Did you know that three out of four marketers worldwide prioritize Inbound Marketing over outbound? That is great news, right? It really is! The tide lifts all ships, and if we all become more inbound-oriented (i.e., provide value and being helpful instead of always be closing pushy), marketing in itself will transform!
In fact, according to the B2B Technology Marketing Community, B2B marketers say that their greatest barriers to lead generation success are the lack of resources in staffing, budgeting, or time!
However, if you look at the effectiveness of these efforts, you might be in for a surprise! Only 6% of companies surveyed by the CMI 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Study feel they are very effective in using content marketing; 24% are using it effectively. Not to speak of lead generation or marketing automation.
While most companies have an internal marketing team, and they are doing just fine without outside help most of the time, there are instances when hiring an inbound marketing agency not only makes sense but is the best thing you can do!
1) Running A Webinar For The First Time
Webinars can be amazing lead generation tools — but they also can be a logistical nightmare! There is so much to do before, during, and after the webinar and if things do not go smoothly, you potentially look foolish in front of many people that are looking to learn and possibly buy from you!
Why it is a great idea: Hiring an inbound marketing agency to help you run your first webinar is a very good idea. Not only can you benefit greatly from their expertise and skills (they have been there, done that before) but you also get a repeatable process that you can use for any future webinars! For example, we give our clients a checklist and wrap up the project with a knowledge transfer call so that the next time, they have all the tools and expertise they need to pull it off themselves.
What you can expect: The marketing agency will help you with the general logistic, setup, and the promotion of the webinar, including creating the landing and thank you pages, call to action buttons and sending promotional emails, crafting relevant blog post topics and social media messages before and after the webinar and much more. However, most likely, they will not provide you with the tools you need to facilitate the webinar (e.g., GoToMeeting), speakers or the presentation.
2) Using Inbound Marketing To Promote Your Tradeshow Or Conference Booth
The cost for exhibiting at a tradeshow or conference including booth space rental, refurbished designs, travel expenses, etc. averages out to more than $25,000 per event! Moreover, while you will use some outbound marketing tactics to promote your participation at the said event, you should also consider using something off your inbound marketing tool belt to ensure a maximum return on investment.
Why it is a great idea: Your company is spending a lot on this tradeshow and your job is to make sure this event has a great return on investment (ROI) by giving prospects and customers the chance to book meetings, know which sessions to attend, how to find your team and have as many interaction points as possible. Also, by freeing you up, the agency gives you back time and energy to focus on the things that are really important and urgent — like that $40,000 display that you are working on...
What you can expect: An inbound marketing company will not necessarily create the flyers and or do the actual booth design, but they can help getting people in touch with you at the conference, for example by:
- Inviting your current prospects, customers, and new website visitors
- Letting everyone know where to find you (e.g., your booth number)
- Informing them about any sessions you will be attending or even hosting
- Promoting any activity at your booth or session (e.g., contest, giveaway, or impressive swag)
- Offering the option to schedule appointments or know where to find your team
After the event, the marketing pros will make sure you have email templates to follow up with attendees, leverage potential presentations as lead generation tools and much more.
3) Crafting Sales Enablement Sequences
Imagine, you have to call a bunch of warm leads that your marketing department just handed you. You leave a bunch of voice mails. If you are lucky, you actually speak to someone. However, maybe your prospects are busy or have an objection right off the bat. If you are like most sales people, you will give up after only two attempts.
But here is the deal: The average prospect needs eight touches to buy. So if you already give up after two attempts, you are still six short! Here is where sales enablement sequences come in! A sales enablement sequence is a series of emails meant to nurture prospects until they respond.
Why it is a great idea: Sales people spend all day prospecting or talking on the phone, but the trouble is that most sales people are terrible at writing emails! Having a professionally written sequence of emails that your team can leverage to follow up with leads is not only more effective concerning better open and click rates, it will also save hours every day typing out the same emails that they have probably written more than a hundred times. Since these are workflows that run until the prospect responds, all the salesperson has to do is to enroll the contact and wait for a response.
What to expect: Professionally written emails that are sure to hit the mark. Your inbound marketing company will be sure to match your corporate voice and the stage your buyer persona is in to create an email follow-up sequence that is performing! Personalization tokens and a warm personal tone make the automated emails appear to be personal notes written to each particular person every time, and the sales automation software will ensure that the workflow stops as soon as the lead responds - so you are sure never to bother people.
4) Diagnosing Your Conversion Problem
Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees. A fresh eye on things can often be a good way to figure out why your website is under-performing regarding lead generation.
While the number of leads you can expect from your website on a monthly basis greatly varies based on the quantity and quality of the presented conversion opportunities as well as somewhat of your industry and market position, you can orient yourself on the top 25% of HubSpot's customers who turn 3.1% of visitors into leads!
While we have a client that reached north of 8% (yeah, we won the HubSpot Impact Award for Best Client Growth Story for that), try for a conversion rate of 1-3%.
Why this is a great idea: Hiring an outside marketing agency that has extensive experience in optimizing conversion opportunities and diagnosing conversion problems will allow you to benefit from their experience.
What to expect: The amount of work involved will depend on the kind and scope of the problem. At a minimum, your marketing agency will require access to your Google Analytics as well as your marketing automation tool (e.g., HubSpot) to look at the conversion funnels and analytics in detail. You might also see some advanced testing using A/B Testing, heat maps and maybe even user polls or interviews.
5) Get You Started On Growth-Driven Design (GDD)
If you have recently been part of a website redesign project, you know that this can be a very frustrating, costly and lengthy process. The average SMB website costs between $15,000 and $80,000 upfront, takes more than three months and comes with no guarantees that it will perform better than your old website! However, it does not have to be that way!
Growth-Driven Design is a new way to design websites. It borrows from lean manufacturing and agile development and applies the same principles to creating a website that is sure to deliver real business value.
Why it is a great idea: Instead of sinking a massive upfront investment into something that you do not know for sure will bring you the return of investment you are hoping for, Growth Driven Design websites eliminate the risks that traditionally come with website design. Since small, incremental changes are made and tested with real users, you can be sure that you are making the best choice.
What to expect: After creating a GDD strategy and game plan, as well as a long prioritized wish list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, an initial launchpad website goes live in the first 30 days or so. Then, the real work starts. In small, iterative cycles, the web development team will make changes, test them and learn from them — rinse and repeat.
In conclusion, if your marketing team is already implementing inbound marketing, and handling the day to day of content creation, promotion and nurturing leads, it is worthwhile to hire an outside inbound marketing company to do bigger projects or first-time events not to throw them off their daily rhythm.