Inbound marketing and how it helps the channel increase revenue

Blabbermouth

Here are three challenges we hear regularly from channel businesses turning to Blabbermouth Marketing for support:

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Getting click-throughs from marketing emails but no leads.

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Needing to rebuild sales pipelines post-lockdown.

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Marketers responsible for multiple roles without the time to fulfil them all.

The good news is that they’re easier to overcome than you may think via inbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a combination of regular messaging (keeping the brand in the mind of its base), automation (that personalises outreach and saves marketers’ time) and lead-scoring, which helps identify leads that are ready for more sales-focused conversations.

The method revolves around three key stages; attract, engage and nurture.

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Attract

Just like leading a fish to bait, you need to be able to attract potential customers to your content. That could be an engaging blog that leverages strong SEO research to ensure it’s as far up Goggle’s search as possible, a whitepaper that provides robust insight, or anything else your typical customer finds useful.

Especially for whitepapers and guides, it’s best to ‘gatekeep’ the content behind a data capture form, this way you can attract leads from anonymous sources like social media and get their email address in exchange for the content you’re offering.

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Engage

Once you’ve got those contacts, you need to keep them engaged with regular messaging and appropriate content as they continue along your sales journey until they’re ready for a sale.

This step is absolutely vital and planning the right messaging, automated workflows and lead scoring will all ensure you’re attracting the right leads, and engaging them at the right time when they’re primed for a sales conversation!

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Nurture

Once you’ve brought a customer onboard, you need to continue nurturing them, especially in a market like the channel where there are so many future upsell opportunities once a customer is on your books!

And all those same steps are still required for best practice. Yes, your account manager will keep in touch regularly, but automated messaging can help keep your brand in your customers’ brain, with little resource required, to ensure you’re the first port of call when a new requirement emerges.

Now that we’ve gone through the three stages of the inbound methodology, let’s get into these three vital aspects of inbound marketing a little deeper!

Regular Messaging

You can be sure that some of the email addresses on your mailing lists are also on your competitors’, meaning if you’re not consistently reminding them of your presence, you won’t be their first choice when looking to find a new IT & Telecoms partner.

What’s more, if your outreach doesn’t help the reader– offering links to educational blogs, explaining technical terms, or highlighting what makes your organisation unique, readers will soon ignore future emails, resigning you to the dreaded ‘’other’ inbox, or even worse… ‘Junk’!

Automation

We all know the time-saving benefits of automation – as an industry, we sell it often enough to end users! But automation can also ensure personal and relevant content .

By analysing behaviour – perhaps clicking a link to a security blog, rather than broadband, the right CRM could automatically move that reader into a security-focused workflow, sending regular emails that the reader finds relevant, with no input from your team.

Again, this keeps your brand in their mind, but also raises your credibility and relevance with that reader because you’re sending them information that resonates with them, rather than blanket bombing them with every product you offer!

Lead Scoring

These automated workflows work hand-in-hand with lead scoring; every time a reader exhibits a behaviour – clicking a link, visiting your website etc. – their score increases until it reaches a threshold.

You decide that threshold, attributing scores to each action. For example, visiting a website isn’t a clear buying action, so will be given a much lower score than for example downloading a product sheet.

Then, when their score has reached the line that you set, you know they’re ready for a sales conversation, based on where similar leads were in their journey, before leading to a successful sales conversation..

And that’s the principle of Inbound marketing; offering informative content to readers, making sure that further outreach is driven by the subjects and actions they engage with, and nurturing them until they show the same level of interaction as current customers did, back when they were leads!

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