The Inbound Growth Blog

Twice weekly articles to help SMB business owners and managers use an integrated marketing strategy to drive revenue growth

    

5 Proven Inbound Marketing Strategies for 2015

Posted by John Beveridge

Dec 16, 2014, 10:00 PM

There is an old American homily that says “New friends are silver, but old friends are gold.” This saying can also be applied to marketing techniques. Many new marketing strategies exist today, but they can detract from the tried and true effective strategies that have been proven to deliver results. 

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Content Marketing Contrarian Strategies or Best Practices?

Posted by John Beveridge

Dec 12, 2014, 8:50 AM

My friends at TrackMaven recently released their Colossal Content Marketing Report, which analyzed 4,618 blogs comprising over 1 million posts and over 1.9 billion social shares in 2,014 to see what's working and what's not in content marketing. The data identified some interesting content marketing best practices and contrarian strategies to drive social engagement. Some will confirm what you thought worked and others will suggest opportunities to amplify your content marketing by trying new approaches. Here are a few of the findings that I found interesting.

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A Love Letter to my Customers

Posted by John Beveridge

Dec 8, 2014, 11:00 AM

I'm incredibly grateful for the wonderful customers that I have. Out of all the options they have to spend (or not spend) their money, they were kind enough to trust me with a very iimportant part of their business. I'm humbled and grateful for their trust in me. I've learned that by putting their interests ahead of mine, I come out ahead. My customers invariably care about me and my business and reward my efforts both monetarily and with friendship. That's why I will drop anything I'm doing when a customer needs some help. Here are a few of the reasons I love my customers.

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The Best Inbound Marketing Advice for Technology Companies

Posted by John Beveridge

Dec 1, 2014, 10:00 AM

Is inbound marketing a key part of your B2B sales plan? If not, you're missing out. B2B sales companies, especially those in industries like tech and manufacturing, had some natural reservations in the beginning. You're selling complex products to knowledgeable, highly specialized people. Your customers are people who are more likely to search for information through an academic database like JSTOR or in an expensive trade journal than on Facebook or Google. At least, that's how the thinking goes.

Inbound, of course, depends heavily on SEO and social media for its effectiveness. The only problem with that line of thinking? It turns out B2B decision-makers use the same sources as everyone else to find information. Sure, they may need to dig up an academic article on occasion, but in most cases your B2B customers turn to social media and search engines for their research. So your content marketing and social media presence play an important role in your B2B success, as highlighted Demand Gen's 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey.

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3 Inbound Marketing Insights You Need to Know

Posted by John Beveridge

Nov 21, 2014, 7:34 AM

Inbound marketing, on the level it's done today, just wasn't possible prior to the digital age. Technology was the key limitation. Advertising on TV, or in your local newspaper, for that matter, had to paint in broad strokes. You could look at demographics and do your best to plan, but ultimately you had no way to connect with customers individually. Ads like that were also imposing on customers. TV commercials or half-page print ads were the price you paid for watching your favorite show or catching up on the news.

Why does this matter now? Well, technology has reshaped marketing once again, this time for the better. Our digital world opens up possibilities that simply didn't exist, even in the relatively recent past. With how fast technology develops, it's important to stay up to date on the latest trends if you want to sustain success.

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NVTC - Social Media for Sales Professionals

Posted by John Beveridge

Nov 18, 2014, 11:30 AM

Many businesses invest time and money in content marketing. It's no surprise, when you consider that 61% of respondents agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content appropriate for each stage of the purchase process in DemandGen Report's 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey.

Yet many sales professionals don't take advantage of their employers content to generate leads and develop their personal brand. Even if your company doesn't have a content marketing program, you can still use content to sell more productively.

At a November 18 presentation to the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Biz Dev, Marketing and Sales Committee, I shared some tips on how sales professionals can use social media to be more productive. Here's the SlideShare presentation, Social Media for Sales Professionals.


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5 Key Statistics to Inform Your 2015 Growth Strategy

Posted by John Beveridge

Nov 11, 2014, 9:18 AM

British politician Benjamin Disraeli made the following observation, "There are three types of lies - lies, damn lies and statistics." While politicians can cherry-pick statistics to support their positions, most times statistics tell the truth. That is certainly the case when it comes to analyzing how customers buy to develop a revenue generation strategy that will produce results. The business buying process has changed significantly since the great recession. Those that recognize and embrace the changes thrive, those that don't suffer. Here are 5 key statistics to inform your 2015 growth strategy.

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3 Reasons You Need a Responsive Website

Posted by John Beveridge

Nov 6, 2014, 6:59 AM

For most people, there's so much content but so little time online, making competition tough on the Internet for many businesses. Thus, it isn't enough to just have a website nowadays. To grab attention and sustain it, what you need is a responsive website.

In terms of design, a responsive website is a website built to give users an optimal viewing experience when they visit, regardless of the device they're using for browsing. This means that the text adjust quickly for easier viewing with minimum input from the user.

There are many reasons why implementing a responsive website is a good idea for your business, but here are the top three:

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4 Must-Do Growth Strategies for 2015

Posted by John Beveridge

Nov 3, 2014, 6:00 PM

It's that time of year again. No, not the holiday season. It's the time when SMB companies finish their sales year with a bang and start planning their 2015 growth strategies.

In my experience, 2014 has been the first year since the 2008 recession where SMB compnies have started loosening the purse strings and started making investments in the future. I'm optimistic for 2015.

But it's not going to be easy. Sales tactics that were successful in the '90s and early 2000's don't work anymore. The buying process has changed. The average B2B buyer now completes 57% of her sales process before ever contacting a salesperson.

Here are 4 must-do growth strategies for 2015.

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3 Pro Tips for Improving Inbound Leads

Posted by John Beveridge

Oct 28, 2014, 7:00 AM

If you ask any SMB business manager if they need more leads to hit their goals, they will invariably say yes. But are all leads the same? For must businesses, the answer to that question is no. If I'm targeting companies in the IT infrastructure business, a lead from the retail sector isn't worth much to me. If my targeted buyer is a CFO, a lead that is a product manager probably isn't worth much to me. What that SMB business manager is really saying is, "I need more qualified leads to hit my goals." If her company can improve the quality of their leads, they can actually hit their goals with a smaller number of high-quality leads. Here are 3 tips for improving the quality of your inbound leads.

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High_Res_Portrait_for_NVTCJohn Beveridge is the President and Founder of Rapidan Strategies, an Inbound Marketing Agency and Certified HubSpot Partner located in Fairfax, VA. Prior to founding Rapidan Strategies, John spent 25 years as a management consultant and specializes in helping professional services and technology firms grow rapidly with inbound marketing strategies. John is a Social Media Today contributor and currently serves as the Vice Chair for the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Business Development, Marketing and Sales Committee

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