Study Notes: HubSpot Inbound Marketing

This is the study notes from HubSpot Inbound Marketing Course.

Learn inbound marketing techniques that range from content creation to social promotion to converting and nurturing leads and beyond. By the end of this certification course, you’ll be well on your way to building your inbound marketing strategy.
It is free and you can get a certificate if you pass the exam.

Content

0. Introduction to Inbound marketing
1. Inbound Marketing Fundamentals
2.1Plan a Long-Term Content Strategy
2.2Creating a Blog Post
2.3Creating Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages
3. Understanding Social Media Promotion
4. Developing a Conversational Growth Strategy
5.1 Understanding Conversions
5.2 Create a Conversion Optimization Strategy
6. Understand Lead Nurturing
7. Aligning Your Marketing with Sales
8. Applying a Customer Marketing Strategy

0.Introduction to Inbound marketing

1.Inbound Marketing Fundamentals

Why Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is about creating one-to-one relationships that have a lasting impact on your visitors and your brand.

How does the inbound methodology apply in marketing?
Creating buyer personas helps you develop a trait that’s at the heart of inbound: empathy
Awareness–Consideration–Decision making

What are the fundamentals of inbound marketing?
Contacts-Buyer Personas-Buyer’s Journey-Content-Goals

Contacts: create a relationship with; contact database (identify,segment)

Buyer Personas: ideal customers(demographics, behaviors, motivations, goal)

Buyer’s Journey: Awareness-Consideration-Decision

Content: Inbound=content + context (for who)

Goals (setting): alignment between marketing team and sale team; help company grow

2.1. Plan a Long-Term Content Strategy

What is content marketing?
Strategic marketing and business process focused on
creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and
consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined
audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer
action.

Content marketing is the art of communicating with your
prospects without having to sell to them.

relationship: audience–trust
(visitor, leads, customers, promoters)

content: blog, email. website, SNS post, print catalog and etc

Inbound marketing and content marketing focus on:
• Empowering potential customers.
• Building a lasting relationship with your audience.
• Creating valuable content that both entertains and educates.

Why is long-term content planning is important?
Consistent, organized, tell a story

How do you build a long-term content plan?

Three Steps to Creating a Long-Term Content Plan
1) Setting marketing goals. (short-term VS long-term)
   SMART Goal:Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely

2) Auditing or assessing your organization’s initiatives and assets.
  Content Audit
Identify marketing assets and resources
Organize your content audits by these categories:
a. Content title
b. Buyer’s journey stage
c. Marketing funnel stage
d. Format or type of content
e. Which buyer persona it’s targeting
f. Any additional notes that provide value or context

Content audit example
Content audit example

 

 

 

 


Where to find content that might be hiding:
a. File manager or marketing folder
b. Ask your sales team what type of collateral they use
c. Check in with the more tenured employees
d. Customer relationship management system (CRM)
e. Content management system (CMS)

  Event-based Audit
Organize your event-based audit by:
a. Upcoming priorities by month
b. Initiative overview
c. Theme
d.  Prospective blog post topics based on your buyer personas
e.  Inbound marketing campaign that ties your efforts together

3)Identifying the buyer’s journey for your buyer personas.

What should a long-term content plan look like?
Content Compass
Real-time
multiple contributors to access and collaborate

2.2. Creating a Blog Post

Why does blogging help grow your business?
SEO, promote offers, build trust

How do you create a successful blog post?
Write educational content
Write about your industry not yourself

  • Pick a topic and a title
    General topic vs Narrow topics
    Keyword research, 1 Long-term keyword per post
    Include a long-tail keyword in the title
    Make the value of the post clear
    The ideal blog post title length is 60 characters
  • Format the post
    Keep reading?
    keywords, whitespace, sub-header, image…
  • Promote offers on your blog to increase lead generation
    CTA
  • Optimize the post (around long-term keywords)
    Title, Body, URL, Alt-text, Meta description
    internal and external links
    mobile friendly

Brainstorm a List of Topics
What are the most frequently asked questions you hear?
What do our buyer personas need help with?
What do you wish people knew about our industry?
What are industry bloggers, social media, and our
competitors talking about?

2.3.Creating Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages

Why are topic clusters important?

CONTENT PILLAR (aka pillar page) 
A website page that covers a broad topic in depth and is
linked to from a cluster of related content.

How do you create an effective topic cluster and pillar page?

2 types of pillar pages
Resource pillar page  ( internal and external links )
e.g. https://www.helpscout.com/customer-acquisition/
10x content pillar page  (your owned media, like ebook, guide)
e.g. https://playbook.mailshake.com/

7 Steps to Creating a 10x Content Pillar Page
1). Choose a core topic.
2). Identify a topic cluster.
3). Create blog posts for needed subtopic content.
4). Repurpose subtopic content into a downloadable offer (pdf, ebook)
5). Deconstruct downloadable offer into a 10x content pillar page 
6). Link relevant owned media to 10x content pillar page.
7). Create a conversion path for people to access your 10x content pillar page on your website ( Top navigation,Dedicated section with CTA near the top of homepage )


What is an example of a successful pillar page?

Four Opportunities to Help Grow Your Pillar Page
1). various forms of media 
2). relevant content offer
3). Insert a heatmap 
4). Grow a subtopic into its own topic cluster and pillar page

3. Understanding Social Media Promotion

Why you need a social media strategy
1)It helps you expand your other marketing efforts.
2)It will help you build brand awareness.
3)It is one of the most powerful drivers for word of mouth.
4)You can use social media to attract buyers.

Build Your Social Media Strategy You’ll Need:
To be able to explain each social media channel.
To understand the impact of social listening and engagement.
To develop a content strategy for your social media plan.
To be able to identify ways that metrics are crucial to your success.
To integrate social media into your other inbound efforts.

The social media channels explained
Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat

The power of social listening
Social listening is how you track, analyze and respond to conversations across the Internet. (include watch competition)

Social monitoring is he method of looking for mentions of your brand, products, hashtags, employees, competitors and customers.

Engagement is having conversations with individuals about your industry, brand, products and services

Social media content: the basics
text, images, animated gifs, stories, video, quizes, survey and polls
real-time marketing, influencer marketing, UGC

The social media audit: How to understand your success with social media
A Social Media Audit Will Help You:
1)Develop or adjust a social media strategy that aligns to specific,
actionable business objectives and goals.
2)Discover trends you can use to create or modify social media
campaigns.
3)Receive valuable insight into customer sentiment and perception of your brand.
4)Provide executives and your team a look into what is or is not working so you can manage and justify social media spend.
5)Develop new benchmarks and KPIs.
6)Determine the best mix of content on the right channels at
the right times.
7)Identify opportunities to better engage with customers
8) Adjust budgets and calculate ROI.
9) Identify how you need to make resource changes to boost
social media efforts.

What To Track In Your Social Media Audit
Your owned social channels
The internal owners of those channels
Number of followers
Non-owned channels for legal usage
Profile consistency
Content performance
Additional Metrics
• Best and worst performing posts
• Posts with the most engagement
• Post frequency
• Content with the best and worst performance
• Publish times of posts with the best engagement
• Video views
• Click-through to content
• Post reach and impressions
• Number of Twitter mentions
• Effective keywords
• Response rate
• Sentiment

Conduct an audit of this depth every 12-18 months at minimum.

Taking your inbound strategy to the next level with digital marketing
Add social icons and links

4.Developing a Conversational Growth Strategy

Why is conversation growth strategy is important to inbound marketing?

What are the steps to implementing a conversational growth strategy?
Think  (Repeatable, Predictable, Impactful )
Plan
Grow

SCOPE: standardize, contextuaize, optimize, personalize, empathize

What to consider when comparing messaging channels?
Comparing messaging channels
1). Where your prospects are
2). How your prospects prefer to communic
3). What channels work best for your team

How do you select the right messaging channel?
• Email   Baby boomers
• Messenger  Millennial
• Live Chat

Content + Context
A strong conversation provides information to your buyer persona with the right context.

5.1. Understanding Conversions

Define a conversion
A moment when a website visitor takes a desired action.

CTA: any element on your website or blog that prompts your
visitors to take action.

Conversion Path: the method by which you encourage someone on your site to move down your funnel.

example: CTA–Landing Page–Thank You Page

Why are conversions are important to inbound marketing?
conversion data

How to build an effective conversion path?

  • Create awareness
  • Determine your endpoint
  • Chart your course
  • Analyze

Consider the following areas:
• Value Proposition –SMART Goals
• Relevance
• Urgency
• Clarity
• Anxiety
• Distraction
• Optimization Strategy– data collection plan

Relevance–Ask yourself the following questions:
• Who are you trying to target with this offer?
• What are you trying to accomplish?
• When should the offer expire?
• Where should it live on your site?
• Why would your personas want to engage with this offer?
• Where does this specific conversion path sit in the buyer’s
journey?

Conversion Formats
• Buttons
• Landing pages
• Blog posts with buttons
• Forms
• Pop-ups
• Live messaging
• Meetings links
• Chatbots

A tried and true conversion path is the landing page conversion path.
CTA–Landing Page–Thank You Page
Top of the funnel lead generation

How to calculate your conversion rate?
Conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who took a desired action or converted.

Divide the number of people who converted on your
call-to-action, form, etc., by the total number of
people who viewed it.

5.2. Create a conversion optimization strategy

Why is conversion optimization important to your inbound strategy?
Conversion optimization: the process of testing hypotheses on elements of your site withthe ultimate goal of increasing the percentage of visitors who take the desired action.

Data + Experiment

How to implement conversion optimization?
1). Define your objective
2). Establish your baseline
3). Form a hypothesis
4). Design your tests
5). Analyze your data
“By making X changes, the conversion rate will increase by Y because it fixes Z problem.”
“By adding testimonials and photos, the conversion rate will increase because it gives social credibility to our work and makes us seem more genuine to cold prospects coming to our website to sign up for a consultation.”

6 factors typically affect conversions:
Value Proposition
Relevance
Urgency
Clarity
Anxiety
Distraction

Conversion optimization is the consistent, structured, ongoing process of improving your website over time. (at least 4 week test)

What roles do reporting and analytics play in conversion optimization?
collection of data: reporting & analytics

6. Understand Lead Nurturing

Why is lead nurturing important?
Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with your prospects with the goal of earning their business when they’re ready.

Timely
Efficient (Being human, helpful, and holistic)
Targeted (Build trust)

Marketing automation: software that exists with the goal of automating your marketing actions.

What are the fundamentals of a lead nurturing strategy?
It takes around 6–8 touches to generate a viable sales lead.

3 Elements of a Lead Nurturing Strategy
Contact management (software)
Segmentation

The buyer’s journey (awareness-consideration-decision)

What does an effective lead nurturing strategy look like?
5 Steps to Creating a Lead Nurturing Campaign
1). Setting goals
2). Selecting personas
3). Creating content (offer vaule)
4). Identifying the timeline
5). Measuring and improving

Nurturing Your Leads 
After the first conversion
After they download a content offer
After they subscribe to your blog
After they request a trial or demo
Or re-engagement

Nurturing Your Customers
New Customer
• During onboarding
• Product/service education
• New product
• Support resources
• Pro-services recommendations
Existing Customer
Asking for a referral
Re-engagement
Feedback
Renewals

7. Aligning your marketing with sales

What is sale enablement?
Sales enablement is the processes, content, and technology that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity.

How marketing can align with sales
1)Have an agreed-upon definition of a sales-ready lead

If your leads aren’t ready for sales, use:
Email nurturing
Paid retargeting on social media channels
Specific segmented social media streams
One-on-one interactions

2)Define lifecycle stages of your contacts

3)Implement a service-level agreement (SLA)
SERVICE-LEVEL AGREEMENT (SLA)
Formalize the marketing and sales goals to ensure the
company is set up to reach its revenue goal.

To create an SLA, you’ll need:
• The average conversion rate from lead to opportunity (mkt)
• The average conversion rate from opportunity to closed sale (sale)
• The average value of a sale

4) Set up closed-loop reporting

Benefits of closed-loop reporting
Marketing
Get up-to-date contact info and status updates
Learn which marketing programs are working and which aren’t
Increase marketing ROI
Sales
• De-duplicate contacts
• Prioritization of contacts
• More educated contacts
• Increase close rate and sales ROI

Closed-loop reporting allows you to:
1). Analyze which marketing sources (organic, social, referral, etc.) are producing the most customers.
2). Use conversion assists to help you understand how each individual piece of content you create contributes to closing customers.
3). Provide a timeline of all of the interactions a contact took prior to becoming an MQL or a customer.
4). Pass information to sales that can help aid them in connecting and engaging with contacts within the first 24 hours.
5). Send automatic updates to your sales team when their leads revisit the website or take other key actions, to make sure to follow up at the best time.

Marketing Dashboards (CRM)
Service-level agreement
Volume of visits, leads, and customers
Leads by source
Marketing campaigns
Volume of marketing qualified leads generated

8. Applying a Customer Marketing Strategy

Why is customer marketing important?
It’s now shifted to word-of-mouth. Reviews are more important than ever before.

How do you create lasting relationships with your customers?
• Listen
• Serve
• Follow up

Listen
80/20 rule: Spend 80% of the time listening and spend 20% of the time talking.
ACKNOWLEDGE- EMPATHYSocial media monitoringmeasuring and tracking -Ask Customer Questions

How to solve for customer sucess?
Customer marketing can help:
• Increase engagement with your products/services
• Drive customer revenue through retention, cross-sell, up-sell
• Grow a community of customer advocates

Ways to solve for customer success
Segment your customers (have an end goal)
Provide social media support
Create customer-specific content
Acknowledge and celebrate your customers ( customer loyalty program )

NET PROMOTER SCORE (NPS)
A quantified view of your customers’ relationships and
experiences with you. The better you do at creating a
valuable and enjoyable end-to-end experience for your
customers, the higher your NPS will ultimately climb.

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