Category Archives: Lead Generation

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The 5 Funnels Every Consultant Should Build

The 5 Funnels Every Consultant Should Build written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Starting your own consulting firm can be overwhelming. You feel confident in your knowledge and expertise, but being great at what you do doesn’t automatically translate to having a whole host of clients, clamoring at your door.

To guarantee that you have a stead flow of clients, you must establish a client generation system. With the acquisition of just six to eight more clients, most marketing firms go from surviving to thriving. So if you can take these simple steps to establish a process for attracting prospects and nurturing them appropriately, you can make a world of difference for your business long-term.

Here are the five marketing funnels that every consultant must build in order to grow their business.

1. Prospect Nurture Funnel

Of course, the first step to landing new clients is attracting new prospects and appropriately caring for them. In today’s digital marketing landscape, there are many places you can turn to if you’re looking to attract new prospects.

Search remains a major channel for B2Bs, so making sure you have a strong SEO strategy and are running AdWords campaigns is one critical way to get noticed by new prospects. Social media ads, on Facebook and LinkedIn, especially, are another way for B2Bs to reach the appropriate audience.

And even in our digital world, old school tactics still hold weight. A study out of Temple University demonstrated the effectiveness of print ads; people spend a longer time reading them, have a stronger emotional reaction to them, and are more likely to recall information they read in print than online.

Once you’ve made initial contact with a prospect, creating an email series to nurture the relationship is the logical next step. Start with an offer to welcome them into the fold. From there, create a series that’s set to trigger based on certain actions the prospect takes. By personalizing the content they receive, you go a long way to building up their trust in your business.

Share the most useful content and tools from your consulting practice. Once you’ve proven your value over the course of several emails, follow up with a call to action. If they take you up on the offer, you know that they’re a hot lead and worthy of additional time and attention.

2. Speaking Funnel

I’ve been talking about the idea of speaking for leads for many years now. When you have the opportunity to get up in front of an audience for 45 minutes and prove your expertise and value as a marketing consultant, it’s an incredibly powerful thing.

Whether you’re hosting a webinar or giving an in-person speech, presenting on a topic you’re knowledgable about and sharing information that adds value for your audience is essentially like giving a sales pitch to a room full of prospects all at once. Rather than having to set up 30, 60, or 100 separate sales calls, you’ve done it all in one hour-long presentation.

After you’ve given your talk, follow up with your audience via email. Present them with a limited-time offer—something just for them that will entice them to act right away. This encourages them to take the leap immediately after they’ve had a great experience hearing from you about your business.

Continue to follow up with emails that add value: an FAQ series, meaningful content, a case study showing how you helped one of your existing customers achieve their marketing goals. With every email they receive, they’ll reflect fondly on the value they received from your initial presentation. And hopefully, they’ll eventually move towards being a hot lead that can be nurtured further.

3. Partnering and Network Funnel

When it comes to finding new leads, it’s often best to tap into your existing networks. Cold emails or calls can easily be ignored. But when you reach out to your network of connections and partners, you’re likely to find greater success.

When you meet someone in the real world, follow up with them by connecting on LinkedIn. It’s also possible to connect with new people through LinkedIn alone, but if you do that, it’s best to do your research before reaching out. People can tell when they’re receiving the copy-pasted introductory message. Taking a few extra minutes to get to know something about the individual you’re messaging and referencing that in your first message can go a long way to them accepting your request to connect.

Once you’ve made that initial contact with someone, do not move right to the sale! We’ve all gotten that cold pitch from a stranger before, and it often feels icky. That’s because they haven’t gotten to know you, and so their offer for help feels insincere.

Instead, the best way to reach out to those in your network is to start by adding value. Share something that you think would be of interest to that individual. If you’re talking to someone who owns a commercial real estate firm, send them that article you just saw about the state of commercial development in your city. Once you’ve shown that you can add value, ask them about their goals. What do they want to achieve with their business, and how do they hope to get there? If there’s an opportunity for you to help them reach those goals, let them know about your relevant solution.

If they have a goal that’s outside the bounds of marketing, you can still help! Take a look at your network of partners and refer them to a fellow business owner you know and trust to get the job done. Even though this won’t immediately lead to business for you, when this prospect has a great experience with your trusted partner, they’ll think of you fondly as the person that brought them together. And your partner will appreciate that you referred a great client their way, and will look to do the same for you in the future.

4. Sales Follow-up Funnel

These first three funnels were for prospects who were earlier on in the process. But what about those prospects with whom you’ve met and presented a sales pitch? As you might have guessed, there’s a funnel for them, too.

Once you meet with someone in-person or over the phone, this is the time where they might start to get cold feet. Sure, they think you’re great, but now they’re considering the very real commitment of signing a contract and writing you a check.

It’s your job to continue to dazzle them and convince them that the work you do is well worth the price. Start by sending your prospect a personalized video recap of your discussion. This shows that you listened and took careful notes during the meeting, and it allows you to ensure that you’re both still on the same page.

From there, send them a case study that demonstrates the potential value of working with you. You have the power to eliminate the problems they’re facing in their marketing, and you have proof that you’ve done it for other happy customers in the past.

If you haven’t won them over totally yet, offer to meet up again. This is your opportunity to address any lingering objections and to prove once more that you’re a great listener who understands and cares about the problems they face.

After that second meeting is the time to send another set of follow-up communications. Begin by sharing a piece of information or content that made you think of them. This is a low-pressure way for you to stay top-of-mind with your prospect as they continue to weigh their options. Finally, give it one last check in. Sometimes your success in winning over a prospect is more about persistence than any of your marketing skills.

5. Referral Funnel

Once you’ve gotten more happy customers on board, it’s time to establish a referral funnel. Referrals are the engine that will power your business; creating a situation where happy customers can easily pass your name along to others in their network guarantees you a steady stream of business for years to come.

Start by setting the table with an email. When you get a referral from an existing customer, reach out to provide a brief outline of what you do, and indicate that you’d love to set up a time to chat to learn more about their challenges and see how you can help.

Once you’ve met in person or over the phone, follow up—just as you should after a sales pitch—with a video recap. Again, this provides you the opportunity to send your prospect a personalized video that outlines their questions and concerns, and indicates the solutions you’d propose and next steps.

Follow that up with a list of FAQs that you often get from prospects and customers. People who are just dipping their toes in the waters of hiring a marketing consultant often have many of the same fears and concerns. You sharing this list of FAQs can help your prospect see that their doubts are normal and may help to assuage them.

Next up, share a valuable resource or tool you have on hand. This can be something like an ebook or recording of a webinar, or it might be a checklist or infographic. No matter what it is, make sure it’s something that adds value and addresses the specific concerns this prospect outlined in your initial call.

From there, offer to hop on the phone or meet in person again. Very often, prospects need a second opportunity to ask a whole new set of questions that have arisen as they’ve been thinking about partnering with a marketing consultant.

Finally, after that second call, share a case study from your business. Now that they’ve had the opportunity to meet with you twice and feel confident in your abilities and expertise, an additional example of you doing great work for another business owner can be the final bit of information they need to seal the deal.

Most consultants have the power to transform their business from so-so to stellar with the addition of only a handful of clients. But to win over new business, you have to build a series of simple, repeatable funnels to nurture your leads and take them through the process to become full-fledged customers. This client generation system empowers you to continuously move prospects down the customer journey towards becoming happy, long-term clients who repeat and refer your business often.

The Key to Online Advertising Is Tracking Results

The Key to Online Advertising Is Tracking Results written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In the olden days, advertising was an expensive and risky prospect. Brands would spend lots of money up front on print ads, television commercials, or radio spots. Next, they’d hire an advertising firm to create and execute the concept. Then, they’d have to buy the air time or ad space. And they did all this without much insight into whether or not the concept would actually be successful.

Fortunately for today’s small business owners, tracking online advertising is possible! And it provides insight into exactly how each campaign performs. Armed with that information, you can tailor your messaging in future campaigns. You’ll lean into tactics that resonated with your audience and ditch those less-successful approaches.

If you’re advertising online but aren’t tracking your results, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Tracking online advertising empowers you to better understand your customers and boost your ROI on each and every campaign. Here’s what you need to do to effectively track your online advertising.

Create Conversion Goals in Google Analytics

The first step to tracking how your ads perform is defining your goals. Every ad campaign that you run should be driving viewers towards a specific action. You might create an ad designed to encourage someone to download your white paper. Or maybe it pushes them to sign up for your newsletter. Or perhaps it invites them to request a free trial of your product.

The ads should also be directing viewers to your website, where they can take the desired action. And that’s where conversion goals come in.

In Google Analytics, you’re able to define your conversion goals. A conversion is a desired action that someone takes on your website—something like filling out a form to request a quote or successfully completing check-out in your online store.

Google Analytics allows you to create up to 20 conversion goals for your business. Focus on the goals that make the most sense for your industry and business strategy. For example, a contractor might be more interested in getting folks to request a quote, whereas a clothing retailer might be more concerned with that successful check-out metric.

No matter what goals you define for your business, Google Analytics can help you track the steps that people take on your website to ultimately reach that conversion; this is called a goal funnel. Creating a goal funnel provides a visual representation of your data. That way, you understand where people drop off in the process towards completing a given conversion.

For example, if the ultimate conversion goal is a successful check-out in your online store, you can see if you lose people in the product browsing stage, or whether people are putting items in their carts and then abandoning them.

Check out this video from Google for a more detailed look at how to set up your goals in Google Analytics.

Link Your Ads to Google Analytics

Now that you’ve defined your goals in Google Analytics, it’s time to get your advertising and analytics metrics all on the same page (literally). By linking your Google Ads and Analytics accounts, you can keep all of the data on both your ad campaigns and website performance all in one place.

Google Ads allows you to track performance for each individual ad campaign, so you can see things like impressions and clickthrough rate. And when your two accounts are linked, you can then draw a direct line between how people interact with each ad and the actions they took on your site.

So let’s say you own a marketing consulting firm. You’re running an ad encouraging people to download your latest white paper on social media marketing trends for 2020. When your Ads and Analytics accounts are linked, you can see both the CTR on the ad itself. Then, you can see how many people actually follow through with requesting the download once they get to your site. This gives you insight into how each piece of the marketing puzzle is working, and it can help you identify any weak spots in the conversion process.

Monitor From Click to Client

While it’s great to be able to see how ads influence visitor’s behaviors on your site, for most businesses that still doesn’t offer a complete picture of the ad’s performance. What about people that call your business to follow up on the ad they saw online? Or the people who stop by your brick-and-mortar location in person?

This is why it’s important to implement offline tracking methods to generate a full picture of your advertising campaign’s effectiveness.

Call tracking services, like CallRail, allow you to track how ads drive prospects’ behaviors on the phone. The service works by inserting a line of code into your website. That code allows you to associate online and offline interactions with your business. It integrates with your Google Analytics and Ads platforms so that you can determine your exact cost per lead.

It’s also a good idea to track in-person interactions you have with customers. Tracking purchases at your brick-and-mortar locations can help you see whether people who found you online ended up becoming customers in real life. There are a number of ways for you to bridge the gap between online and in-person interactions. If you’re a retailer, collecting an email at checkout to send an electronic receipt can help you put a face to the email.

If yours is a business where it’s difficult to collect email at checkout (say, a restaurant or cafe), you can gather that information in other ways. Restaurants can use online reservations systems to capture email addresses. Cafes can create digital loyalty programs that collect email addresses at the point of sale in exchange for a free cup of coffee every ninth purchase.

Unifying this in-person and online data is easily achieved if you’re using a CRM to manage customer interactions. CRMs make assembling all customer data in one place simple. From contact information to every past interaction with your brand, it all lives in your CRM. This kind of click to client information is invaluable in understanding the performance of your advertising.

Learn From Your Campaigns

Once you’ve created a picture of your online advertising campaign’s effectiveness, you may feel tempted to kick back and relax. But really, you’re just getting started.

By tracking online advertising, you’re now at a huge advantage. This information can propel your future advertising decisions. Maybe in tracking your ads you found that the messaging in one campaign performed well, while another failed to result in conversions. Or perhaps you learned that your ad was driving folks to your website, but they were getting lost along the way and not reaching your ultimate conversion goal.

Every advertising campaign—whether a raging success or a big old flop—is an opportunity for you to learn and improve. You can recreate the tactics that worked well in your next campaign. For those less successful campaigns, you can try a new approach next time.

How to Generate Leads for $100 a Month Using Facebook Ads

How to Generate Leads for $100 a Month Using Facebook Ads written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Facebook ads are an incredible way to generate exciting new leads for your business. There are nearly 2.5 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide, meaning that you have the opportunity to reach a huge audience if you play your advertising cards right.

The other benefit to the platform is the relatively low cost of advertising. Across industries, the average cost per click for Facebook ads is $1.72. It’s entirely possible for a small business to get great results spending only $100 per month on Facebook ads.

But the secret to getting the most out of a small investment in Facebook advertising is creating really effective campaigns. And to generate leads using Facebook ads, you need to take a step back and revisit everything you think you know about advertising.

Reframe How You Think About Advertising

When you think about print, television, or radio ads—more traditional advertising media—you likely picture an ad that’s selling a specific product. However, this sales-focused messaging that’s worked for decades in other channels will not net results on Facebook.

People expect to be sold to by a television or radio commercial or in the direct mailers they receive. But they go to Facebook for an entirely different reason. People are on Facebook to build connections and community, not to be marketed at. So your Facebook advertising needs to be less about “buy my stuff” and more about creating content that builds awareness and trust of your brand.

When people see useful content from your brand on their feeds, they come to know, like, and trust your business. You establish yourself as a source of knowledge and become more like a trusted friend than a pushy, anonymous salesperson.

Start With Great Content

So the place to start on Facebook is not with a sales pitch, but with meaningful content. In order to identify content topics that will resonate with your audience, start with keyword research.

Take a look at your existing content, and see which search terms are leading people to find that content. Using Google Search Console, you can access a list of the real-world search terms people are using to discover each page on your website.

Look for patterns in the types of queries that are leading to your content. And look for intent in those queries. Understanding the intent, or the why, behind a person’s search term can help you craft new content that speaks to the needs and wants of your prospects.

Competitive research can be helpful in this pursuit as well. Identify gaps in your competitors’ content offerings, or find ways to expand upon the successful content they’ve created. That’s a great way to give your audience what they want.

Make Sure the Right People See It

You know that old saying about the tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it? The same principle applies to your online content. If no interested parties are around to see your Facebook ads, it won’t move the needle and generate leads.

Let’s say you own a home remodeling company. No matter how great your content about preparing for a remodel is, if it only gets seen by a bunch of renters who aren’t in the market for your services, you might as well flush your advertising dollars down the (newly installed) toilet.

Once you’ve created meaningful content, you’ll turn to Facebook to share it with the world. Start by sharing your content organically on the platform by posting on your Facebook page. For your advertising purposes, you’ll want to focus on those pieces of content that get the greatest engagement. When a noteworthy portion of your existing audience likes and comments on a particular piece of content, it’s a sign. You know you’ve hit upon something that really resonates with your ideal audience.

From there, you can boost the post with Facebook via their advertising platform. Using their custom audiences tool allows you to show your content only to people who are likely to find it relevant. Meaning, if yours is a remodeling business, you can direct your ad spend at people in certain neighborhoods, age groups, and even those who Facebook knows recently purchased a home.

By boosting your posts, you expand your reach beyond your existing followers. And by boosting to a custom audience who looks like your existing best customers, you ensure you’re getting the greatest ROI on your advertising investment.

Follow Up With Your Best Prospects

Once you’ve boosted your content, it’s time to track how it performs with the broader world. Facebook provides detailed analytics that allow you to see how people react to and interact with the content. They’ll show a breakdown of organic versus paid reach. Plus, you can see likes, comments, and shares on the post.

You’ll also want to create and install a Facebook pixel on your website. This tool allows you to track customer behavior on your website. Adding the pixel enables you to see how your advertising on Facebook is affecting prospects’ behaviors on your site.

With these analytics in hand, you’ll want to follow up with those prospects who are showing the greatest promise—the people who are interacting with your content and exploring your website. Once someone expresses that interest, provide them with a next step towards conversion.

This should be advertising content that invites them to try. Show them an ad for a free trial or evaluation. By reserving these ads for those who have already expressed an interest in your brand, you’re boosting your advertising ROI once again. Save your serious advertising offers for your serious prospects, and you’ll be more likely to get a higher conversion rate.

Facebook advertising doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get results. If you’re smart about the content you create and the audience you target, you can generate impressive returns with a small monetary investment.

How to Do Keyword Research for Content that Generates Leads

How to Do Keyword Research for Content that Generates Leads written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

I’ve written about the importance of keyword research before. It’s the critical first step in developing your SEO strategy, and making sure that your business ranks well in organic results on the major search engines.

But the way that you undertake keyword research for your homepage will be different from how you settle on the right search terms for your content like blog posts and podcasts. Plus, keyword research and content creation should have a symbiotic relationship. As you research your keywords and begin to understand how prospects are searching, you can create content that speaks directly to searchers’ intent and needs.

Here are the things you must do to get your content keyword research off the ground.

Start with Your Own List of Keywords

It’s always a good idea to start by brainstorming on your own. You know your business and what you offer to your customers, so you probably have a solid sense of the terms they’re searching for to find you.

It’s important to note that in recent years there’s been a shift in the way that Google handles search queries. Google is now more invested in ranking results based on intent. The person who searches for “home remodeling ideas” is probably looking for something different than the person who searches for “best home remodeler in Kansas City,” right? The latter searcher is probably ready to start knocking down walls and ripping out tile, whereas the former might be daydreaming about redoing their kitchen someday in the next couple of years.

Google acknowledges that the intent behind those searches is radically different, and so they’re now displaying results differently for those search queries. Because of this trend towards semantic search, it’s now important for businesses to consider long-tail keywords.

While your homepage might have keywords that are broader and more likely to cast a wider net, snatching up searchers at various stages of the customer journey, you want the keywords associated with your individual product pages and informative content to be more targeted.

If that home remodeler has various pages for the types of services they offer—kitchen, bathroom, home additions, basement finishing, and so on—they should have long-tail keywords for each of those pages that speak to that subset of the broader audience.

Turn to Auto-Suggest

Another great starting point for your content keyword research is to start searching in Google yourself. Take some of the broader keywords you’ve identified for your business and see what comes up in auto-suggest.

home remodel auto-suggest

Let’s return to the home remodeling example. When you type in home remodel, you get some auto-suggestions that indicate a few trends. One is about technology; the fifth and sixth suggestion have to do with apps and software. The other is about financing; people often search about loans or government incentives associated with remodeling.

This tells you something important about what prospects are thinking about when considering remodeling for themselves. They’re worried about the financial aspect (we all know renovations aren’t cheap!), and they like the idea of being able to have a hand in the design process, accessing technology that can help them plan out and visualize their dream kitchen or bathroom.

If you don’t already have content on your website that speaks to those major areas of interest or concern, maybe it’s time to consider adding some! It’s also helpful to go through and click on those auto-suggestions to see what content does appear when you Google “home remodel incentive,” for example. Who is already ranking in those results? Are they direct competitors? Is there a gap in the type of information you can find in that search—one that you could fill with original content on your site?

Check out the Competition

While it’s important to think about your own strategy, it’s also a smart idea to consider what your competitors are up to. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you do some opposition research into the keywords your competitors are using.

A site like SEMrush can help you see your known competitor’s keywords, identify other potential competitors that you hadn’t previously considered, and monitor shifts in where your domain is ranking (you can access a free 14-day trial of SEMrush Pro using this link).

You can also spend some time on your competitors’ website. Take a look at how they organize their content. Is there a way for you to differentiate your site and content from theirs—a unique approach that you can take to sharing what you do?

Ask Your Customers

By this point, you’ve done a lot of digging into keyword research on your own. Now it’s time to ask your customers what they think. Sometimes the people who know and love your business will have a unique take on what’s so special about you, and it will help you to hit on a vein of content to mine that you wouldn’t have found on your own.

Don’t think of this as a daunting task. Asking for feedback can be as simple as sending a quick survey or simply asking people as part of your conversation with them while you’re on the phone.

There are a few helpful questions to ask. One is, “What search terms did you use when you were researching how to fix your problem?” And, “What search terms ultimately led you to our business?” Plus, it’s helpful to ask what it is that they think sets you apart from the competition; writing about what makes you different is a way to help your content stand out.

Look at Google’s Keyword Planner

Once you’ve gathered up this bundle of keyword suggestions, it’s time to head to Google’s Keyword Planner tool. While it’s designed to work with paid search, it can also help direct your organic search efforts. You do need a Google Ads account to access it, but once you’re in, you can begin to get information about the size of the audience you’ll be able to reach with each keyword, plus insight into how competitive each keyword is.

For local businesses, it’s best to hone in on keywords that are not overly competitive and have a manageable reach. If you go for broad keywords that are highly competitive and can reach millions of people, it doesn’t do you much good. You’ll then find yourself coming up against giant brands, and you’ll never be able to rank well in that arena. Plus, you don’t need to reach tens of millions of people; you’re serving your specific community, so those are the people you want to see your name in SERPs.

Create Hub Pages

Once you’ve settled on the keywords for your content, it’s important to mold the content itself to speak to the intent behind these keywords. You understand now what your audience wants, it’s time to create content that gives them just that.

I’ve talked a lot about building hub pages recently, and that’s because they’re an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to establishing trust and authority plus dominating in search results. Hub pages allow you to build what’s essentially a mini-Wikipedia for your area of expertise. You put all of your content related to a given topic on a hub page and tie it together in a way that addresses the questions a prospect might have.

Let’s return to the home remodeler example. One of their hub pages could be “The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Remodeling.” On that page, they’ll link out to content (blog posts, video, podcasts) that cover all the ins and outs of a kitchen remodel, from initial research to picking finishes to project management once the renovation is underway.

Through keyword research, you learned that financing the project and using tech in the design stages were important issues for a lot of homeowners, so you want to include content that addresses those issues.

With this hub page, you become the comprehensive source of information on the entire kitchen renovation process. Not only does this allow you to become an authority early on in prospects’ research (making them all the more likely to turn to you when they’re ready to hire someone!), it also does great things for your SEO. Prospects stay on this hub page for a while—there’s a lot of information to soak in! They click on a couple of articles, navigating back to the hub page in between. They may even share an article with their spouse about the renovation process, or send a video to their friend who’s helping them pick new appliances.

When visitors spend a lot of time on one page, search engines get the message that it’s a well of great content. They want to provide their searchers with the best results, so they bump your hub page up in SERPs to ensure that it gets found by a broader audience.

Great keyword research for content is about using that research to guide your content creation process. You can learn a lot about search intent and what prospects are looking for by undertaking effective keyword research. Armed with that knowledge, you can then create content that speaks to those prospects’ wants and needs, ensuring that you stand out from the competition.

Why Storytelling Can Help Your Business’ Bottom Line

Why Storytelling Can Help Your Business’ Bottom Line written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

When you’re thinking about how to promote your business, it can be tempting to focus solely on your products and services. After all, when you boil any business down to its most essential element it is about getting consumers to purchase the product or service that’s being offered.

But how you reach the end goal of closing that sale is at the heart of any good marketing strategy. And the fact of the matter is, there are a lot of businesses out there that can offer consumers a solution that’s very similar to yours. Plus, with the internet, location is not a barrier in the same way it used to be. So how do you stand out from your global competition?

Storytelling is a great way to build a personal connection with your customers, which is the differentiator that will keep them coming back to you, year after year, rather than turning to your rivals.

It Instantly Establishes a Human Connection

In today’s digital age, it’s now possible to be a long-term customer of a business and never interact with an actual human being at the company. For online giants like Amazon, what keeps people coming back is the fact that their prices are competitive and they have everything you could ever want; Amazon is highly convenient.

As the owner of a smaller business, you’re never going to be able to compete with the likes of an Amazon on those fronts. You need to find another way to stand out. A human connection is the reason someone chooses to buy from a local business rather than the faceless multinational corporate.

When you embrace storytelling that shows off your business’s personality, highlights fun facts about your team members, and makes customers feel like they really know the people behind the brand, that establishes a meaningful, lasting connection. For some tips on how to build a human connection with storytelling, check out this post.

It Helps You Stand Out on Social

So much of online marketing now is about social media. And because the purpose of these platforms is creating connection and telling stories, they’re the perfect place to employ smart storytelling techniques.

This starts by embracing the platform you’re on. Storytelling on you company’s Twitter account will be handled in a very different manner than the storytelling you do on Instagram. Twitter is of course focused on the written word, while Instagram is about telling stories through images. Using these different media to weave together a cohesive story across platforms is another great way to build trust and brand awareness.

When prospects encounter your brand across various social media platforms, but are always met with the same voice and point of view, this establishes your business as trustworthy and authoritative. Plus, when you take the time to actually interact with people—provide direct answers to their questions, react to photos they share that are related to your business, or otherwise undertake personalized engagement—you make your fans feel seen and special.

Once you’ve made a good impression on social, that helps you drive those prospects to your website, where you can hit them with your comprehensive storytelling that’s designed to move them through the customer journey.

It Guides the Customer Through Their Journey

The customer journey is not as clear-cut as it used to be. Because there are a myriad of ways someone can encounter your brand for the first time, it’s trickier for marketers to create a clear path from first interaction through to repeat business and referrals.

However, brand storytelling on your website can help you achieve this goal. Your website is the one asset online where you have complete control of all the content, so take advantage of that. Design your site so that the home page immediately addresses the concerns of your prospects and tells them who you are and why you can help. A short video that shares your mission is a great, bite-sized way to let people know who you are.

From there, you want to structure your website in a logical way that moves customers through the stages of their journey, with storytelling as your guide. The home page is the start of the story: the solution you offer. The next pages should address the middle of the story: how you fix their problem and why you’re the right people for the job. The end of the story is where the prospect reaches out to learn more and become a customer.

It Drives Conversions

Sometimes business owners focus solely on the ultimate conversion: the sale. But in reality, there are multiple conversions all along the customer journey. If a first-time visitor to your website comes back again several days later, that is a conversion. If that person then requests a white paper on a topic of interest, that’s a conversion, too.

Using smart storytelling that’s targeted at prospects and customers based on where they are in their journey, is a great way to drive those conversions.

Think about it this way: let’s say you have a video that covers your company’s origin story. It tells a compelling story, and is great at grabbing the attention of prospects. But this asset is not going to serve you well with those repeat customers who already know your business’s history. They need another story that speaks directly to where they are in their history with your business, and drives them to make the next conversion on their journey (which, for a repeat customer would be to refer you to someone else).

This kind of customer you’d want to greet with another story. Perhaps you create a referral program and pair it with a note that explains why you’re so passionate about sharing your business’s solutions with the friends of your existing customers.

Just like you wouldn’t hand a toddler a copy of Wuthering Heights (or a high schooler a copy of Goodnight Moon, for that matter!), driving conversions is about greeting different people with different stories.

Storytelling is at the heart of any strong marketing strategy. Knowing what your business does best and sharing why you’re passionate about your work is the way to win trust (and customers). Effective storytelling will keep your bottom line healthy and your customers coming back for more.

Why Behavior Scoring is the Missing Ingredient in Your Marketing Approach

Why Behavior Scoring is the Missing Ingredient in Your Marketing Approach written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

With inbound marketing becoming ever more popular in recent years, a marketer might be tempted to think broad when it comes to their approach. After all, when anyone can happen upon your brand, it means that anyone’s a potential customer, right?

That’s not quite true. In fact, the number of leads that actually become customers is only around 10 percent. So that means you should really be focused on creating highly targeted marketing messages that are likely to appeal to that small sliver of the population, rather than trying to please everyone.

But how do you find those people? And once you’ve found them, what can you do to make sure you’re speaking to them in a way that really resonates?

That’s where behavior scoring comes in. When you understand the behaviors that are most often exhibited by your customers, you can begin to identify your most promising leads and refine your marketing messaging so that it speaks directly to them.

What is Behavior Scoring?

Behavior scoring, sometimes called lead scoring, is assigning a numerical score or grade to prospects based on certain behaviors they exhibit. You start by analyzing the behaviors of your best existing customers. Are there ways they interact with your brand that consistently result in conversions? Is there a certain page on your website they visit, social media platform they follow, or email newsletter they sign up for?

When you understand the behaviors of your existing clients, you can then create a “composite sketch” of your ideal customer. Those customers who do X, Y, and Z convert a high percentage of the time, so your prospects who do those same things are given a high behavior score. They’re the people you want to focus your marketing time and effort on.

People visit sites or interact with brands for all sorts of reasons. Let’s say you own a tree care company. You may show up in search results for an apartment-dweller looking for advice on tending to her indoor potted tree, a student thinking about starting a lawn care business who’s doing research on pricing in similar industries, and new homeowner in the area who wants to replace some of the older trees on their property. Only one of these people has the potential to become a legitimate client, and since you don’t get full biographical information on those who visit your website, tracking behaviors can indicate their level of seriousness.

The woman in the apartment might watch a short video on plant care your site and then disappear. The student might beeline to the pricing page. But the homeowner looks at several pages outlining services and pricing, plus checks out your testimonials. If this is activity you’ve seen from past customers, then you know this is a lead worth spending some time on.

Lower Your Customer Acquisition Costs and Increase Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) are two critical metrics to track for your business. When you understand how much it costs to acquire your customers and how much value they produce once you have them, you can tweak your sales approach and pricing models to ensure your acquisition costs are covered and you’re still able to make a profit.

However, the reverse is also true: When you understand the behaviors that make someone a promising lead, you can lower CAC and increase CLV. By only marketing to those prospects exhibiting desirable behaviors, you stop wasting time on prospects who will never convert. This means that you’ll get more marketing bang for your buck overall, since you won’t spend dollars chasing those who would never become customers anyway.

Plus, as you begin to develop a more and more nuanced understanding of your customers’ behaviors, you can continue to refine your marketing approach to get even greater results and drive existing customers towards purchasing bigger and better products. All of this leads to an increase in overall CLV.

Understand What Resonates with Your Promising Leads

When you understand the actions of your ideal customer, you can create marketing campaigns that drive prospects to take those actions. Experimenting with website layout, calls to action, and your messaging and tone can all help to drive people who are interested in your business to take the steps that are likely to lead to conversion.

A/B testing is a particularly effective way to further refine your approach. Try running different variations of your web pages to see which gains the greatest traction.

Showing half of your hot leads one option and the other a variant of the same page allows you to understand the messaging and layout that works best. If there’s a significant difference in response to the two variations, that tells you something.

You then can do the work of analyzing the differences, identifying the aspects that made the one page so successful, and replicating that approach across other pages, platforms, and channels.

Further Refine Your Outbound Approach

Once you understand what resonates with your hot leads, you can move beyond inbound tactics and create advertising that’s highly targeted to those leads.

Facebook’s advertising platform offers business owners a number of ways to identify and target hot leads. With the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, you’re able to track visitor behavior—a key part of the scoring process. On the Facebook advertising platform itself, you can create lookalike audiences, groups with attributes that mirror those of your existing customer base, allowing you to target them with advertising.

All of this becomes a positive feedback loop. As your marketing approach is refined, you continue to attract more qualified leads. These leads in turn give you an even more nuanced picture of what your ideal prospect looks like, which allows you to further tailor your marketing approach. Over time, you generate greater and greater results.

Pass on the Leads that Will Never Convert

The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of leads who will never convert, no matter what you do. If you spend your time and energy reaching out to every person, the majority of your energy is being dedicated to people who will never convert.

That’s why a critical part of behavior scoring is not just assigning positive points to those leads who exhibit certain behaviors that often lead to conversion, but also taking away points from those who exhibit less-than-promising behaviors.

Leads who consistently delete your emails without reading, have only been to your website once or twice, or are in a location that your business doesn’t service are ones that you should not spend time pursuing.

Inbound marketing can sometimes make you feel like you need to be everything to everyone. In reality, the most effective marketing strategies—inbound and outbound—are those that speak directly to the small percentage of the population that actually need the solution your business offers. When you use behavior scoring to better understand the actions of your best customers, you can create messaging that resonates with the leads who have the best shot at conversion. All of this saves you time and money, and it makes your customers happier, because they know they’ve found a business that really gets them.

How to Build A Website that Generates Leads

How to Build A Website that Generates Leads written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In today’s day and age, every business owner knows they must have an online presence to be competitive. But not everyone understands how to optimize that online presence. Your website is the heart of your business’s online existence, so ensuring that it’s designed to maximize lead generation is critical to securing long-term success for your company

How do you create a website that is easily found, catches a prospect’s eye, and keeps them around long enough to decide to give your product or service a try? Let’s take a deeper look at how to build a website that generates leads.

Make it Easy to Find

The obvious first place to start is in designing a site that is easy to find. You’re not going to generate any leads from a site that is in hiding.

The first step here is making sure that your domain name makes sense for your business. If you’re not able to secure your first choice, what are your alternatives? Pick a domain name is memorable, easy to spell, and is something prospects and clients will be able to easily associate with your company.

From there, you’ll want to keep track of how people are finding your site in order to understand which social channels are driving traffic and who’s talking about you online. You can then use that information to be more strategic about where you place your marketing efforts in order to drive traffic to your site.

And you mustn’t forget about SEO in this discussion. If your site isn’t ranking on the first page of Google results, you’re missing out on catching the eyes of a lot of prospects. Keyword research is a critical part of ensuring that your business is actually being found by people who are in the market for the goods and services you offer.

You’ll also want to undertake an SEO audit of your website to make sure that your current content isn’t hurting your search rankings. Screaming Frog offers services that allow you to check your website’s current SEO status: find broken links and crawl errors, analyze how existing pages rank for SEO terms, check site speed, and more.

Give Visitors a Way to Reach Out

When a visitor comes to your site and they like what they see, you want to be sure that you’re providing them with a clear, easy way to get more information from your business. Getting strategic about where and how you ask for information from prospects can help you to generate even more leads from your existing site.

The first step is to put forms on the pages that get the most traffic. Make sure that these forms ask for as little information as possible and that they auto-populate; bogging prospects down with a million questions is a surefire way to scare them off.

You’ll also want to be sure that the forms you create make sense in the context of the other information on a given page. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, don’t put a form offering a free white paper on website design on a page that’s about print work that you’ve done.

You should also provide users with as many ways to contact you as possible. Make your phone number and email address easy to find, and consider incorporating a chat function into your site’s design. No one wants to have to go on a search mission across all of your website just to find a way to ask you a simple question.

Build a Variety of Landing Pages

Creating highly specialized landing pages is one of the keys to generating more promising leads. In fact, research from HubSpot has shown that business with 30 or more landing pages on their website generate seven times more leads than those websites that only have one to five landing pages.

The best landing pages are those that keep it simple. Depending on where the traffic is coming from, you can create a specific messaging that speaks to that particular subset of your prospect population. Make sure that your succinctly outline the problem your business can solve, and that there’s a clear way for prospects to reach out—a call to action button or a simple form—and leave it at that.

Landing pages that are cluttered with too much information or that do not clearly demonstrate your company’s value proposition can leave prospects feeling confused and returning to their Google search to consider one of your competitors. If you’d like to see some examples from a variety of industries, HubSpot has some great ones here.

Create an Eye-Catching Homepage with a Clear CTA

While each of your specific landing pages should have tailored messaging and calls to action, you’ll also want to be sure that your homepage has a general call to action that serves as a catch-all for anyone who might want to learn more about your business.

This CTA shouldn’t be for a specific product or service; after all, this is the page on your website that the general population is most likely to see first, so you don’t want to single out only one of your numerous offerings on this page. Instead, give visitors the chance to learn more about your business. A CTA that asks prospects to subscribe to your newsletter or try your service for free are great ways to catch the attention of the widest swath of visitors possible.

Once you get to know these prospects better and have a deeper sense of where their specific interests lie, then you can begin to target them with more specific offers through email marketing and audience segmentation.

Use Content to Generate Leads

Having a website that’s filled with rich, valuable information is what will keep prospects on your site and entice them to come back for more. This means that your website needs to go beyond answering the basic question of how your business can solve a prospect’s problem. It must provide in-depth content on the topic that establishes your business as an authoritative voice in your industry, and provides prospects with the assurance that yours is the team for the job.

Creating valuable content and sharing that content regularly on your site is a critical part of the lead generation process. In order to do so, you need to establish a content strategy. I have advocated in the past for a strategy that organizes your content thematically. If you pick a different area of interest each month and offer a deep dive into related topics on your blog, you’re creating value for your prospects and continuing to offer interesting content regularly that will keep them coming back.

Once your blog has become a go-to source of information for your prospects, you can target them with offers for related white papers or your newsletter that’s dedicated to a relevant topic. This helps to move these prospects further down the marketing hourglass, as you begin to establish your brand as one that they know, like, and trust.

A poorly designed website will do nothing to generate leads for your business. When you begin to think strategically about all of the elements of your website—from SEO and keyword search to blog content and calls to action—you can build a website that is fully optimized to generate leads for your business.

The Seven Steps to Marketing Success – How to Build a Marketing System

The Seven Steps to Marketing Success – How to Build a Marketing System written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Building a Marketing System

The key to an effective marketing approach is creating a marketing system. This is Duct Tape Marketing’s point of view and our key differentiator. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the seven steps you must undertake to build a successful marketing system for your business.

1. Focus on Strategy Before Tactics

The first step to creating a successful marketing system is to know who your ideal customer is, and what their core problems are. If you don’t understand the value that your business can bring to each engagement, it’s nearly impossible to select the tactics you should use to reach your audience.

When you understand the ideal customer and create the narrowest definition possible for who that is, you can then connect what you’re offering to solving the customers’ problems. This makes your approach not just about your products and services, but about your promise to solve those problems. If you don’t take the time to understand your ideal customer, there’s no way to build a marketing strategy that will speak to them.

2. Guide the Customer Journey – The Marketing Hourglass

Because of the internet, the way people buy today is largely out of your hands. They have so many places to do research, ask networks, find out about you, and discover the products and services to solve their problems before they ever contact a company.

The customer journey comes into play at Duct Tape Marketing with something called the marketing hourglass. The hourglass has seven stages: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer. These stages represent the logical behavior in buying that many of your customers want to take. Your job is to help them move through those stages sequentially.

Your first step is to understand how somebody would come to know about a company like yours. Likely, they’d turn to a search engine or they’d ask a friend. At these early stages, they know they have a problem, but they haven’t yet concluded how they’re going to solve it. Marketing at this stage needs to show that you understand their pain points and that you might have the right solution for them. From there, you need to establish trust in your brand and perhaps even give them a way to try you. When they do finally buy, that experience must be excellent in order to create repeat business. Not only that, but happy customers will also generate referrals.

All marketing efforts must be built around the concept of the marketing hourglass. When you understand how your customers buy and what they’re expecting to achieve at each stage, you’re able to build a marketing plan that exceeds their expectations along the way and creates happy, lifelong customers.

3. Make Content the Voice of Strategy

Content is not just a tactic, it is the voice of strategy. You have made a promise to solve a problem for your customers; you now need to be ready to meet people where they are (search engines, social media, etc.) and generate enough valuable content to dominate in those arenas.

We use something called content hubs to outshine in search and to create content that is valuable to read, find, and share. This content must also meet customers at every stage of their journey, from know and like all the way through to referrals.

4. Create a Total Online Presence

Even if you do the majority of your business offline and in person, in today’s world, you must have a total online presence. The internet is where people go to have an experience with marketing, to understand a company, and to do research. When someone refers you to their friend, the friend turns to a search engine or your website to learn what other people are saying about you and to see if you actually solve the problem that they have.

No matter what kind of business you run, you need to be tackling all the elements of online marketing. This includes social media, search engine optimization, content, website, and email marketing. All of these pieces must work together as an integrated whole.

5. Build a Reliable Flow of Leads

Leads are the lifeblood of getting your business going, and so you have to find a predictable way to generate enough leads to grow your business. There are numerous channels through which to generate leads, and again, integration is key.

Sales, content, advertising, networking, and online and offline events all play a role. There is no one way to generate leads; the key is in finding the three or four channels that you can consistently mine and establishing a process to develop leads through those channels.

6. Make Lead Conversion Your X Factor

Lead conversion must be your multiplier. The key here is to focus on all forms of lead conversion. Obviously someone buying your product or service for the first time is a conversion, but what about signing up for an ebook, registering for an online course, getting a free evaluation, or making an appointment? Those are all conversion activities.

You need to map the experience of each of your leads and clients so you can be sure that they’re having a great experience throughout. This is how you create repeat business and reactive those clients who have been lost. Once you begin tracking customer experiences, you then need to measure these activities. When you understand customers’ behavior, you can create better experiences; even if that only increases each conversion activity by one or two percent, that has a huge impact on the business overall.

7. Live By the Calendar

When you’re developing a system, you have to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be long-term—focusing on three to four important priorities for the quarter is ideal. From there, you can break those priorities down into activities and projects so that you can plan the quarter and not expend energy chasing the next new thing.

You have to have fewer priories, and you have to make marketing a habit. It has to be something that you do daily. You have to build meetings with the appropriate people to make sure that you’re moving those priorities along. Once you establish that habit, you should start documenting your processes. From there, you can decide what tasks you can delegate, either by adding more staff or outsourcing to others.

The reality is that marketing never ends—it’s a cycle. Once you go through the seven steps and build your marketing system, you want to constantly be reviewing, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and changing your approach accordingly.

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The Impact of Understanding Customer Acquisition Costs and Customer Lifetime Value

The Impact of Understanding Customer Acquisition Costs and Customer Lifetime Value written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing, and today’s post is from Dan Kraus – Enjoy!

Have you heard someone talk about customer acquisition cost (CAC) or customer lifetime value (CLV or LTV)? If you’re in the tech business, and especially if you work with SaaS products, you’ve definitely heard of, and can likely calculate, these values. If you’re not in the tech industry, you should learn about these numbers, as they have enormous value for businesses of every type and size.

CAC is how much you spend to acquire a customer. In the simplest of calculations, it’s the amount you spend on sales and marketing divided by the number of customers you get during the period you’re measuring.

CLV is the net value of a customer to the company–how much money a customer spends during their entire relationship with you, minus the costs of products and services they buy.

Used together, these numbers help drive your overall business strategy, including your marketing approach.

Here’s a simple example. I met with a plumbing services business that cleans out drains as their primary business. We talked about their starter offer (how they get new clients in the door), which focused heavily on emergency clog removal through their 24-hour hotline.

They historically charged $149 for an emergency cleanout. Their loaded cost to do this, including technician time, vehicle wear and tear, and materials, was about $70. They wanted to clear a net profit of 20% ($30). Backing the cost and profit allocation out, we had $49 left to cover marketing and non-allocated overhead. After talking, we determined we needed to acquire a job/customer for $35 if the emergency clog removal was all they sold–a very challenging number to achieve in a market as big and competitive as Charlotte.

So we talked about the lifetime value of a customer. Less than 10% of the customers they worked with bought any other services–on the first service call or in the future–and their additional purchases were around $200. After taking out costs, we determined that their average CLV was approximately $42. They quickly understood that they needed new business strategies if they were going to grow.

They needed to increase the lifetime value of a customer. If they did, they could afford to spend more to acquire new customers. This realization drove them back to business planning because they needed to make decisions about customer service, cross-sell and up-sell plans, marketing to previous customers, and even compensation plans for their techs.

No matter what business you’re in, you can figure out your CAC and CLV and use the numbers to support or change your strategies and tactics. If you’re in professional services, use the numbers to understand if you need to focus on getting more repeat business or acquiring new customers. If you sell products in a brick-and-mortar store, the numbers will help you plan your promotional budget and adjust your product mix. If you’re a local services business–plumbing, car repair, landscaping, etc.–you can use your CAC and CLV values to determine how much you should spend on marketing to new customers versus providing better service to current clients.

John makes the point in this blog post that CLV is unlimited if you have delighted customers because they refer you, and those referrals have no CAC. If those referrals then refer you again, you end up in a virtuous cycle. I couldn’t agree more, but you have to start that cycle somewhere, and that somewhere is understanding where you are now so you can be smarter about where you invest going forward.

So, break out the spreadsheet and get some help from your bookkeeper, accountant, or financial advisor to figure out a basic cost of customer acquisition and customer lifetime value.

Those numbers will help you answer critical questions like:

  • How much should I budget for marketing based on the goals I have for gaining new customers this period?
  • How much should I be investing in customer delight, customer experience, and customer support?
  • Where should I focus my sales team and how should I structure their compensation plans for the results I want?
  • Which products or services should I concentrate on to get the customers I want to work with, and who are also profitable for our company?

Want to learn more? Try these other resources:

The Cost of Customer Acquisition: How Much Can You Spend to Earn New Business?

The Ultimate Guide to Calculating, Understanding, and Improving CAC in 2018

How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value

Dan Kraus

Dan Kraus is the founder and president of Leading Results, a marketing consulting agency based in Concord, North Carolina. Through his firm, Kraus helps business owners develop a marketing strategy that empowers them to be self-sufficient and ensures their long-term success. Find him on TwitterLinkedIn, or on his blog.

Why You Need Inbound For Outbound Marketing and Vice Versa

Why You Need Inbound For Outbound Marketing and Vice Versa written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

In recent years, outbound marketing has gotten a bad rap. It’s seen as expensive, time consuming, and it feels like a relic of the past. And the numbers bear this out: in 2017, HubSpot’s State of Inbound report found that 71 percent of businesses worldwide are focused primarily on inbound marketing.

But I’d argue that there is real value in outbound marketing, when it’s done correctly. In fact, you can develop a sort of symbiotic relationship between inbound and outbound marketing tactics in order to create an even stronger overall marketing strategy.

Here, we’ll look at why you need inbound for outbound marketing (and vice versa) and what you can do to strengthen your approach in both arenas.

Tailor Your Inbound Approach Based on Outbound Success

Nowadays, people are trained to tune out most traditional outbound tactics. Television commercials are muted or skipped over entirely, direct mailers are tossed in the trash without a second glance, and radio stations are switched as soon as ads begin playing.

So what information can you glean from an outbound campaign that is successful? If you begin to generate responses to an outbound campaign, you’ll know that you’re onto something. Your messaging was powerful enough to cut through the noise and grab the attention of someone that wasn’t actively seeking out the good or service you offer. And that’s valuable information.

You can then take that knowledge and use it to strengthen your inbound approach. Revamp your call to action on your website to reflect the messaging in your outbound campaign. Create blog posts that are related to the topic you presented in the ads. Adopt a similar tone in your social media posts. Understanding what it was that grabbed a stranger’s attention can allow you to bolster your relationship with those who already interact with your brand or who happen upon it via inbound channels.

Use Outbound to Identify the Strongest Prospects

Tracking responses to outbound marketing can also allow you to gauge who your most promising prospects are. If someone goes out of their way to react to your outbound efforts, it’s likely that they’re very enthusiastic about your business. This is a prospect with a high likelihood of conversion, and if you then open up a dialogue by presenting them with the appropriate inbound tactics, you have a good chance of winning them over.

These are the people you should be reaching out to with targeted offers and discounts. Make sure they’re encountering your paid ads on social media so that your business remains top of mind. Send them a free white paper and ask them to sign up for your bi-weekly newsletter that’s filled with valuable content. You’ll feel confident that you’re getting the greatest return on your inbound investment because you’re going after your most highly engaged prospects.

Catch Customers at Any Stage of the Marketing Hourglass

Outbound and inbound marketing come into play at different stages of the marketing hourglass. Typically, outbound strategies are deployed at the top of the hourglass, where new customers are just getting to know and like your brand. Inbound strategies become useful a bit further down. Because inbound allows you to develop a two-way conversation with prospects, these techniques can be valuable in the trust and try phases of the hourglass. This is where prospects will want to gain a deeper understanding of your brand, and perhaps hear from you or from your clients about what it is that you excel at, and why a prospect should give you a shot.

However, the customer journey is never a straight line, so you have to be prepared for the fact that existing customers will sometimes encounter your outbound marketing efforts and brand new prospects who aren’t familiar with your brand may discover your inbound approach before they ever see one of your ads. This means that you need to be thinking about how to create both inbound and outbound campaigns that are appealing to prospects and clients no matter where they are on their journey.

Your outbound approach should not only be a catchy introduction to your brand, it should also have a voice that aligns with the rest of your marketing, so that your existing customers feel that what they already understand to be true about your brand is just being further confirmed by any outbound efforts they come in contact with. Similarly, your inbound marketing strategy should be accessible enough that a stranger can happen upon any tweet, Instagram post, or paid search item and be able to easily glean what your business does, and what you might be able to offer to them.

Use Inbound and Outbound to Tell Your Story

If you’re only focused on either inbound or outbound marketing, you’re missing out on the opportunity to provide a holistic picture of what your business does, what your value proposition is, and how you stand out from the competition.

Outbound marketing only allows you to present a small sliver of the solutions you can provide to prospective clients. A good outbound campaign can tell a story in a direct mailer or a commercial, but outbound media are by nature briefyou’re limited to a 30 television commercial, one page mailer, or 15 second radio spotso prospects can’t get the full picture. And you can bet that in today’s digital world, even if you’ve gotten their attention through outbound tactics, they’ll be doing some digging on your business before converting.

That’s why pairing an outbound with an inbound approach is crucial. Your inbound marketing efforts, like social media and curated content on blogs or in white papers, allows you to tell prospects a broader story about who you are and what you do. Your social media accounts should have a clear point of view and should demonstrate your guiding vision and principles for your business. Your content should prove your deep industry knowledge and confirm your status as a thought leader.

Prospects want to trust you, and in order to trust you, they have to feel like they know you. The outbound will put you on their radar screen, but the inbound will open up a dialogue between you and the prospect, helping to prove to them that you’re the best company for the job.

A marketing strategy that focuses only on inbound is missing out on valuable opportunities. Pairing inbound and outbound marketing strategies allows you to create the fullest picture of your brand for prospects and clients alike, and gives you the greatest shot at winning new business and maintaining the trust and loyalty of existing customers.