shutterstock_96237857Successful businesses launch ad campaigns based on the return of investment – the money earned must more than make up for the money spent. This has forced marketers to become more methodical in their approach to online marketing.

To ensure that you launch profitable campaigns using content marketing,  you must directly advertise to people who will mostly likely buy from your business. You must also track individual messages in the campaign and see if your target audience follows through with your call to action.

This set of calculated and deliberate tactics is found in inbound marketing. By building a promotional campaign that lets you scale its results and determine its efficacy, you are able to figure out which strategies are the most efficient and profitable.

To get a better understanding what inbound marketing is all about, I’ve had the privilege to interview Grey Mackenzie, co-founder of Guava Box. He discusses the current state of inbound marketing and the best practices involved in running this type of campaign.

What’s the story behind GuavaBox?

GuavaBox began as we recognized business owners and leaders struggling to make sense of the Internet and the changing landscape of marketing. Traditional marketing was becoming less effective, and the rise of content marketing was just beginning. The four co-founders, Andrew, Brandon, Ryan, and myself, put our heads together and came up with a way to help organizations solve their pain through inbound marketing.

Explain inbound marketing in one sentence.

Inbound marketing is all about getting found by the right audience, converting those prospects into customers, and analyzing the process to continually improve.

What is the state of inbound marketing for small businesses today? How would you gauge the knowledge of business owners about inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is growing rapidly, but the term is still far from ubiquity. Business owners are realizing that traditional marketing – TV or radio ads, billboards, yellow pages – aren’t producing the kind of ROI they’ve seen in the past. There’s a lot of searching for a new and better way, which typically leads small businesses to the Internet, but the lack of an integrated and holistic strategy often makes the whole experience frustrating. We’ll see exponential growth in the next decade, however, and I’m excited about where we’re heading!

When creating content, which between the two do you prioritize: evergreen content or content about the latest news and trends?

I prioritize evergreen content because the underlying principles for success are pretty steady. But the trending tactics and industry news can draw a lot of quick hits, so you need both.

In your experience, how you usually compose and design an effective call to action that brings users down your conversion funnel?

It all starts with an understanding of your user. Approach your call to action design with their needs in mind. I try to understand what they know, what they need, and what they think they need, and then, using language they’re familiar with, touch that nerve and offer a compelling solution.

What are professional-looking WordPress themes that you would suggest small businesses to use?

I’m a big fan of most of the WooThemes and Genesis WordPress themes, but you can find a lot of good stuff on ThemeForest as well. I love building from the Canvas (WooThemes) platform, but tweak the framework and optimize it for client needs.

What is your preferred lead generation strategy?

Inbound just makes so much sense – it’s scalable, in-depth, and cost effective. But it takes a while to get to the point where you can just quit networking, cold-calling, and approaching people with your solution. Honestly, the best lead generation strategy is just being helpful. Anywhere and everywhere you can, help folks out.

As an online marketer, what do you think of print marketing? Given a chance, how would you use tools like business cards and brochures as part of your marketing strategy?

Print marketing really became an over-saturated space, and to some degree still is. The medium started boring people. Now we’re almost to the point where print media becomes more effective because of the digital rage. When you print something out and hang it up, people understand the effort and appreciate something tangible. I still love business cards because there’s just something that’s more human about handing someone a physical card rather than bumping smartphones. Brochures can be effective, but you need to target well. It all comes down to understanding your target market and serving their needs.

For more information about GuavaBox’s inbound marketing services, click here.

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