CarverTC Inbound Marketing Blog

Bob Carver

Bob is the founder and principal consultant at CarverTC. He specializes in content strategy, training, and consulting on digital marketing and cloud technologies.
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9 Steps to Jumpstart Your Lead Generation in 2018

Posted by Bob Carver on Dec 1, 2017 7:53:58 AM

I'm a believer in inbound marketing because when executed properly it will generate leads, acquire customers, and turn up customer engagement. Beyond that, it's a methodology you can tailor, to some extent, to fit your size. You don't need to spin up a new marketing arm of your company to get started.

But, it's that whole getting started part that so many companies have a problem with. They don't know where to start, how to start, and get stuck in any number of spots. They worry if they're targeting the right audience, promoting on the right social networks, or doing SEO correctly. All valid concerns that can lead to inaction.

If you're looking to start doing inbound marketing or to jumpstart your lead generation, there are nine key steps you should follow. It's the same process we following when we start working with new clients, or when we launch a new campaign. We call it an Inbound Growth Plan. In this article I'll lay out all of the steps, tell you what you can learn, and how to use those insights to jumpstart your lead generation.

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Topics: keyword audit, content marketing, seo, Inbound Marketing, lead generation

7 Tips and 1 Tool To Supercharge Your Inbound Sales

Posted by Bob Carver on Nov 6, 2017 2:07:39 PM

Like many business owners I have things I do well, and things I do less well. Sales in the traditional sense has never been one of my strong suites. I have never taken easily to traditional sales methods especially making the first connection, and I've never liked cold calling. But, I've made plenty of sales. I've been the primary, and for much of my company's existence, the only salesperson. How did I do it? Like some many other business owners by referrals. We do good work. Customers like our work, tell people they know, and we get a referral. Referrals bypass that first awkward stage and let you get down to talking about customer's challenges, goals, and needs, and I love doing that.

But, living by referrals is dangerous. By definition, referrals come from those who run in the same circles. That makes it hard to expand beyond a certain by by referrals alone. At some point, you reach the boundary of the circle of people who know your work. It's also dangerous because you're leaving the outreach to your customers. Sure, you send them emails, but the same people only have so much work. Sometimes work is plentiful, sometimes it dries up. Referral based sales may work for a while, but once you get to a certain size it makes cashflow hard to manage, and growth sporadic and difficult. Does this sound like someone you know? Read on.

We became a HubSpot partner a little over a year ago. As part of the HubSpot partner program, I was invited to join HubSpot's Pipeline Generation Bootcamp lead by HubSpot's Dan Tyre. We have never done cold calling. We have never bought lists. We have done inbound marketing to gather leads, and sales by following up with those leads. We essentially followed an inbound sales methodology. Even so, the skills learned in this bootcamp transformed our approach to selling. It's made it more process driven, easier to execute, and more customer focused. In this article, I'll share the eight key things we learned in this sales bootcamp the transformed our selling, tips that can supercharge your inbound sales. 

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Topics: inbound sales

Accelerate Your Growth with Lessons from One Company's Evolution

Posted by Bob Carver on Oct 25, 2017 10:11:53 AM

Great content requires great storytelling. One thing many brands forget is that their own journey is likely one of the best stories that they can tell. More than being a great story, it's often an essential story to tell.

Most brands have to work very hard to build credibility and trust with their audience. Your audience, your prospects, your customers don't care about you, or what you're selling. They care about their problems. The only care about what you're selling if it solves their problems. They're not going to give your solutions a second look if they don't think you understand their problems.

If you're selling to the right audience, then telling them how you got to where you are today will show them why you understand their space. It will give you credibility. It won't sell anything to your prospects and customers, but, if it's done right, will make them listen when you tell them how your products and services can help solve their problems. 

To demonstrate this, we're going to talk about ourselves. In this article, we'll tell you how we evolved, and the lessons we learned along the way that we apply to our clients every day. You'll see how you can apply those same lessons to your brand to accelerate your growth.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Our Story

9 Digital Marketing Trends Coming In 2018

Posted by Bob Carver on Oct 4, 2017 9:12:54 AM

I spent last week at Hubspot’s INBOUND17 conference. It was an amazing conference, with good sessions, compelling speakers, and great people to connect with. We’re a Hubspot partner so naturally, we’re jazzed about the new features announced for HubSpot's suite of tools, but the best part of this, and every conference are the personal connections you make. It’s great getting to meet and talk to other partners, and other marketers about their challenges, concerns, and wins. Those discussions covered a wide range of topics, but one the most common general topic were the trends fueling product changes. In this article, I’ll relate the biggest trends spotted at INBOUND17.

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Topics: community management content marketing policy soci, hubspot, inbound17, trends

First Look: New Features and Changes Coming to HubSpot

Posted by Bob Carver on Sep 27, 2017 4:53:29 PM

CarverTC is a HubSpot partner agency. We chose HubSpot as our social media and online engagement platform for a number of reasons. One of them was their commitment to innovation and continuing improvements. As we close our first year of being a HubSpot partner, we're attending the INBOUND17 conference with over 10,000 other marketing professionals in Boston. The conference has provided wonderful insights, engaging speakers, and great connections. It also provided a look at how HubSpot as a platform for digital growth will evolve through 2018. In this article, I'll give you a first look at the new features and changes coming to HubSpot. These features and changes are both innovative responses to digital marketing trends and continued refinements to the features of the HubSpot product.

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Topics: hubspot, inbound17

The Impact of LinkedIn Group Sharing API Changes - A Lot Less Traffic

Posted by Bob Carver on Sep 19, 2017 8:43:52 AM

If you use social media marketing software like Buffer, HootSuite, Sprout Social, Hubspot or many others, you likely started seeing notifications in mid-June that you would no longer be able to use those tools to post content to LinkedIn's Groups after June 30th. On that day, LinkedIn sunsetted it's Group API, and, along with it the ability to post or retrieve content from its groups through external tools. The result of the change is simple, if you want to share to or read content from a LinkedIn Group, you have to log into LinkedIn and share the content through the LinkedIn interface. 

There was a lot of debate about the reasons behind the move, and lots of reactions by marketers. With LinkedIn considered to be the largest B2B social network, this change was especially concerning to B2B marketers. We specialize in doing inbound marketing for hi-tech companies, so our team was squarely in that group of concerned marketers.

The impact of this change is many-faceted. We've been tracking and collecting data about as many of those facets as we can. In this article we'll look at three of those facets; the change in our process and the time it takes to share content on LinkedIn, the impact we've seen in groups, and the impact on the traffic we get from the social network.

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Topics: LinkedIn

7 Easy and Free Ways to Get More Traffic That You Should Be Using (But Aren't)

Posted by Bob Carver on Sep 13, 2017 6:52:43 AM

We all want our content to reach more people. We all want our content to live on, and keep bringing visitors to our site long after we've published it. Most brands do the basics, they publish a blog, and cross-promote articles on social media. Some brands take it further, by publishing on social platforms like LinkedIn Pulse or connecting their blog to Facebook Instant Articles. Companies who are serious about driving leads and winning customers online have adopted an inbound marketing strategy that drives traffic, captures leads, and moves those leads down their funnel using lead magnets and calls-to-action on their website, and blog.

We've found, however, that most companies aren't using some of the best content promotion techniques available to them, even though they're free! We think they're so valuable, that we add these sites, tools, and strategies to the content strategy we create for all of our clients. In this article, we'll share these seven easy and free ways to get more traffic.

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Topics: lead magnets, conversion tips

How to Use Social Media to Stay in Touch Before, During, and After a Disaster

Posted by Bob Carver on Sep 6, 2017 8:16:53 AM

I'm writing this article from Beaverton Oregon, one of the tech suburbs of Portland. As I do so, my wife and our family are still trying to get updates on family members in Houston area nursing homes to make sure they're all right in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. We're also thinking about friends of ours in Palm Beach Florida, in the path of Hurricane Irma. But, frankly, we're more focused on our local disaster. The Eagle Creek Fire which has, over the course of four days lit over 20,000 acres of the Columbia Gorge on fire, and crossed the Columbia River. The wildfire is hard to ignore with evacuation notifications for the small towns East of Portland coming in and escalating hourly, and ash falling like a dusting of snow on Beaverton, 26 miles Southwest of the flames. Being a marketer, the importance, power, and reach of social media is not lost on me, especially in times of crisis.

In Houston with Harvey, as in New Jersey with Superstorm Sandy, when phone lines failed, and 911 was unreachable, people took to social media to get help. Savvy agencies were listening during Sandy. It was the same during Harvey with agencies actively listening, and communicating with people during and after the storm. But social reach has grown since Sandy, and social media showed itself to be a true means of connection beyond government agencies as both people, and agencies, sent out calls for help that were answered by average citizens going to extraordinary lengths to help their fellow community members. 

People like me spend a lot of time explaining how and why social media is an essential component of marketing and business. Today I'm telling you it's an essential form of communication in times of crisis. With that in mind, I'm going to give you the essential tips about how to use social media to stay in touch before, during, and after a disaster. 

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Topics: Social Media in a Disaster

Inside Look: Conversion Optimization Tips for Inbound Marketing [SlideShare]

Posted by Bob Carver on Aug 24, 2017 5:54:26 PM

We recently published a new strategy guide:  50 Conversion Tips to Ignite Lead Generation. In it, we provide insights that will help your content, website, and other online channels start generating high-quality leads right away. We published it because most of the time we're hired to help our clients get more traffic and more leads, and there are lots of little tweaks and tips that can be used to optimize content, calls-to-action, landing pages, opt-in forms, and thank you pages. To give you a deeper look into what we cover in this strategy guide, and provide you an inside look into conversion optimization tips for inbound marketing.

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Topics: conversion tips

4 Strategies to Improve Lead Quality at the Time of Conversion

Posted by Bob Carver on Aug 22, 2017 11:53:44 AM

I've been writing a lot lately about conversion optimization tips, and how to improve the experience that compels prospects to share their contact information. But optimizing your conversions shouldn't only be about getting more leads, it should also be about getting better leads, and better information about the leads that are signing up. 

You have to be careful, however, as you don't want your desire for more information to get in the way of conversions. So how do you get better information about your leads? There's both art and science to it. In this article. I'll share 4 strategies to improve lead quality at the time of conversion.

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Topics: lead generation, conversion tips

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