This has been quite a year, hasn’t it? An ongoing global pandemic, civil unrest in cities across the US, a shift in how businesses operate, and for marketers, a need to at least try to stay a half-step ahead of the messages our customers need to hear in times like these.
Our goals with the Inbound Accelerator blog are to make planning easier, make processes run more smoothly and inspire content marketing professionals in their jobs. To do so, along with the blog, we offer a ever-growing free library of marketing resources, from reports full of the latest statistics to templates that simplify planning and calculators to help you set goals, rather than simply shooting at random moving targets.
The Inbound Marketing Learning Library has more than 100 resources to choose from, but these are the tools and tips our readers come back to time and again. If you haven’t found them yet, I invite you now to check out our top 10 most-downloaded resources of 2020. They may just give you the boost you need to kick of 2021 on a positive note.
Use our Website Audit Template to help you critique your current website. In 2020, as business shifted even more online and digital than it had been before, business websites became even more crucial to business, with less in-person and in-building interaction. Did your website have what was needed to meet the changing demands on user experience? Now is a good time to take a close look at how your website can be adapted to better take advantage of opportunities by auditing your design, content, and functionality. (This blog post explains how to use the template to audit your current site.)
There is a lot of information out there with best practices for developing inbound marketing campaigns, but sometimes you just want to see a real campaign in practice—not hypothetical examples. That’s what you’ll find here: links to the whitepapers, contributed articles, emails, social media posts and blog content used by one of our clients in a successful inbound marketing campaign. Download it, and then read up on the kinds of results it generated in this post: Primaris—Turning Inbound On For More Leads.
Planning goes more smoothly when you have processes and materials in place that keep track of all you need to do. That is why we created this Campaign Planning Template, which we use with our own clients, to develop a series of campaigns. It provides a format for outlining what specific content will be created for each campaign or topic, including what level of the sales funnel that content will be directed at, to ensure that nothing is missed and we’ve covered everything from awareness and consideration content to sales-enablement materials that help close the deal and even customer service needs to continue providing value to customers after the sale. (This blog post will walk you through how to use the template for a year’s worth of inbound marketing campaigns.)
This resource is package of two other tools that are even more popular (see No. 5: Landing Page Content Template and No. 1: Nurturing Workflow Template), plus a real-life example of the emails used in one of our clients’ automated lead nurturing workflows. A single download with three great tools to simplify your lead nurturing workflow planning. Check out these blog posts for more tips on creating nurturing workflows that shorten sales cycles and increase the quality of leads in your sales funnel: 5 Things You Need To Know About Inbound Lead Nurturing and How To Improve And Optimize Your Lead Nurturing Strategy.
Among the essential marketing tasks that are often outsourced are audits, providing an objective look at what is being analyzed, whether the brand’s media presence, the effectiveness of messaging, how the company is perceived by industry analysts or the marketing content itself. But not all outside firms provide the same level of service when conducting audits. This checklist outlines what you should expect from an agency when hiring them for 5 different types of audits.
Landing pages are the key link between visitors and leads and the start of the lead nurturing process. If your landing pages fail to convince a visitor that the benefits of your offer are worth the exchange of their information, you have lost the opportunity to convert them into leads. Our Landing Page Content Template, which is also included in the Lead Nurturing Toolkit listed at No. 7 on this list, is an easy-to-use spreadsheet for writing and tracking the content of landing pages for each of your website's offers — ebooks, free trials, etc. It includes tips for optimizing the copy, along with a way to easily see if you are effectively using keywords. It is also a great resource to maintain as a shared file for writers, website techs and designers.
If your brand is new to inbound marketing and planning to implement HubSpot as a content management, automated lead nurturing and CRM solution, getting started can be overwhelming. As certified HubSpot partners, we have helped multiple clients get going on HubSpot system to begin the inbound marketing journey. This template breaks down the tasks and estimated time needed to complete each for a successful launch. This blog post is a perfect companion to the planning template, with tips for how to tackle the time-consuming process: Finding The Time To Make HubSpot Work.
While we know that SEO goes far beyond keyword placement on-page, the basics covered in this template are still at the heart of ensuring search engines know what your webpages have to offer. This spreadsheet can be used to plan new pages or as a tool for reviewing and refreshing your existing site. Track how and where you use keywords and longtail phrases in headings, image file names, alt text, meta data and more. As for the other factors that influence search results, check out these recent blog posts for additional tips: Your 2020 Guide To SEO Strategy & The State Of Content Marketing and How To Optimize PDF Documents On Your Website (If You Must Use Them).
Coming in at number two—likely because more than half of all marketers say converting leads into sales is their top priority, yet only about 1 in 4 new leads are qualified and ready to buy (Source)—is our Lead Qualification Checklist. Use the template within to determine your company’s own definition of a qualified lead based on need, fit, budget, influence level and timeline. Here’s how to get started: How To Qualify Leads Before Turning Them Over To Sales.
And the most downloaded marketing resource in 2020 is … Nurturing Workflow Template.
This template is designed to help you plot out a complete automated lead nurturing email workflow, planning what content and calls-to-action each email will provide, the timing between emails, and the goal of each email in the workflow. Using a spreadsheet like this not only helps you visualize the entire series of emails, but also makes sharing information between team members easier as everyone can see the process and end goals. This post will walk you through the template and the process of developing lead nurturing workflows step by step: How To Use Our Lead Nurturing Workflow Template.
Which of these top 10 resources have you found useful? Let us know! And remember that there are dozens more in the Inbound Marketing Learning Library.
Though they didn’t make our list, likely because they are new, you might also find some useful takeaways from five mini-reports we published with data from our partners at HubSpot on the state of marketing in 2020 and its future. Check them out here:
- State of Content Marketing in 2020
- State of Website Strategy in 2020
- State of SEO Strategy in 2020
- State of Email Strategy in 2020
- State of Market Research Strategy in 2020
What other resources would be helpful in your content and inbound marketing efforts? Let us know. And be sure to subscribe to the Inbound Accelerator so you get weekly updates with our latest blog posts and links to new resources as we develop them.
If you are looking for even more help, let’s chat. You can schedule a no-obligation consultation on my calendar to discuss what you need to develop the integrated marketing program your company deserves.