Not so long ago I was in a conversation by email with a guy at a local web agency (we were moving some domain names around for a friend of mine) and I asked if he did any inbound marketing.
I was curious to see if they’d picked up on it and more importantly which tools they were using. “Yeah, it’s our core business..” he said. “Cool!” I replied “Which software are you using?”
I couldn’t see how HubSpot, Marketo and the like would be a good fit for these guys as cost and complexity makes them a tough sell for any small business.
I’ve thought about it since and my conclusion is that while inbound marketing clearly describes a mindset change for top of funnel (TOFU) activity and provides a new flag for SEO’s to wave – it also makes it easy to miss the point about what really drives it’s effectiveness.
So what makes inbound marketing effective?
We’ve all been doing SEO for years, many of us have been blogging for our business and using social media too.
The act of doing those things, whilst they are inbound tactics don’t constitute a complete inbound strategy.
To have an inbound strategy you need to be aligning your marketing activity with how you nurture buyers, engaging with them, educating them and encouraging sales readiness.
Inbound is more than a one hit process. You can attract people to your website and convert them with landing pages, but the things you offer them and the order in which you engage and the messages you send and the degree to which you personalise your content over time is where the action is at.
The truth is you can’t do that with WordPress.
It had to be said.
You can add plugins for great landing pages and web forms, you can nail SEO and of course blogging is where WordPress excels.
You can definitely create a great inbound website. But what’s lacking is an inbound marketing automation process.
Inbound tells us that people research and buy in their own time and on their own terms, our challenge is to manage our part of this interaction in a way that supports our buyers every step of the way. This is where inbound succeeds.
What happens after that initial conversion? How do you follow up? How to you encourage re-engagement? and what with? How do you track and understand just how sales ready each and every one of those people that converted are? What do you do if they come back to your website and view your pricing page? Which people are interested in which products for segmentation?
These are some the marketing questions that inbound as a process answers, and all together they help us to create a way of guiding our buyers from strangers, to friends, to customers.
Inbound Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a mechanism used to deliver personalised marketing based upon an individual’s activity. If you haven’t looked at it in any detail it’s quite different to the world of Google Analytics and MailChimp.
Why? Because it’s all joined up. There’s a CRM that creates tracks and score’s the people who convert and their subsequent activity, emails and autoresponders are tracked through to website visits. It deals in people. It tells you the who, what and when.
This is fundamental to inbound marketing because it allows us to create marketing that can be delivered over time based around our buyers journey and triggered by their unique and individual activity.
That’s what makes inbound powerful.
Bring it together with WordPress
We built Jumplead to deliver this inbound marketing process, it runs across 15 web servers and uses around a dozen web technologies to create as simple a way for people like us to do sophisticated online marketing.
It sits behind your website to let you understand your buyers and create an inbound marketing process that persists over time and reacts to your buyers activity.
WordPress is already a fantastic platform for publishing, we think it should be a great one for marketing too.