Inbound marketing technology is the most valuable tool at the modern day marketer's disposal today.
But rather than tell you "it's great, cost effective and generates fantastic ROI", it is more useful to instead look to some of the market's key players to see how the technology is being used to maximise marketing efficiencies, at scale.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is the web's hottest peer-to-peer rental service, allowing users to virtually tour apartments and homes available for rent by property owners. Well, this was its original incarnation.
While it is impossible to discount the role of social media in driving its exponential growth, (1.5 million listings in over 34,000 countries across the world) the company's ready adoption of content as a key inbound marketing device has informed its transformation into a formidable e-commerce, accommodation marketplace and content provider, all in one.
The brand has effectively augmented their engagement interface using highly personalised content delivered via multiple channels, such as AirbnbTV for original video, guided tours, host stories, promotional videos and of course, social. They inform, educate, connect and empower with their content, all of which fuels conversion and attracts users.
The site's highly strategic integration of content into social channels and creative campaign work is particularly impressive and worth checking out.
Dollar Shave Club
To paraphrase their website, Dollar Shave Club is simple: stop paying top dollar for fancy brand name razors, select one of their razors, pay a low monthly fee and they'll send them to your door. A simple, attractive proposition.
The Dollar Shave Club is among the most (in)famous brands built on inbound marketing. It started with a $4,500 video on YouTube in 2012; a video that got them 12,000 customers in two days. Talk about conversion!
The pilot video has since been viewed over 22 million times, DSC now has a team of 45 full-time employees, 1.1 million subscribers, a whopping US $615million valuation in 2015, and most recently a US $1billion all-cash acquisition by Unilever.
Madness, right? But evidence of the power of multi-channel content marketing as DSC quickly grew their content marketing to include an active blog, Facebook, Vine and Instagram.
But why are they effective? They have a very carefully defined brand (humour, delight and lifestyle) that informs everything they do across all channels, and they thrive on social.
Reckon (formerly Quickbooks) has been providing Australian and New Zealand businesses with accounting solutions over the past three decades. In 2013 they appointed Hubspot to help them evolve their product offering to a new, cloud-based solution and re-launched under a new brand name 'Reckon'. The move was entirely strategic after the company recognized after business behaviours were changing and the need to evolve or die.
Reckon wanted to position themselves as thought leaders, build brand awareness and promote their new online accounting software. To do this, they were keen to ensure they leveraged their experience and the reputation, while also providing their sales team with high quality, qualified leads in a cost-effective model.
The new marketing strategy also needed to demonstrate the return on investment of marketing activities and provide actionable insight. Content and inbound marketing was the preferred methodology to Reckon achieve these ends.
For Reckon, HubSpot provided a blend of functionality and simplicity and helped them build brand awareness, attract visitors and generate qualified leads for their new solution offering, resulting in a 590% increase in blog traffic and three percentage point revenue growth month on month.
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