CarverTC Inbound Marketing Blog

How to Create the Right Content for each Stage of your Inbound Sales Funnel

Posted by Bob Carver on Aug 3, 2018 11:45:29 AM

Inbound marketing is difficult. You've got to get visitors to come to your website, look at your content, and keep coming back for future content. Hopefully, some of those people sign up for offers you promote, move down your funnel and become customers.

Personas are an essential component of inbound marketing. Personas define the prospects you're trying to reach, their challenges, goals, even the keywords they use to find products and services. The information gathered about personas is used to guide content creation. 

We found the many personas, either because of how they're created, or how they're used, come up short. They're often good at informing and guiding top-of-funnel (TOFU) content. However, they do a poorer job informing middle-of-funnel (MOFU), and bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) content. MOFU and BOFU content, and content offers are critical to turning leads in to opportunities and opportunities into customers. In this article, we'll explain how funnel stage personas can help you create the right content, for each stage of your inbound sales funnel.   

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing and sales

4 Signs Inbound Marketing Can Help Your Organization Grow

Posted by Bob Carver on Jun 5, 2018 6:43:43 AM

Our digital agency does a lot of different types of marketing, but inbound marketing is our bread and butter. We like inbound so much because we feel it provides some of the best and most predictable results in digital marketing.

If you're not familiar with inbound marketing, here's a brief explanation. You create content that is published on your blog and in other places and promoted on social media. That content improves SEO and drives traffic back to your website where visitors see other content offers and contact offers. Some visitors will give you an email and phone number to access those offers. They become leads, and you can then drive the sales process and turn them into customers. We even created an infographic that explains how it works.

But we don't recommend inbound marketing for all of our clients. Why not? It's not a good fit for every business or every brand. How can you tell if inbound marketing is something your brand should consider? In this article, I'll walk you through our qualification questions designed to show 4 signs that inbound marketing can help your brand generate leads.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, hubspot, inbound sales

4 Ways Content Reviewers Can Improve Content Quality [Infographic]

Posted by Bob Carver on Feb 27, 2018 3:51:34 PM

I've been thinking about an article that Pam Moore recently published where she talked about how the amount of content being published is creating a sort of content white noise. To cut through it, content marketers need create high-quality, and extremely relevant content. I agree. In fact, I agree so much that I wrote an article  where I showed how we use a simple checklist to ensure that content quality is high, focused on the right audience, and the right stage of the buyer's journey.

Both the article on the checklist have been well received, but as I've discussed it with my team, I feel it's important to emphasize one area of our content process that some brands either don't do or don't do well; the content review process.

For many, content review just a spelling and grammar check, along with some rewording for clarity. To be clear, that's copy editing, and it comes after content reviews. Content review is where experts who know the subject matter, potentially peers of the content author, review the content to ensure it's high quality and to add value to it.

What do content reviewers do and how do they add value? In this article I'll explain 4 ways content reviewers can help your content stand out and rise above the white noise.

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Topics: content marketing process, content marketing, Inbound Marketing

7 Lead Generation Lessons Learned from Going Viral

Posted by Bob Carver on Jan 23, 2018 5:11:12 PM

Back at the start of October when I got back from the Inbound 17 conference, I wrote a blog post on the digital marketing trends I saw coming for 2018 from listening to conference speakers, and from talking to my peers at the conference. The topic was timely and well received. It went viral.

This isn't the first time a post of mine has gone viral. The first time I got reach like that was in 2012. It was a pivotal moment in our evolution as a company because, while we got a lot of likes, shares, fans, and followers, we didn't get much of anything else. No leads. No customers. It's quite a heady experience to watch something you wrote get shared over and over and to read the nice comments from your peers. It's equally grounding to get off of that ride and realize you've got almost nothing to show for it.

That time, while we had a good website, and good content, but we didn't have the pieces in place to capture leads. We didn't have an inbound marketing infrastructure in place, and we ended up with little to show for going viral. This time, it was mid-October, three weeks after my post went viral before I was able to come up for air after following up on all the leads generated. It struck me that this would make a good case study in how inbound marketing works. In this article, I'm going to show you the numbers, and explain 7 lead generation lessons learned from going viral.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, lead generation, hubspot, inbound sales

4 Tools for Creating Buyer Personas and How To Use Them [Infographic]

Posted by Bob Carver on Jan 10, 2018 9:29:55 AM

Well defined, accurate buyer personas are key to the effective content strategy, online engagement, and inbound selling. You have to know who you're talking to, and what they're looking for in order to create content that appeals to them, and to best communicate with them online, and during the sales process. 

I've written ebooks on buyer personas and even shared our process for building what we call funnel stage personas that provide engagement guidance at each stage of the buyer's journey. One thing we've been asked is what tools we use when we're creating and refining buyer personas for our clients. 

To answer that question, we've created the following infographic. In it, we show 4 tools for creating buyer personas, and we tell you how we use each tool to build better personals that make digital outreach more successful.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Buyer Personas

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

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

11 Thank You Page Tips That Move Leads Down Your Funnel [Infographic]

Posted by Bob Carver on Aug 16, 2017 4:25:00 PM

You spend time and effort creating content offers like ebooks, presentations, whitepapers, and more. If you create great personas, do your marketing correctly, and create a great offer, your prospects will share their contact information with you to get it. In the process, they become leads in your funnel. Then what?

There has been some debate about what to do once your leads have signed up. Should you send a Thank You message, or should you use a Thank You page? Inbound marketing organizations from Aweber to Hubspot agree, Thank You pages are the way to go. Why? From the Aweber article:

"At no other point will your subscribers be more engaged than in the seconds after they sign up."

Simply put, the best time to engage your prospects is right after they've signed up. Thank you pages give you the real estate to engage your leads in a variety of creative ways and begin moving them further down your sales funnel. We've documented many thank you page tips in our conversion tips strategy guide, and we've built this infographic to share 11 thank you page tips that move leads down your funnel. 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, conversion tips, Thank You Pages

Why Your Content Marketing Needs and Inbound Marketing Process [Video]

Posted by Bob Carver on Jun 28, 2017 7:32:23 AM

CarverTC is an inbound marketing company. People often ask, "what's the difference between inbound and content marketing? Don't you do content marketing?" Yes, in fact, we do content marketing, but the terms inbound marketing and content marketing are not interchangeable. Content marketing is a component of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is so much more than content marketing. Inbound marketing is a set of tools, technologies, and processes that work together to generate traffic to your website, and from that traffic leads, that you will eventually convert into customers. Stated another way, inbound marketing is the way you make your website earn money for you. But, in my opinion, inbound marketing is the best and most accessible process-driven methodology that can consistently help you sell your products and services online. We wrote an article and made an infographic to explain the difference. It's been very popular so we thought we'd summarize the key points in this video. Enjoy!

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

7 Tips that Make Maintaining Evergreen Content Easier

Posted by Bob Carver on Jun 13, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Evergreen content is defined differently by many different content experts. Wordstream even wrote a blog post about what evergreen content is where they covered many different definitions. The one we like the best is this one, "continues to be relevant long past its publication."

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Topics: content marketing, Inbound Marketing

How to Create Lead Magnets that Win Clicks and Influence Customers

Posted by Bob Carver on Apr 10, 2017 4:58:08 PM

Lead magnets, often called content offers, are something we've all seen. From free ebooks, to templates, to other gated content that's offered alongside blog articles, and other content. They've become a standard part of social media marketing. Barry Feldmanrecently wrote an article that explains how important they are. If a website visitor clicks and gives you their email address, they become a lead, and you have the opportunity to move to more personal email conversations. 

The issue is, with the sea of content that's out there, there is also a sea of content offers, so how do you make yours stand out? If that problem weren't hard enough, you need to do more than just get the click. You want that content offer to resonate. You want that lead to see your expertise, and the value you offer so that they will want to come back for more. Either more content, or for a conversation in email, or for a meeting.

Good lead magnets have to draw visitors in and get that click, entice them to download, then sell them on your value while helping them solve their problems. It's not easy. In this article, we'll break down how we design lead magnets that win clicks and influence customers.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing and Sales Integration

5 Website Design Choices that Help Inbound Marketing

Posted by Bob Carver on Feb 21, 2017 1:51:30 PM

We just finished updating our website. It was a minor update not a major redesign. In this six month tune up, we tweaked messaging, optimized for SEO, took down stale pages, and added several new ones to better explain our services. We recommend our clients do these types of tune ups regularly as well. In many cases, we facilitate this work for them. When we do, and even when did our own website update, we have many discussions around website design. Should the site have more pages or fewer? Should it be an interactive experience for anyone who visits? How much menu navigation should there be versus on page navigation? While these may sound like difficult design decisions, we don't think they are. Not if you recognize that your website is really just a tool to help you achieve your marketing and sales goals. Your website should help people find you, explain how you can help them, and help turn those visitors into leads or even customers. In this article we'll look at 5 website design choices that help inbound marketing.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, website design

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