With a marketing reach of over a million people and over 8000 customers, HubSpot has played a huge role in the evolution and adoption of Inbound Marketing. As defined by Wikipedia, “Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospect's attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.”
Setting up closed loop reporting allows you to track your key marketing and sales metrics in order to identify what marketing programs are contributing to leads, opportunities and sales. The reporting system consists of two main components: marketing software, for lead generation and advanced analytics, and a CRM (customer relationship management) system, to track and measure sales activities.
Successful Smarketing requires your sales and marketing team to work together by using the same definitions and sharing the same goals. One important aspect in this regard is developing a unified picture of the funnel including the terminology you use for each stage.
How to Define Your Funnel Stages
One of the easiest ways to define funnel stages is to adopt a common terminology such as the following:
- Leads (or Information qualified leads)
- Marketing qualified leads
- Sales qualified leads
An interesting question and one that has significant impact on your company's ability to grow. The Web offers extensive opportunities to grow your business but it isn't magic, it is a tool. Like all tools you have to understand how it works and use it with skill to get the desired results. Most BtoB companies have a website and have made an effort to attract prospective customers to their site. This will undoubtedly bring traffic and new sales prospects but it is only part of the solution. When a prospective customer finds your company through search engines they generally are evaluating several companies and their solutions. They already have a perception of their problem and the criteria for solving it. In addition to the sales prospects generated by search engines your company needs sales prospects that are searching specifically for your company. When a prospective customer intentionally searches for your company they do so because they already have a positive disposition towards your company's expertise.
When target customers are ready to buy, do they consider your company? This is a key question for any business. A reasonable resolution to this question is critical for BtoB companies who serve a defined target market. Most companies do not have a good handle on the answer because they don't know what they don't know. The first step in solving this quandary is to think customer and not your company. Let's start with several key facts we know about BtoB customers:
Below is a short video from Matt Cutts at Google talking about the importance of body content. Many SEOs, especially in the "old days" put most of their emphasis on the "Head" of the document such as:
The benefits of having a Google + business page are huge. Besides the fact that there are millions of users that you can reach, Google + makes it easier for you to market your business. This is because your marketing efforts on Google + can directly influence your search ranking on Google. What does this mean? It means that having a Google + business page provides your company with a win-win situation! The following are 3 ways that the use of Google + changes search marketing on Google:
- Posting to the public on Google + - Whenever you post anything on your Google+ page, whether its text, images, videos or links, Google will index them. This means that the content you have posted will appear higher on Google’s search engine ranking for individuals doing related searches that are Google + members. For non Google+ members, this content may not be ranked as highly. But this means that the more people connect with you via Google +, the more people will find your content via Google’s search engine.
- Sharing links – Google loves quality links. This means that when you share a link on Google +, whether it’s a link to your blog or a link to your website, you can help to increase its search ranking. This is because whenever you share a link, Google + users can add comments, share or +1 the link, which helps to add to the link’s authority – thereby helping to increase the link’s search ranking.
- Linking your Google + business page with your website – The more you link your website with your Google + business page, the higher it will rank on Google’s search results. You should install a Google + Badge on your website to ensure that both visitors and Google itself know that the Google + business page is yours, helping to provide your site with the level of authenticity many sites don’t have. You should also add your website to your Google + page profile in order to help tell Google where your website is. By linking one to the other and vice versa, you’ll improve your experience and ranking on Google itself.
If you’re not using Google + for business yet, you should be. Google + has millions of users, making it the perfect platform to increase brand awareness and loyalty. Not to mention that its run by Google, arguably the largest and most important search engine on the Internet, which means that properly using Google + could help you SEO strategy. One of the features that you should use if you use Google + for business is the Google +1 button.
Google + is often considered Google’s answer to the social media giant, Facebook. Unfortunately, many people look at Google + as an inferior platform, even though it has millions and millions of users. However, Google + is actually an excellent social network that has a lot of benefits and advantages that other social sites do not have. In fact, if you don’t have Google + for business, then you should. Google + provides companies with a huge amount of ways to increase brand awareness and loyalty. The following are a few reasons why Google + for business is an absolute must:
- Integration – Google has a number of other platforms and services that benefit the business community, which means that Google + offers the best integration of all of these services. For example, you can seamlessly integrate Google’s search engine, YouTube and Gmail with your Google + page.
- Google + Circles – Circles is an incredible feature for businesses. Basically, everytime you add a contact on Google +, you’ll be able to add them to a circle, such as a co-worker circle, a friends circle, a family circle and so on. This type of sub-categorizing is perfect for a business. This is because you’ll be able to share content tailored to specific circles. For example, if you run a pet food company, then an article about cats isn’t going to be relevant to all of your followers since many of your followers probably have different pets. With Google +, you’ll be able to designate cat owners into one circle, dog owners into another and so on. This allows you to share your content about cats only with your circle of cat owner fans.
- Google + Hangout – Hangout is another great feature that is very similar to a webinar. Hangout is a free video chat platform that lets you hold video chats with an unlimited amount of people from your Google + for business account. Not only can you broadcast in real time, you can also save it to your YouTube channel. Hangout is a great way to engage with your consumers by holding Q and A sessions or by unveiling new products or services.
Out of all the available social networks, Google+ used to be perceived as a lesser option for most. This, however, is simply not true. It is worth having a presence on Google +, especially if you are promoting a business. There are, after all, over 40 million active members on Google +. Not to mention that because it’s run by Google, having a business page on Google + will help you to achieve better search results through Google. So if you haven’t already, set up a Google + business page, the following are a few tips to help you get started:
- Setting up an account – First of all, in order to set up a business page on Google +, you’ll have to open a personal account. You can do this by setting up a gmail address for multiple members of your marketing team. Once you have a personal account, you’ll be able to set up your business page.
- Setting up your business page – Go to the create a page category on your Google + account. You’ll be able to classify your page from a number of options that include “Local Business or Place,” “Product or Brand,” “Company, Institution or Organization,” “Arts, Entertainment or Sports,” or “Other.” Once you make your selection, you’ll want to fill in all the basic information, such as your company name, your company’s website URL, and your company’s industry.
- Customize your business page – Once the basics are out of the way, you can customize your business page by adding a tagline and uploading a profile photo, such as your company logo.
- Promoting your business page – Before you begin promoting your page, share a few posts first. Add some valuable content and links so that when you begin promoting your page, visitors won’t end up on a business page with nothing of value on it. Begin by having team members and employees become fans of your page. Ask customers and partners as well. Make sure that you have links to your Google + page available on your website as well as on your blog, so that readers can easily share your content on their personal Google + profiles.
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