Inbound Marketing Services
Inbound marketing is about creating content that is so interesting, useful and engaging, your customers can’t help but want to consume it. With inbound, you don’t pursue customers, they come to you, by finding and engaging with your content on their own terms. Scientists love to discover, learn and improve, which is why inbound is a perfect approach for life science marketing. What’s more, it’s proven to produce amazing results, across a wide range of B2B industries.
Inbound marketing is a four step process designed to raise awareness of your products and services by attracting strangers to your website. First, we look to attract visitors to your site by creating great content aligned with the keywords your customers are using to search for solutions online. Next, we connect with these prospects by offering them high-value content, housed behind a form, converting them into leads for you to re-market to.
Third, we engage with these leads on an ongoing basis, providing them with useful information based on their actions and browsing behaviour. This also helps to move them along the buying process and enable us to better qualify them for your sales team to reach out to. Lastly, we provide them with great content even long after they have become customers, so that they turn into fans of your brand and promote you to their colleagues. Scroll down to learn more.
Your website can be the hub of your marketing, where people can learn about your solutions and start the journey to becoming your customers. The attract stage is about planning and creating content that speaks to the interests, challenges and pain points of your ideal prospects, drawing them to you via search and social.
How do you go about turning strangers into visitors?
When defining the ‘right’ people, we start by defining the customers we want to target. We want to create content that they will find useful, interesting and compelling. In order to do this, we attempt to define them as well as possible by creating buyer personas for each ‘type’ of prospect.
Buyer personas are our best effort to describe our customers in as much detail as possible. They encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, and common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. These personas are one of the bedrocks of an inbound strategy, directing the content we will create to attract their interest.
Tactically, the attract phase usually includes:
- Blogging: Inbound marketing starts with content creation and usually that means blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website, allowing you to frequently post new content that educates, inspires, informs and/or entertains.
- SEO: For most people, the buying process tends to start online, usually via a search engine, so you need to make sure your pages and content are fully optimised to come up in those searches.
- Social publishing: For your content to be effective, people need to be able to find it. Social platforms offer another avenue for you to share your content far and wide.
Once you’ve attracted visitors to your site, you need to connect with them more solidly and start converting them to leads. Contact information is going to be the currency of your success, so that you earn the right to continue sending them compelling content and can nurture them along the sales funnel.
How do you get your new visitors to happily provide their contact information?
Simple, you offer them something truly useful in return! This can take the form of blog posts, industry insights, whitepapers, infographics, checklists or even something as simple as a great news story you decide to share.
With great content offered up as a ‘payment’ for contact information, you can start to employ a number of important tools to capture relevant details and start forming meaningful connections. Those visitors that you initially attracted, now start to become valuable leads.
The connect/convert stage involves the skilful use of the following:
- High-value content: Housed behind a form, these are content pieces so valuable and compelling, your targets are happy to provide their email address to access them.
- Calls-to-action (CTA): These are buttons to download or obtain this content. Compelling call-to-action buttons and links can be the difference between a successful inbound campaign and a dud.
- Landing pages: Once a visitor has clicked on your CTA, they should be sent to a landing page where they submit their information. This will form the foundation of your new contacts database, allowing you to start building on these new connections, whether by email, social media or phone.
During the engage stage (sometimes known as the close stage), it’s time to turn nurturing those leads into closing them into customers! To keep the ball rolling, you also need a way of identifying which marketing efforts brought in the right leads, so that you can optimise your future efforts.
Visitors, check. Leads, check. Now, how do you actually transform them into customers?
Entertaining, relevant and engaging content will always be at the heart of your inbound marketing efforts. Creating and sharing original material that appeals to your audience means you keep them coming back for more, while your community comes to see you as both a valued curator of relevant content and an expert in your chosen field. Aligning this content across the buyer’s journey (first awareness, then consideration and then decision time) allows you to move the prospect closer to becoming a customer.
As you continue to develop and share this content, bringing in more and more prospects, you need to: make use of smart marketing tools to track your leads through the sales funnel; analyse and quantify which of your endeavours are yielding the best results; and pass hot leads over to your sales team so they can seal the deal.
Effective engaging and closing relies upon:
- Customer Relation Management (CRM) systems: Keeping track of the details of your contacts, companies and new relationships as they enter the pipeline, means you can contact the right people at the right time with the right content for their stage in the buying process.
- Reporting and analytics: You need to take the guess-work out of marketing and close the loop with sales where you can. Analytical tools that integrate with your CRM mean you can pinpoint which tactics were most successful for attracting, nurturing and closing sales so that you can repeat and refine your approach in the future.
- Nurturing through automation: We know you’re always busy. This is why it makes sense to employ just the right amount of automation, from social media posts to emails, to stay well ahead of the game and keep your leads engaged with fresh content based on their interests and past behaviour.
The inbound journey doesn’t stop once you’ve converted your leads! A happy, repeat customer is great for your business and can be a powerful source of referrals, so the last step is to make them your brand advocates. These help you bring more strangers into your sales funnel, renewing the inbound process.
Make the final step an ongoing one: turn your customers into promoters
Now you’ve established a customer base and made a sale, it’s time to continue to engage and delight your customers. In time, they will become the most effective promoters of your brand, expertise, products and services. After all, there is nothing more powerful in marketing than third party validation.
To do this you need to engage, entertain and delight them on an ongoing basis so that they’re happy to remain customers and hopefully promote your products and services that they’ve come to love.
Here’s how you can delight customers on an ongoing basis:
- Surveys: You’ve got content creation covered by now, but you can employ surveys to help find out which specific content pieces key customers liked or would like to see in the future. Make your customers feel like they are a valuable part of your communications strategy and they’ll be more likely to promote your content to their peers.
- Social monitoring: See which conversations are going on and which topics matter the most to people by listening and responding to these questions or comments. Provide valuable input (and this usually means not trying to sell too early!)
- Smart content: Keep your existing customers delighted with the quality and engaging content they came to you for in the first place, but tailor the experience based on their past behaviour so you are always showing them something fresh.
As life science professionals are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and discovery, they are the perfect candidates for targeting via the inbound marketing process. The only question is, how can you get started? We can help. Our Inbound Marketing Service follows four main steps:
Strategy and goal-setting
Our first step is to start with a kick-off meeting where we’ll define your core business objectives for inbound marketing and identify your ideal customers (including defining their buyer persona and typical buying process). It’s at this stage that we’ll also set our SMART marketing goals for your inbound campaign.
Programme planning and set-up
Now we are ready to set you up on the HubSpot inbound marketing platform, which will streamline and automate your inbound marketing efforts, increase leads and provide valuable customer intelligence. This stage is essential for getting the campaign started effectively and ensure efficient execution of steps 3 and 4.
High-value content creation
Once planning and set-up are complete, it is time to get creative. This means developing new content or repurposing existing materials to create valuable downloadable ‘offers’, to entice prospects to sign up to receive them. These could include eBooks, whitepapers, checklists, infographics, webinars, podcasts etc.
Execution and monitoring
Finally, we’ll create and schedule the executional parts of the campaign over the coming months to promote your content offers, including blog posts, social media updates, landing pages, emailers etc. Using HubSpot, we’ll regularly monitor the success of your campaign against the SMART goals agreed at the outset, tweaking and improving as required on an on-going basis.