Optimize Your Inbound Marketing Program

PropelGrowth Blog - Financial Services Marketing and Content Strategy

Substantially increase marketing ROI by optimizing your inbound marketing program

Inbound marketing is all about attracting and engaging your audience with online content that answers a question or fulfills a need. But many FinTech marketers struggle with developing a strategy that will help them get the most out of their inbound investment.

One challenge companies face when developing content is gearing the right message to the right person. A lot of marketers target their content to senior decision makers only, neglecting the needs of the other stakeholders involved in a buying decision.

What they’re not realizing is that buying committees at financial organizations are growing, so there are more people than ever to influence. In fact, recent research by CCGroupPR found that 52% of technology decisions at banks involved 10 or more people.

While it’s true that C-level individuals are the ones in charge of approving the final buying decision, they are not necessarily the ones seeking out and consuming the content. In reality, it’s usually analysts and influencers who are finding your articles, white papers or blogs. Even though they are not direct decision makers, they do have a say in the purchasing decision.

When you consider that the buying cycle is 57% complete before a prospect decides to engage with sales, it’s crucial to get your targets’ attention as soon as possible in their research process. Inbound marketing is an ideal way of accomplishing this goal. Tailoring your content to the right level individual in an organization will help these prospects notice you early in the buying process, helping to foster brand preference.

Personalize Your Content

The traditional approach marketers take in inbound marketing is putting out one general message geared to the main decision maker. But, as I touched on above, this approach is not conducive to setting vision early in the buying cycle.

Marketing thought leader, blogger and author, Ardath Albee discusses a better way. She is a proponent of the account-based marketing approach, which targets all members of the buying committee individually.

Ardath contends that personalizing information to the various individuals involved in the purchase process can create better informed buyers with fewer objections. It can also lead to a shortened sales cycle. To do this, marketers should consider what kinds of titles comprise a typical buying committee and the objections these folks would have as they travel down the road to purchase. From there, a series of content can be created that addresses the specific concerns and priorities of buying committee members, hopefully helping these stakeholders understand how your company helps solve their specific concerns. This will help you gain greater credibility with your customers and prospects.

Focus on SEO

In inbound marketing, you rely on attracting prospects to you. Part of this is putting out content they are interested in. Another important part is making this content visible and findable.

A solid plan for SEO will facilitate discovery of your content. A good first step is to identify the best keywords for your business and review every page on your website to ensure you’re using them. Determining key words may seem challenging particularly when it’s not your area of expertise. If you have the resources available, SEO consultants can be very valuable in helping you identify keywords and formulate an overall attack plan for your SEO efforts. However, if you’re on a budget, consider trying one of the free tools out there such as Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner that can help you rank and analyze your keywords effectively.

Make the Most of Email Marketing

An effective inbound marketing plan should include targeted email marketing campaigns. When crafting email content, consider your buyer personas and focus on exploring topics that you know will resonate with them. Also consider at what stage in the buying cycle a given prospect is and tailor the content accordingly.

You can uncover key information about your prospects by using a marketing automation platform that includes analytics and lead scoring. Once a prospect has registered on your website, such a tool will help track and record their behavior, including how often they visit your site, what individual pages they view, the links they click and the content they are interacting with. Knowing this information will help you determine at what stage they are in the buying cycle and their buyer persona. Marketing automation platforms also provide valuable scoring capabilities. This can help you rank your potential customers in terms of their likelihood to make a purchase, thereby letting you devote resources to the best opportunities in your pipeline.

Furthermore, to ensure that you’re communicating with people that actually want to hear from you, consider adopting an opt-in approach whereby your contacts have to actively check a box to receive your emails. This strategy will allow you to generate a list full of individuals who are genuinely interested in hearing from you, rather than a group annoyed that they’ve been added to your list without consent.

Leverage Landing Pages

Every email you send offering premium content, such as say a white paper or a webinar, should include a link to a targeted and well-designed landing page. The landing page should be concise, to the point and properly customized to the offer. It should also include a compelling call to action (CTA) and a form so you can capture your leads’ contact information. When considering the layout of your landing page, the CTA is the most important element, so ensure that the language and graphics surrounding it really pop.

Utilize Syndication

Another great way to optimize your inbound marketing efforts is to syndicate your content. This can be a great tactic for getting your message in front of more eyes, particularly if your company’s website doesn’t have droves of daily visitors.

Try to get your content placed on trade publications that you know get a lot of traffic. For example, at PropelGrowth, we syndicate much of our capital markets content at TabbFORUM. This industry forum has far more visitors than our website, and most of our clients discover our work there before they visit our website.

Importance of Content Quality

While all of the above tactics will help you boost the success of your inbound marketing program, don’t underestimate the importance of delivering authoritative, high-quality content that helps, guides and educates your audience. Doing this on a consistent basis is crucial to establishing a relationship with your audience –a relationship where, over time, they come to regard you as a trusted advisor and potential business partner.

For more information on how to make the most of your content marketing investment, read: Why You Need A Content Marketing Strategy.

Christina Oswald
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