer than 10.

- Nielsen

STEP FOUR

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How premium content increases leads .

It’s the best way to capture leads and place them in a lead nurture campaign.

.

The content can be very specific to the sales cycle and position your business as the authority within your industry.

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It’s an opportunity to showcase your work and process.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 4

Tips on getting started

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If you’re stuck on writing an entire ebook, try taking bits of information from your blog posts to create a full ebook.

.

Great content can also be a list of questions your audience should ask when purchasing your product/service. You, of course, will answer each of those questions in depth in your ebook.

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Use text and visuals to get across your points. Don’t have a design department? Consider using screenshots and Powerpoint graphs.

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Make sure to put your downloadable content behind a form on your website that collects visitor contact information – at minimum you should be collecting names and emails.

Tools that Vital uses and recommends

STEP FOUR | INTRODUCE PREMIUM DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

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Measure & Improve with Analytics

Track, review, improve and repeat.

Understanding how visitors interact with your website is paramount. With Google Analytics, Sprout Social, HubSpot and Moz, you can measure every metric that matters—

traffic volume, traffic sources, bounce rates, exit pages, top pages, time spent on pages and on and on and on. The key is not just looking at your analytic reports, but also knowing how to effectively evaluate and respond to these metrics to meet the expectations and goals of your online marketing campaigns.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 5

CMOs report they spend 8% of their marketing budgets on marketing

analytics, and expect to increase this level in the next three years.

- CMO Survey

STEP FIVE

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How analytics increases leads

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Continuously improves your inbound campaigns by seeing what works with your audience.

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Empowers your sales team with history on lead activity.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Step 5

Tips on getting started .

Set goals that track conversions on your website.

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Install Google Analytics on your website.

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If you have a CRM, make sure it’s properly connected to the forms on your website.

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Create automated reports that can be emailed to your team.

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Always be looking for ways to improve, but remember that inbound is a long-term strategy. Don’t get spooked by fluctuating numbers, focus on the long-term trend.

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Make sure to celebrate your successes!

Tools that Vital uses and recommends

STEP FIVE | MEASURE AND IMPROVE WITH ANALYTICS

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Incorporate Video

Visitors are consuming more video content than ever before.

The move from text and visual content to video content has been FAST and businesses who want to stay ahead of their competitors need to be considering video. An inbound strategy that’s not planning for video is an old strategy.

Video is an easy way for people to consume content. People browsing the Internet have short attention spans, and videos allow visitors to consume more content, faster.

Visitors are much more apt to engage with videos than with static text, so creating more interactive and visual content is essential.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Bonus Step

More than 90% of consumers access video content on the web.

- AYTM Market Research

BONUS STEP

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How video increases leads

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People are more likely to consume your content. Visual and audio > text.

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It creates an engaging website experience.

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It benefits SEO – longer page visits, increase conversions, better click-through rates.

Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | Bonus Step

Tips on getting started

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Your first videos can be shot on your iPhone, but having good audio and lighting will make or break your video.

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Create a content calendar that includes scripts and/or bullet points for each video.

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Edit videos to 2-3 minutes.

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Practice, practice, practice.

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Don’t wait for perfect – just start!

Tools that Vital uses and recommends

BONUS STEP | INCORPORATE VIDEO

After Effects Premiere Pro Photoshop

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How will inbound marketing help my sales team?

At the end of the day, an inbound marketing strategy is not only going to increase your number of leads, but also increase your close rate. Why? Because the leads you’re going to be converting are already going to have some sort of relationship with your brand. Take a look at all the tools we just covered. Each tool’s job is to increase leads, and also build a relationship between you and your customers. If done correctly they are going to have read your blog, downloaded an ebook, connected with you on social media. It doesn’t matter how much they shop around, you already have a connection and positioned yourself as a thought leader.

That sounds great, but how can I explain that using dollars?

The math is easy.

Equation: ((# of leads) x (close rate)) x customer value = Goal Currently: (25 leads a month x 4% close rate) x $10,000 = $10,000

After 12 Months of Inbound: (40 leads a month x 5% close rate) x $10,000 = $20,000

So where do I begin?

Yes, all of these steps working together makes a complete inbound marketing strategy, but if you need to start somewhere, start with your blog on your website. Without a blog, and website that’s not optimized to attract and convert visitors, your strategy is destined to fail.

Do I need an agency?

No, you do not need an agency to run a successful inbound campaign. What you do need is a team (internal or external) that has:

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Experience in creating inbound marketing strategies. You don’t want your business to be someone’s guinea pig.

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Experience using the tools that we’ve listed.

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A strong writer.

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Someone who knows website code and can update your site.

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A graphic designer.

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A videographer.

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A social media manager to create engaging content and monitor your presence.

How long before I see results?

Inbound is a long-term strategy. The needle isn’t going to magically move tomorrow. We suggest giving your strategy six to twelve months before seeing results.

How much does it cost?

An inbound marketing strategy isn’t free. Unfortunately, people talk about all the different tools as free, but let’s be honest, all those tools take time and creating great content takes time. If you’re looking to partner with an experienced agency you can expect to pay $2,500 to $10,000 a month.

vtldesign.com / Portsmouth NH / @vital_design Five Steps to Increase Website Leads | FAQ

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