How many of you can honestly say you’ve sat through and paid attention to an ad that forced its way onto the screen before the YouTube video you wanted to watch?
How many of you have ever enjoyed having pop-up ads appear out of nowhere? Have any of these convinced you to buy the product the marketer was pitching?
If you’re like most people, they’ve probably done the opposite.
These types of intrusive ads are what most people think when they hear the word “marketing.” They don’t garner a whole lot of trust. In fact, a recent poll put marketers at dead last in terms of positions people trust—even behind politicians and lobbyists.
Fortunately, Kipp Bodnar—the CMO of HubSpot—gave a talk at a #FlipMyFunnel event to dole out nuggets of wisdom he’s gained from 10 years in the inbound marketing business.
“A lot of us have overcomplicated the work we’re doing,” he says, and most of his advice deals with simplifying the marketing process.
Stopping the Interruptions
What do cold calls, mass emails, and those lovely pop-up ads have in common? They all may have worked in the past, and they all may still yield minimal results now, but they all tend to alienate the very people we marketers are trying to reach.
And that’s because they all have one thing in common: they’re interruptions.
These methods outright keep people from doing the things they want. The last thing internet users want to see are marketing gimmicks popping up in the middle of their browsing sessions.
“84% of audiences age 25 to 34,” Kipp says on this topic, “have left a favorite website due to intrusive advertising.”
Think of it this way if you still have cable: when a commercial break starts, do you really pay attention to what advertisers are pitching?
So how do marketers stop the trend of creating what Kipp calls “Ad zombies,” who tune out whenever ads grace their screens, phones, or mailboxes? How is the trend of technology evolving, and what does Kipp suggest?
Personalizing the Attractions
The key to effective inbound marketing is operating with the buyer in mind. It sounds like common sense, but the results don’t lie.
“Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized web experiences,” Kipp says.
On top of that, 61% of customers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are more likely to buy from them. And the mass email problem we addressed earlier? It turns out that “relevant” emails—those tailored to specific groups of buyers based on their interests—drive nearly eighteen times more revenue than non-relevant ones.
Bottom line: potential buyers should feel attracted to what you’re selling.
So, how do you do it?
For something as simple as generating clicks on your blog posts, Kipp talks about a situation when HubSpot had a post titled Free eBook & Template: The Newsworthy Guide to Inbound Public Relations.
Right away, the amount of marketing jargon in the title should be a red flag. It wasn’t until Kipp and HubSpot did their homework and discovered most people found the post while looking for a press release template that they optimized the post’s keywords and function to tailor to that specific audience. And that optimization drove clicks.
There’s an important distinction here: the additional clicks and views on the post were ultimately a fortunate byproduct of providing searchers with the information they wanted right away.
“Doing marketing well and creating value is the best way to get results,” Kipp says.
This focus on value creation is vital when we consider the way social media is steering our connections toward more personal ones. Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and Slack are all avenues that connect people only to those with whom they want to connect.
Spam and cold calls are things of the past. Thinking of the buyer first, with quality content in hand and audience awareness in mind is the way of marketing’s future.
To hear the podcast episode this was based off, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The #FlipMyFunnel Podcast. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.