What Buzz Lightyear Would Say To Get Company Buy-In
Sales are down. Your CEO is on you and your marketing team to increase your marketing efforts, and yet he won’t increase your budget. In addition, your superiors are still skeptical about using inbound methods as a means to increase sales leads, much less automating it. You are not alone my friend.
Buzz Lightyear went through the same thing during the years that passed between Toy Story and Toy Story 3. In the beginning, his team used outboundAs efforts like magazine ads and direct mail campaigns to increase sales of his mega-hit toy line. His sales force plodded across the country into large toy stores to spread news and sales of his product line. It worked…then.
As you know, traditional sales methods can be effective, but in this day and age they can be very expensive to carry out; let alone measure ROI. When you take into account the fact that inbound and social media are here to stay, it costs less, and is much easier to measure than outbound methods, then you’ve got yourself a marketing conundrum; or what Buzz referred to as the “Space/Time Paradox”. Do you want to pay for SPACE in a magazine or make TIME for inbound?
With 82% of B2B companies now using social media as an inbound tool for marketing, Buzz had to get buy-in for the newest marketing methods and technology.
As the super-sonic, battery generated toy would say:
“Sheriff, this is no time to panic.”
Let’s take a look at how Buzz Lightyear started the conversation about beginning inbound efforts at his company:
At first, taking the plunge into using inbound methods may seem like taking a leap into oblivion.
“This isn't flying! This is falling, with style!”
Traditional outbound marketing approaches are hard to measure. With inbound methodology however, every platform available out there offers pretty reliable tracking and analytics for figuring out what you are doing right and what needs to be tweaked. From Facebook to Twitter to your blog, companies like Google and many other software companies have made it a piece of cake to measure your performance based on any number of criteria.
The numbers speak loudly. Inbound marketing generates 54% more leads than traditional outbound efforts according to a recent HubSpot study. In addition, these leads cost about 64% less.
“I don't believe that man's ever been to medical school!”
Well, it doesn’t take a medical degree to start doing inbound. All it takes is some research and the willingness to succeed.
80% of marketers were able to prove their inbound ROI for 2013. Was the sales force able to do the same?
INBOUND IS HERE TO STAY
“One minute you're defending the whole galaxy, and, suddenly, you find yourself sucking down Darjeeling with Marie Antoinette... and her little sister."
It’s not something to enter into lightly without a plan. Otherwise you’ll find yourself running around from platform to platform willy-nilly; posting here, commenting there and trying to get your head around how to get more “likes”. As a business, you don’t want to get left behind! Defend your company’s right (and need) to enter the new realm, and then make a plan. Research the platforms that work best for your company strategy and customer. And what’s so bad about Darjeeling with Marie Antoinette if it was part of the plan in the first place?
Once again, the facts speak for themselves. Only 27% of companies are NOT doing some kind of inbound social media. Are you one of them?
As of the beginning of 2014, 53% of CEO’s were allocating marketing budget to inbound social media. If your CEO is like most, he will want to be a part of that growing number; especially if he wants to build revenue.
For those companies who truly wanted to see lead generation, customer conversion and higher close rates – 1/3 of their marketing budget was allocated in 2013 for inbound marketing. Why? They are seeing results by measuring and analyzing their inbound programs.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BLOGGING
“Don't talk to me about importance! Because of you, the future of this entire universe is in jeopardy!”
Having a good blog with solution-oriented and value-driven content is vital to the beginning stages of a social media presence. It may not put the entire universe in jeopardy, but if you are going to start anywhere, begin with a blog on your website. Populate it with excellent articles written with your potential customers in mind.
At the end of 2013, 62% of marketers were blogging because blogs create 55% more website traffic.
43% of marketers who blog have generated a sale from their blog. 82% of Marketers who blog daily have generated a sale from their blog. The result? More blogging = more leads = more sales.
Blogging is also how modern consumers are making purchases. 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog.
Most importantly, the numbers show that readers have confidence in the blog. Over 80% of blog readers enjoy and trust blog posts. They prefer getting to know a company via social media over traditional sales methods.
HELLO. LEAD GENERATION
“How dare you open a space man's helmet on an uncharted planet? My eyeballs could have been sucked from their sockets!”
For those who are unfamiliar with an inbound process, or even a little scared of it, it can seem daunting to begin. No, your eyes won’t get sucked out, but with measurable results and good blogging, you are going to get more leads.
Think about it this way:
Facebook is the number one social media lead generator for inbound. 46% of online consumers relied on social media to make a purchase in 2013. There are roughly 200M Facebook users. It is possible that around 100M users potentially used information from Facebook to buy something last year. Even without the niche processing of buyer personas, those numbers are very compelling for a company just beginning their Inbound Strategy.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
“I've set my laser from stun to kill.”
If inbound is your laser gun, then SEO is the way you target your customer even further.
89% of consumers used a search engine to make a purchase in 2013. Optimizing your efforts to reach your particular customer can increase your odds of getting found. Your website, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn platforms are a great place to start. If you are a company looking for local results, reaching out to mediums like Yelp can help your local rankings.
Further SEO tactics include making sure your homepage is properly optimized, that you include your keywords in posting fields and stay away from common mistakes like posting duplicate content, posting pictures without your keywords and make sure that your website is optimized for your visitors moreso than the search engines. The search giants will get you more visitors, but your visitors will lead to more sales.
THE LANDING PAGE
Creating landing pages with unique offers that have a call-to-action WILL multiply your leads. In some cases, leads grow exponentially.
Some marketers, who are using proven Inbound Methodology, are creating landing pages for each campaign. The result? More landing pages + CTA’s = More leads.
How would you like to tell your CEO that you have generated 12 times more leads? You can do it by creating more landing pages.
If 70% of businesses are NOT using a call-to-action on their home page, visualize where your company can go with a solid inbound plan that includes SEO and multiple Landing Pages?
When a visitor makes it to your page and reads the headline, 90% of the time they will read your CTA. Isn’t it worth taking that extra step to increase leads?
Landing pages are a significant aspect in creating an inbound presence that will increase your lead base.
When your boss praises you for the number of leads you are getting, you can tell him:
“Excuse me, but I think the word you're searching for is "Space Ranger”.
Why? Because it’s working.
Once you start getting all those leads, how do you continue to push them through the funnel, qualify them and eventually close them? It takes practice, time and a creative mind, as well as adhering to a lead nurturing process. You have become a marketing space ranger.
At this point, it is not about the close, it is still about educating your site visitor, building trust in your brand, as well as providing expertise on industry related topics.
The use of E-mail as part of the lead nurturing process and as a segment of your overall inbound strategy is increasing.
Sending an e-mail, rather than sending an e-mail with general information, increases click-through-rates. The overall average click-through-rate is less than 2%. With creative and thoughtful CTA’s the rate goes up to 8%.
When it comes down to it, 75% of leads need to be nurtured. That means they are further up the funnel and need to be pushed (ever so gently) down the funnel with your efforts.
When you nurture your leads through the funnel, sales-ready leads increase by 50% and costs to generate those leads go down 33%. AND they are more likely to make a larger purchase. Trust and credibility have already been developed.
Sending a lead-nurturing e-mail to the right person on a monthly basis is the most effective way to convert your leads as a part of your inbound program.
“Don't worry, Woody. In just a few hours you'll be sitting around a campfire with Andy making delicious hot Schmores.”
It takes time and effort to automate your marketing process. But companies who DO automate their inbound sales and marketing efforts see a revenue increase of 10% in less than one year. That’s not a light year, however it is less than 12 months.
Automating your inbound process can increase your qualified leads by 451% according to HubSpot’s recent study.
If your boss decides, after these convincing facts and statistics, to continue NOT to pursue inbound methods as a viable sales and marketing tool, you can tell him Buzz said:
“You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity. Farewell.”
The analytics don’t lie. Get in on the inbound space ship and begin bringing in more site visitors, more leads and more revenue for your company.
“To infinity and beyond!”