Inbound marketing collateral is an under-appreciated, underestimated, important piece of your overall online presence and sales strategy.
Glowing customer testimonials, detailed case studies, and a robust portfolio are invaluable inbound marketing tools for your business. They act as virtually free salespeople, presenting your services and your success on your website without having to invest 24/7 manpower. Because you never know when a prospective client or customer could be doing research about your company, it is vital to your business to have these marketing pieces online to showcase why you should be chosen to take on their next project.
The Business Benefits
These pieces of your inbound marketing collateral are incredibly beneficial to your web presence, and your business, on a daily basis.
- Higher SEO Ranking. A recent article indicated that 7 of the top 10 organic ranking factors for Google search are social, with Facebook likes and Google +1s crowning the list. This means that Google’s algorithm is taking the amount of followers and reviews you have as indicators of “social proof” that your business is worthy of a certain ranking. In other words, happy customers lead to happy SEO.
- Established brand personality. If your website creates an understanding of your company’s culture and values, first-time visitors are more likely to become engaged and remember your brand. By cultivating branded case studies and portfolios that exhibit the quality work that your customer testimonials exemplify, your business can be understood as an authority in your industry by prospective customers.
- Better UX. UX, or “user experience,” refers to the interaction a visitor has with the content and design of a website. If you were to “grade” websites based on their functionality, variety of content, and visual appearance, you would be evaluating UX. By having a variety of content available to a visitor to your site, it makes your website infinitely more user-friendly and interactive.
- Helpful sales resources. Case studies and portfolios make excellent resources not only for your inbound marketing staff, but also for your sales team. These resources can be used throughout the sales cycle to highlight the benefits of your company to prospective clients, and ultimately help close deals.
How to Create the Goods
- Ask your customers. On social media, in a company newsletter, or during a client meeting, do not feel shy about asking your customers to write a testimonial for you! They could send one straight to you via email, submit a review on your Google+ page, or post a tweet tagging you to contribute.
- Repurpose & recycle. Once you have a substantial amount of feedback from your customers, whether it is review from your Facebook timeline or in a private email of gratitude, repurpose the content on your website and in your marketing materials. For case studies, all you need are images taken by your staff of completed projects and a list of client goals and results, which can all be pulled from reports your account managers create for client review.
- Make a video. If you have some room in your marketing budget, or a creative friend with a high-quality camera, consider investing in producing videos for your business. You can film short interviews with customers asking about their experience to use as a testimonial or capture shots of your work with moving components to utilize in your portfolio.
- Get creative with applications and programs. Web applications, like Canva which has easy-to-customize web and print templates, or programs like Microsoft PowerPoint, whose slides you can upload and share on Slideshare, are excellent tools that make building creative collateral without design experience an easy task. Make sure you have company style guidelines (includes specifications for the use of logos, product names, fonts, etc.) and follow them across all of your marketing.
Where Should They Go on My Website?
All of these valuable inbound marketing tools work well in a few different areas of a website. Case studies and portfolios work especially well on your service pages, or pages that explain the breadth of what your company offers. These marketing pieces then act as examples of those services, working to enhance your authority all on their own.
Testimonials work well on service pages too, but another great place to display them is right on your homepage. Showcasing an immediate example of customer service always make a great first impression. You also cannot do wrong by placing customer testimonials on an “About Us” page to give a bigger picture of who your company is and what you value.
Customer testimonials, case studies, and portfolios are just as vital to your website as your service offering and contact information. The truth is, though, that optimizing your website is only one piece of your your SEO and your inbound marketing strategy. Contact the web team at Scale to learn more about creating a strategy that produces results.