Generating ROI From Inbound Marketing #SEMrushchat Recap

Now, more than ever, the average consumer seeks to be more informed, more cautious and does more research before entering the sales cycle. Inbound marketing aims to bring your content and product in front of this audience while they are in the preliminary phase of the buying cycle and can even double your website conversion rate. Unfortunately,...
Generating ROI from Inbound Marketing #SEMrushchat Recap

Now, more than ever, the average consumer seeks to be more informed, more cautious and does more research before entering the sales cycle. Inbound marketing aims to bring your content and product in front of this audience while they are in the preliminary phase of the buying cycle and can even double your website conversion rate.

Unfortunately, about 40% of marketers still struggle to generate and prove the ROI of their marketing activities, which is why we invited Katy Katz, Director of Accounts at Marketing Refresh to share strategic insights on generating ROI from inbound marketing during our latest #SEMrushchat. Katy, along with our other chat participants, shared their own experiences and knowledge to the discussion. Here is what they had to say:

Q1. What are the fundamentals of inbound marketing success?

At its core, inbound marketing involves getting the audience’s attention, encouraging them to convert, and then analyzing your efforts to see what worked and what didn’t.

A1: they would be:
Get found
Convert
Analyze

Every great inbound marketing strategy is developed out of these three principles #semrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 20, 2018

Having a successful inbound marketing strategy isn’t easy, it requires a lot of diligence and patience to pull off.

A1: The number one priority for inbound or content marketing success is diligence. Inbound marketing takes time to work. #semrushchat

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

Before launching your inbound marketing efforts, here is what you should do:

Identify a Clear Goal

The first step in launching a successful inbound marketing campaign is to specify the objective. Figure out the business outcome you want to achieve, whether it is increasing conversions, bringing more traffic to your page, or just boosting leading generation. Once you decide your objective, you can work backward to see just how you can achieve it.

A1: As with any marketing, you've got to have a goal first and foremost. What's the POINT of luring this audience? Start there, work backwards with how to achieve that.#semrushchat https://t.co/uOT4AQPmY5

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 20, 2018

A1. I've always worked backwards - create the goal and then find ways to answer users questions and then track every.single.thing.#SEMrushchat

— Nathan Driver (@natedriver) June 20, 2018

Know Your Target Audience

Your inbound marketing strategy should focus on providing a solution to what your target audience is searching for. This means you should define your target audience and understand their behavior.

A1: Always know your audience and who you're trying to target. Otherwise, how can you expect to resonate with them? #semrushchat

— Express Writers (@ExpWriters) June 20, 2018

A3: Knowing your buyer’s journey also means understanding your personas. Talk to your customers and sales team regularly to understand what’s important to them. Keyword research is critical but only takes you so far! #semrushchat

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

Details like the search terms your audience uses in search engines and what they expect to see on your site can help you cater to those questions on your website (i.e., add value) and eventually get them interested about the goods or services you provide.

A1. The Basics: Answering your audience's questions. #SEMrushchat

— Brooklynn Holtz (@brooklynnholtz) June 20, 2018

A1 Know your Audience; the words they search with, and expect to see on your site, and that they use to talk about the goods or services you offer. #SEMRushChat

— Bill Slawski ⚓ (@bill_slawski) June 20, 2018

A1. Find topics people are interested in. > Make content people want. > Make it good. > Promote the pants off of it. > Profit! #semrushchat https://t.co/rscJfeYSc5

— Kim Doughty (@Howdy_Doughty) June 20, 2018

Once that is done, you can map out the content needed to answer all of the questions in your buyer’s journey and make it visible throughout your website. This detailed article by Katy Katz has more insights on how to achieve it.

The messaging and content you create should be highly targeted, with custom content for audiences at every stage of the marketing funnel. Remember to include a strong call to action that is relevant to the audience; this will encourage them to convert and move on to the next stage in the funnel.

A1. On target messaging with a call to action. #SEMrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 20, 2018

A1: Create strategy & content around where your audience members are in the marketing funnel. Marketing tailored toward funnel stage meets audiences where they are and helps them along to the next funnel stage. #semrushchat

— Carolyn Lyden (@Carolyn_Lyden) June 20, 2018

Define Metrics to Measure and Analyze

To see if you are succeeding with your inbound marketing efforts, measuring the impact of each campaign and analyzing it is essential.

A1. Measurement.

"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."

Seen too many sites say "We did x, y and z aren't we awesome?" and their boss says "How much more £££ did that bring?" - to be met by blank faces. #semrushchat pic.twitter.com/J1pWkfYHnM

— Ⓞⓟⓣⓘⓜⓘⓢⓔⓨ (@Optimisey) June 20, 2018

A1. Measurement and data. #SEMrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 20, 2018

So, remember to set identifying metrics that make sense for your business process and establish ways to track and measure it.

A1: The metrics of the business process and the actual Inbound Marketing costs related to their to generating leads and conversions #SEMrushchat #contentmarketing @katykatztx @SEMrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 20, 2018

A comprehensive reporting solution, like My Reports within SEMrush, can help you to get it all in one place and analyze it periodically to check what works.

These fundamentals will help you to get started with a healthy inbound marketing strategy that will provide guided and a measured customer journey to your prospects.

A1: Providing relevance, value, opportunities for relationships, and guided, measured user journeys to visitors. #semrushchat

— Jacques Bouchard (@jacquesbouchard) June 20, 2018

chat-recap-q1-response.png

Q2. Do you think certain companies benefit more from inbound marketing than others? Why? Why not?

Inbound marketing improves conversion and works well for every industry. If done right, it can double your website conversion rate from 6% to 12%. However, the kind of strategy that works and the extent to which it succeeds can differ for each business.

A2. Inbound has opportunity for every industry, but not every traditional inbound tactic will work. I think there's great benefit in testing and being unafraid to try something unexpected. What works for a plumber may not for an e-commerce retailer. #semrushchat

— Mandy Pennington (@mandyboyle) June 20, 2018

A2 I think everyone benefits from Inbound marketing but it would be silly for a SaaS company to ignore it completely #SEMrushchat

— Hilary St Jonn (@HilaryStJonn) June 20, 2018

A2: IMO I think every business can benefit from it, but I think they need to keep in mind that content can come in a variety of ways and they need to find what works best for them #semrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 20, 2018

A2. Yes - I think B2C vs. B2B makes a big different. Both benefit but the scale is different. #SEMrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 20, 2018

It is important to note that it is not as simple as saying that a B2B company would benefit more than B2C. Companies that have a long sales cycle and those that lend themselves to online search have a better scale of success because they can easily map out the content campaign required and focus on attracting and educating their target audience, which then pushes them to conversion.

A2-2: For example, companies with long sales cycles and lots of questions naturally lend themselves to an extensive content marketing campaign. You are more likely to read a blog about choosing a degree than latte flavors. #semrushchat https://t.co/jAV2wxTEJu

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A2: Absolutely. By nature, some industries lend themselves to online search. I'm not seeing a lot of people searching for info on grocery stores or drug stores. But in our B2B world, the search is step one for almost every purchase. #semrushchat

— John Rasco (@refreshweb) June 20, 2018

A2: Consumer-facing companies could benefit from inbound marketing (leading customers to products, getting newsletter signups with discounts, remarketing if they don't purchase), but B2B companies can also use inbound marketing similarly. #SEMRushChat

— Marccx Media (@marccxmedia) June 20, 2018

A2-1: I’m a cold-hard inbound fan so I believe some form of content marketing is important for any business. However, there are certainly some companies that benefit more than others. #semrushchat

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

On the other hand, companies that cater to a specific need, should focus only on targeted content and CTAs to get inbound marketing to work for them quicker.

A2: I generally think that companies that can solve or satisfy an immediate need generally benefit more from inbound marketing - long cycle companies prob less so #SEMrushchat

— JP Sherman (@jpsherman) June 20, 2018

So, what determines whether inbound marketing would work for a business? Here are some of the key characteristics that our chat participants say can lead to inbound marketing success:

Adapting to Trends

Companies that adapt to trends quicker can tweak their content strategy to be in sync with the target audience. This enables them to resonate with their audience better, win their trust, and convert faster.

A2. Sure: companies that are able to adapt quickly to trends#SEMrushchat pic.twitter.com/RATICwy62x

— Nathan Driver (@natedriver) June 20, 2018

A2 perhaps some very niche markets have a harder time with inbound - or, in many cases, just companies who are stuck in their old ways without realizing the digital world has so much to offer #semrushchat

— Amanda Vera (@amnda_vera) June 20, 2018

Using Non-Traditional Methods

As already discussed, traditional inbound marketing strategies may not work for all businesses. For instance, local businesses need to ace their local SEO, but can not solely depend on Google micro-moments to win conversion.

A2: I think local businesses might have a harder time with specific inbound marketing tactics just based on the Google micro-moments. But I think there are different approaches that work well for local, too. #SEMRushChat

— Carolyn Lyden (@Carolyn_Lyden) June 20, 2018

For businesses that do not have a direct social media or digital audience, they would need a more granular targeting strategy and focused content to convert.

A2) Industries with a naturally reachable audience via social channels are easier for inbound. You have to target very closely and granularly for some senior B2B targets e.g #SEMRushChat

— Dawn Anderson (@dawnieando) June 20, 2018

In both of these instances, using out-of-the-box ideas and non-traditional methods can increase their chances of success. It ultimately boils down to creating custom content that is easily consumable by your target audience, which will determine your success.

Hope not too late for this #SEMRushChat

A2.1 It always depends on how well a brand can tell a story about their product or services, irrespective of the industry

— Malhar Barai 📷 📹 (@MalharBarai) June 20, 2018

A2) Think about the personalities and the types of media a b2b decision making unit members want to consime e.g for b2b professionals #SEMRushChat

— Dawn Anderson (@dawnieando) June 20, 2018

A2: Of course -- it depends on how they approach it, what their budget is, if they've tapped into the right audience/venue/etc. #semrushchat https://t.co/VsNdbrvJQb

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 20, 2018

Investment In Inbound Marketing

Some companies may not have the necessary bandwidth to explore inbound marketing to the fullest.

A2. I think yes, but not necessarily because of industry. It's more dependent on bandwidth. #semrushchat https://t.co/7nJSO9q2tW

— Kim Doughty (@Howdy_Doughty) June 20, 2018

Even if your business has had success with inbound marketing before, and is aware of what works, adjusting the formula further can bring about better conversions.

A2: It's somewhat associative to the statement "tried and true". If you succeed with inbound marketing at an earlier juncture, you know exactly how to target your audience, thus future success will come easier as your team already is aware of the formula #semrushchat

— Christopher Tompkins (@chrisgoagency) June 20, 2018

Similarly, for emerging companies that are newly entering a crowded market space, it takes a lot of effort and time to rank. If a business does not have the resources dedicated to inbound marketing, it can be quite difficult to be found by their target audience.

A2-3: Also, it will be harder to break into industries where many companies have already been doing inbound for a while and have established rankings. It will take you a lot more time and effort to rank. #semrushchat https://t.co/jAV2wxTEJu

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A2: Definitely, knowing how to get found and then having exactly what is being looked for is good business.
Building yourself to get found takes time as you might not have the trust yet that influences a purchase. #SEMrushchat

— Kieran Ledger (@KJLedger) June 20, 2018

A2-4: If you are in a highly competitive space, all hope is not lost. One option is to pick a niche in that space and focus all of your inbound efforts there as opposed to trying to break into established SERP results. #semrushchat https://t.co/jAV2wxTEJu

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

Authentic Communication

Another characteristic that can lead to inbound marketing success is how a business is communicating with their target audience. Not only should a company’s messages be authentic (not just automated), but they should genuinely listen and react to what their customers have to say; this will help brands build relationships, meet customer expectations, and consistently deliver value through inbound marketing.

A2. Companies that build authentic two-way communications benefit most from inbound marketing. Every industry has an inbound rockstar. The mettle is in exceeding client expectation and consistently providing value. #SEMRUSHChat

— pair Networks (@pairnetworks) June 20, 2018

A2: Of course -- it depends on how they approach it, what their budget is, if they've tapped into the right audience/venue/etc. #semrushchat https://t.co/VsNdbrvJQb

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 20, 2018

chat-recap-q2-response.png

Q3. What are the best ways to track inbound marketing ROI? Which metrics do you track?

When it comes to measuring the ROI for inbound marketing, it is easy to look at vanity metrics, such as traffic and rankings, that does not give you a complete picture. While these numbers will tell you if your efforts are on the right track, it is better to track conversions that attribute to your inbound marketing campaigns.

A3-6: Also, although vanity metrics like traffic and rankings don’t directly impact ROI, they can be helpful to assessing whether you are on the right track and should be considered in the pool of information. #semrushchat https://t.co/uY16b4xvYK

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A3: Conversions. Always, ALWAYS make that your most important metric. From there, look at supporting KPI: i.e., whatever led the audience down the path to convert (or didn't!). #semrushchat https://t.co/RkqqpVLv6q

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 20, 2018

A3: Goals should realistically be Signups / Revenue. That's what keeps the lights on. Yeah, rankings and followers are also important but rankings are a bit of a vanity metric... unless you can prove the correlation between improved ranking and conversion. #semrushchat

— Peak District SEO (@PeakDistrictSEO) June 20, 2018

Based on these conversions, you can track the customer’s journey and look at supporting elements that will help you to understand your campaign better.

A3: .@ThinkSEM said it best. Track conversions first (and for B2B, qualified conversions too). Then look at each campaign to decide on the next most valuable metrics- is it traffic? Followers? Virality? Each project will target different secondary types of value. #semrushchat

— Jacques Bouchard (@jacquesbouchard) June 20, 2018

A3: It surely has to be conversions, but you could also measure other metrics such as mailing list sign ups.
It may not be a sale but at least it's hopefully making the buyer open to receiving more information to build your brand.#SEMrushchat

— Kieran Ledger (@KJLedger) June 20, 2018

The secondary KPIs will differ from campaign to campaign, and will entirely depend upon your business and marketing objectives. Here are a few metrics that will help you identify the key elements in your campaign performance:

Measurements Based On the Sales Funnel

The end objective of almost any business is sales. If you can track the number of leads generated by your inbound efforts, correlate it to the qualified sales leads, and then to the deals closed, you have a direct measurement of ROI.

A3 truly depends on your objective, but we measure through the data you gather as it relates to the sales funnel - leads gathered vs. qualified vs. closed #semrushchat

— Amanda Vera (@amnda_vera) June 20, 2018

A3-2: The easiest and most common KPI to track the ties directly to ROI are sales qualified leads (SQLs). This is the amount of sales-ready leads that are coming through your inbound efforts. #semrushchat https://t.co/uY16b4xvYK

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A3 I see a bunch of talk about leads, but can’t you just track flat out conversions, depending on the business? That is my main metric - is it making us money? #SEMrushchat

— Hilary St Jonn (@HilaryStJonn) June 20, 2018

A3-3: If you know your lead to customer conversion rate, you can track the ROI of your inbound campaign with SQLs. #semrushchat https://t.co/uY16b4xvYK

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

Bear in mind, that a lot of content for inbound marketing will center around creating awareness to increase traffic. Typically, the leads generated from this kind of content will not be ready for sales just yet and may need a lot of nurturing before they finally convert.

A3-4: However, a lot of inbound marketing consists of “awareness” content. Content that’s just getting people’s foot in the door. You are less likely to get direct SQLs from awareness content. So... #semrushchat https://t.co/uY16b4xvYK

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A3) Leads / marketing ready leads / sales ready leads. Integrate with CRM lead scoring e.g to identify most valuable content for one #SEMrushchat

— Dawn Anderson (@dawnieando) June 20, 2018

From a business perspective, measuring the average lifetime value of a customer, the average sales price, and the current conversion rate will give you an idea of the cost per lead. This will show you how much of a profit your efforts are making.

A3: You should map out your current efforts and ROI metrics like:
Current conversion rate
Average Lifetime Value
Average Sales Price

You also need to set up macro and micro conversions to aide in Inbound marketing. #semrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 20, 2018

Qualitative Metrics

While hard numbers on sales and revenue can impress your boss, as an inbound marketer, deeper qualitative metrics will be more relevant to you. Metrics like engagement time, how customers perceive your brand, customer satisfaction, sentiment, and reviews can help you dig deeper into your content strategy and revise it to better resonate with the target audience.

A3. I also like blending qualitative and quantitative metrics. Making the case to the higher ups is easier with numbers, but qualitative can sometimes give context or strength to an appeal for resources or an argument for why it matters. #semrushchat

— Mandy Pennington (@mandyboyle) June 20, 2018

A3. Look beyond simple traffic numbers at time on page and lead form submissions. Are people engaging with your content and asking for more? #semrushchat

— BlueSky ETO (@BlueSkyETO) June 20, 2018

A3: Overall visits, leads, conversions & conversion rate are few basic metrics to measure Inbound ROI. Wheteas, user engagement & behavior provides insights into content strategy #semrushchat

— Bharat (@bharatpc) June 20, 2018

A3: By measuring the way of Consumption, Reach/Sharing, Lead Generation, Sales. Rather than the average time of the users in the targeted content. #SEMrushchat

— Veeraeswari (@VeeraeswariS) June 20, 2018

Strategy-Based Metrics

If your strategy involves videos, you can look at percentage watched and where the viewers drop off to understand how to improve it. For podcasts, the number of subscribers will help. Similarly, for your blog, look at shares and the number of comments by your viewers.

A3 For example, for videos, look at percentage watched, for podcasts, look at new subscribers gained, for blogs, look at numbers of comments. #SEMRushChat

— Bill Slawski ⚓ (@bill_slawski) June 20, 2018

A3: I will do some shameless self-promotion, and add in that call tracking is a great way to measure ROI :D https://t.co/jjR0ktz7kn #semrushchat

— Carolyn Lyden (@Carolyn_Lyden) June 20, 2018

A3 Metrics Measuring inbound ROI: Assign Key Performance Indicators that are unique to your site, and your business, and your campaigns. #SEMRushChat

— Bill Slawski ⚓ (@bill_slawski) June 20, 2018

Ultimately, the KPI of your campaigns will depend upon your final campaign objective. There are, of course, macro and micro KPIs that you can track. But the relevance of these numbers will be entirely dependent on your business goals.

A3: Of course, you want to know your goals beforehand. What are you trying to achieve with your inbound efforts?

That's going to tell you which metrics are most important to track. #semrushchat

— Express Writers (@ExpWriters) June 20, 2018

A3-1: For inbound, there are macro KPIs and are micro objectives and key results (OKRs) that you should track along the way. It’s important to look at both to keep an eye on results. #semrushchat https://t.co/uY16b4xvYK

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A3. Depends on the business goal. You can also layer on goals that may be specific to channel or tactic, but it's ultimately driven by what makes sense for the business. E.g. lead generation, conversions, revenue, engagement, etc. depending on what you do. #semrushchat

— Mandy Pennington (@mandyboyle) June 20, 2018

A3. If you didn't set up the goals from the jump then...what's the point? If you did, then tracking the KPI's in relation to ROI#SEMrushchat

— Nathan Driver (@natedriver) June 20, 2018

Metrics Derived From Google Analytics

Google Analytics can be your best friend when it comes to tracking campaign performance, as long as you can identify which numbers to track and analyze.

A3: the best way to track and measure inbound ROI is page views, CTA clicks, conversions, and returning customers. This can all be tracked by @googleanalytics. #SEMRushChat

— Goliath Media Solutions (@goliath_media) June 20, 2018

For e-commerce businesses, you can set up conversion tracking to see which keyword converts the most and where exactly the buyers drop off.
 

A3. Make sure you have eCommerce conversion tracking set up in GA if you're selling anything - that way you can tie transactions and revenue down to the keyword level. #SEMrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 20, 2018

Similarly, the source/medium report in Google Analytics will show you the success of your content marketing efforts.

A3. The Source/Medium report in @googleanalytics is a godsend. Necessary to see what's working and what isn't. #SEMrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 20, 2018

You can also use Google Analytics to track goal completions and page views to check session timings, which page is performing best, and more.

A3: Tracking pageviews (in Analytics) and goal completions (in Analytics - and if it's newsletter signups, then also in your e-mail list collection service) would be the best metrics to monitor, as well as time on page/session duration if there's content. #SEMRushChat

— Marccx Media (@marccxmedia) June 20, 2018

This data can also help you forecast future trends, predict customer behavior, and, in turn, polish your customer funnel to be even better.

A3: Forecasting with historical data, a median set and projected values.
work out ROCE for each marketing stream, etc.
conversion rate from visitor/footfall cost.
Polishing ones funnel.
Extending New audience & awareness.#SEMrushchat #contentmarketing @katykatztx @SEMrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 20, 2018

In short, there is no blanket metric that is suited for all businesses. Define your business goal, your campaign objective, and then finalize the metrics that are most suited for you.

A3: There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all ROI. I think just like with any other marketing campaign, how you measure ROI should be based on your overall objectives and goals for that particular initiative. #semrushchat

— Maria Marchewka (@_MariaMarchewka) June 20, 2018

A4 understand your organisation goals and what it’s trying to achieve through an inbound approach - then apply the right metrics through analytics tools to support the objectives you’re looking to meet #SEMrushchat

— Simon Swan (@Swanny_s) June 20, 2018

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Q4. What are some of the best inbound marketing tactics that you have found to generate the most ROI?

At the core of every successful inbound marketing effort is the creation of content that resonates with the target audience. This means providing content at the right time (when they need it the most), in the right form (easily consumed), and to the right people (target audience).  

A4. Creation of experiences and content that meet people in the moments they need you. Love using Google's micro-moments as an example, but if you make things for people when they have a need, it usually produces results. It helps if you ID the need before they do! #semrushchat

— Mandy Pennington (@mandyboyle) June 20, 2018

To ensure that your inbound marketing efforts perform better, here are few hacks from our chat participants:

Predict the Requirement of the Target Audience

This can give you the upper hand in content creation. Create and optimize content that your target audience is interested in; then you can present them with custom content before they ask for it and direct them towards a conversion

A4 Create and optimize content that is new and newsworthy and responsive to the interests of the audience that matters most to you. #SEMRushChat

— Bill Slawski ⚓ (@bill_slawski) June 20, 2018

Remember to factor in voice search queries, search intent, and keyword research while creating the content, this will help you create content that resonates with your target audience.

A4: Create relevant content for relavant audiences using Search Engine Optimization by identifying search intent through long tail keywords and probably questions related to voice queries #semrushchat

— Bharat (@bharatpc) June 20, 2018

A4: as a knowledge & service based operation - long tail optimization is, by far, the most useful for our customers', our retention & general mindspace #SEMrushchat

— JP Sherman (@jpsherman) June 20, 2018

Make the Content Easily Discoverable

Use long-tail keywords to grow your organic presence and rank on the SERPs. SEO is still one of the best tactics you can use to reach your audience and bring traffic to your content.

A4: SEO is by far our most successful inbound marketing "tactic" -- when done well, it performs well. Lots of ramping up to get there, though!#semrushchat https://t.co/R7OnJX1tF9

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 20, 2018

A4 - I’ve always found SEO to have the highest ROI, while most else goes to support it. #SEMrushchat

— Hilary St Jonn (@HilaryStJonn) June 20, 2018

A4-2: Identifying solid long-tail keywords is still a key strategy to gaining rankings in the SERPS and growing your organic presence through inbound. #semrushchat https://t.co/nNxhKOO8jp

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

Remember that for your particular industry, factors influencing SEO may be different. For instance, in e-commerce businesses, image search is important.

A4, for an e-commerce store the most overlooked is image and video search. I've seen image search account for 30%+
#semrushchat

— William Harvey ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@WilliamHarvey) June 20, 2018

Distribute the Content Across the Right Medium and Channels

Great content is not just ‘found’. To get maximum impact, it is up to you to market it and push it across all channels and not just one. SEO tactics, influencer marketing, emails, newsletters, and social media outreach can help you reach a larger audience.  

A4-4: As mentioned before, it’s also important to distribute. You can’t just write the blogs, you have to give a little push to get them out there -- social, newsletters, influencer campaigns, co-marketing -- are all great. #semrushchat https://t.co/nNxhKOO8jp

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A4. Also multi-channel tactics. Never put all your eggs into one tactic, er, basket. :) #semrushchat pic.twitter.com/1hNAwDsgq5

— Mandy Pennington (@mandyboyle) June 20, 2018

A4-1: This may be obvious answer but blogging is still very important to inbound marketing - especially in those cases where businesses have long sales cycles. It just gives the perfect outlet for answering questions. #semrushchat https://t.co/nNxhKOO8jp

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

Apart from the usual channels, like Adwords and PPC campaigns, you can also try different channels, such as webinars, white papers, eBooks for B2B marketing, quality brand ambassadors for specific products, and even PR releases for product launches.

A4: For #B2B the #webinar (or "Gnars" as we call them) rules, especially when accompanied by an #ebook or #whitepaper of the same topic. #semrushchat pic.twitter.com/5UMVna0DcV

— Mike Bryant (@MichaelRo22ss) June 20, 2018

A4. AdWords - especially for specific or branded keywords. #SEMrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 20, 2018

A4: Quality Brand Ambassadors are huge. If you find quality ambassadors for your products, your ROI can sky rocket. You have to keep in mind that your targeted market is not just relying upon your word when endorsing your product. #SEMRushChat

— Christopher Tompkins (@chrisgoagency) June 20, 2018

A4: Using inbound marketing, along existing methods bolsters and is good for pr releases & product launches to garner a wider exposure for content & re-marketing. #SEMrushchat #contentmarketing @katykatztx @SEMrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 20, 2018

A4: for a resturaunt we have been working with, we have found that a strong social media presence and egnagiging with the customers has brought the most ROI. #SEMRushChat

— Goliath Media Solutions (@goliath_media) June 20, 2018

Use the Right CTAs to Convert

Once your content starts attracting the right audience to your site, it is important that the traffic is captured as leads in your system. Placing compelling CTAs and valuable freebies to build a lead list that can later convert is a great way to convert the traffic to potential customers.

A4-3: You need to mix in bottom-of-the-funnel (decision) content into your inbound strategy to give your visitors opportunities to convert into leads. Cross-link it all together. #semrushchat

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A4: I really like how @contentking uses CTAs that are on-page (they don't take you away from the blog article you're reading) and each CTA deals specifically with the topic of the blog you're reading. I thought that was so clever. #semrushchat

— Carolyn Lyden (@Carolyn_Lyden) June 20, 2018

A4-5: Also, once you get readers to your content, you have to have multiple ways to convert them. Subscribe, download, try a demo, are all different stages of readiness. Have CTAs for everyone. #semrushchat https://t.co/nNxhKOO8jp

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

  • Retarget and remarket to leads

Not all audiences convert on the first try. Once your leads visit your site, depending upon their area of interest, you can send them relevant, remarketing ads that can help them to convert.

A4.1 Google SERP / Adwords -> landing page -> product/service page. Retargeting if not reaching product or service page#SEMRushChat

— Malhar Barai 📷 📹 (@MalharBarai) June 20, 2018

a5 Inbound Leads thru Promotion on Landing Page, PPC, Social Infitraiton #semrushchat

— Debi Norton (@BRAVOMedia1) June 20, 2018

In short, creating content and making it ‘go viral’ cannot be possible without all the above factors. It will also involve solid brand building, community engagement, and providing quality service to get your leads to choose you — giving you the maximum ROI for your inbound marketing efforts.

A4
-Perform user research
-Solve real customer problems
-Stop talking about yourself
-Test and iterate
-Re-use evergreen content#SEMrushchat https://t.co/BgbC0fzINi

— Mambo Media (@MamboMedia) June 20, 2018

A4 any creative you can get to go viral - takes a lot of effort and time but the ROI can pay off big.#SEMrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 20, 2018

yay meeting finished early!

A4 Brand building - all down to service and quality, get that right on the shop floor and you will get traffic - example: Apple. #SEMrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 20, 2018

A4: I'm a on solid community strategies that unify email, social, influencer articles, the blog, and a piece of deep, gated content together for a integrated campaign. Start off-site, continue the message on-site, and keep giving more value to build relationships. #semrushchat

— Jacques Bouchard (@jacquesbouchard) June 20, 2018

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Q5. How long does it take to see results for inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing takes more time to give concrete ROI when compared to direct marketing or outbound marketing (in this case PPC campaigns). According to Hubspot (the pioneers in inbound marketing), the results can take as long as 7 months to materialize – anything earlier is just a bonus!

A5-1: Hubspot, the fountain of all inbound knowledge, has said it takes an average of 7 months. In my experience, it typically does take at least 6 months. Any sooner has always been a bit of luck. #semrushchat https://t.co/JnYlFYGweR

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A5: Longer than it takes with outbound (in this case, paid search), that's for sure ;)

But often it can be very effective because it creates more of a relationship with the audience.#semrushchat https://t.co/mcCCLModVi

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 20, 2018

The amount of time that an inbound campaign takes to work depends upon various internal and external factors:

A5. As long as it takes. Time is a big variable that can influenced by so many internal or external factors. Resources, what, when, where, competition, creative, user intent, customer journey...the list goes on. Sometimes it's more about observing patterns. #semrushchat

— Mandy Pennington (@mandyboyle) June 20, 2018

A5: mmm how longs the clients requirements? from my experience minutes to years but this is there markets & how they operate: b2b, b2c, brand, product, service are all different for conversion life cycle #SEMrushchat #contentmarketing @katykatztx @SEMrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 20, 2018

A5 Depends.
Expect a slow burn and churn campaign elements over slowly so no spiking. Push out to each channel in stages to build the effect. #SEMrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 20, 2018

  • Competition in your industry – the tougher the competition, the harder it is to cut through the noise and reach your target audience.

  • Channel used – PPC and paid media give quicker results than content, blogging, and video engagement.

A5: It depends on the actual inbound marketing techniques. For example long form content can take several months until it works. See these excellent examples by @henryoloughlin: https://t.co/HgpCSTj6yJ #semrushchat https://t.co/niETpdaIS2

— Tadeusz Szewczyk (Tad Chef) (@onreact_com) June 20, 2018

A5: I guess that really depends on your strategy and how you implement things. You have to be smart about the moves you make, plus you have to be willing to tweak along the way. #semrushchat

— Express Writers (@ExpWriters) June 20, 2018

A5: It depends on what channel of your inbound marketing you are using if it's PPC you can see results faster, but if it's content, you need to give it time to find your audience and bring them into the funnel. The main thing, don't rush greatness. #semrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 20, 2018

  • Sales cycle – The longer the sales cycle, the more time it will take to convert the visiting traffic to sales qualified leads, and finally customers. However, shorter sales cycles, like in the e-commerce industry, give quicker responses. In such cases, even blogs and content (that typically take longer), convert faster.

A5 I have seen blog content indexed in 8 minutes at Google, and responded to shortly afterward. Social can be even quicker. #SEMRushChat

— Bill Slawski ⚓ (@bill_slawski) June 20, 2018

A5-2: It depends on things like the competition level in your industry and the length of time in your sales cycle. But it’s important to keep in mind that inbound and content marketing are a long game - plan for months not days or weeks. #semrushchat https://t.co/JnYlFYGweR

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

a5 Results vary from industry to industry. It would be quick to see sales of wrinkle cream for $9.99 vs. buying cycle for a HUGE purchase of $9,999.00 #semrushchat

— Debi Norton (@BRAVOMedia1) June 20, 2018

It is true that you can use analytical and historical data to predict results. This is where constantly analyzing and tweaking your campaigns can help. The more focused and the more targeted your campaign is, the sooner you can see results.

A5, this is why you need up to the minute analytical data to make a judgement to what's giving a return and what's not. Back to Q3 or 4 - whatever 🤔#semrushchat

— William Harvey ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@WilliamHarvey) June 20, 2018

A5.1 It can be almost immediately, depends on how well the campaign is designed and run #SEMRushChat

— Malhar Barai 📷 📹 (@MalharBarai) June 20, 2018

A5: it all depends on what strategy youre using and if your brand is resonating enough to your market.
Do it wrong and you'll not see results for a long time. #SEMrushchat

— Kieran Ledger (@KJLedger) June 20, 2018

Since your inbound marketing strategy is all about the long haul, it is necessary to incorporate it with other tactics like paid and organic search to see even quicker wins.

A5-3: That’s why it’s important to blend inbound tactics with other marketing strategies. If you have budget - make sure to mix paid and organic efforts to get quick wins in the beginning along with long-term benefits of inbound. #semrushchat https://t.co/JnYlFYGweR

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

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Q6. Real life example: You see that your year-long inbound marketing campaign is not providing you with the ROI you expected when you are at your 6-month point. How do you troubleshoot?

Ideally, if you are monitoring the right metrics, realizing that your inbound marketing campaign is not yielding results should not come as a shock. If you are not looking at hard numbers, a flawed campaign will not add to your organic or social traffic, and your content will not be reaching enough people.

A6-1: First, hopefully, if you are watching your OKRs, you will have indicators before 6 months as to whether you are starting to gain any traction. It’s important to plan content out ahead of time but also to pivot as needed. #semrushchat https://t.co/1DBwYAQA0I

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A6: Hopefully, you've had data tracking in place to draw from as you troubleshoot - learn and tweak from what's working and what's failing. I would also reevaluate the original goals to make sure they were realistic. #semrushchat

— Jacques Bouchard (@jacquesbouchard) June 20, 2018

In such cases, you will have to try something different, such as a new content strategy or focusing more on aggressive SEO and link building tactics

A6-1: First, hopefully, if you are watching your OKRs, you will have indicators before 6 months as to whether you are starting to gain any traction. It’s important to plan content out ahead of time but also to pivot as needed. #semrushchat https://t.co/1DBwYAQA0I

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

To troubleshoot the exact problem, here is a basic guideline that our chat participants outlined:

  • Look back at the data – Analyze the data you have to see where exactly the leads are dropping off; this will help you to either tweak your marketing funnel or to further customize the content to suit your audience.

A6: Analyze the current data that we have, look for any drop offs, where in the funnel are we losing clients/users. From there create a two part strategy; one remarketing to bring those users back, and second, look to include a new channel to increase our ROI #semrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 20, 2018

A6: #semrushchat forensically look back to determine what element is falling behind/off, and readjust, or cease

— Jon Kagan (@JonKagan) June 20, 2018

A6: Delve into your Analytics to see where your visitors are falling out of the funnel. Make tweaks/adjustments, keep monitoring and see what works better. ABT = Always Be Testing!#semrushchat https://t.co/uP3Xa39GcD

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 20, 2018

If you are unable to identify the problem, it could just mean that you need to dig a bit deeper into the tool you are using.

A6. If all else fails, schedule a call with #SEMrush support! There may be new features, or old ones you've yet to utilize. Same goes for Adwords and other tools. #semrushchat

— BlueSky ETO (@BlueSkyETO) June 20, 2018

  • Run more A/B tests - Don’t give up on inbound marketing just because a few of your campaigns don’t work. Test different strategies to identify what works best for your target audience. It could mean changing the CTA on site, experimenting with the buyer’s journey, or even testing out different kinds or forms of content.

A6 Don't stop! Set up some additional testing, of course do a technical audit focused on your campaign to ensure there isn't anything stopping it working.

Then fire the agency and get a new one ;)#semrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 20, 2018

A6: Set goals for Inbound Marketing, in relation to your business goals using data & metrics.
Test external factors & Test internal factors.
Making sure the acquisition funnel is working to the best of its potential. #SEMrushchat #contentmarketing @katykatztx @SEMrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 20, 2018

A6-5: Take the time to run some user testing. See if the journey on your site is as clear as you think it is. A/B test your calls to action and try some more and less aggressive sales language to see if that changes things. #semrushchat https://t.co/1DBwYAQA0I

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

  • Rework the strategy – Include remarketing campaigns to bring back lost customers. You should also check if new channels can be explored to improve ROI. Don’t be afraid to adapt your strategy to new customers. Based on the findings of A/B testing, see how you can further modify the initial strategy to bring in more conversions.

A6: Look back through the year and target what actually worked and added value. Then adapt that into a new strategy.
It's shows you're willing to adjust and adapt to new and existing customers. #SEMrushchat

— Kieran Ledger (@KJLedger) June 20, 2018

a6 Analyze the DATA, A/B TEST, Tweek, Ask for larger BUDGET! #semrushchat

— Debi Norton (@BRAVOMedia1) June 20, 2018

A6: analyze everything within the campaign and rework the strategy (i.e such as content) and possibly take a different approach in certain areas. #SEMRushChat

— Goliath Media Solutions (@goliath_media) June 20, 2018

While relaunching your campaign, remember to take into account the target audience once again. If you are able to bring the audience to your site, but they are not converting, then that is a clear indicator that the buyer persona has to be reworked. At the very least, make the CTA on your page more compelling, so that it resonates with the traffic that comes.

A6-4: If you are getting results with traffic or rankings but the traffic isn’t converting to leads (ROI) there could be a few possible problems. You may not have clear CTAs or you may be targeting the wrong audience. #semrushchat https://t.co/1DBwYAQA0I

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

If the audience needs have changed, or if you are not targeting them correctly, then the conversions and ROI will not match up. In such cases, go back to the drawing board, redefine your buyer persona and audience, and tweak your campaign accordingly.

A6: Go back to target audiences. Is the campaign addressing their needs? Have their needs changed? Are the channels used the right ones? Is the messaging right for the audience? What is the competition saying about this? Don't be afraid to start over if need be. #semrushchat

— John Rasco (@refreshweb) June 20, 2018

On the other hand, if the traffic you are attracting is all wrong, then the keyword strategy will have to be looked at again. Perhaps changing the distribution format or redefining the buyer persona can help you to fine-tune your efforts.

A6-6: If you find that you are just pulling in the wrong group of people to your content, you may have to revisit your keyword and distribution strategy. Re-interview your ideal customers and see where you can improve. #semrushchat https://t.co/1DBwYAQA0I

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

If you want to test these changes quickly, see if ‘earned’ traffic can work for your campaign. Guest posting, co-running a marketing campaign, and even paid campaigns will allow you to predict the kind of results you can expect from the changes.

A6-3: You could also go after some “earned” traffic and run a guest posting and co-marketing campaign to get in front of new eyes. #semrushchat https://t.co/1DBwYAQA0I

— Katy Katz (@katykatztx) June 20, 2018

A6: Ongoing measurement means that this situation hopefully doesn't come as a surprise. Adapt and reissue, measure again and so on. It takes some trials and fails to get to know your audience and niche #SEMrushchat

— Sarah Marks (@_ofwanderings) June 20, 2018

A6: Set goals for Inbound Marketing, in relation to your business goals using data & metrics.
Test external factors & Test internal factors.
Making sure the acquisition funnel is working to the best of its potential. #SEMrushchat #contentmarketing @katykatztx @SEMrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 20, 2018

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Keep in mind that inbound marketing takes a lot of time and patience – which is why it is not easy and not a lot of marketers succeed. Hopefully, this gave you a better idea of what exactly to focus on for winning in your inbound marketing efforts.

Source: www.semrush.com