The advertising and marketing industry is a very broad industry. There’s traditional advertising that includes print, television, radio, and outdoor — all of which are extremely different from digital advertising, which includes email, web, pay per click, etc.
Within traditional and digital, you can have a long list of different types of marketing as well. Like inbound marketing.
For three years, I worked for a traditional ad agency, creating print ads and collateral, producing television commercials, and placing radio spots. While all of that was interesting, I was always most excited when I got to help out with email campaigns, app development, and paid search.
I had originally started my career in digital and online marketing, but the experience made me realize that this was where my real marketing passion lied. When I discovered Bluleadz, I was excited about the thought of working with inbound marketing and creating valuable content to attract leads.
Now, it’s been exactly a year since I transitioned back into digital marketing.
In the past year, I’ve learned a lot about how effective inbound marketing is and how great it is to work in a fun and positive work environment with other individuals who are also passionate about their job. Here are just a few of the important things I’ve learned since joining the agency.
1. You Won’t Learn HubSpot In One Day
My first week at Bluleadz was filled with HubSpot certification videos. I couldn’t wait to get into the software and set up campaigns, create landing pages, use the social publishing tools, etc. Once I received my inbound and HubSpot marketing certification, I was ready to dive right into HubSpot.
However, I soon realized that you can’t become a HubSpot expert in one day (or in your first week). Luckily, my fellow Bluleadz employees were there for me, taking the time to show me how some of the many features in HubSpot worked.
But, like with most marketing platforms, HubSpot is always changing, updating, and adding new features to become more advanced and better serve clients. Therefore, I learned how we can all learn and grow with HubSpot.
My HubSpot certification videos didn’t stop after my first week. I continually turn to their learning center to earn new certifications, explore new learning tracks, and refer to their blog for support. I HIGHLY encourage anyone working in HubSpot to take advantage of the resources they provide.
I also learned that it’s important to just play around in your HubSpot portal to learn different things. HubSpot is your friend, and while it may seem overwhelming when you start, it’s extremely user-friendly and, by far, is the easiest and best marketing software I’ve ever used.
2. Not All Contacts Are Created Equal
Getting a lead on your site is great — after all, it’s what we strive for at Bluleadz. But, we want these leads to ultimately become customers.
In the last year, I’ve learned how important it is to properly label your contacts in HubSpot. By doing so, you open a whole new world of what you can do in HubSpot with lead nurturing, smart content, and segmented lists.
3. Lifecycle Stages Matter
If you haven’t defined your lifecycle stages, then do it now. The content you’re creating for subscribers and new leads should NOT be the same content as a content that is meant for an Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). By segmenting your contacts and defining where they are in their buyer’s journey, you’re more likely to get those leads to move through the funnel and become a customer.
Not only is it important to make sure you’re assigning lifecycle stages to your contacts, but if you can associate them with a buyer persona, then you can ensure you’re providing targeted content that is of interest to them.
When I was watching the HubSpot certification videos in week one, I thought that buyer personas were just fun names they made up. But, as my knowledge and understanding increased over the past year, I’ve come to realize how important buyer personas are in the creation of content that will be of value to those visiting your site.
4. Creating Valuable Content Can Get You Amazing Results
When I worked in a more traditional advertising setting, we’d continually produce commercials and print advertising, and I always wondered how effective they were.
What I love most about working with inbound marketing is seeing results and ROI once you’ve created a kickass campaign. To me, nothing is more exciting than getting qualified leads after launching a content offer for a client.
Whether it's an eBook, infographic, checklist, or a white paper, if you target your buyer personas and create something that is of value to them, then you’ll most likely get results.
It’s not easy, though; there is a lot of thought and research required before creating a campaign. We look at competitors and analytics to see what has worked before and consider ways to improve performance. Then, our writers and designs put in a lot of hard work to create amazing content offers that will attract leads.
When you do create a campaign that increases traffic to a site, brings qualified leads, and has ROI, it’s a great feeling. Over the past year, there have been several campaigns I’ve worked with but one, in particular, hit it out of the park for a client by getting them 174 new leads in the first month after the campaign launch. It was a great motivator on thinking of new ways to make other campaigns perform as well.
5. SEO Is NOT A Made-Up Term
For those of you that are newer to digital and inbound marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is not a term we throw around to sound smart. SEO is an extremely important component to ensuring that your content is ranking well online. Creating a new webpage or blog post means nothing if you haven’t put in the keyword research and set up the content in a way that makes search engines see the value of it.
Since I’ve started working at Bluleadz, I’ve learned that SEO is a virtually limitless source of ways to help improve your search ranking. Properly using keywords and strutting your content, including meta description and alt text on images, can help to improve your SEO efforts.
6. Relevant Blogging Is Crucial for SEO
Blogging consistently is a great way to improve SEO and increase your organic traffic. However, to make your blogging genuinely effective, you need to make sure that your topics are relevant to your buyer personas so that you can address their pain points.
Blogging just to blog will be a waste of your time; And, when you do blog, it’s not as simple as just writing your thoughts in 600 words and calling it a day. Your blog shouldn’t be your online diary. We put a lot of keyword research into our editorial calendars and then our writers do a ton of additional research to include valuable links, keywords, and help improve SEO more by creating engaging content.
For us, many of our clients – and even for HubSpot itself – blogging is the primary source of traffic to their site due to some rockstar SEO efforts. I recently completed HubSpot's SEO training course, which is extremely beneficial for anyone looking to learn more about SEO.
7. Company Culture Is Key
One final thing I’ve learned in the last year has nothing to do with marketing. Rather, it’s something that helps me become even more passionate about the inbound marketing work that I do every day — it’s that having a positive company culture is essential for doing well at work.
Bluleadz has an amazing company culture with pizza payday, work from home flexibility, intra-office ping-pong tournaments, and a breathtaking view that allows us to watch dolphins play from the conference room (or from our desks). This positive culture and environment allows us to get our “creative juices” flowing to create awesome campaigns for our clients.
All of these factors have made my professional transition from traditional advertising to inbound marketing so great over the last year. If you feel like your stuck in a repetitive cycle of commercial creation and radio advertisements, consider testing the waters with inbound – once you dip your toes in this methodology, you won't want to get out.