This guest post was written by Andre Jensen, Director at Inbound Marketing & Digital, an Inbound Marketing agency and Certified HubSpot Partner based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. To learn practical tips on how to generate leads for your business in South America using Inbound Marketing, visit his website.
As a born and raised Iowa boy with a love for baseball, I know the movie Field of Dreams from start to finish pretty much as well as any movie out there. As an experienced Inbound Marketer, I see the similarities between the movie and a typical Inbound Marketing strategy. Let’s explore those similarities.
"If you build it, he will come."
Inbound Marketing translation: Build a Content Marketing Strategy
In the beginning of the movie, a struggling corn farmer, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a voice, "If you build it, he will come." The voice is referring to clearing his much-needed crop and building a baseball field. In most cases, a business has a defined marketing budget and what they plant needs to give them a good harvest. Even though Inbound Marketing has proven itself to be one of the most cost-efficient and result producing forms of marketing, I still hear many prospective clients say, “Well, that’s not how we have done it in the past…” or “Our competitors aren’t doing that!” I find this similar to the push back Ray Kinsella gets in the movie from his family, friends and peers. Unlike Ray Kinsella's actions in the movie, Inbound Marketing is not a leap of faith. If done correctly and with discipline, it is almost guaranteed that you’ll see success. The most important takeaway here is to plant some seeds today for a great harvest in a few months.
Some Key Facts on Inbound Marketing:
- Nearly 90% of businesses are maintaining or increasing their Inbound Marketing budget in 2012. (Source: HubSpot, State of Inbound Marketing Report, 2012)
- The average budget spent on company blogs and social media has more than doubled in 3 years. (Source: HubSpot, State of Inbound Marketing Report, 2012)
- B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those that don't and B2B companies that blog generate 67% per month than those that don't. (Source: HubSpot, State of Inbound Marketing Report, 2010)
- Marketers who spent 6 hours a week or more using social media and engaging/sharing content on it saw 52% more leads than those that didn't. (Source: Social Media Examiner, 2011)
So what can you do to turn your website into a place where your prospects will find you, share your great content and keep coming back for more? The voice that Ray Kinsella hears has the answer for you:
"Ease his pain."
Inbound Marketing translation: Ease your potential customers pain with content that addresses their specific needs.
I really love this one because this is so similar to what I ask when starting with a new client and brainstorming blogging and content strategy. So, a typical question for them, “What can we create that will attract potential buyers to your site? After a bit of silence and some blank faces, I ask another question that digs a little deeper: “What are your customer’s real pain points?” (I like to ask sales reps this question, because you need “real pain points” that come from the customer’s mouth – this can differ quite a bit from a marketer’s idea of pain points).
For marketers, this is the low-hanging fruit of content creation. First, it specifically addresses the issues/pains that your potential buyers have. With 46% of all daily searches being for information on products or services, you want to be sure you’re well positioned for specific long-tail keyword phrases in your industry.
Second, because these visitors are searching to “ease their own pain," when they land on your site or blog, you are in a good position to help them with a solution. Think first about educating your readers and not “selling." Your prospect is probably not ready to buy yet. First help them “ease their pain” and do so by making relevant content available to them.
- Tip Sheet – Ten Tips on How to Ease Doc “Moonlight” Graham’s Pain
- eBook - First Steps on Plowing your Crops and Building a Baseball Field
- Free Consultation - How to Deal with Reclusive, Stubborn Terrance Mann-Type Rejections
No matter what your industry, your prospective clients are searching for answers to their problems and how they can improve their business performance. Ease their pain and give them what they want. You will be rewarded for it.
"Go the distance."
Inbound Marketing Translation: Analyze what is bringing in the best results and “Double Down," as HubSpot's Brian Halligan would say.
This was another statement whispered by the voice that took Ray to Minnesota and it parallels the final stage of Inbound Marketing – Analysis. As a numbers nerd, one of the things I love most about Inbound Marketing is the fact that you can measure practically everything. If something doesn’t work, stop doing it! If something works, then repeat it! Again and again. Try new things. Brainstorm new content to peak their interest and new ways of engaging with them. If you’re lucky, you might even discover some new solutions for your clients.
Inbound Marketing is not a short-term approach, so going the distance is a key for your success. You need to put your head down, do the research, do the work, out-think the competition and keep at it, "going the distance."
"People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom."
Inbound Marketing Translation: Turn your website into a lead generating machine, even if it’s getting as much traffic as a cornfield in Iowa.
In the end of the movie, Terrance Mann (James Earl Jones) gets up and says, "People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door, innocent as children… The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball (think content). Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come."
If you have implemented these suggestions above, you undoubtedly have started to see progress and positive results in more qualified traffic and higher lead conversions and you’ve started doubling down on your successes. Get ready for the next level.
Share your experiences.
When you were first considering Inbound Marketing, did you think it was a “leap of faith"? How have your results been since “going the distance”?
Ready to get started? Check out this FREE Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing today!