As I write this on the 3rd January 2017 the New Year is here, the Christmas festivities are a fading memory and that "thing" you never quite got round to last year, well it's still a thing and it still needs doing. I'm referring, of course, to addressing your poorly performing website and the fact it does nothing for your business.
Red Evolution Opinions & Musings
Running a marathon isn't easy, it's hard, very hard. It takes months of hard work, a decent diet and plenty of determination. But this is an inbound marketing blog so why am I even talking about running a marathon? Because the similarities are remarkable.
The term inbound marketing is not yet widely used here in the UK. For that matter, neither is the term outbound marketing. However, the differences are not difficult to understand and this short post explains them in very simple language.
Hands up if you've ever referred to marketing as the "fluffy" stuff or the "airy fairy" part of business. Maybe once upon a time you might have been partially right, but not now, and especially not when it comes to inbound marketing.
Several times a week we get asked, "How much per month does SEO cost?". Despite providing lots of content (blogs, videos etc) educating people about SEO, it seems the message is not getting through. So, the time has come for some simple no-nonsense advice about what SEO costs.
A recent enquiry we received via our website went something like this, "If you get me leads I'll be able to pay you to get me leads". In other words, they had a website that didn't do any effective lead generation, it didn't generate enquiries.
No rankings in Google™, no traffic, no enquiries, no leads. This, in turn, meant they had no money to invest in search engine optimisation (SEO) and Inbound Marketing, activity that brings customers to you instead of you going to them. If this sounds familiar, then you're almost certainly not ready to hire an agency to help you.
We get plagued with calls and emails from companies offering their web development and SEO services. I guess that's kinda funny given web is what we do, but when you've deleted the 10th email that day and answered the 5th call, it starts to irritate. I'm sure you're in a similar boat and you're also pretty much done with the whole cold calling brigade.
Is it possible that's how your potential clients feel about you? Are you bugging people at the wrong time, in the wrong way? Or worse, are the efforts of your marketing spend simply being ignored?
I feel privileged to work in what I believe is a dynamic and exciting industry and I'm lucky to work with a diverse range of businesses, large and small, throughout the UK and beyond. I've been doing web stuff since 1995 and I still think it's amazing, it still excites me.
Marketing is not an exact science, and it's usually a fairly major slice of your business costs. So if you're not getting the results you want, you need to do something about it, and fast. The great thing about marketing online is that you can measure and change everything, as often as you like. You just need to know what questions to ask.
When you are setting your inbound marketing or social media objectives, one of them may well be to establish your expertise in a particular industry niche, otherwise known as thought leadership. It's not easy but it is possible to achieve if you have enough patience.
Here in the UK, there are many businesses who have embraced inbound marketing. However, it's fair to say there's still a lot of skepticism, and it's easy to understand why. Embarking on an exercise of web-based lead generation requires a big effort and a fresh approach to finding new customers. It's also true that inbound isn't a quick fix if your sales pipeline has dried up, it takes time.
All that said, if you do take the time to create a solid strategy and implement it, inbound will deliver. You see for all it's "newness" in essence inbound gives something valuable to your customers, giving you the opportunity to get value or revenue back.
We're are a lead generation or inbound marketing agency. We exist to help clients generate interest in their businesses and what they have to offer using the web and social media. We do this with the aim of generating enquiries or leads.
The tools we employ include great web design, strategic thinking, SEO and everything in between. That's it in a nutshell. We do it because we love it and we enjoy working with clients who want to leverage the web to positively impact their bottom line.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers and, more importantly, to provoke a response. Even with decreasing open rates, emails can trigger actions better than most other marketing tools.
Thanks to our own inbound marketing efforts we get a steady stream of fantastic business opportunities. Many of the enquiries we get are from businesses at an early stage of their journey into inbound marketing; so early they are often unaware of the inbound marketing philosophy. What I mean is they've recognised their websites are not generating leads but that's as far as they've got. I believe there are 7 stages to inbound marketing success and I'll now explore all 7 stages as I see them, based on our experience with many businesses.
In our industry, webby marketing type stuff, we get lots of emails that start like this. "We wanted to let you know about our lead generation service which gives you access to thousands of clients per year seeking new websites and an average of £35K worth of projects per month." These emails amuse me (I amuse you?). They amuse me because they're offering us low-quality leads and an opportunity to compete with a bunch of lowest common denominator companies, usually for a thirty-bob client. No thanks.