“The approach that will win the hearts and minds of customers leverages content and context to create marketing that intersects with a customer's lifestyle, needs, and interests.” - Brian Halligan from HubSpot.
Considering that 93% of buying cycles start with an online search (Marketo), it's no wonder why inbound marketing is reigning supreme. Brand marketers are utilizing this strategy to increase visibility and attract customers through relevant and helpful content and engagement. If you're not already blogging, dominating social media channels, and implementing advanced SEO techniques for your business to get found, you might be overdue for an inbound marketing audit.
Upon review of your marketing plan and objectives, a successful inbound marketing audit will identify strengths and weaknesses in your strategies and execution. Your analysis will lead you to make pertinent decisions about which areas to improve and where to allocate your resources in the future. But, there should always be supporting evidence for such a thorough examination to take place. So if your day-to-day operations are suffering from the following symptoms, it's time for you to take action pronto.
7 Reasons Why Your Company Is Overdue For An Inbound Marketing Audit
You're Losing Touch With Your Target Audience
Creating content that connects to your target audience requires in-depth research about your ideal customer. It's not enough to imagine or assume their primary pain points and needs, you need to dig deep, gather details about your buyer personas and develop profiles. Aside from collecting basic info on their demographics, profession, and industry size, ask them how they spend their free time. What are their goals? What are the biggest challenges that they face? By narrowing your focus, you'll have your finger on the market's pulse as well as a sharp grasp on effective messaging, offers, and content that will support your products or services tailored to providing a solution to your buyer's questions and needs.
Your Website Is Not Responsive
A pretty website without depth won't help generate new leads. A responsive site means that visitors can view it from different devices - laptop, desktop, mobile, tablets. As such, it's important that it's optimized to provide the best user-experience and functionality, especially on mobile in which web conversions happen 55% of the time within an hour, according to Business2Community. At the same time, help prospective customers find your business online. Increasing SEO is a sure bet to staying competitive and improving your Google search rankings.
Your Content Is Not Generating Traffic
This could be due to a few reasons; either your web content is not optimized to make it on Google's top SERP listing, or you're not producing quality content - or both. A well thought-out SEO strategy will take your organic traffic to the next level. Add keywords to your content, create well-designed landing pages, write fresh content consistently and post them on your social media channels - these are a few ways to double your search traffic!
Your goal to creating valuable content is to capture your audience by addressing their needs, questions, and problems with helpful solutions, tips, and resources. Craft relevant eBooks, blog posts, videos, case studies, and infographics that will drive leads to your content, establish credibility, and help build relationships with your audience.
Your Social Presence Is...Not Very Social
In today's digital world, there's no excuse to leave out social media networks from your marketing plan. To do so is a major setback to your business' growth and sales opportunities. Furthermore, your business needs the exposure. If, however, your active social media profiles are not performing to your expectations, evaluate how effective your social effort is in attracting traffic and leads to your site.
A few questions to get you started:
Is your target audience using the same social media channels?
What type of content do they engage with?
Do you engage with them (and vice versa)?
Take that extra step and use social media channels to get a glimpse of how your competition run their networks, and note their strengths and weaknesses. By gaining insight into your competitors, you can tweak your own approach and beat them in the social game.
The Method To Capturing Leads Needs An Effective CTA Strategy
Today's average attention span is 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000 (The New York Times). That's enough indication to overhaul your marketing methods, and the best place to start is in your call-to-action technique. How can such a small but bold tool prompt a response and score lead conversions? Whether your CTAs call people to fill out a form, sign up for a newsletter, or act on a promotion, there are best practices you need to apply. Contrive a plan around your CTAs design, positioning, and copy.
Use contrasting colors to make your CTA stand out against your page
Incite action with persuasive language using "Sign Up For Free," "Download Now," "Learn More"
Keep copy clear and concise - no more than 5 words
Your Company's Message And Positioning Is Not Reflected On Your Website/Homepage
Do visitors get a clear picture of your company's brand positioning and messaging upon landing on your homepage? Many companies rethink and rebuild their websites in order to project more strategic communication throughout their pages. This includes clear and impactful copy surrounding their market messaging, brand identity, products and services, and prices.
“Today's average attention span is 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000” (NY Times) via @RspnsvInbndMktg.Click To Tweet
Although HubSpot reports a 55% increase in leads when increasing the number of web-based landing pages from 10 to 15, you should also consider touching up your page design for increased conversion. While there are many tips to optimizing a landing page to impress first time visitors in under 5 seconds (here are 25 tips), here's a few to mark on your notepad:
Whitespaces boost conversions by showcasing a clean design and directing attention to your offer
Unique images are an influential tool to generating leads
Use a sense of urgency to compel prospects to take action sooner rather than later (limited-time offers)
The laborious effort of conducting a marketing audit nowhere equates to the benefits from which it reaps. Not only will your audit help realign your marketing activities with your objectives, but it will mean more sales for your business! And who doesn't want that?