A couple days ago, our friends over at Marketing Pilgrim published a great blog post from Square 2 Marketing's President and Co-Founder Michael Lieberman called "10 Ways Inbound Marketing Drives Results This Month."
I was impressed with the content, but more importantly, I thought the angle was spot on -- one of the pain points many marketers and business owners share with me is that it's scary to adopt a new methodology when it might not yield immediate results.
The best inbound marketers do, indeed, play a good long game, but you can use inbound marketing tactics and strategies to move the needle immediately, too. So to add to Lieberman's already stellar list, here are ten more ways you can borrow from inbound marketing to see immediate positive changes in your marketing.
Michael Lieberman's 10 Ways for Inbound Marketing to Drive Results This Month
To catch you up to speed, here's an abbreviated version of Lieberman's recommendations.
- Make sure your website has the right messaging to help visitors pass the blink test.
- Add visual calls-to-action to your site.
- Add offers to your website that appeal to visitors and leads in all stages of the funnel.
- Start blogging, and strive for a frequency of three to four times a week.
- Share your blog content with social media followers.
- Share educational content with relevant LinkedIn Groups.
- Create dedicated, conversion-optimized landing pages.
- Nurture leads with campaigns that bring them further down the funnel.
- Share educational content on sites your target audience frequents.
- Track and test all of your activities so you can get a more accurate gauge of what's working.
10 More Ways Inbound Marketing Drives Results This Month
Alright, now that we've all got ten ideas under our belt, let's add ten more, shall we?
1) A/B Test Elements of Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Running an A/B test can yield you immediately actionable results that help you improve your marketing. I recommend running email A/B tests because you don't need to rack up enough traffic to, say, a landing page to wait for statistical significance; if you have a good size email list, you can get statistically significant results much faster.
When we've run email A/B tests in the past, we've seen immediate results. Justtesting the "From" name, for example, yielded us 144 more leads. Pretty cool for just one test. If you're looking for some email tests to run today, this blog post, "6 Email Tests That Matter More Than Your Subject Line" has some great guidance.
2) Implement a List Re-Engagement Campaign
Not everyone on your email list is an engaged subscriber. And if you're still emailing them as if they are, that could really hurt your sender reputation. But don't nuke 'em just yet. You could start implementing a list re-engagement campaign today, and by the end of the month, have re-engaged people you once thought were goners.
The added benefit of this is you clean your list of inactives, which can seriously damage your sender reputation and email deliverability rate. The immediate benefits of a better sender reputation and a more engaged segment of your list aside, this is an important step to ensuring your future success with email marketing.
For a step-by-step breakdown of exactly how to implement a list re-engagement campaign and scrub your list of unengaged subscribers, refer to this blog post.
3) Identify a Long-Tail Keyword Phrase With High Search Volume
Long-tail keyword phrases are very targeted search terms, typically three words or more. What's great about long-tail keyword phrases is that not only do they help drive very targeted traffic because of their specificity, but they are also far less competitive than other, shorter search terms. Try to identify a long-tail keyword phrase, preferably something educational, that your audience would really benefit from learning. Then create content around it. You will be shocked how quickly you can rank for and generate traffic from this term.
We did this with the long-tail keyword phrase, "how to retweet." After identifying this as a pain point -- the author of the post was approached constantly with this question -- seeing how much search volume there was around the term, and not finding and content assets adequately explaining how to do it, the opportunity was clear. Although simple in concept, this is one of our most successful blog posts to date, and it gave us a tidal wave of traffic and leads upon publish. All from a simple long-tail keyword phrase!
Newsjacking, by its very nature, is pretty darn immediate. Stay up to date on the news -- in your industry, local community, and across the world -- and find opportunities to newsjack for a quick influx of traffic, leads, and expanded social reach.
If you're not familiar with newsjacking, it's the practice of riding the wave of a popular news story by either being the first to cover it, finding a unique angle for your own business, or both. You can learn more about it in this blog post.
5) Invest in a Social Media Ad Campaign
Most social networks now have paid advertising options that can give you a serious influx of Likes, fans, and followers in a short span of time. This is a great option for marketers dealing with colleagues or bosses who aren't totally bought into the social media hype, or those starting from scratch. You must supplement any paid ad spend with organic content, of course, but promoting an educational resource -- like a free ebook, for example -- using Facebook ads is a great way to get your social media lead generation off the ground, and generating results fast.
If you need help setting up a social media ad campaign, we have a few guides that will walk you through the steps on the most popular social networks:
- Your Guide to Setting Up Facebook Ad Campaigns
- Your Guide to Setting Up Twitter Ad Campaigns
- Your Guide to Setting Up LinkedIn Ad Campaigns
6) Build a Free Tool
Free tools are a gold mine for two things: prospect or lead generation, and inbound links. In fact, a lot of our initial success at HubSpot came from a free tool we launched ... before our software was even available ... called Website Grader (now Marketing Grader). If you have internal engineering talent or some budget to outsource development, think of a simple tool that people would find really useful. These tools get a ton of buzz -- hence the inbound links -- and can get you a tidal wave of prospects and/or leads to nurture in a jiffy.
To get your brain going, here are a few of the free tools HubSpot and other businesses have launched. See if you can apply similar concepts to your industry!
- LinkTally: See how many times a URL is shared across social networks.
- Color Scheme Designer: Select one color, and get an entire color scheme generated around it.
- Google Web Fonts: Find fonts ready for use on your website.
- TweetCharts: Analyze Twitter data on any hashtag, username, word, phrase, or URL.
7) Respond to HARO
HARO, or "Help a Reporter Out," is a tool that highlights requests from journalists for quotes from subject matter experts. HARO queries are all about being responsive, helpful, and educational. They're also an extremely low time investment with quick turnaround time (the editorial world moves quickly). If a journalist finds your quote about, say, the new Pinterest analytics tool, to be the most relevant for their article, your name and company can show up -- and sometimes even with an inbound link -- in the final copy.
This is also a great tool for companies whose personas really care about the clout associated with press mentions, so your sales team can point to your recent New York Times or Huffington Post mention.
Sign up for HARO, and position yourself as a thought leader with journalists. The more responsive and helpful you are, the more they'll look to you for future quotes.
8) Start Using Tracking Tokens
Any inbound marketer I know is obsessed with campaign measurement, and tracking tokens make that a possibility. If you're unfamiliar with what tracking tokens are, they're a little bit of gobbledy gook that you slap onto the end of a URL to get analytics on that page.
So right now -- like, literally right now -- you could start saving money on your marketing by including a tracking token in a URL. For example, a tracking token included in a PPC campaign could tell you whether all the money you're spending on a particular ad campaign is actually generating any leads. Imagine being able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on PPC this month -- and funneling that expenditure into something else that drives better results -- just because you included a tracking token!
9) Create a Blog Subscription Landing Page
You're probably used to using landing pages to generate leads -- but they're also great for generating subscribers to your blog! "But I already have a subscription field on my blog," you say? Well, I'm glad to hear you say that -- you totally should -- but it is really beneficial to have a dedicated landing page just for generating blog subscribers.
Because then you have a dedicated URL to use to promote blog subscription! That's right, you're going to start marketing your blog, just like any other content asset. And whether in co-marketing, social media, internal links, or other promotional channels, consider how much easier it is to send folks to a landing page instead of saying, "Visit the blog, then scroll down, look to the right, and then you'll see a box to subscribe." Yeah, way more effective. For an example of a blog subscriber landing page, check out ours here.
10) Create Social Media Visual Content
Did you know that on Facebook, photos generate 53% more likes than the average post? And that videos are shared 12X more than links and text posts combined? So if you want to start killing it in social media, and killing it immediately, spend some time today creating social media visualizations -- particularly for Facebook. Even if you're not a graphic designer, there are plenty of free tools available to you that will enable you to create fantastic social images. Here's a free kit for you to download, which contains PowerPoint templates to help get you started with visual content creation, as well as a breakdown of the 10 commandments of visual design ... written for non-designers ;-)
What other recommendations do you have for people to drive instant (or near instant) results with inbound marketing tactics and strategies?
Image credit: return the sun
Originally published Mar 29, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017