Category Archives: Content Marketing

The Buyer Journey: Why It’s Important

Every marketer or seller needs to understand the concept of the buyer journey. Why it’s important may seem complex, but it’s actually quite simple. Guiding your potential customers to the final purchase, a buyer’s journey that is meticulously crafted and finely executed will make your site more engaging and can lead to more business for your company.

Still wondering why you need to focus on the buyer journey? Then keep reading to find out. …

The Buyer Journey: Why It’s Important

More of the Buying Experience is Done Online

People are making more purchases online. In fact, some research shows that people are now purchasing more online than in person. And it’s not just the final purchase either. According to Lori Wizdo of Forrester, a business consulting and research company, roughly 74% of people conduct over half of their buying research online. This means that people are not only buying more online, but when they do purchase from brick-and-mortar stores, they are spending a lot of their time researching online before deciding on a product.

Keep People in the Sales Funnel

Understanding and revising your sales funnel for maximum success will help you close more sales and discover why people leave the funnel altogether, which can help to further modify and improve your funnel. The buyer’s journey can make the process easier and more efficient by providing useful information.

Creates Separation from Competition

A good buyer’s journey helps you create separation from the competition and gives you the opportunity to stand out. This is where good communication can be effective, such as live chat and FAQs. Your customer will likely have questions, and a good buyer’s journey allows you to answer them with honesty while enhancing your sales rate.

Gently Nudge to the Final Purchase

When someone is closer to the end of their buyer’s journey, you can gently nudge them to the final purchase. You certainly don’t want to be too aggressive (hence the word “gently”), but you do want to make sure you are giving your buyer added reason to make the final purchase. This is a great chance to give your potential customer information or messages that build trust and assurance, such as explanations of how your services work or guarantees for your products.

Learn More about the Buyer Journey and Why It’s Important

There is a lot to know about the buyer journey. Why it’s important is a complex topic, but when you work with 602 Creative Studio, we’ll help make your online marketing simple and straightforward.

With inbound marketing and design techniques, we can enhance your online profile and bring more attention and more conversions to your website!

The History of Marketing

From shouting at the market to modern inbound practice, the history of marketing tells an interesting story. …

The History of Marketing

• Ancient Times to the Renaissance: Shout it Out!

Marketing as a discipline wasn’t really a thing in the ancient times. There were certainly ways of letting people know you had something to sell, but for the most part it was shouting about your wares at a market. (“FRESH FISH!”) Think of Roman, Greek, and medieval markets and you get the idea.

1450: The Printing Press is Invented


The history of marketing is heavily tied to technology, and the first piece of equipment to make a splash in marketing is the printing press, which allowed for the mass creation of text without writing everything by pen.

• 1740s: Magazines Become an Important Advertising Medium

Magazines might seem like a 20th-century medium, but they actually came into prominence in the 1740s. The first American magazine was published in Philadelphia in 1741.

• 1860s: The Billboards Emerge

We may not have had interstates, but in the 1860s, we had billboards. The earliest recorded billboard was rented in 1867; by 1870 there were roughly 300 sign-painting and billboard companies, and in 1900 a standardized billboard structure was created.

1922: Radio Advertising Takes Hold


While scientific theories of radio date to the early 1830s and the first use of radio was before 1900, advertising was not first heard on radio waves until 1922.

 1940s: The Rise of Television

Television rose to greatness in the post-War era of the late 1940s and 1950s, but the first television commercial was seen in 1941. It was a simple ad for Bulova watches, it lasted a total of one minute, and reportedly cost the company somewhere between $4.00 and $9.00

• 1980s: Computers Become Part of the Advertising Culture

The first personal computer was released in 1981, forever changing the history of marketing. It also brought the famous 1984 television commercial for Apple. (You remember – the woman throwing a hammer at the massive screen displaying the oppressive overlord!)

• 1995: Search Engines Become a Major Player

In the mid-1990s, the practice of effectively building and changing a site to attract search engine attention was created. Google was not around, but Yahoo, Ask.com, and AltaVista were.

• 1998: Blogging Becomes a Thing

The first “blog” is made around 1998. By 2006, there were roughly 50 million blogs in operation, making it a significant portion of the advertising industry.

• 2000: Internet Bubble Pops, Inbound Shapes the History of Marketing

Tech was increasing by roughly 500%, but when the novelty of websites wore off, the bubble burst. Quality, from now on, would be the best practice.

 2006: Inbound Marketing Emerges

It would take some time for people to work out the kinks, but by 2006, inbound marketing becomes a defined concept in marketing. With the emergence of thought-leaders like HubSpot and Moz, inbound marketing, combined with SEO practices, drastically changes how marketers reach consumers.

Write Your Future with 602 Creative Studio

Discover the effectiveness of inbound marketing with 602 Creative Studio.

Contact us today and we’ll help bring motivated, engaged customers to your website through the use of SEO, blogging, and web development!

5 Signs you Should Invest in Inbound Marketing

Times are changing faster than you know it – by the year, month and minute. Your potential customers’ are changing with it as they grow older or their needs are modified. If you’re so focused on the past, you will miss the present. You can’t afford to continue dwelling on past customers while today’s customers are out there. And that’s where inbound marketing comes in. There are many signs you should invest in inbound marketing, which is the way things are done these days. So let’s explore ways that you can get on board.


5 Signs you Should Invest in Inbound Marketing

1. Your staff is still cold-calling strangers.

Occasionally a marketing blitz might be helpful, but if you’re relying on it to obtain customers, you really need to consider updating your techniques. It’s possible that you can succeed with a cold call, but it’s more likely a waste of time.

Instead: You need to identify your customers and make sure they come to you on their own.

2. You don’t know who your customers are.

If you’ve been doing nothing but following the status quo for years and years, perhaps you’ve gotten lucky. Eventually, however, the changing times will probably affect your business and change the faces of the people who use it. If you slowly see fewer and fewer customers, it’s definitely one of the signs you should invest in inbound marketing.

Instead: Clearly identify your buyer personas and determine where you can find such clients, such as by knowing which social media sites they use.

3. Your business is not doing as well as your competitor’s business.

If your method of bringing in new customers is hoping they will drive by your building or find you on the Internet, it might work sometimes. However, your competitors are somehow more visible and successful lately, and you’re not sure why.

Instead: Understand how much inbound marketing makes your company more visible. One Tweet or one Facebook post can reach hundreds if not thousands of your followers, and one share could reach hundreds or thousands of their followers. The more active you are online, the more visible you are, and that means a stronger, more competitive business.

4. You have no idea if your efforts are working or not.

More profits and a growing clientele are signs that your business is doing well. And that’s great! We’re happy for you. But could it do better? Are your marketing efforts working? Or are you just unknowingly wasting that time?

Instead: Take advantage of analytics programs that will tell you which efforts are working and which could use improvement.

5. You are spending too much money on marketing.

Outbound marketing efforts are costly and time-consuming – and in the end, as we stated above, you probably won’t even know if they worked.

Instead:  Save time and money by investing in inbound marketing principles. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing.

Get Ready to Update your Methods

Even if your methods have served you well in the past, you can’t rely on that forever. If you think you are ready to update your techniques but feel overwhelmed with the abundance of information out there, that’s another one of the signs you should invest in inbound marketing.

An agency like 602 Creative Studio can help explain inbound marketing to you and get your inbound marketing efforts on the right track. You can reach us through our website or by phone at 888-602-0197. We’ll be happy to get you started or answer your questions.

10 Tips for Building a Successful Marketing Strategy

Years of research has shown us the best ways to make businesses successful. In addition to providing excellent products to clients and customers, success in business requires legwork and clever marketing techniques. Here are some of the top tips for building a successful marketing strategy.

10 Tips for Building a Successful Marketing Strategy

1. Identify your buyers.

Create clear buyer personas.

Work with your sales team, senior marketing members and anyone else with experience working with your industry’s customers to build a detailed profile around their background, job roles, goals and challenges. Use this information in order to better create content that will connect with them.

2. Tell customers you have the best of what they want.

Perhaps the most important tip for building your business is to focus on the basics: Give customers a great product and great service. They’ll come back and tell others to follow.

3. Remain competitive.

Remember to offer customers reasonable rates for services. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

In addition, our partners at HubSpot recommend keeping an eye on your competitors: “By knowing the ins and outs of all public areas of a competition’s marketing from social media to blogging to offer creation and more, you can better understand who they are targeting with their marketing, what content they are focusing on and where they have found the most success. Once you know this, you can better understand how you can and should position yourself on these different mediums to stay one step ahead of everyone else.”

4. Regularly update your website.

There’s no need for online customers to come back to your site if it does not change. Regularly update your site with promotions, blogs and general information to keep them coming back.

5. Be active on social media.

As you update your site, make sure your customers know that there is something new to see. Share links to your blogs or tease your special promotions on social media sites.

Further, understand your buyer personas and which social media sites they are likely to use. Make sure they see your posts there. Even better yet, give them a reason to “like” or “follow” you, such as by offering them a “virtual raffle ticket” for doing so.

6. Employ traditional marketing techniques.

When you’re talking about tips for building a successful marketing strategy, you can’t overlook traditional marketing techniques, such as email. But incorporate inbound marketing concepts to make sure you are marketing to your specific clients, not the general public that may or may not be interested in your product.

7. Maintain an excellent reputation.

This can’t be repeated enough: A great reputation is vital to your business’s success.

It’s true that you can’t please them all all of the time, but if you attempt to please most of them most of the time, it will pay off. They will come back, and they will tell their friends and family about you. They will follow you online and share your posts because they trust you as a reliable source of information and great products.

Be honest while maintaining your reputation. If something happened that you are not especially proud of – like a negative online review – address it, fix it, move on, and try to make sure it never happens again.

If people compliment you online, graciously thank them. This would benefit you in three ways: maintaining your reputation, making you “real” instead of just a website, and making your website stronger regarding analytics.

Reputation is an immensely important aspect of building a successful marketing strategy. It’s all genuinely about you in this case, and that should make you proud.

8. Track your numbers.

Use analytics programs to see what is driving in the most traffic to your site and how beneficial that traffic is. These programs allow you to learn everything from the ages of your website visitors to how long they spent on a specific page on your site. If you track your numbers, you can see what is working and what is not.

9. Review and revamp as needed.

If you find that a specific marketing technique is working wonders for your business, continue to push it on your website, on social media sites, and in traditional marketing techniques.

But if you find that something is not working, research why and change it. Even something as simple as the color of a call-to-action button can make the difference.

And #10: Get Help

All of this is a lot to do. Luckily, marketing experts have years of experience and many tips for building a successful marketing strategy. Contact us for additional information or for assistance in building your marketing techniques. We can be reached through the 602 Creative Studio website, by email at hello@602cs.com or by phone at 888-602-0197.

 

Six Best Practices to Maximize your Marketing Funnel

Before you can think about working to keep customers and clients coming back, you have to bring them in. To convert more of your website users into customers, you need to use the best practices to maximize your marketing funnel. Some of these best practices are relatively common sense tips, while others need reinforcing.


What is a ‘marketing funnel’ anyway?

Those who have been in the marketing business for many years are familiar with the concept of a marketing funnel. If it happens to be new to you, however, here is the general idea.

A funnel is the set of steps visitors need to go through before they can reach the conversion, such as visiting the website and researching the product.

The set of steps before you can convert a website visitor into a customer is called a “funnel” because a lot of people take the first step. Then, as the people continue along and take the next steps, the size of the crowd thins or narrows.

Best Practices to Maximize your Marketing Funnel

There are several tried-and-true best practices to maximize your marketing funnel.

1. Maintain a great reputation.

Much of the traffic that comes to your website – or to your business through other methods, such as phone calls – is through word-of-mouth. Be sure to be visible to strangers, please your current customers, and maintain a great reputation. The strangers who hear about your business or product will come to visit, and current customers who really appreciate you will tell others about you.

2. Identify your customers.

It is important to identify the particular customers you want to visit your site or otherwise contact your business.

Not all of the people who hear about you will be interested in your product. You wouldn’t market eyeglasses to people who have perfect vision, for example. You instead would focus on those who need them.

Throwing your information out there for everyone is OK regarding enhancing your reputation and visibility, but it doesn’t directly increase your conversion rates. You want to target your marketing to people who will use your product.

3. Go to where your customers are.

Consider where your buyer personas are. Are they on Facebook? Snapchat? Do they love texting? Or maybe still use only email?  Be sure to increase your online presence, or otherwise reach your potential customers based on their habits.

4. Make sure your website is attractive and easy to use.

We’ve all used websites that have taken too long to load or were too hard to navigate. And what did we do? Clicked on the back arrow and went to the next business that came up on the list through the search engine. That’s definitely not what you want. You want to make sure visitors delve deeper into your business and further into the marketing funnel. So make sure your website is attractive and easy to use.

5. Make sure the product your clients are searching for is visible.

Another way to maximize your marketing funnel is to make sure visitors to your website or business know you offer the product they want. Make sure they know you can offer them a variety of options, if possible, at reasonable prices. In the eyeglasses example, consider having pictures of each of your eyeglasses on your site. Make sure they are displayed elegantly and that the pictures are easy to scroll through. The more options you give them, the more you can please a wider range of people in the beginning stages of the marketing funnel.

6. Track your numbers

Using an analytics program to determine how many people at the top of the funnel make it all the way to the bottom is extremely useful. If you find only a few people are going beyond the basics, considering revamping your marketing techniques or your website.


Work with an Experienced Marketing Agency

There’s no use in talking about the best practices to maximize your marketing funnel if you don’t have time to do them.

At 602 Creative Studio, we know the best ways to increase your online presence and how to market to your ideal clients. Contact us to help guide your business or if you want general suggestions on how to make your business grow.


Importance of Reputation Management

Maintaining a great reputation is extremely important – personally, professionally, in the business world, and in the online world. Despite the fact that you work very hard to maintain a respectable, clean reputation, it can be temporarily or permanently damaged with the drop of a hat, especially through social media. The importance of reputation management cannot be stressed enough, but managing it is not as hard as you think as long as you work on it. And at the same time, even if you are casted in a bad light, you can recover.


Power of Word-of-Mouth

When you need a new product or service, what are the first things you do? Ask friends and family? Search online? Watch commercials? Drive up and down the road and look for the prettiest building? All of the above? If you chose “all of the above,” depending on the circumstances, you’re exactly right. And all of these reflect the importance of reputation management – even the last one.

If you ask your friends and family for, say, a hairstylist, they will recommend one that they like, trust, or have heard great things about. According to our partners at HubSpot, 65 percent of new business comes from referrals. That’s reputation.

If you search online, the highest-ranking, most reputable hairstylists in your area will most likely appear at the top of your searches, and there, you will most likely read reviews and comments on social media. That’s reputation.

The power of advertising cannot be overlooked when it comes to the importance of reputation management – whether it’s through television commercials, radio advertisements, online advertisements, or traditional newspapers and circulars. That’s reputation.

If you are at a complete loss about where to go and decide to drive up and down the road and pick somewhere, you probably will not pick a place that has no other customers, unpleasant surroundings, a run-down building and trash in the parking lot. That’s laziness … and reputation – probably a bad one.

And that brings us to our next point regarding the importance of reputation management.

Cleaning Up your Act

It’s so overwhelming. Communication comes from all over the place these days: phones, computers, television, radio, word-of-mouth, conversation, the sky – no, really, from the sky.

People can dig up dirt from anywhere. Whether it’s true or just a rumor, you don’t want any of that to cloud other people’s judgment of you or your business.

You have to keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Respond to messages in emails, on your social media sites, and by phone promptly and professionally. It’s important to constantly watch your social media sites, specifically, because you don’t want people publicly posting inaccurate or unfair information about you or your business. If they do, respond calmly and professionally – always.

If you truly made a mistake, don’t try to cover it up or vehemently deny it; admitting mistakes gives you integrity and a human touch. However, don’t dwell on them. Admit them, correct them, and move on to bigger and better things while making sure the same mistakes do not happen again.

Further, your online reviews impact your search engine rankings.

Moz’s analysis of 2014 local search ranking factors shows that online business reviews are one of the top 20 ranking factors. The quantity and quality of your reviews are factors you can manage to improve your rankings.

Publish and promote positive content

If you don’t have social media accounts, set them up. Make yourself visible online, but, again, be sure to watch the comments that are posted and private messages that are sent.

On your company’s website, regularly post positive, helpful information. Make sure that information sets up the tone and reputation you want for your business.

It’s Important to Have a Reputation, Period

Finally, although you want to have a good reputation, it’s most important to have a reputation to begin with. Your business won’t succeed if no one knows about it or sees it – whether it’s online or up and down the road you are traveling. That’s why it’s important to have a presence online, in traditional advertising, and in one-on-one networking.


As we said, it’s coming from all over, and it’s a lot to think about and handle while at the same time actually completing the service you provide for your customers. That’s most important, after all.

But the importance of reputation management can’t be overlooked if you want your business to thrive. You most likely will need help to make sure your company is prominent and has a great online reputation by working with a company like 602 Creative Studio. Reach out to us online or by calling 888-602-0197 if you want us to help you make your business excel online – and with the respect it deserves!

Seven Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016

With society moving as quickly as it is, you have to stay on top of marketing trends if you want your business to be successful. While Facebook and Twitter remain dominant, even they are changing to keep pace. But there are so many more marketing trends to watch in 2016. Some you will literally have to see to believe.

1. Wearable technology

Wearable devices are ever-increasing as marketing trends to watch in 2016.  Such devices will change the landscape of local marketing, and will do more to blur the lines between “online” marketing and “real” marketing, according to Forbes.

Wearable technology includes things such as watches with cellular connectivity and smart bracelets that connect to phones via Bluetooth.

2. Reaching more customers

Through social media sites, consider marketing to people who are using the sites in other languages. Multi-language and real-time translation can open up a world of possibilities for expanding your customer base. Through the power of social media, you can capture their attention and hopefully gain customers or clients.

3. Snapchat

According to our partners at HubSpot, Snapchat has exceeded many marketers’ expectations, now getting 4 billion video views per day – the same number as Facebook.

Harness the power of Snapchat as a way to gain potential customers’ attention.

Snapchat, a pioneer of vertical videos, allows users to see a fuller picture of events as they unfold through Snapchat Live by aggregating user-generated content in real-time. One major advantage for marketers running campaigns around live events and video is the ability to connect with the highly-sought-after millennial segment, which make up a big portion of social media users.

4. It’s all about mobile

People are using mobile devices more and more every day. Mobile is central to online engagement, so be sure that your online presence is suitable for mobile devices.

5. Oculus Rift

Among virtual reality devices, one that has received much attention is Oculus Rift, which was released earlier in 2016.

Oculus Rift and other virtual reality devices introduce an entire new medium of online advertising with integration to popular social media platforms, video channels, and forms of direct messaging.

According to Oculus.com, whether you’re playing a game, watching a virtual reality movie, or spending time with friends in virtual reality, you will feel like you’re really there.

“Rift uses state-of-the-art displays and optics designed specifically for VR. Its high refresh rate and low-persistence display work together with its custom optics system to provide incredible visual fidelity and an immersive, wide field of view,” according to the website.

Integrating digital imagery with the real world can impact how you can engage customers.

6. HoloLens

Also among the marketing trends to watch in 2016 is Microsoft’s HoloLens.

HoloLens is made up of special components that together enable holographic computing.

According to the HoloLens site, HoloLens “embraces virtual reality and augmented reality to create a new reality – mixed reality. Virtual reality immerses you in a simulated world. Augmented reality overlays digital information on top of your real world. By understanding your environment, mixed reality enables holograms to look and sound like they’re part of your world.”

7. Video advertising and Periscope

According to a study by Cisco Systems, consumer video will account for 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019.

Video advertising is perhaps the most noticeable of the marketing trends to watch in 2016. Check your Facebook and Twitter accounts and you’ll see that’s true as evidenced by the streaming videos that will appear before your very eyes. Twitter’s live-streaming app, Periscope, brings a way to live stream video at any time through our smartphone cameras.

To give marketers access to larger audiences, the micro-blogging site opened the Twitter Audience Platform ad network to sell promoted videos to other mobile apps. An added benefit for advertisers is the ability to sell video ads outside of Twitter’s immediate audience. Twitter’s Periscope also allows it access to the increasingly popular live-events space as users continue tapping into the app during, for instance, breaking news situations or awards shows.


Maybe not all of these marketing trends are right for your business, but staying on top of the game keeps you up-to-date with today’s society. You also can expand on marketing trends to make them suitable for your business.

At 602 Creative Studio, we are here to help you do just that. Contact us online or call us at 888-602-0197. We can take care of your marketing needs. Even more changes are coming in 2017, so be ready.


Is a Business Blog Important to Your Company?

There is much debate going on as to whether companies should create a blog page on their websites. Once upon a time, Facebook “likes” were the way to increase marketing efforts. But now, the Social Media Examiner report shows that almost 70% of companies across 104 industries have seen marketing results from Facebook decline almost 30%. May not seem like much, but that could really hurt success in marketing efforts.

As an example, click-through rates on ads on Facebook or other media are at about 0.1%. What’s worse, almost half of click-through traffic is accidental. Thought about print ads? That is showing even more of a decline in marketing success. Here is why a business blog is today’s choice for success.


Blogging is Sensible

A business blog makes perfect sense.  First, blogging is good for search engine rankings. Search engines love to see experts post valuable content. A blog page will also add another “indexed” page to your site. This will help your site start to appear in more search results.  Blogging can also boost the use of keywords so people can see how what they want and your site are linked. Blogging builds character and reputation. Last, blogging will help drive traffic to other pages on your site.  All of these “pluses” will enhance your overall sales.  Blogging shows search engines that your company is active in creating great content, which adds yet another notch to your result rankings.

Become Larger-Than-Life on Social Media

If you are active on social media, then you need to have a business blog as well. Blogs are a great way to share content and help others. It is an even better way to peak a person’s interest and attract more visitors to your site.  Blogging fortifies social media posts to show your know-how and expertise in your industry.  Blogging and social media are like peanut butter and jelly – they go hand-in-hand and create a way to share, foster feedback, and let you strut your stuff to your audience.

Blogs Show the “Real” You

A business blog acts like a window into your world. People can get to know you better in terms of you, your business, your products and services. People are able to get a “feel” for what you have to offer. Your “voice” speaks to them and they can really figure out if what you have to offer is exactly what they are looking for. Above all, blogging again shows your expertise and know-how for creating a unique customer experience.

Focus on the End Result

Having a blog page is also important because it keeps you “focused” about who you are and why you are blogging. Blogging helps you become a “leader” in your industry. Keeping your blog up-to-date, with fresh content, means that you are “on top” of what is going on in your industry. This all creates the persona of an industry expert and industry leader.

Most of all, the above reasons are the same advice you would get if you talked with HubSpot about a business blog! HubSpot is a true industry leader and expert when it comes to inbound marketing success. In one of their most recent surveys, 60% of businesses that blog get more traffic to their sites and enjoy more sales.


 

602 Creative Studio is honored to be a partner with HubSpot, so inbound marketing is a specialty of ours. The Team at 602 knows what it takes to create a website that ranks high in search engine results. The steps we learned and pass on for creating successful blogs has, over and over, delivered better sales results and a stronger brand presence. And, for you, that means more leads, more sales, and better business outcomes.

Visit 602’s Blog page for your chance to get a free download of The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas, as well as other information on how to succeed with blogging and inbound marketing.

 

What is Lifecycle Marketing?

Remember the days when you received most, if not all of your mail at your mailbox? Whether it was business mail or personal correspondence, it seemed to take a lifetime to send and receive communication. Thanks to advances in technology over the last few decades, those days have disappeared, and, luckily, so have the one-sided, short-cycled marketing efforts that went along with them. The transfer of information has never been easier and neither has lifecycle marketing.

What is Lifecycle Marketing?

If you have a company or business, you know how important it is to stay connected with your customers and also reach a new customer base. There are plenty of ways to do this at different price and success ranges. Lifecycle Marketing is a proven method of increasing sales and leads using innovative marketing ideas and digital efforts that are designed specifically for your buyer persona and their stage in the buyer’s journey.

If you’re struggling to be successful in your business, it could be your marketing strategy that’s lacking, rather than the products or services you sell. This article is written to give you more insight on how to market for profits and keep you out of the red.

Lifecycle marketing is a major component of the inbound marketing methodology, so it only make sense to explain it first.

The Inbound Methodology

Inbound Marketing is the complete opposite of the ineffective, traditional marketing practices that we are all used to seeing. With the inbound approach, you will focus on gaining the attention and trust of potential customers and bringing them directly to you by offering valuable content on your website. The content is specifically designed to reach and connect with your buyer personas, or target audience.

If you publish the right type of content for the right person at the right time, you have a recipe for success. This is where lifecycle marketing comes in.

Lifecycle Marketing Stages

1. Subscribers are those who are familiar with your company and have signed up to receive blog notifications or newsletters, but nothing more.

2. Leads are more interested in what you have to offer and are probably willing to provide more information than just an email address. In many cases, a lead will have completed a contact form in order to receive something of like an ebook, checklist, or other top of the funnel content offers.

3. Marketing Qualified Leads, or (MQLs), have an even higher interest in your company and have expressed interest in learning more. This is the time to present bottom of the funnel offers, like product demos.

4. Sales Qualified Leads are ready to be handed off to your sales team based on the rules and guidelines outlined in your company’s Service Level Agreement (SLA).

5. Opportunities are defined by Hubspot as being, “…real sales opportunities”. At this time, your sales team has been able to share more details about the product or service and the lead continues to show interest.

6. Customers see the value in your product or service and are actually paying you.

7. Evangelists are your company cheerleaders. You’ve impressed and nurtured them through the years and now they refer your products and services to all of other friends.

8. Others don’t fit nicely into a category. According to HubSpot, closed lost opportunities, customer renewals, and key accounts could all be considered ‘others’.

Lifecycle Marketing Actions

1. Attract potential customers by publishing interesting content on your website and distributing the content through social channels, forums, and newsletters. Remember to create content that will speak to and resonate with your buyer persona. Consider their pain-points and how your company can help. Seek to solve a problem or answer a question that they might have.

2. Convert website visitors into qualified leads by gathering contact information from potential customers. This sounds easy enough, but people will not give away their email address for free anymore. The only way to make this work is by offering something of great value in return for their coveted contact information.

For example, if you work in higher education, your buyer persona is probably a parent whose child is graduating high school soon. In this case, providing a ‘Dorm Room Checklist’ or a ‘Financial Aid eBook’ in exchange for a name and email address would greatly increase your list of quality leads. Important tools to help convert visitors to potential leads are Forms, Landing Page, Contacts, and Calls to Action.

3. Close the deal by transforming those leads into future customers. Since you’ve strategically attracted the right type of people to your website and carefully converted those visitors into leads, closing should be too difficult. Here are some tools for closing:

  • CRM keeps track of all client information and has the best information on hand across multiple channels.
  • Email gives the potential customer relevant content that gets and keep their attention while building trust.
  • Closed Loop Reporting gives you the ability to analyze the marketing and sales on how good the work together.
  • Marketing Automation is a process that creates email and lead marketing for each lifecycle lead stage. Example, ” if a customer downloads something from a specific topic; the system sends them relevant and targeted emails as a follow up.

4. Delight your customers by engaging with them after a sale is made and showing your appreciation of their loyalty. Continuing to build a relationship with your customers allows for opportunities to cross-sell other products and gain referrals to potential customers. Strategies for delighting customers include social monitoringsmart texts, surveys and calls-to-action.

Lifecycle marketing is a critical component of any inbound marketing strategy, but not always easy implement. Partnering with an experienced inbound marketing agency can set your company apart from the competition. The powerful combination of industry knowledge and inbound marketing expertise is sure to boost sales.

 

7 Innovative Marketing Ideas to Try in 2016

The world of marketing continues to change, and if you want to stay on top, you need the best strategy. Everyone from local real estate agents and attorneys to world-wide, publicly-traded companies needs to have new and innovative marketing ideas for 2016.

7 Innovative Marketing Ideas

If you want to make the most of your marketing efforts in 2016, give these ideas a try.

1. Start “Vlogging”


Content is king, and everyone knows the importance of blogging, but have you thought about adding video to your SEO arsenal? Search engines are in the business of giving people what they want, and video is in high demand. Video may not be new, but it’s an under-appreciated yet innovative marketing idea that you can implement in 2016.

2. Create a Social Media Contest

If your social media engagement is stuck on the launch pad, help it take off with a friendly social media contest. There are many types of contests you can run, with prizes ranging from cash and products to simply having a customer’s photo used as the company banner for a day.

So what type of contest should you run? You could have a photo caption contest, where your social media friends give funny captions and your team gets to pick the best. You could also create a photo contest, allowing people to submit photos related to your product or service. Once again, your team or social media head gets to pick the winner of this innovative marketing idea.

3. Shift Your Content Marketing Style

This is less of a single innovative marketing idea and more of a shift in mindset. It’s time to get crazy about content. In 2016, stop limiting yourself to ideas that directly address your industry or help promote your services and broaden your horizons. Give people a reason to come to your blog (or vlog) by adding informative, engaging, and innovative content.

Start experimenting with innovative marketing ideas like DIY information or best practices. Think about what questions your customers are always asking and what topics affect your industry. Shift the focus of your articles away from your business and on to your customers and you’ll find more readers and better engagement.

4. Monitor Customer Reviews

According to a study from Zendesk, 88% of customers are influenced by online reviews. This means that businesses can’t afford to ignore customer reviews, and you need to watch sites like Yelp, ConsumerReports, and even Google. You should also monitor your social media posts for comments and reviews from customers.

How should you address these reviews? If they are positive, a simple thank you and “can’t wait to see you again” will do. If they are negative, however, things get tricky. Engage with these commenters in an apologetic way that focuses on solving the problem. You can’t always please everyone, but showing that you want to help at least demonstrates to customers that you are listening and want to make it better.

5. Give a Behind-the-Scenes Look

Remember those videos we talked about? One of the best ways to demonstrate your business is to create a behind-the-scenes look at your company. This will allow potential customers to see your high-quality facility, the smiling faces of your staff, and your product or service in action. It gives new customers some reassurance because they know, at least in a small detail, what they are getting or who they are working with.

The National Retail Federation says that behind the scenes looks are one of the best marketing ideas. You should seriously consider emulating this tactic, which was used successfully by Khol’s to generate buzz for a new clothing collection.

6. Create a Membership Club

Some businesses lend themselves to membership clubs better than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create one. If you run a food or beverage business, like a cafe, restaurant, coffee shop, or craft brewery, a membership group is a homerun. For any business, however, you can give members discounts, special offers, and top priority for new products.

Nearly all businesses can have a membership system, creating a sense of loyalty and community among like-minded people; people who hopefully keep buying from you!

 7. Switch to Inbound Marketing

The inbound marketing methodology is all about ditching your disruptive, traditional marketing tactics of the past and replacing them with proven marketing efforts that actually speak to the people you are trying to reach. You’ll establish buyer personas, create content offers that add value and landing pages and forms that are designed to convert website visitors into leads and leads into customers.

Get More Innovative Marketing Ideas for 2016

Contact Phoenix inbound marketing agency, 602 Creative Studio, to learn more innovative marketing ideas and inbound strategies. Let us help you generate leads online and grow your customer base.