“People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction.” – Brian Halligan, Founder & CEO of HubSpot
It’s as simple as that. Your prospects are learning and buying differently today. The path to more revenue for media companies is to understand that very concept. Gone are the days your prospects are going directly to a sales rep for help first. Now, they're doing the research on their own then reaching out with clarifying questions.
Developing an inbound marketing strategy to adapt to this new way of buying is the key to revenue growth. Below is an outline of critical steps to a successful inbound marketing strategy for media companies.
Tie Inbound Baseline to Revenue Goals
Setting realistic expectations is important. Using a handy tool like an ROI Calculator can help in defining a strong inbound marketing baseline that is tied to your revenue goals. How much work will it take to meet your revenue goals? The ROI calculator helps us understand the how behind the what.
Here’s the exact tool we use to help clients establish inbound marketing baseline goals and tie them to desired revenue goals.
Define Your Audience
“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.” – Ann Handley, head of content at MarketingProfs
What kind of prospects do you want in your sales pipeline?
Getting clear on who exactly you want to attract into your pipeline will do wonders for your content creation. Do this by developing your target persona first. Going through this process before you create your content gives your content purpose and is a reminder that at the end of the day you're “simply speaking to a single human at any given time.”
Understanding how your target persona affects your bottom line will help you understand how your content drives revenue and stay connected to this concept.
Map Your Content and Create
“You can’t expect to just write and have visitors come to you. That’s too passive.” – Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends
Now that you know who you want to write content for, the next step is to do some content mapping to strengthen the connection between the target persona and the content you create.
Mapping content to common questions and objections your prospects have, positions you as an authority on the topic as well as create trust. Trust breaks the barrier between you and the prospect. 60% of prospects want to connect with sales during the consideration stage after they’ve done their research and have come up with a short list of options.
List out all of the burning questions you hear from prospects at each stage of the buyers journey and develop content to answer those questions head on.
Promote Your Content
“Content is king, but engagement is queen, and the lady rules the house!” – Mari Smith, social media master
It’s not enough to have great content – people need to know you have it. Outside of the strategic SEO that goes into developing the content that’s going to attract organic traffic to your site, your audience needs to be made aware that your content exist and they need to be encouraged to engage with it.
As a media company, you have the advantage of using your resources to create some brand awareness as well as doing digital marketing to target your audience. An integrated marketing approach will help amplify your inbound marketing efforts. Some ways to promote your content include:
Email Marketing (promote to other lists)
Podcasts (your own or as a guest)
Webinars (your own or as a guest)
Follow-up with ALL leads
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis, marketing speaker & bestselling author
Following up shouldn’t be about some task you tick off a checklist. You can humanize this process a bit. Look at following up as building a relationship with a future client. Your content is bringing you prospects who truly need help and guidance on making business decisions for their company. Whether they are ready to buy now or not – the need is there. Nurture in the follow-up.
Using software like HubSpot, can help you automate certain functions of the follow-up process, but the feel of the follow-up should still have a human essence. For example, using video in the sales process can help deepen the connection between sales and the prospect and set the tone for the relationship to grow into a sale.
Wrapping It Up
Inbound marketing can be the path to increased revenue when you're strategic about the audience you want to pull into your pipeline and creating the type of content they truly care about. Teaming up with a partner that can help flesh your strategy out will give you the leg up to achieving our revenue goals faster...and smarter!