Digital marketing and inbound marketing: what’s the difference?

Digital marketing and Inbound marketing

Marketing comes with a large reference bank of industry jargon. Two terms Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing often get confused when planning and implementing strategies. Although these both can occur on digital platforms, they are different types of marketing practices. Small business owners should understand the difference to ensure effective business practices.

 

What is Digital Marketing? 

We have previously defined Digital Marketing in earlier blog posts but just as a refresher let’s revisit the basic definition. Digital Marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet, leveraging digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers (Alexander, 2021). The terminology itself doesn’t denote a particular strategy but rather is a toolkit that contains all available marketing tools a business can utilize. These digital tools can aid in increasing brand awareness, traffic, and online visibility.

Digital Marketing Solutions

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them (HubSpot, n.d.). Unlike Digital Marketing, Inbound Marketing is a strategy that aims to attract, engage, and delight customers along the buyers’ journey. HubSpot adopted the Flywheel depicted in the image below showing the three ways this methodology can be applied. Attracting customers is drawing the right people in with valuable content and conversations that establish you as an industry expert. Engage customers by presenting solutions along the way that solve pain points or help achieve goals. The delight phase is providing continued help and support to ensure successful transactions.

These three steps can be supported using various digital marketing tools. Inbound marketing is intended to help your business form valuable connections with customers looking to solve a problem.

Inbound Marketing for Roofers

Which approach is right for your business? 

Now that we have defined the difference between these two marketing terms how do you know which one is right for your business? This determination is based on your goals and objectives. When setting up a marketing plan best practice would be to include short-term and long-term goals for your business. Short-term goals can be solved by digital marketing tactics. For example, aiming to increase brand awareness and website traffic through online banner ads will only produce results limited to the capacity that the tool allows. If you are wanting more long-term results such as lead generation and qualified closed sales, then you would need to pursue an Inbound Marketing strategy.

Inbound marketing is taking all the available tools in digital marketing and leveraging them to support your overall buyer’s journey. An example of an effective inbound strategy includes the following. Creating content that draws in potential leads, setting up a customer relationship management (CRM) system capturing contact information, deploying a follow-up email campaign to interested contacts with relevant content. This example system will hit all three aspects of a buyer’s journey hopefully increasing conversions.

 

Long Game vs. Short Game

Investing time in developing a successful Inbound Marketing strategy can deliver solid consistent results over time. While digital marketing provides immediate results that lose value over time. As both terms are intertwined it’s best to combine these topics for business success. Using digital marketing tools such as email, CRM, and social media to grow and drive your inbound marketing strategy.

References:

Alexander, L. (2021, August 25). The who, what, Why, & how of digital marketing. HubSpot Blog. 

HubSpot. (n.d.). What is Inbound Marketing? HubSpot. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from 

6 Digital Marketing Roadblocks faced by Roofing Companies

- 5 Digital Marketing Roadblocks faced by Roofing Companies

Businesses today compete for audience attention in two worlds a physical world and a virtual world. This shift has given rise to the importance of investing in Digital Marketing. However, getting started can be an intimidating task especially for small businesses with limited resources. This blog covers common pitfalls roofing companies face when starting a marketing campaign.

1. Lack of Plan

Promoting on digital channels such as social media and email marketing can be very beneficial in driving leads if executed correctly. Developing a marketing plan will help to ensure the company business goals are communicated aligning your teams and objectives. In an article HubSpot has created a guide laying out the 5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan. Invest time in creating a marketing plan that addresses all components relevant to your business such as sales, content marketing, and customer support.

2. Creating the Right Content

To actively engage your audience, you need to create timely and relevant content. Outlining a content strategy begins with ”taking your business goals, and then using content as a primary means to achieve those goals” (Forsey, 2021). When developing your strategy consider the following who will be reading your content, what problems you aim to solve, and what makes your company unique. Roofers can create all types of content such as blog posts, eBooks, case studies, infographics, videos, and social media posts. Begin by documenting all company information, past and active projects, processes, and maintenance tips to develop trends and topics to present to your audience.

3. Time

Developing digital strategies and generating results takes time. Roofing contractor schedules are often booked traveling between projects. To generate success in digital tactics, one will need to actively set a portion of their daily schedule to research and develop strategies. Spend some time developing your business and expanding your digital marketing education. There are many free accessible resources such as the HubSpot Blog and LinkedIn learning that cover a range of digital marketing topics.

4. Broad Audience

Attempting to reach too broad an audience can impact the effectiveness of your messaging and branding to be received. Defining and marketing to a target audience is a critical step for success. HubSpot (2020) defines a target audience “as a group of consumers characterized by behavior and specific demographics” (Carmicheal, 2020). A Residential Roofing Company target audience example could be described as homeowners, ages between 35 and 55, employed, and family oriented. Completing this exercise will help you learn about your customer and shape your communication strategy.

5. Understanding Tools and Technology

Deciding on which tools, technology, and platforms to use can be a daunting task as there are many options available. Key factors to consider when researching marketing tools are functionality, ease of integration, user experience, and price. As you research ask yourself which features are important in easing workload? Can the tool integrate to an already existing system or platform? Is the system user friendly for you or others in your company to manage? Does the pricing structure meet my budgetary requirements? Researching with these factors in mind can help narrow down your search and focus your decision making.

6. Securing an Effective Budget

For many small businesses securing a marketing budget can be difficult. However, by not investing in marketing company growth can be impacted. According to The CMO Survey (2021), “72% of marketers report that the role of marketing has increased in importance during this pandemic year” (Moorman, 2021). In fact, marketers report an 11.5% increase in digital marketing spending in the last year, pointing to a major shift in how marketers are spending their budgets (Moorman, 2021).

Marketing Spending

Allocating budget to your digital strategies is essential in this digital era. Once you know your budget comprise a list of all the strategies you want to invest in and begin developing successful tactics to take your investment further.  

Preparation is key to facing the challenge detailed in this article. As you monitor your strategy you can quickly modify your plan ensuring successful digital marketing strategy.  Build more profitable digital marketing strategies by avoiding these pitfalls.

References:

Carmicheal, K. (2020, October 8). How to find your target audience. HubSpot Blog. Retrieved September 13, 2021.

Forsey, C. (2021, August 25). How to develop a content strategy: A start-to-finish guide. HubSpot Blog. Retrieved September 13, 2021.

Moorman, C. (2021, February 1). The CMO Survey – Highlights and Insights Report – February 2021. Retrieved September 13, 2021.

Riserbato, R. (2021, September 10). 5 steps to create an outstanding marketing plan [free Templates]. HubSpot Blog. Retrieved September 14, 2021.

6 Core Concepts of Digital Marketing for Roofing Companies

Concepts of Digital Marketing for Roofers

Digital marketing is an essential component and strategy one can invest in to reach business objectives. HubSpot defines digital marketing as “encompassing all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers” (Alexander, 2021). However, when deciding to implement these electronic strategies it is important to understand some basic concepts that will elevate your knowledge and maximize your efforts. Below we cover tools that will aid in helping you deliver exceptional and effective campaigns. 

 

Content Marketing

Creating and promoting content assets to create brand awareness, growth, lead generation, and attracting customers (Alexander, 2021). Creating custom content in your industry can help to establish you and your brand as industry experts. This can be accomplished through creating blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, and social media content. Consistently creating and distributing content helps you stay top of mind for consumers.

 

Email Marketing 

Have you ever received an email from a business whether a promotional coupon or monthly newsletter? If so, you have been a target of email marketing. An email marketing campaign is a coordinated set of individual email messages that are deployed across a specific period with one specific purpose or call to action (Campaign Monitor, n.d.). Sharing relevant content to your subscriber list can help boost engagement and build brand awareness. As end-users open your email campaigns you can begin collecting data learning about your customers and the type of content, they are interested in.

 

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

The term Social Media Marketing (SMM) refers to using social media platforms and networks to market a company’s products and services. (Hayes, 2021) Popular platforms include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Snap Chat. Every platform has its own set of rules of engagement and it’s important when selecting platforms to identify the audience you would like to target. Sharing content on social media will increase reach providing real-time communication with customers which will aid in creating brand advocates.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search engine results pages increasing the among of organic (free) traffic your website receives (Alexander, 2021). This optimization process benefit occurs through keyword usage, including external links, blogs, and infographics. There are various ways to accomplish SEO optimization such as on-page, off-page, and technical that will drive qualified traffic to your website.

 

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Increasing website traffic can also come with some investment. Different from SEO which increases organic traffic (unpaid) PPC allows you to pay per interaction (click) via custom ads. There are two channels that leverage PPC which are Google ads and Social Media ads. Google allows you to create ads with custom keywords that will promote your business via Google search and Maps. Social Media platforms allow for targeted ad creation that will reach specific individuals.

 

Influencer Marketing

Prominent social media or public figures that have grown their network of followers can be brought on to increase brand trust and loyalty. Working with influencers in your industry can bring your business to their followers via promotion. Influencers can collaborate in social media posts, blogs, products placement, eBooks, infographics, website quotes, and interviews. It is important to invest in influencers that will reflect the core values of your business and will accurately depict your brand.

The concepts detailed in this post are only some of the major themes you will come across as you expand your business in the digital world. As you begin to navigate these strategies keep your overall goals in mind and be sure you are setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep you on track.

References:

Alexander, L. (2021, August 25). The who, what, Why, & how of digital marketing. HubSpot Blog.

Campaign Monitor. (n.d.). What is an email marketing campaign? Email marketing terms. 

Hayes, A. (2021, August 5). What is social Media Marketing? Investopedia. 

A Roofing Companies Introduction to Digital Marketing

A Roofing Companies Introduction to Digital Marketing

We are living in the information age characterized by the shift from industrial production to one based on information and computerization. Individuals have access to a vast amount of information and are being targeted daily through their technology usage. According to Statista in 2021, “the number of smartphone subscriptions worldwide today surpasses six billion and is forecast to further grow by several hundred million in the next few years (Statista, 2021).

Smartphone suscriptions from 2016 to 2026

Technology has impacted consumer behavior, unlimited access to information has made consumers more aware, connected and has raised expectation levels of products and services. Social Media has expanded the available channels of communication giving the customer a bigger voice they can share with a larger audience. Although important Traditional marketing habits must now be accompanied by Digital Marketing Strategies.

What exactly is Digital Marketing? Digital marketing is not just having an updated website there are many components a company should invest in to be successful. According to Mail Chimp (n.d), “digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication” (Mail Chimp, n.d.) This includes digital promotion on channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. According to the Pew Research Center survey, “31% of U.S. adults now report that they go online “almost constantly,” up from 21% in 2015” (Perrin & Atske, 2021).

This consumption of online usage details the importance to invest in Digital Marketing for your Roofing business. 

Benefits of Digital Marketing? 

There are many benefits to investing in digital marketing such as expanding reach, cost efficiency, measurable results, personalization, increased communication with customers, and easy conversions. 

Expand Market Reach

Online platforms allow you to grow your market reach through increased audience visibility across geographical regions. In more sophisticated platforms one can purchase targeted ads to ensure your promotion is being delivered to the right customers. 

Cost Efficiency

Digital marketing is more flexible and lower in cost than traditional marketing. One piece of content can be leveraged across multiple platforms and altered at any moment to increase engagement performance. User-generated content (UGC) can also aid to lower marketing costs. As customers post or share their experiences with your Roofing company your marketing team can leverage this content for free word of mouth promotion. 

Measurable Results

Tracking the results of online promotion is a lot easier than traditional advertising methods. Digital marketing software and platforms automatically track the number of desired conversions that you get, whether that means email open rates, visits to your home page, or direct purchases (Mail Chimp, n.d.). This tracking capability allows for more accurate measurement of your marketing return on investment (ROI). 

Personalization

Unlike traditional methods, online platforms allow for data collection. Learning about your customers and how they interact with your business can open the door for more personalized and targeted advertising. For example, if you notice more of your customers are accessing your website through mobile devices you can invest in making your ads and website more mobile-friendly. 

Increased Communication with Customers

Digital Marketing strategies such as social media allow for real-time communication. Customer interaction increases as users share, like, or comment on your company posts. These real-time reactions give more visibility into your customer relationships with your brand. It is important to have an active role in responding to these engagements to cultivate brand loyalty. 

Easy Conversions

Instant gratification comes to mind on online platforms. Customers can take immediate actions after viewing an ad or content that can lead to conversions. Sending a direct message, clicking a link, filling a form, engaging with a chatbot, and saving a blog all allow for easy conversions. 

No matter what your overall company goals are investing and nurturing your digital channels will lead to brand awareness and lead generation. Digital Marketing allows you to keep consistent contact with your customers allowing your Roofing business to stay top of mind. 

References:

Statista. (2021, August 6). Smartphone users 2026. Statista: Number of smartphone users from 2016 to 2021. 

Mail Chimp. (n.d.). What is Digital Marketing? A beginner’s guide. Digital Marketing. 

Perrin, A., & Atske, S. (2021, June 5). About three-in-ten U.S. adults say they are ‘ALMOST constantly’ online. Pew Research Center.