The shift to inbound marketing
Inbound marketing focuses on getting found by customers. People are tuning out traditional, interruption-based marketing methods, and choosing when and where to interact with brands. This basic evolution of consumer behavior, which we have come to call selective consumption, impacts agencies in the same ways it affects your clients. Model agencies are expanding their capabilities to meet growing demand for inbound marketing services, as well as using inbound marketing strategies to build their own brands.
Inbound marketing has given agencies the power to differentiate by doing. Agencies are using blogs, social networks, online video, e-mail marketing, webinars, podcasts, and ebooks to connect with prospects and clients in more meaningful and effective ways. They are creating value, while demonstrating their expertise and growing their businesses.
The marketing world is full of thinkers, talkers, and self-proclaimed gurus, but after awhile they all start to sound the same. What we need are more doers—agencies and professionals that drive change by practicing what they preach. The market is moving fast, and growth opportunities are everywhere.
Generate more leads and build greater loyalty. Then, in Chapter 6, we focus on how to control your sales funnel, and turn leads and loyalto into revenue.
The Universal Goals: Leads and Loyalty
Inbound marketing gives agencies the ability to boost search engine rankings, generate inbound links, and drive website traffic, which are proven lead generators. In addition, inbound marketing strengthens your brand and enhances your thought-leadership positioning, which can have a much greater impact on your long-term growth, stability, and success.
Origins of the inbound marketing gameplan
I originally developed the Inbound Marketing GamePlan in early 2008 as a service chart used in PR 20/20 business-development proposals. The goal was to offer prospects an easy-to-understand visual that outlined proposed services for a 12-month campaign, broken out by quarters. However, over time, we realized the concept was too tactical in nature, and our approach was much too focused on lead generation.
It was a step in the right direction, but we needed to evolve our thinking. In late 2009, we set out to better align our core services with current and future market demand. Based on lessons learned and data gathered supporting dozens of client inbound marketing campaigns, we were able to see trends emerging, both in terms of needs and goals, and the strategies and activities that were most effective in generating leads and building loyalty.
The foundation: brand and website
Every Inbound Marketing GamePlan begins with brand and website. These are the two critical building blocks for marketing agencies, and their clients.
Every agency must define and differentiate itself. Share your story through your website, content, social media activity, and PR, but remember that your brand is defined by experiences and perceptions. Start by answering these questions to define your brand.
When an agency begins, it inherently takes on the persona of its founder. However, as the agency grows, it becomes essential to take a more strategic approach to how you present your agency online and offline.