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Fractional CMO

You’ve planned your business, started working on your product or service and now you are ready to begin your marketing process.

Awesome! Here comes the real crunch. You may be wondering which inbound marketing strategy you should opt to get the maximum benefit. You have heard a lot about inbound marketing and its benefits but are not sure which approach will work best for you.

If you are reading this, then it’s a good start, as this blog will give you insights to some of the most trusted inbound marketing strategies which are used by many successful businesses.

Inbound marketing is more about an approach than that of tactics. Its main aim is to attract more prospects to your business rather than reaching out to them. Inbound Marketing is all about making your company get found by the customers through earning their attention with attractive and meaningful contents.

Inbound marketing mainly focuses on providing value to its users, which in return prompts those users to gravitate to your business when the need arises naturally. Inbound marketing is a process for the people to get information when they want to make a purchase or just looking for an answer to their query.

In the comparison of traditional marketing, inbound marketing strategies are more budget-friendly, gives a range of benefits to its users and generates a higher ROI.

Inbound marketing uses several methods like opt-in email forms, organic search traffic, SEO, SMM, Influencer Marketing, personal branding, etc. but the main propeller is the content. Inbound marketing, in today’s world, is the best approach to every business whether it is brick-and-mortar, B2C, B2B, Tech, Non-tech, Saas or otherwise.


Following are the strategies you need to keep in mind while you start your inbound marketing journey

1. Know Your Buyer’s Persona


Before writing any content for your website, you should understand your customer’s needs and requirements. You should know for Who you’re writing? You should take into consideration your buyers personas. Keep in mind, before writing any content you should know all about your customer.

Do segmentation of your customer based on their age, gender, location, job title, family life, etc. to get a clear understanding of your customer personas.

Based on the number of your customer personas, group your target audiences and write content for each group based on their requirements. Download our Self-help’ Buyer Persona Guide.


2. Tell Your Customers, You Exist


In this competitive market, where everyone has their hectic schedule, your customers don’t have time to go on a particular website and search for the information they need.

So you should make yourself found easily on search engines, as the website which is easily reachable gets maximum traffic, and it’s easy for the companies to turn those customers into leads.

For your website to get found quickly,  and get a higher rank on search engines make sure you have a healthy website (do a Website Audit), create engaging web content, select accurate keywords, and subsequent blogging plays an important role. And inbound marketing helps you in getting a higher position by optimizing your web content.


3. Do Proper Keyword Research


Good results will only come with proper research. After knowing your customer’s persona, you have a proper understanding of who is your customer and what they actually need. Now you need to do research of what they are entering into search engines to get their query solved.

What search engine they are using, what information they need, what query they have and think how you can solve it? And give them what they need. Do keyword research carefully, keeping in mind its search volume and competition and KEI. Select your potential keywords which are relevant to your content and fulfills your objectives.

4. Good Content is the Key to Your Success


The quality of your content is the most important component of your inbound marketing strategy. Your success depends upon your content quality, if you produce generic and self-serving contents, your chance of success will be very negligible.

Your content should resonate with your customer’s personas and should give them solutions to their query. Before writing any content, you should know your customer’s journey and carefully understand their needs so that your content can have potential to attract customers to your website and generate traffic and give you maximum leads.


5. Competitive Benchmarking is a must


You should understand how you are going to stand up against your competitors and should know which inbound marketing activities will help you the most. You should carefully analyze your competitor’s inbound marketing strategies and get ideas on which area you’re falling short of competitors and start taking necessary steps to excel in that area.

Fortunately, there are so many tools to help you out like- PRO, Google Analytics, Website Grader, etc. which gives you an insight of your competitor’s performance. You can also use HubSpot, MozRank, etc. to know your website traffic, rank, number of backlinks to your website, etc. All these tools will help you decide better which inbound marketing activities will increase your standing and will work best for you.


6. Build Your Brand


If you want long-term success, you have to build your brand. The personal brand concept is nowadays getting adopted more by startups as today’s startup culture is dominated by personalities who can efficiently advertise themselves as a leader and their company as innovators are getting more success.

Give your business a figure, tell everyone why it is unique, keep innovating your offerings and keep adding more value.


7. Have an Omni Channel approach


You can’t get success just by writing a good content unless it reaches to your target audience. You should have an omnichannel approach, which means looking the experience or things through the eyes of your customer, mobilize their experience to every possible channel so that it is integrated, seamless and consistent. You should know your customer, have the right data and be where your customers are.

Social media presence is must in today’s world. Social media has turned inbound marketing into a very viral interactive experience. But you should keep in mind that social media is social. There are real people behind every likes and follower.

You should continuously connect with your customers by asking questions, answering their questions, responding to their tweets, posting blogs and post with valuable information on a frequent basis. This will help your website in engaging your customer and will bring more traffic to your site.

These inbound marketing strategies are incredibly helpful, not because of how they work together but the benefits they give when bound systematically. All of these approaches can enhance and complement your business, increasing your total ROI. Pool your resources to get a good hold on these tactics and nothing will be able to stop you from getting success.

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B2B Marketing

SaaS companies have shown tremendous growth over the past few years. With the technological advancement, it’s now easier and cheaper to develop software and offer it on a subscription model.

Time is money, the famous saying becoming more relevant nowadays as more businesses are trying to cut on both and SaaS comes out to be the savior in this case, with maintenance responsibilities shifting away from IT department and quicker adoption across the workforce, SaaS has become a hot favorite.


You have a SaaS product and want to market it. Below is your pointer to begin with…


Customer Retention should be your top priority


Heart of a business lies in its marketing. ‘Marketing’ as a practice is itself a challenging job but marketing something which is constantly changing and evolving is not a child’s play.

When it comes to SaaS most of your revenue comes from existing customers and time and again it has been shown by various researchers that even a marginal increase in customer retention can lead to a significant gain in profitability plus these customers will get the virality your SaaS product needs.

Giving away your stuff for free


Giving away free stuff might not be the greatest marketing strategy for most of the businesses but when it comes to SaaS, free is the oil of its marketing engine.

However freemium might be a better option as it offers limited access to the entire suite of tools which in long run convert to the stickiness of the product. This is a widely tested and a great approach 
to SaaS marketing and has proven to show results.

 

SaaS Sales Cycle – Short and Simple


There are companies which have long sales cycles which might run into months, you better not be one of them because months are like an eternity in SaaS world.

In SaaS world, there is no long drawn out sales engagement, it’s unlike conventional sales cycle, the buying of SaaS is quick and transactional and the reason for it lies in the inherent nature of the business model itself.

So to increase revenue and profit, a higher velocity in the sales process is required. The self-service model is of paramount importance when it comes to SaaS marketing and sales.


Integrate your Customer Support with your SaaS marketing strategies


Are you in SaaS business and doing all the marketing strategies right and still getting no result? Well think again, one of the most overlooked aspects of SaaS marketing is the 
customer-facing component of SaaS i.e. Customer Service.

In SaaS, help desk, marketers, and bloggers are the point of contact of your company for the customers. Keeping their interests in check can help you widen your customer base and ultimately profits.


Content runs SaaS marketing


One of the foundational aspects of SaaS marketing is information. The selling point of your product lies 
on your information prowess. Dispensing information is the designing point of most SaaS.

Never underestimate the tried and tested content marketing which businesses around the globe are leveraging to attract more people. Content marketing provides with compounding return i.e it increases value over time. One of the major differences between online advertisement and content marketing is that while one is rented and serves as a liability the other is a worthy asset.

Organic Visibility


Complimenting content marketing search engine optimization bolsters the content by making it discoverable on various search engines like Google, Baidu, and Bing.

There are on-page search engine optimization and off-page optimization both equally important in SaaS marketing strategy.

Influence your industry’s influencers


There are different schools of thought when it comes to using referrals as a marketing tool. While talking about marketing we often forget that marketing only works if your product offers something useful to your clients.

Trello a free collaboration tool created such an amazing product that they didn’t need the advertisement and other marketing strategies to work for them. Instead, their product found its recognition in the target crowd gained popularity through word of mouth. So continue to provide a superior product and it will make 
the market.

Investment in some basic tools


The initial phase of every business needs some investment and SaaS is no exception, but the good news is that there are many SaaS marketing tools available which can fit all budgets.

Also investing in different marketing channels (a combination of multiple channels) can reap a lot of benefits.

Final Verdict


In the initial phase giving access to people on ‘invite only access’ makes them feel privileged. After that offering them state of the art services and asking them to recommend good potential users help in building the customer base. This customer base is one which is the cornerstone of every successful SaaS business.

As 
it often said the ‘magic lies in the simplicity’. But in the case of SaaS, we have actually made SaaS marketing more complex and complicated than it needs to be. It doesn’t take a genius to see through this game of marketing. Like any successful product or service what mainly matters is your offering.

Once you deal with that, a lot of marketing is taken care of itself. Above was my attempt to list out things you should start with when you for planning marketing for SaaS companies.

We at Fractional CMO are Inbound Marketing Junkies helping companies grow in a smart and inbound way.

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B2B Marketing, Marketing Operations, Uncategorized

Wikipedia describes marketing operations as a relatively young discipline within corporate marketing. While the scope of marketing operations varies from company to company, its activities range from handling marketing automation, social media marketing, SEO, pipeline reporting, ad management, data management etc.

By virtue of being the hub of marketing, the marketing operations team interacts with people from different disciplines which include product marketing, field marketing, inside sales, sales, PR & content team among others. In my experience, while working in marketing operations department here are the 6 essentials to succeed & become more productive.

1. Master your tools

 

Marketing technology has rapidly evolved over the last few years with the emergence of vendors dedicated to specific marketing activities. Check out this marketing technology landscape infographic by Gartner & chiefmartec.com.

To become an invaluable asset for your organization ensure that you master at least one of the tools and keep learning new ones, especially the ones in the upcoming fields of marketing automation, predictive intelligence & marketing analytics.


2. Collaborate & communicate

 

You will be surprised by how much you can gain by collaborating with your colleagues. I primarily worked with HubSpot & Marketo, marketing automation software which few of my team members understand completely.

 

But, I make it a point to explain the workflows for certain campaigns to my team members and more often than not, I get some amazing ideas to make the campaign better. Another important point is to constantly communicate with

 

Team members who are working on the same tools to avoid surprises of any changes that impact the functioning of the tool and prevent duplication of work.

Managers and higher-ups to provide visibility on the progress of different marketing campaigns or projects.


3. Enable sales

 

Marketing operation is championing the use of marketing tools like marketing automation tools (EloquaMarketo) predictive analytics tools (Lattice EnginesInfer6sense), marketing data & intelligence tools( InsideViewMintigo).

 

This puts the onus of educating & onboarding the folks in inside sales and sales on the marketing operations department. Help the sales folks by training them on how to use these tools to become more productive. This is important since the success of marketing is qualified by sales.


4. Continuous process improvement

 

I borrowed this term from operations since it is very apt in this case. The aim of this exercise should be to reduce the turnaround time, for example executing a campaign, make the processes more helpful for your customers who are folks from inside sales, sales, field marketing, etc.

 

For this, speak to your customers every quarter and then tweak or modify the workflows. Most marketing tools are software-as-a-service, meaning there are annual upgrades, which you should try and incorporate.


5. An eye on data & conversions

 

Gone are the days when marketing was more art than science. We are in the digital age which means anything you do in marketing can be measured.

 

CMO’s live and die by their numbers so always have a way to quantify your marketing activities and track conversions or else, it won’t pass muster with your CMO. If you are a Marketo user this can be done using the revenue cycle modeler & explorer module in Marketo.


6. The show must go on

 

Working in marketing operations is like working in a digital factory. Different members of the team are specialized on different tools and hence different marketing activities. In order that your digital factory doesn’t come to a grinding halt in the absence of any one team member, cross-train members on different tools so that the operation continues even in absence of certain members.

 

Marketing Operations has never a rewarding job but it’s a very critical component in taking the organization to the next level. Fractional excels in helping an organization to the complete marketing operations.

 

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B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing

While talking to a lot of prospective customers every day, the question we face, what are the must have skills for B2B marketing success? So we thought why not write in detail about it. So let’s look at the key skills required for a successful B2B marketing team.

 

 1. The Google Guy

 

Don’t you want your website to be loved by google and shown up in top results every time people search? If Yes, then this skill set is supercritical.

 

Google has changed the way people enquire or research about a particular product or service. In just one decade, search engines have made all the businesses of the world to have their presence online.

 

As I am writing, there are more than More than 1,172,969,033 websites are present on the web and is just multiplying every second.

 

Your website is one of 1 billion plus websites on the internet. Your website should be available to the users when they are searching for something which is of interest to your business.

 

Key activities of Google Guy

 

The Google Guy should do everything it takes to make sure that the website is loved by search engines and is available when the prospective customers are searching for the required information. Some of the key activities are

 

On Page SEO

 

This is to make sure that the website has the required information in terms of Meta Keywords, Descriptions etc on the web page which Google looks for in search engines.

 

Off Page SEO

 

The search engines rank you higher if other websites are talking about you. So the more the websites talk about you, the search engines are happy to rank you higher.

 

Technical SEO 

 

To make the end users experience awesome on the internet, the search engines penalizes the websites which do not load faster or don’t look good on a desktop or mobile phones etc. So it’s important that the website looks awesome across all devices.


2. The Storyteller

 

 The search geek has done an excellent job by getting people onto your website, but then it is equally or even more important to make the prospective customer stay on the website.

 

Traditional marketing world fights for space but the Inbound world fights for attention

 

Key activities of Storyteller

 

Website content

 

This is the first impression of the prospective customer. So make sure that the content is driving the point home without any fuss. You get only 3 Seconds of attention span from prospective customers

 

Blogging

 

This is a way to share the information to the prospective customers. Blogs should be written with an aim to help the people instead of just pitching your product or service.

 

Premium Content

 

This is more research and analysis driven activity. Premium content is all about writing white papers, case studies, infographics etc where in you will have to do proper research before publishing to the world. This is to make the prospective customers know that you are the thought leader in the industry.


3. Social Amplifier

 

On an average, a person spends 5 – 7 Hours on social media. So social media is a platform which no one in the business world should ignore. There are a lot of social channels available. You should be targeting the channels where your customers are hanging out.

 

Key activities of Social Amplifier

 

Share

 

There is a lot of content gets generated in your organization in the form of blogs, white papers, case studies, infographics etc. Make a point that you share it on all of your preferred channels of communication.

 

Follow

 

Based on your buyer persona, you can search for the prospective customers on the social channels and start following them. This will give you a good idea on their interests and also a better understanding of what’s happening in their company.  

 

Engage

 

There are a lot of queries get posted and many discussions happen over the social channels. They are mostly done for reaching out for help or sharing some interesting findings. It’s good to be part of the conversations where your company can add value to the whole discussion.

 

Curate

 

It’s not important that always you share the content which is written by your company. You can also find and share the content which resembles your company’s thought process and you feel that it can be helpful for your prospective customers. This way you are not only building a good relationship with the experts in your domain but also help your target audience with the important information.


4. Designer Dude

 

A good design helps you generate that extra seconds of attention from your prospective customers which are very critical to gain the interest in the crowded internet world. In the digital marketing world, a good design raises visibility and drives conversations.

Key activities of Designer Dude

 

Website Design


A website is the first impression for your prospective customers. In just a few seconds it’s important that the customers understand what you are all about. Make sure you don’t get carried away with funky designs and user interfaces.

A website should be good in navigation and so intuitive that even your grandmother can understand it.


Blog Featured images


Featured images are the ones which are on the top of the blogs. The image and the title are the deciding factors on whether to read the blog or move on. Make sure the image provides a good preview of the content written on the blog.


Infographics


It’s a visual representation of data, chart or diagram. It is a way to simplify a complex subject or even a boring subject. It takes a lot of effort to build an infographic but it’s worth


5. MarTech Nerd

 

In today’s world of B2B marketing, It’s not only about being creative but also being able to convert the data into actionable insights for the next steps of marketing

 

Marketing Technologist or MarTech is a merger of marketer and a techie to achieve the goals of marketing.

 

Key activities of MarTech Nerd

 

Able to tie every dollar spent back to the marketing campaigns

 

It’s all about getting the decision-making insights from the raw data. This is the key success factor of Digital Marketing. Technology driven marketing helps you tie every dollar spent back to the campaigns so that you can make the decisions based on the insights from the real time data.

 

Reduce the Cost of Acquisition

 

The cost of Acquisition is one of the major component impacting your bottom line. A Marketing Technologist should pick and implement the right tools like marketing automation etc in the Marketing and Sales functions to reduce the cost of acquisition.

 

Conclusion

 

Ooh, you might be thinking what about the Project Manager and Director roles? They are common for all business entities so we didn’t mention them explicitly here 🙂

We at Fractional CMO are Inbound Marketing Junkies helping companies grow in a smart and inbound way

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HubSpot
The world of Marketing is changing very fast. Google and Yahoo have disrupted the Marketing world. Today Digital Marketing takes an edge over Traditional Marketing. Search Engines have changed the way you sell too. [bctt tweet=”Move the marketing and sales strategy from ABC (Always Be Closing) to ABH (Always Be Helping)” username=”Fractional_CMO”] More than 3800 marketing Softwares have come into existence with the strategy of ABH (Always Be Helping) and some of the early movers and pioneers are Hubspot and Marketo. Hubspot did walk the talk by making all their certifications free. It is one of the very few companies who does not put certifications into a profit centre but instead puts it in content marketing strategy. A majority of the certifications are free for everyone and some of the certifications are exclusive for Hubspot users and partners. I have recently completed the Hubspot Marketing Software Certification and want to share some of the interesting findings. keep reading
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Digital Marketing
We all must have come across great stories about Alladin and his Genie. Whatever Alladin wishes, Genie fulfills. Great fairytale and I love those bedtime stories. During my experience in technology marketing, I have come across few founders and marketers who think Digital Marketing as Genie and themselves Alladin :). When I started my journey, I was also thinking along the same lines but learned the hard way. [bctt tweet=”Digital Marketing cannot fulfill all your wishes instantly. It is not a Genie. ” username=”@Fractional_CMO”] keep reading
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Sales Enablement
I am in Marketing Automation & CRM industry for quite a long time now. Its interesting to see the changes its going through every day. CRM now has expanded its wings from being just Sales Force Automation to Marketing Automation and other areas too. There are a lot of new terminologies which has cropped up apart from the traditional SFA terms like Opportunity, Quote, Order, etc.. Lets see the different terminology used in lead management like suspects, prospects, lead ( qualified, unqualified ), opportunity. Let’s see what they mean in reality instead of the standard dictionary definitions. This is a typical business scenario: There is a banking exhibition happening in the city. There are around 50 banks participating and there are around 50000 visitors.

Suspects:

All the visitors are suspects. So there are 50000 Suspects. Lets say 7000 people visited your stall. They picked up the catalog and around 5000 people have given their visiting cards to you. keep reading
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Sales Enablement
Marketing and Sales are two important pillars of any business. Marketing & Sales are always tough nuts to crack. The reason being, Marketing & Sales deal with one of the most intelligent creatures on this earth – HUMANS. The same HUMANS have observed, learned and identified different ways of marketing and selling and the following five steps are the Fail Safe Marketing & Sales technique for any B2B company. Looks Interesting!! Let us get the ball rolling. keep reading
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Digital Marketing, MarTech
Most of us consume content from digital channels from early morning to late night. According to an infographic from The Word Pro 
In the first 60 seconds of your day, Facebook receives over 4 million likes. More than 2 million Instagram hearts turn red & more than 350,000 tweets. Every minute, 300 hours of video is uploaded to youtube & nearly 7 million snapchat videos.
For this reason, Content is probably the ‘buzz’ word in the digital marketing arena. Everything in Digital Marketing revolves around content because the customers consume and share content. Now with such huge amount of data getting generated every minute, It is very critical and equally challenging to have your content be available to the right customers at the right time. Just understand and follow the below mentioned steps you will see wonderful results in just a few months. keep reading
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Digital Marketing, Marketing Operations

I came across a wonderful blog from Seth Godin, which says that every individual wears one of the following three hats at their job. 

  1. Scientist: The Scientist does experiments. 
  2. Engineer: The Engineer builds things that work.
  3. Operations: The Operations Manager takes the handbook and executes on it.

 At Fractional CMO, we always think from the marketing perspective and while reading Seth’s blog, I was trying put these hats on the key roles in marketing and see what is the tasks each one these roles would undertake 

keep reading

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