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Dec 07, 2020 Mike Midgley

The Inbound Marketing Framework For High Growth Service Companies

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How to Attract Profitable Clients, Increase Revenues and Scale Your Business with Inbound Marketing

You have a three-year plan. You’ve crunched the numbers and set an ambitious revenue goal and now you have heard about Inbound Marketing, but is it right for you? 

You have a five-year exit in mind which might just include that second home in the sun you’ve promised yourself through all these years of graft. 

You’re this close to taking your service business to the next level and when you do, you’ll have the money to do more and go further. 

You’ll make good decisions. You’ll invest in that growth, hire the right people and have your competitors wondering what your secret sauce is. 

The trouble is, being this close isn’t enough and the entrepreneur in you is searching for that one change, that one strategy that will make the difference and elevate your business to that next level. Sound familiar? 

It’s all too easy to know that you need to make efficient use of budgets and resources to actually attract profitable clients, increase revenue and fuel growth. 

It’s harder to pull all the pieces together and make it happen. 

We know that as an entrepreneur, you thrive on challenges but, the challenge of perfecting your marketing – the heart and soul of your sales success – is one that can cause the biggest headaches. 

You aren’t alone here. 

According to Campaign Monitor’s State of Small Business report, the majority of small businesses see customer acquisition as the biggest marketing challenge they’ll face in the next year.

When the pressure is on, the temptation to go the DIY route (after all, you know your services and brand better than anyone), coupled with the need to be prudent with expenditure, means you may not always have been able to hire the best person for the job. 

After all, someone with experience in high growth marketing for businesses ready to scale doesn’t come cheap. 

Many small businesses also struggle to find and recruit the best talent. 

So what’s the answer? 

It’s easy to be pessimistic about marketing if you’ve spent money and come out the other end out of pocket and back at square one. 

Generic marketing alone won’t work. 

Service companies looking to achieve ambitious growth targets have a very specific set of needs which must also be balanced against the reality of operating in the modern customer centric, ‘buyer-in-control’ marketplace. 

Getting it even slightly wrong could mean your efforts amount to nought. 

According to the 2019 Service is the new Sales report, the customer is now firmly in the driving seat. 

A third of B2B buyers worldwide admit that their expectations of the customer experience have increased in the last 12 months, and almost half have switched to a new supplier in the same time period. 

What’s more, less than 20% of buyers want to actually speak to a sales person during the initial discovery phase – meaning cold calling, telesales, office visits or showrooms just won’t cut it. 

What you need is something that 

  • Puts the customer first
  • That’s helpful to them at all stages of their journey 
  • That doesn’t feel intrusive or pushy
  • Is personalised and meets buyer expectations around the customer experience

We know, it sounds like a lot. And it is. 

But the rewards are substantial too; more qualified leads and more sales, with the kind of strong return on investment you need to scale quickly and confidently.

It’s here that inbound marketing can fuel your growth. 

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When you break it down, inbound marketing is all about building relationships. It’s about giving your prospects what they want, when they want it – not forcing disruptive content on them. 

It helps them to solve problems, which means you’re already on course to meet elevated expectations. 

The beauty of the inbound marketing framework is that it is the perfect fit for the buyer-in-control reality that your business exists in. 

  • It attracts leads by serving the right content and conversations to your prospects; this establishes you as a trusted provider and industry leader. 
  • It engages with the prospect, illustrating how you can soothe their pain points and solve their problems.
  • It delights customers by focusing on help and support, ensuring a five-star customer experience. Something they can recommend to others to begin the process all over again and take your service business to the next stage of growth. 

In short, inbound makes it all about the customer, with services and information aligned to them. It is the ideal, effective and strategic approach in a marketplace where the buyer is firmly in the driving seat, and knows it. 

In addition to the growth potential, this framework also means you can inherently prove your value every step of the way, meaning you should hear the dreaded ‘discount’ word less and less frequently. 

How to Create A Foundational Inbound Digital Marketing Strategy

Developing a plan that has a low risk of failure and a high probability of success is rooted in one thing; your digital marketing strategy. 

While it’s tempting to write off this portion of the plan because you just don’t have enough time or resources and want to jump right into making things actually happen, neglecting your strategy could end up costing you more of both in the long run.

Think of your digital marketing strategy as the foundation of your success. 

It is just as essential as the foundations of your house. 

If you were to build your own place and scrimped on the foundations, your property would fall down. Your inbound digital marketing strategy plays just as crucial a role in the execution of your inbound campaign. There are four key steps to take to get this right:

  • Step 1: Audit

In this stage, you’ll investigate all of your current processes and systems, skills and activities. You’ll do this to understand what’s working and what isn’t and identify gaps or opportunities. If you often feel frustrated that your teams work in silos, this audit can also act as the first stage of bringing them together. 

  • Step 2: Fast track

Knowing that you can’t afford not to be growing your revenue could be one more reason to scrimp on the strategy process. Implementing a fast track campaign to generate leads while the strategy is developed gives you the best of both worlds. 

  • Step 3: Entrepreneur focus

If you feel that your focus is diluted and hindering growth, adopting an Entrepreneurs Focus into your strategy activity is key. Review your existing business model in line with the inbound methodology to develop SMART goals, identify your customers and what makes them tick, map out the buyer journey and develop a clear brand message. 

  • Step 4: Power of Alignment

Now, the task is to bring everything together. If your client services, marketing and sales team are bumping along with a dysfunctional relationship, you know it’s costing you money, eating up budget and hampering growth. Matching your business model to your strategy answers the big four questions of: What? Who? When? How? This brings everyone into alignment, banishing silos and setting the stage for everyone to work together more effectively and collaboratively. 

The Ultimate Marketing Persona Template To Build Your Content Strategy Around

Do you find yourself wondering how your competitors appear to be doing better or why your service is superior but you struggle to find the right people to sell too? 

If you don’t have a fully fleshed out marketing persona, you’re doing yourself a disservice and almost certainly setting your sales team up for failure rather than success. 

A marketing persona is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to attracting clients and making sales to grow your service business. 

A persona takes you under the skin of your client. It tells you what makes them tick. 

  • What frustrates them
  • What their challenges are
  • Their goals and their pain points 

The marketing management software, CoSchedule describes a marketing persona as, 

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Building the ultimate marketing persona  will help you identify which messages to use, how to demonstrate your capability to fulfil your audience’s needs, where to find your audience, what to talk to them about and even what type of content you need to create to turn leads into sales and move closer to your revenue goals. 

Creating a detailed, useful persona takes work – you’ll need to don your research hat to gather as much insight as you can. The more detail that can be included here, the more effective your inbound activity will be. 

There’s a formula to building a perfectly detailed marketing persona:

  • Sit down with at least six of your current clients
  • Speak with at least two of your former clients
  • Speak with several prospects who haven’t yet converted to clients
  • Speak with your own teams such as sales, marketing, finance, customer service , manufacturing and production team, even your delivery drivers. Basically anyone who has any contact with your clients

The point of all this research? 

To ensure you can deliver the right message, to the right people, at the right time. 

3 Essential Stages to Build A Buyer Journey That Converts Prospects At Every Stage

Having created your marketing persona you’ll have a good idea of what makes your prospects tick, now, you need to know how that person moves from identifying they have a problem, researching a solution to that problem and comparing options when they’re ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase or sign up for a subscription. 

This process is known as the buyer journey. 

The buyer’s journey is split into three stages:

  • Awareness: the prospect identifies a problem, a challenge or opportunity
  • Consideration: the prospect researches potential solutions
  • Decision: the prospect selects a solution 

Researching how your prospects navigate those three specific stages is fundamental to closing more deals and meeting your revenue goals. 

Once you know how the customer arrives at their decision to purchase, you can attract, engage and delight. 

This essentially means offering a personalised experience to your prospect, serving them information and content which meets them at their exact stage of their journey. 

This helps you to build trust, demonstrate value, be helpful and align your sales process to your prospect’s journey – ultimately leading to more conversions and greater revenue.  

How To Create a Content Strategy That Google Recognises And Engages Your Audience

Let’s recap where we are on our mission to build a perfectly primed inbound marketing framework for high growth service companies.  

We’ve looked at how to create a foundational inbound strategy to underpin marketing and sales activity moving forwards and crafted detailed marketing personas to get under the skin of our prospects and understand what makes them tick. 

We’ve also researched how prospects find and engage with providers, to inform personalised, helpful experiences which convert at a higher rate than current efforts in the buyer journey. 

Now, we need to begin to consider the vehicle that powers those experiences and conversions; the content strategy. 

Creating a content strategy isn’t just a central tenant of your inbound marketing framework, it’s also a core requirement for success. 

Developing a strategy means you aren’t relying on what you think the customer wants, but are instead focused on what the customer actually wants.

The 2018 B2B report from Content Marketing Institute confirms that 65% of the most successful content marketers (those meeting their goals of establishing relationships and making sales) have a documented strategy, versus just 14% of the least successful. 

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2020 B2B Content Marketing in 2020 research report 

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Putting these two findings together leads us to a clear conclusion: those who understand the customer journey, have a content strategy that reflects that journey and stick to it are more likely to achieve their goals of nurturing leads, building credibility and trust and making sales. 

It’s not just prospects who need to see well-thought out content. 

Google says “high quality content on your pages, especially your website” is the “single most important” thing you can do to elevate your search rankings. 

When it comes to crafting a winning strategy, SMART goals are important.  

It’s not enough to say you know you need to create content for better rankings or to give your audience something to read on your blog – drill down and define what your goals are and how you’ll reach them with content. 

How To Create A Lead Generation System Using Inbound Marketing That Your Sales Team Will Love

If the fact that your service company’s revenue isn’t growing fast enough pains you, have you considered that it could be time to revisit how you approach lead generation? 

A key aspect of the digital marketing framework for high growth companies is the development of an effective lead generation system. 

While many organisations think of lead development as something which just happens, the word system is actually key. 

An effective strategy, one which drives growth, is based on a process as processes can be replicated and scaled, whereas something which ‘just happens’ strangles growth and can set off high risk warning signs for potential investors or buyers. 

Lead generation is broadly based on four Ls:

  • Lead capture: Recording contact information such as an email address of telephone number for future marketing communications (it goes without saying that in the GDPR era, this must be opt-in and you must have permission to send future emails).
  • Lead magnets: Lead magnets actually drive the lead capture phase. They give your audience a reason to give you their contact information. Think of this as a quid pro quo kind of deal; you offer something useful such as a free tool or how to and your prospect gives you their contact information in return.
  • Landing Pages: An effective landing page, much like a lead magnet,  can be used to obtain contact information but it can also be used to warm up leads by selling them on the benefits of a certain service. 
  • Lead scoring: Does your sales team currently spend an equal amount of time on every lead? Or spend too much time on leads that don’t convert, while promising leads have to wait for your team to get in touch and go cold in the process? Implementing a lead scoring system as part of your inbound marketing framework categorises leads into priority levels, so your sales team can work more efficiently and close more leads. 

How To Create An Inbound Social Media Strategy To Increase Engagement

The days of social media as a ‘disruptor’ are gone. Today, we all know the sheer power of this channel. 

In the first quarter of 2020, Facebook boasted 2.6 billion active monthly users – a number that has been on the ascent for years. Instagram has around one billion monthly active users and LinkedIn more than 690 million professional account holders in more than 200 countries worldwide.  

Make no mistake, your customers (and potential customers) are on social media but, standing out above the noise and creating a space where you can have meaningful, fruitful interactions within the social space is a challenge. 

Social media is a channel rich in opportunities; from building brand awareness to fostering relationships, generating leads to making sales (social commerce is on course to have a massive impact this year).

Acting as a source of competitor intel (use it to reverse engineer their secret sauce and benefit from their time and money by studying which posts hit the mark and those that fall flat), a strong social media strategy harnesses all of this potential to win new business and grow your revenue. 

With so much at stake, you can’t afford to not have a social media strategy. 

You can’t afford to have rogue staff members or inexperienced marketers sidestep posting guidelines and alienate your community. 

There are myriad social media platforms and in all likelihood, you can’t afford the cost or manpower of being present on all of them. The good news is you don’t need to. 

Your inbound marketing framework social media strategy focuses your activity. You’ll need to refer to your marketing personas and then identify which social media platforms make most sense for your business. 

You’ll then need to document the type of content you want to share (you can use your competitors here to research what works and what doesn’t), devise a realistic schedule for posting and set metrics to measure performance against.

How to Create a Short Term and Long Term Lead Nurturing Strategy

According to HubSpot research, around 90% of your leads could be left sitting on the table if they don’t make an immediate move to become a customer. 

After you’ve spent time and resources bringing those leads in, it’s frustrating to see that investment go to waste due to a lack of action or follow through. 

As an entrepreneur, you loathe to see your resources being wasted and you definitely can’t afford to see 9 in 10 potential customers converted by competitors simply because you haven’t followed up.

Given that the majority of leads won’t be ready to buy on the spot, can you afford to see almost all of the prospects who got in touch for information, but weren’t quite ready to pull the trigger on a purchase there and then, go cold? 

The short answer is no. 

That’s simply too many potential customers you’re allowing to fall through the gaps by failing to coax them through the purchase process in a timeframe which suits them. 

It also means that almost all of your budget and effort is wasted due to the lack of follow through. If you’ve felt frustrated about sales performance figures and struggled to hit your revenue goals, this could be one of the underlying issues. 

The easy way to avoid this scenario and set yourself up for sales success is to implement a short and long term lead nurturing strategy. 

If you ignore the lead because they haven’t converted right away, you’re almost certainly not going to turn them into a client a little further down the line. 

Nurture them, and you just might. 

Lead nurturing purposefully engages your prospect with relevant information and support. 

You can do this with Short Term Nurture (STN) strategies and Long Term Nurture (LTN) campaigns. 

The STN approach takes place as the name suggests in a shorter time frame (often 30 - 60 days although this will depend on your  buyer's journey and your overall sales cycle) while LTN campaigns are deployed to take over after the STN campaign has finished and run usually over a period of 12 months on average.

Download Your Copy Of Bound To Grow: The High Growth Companies To Scaling Revenues Using Inbound Marketing

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Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing: Why You Need To Do Both To Scale Your High Growth Business Profitably

Traditional marketing tends to fall under the outbound umbrella. 

With this approach, 

  • You go to the customer and try and catch their attention - you cold call them in the hope of eliciting some interest
  • You buy email lists and bombard inboxes
  • You go to a trade show and try and be bigger and more vocal than the stand next door
  • Or you go door-to-door.  

These tactics are disruptive for the consumer and expensive for you. 

When you do make a sale, the ROI is low because you’re casting a very wide net which inevitably includes a lot of people who aren’t interested in your product or service…yet you’re still spending money trying to get through all of the ones who aren’t interested to locate that person who just might be. 

It’s the marketing equivalent of Where’s Wally? 

Because outbound marketing tends to be disruptive, it’s increasingly easier to tune it out; 

  • Marking emails as spam
  • Using caller ID to block sales calls 
  • Going online instead of going to a trade show

Inbound marketing is the antithesis of disruptive. It’s built entirely around attracting prospects to your service business. 

The inbound methodology focuses on attracting, engaging and delighting, to provide value and build trust. The customer comes to you. 

So, what’s the solution? When it comes to inbound vs outbound marketing, which is going to make the best use of your resources and generate more revenue? 

The truth is that inbound and outbound marketing serve different purposes and target prospects at different stages of awareness. 

Just as a structurally sound building can’t rely on one foundation or one brick, a strong marketing campaign isn’t built with one tactic alone. 

Using just inbound methods could cause your leads to drop. Using just outbound could see costs skyrocket and conversion rates fall. A mix of the two can give you the best of both worlds. 

Inbound Vs OutboundImage Credit - HubSpot

How You Can Improve Organic Search Results Using An Inbound Pillar Cluster Content Strategy vs Standard Content Production

There are a whole host of reasons why organic search matters to any business, but it is especially important for high growth service companies, given the amount of qualified leads a strong search presence could deposit at your virtual door. 

Google handles over 85% of the world’s search traffic, meaning strong Google visibility is an immediate priority. While the intricacies of its algorithms remain under wraps, the search engine has been crystal clear that good quality content drives rankings

It’s no longer quite as simple as a scattergun approach and the old method of creating as much content as possible no longer works. 

If you’ve tried the standard method of content creation and are still asking yourself how to improve organic search results, an inbound pillar cluster content strategy reflects changes to both search habits and Google technology, helping your content to rank better and your organic search presence to improve. 

While standard content production might see you creating articles and blogs frequently, it’s likely that your content will overlap and be disorganised, meaning it could actually end up competing against itself in the search results, limiting your visibility and opening up digital real estate for competitors. 

HubSpot calls the topic cluster approach “the next evolution of SEO”. 

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Its research and own experiments with tens of thousands of blogs shows that this model tallies better with Google’s own advanced understanding of search terms and the intent behind search phrases. 

Its machine learning algorithm, powered by RankBrain and using neural matching helps it to understand “how words are related to concepts.” 

The pillar and cluster model sees the pillar acting as the authority on the topic overall, while cluster pages focus on one aspect of that topic. Unlike traditional content production, this approach allows you to signal to Google the authority page, helping to boost visibility. 

Research shows that this approach boosts Google visibility in a way which is far superior to standard content creation.

Why inbound video marketing will skyrocket your conversions 

The HubSpot 2020 Not Another State of Marketing report is clear; today’s marketers are prioritising video marketing. 

In fact, this format has overtaken images, ebooks and infographics as the primary form of media used. 

Traditionally, producing video content has come with a high price tag attached so, if you’ve been feeling unsure about exactly what you need to do to increase conversions or feeling the price pinch with day-to-day ops swallowing up more budget than is desirable, this particular type of content may not have been on your radar. 

Now is the time to change all of that; video is a tried-and-tested way to skyrocket your conversions. 

It should come as no surprise to hear that video marketing is a strong driver of conversions when you consider that YouTube is considered to be the world’s second largest search engine (behind Google). 

Instantly, a video allows you to tap into that traffic. 

Video is also easier to consume than text for many and more eye-catching when landing on a page. 

According to Entrepreneur, video can increase time on site for exactly that reason and can hold the viewer’s attention for a longer period of time than text alone. 

Additional research suggests that this extra time on site leads to more conversions, with a 64% uplift in conversions possible.

One of the key selling points of video marketing for your high growth service company is its versatility; it can be used at every stage of the customer journey: 

  • To answer questions
  • To build trust
  • To demonstrate your solutions
  • To showcase benefits and problem solving
  • To provide advice
  • To provide training and educate
  • To say thank you

Because of this versatility, and our natural affinity for video (43% of people say that branded video is the most memorable type of content shared by companies), this medium offers endless opportunities to skyrocket your conversions.

Video Production Review: Brand Storytelling Videos versus Product Videos, Which Will Perform Best for Your High Growth Business?

We have seen that incorporating video marketing into your inbound framework can have serious benefits for your high growth service business. 

It can be used at each stage of the flywheel to attract, engage and delight and is proven to increase time on page and promote an uptick in conversions. This makes it key to achieving your ambitious revenue goals. 

HubSpot figures suggest that at least half of consumers expect to see video from brands but, given that your video production efforts can be used at each stage of the flywheel, should you be focusing your resources on product videos or brand storytelling to achieve the conversions you need to meet your revenue targets and scale quickly? 

When you’re aiming to scale quickly and grow fast, the emphasis is always on sales. 

That can mean you naturally lean towards product videos which have a strong emphasis on selling. 

After all, you need to sign up a certain number of service users, right? 

In fact, the inbound approach to attracting clients by providing them with useful experiences makes storytelling the more suitable solution when you invest in video production. 

As HubSpot explains

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While product videos have their place and can serve a foundation role, videos which tell a story are more engaging. 

The more engaging and relatable, the better you’re able to build trust and express the ‘why’, meaning the better your conversions. 

What’s more, you can use this type of video to fulfil a range of functions including offering useful information, presenting a problem and solution, inviting action, encouraging collaboration and introducing your brand. 

Still not convinced? 

Outbrain suggests you switch your mindset and think of storytelling as a way to harness the power of this naturally engaging content format saying 

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The Best Inbound Marketing Automation Software for Businesses Looking to Scale 

Marketing automation software is one of those buzzwords that instantly sounds complicated – and costly. 

If you’re running your business and working towards those high growth goals, 

  • You don’t have time to learn a whole host of new skills. 
  • Worse still, you may be grappling with teams in silo and systems which just don’t mesh well together. 
  • You may have resigned yourself to multi-system chaos, reasoning that you just don’t have the time, the in-house expertise or the experienced man power needed to go back to the drawing board. 

What’s more, without those things, there’s no real need to spend more on getting the right marketing automation software in place. 

It’s also true that the systems you have now do the job; you’re a high growth business after all with an ambitious plan to scale. 

But. If you do delve a bit deeper, you know you’re being billed for multiple pieces of software. 

There’s inconvenience and irritation because they don’t always talk to each other as you, and your team might like. 

If you look closer still, you’ve grown so quickly that you haven’t even realised that some of your legacy systems overlap, meaning you’re paying for the same thing twice. 

You could also have a few gaps, which means opportunities are being missed.

The good news is that this scenario is common. You aren’t alone and you have solutions at your fingertips. 

These solutions could put you in the driving seat by saving you time (therefore saving you money), nurturing leads (therefore making you money) and growing your revenue (therefore making scaling easier). 

Lenksold is pretty specific on this, saying 63% of firms who outgrow their competition use marketing automation, while Pardot suggests that small businesses using marketing automation make 50% of their revenue from existing customers. 

HubSpot Growth Suite is the benchmark marketing automation software for inbound marketing and a great example of what an integrated system can do. 

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It takes care of everything from email marketing and ad management to social media posts and landing page creation. It gives you chatbots and live chat, forms and custom reports. Everything you need within one suite, meaning no more gaps, no more duplications and no more multi-system chaos.

The Return on Marketing Investment for Inbound, 4 FACTS You Should Consider.

A common misconception when it comes to marketing is that the activation of a campaign or methodology is like flicking a switch. 

Push out a piece of content or share a video and the leads will start flooding in, right? 

Unfortunately, that is very rarely the case. Just as you wouldn’t hire a new sales director today and expect them to be closing deals tomorrow, marketing too needs a little time to get warmed up. 

It’s natural though when you’re short on time and big on growth targets to want to know exactly when you can expect to see ROI. 

After all, you’re investing money on a robust inbound digital marketing strategy, on content creation and marketing automation software, you need a realistic picture of when and what that ROI will be. 

As per HubSpot,

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That said, its research also suggests that you will see results sooner than you may think, with three quarters of companies using inbound marketing increasing traffic within seven months. 

Almost half (48.02%) see traffic spiking sooner, at around the two to four month mark. 

You already know that building a lead pipeline takes time, especially if you have lagged behind your rivals for a period of time or struggled to focus fully on marketing due to other time constraints. 

That said, it’s again useful to have an idea of when you can expect to see results kicking in, especially if you’re champing at the bit to get your growth underway or present an updated business plan to lenders concerned that your service business is too high risk at present. 

The HubSpot ROI report concludes that 83.9% of companies using inbound marketing increase leads within seven months

While the results of inbound marketing are worth waiting for, you don’t need to wait around for months to feel the impact. Rather than looking at inbound vs. outbound marketing as a right or wrong question, bringing the two together gives the best of both worlds.

Short Term Nurture versus Long Term Nurture: The Secret to Delivering Great Email Sequence Campaigns

Do you know the secret to crafting an email sequence campaign that not only resonates with the reader but actually turns that prospect into a client? 

If you’re frustrated that the majority of your sales team’s emails seem to fall on deaf ears, you need a more tailored solution designed around your prospects themselves. 

Across your lead pipeline, you’ll inevitably have leads at different stages of maturity. You’ll have prospects that have just discovered you and want to take a look at what you can offer, others who have been aware of you for a while and are weighing up whether you fit the bill and others still who have you shortlisted along with one or more alternatives. 

That spectrum is broad and doesn’t even include those who are doing some homework now for something they suspect they may need in the future, nor those prospects who are ready to jump in and buy right away. 

Each of those prospects is at a different stage of the buyer journey and has different needs. 

They also require a different type of nurturing, depending on the stage they’re at. A stellar inbound marketing framework designed for your high growth service company takes this into account and doesn’t focus on just one approach. 

One type of email won’t work, but two, three, four will.

Having a short term nurture and a long term nurture email sequence in place is the answer. 

You’ll use a short term sequence when someone goes cold soon after a conversation, reminding them about a limited time promotion or special offer you’re running which they can benefit from by signing up or checking out right now. 

Those who are further away from the decision making stage won’t respond to that. But, you can help them progress to that point by sharing useful content, videos and service information, observing what piques their interest and then adjusting accordingly.

13 Essential Questions to Ask an Inbound Marketing Agency Before Hiring Them

Hiring an inbound marketing agency is a move not to be taken lightly. 

Most businesses will admit to having hired marketers who just haven’t worked out or had to rely on freelancers who ‘don’t get’ the business because they aren’t immersed in it, don’t have the time to dedicate themselves fully or simply aren’t being paid enough to undertake all of the work needed. 

The result is the same; money wasted and marketing efforts back at square one. 

Much like hiring a new employee, appointing an agency needs to be a good fit for both parties. 

One of the very first questions you’ll need to ask is whether you’re looking for a growth agency or an inbound marketing agency. 

Keep in mind that a growth agency is focused on major aspects of the business, such as your sales team and client success team and function more like a business partner or senior advisor. 

You’ll also need to know that you have a good cultural fit with your agency, which means also asking questions about values and their people. 

Over and above that, you will undoubtedly want to ask questions about expertise, request case studies and perhaps even client testimonials.

Any question in fact that helps you to feel reassured that you’re choosing people you can work closely with who have the skills and experience necessary to plug your internal skills gaps and deliver on your growth goals to help you scale your business.

Hiring an Inbound Content Marketing Agency: What Investment Will You Need To Make?

Hiring an experienced inbound content marketing agency to help your high growth service business to scale shouldn’t be a guessing game. 

As a service business owner, you know that hiring experts requires a financial investment – but you also know pricing should be clear. 

You know that because you know price is important to your own clients; how many would you have if the actual cost was hidden under layer upon layer of misdirection and vagueness? 

Probably very few. 

Being upfront about costs is important. While there are different service levels and deliverables, as a rule of thumb inbound marketing monthly retainers range between £4,000 per month and £9,500 per month. 

You’ll need to add on to that the cost of your marketing automation software, with HubSpot pricing as an example costing between £729 - £2600+ per month on top of the retainer, depending on the package and features chosen.

Getting marketing right comes at a cost, but the cost of hiring an inbound content marketing agency pales in comparison to the cost of doing it yourself. 

According to PayScale research

  • A copywriter’s average salary is £25,000, 
  • Extending to almost £65,000 per annum for a marketing director, 
  • An average of £67,000 for a strategist 
  • And up to £36,000 per annum for a video editor.

Once additional costs are factored in, such as the average cost of recruitment and onboarding (currently said to be £3000 per hire according to GlassDoor), pension contributions and other payroll costs, not to mention the cost of a larger office and all necessary equipment and software, the DIY costs can soon spiral out of control.

Getting started

Are you ready to get started developing an inbound marketing framework for your high growth service business?  

Doing it right, with the right partner, can transform your business and see it fulfil its true potential. 

  • Expect increased traffic
  • Better qualified leads
  • More profitable leads
  • Coherent systems
  • Prospects which close quicker. 

If you’re ready to hit your revenue goals, bring your sales and marketing teams together and have your competitors asking you what your secret sauce is, get your inbound marketing campaign started now. 

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Published by Mike Midgley December 7, 2020
Mike Midgley