Ever have that lightbulb moment when all the dots align and you suddenly see the solution that was right there in front of you?
I have been sympathizing with clients and prospects for the last year or more, saying that social media and online marketing are here to stay, and that we’re all still trying to figure it out. Last week I attended Hubspot’s INBOUND15 and found out that there ARE answers. Hubspot HAS figured it out. And it’s genius!
I had also thought, based on my reading and experience, that you couldn’t really tie online marketing to true ROI. Hubspot has figured that out too.
INBOUND MARKETING: THE LANDING PAGES
The concept is really quite simple. You create good content, build landing pages to access the good content and then drive traffic to the landing pages and track who signs up, who downloads, who clicks through. In an iterative and multivariate process you are able to nuance content to your visitors’ preferences in a very powerful way.
Strategically, it’s what marketing has said all along. You have to be able to put the client’s hat on and speak to their pain points. That’s how you make that emotional connection that builds trust. Content that speaks to the customers’ pain, offering solutions, rather than your features, is what makes your content valuable
B2B AND/OR B2C
I also realized that the fit for social and online marketing has evolved. I thought it was really only applicable to B2C marketing and held little to no value for B2B. But at the conference I spoke with attendees, speakers, and partners and found out that the Inbound Marketing model is as relevant to the B2B services market as the B2C product market. It’s not suitable in all cases, but spot-on more often than you might think.
When you’re watching TV or a movie, or reading online, and someone mentions the Boer Wars, which you know nothing about, what do you do? Google it. When your kids have homework and need to write a report about something you vaguely remember from high school biology, what do you do? Google it. When you look in the refrigerator and cupboards to find that you have green peppers, squash, an onion and 2 hamburgers leftover from the picnic, what do you do? Look up a recipe online.
It all comes down to the “ZMOT link to previous sliceblog.” The “Zero Moment of Truth definition on Google” is an expression that Google first put forth in 2011. “The zero moment of truth (ZMOT) refers to the point in the buying cycle when the consumer researches a product, often before the seller even knows that they exist.”
When they first talked about it, Google first coined the phrase to represent the consumer’s research for an online product purchase. But we all know by experience that this has become the way we consume information about decision we make before we pick up the phone or send that email.
If search is most people’s primary starting place for market research, then it’s really important that your business be found AND that they easily find the ANSWERS they are looking for. Is your website a hub of information that your visitors come to to answer their most burning questions? If not, what’s the real value of your website?
What really helped me pull it all together was the book by Hubspot’s founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah . In 2014, they came out with the second edition of their book, Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online. I read the entire book once through, last weekend, after I got home from Boston.
We’ve been slowly adopting some of the concepts of inbound marketing. And I was very excited to see that Hubspot’s website grader gave us a 78% overall, with a minimal focus on execution. I have come back from the conference with the express purpose of executing on all the other pieces, getting staff on board with blogging and adding in missing pieces that the website grader let me know about.
What are you doing to create inbound marketing to your website? How are you measuring your success? Share in the comments below…