In InStream for inbound campaigns is obviously responsible marketing department. The main goal of our marketing masters is to increase the number of signups on the platform.
We call the new account „Inbound Lead” – person potentially interested in our product, which found out about it thanks to work of marketing department.
How to attract new people when you don’t have huge money for Google AdWords campaigns or for sponsored links promotion? How to stand out from the crowd when you are a startup or small company with low marketing budget?
Below I present a few ideas which have worked in my company delivering significant results.
At the beginning, you have to know that the results from Inbound marketing come with the time. It is a quite complicated process with many relativities. However if it is well planned and all the actions are done systematically and according to the plan you should be successful. The most important thing, you always have to keep in mind, is to constantly monitor, analyze and modify your actions depending on the results.
Start with building scheme, plan which tools you want to use, which channels are adequate to promote your articles, where are your potential clients and what are their interests? Familiarize yourself with Growthhackers.com or inbound.org. You will also find many valuable articles on the Neil Patel’s website: Quicksprout.com.
When we started working on our marketing we were generating frequently a lot of content. This strategy affected the quality of the materials. It is impossible to every day write a valuable article when you also have 1o other things on your to-do list. We also learned that article which is just uploaded online will disappear in just a few minutes without being noticed. So that we started to write articles less often, but we focused more on the quality of them. We started to share knowledge which might be useful for others. Writing just to stay active online doesn’t bring good results. It is better to write about 5 last mistakes that you have done than about nothing in particular. After all from your mistakes somebody can learn a meaningful lesson.
If you already wrote your valuable article and you posted it on your blog start immediately the promotion process. Below I will describe channels we use for our marketing promotion and I will give you some tips about things you should be careful with.
Blog – should be reader-friendly and simple. Big headers with catching eye photos look good. Further, it is important to post a short introduction to the article so that your reader would be aware of the main topic. The blog also should directly link to your website, not only via the top menu bar. Don’t be afraid of promoting your product. Well-designed banners convert, but you should be careful with them.
When you write an article try to make it at least 10 000 characters long. Include in it gifs and photos, which make a great difference. The good idea is to add at the beginning of the article the list of main points, which would link to the particular part of the text. It is not only helping your readers but also it is good for your SEO.
At the end, it is good to add a few links to other articles about similar topics (even if these articles were written by other authors) and necessarily give people opportunity to comment. Don’t be afraid of the critic. Every interaction is the opportunity to gain a potential new client.
Create also interesting infographics which are linked to your article. Add those at the end of your articles as conclusions. You can also add (using WordPress plug) option of an automatic retweet of some of your quotes.
When you will post your article take care of adequate promotion.
Slideshare – prepare a short presentation on SlideShare.It would be great if it would be in the same style as an infographic. Your presentation should include the main thoughts, get the interest of people, but won’t tell them all. On the last slide, you should give a link to the full article and short description why interested in this topic person should read it. TIP: when you post something on the SlideShare make sure your coworkers will press like under it in first minutes. Thanks to that you will gain a chance to appear on the main page. Later it is just a snowball effect. Ask also your friends to like it via your social channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Facebook – design campaign which will promote your article. Include in your plans not only posts about the article, but also its’ announcement. Build up the tension and write what people can get by reading it. Find adequate groups on Facebook which are related to the topics you write about. If you can afford it, take care of paid advertising. However, this topic is too complex to write about it now.
LinkedIn – use the option LinkedIn Pulse. Publish there your articles and build a strong relation with readers. Additionally, find groups in which might be people interested in your article. Ask them for an opinion. After all, they are specialists.
Quora – create your blog on Quora. Add there also article from your blog and invite people to the discussion about that topic.
YouTube – create a video or (if you don’t have enough time) simple animation. Check the Powtoon tool, which is simple-to-use and will let you create funny animations. Do not underestimate YouTube just because you are performing on the B2B market sector. This platform is still second biggest search engine right after Google!
Twitter – design 2-3 tweets, which you are going to publish in suitable timing. Useful tool which might help you plan it is a Buffer. Do not underestimate #. Take a look which hashtags are you using and if they are helping you to reach adequate group. Test your hashtags, check when you get most of the retweets and which group is mostly reacting on your tweets (by for example clicking the links). Take also care of properly configurated account. You should have „smiley” profile picture, a description which will tell others who you are and what you. The background photo considers as your advertising banner.
To sum up, if you are creating an article you should take care of its’ promotion. My team has created the draft, which is used every single time during the promotion process. We have fixed timetable about our posts (when and where our article will appear) and all our actions are related to it.
In addition to promoting our content, we combine many other actions which raise the number of signups on our platform.
Quora – be active and participate in discussions. Skilfully promote your solution, but as a priority always have a substantive answer. In the next article about Outbound Leads, I will say more about Quora and how you can use it for Social Selling.
Right now we don’t have enough time as we had before to answer questions at Quora but on the picture below I presented the results of my frequent responding.
Guest Blogging – build your business relations! Interact with people whenever you has that possibility. Write to the authors of blogs you read. Ask them to comment your articles. Create articles which include quotes or interviews. That way you gain new promotion channel, which might have bigger power than you yourself. Search for specialists from your market sector invites them to write on your blog, develop a business relation. One well-known face can sell your content. Search for the opportunity to appear in the others articles. If you spot that somebody mentioned you or wrote something about your company contacts him via social networks. Say thank you and offer cooperation.
OK, so how to find such a well-known people and attract them? Just find an interesting topic, have a concept and try to sell it well. People usually like to take part in the interviews or articles. Being just the startup on the beginning of our long way we set up the marketing cooperation with three most famous marketing specialists in Poland (Paweł Tlaczyk, Artuk Kurasiński and Kamil Dziadkiewicz). Right now we have started a new campaign with best polish sales directors, who work for companies such as LiveChat, UXPin, Brand24 and Linkedin!
Podcast – my team is not running yet any campaign using podcasts, but I know that some of SaaS products have up to 20% of the site traffic from podcasts with well-known faces. You should definitely check that option.
SEO – at the beginning be focused on optimizing your website. Your position in a search engine is influenced by more than 300 factors. Many of them are directly related to your site. Good source of information about that topic you will find in the article On-page factors and on other articles on MOZ.com. https://moz.com/learn/seo/on-page-factors . It is also worth to remember that there are no longer easy ways to promote your site in Google. For using the system of exchanging links or presenting content just for the bots you can be punished and excluded from searching results.
AdWords – despite the fact that everybody use it and it is the extremely popular tool you can still find niche keywords which will cause some traffic on your site and won’t cost you much. Well-handled Google campaign should be a plan before with large reserve of time. The good practice is to create a couple of landing pages, which will raise the efficiency of the campaign as well as it will positively affect your conversion.
If you can attract right number of the visitors on your website you should also be able to generate from that new clients. To that you need not only reader-friendly, good looking www, well planned CTA, but also you should use some tools which will help you understand from where your visitors came and what they are looking for. You have to have all of that in order to push them to choose your product. Bellow I described a few applications which are helping my team with that task.
SumoMe – it is responsible for banners, popups with the newsletter and social media buttons. If somebody already is reading your articles, don’t let him finish just on that. No matter what your main goal is (newsletter or registration) test different possibilities and do everything you can to push your visitors to leave you some contact details.
Survicate – do you need to know who is visiting your website and what people thinks about your product or pricing? Are you sure that you present your product in the clear and easy to understand way? If not test Survicate. The application builds interactions with site visitors and generates priceless leads.
LiveChat – it is just obvious. However be aware that LiveChat offers more than just having a conversation with your clients whenever he feels like needing you. It also allows you to show different communicate for visitors depending on where they came or on which subpage he is. Add invitation “Hi, what do you think about our pricing?”, test the reaction and try other options.
SimilarWeb – are you curious from where your competitors have the most of the traffic on their websites? SimilarWeb will tell you that. The numbers you will receive won’t be 100% reliable, because these are just estimated values. Although, the estimation is on such a good level that you can have your own conclusions after seeing the numbers.
Google Analytics – the web analyze is one of the most important things you have to constantly do. Thanks to that you are aware of the visitors behavior coming from different resources and also how the website design influence conversion.I can say that it is impossible to build successful inbound campaign without significant knowledge about our visitors.
HoTJar – the tool which will help you look at your site with the eyes of visitors. After installing it on your website the moves and clicks of visitors are recorded. Thanks to that you get to know main problems which your visitors have to face on your website and how they use your site.
Collect as many information as you can about everything – get to know who visits your website. Build relation with your visitors. The leads gain that way give to your sales representative, who after familiarizing with data, will verification who might be interested in your product and who might not.