Lessons from an inbound marketing agency

June 23, 2017
By John

As an experienced inbound marketing agency, we’ve worked with brands from all backgrounds to deliver bespoke inbound strategies across a variety of channels to help them better identify and attract the people who matter most to their growth ambitions.

Ever heard of inbound marketing? You may have heard about it in different guises; social media marketing, content marketing, PPC, search engine optimisation… They’re all pieces of the inbound marketing process that any and every business can mix into a creative, bespoke campaign to increase the volume and quality of their leads.

We’ll let you in on a little secret: we bloody love inbound. We believe it’s the best marketing methodology around; much more cost-effective than buying out-of-date data lists, a friendlier way to reach out to prospects than cold-calling, and the best way for high-value leads to discover your brand and its message in totally organic and natural ways.

Inbound marketing isn’t just about lead generation though; as our work with local charity Forever Manchester shows, inbound is the best way to create and amplify messages and let people know about events relevant to them, helping attract people to physical locations and spaces in a digital age that’s largely taking focus away from the high street.


We’re an inbound marketing agency dedicated to collaboration

Lesson 1 from an inbound marketing agency - collaboration is key

One of the biggest benefits of working with an inbound marketing agency is that it allows business owners to better identify, manage and achieve their goals for success. Do they want more leads, or do they just want the leads they’re already attracting to convert better? Maybe everything’s already laid out and they just want a stronger search presence, or want to better engage with and approach new communities across social media.

It’s essential to underline that the most successful inbound campaigns are built with the long-term in mind when a good inbound marketing agency looks to work with a new client to implement a bespoke and creative inbound campaign. For those looking at international growth, think of the likes of Virgin, Coca-Cola, Manchester United. They didn’t become global powerhouses and marketing icons overnight. It took them time to build communities of loyal fans that have a special place in their hearts for the brand and its message.

Our inbound weapon of choice is HubSpot; the world’s leading inbound marketing software platform that includes marketing automation amongst its artillery and keeps its partners up-to-date with the latest updates and changes happening in the world of inbound marketing. HubSpot’s certification process also offers intricate training modules and certification programmes dedicated to making its inbound marketing agency partners deliver consistently impressive results for their clients, no matter what their goals may be.



The changing face of inbound marketing

Lesson 2 from an inbound marketing agency - prepare for change

Why’s that important? As much as we love inbound marketing, like any marketing process on the planet it’s subject to change. The digital nature of inbound marketing makes it even more-so; just a couple of short years ago inbound totally shifted to encourage marketers towards biddable media and put more of their marketing budget into paid social and search targeting.

Well, we say ‘inbound shifted’. What we mean is some of the channels central to the inbound process – especially social channels such as Facebook – changed their algorithms to encourage more contributions to their paid services. While some were frustrated that the reach of their company pages started to dip, the targeting options offered by Facebook and other networks provide incredible ways to connect almost instantly with the people who will likely join you on your journey and grow your business.

Changes in legislation can also affect the inbound process, which is why it’s well worth partnering with an inbound marketing agency that keep its ear to the ground. At the time of writing a lot of UK businesses are still blind to the challenges posed by GDPR; new EU data protection legislation set to be introduced in May 2018 that will give consumers more power over their personal information than ever before. Brexit or not the UK will have to comply, and businesses will have to give customers more transparent information and options when they look to collect personal information.

That’s all good though, and signifies inbound marketing’s importance to business growth. The principles of the process – transparency, communication and ethical engagement amongst others – mean a good, bespoke and creative inbound strategy should futureproof you from changes such as those anyway, while an experienced inbound marketing agency will be flexible enough to be able to implement any serious alterations at a moment’s notice.


Do you have time to do inbound marketing yourself?

Lesson 3 from an inbound marketing agency - it's ok to accept help!

Many believe they can do inbound marketing themselves or underestimate it; that it’s a case of going on Facebook now and then or sending a quick email sometimes to let customers know some new stock has come in. They can do that; for serious growth though a consistent and creative inbound marketing campaign can help brands become the next household name and expand into new markets on a global level.

You can’t fulfil those ambitions by paying lip-service to the inbound process. For some though, inconsistency isn’t a case of laziness; many business owners we’ve met have serious intentions for the future growth of their business but simply aren’t able to commit their time and energy to social media management, keyword research, content creation, web development and a huge amount of other elements crucial to the inbound process. The bespoke and cost-effective nature of inbound when compared against other marketing methods means you can focus on other aspects of your business while an inbound marketing agency handles the rest.

The right inbound marketing agency and strategy will also help you, as a senior manager or business owner, to fill in your knowledge blind spots and provide you expertise in disciplines such as content creation, social targeting, marketing automation, data collection and more; again, allowing you to better focus your time and effort on concentrating on the bits of the business were you can provide your own expertise for serious growth.

For instance, what’s going to be the best use of your time? Working with your sales team to better identify the people you’re currently attracting and working on ways to convert those leads, or scouring the web and social apps looking for influencers and getting in touch with them in the off-chance that they’ll endorse your product for an extortionate fee? Did you know that the latter may not even be an effective way to promote your business, especially with more concentrated and affordable networks of micro-influencers out there to approach?



Inbound lets you go deeper than your competitors

Lesson 4 from an inbound marketing agency - take on your biggest competition

Again, indicative of an ever-changing world that an experienced and highly-qualified inbound marketing agency can help you navigate and explore for serious business growth. That knowledge will also extend to parts of the inbound marketing process that you may not know even exist, but are crucial to the current and future creativity and success of your campaigns. We’re talking about the big data revolution which, when combined with automation and the right channels, can be a potentially explosive growth marketing cocktail that could provide your business with enormous benefits almost instantly.

Big data is crucial to unlocking more about the people you want to reach out to, attract and engage with on a consistent basis. You can’t rely on generalising that audience. We’d rather call them personas; we work with you to identify the most valuable prospects for you and factor in deep information that big data helps us uncover such as where they spend their time online, the types of content that elicits an emotional response from that audience, demographic, location information and more that gives you a deep psychological insight into your market.

Attracting that traffic to your website is great. Knowing that market isn’t enough, though; you need to work with an inbound marketing agency to target those people across channels including search and social with creative content and the right message to nurture those leads and help them convert. A fine, delicate process that needs to engage with hesitant leads and not turn them off.

Inbound marketing isn’t as much a process as it is an entire philosophy of reaching out to new leads in incredibly targeted ways through bespoke, creative ways. Get the formula right and invest in the right channels and you can potentially get in front of that market almost instantly for explosive growth.

Six & Flow’s creative use of inbound marketing helped one client in the financial sector achieve an ROI of over 3,000% in the space of six short months, equalling more than 2,500 leads and a 578% increase in revenue. Find out how we did it by reading our case study.


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