This is our inbound marketing methodology. You can find it at the link below and it describes the hubspot approach to inbound marketing.A lot of companies think inbound marketing is just about putting out content to help try attract people to your siteThat’s part of it, but inbound marketing is really all about persona driven marketing, helping you engage with your dream customers in the channels their most comfortable with.It’s not just about generating traffic at the top of the funnel, it’s about generating that traffic, and creating a personalised experience through the funnel so they convert into leads, customers and then hopefully promoters for your brand.
The inbound marketing methodology has really been developed for the way your customers buy today.
Most purchase decisions start with a need. The difference today is most people start their search on Google. 65% of Europeans conduct some type of research online before purchasing a good or a service. In the B2B market, which is what HubSpot are in, 88% of b2b marketers research online before choosing a product/service
We refine our search before deciding on what link is most applicable for us. The search engine is really like the modern tradeshow for b2b companies – it helps get them in the door with the initial search and provides the different aisles to products as users refine their searches.
We reach out to the networks we have taken time to build up. These are the different channels are customers feel most at home in. They trust the content being shared in those networks and the brands that are being recommended.
What your consumers are doing is educating themselves. A study conducted by the corporate executive board highlighted that 60% of the sales cycle is complete before they ever lift the phone to talk with your sales team. This means they have used the content found about you online to form ideas about your brand, services and products.
and after all that research, they convert. How they convert very much depends on how well you’ve structured your landing page to fulfill their needs.
We also need to think about how we actually retain our customers. Inbound marketing isn’t just about attracting customers, it’s how do you delight them. It cost 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one, so for us to be a successful company, we want to have lot’s of happy customers who stick around.
The difference is your buyers are in control of the whole buying cycle. They choose when and where to engage with your brands.
You don’t want to be the brand who constantly interrupts your consumer when they are trying to do things online.
You need to figure out how can you become a brand that is consumed by your target audience. How can you build marketing that personas want to engage with because it’s mapped to their needs, challenges and goals.
That’s what inbound marketing is. It’s the art of creating persona driven marketing tailored to the way your consumers buy goods and services today.
For the rest of the presentation I want to focus on some of the key elements you need to be successful with inbound marketing.
At the heart of any successful inbound marketing strategy is a well thought out & understood buyer persona. A great inbound marketer should be able to figure out who their different buying personas are, what type of goals they have, their different pain points, what are their challenges so they can use this information to create marketing that actually helps their persona.
We know from our research in the European state of inbound marketing that European marketers are concerned with reaching the right audience and converting them into leads. To do this, you need to really know who your different buyer personas are. You need to give them a reason to visit you and something of value to share their details with you.
Buyer personas help us understand who we are producing all this content for. They help create a personalised funnel for each of your different buyer personas, so you are attracting the right type of visits, converting the right kind of leads, which in turn will convert into customers at a higher rate. We also want to know what problems our product solves for our personas, why they will buy from us. This is not only so we can use that information to help move personas through our buying cycle, but also so the people who are buying from us are really happy with our product, it’s actually solving the problem they had. This is what helps us delight our customers and create powerful promoters for our brand.We know this all starts with having content that will attract people to us.
We also know that we are currently in the middle of a content arms race. 72% of UK b2b marketers are going to be producing more content next year than they did this year. This is going to continue year over year as brands realise the old school way of marketing just doesn’t work anymore.
We are all about to be inundated with a WHOLE lot of content and it’s going to become really important to stand out amongst the crowd. Buyer personas really help us to stand out and talk direct to the personas we are trying to reach. This is because our content speaks to their pain points, challenges and goals.
So what is a buyer persona?I’ve talked a lot about buyer personas and how they are a crucial part of a successful inbound marketing strategy, so I just want to take a step back and think about what buyer personas really are.
This is how Buyer Personas are defined.Buyer personas are Semi- fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.What does that really mean? It’s a pretty wordy definition The best way to visualize what a buyer persona actually is, is by looking at what a real, live buyer persona actually looks like.
This is a real persona that Hubspot sell to. We call her Marketing Mary. We’ve made her as realistic as possible with information about her Job title, the type of company she works in, the size of her marketing team and information on her Goals and Challenges.We’ve also put down some information on why she would buy Hubspot. This is going to help us figure out how to attract Marketing Mary to our site and move her along in the funnel.So here are some important attributes of a buyer persona
The first important part of this is obviously knowing what to ask. Understanding what information you are looking for is going to play a crucial role in getting an accurate picture of your different personas.
Here are typically some of the best questions to ask when doing persona research--If you can answer these questions, you’re probably ahead of 99% of the marketers out there and I guarantee your life will be easier.Things like, understanding your personas goals, what success looks like in their roles, what are their different Watering Holes, and what are some of their biggest challenges will really help you to start to tailor your inbound marketing strategy for the right sort of people.
The second part of this is knowing who to ask
Another way to get some great data on our different buyer personas is through researching our customers using things like surveys. So, for example, if we take the different persona questions we had in our previous slide, we can package these up into a survey and using something like surveymoney, and send out to our customers, it’s going to get us a lot of great data
There has never been so much data for us marketers to take advantage of when we are trying to understand the people we are marketing to. There are 53 million tweets per day30 billion posts shared on Facebook per monthThe problem is how do we segment into the data that’s relevant for us. For example, using HubSpotsSocialInbox, we are able to create multiple different lists and segment the groups we want to listen to. We can see all tweets just from our customers, or just from our marketing qualified leads. This let’s us use social, in a meaningful way.
Another way Hubspot gathers information on our different buyer personas is to use our own tool to look at the type of interactions each person has had with us. We create a timeline of a persons activity with Hubspot from the first conversion event until they become a customer. This let’s us understand how different personas find Hubspot, what type of content first attracted them to our site, what type of content really pushed them towards becoming a qualified lead and then onto a customer.Remember, personas are all about behaviors and any data that’s going to help us figure out those common behaviors for groups of people who belong to certain personas is going to really help us understand that persona
Another way we gather information on our different buyer personas is the types of questions we ask in the forms.The things you ask in these forms – questions like what is your company name? what is your role in the company? Are you a b2b or b2c? How BIG is your company? We can actually use peoples’ Reponses to these questions as data for our persona research!
The last technique is to Talk to Sales, actually, I would go one further and say the best persona brainstorm session will be a cross functional one with marketing, sales, and customer service (go into same speech as ICT Valley part).There some of the ways that you can start to research and create your own buying personas
None of this works without a great content machine. Content is what’s going to help super charge your inbound funnel.
This quote comes from Marcus Sheridan who is a HubSpot partner and who was previously a customer, he used HubSpot to grow his own business selling swimming pools. He is now a well known expert in inbound and has even been featured in the new york times. Why I love this quote is because content isn’t just something that you put out there to attract some people to your site. It’s what helps captures your audiences attention, their permission for you to communicate with them and what eventually will help you make the sale.
When I talk at conferences about building a content machine for your company, this is always the feedback I get. It’s easy for us to talk about content when we have a company with a culture of producing it.
The reality is we used to have no resources, no traffic. We were all the way back here. This is just traffic to our core site to HubSpot.com – the traffic trend to our blog looks identical.
And it’s not as if we just figured out the secret sauce to this stuff. It took us time to see results from this. But we believed inbound was going to be what helped us grow to a 53 million dollar company in 6 years. We were persistent and consistent in the quality of the content we put out.
There are a lot of different categories you can create content from. I am going to run through 4 of the most common you can use to help build your content machine. I’ve tried to graph them in terms of how many resources it takes to implement them and the type of results you can typically expect. With content like anything, the categories which take up more resources tend to have a bigger impact.
The first one is curated. You can do this in a lot of ways. Curate the best weekly tweets from people in your industry, curate the best slideshares from your industry or
Something like curating industry news. This is an example from HubSpot where we provide a post each morning to help kick start marketers days with top stories they need to know about and should be sharing on social.
Created is unique content you produce for your personas. This is resource intensive but has a bigger impact because it’s providing something unique to your personas, mapped around their different goals, challenges and pain points.
NewsJacking is another great what to create some unique content. For example, when Facebook launch big product updates, our content team stays up through the night producing content to help marketers understand what this means for their business.
And one of my favorite is data driven content. This really helps your content stand out from the crowd as it’s using unique data only you have access to. Our SOIM report was based on 3500 marketers that we surveyed. It provided a lotof great insights about the state of inbound marketing.If anyone wants to read more about data driven content, you can check out the blog post I’ve provided at the bottom of this slide.
Think Bigger. Examples – Tax Calculator / Salary CalculatorFor example, one of our best pieces of content was this interactive tool. It’s called grader.com and graders your website and how well optimised it is for inbound. This has helped generate 4 million visits for us, over half a million email opt ins and lots of great PR.
The great thing about having a lot of created content is you can recycle it into a lot of different formats
For really unique created content you should be thinking about how you can create a mini campaign around it with pieces in a lot of different formats. You want to own that subject.
For our State of Inbound Marketing report – we created blog posts to help launch it, a webinar for people who downloaded it, created a European version from the data we had, created 3 different slideshares and will have a specific version for agencies. This will help you scale your content machine.
The last one I touch on is CoMarket. You want to think about building content partnerships that will help you tap in to different audiences. This is really to help you build your own reach and audience.
This is the most difficult to setup because you really need to bring something to the table to attract good CoMarket partners. Have you got great reach, expertise or something unique to share. You should leverage this create amazing content with different partners and tap into new audiences.Look for partners that can be mutually beneficial
You want to think like a publisher for your market. When planning your own marketing for the year, think what type of activities a publisher would do to make their site the best in the industry on topics your personas care about. What type of internal skill sets would a publisher recruit for. How would a publisher spend their money
I talk with a lot of people after talks like this who say it’s not as simple as just hiring a content person and getting them to write, their industry requires specialist knowledge. For example, in many B2B companies all the knowledge could be held by the sales team, the service team, even the CEO. A great content team will suck in this information and repurpose it into content. You create a small internal publishing team to extract that knowledge from their heads and turn it into amazing content.
The great think about building your own content machine is you own your marketing. You haven’t just spent all your time, resources and budget simply renting attention by just buying ads from Google. For example, in January HubSpot’s blog generated 20,000 leads, 70% of these were from old articles.
Understanding your personas and building a content machine will get you a lot of success in inbound. But context will help you truly personal your marketing for your individual personas. Context is being able to use the data you have about your visits, prospects or leads to create a better experience for them.
You want to consider your different personas and the type of content that would help them at each stage of the buying cycle. For example (Enterprise Erin / Owner Ollie)
We use Context to make the buying cycle more tailored towards each individual. This is what helps us get’s such high conversion rates between the different lifecycle stages. For example, if Enterprise Erin reads that blog post and she is a new visitor, the call the action she sees is around the executive guide to inbound marketing. If she is already a lead and has that content, we show her something a different, something that helps moves her to that next stage.
This is what helps our blog to convert between 10% to 20% which is really high compared to most business blogs. We use context to personalise the offers we show.
Context also helps us provide a better middle of the funnel experience via email. We can better segment and target our lists. On average personalised emails get a 14% higher CTR than generic ones. For example in HubSpot we can quickly build a list from people who downloaded the executive guide to inbound marketing and send them a specific offer just for them.
We offer them a demo of our mid funnel tools, because that’s a big part of what Enterprise Erin is looking for.
We can also use that Context about Erin to have better sales calls by setting up notifications to let her sales rep know she has just requested the demo and also let them know what other content she has viewed to day.
Finally we want to delight our customers.
So when Enterprise Erin becomes a customer and she comes back on our site, we don’t want to keep showing her call to actions trying to get her to convert. We want to have a whole separate set of content for her around new product updates and events we are hosting like Inbound 2013 in Boston.That’s how you build a really powerful funnel using content and context.
The last super power is being able to use data to measure what you are doing more effectively and also to help make strategic decisions. As we’ve already discussed, the most common issue that comes up with marketing is being able to measure it’s ROI effectively. As an inbound marketer, you not only want to be able to report on the performance of your strategy across the funnel, but also to use the right data to help you make decisions on what is working and what’s not.
A good inbound marketer knows …..
HubSpot: Inbound marketing your secrets to success
Your Secrets to
Kieran Flanagan, Marketing Director (EMEA) @ HubSpot
is the art of
across your entire
How You Can be
PERSONAS11 Be Relevant
of European marketers are
focused on reaching the right
audience, and converting them
of European marketers
are focused on reaching
the right audience, and
converting them into
Personas tell us who
we are creating
content for and why
they will buy from us.
“72% of UK B2B
Marketers will be
more content next
year than they did
Standing out from the crowd
will be is important
Semi- fictional representations of your ideal
customer based on real data and some select
educated speculation about customer
patterns, motivations, and goals.
What is a Buyer Persona?
• Professional marketer (VP, Director, Manager)
• Mid-sized company (25-200 employees)
• Small marketing team (1-5 people)
• BComm (DIT), MBA (Smurftt)
• 42, Married, 2 Kids (10 and 6)
• Support sales with collateral and leads
• Manage company communications
• Build awareness
• Too much to do
• Not sure how to get there
• Marketing tool and channel mess
Loves HubSpot because:
• Easy to use tools that make her life
• Learn inbound marketing best practices
• Easier reporting to sales and CEO