by Phoebe Chongchua
Several years ago, Darren Woolley was searching for customers with disruptive marketing, just like many other businesses.
"We were using a database to bomb people with emails", says Darren.
"We were doing publicity, advertising, sponsorship, all of the traditional outbound models and then, at around 2010 / 2011, we decided that there was a new way of doing business and especially a new way of engaging with our customers."
An inbound marketing campaign became their strategy with "content at the heart of it".
Listen to the full podcast for all of Darren's tips and insights, and learn how he increased the size of his audience by 300%
So what did their new strategy look like?
The one that would triple the size of the business in the near future?
The first thing that the company did was to make sure that their content represented the brand and gave it a voice in their niche industry.
Then they made certain that SEO was effectively driving traffic to the Website so visitors could find the new blog content and they made sure it was shared widely through social media.
“The impact in the first year was the number of people coming to our blog increased 300 percent. When we started this process the blog was getting about 3,000 unique readers per year. Last year we got over 150,000,” says Darren.
He says that the whole company must be involved in content creation. Darren also cautions that this is not a short-term campaign; instead it’s a business strategy.
“Not only did we increase the traffic to our Website but, over three years, we doubled the size of our business. And, the other thing that happened, going from outbound to inbound, was our conversion rate before was around 30 percent of leads. But after we embraced inbound marketing it jumped to over 50 percent of leads because [visitors] are qualifying themselves by being attracted to what you have to say,” explains Darren.
What Darren learnt about content creation:
Use videos, blogs, and the company’s podcast to produce content. A blog becomes the area you own, but there are multiple ways of collating content onto there, and getting it out.
Long-form posts tend to do better. “You have to dive into the topic and really unearth some of those key insights, which is what makes it so much more readable and shareable.
Much of content creation content revolves around trial and error.
Embrace technology and an omni-channel approach
In order to keep up with evolution of marketing, brands needs to realise that simply embracing technology is not enough. Structural changes may be needed to really keep up with the future of marketing.
For example, an organisation that has a digital team and a marketing team that are separate would be fragmenting the way these departments interact and this prevents a customer-centric approach.
Darren says companies have to function cohesively to be successful at inbound marketing. “It requires every part of the business to be engaged in creating, sharing, and curating content to a brand strategy.”
While there are challenges, there is a great opportunities to restructure organisations to position marketing as the interface to the customer.
“The future of marketing is to move more toward the interface as the coordinator and the champion of the customer within the business and to arrange the business silos around the customer with marketing at that interface,” Darren says.
Tips to prepare for the future of marketing:
Be incredibly observant.
Monitor and observe what is happening with your customer business. “If you’re going to engage with people you need to understand them.”
Use behavioural data and research to keep informed and to “start predicting what your customers are going to need before they need it. The most successful companies in the world do that.”
Innovate and use your business to test what your customers want. "Find weekly, daily, or monthly innovations and test them to see if it gets a response.”
Constantly look for ways to turn even small ideas into innovations that work for your brand.
Darren says if you don’t you may lose your market share.
“To make your content strategy works, you have to continue to innovate in quality, and quality means relevance but also in the ways you’re delivering it to people to find what is the right way to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time and right place.”
Darren says this requires constant innovation and testing because if you stick with one channel it will eventually wear out.
Find out more about Darren Woolley
Mentioned In This Episode
PHOEBE CHONGCHUA IS A BRAND JOURNALIST AND CO-HOST OF THE BRAND STORYTELLING PODCAST & HER PODCAST, THE BRAND JOURNALISM ADVANTAGE.
TO CONNECT WITH PHOEBE ON TWITTER, CLICK HERE