How Talisman embraced inbound marketing and what it means for the financial services sector

Inbound marketing - a magnet pulling ball bearings over a bullseye target

Hayley Dawson

Senior Account Manager

Posted on January 21, 2015

So it’s a new year and here at Talisman, that means a new website and a new approach to marketing ourselves. We’ve adopted a content-driven inbound marketing strategy and we think inbound has profound implications for the whole financial services sector.

What is ‘inbound marketing’?

The Wikipedia definition of inbound marketing is clear and helpful:

Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, e-newsletters, white papers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers. In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered “outbound marketing”. Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.

We’re using the HubSpot inbound methodology which shows how to attract, convert, close and delight customers – bringing them into your website at the top of the sales funnel and nurturing them through and after the actual sale.

HubSpot Inbound Methodology: Attract, Convert, Close, Delight

Why do we need inbound marketing

While traditional advertising, mail and sales approaches have their place, inbound marketing is attracting a lot of attention.

It’s easy to see why. According to data from HubSpot:

  • Inbound leads cost 61 percent less than outbound leads
  • Companies that blog generate 126 percent more leads than those that don’t
  • Firms that automate lead management see a 10 precent or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months
  • The majority of visitors to your website are not ready to buy so you need to give them a reason to engage and return when they are

In short, inbound marketing is potentially more effective, more efficient and more profitable than traditional approaches. More importantly, it is also in tune with our ‘trusted adviser’ approach to building relationships with clients.

Our inbound journey

We have ambitious growth plans as part of the continuous evolution of our firm from a more traditional print business to a full-service, integrated agency with a strong digital capability. With this in mind, at the end of 2014, we resolved to create a new website and, as part of that process, we decided to adopt an inbound marketing strategy.

We teamed up with content specialists at Articulate Marketing to implement an inbound strategy based on the HubSpot inbound methodology:

  • Attract. We’re using this blog, social media publishing, a monthly e-newsletter and search engine optimisation to bring people to our site who are interested in our services.
  • Convert. Calls to action and landing pages (like this one) turn interested visitors into leads by capturing information about them in return for valuable information.
  • Close. Using marketing automation workflows, we can send contacts relevant emails and engage them using social media. We hope to excite qualified customers so that we are front of mind when they’re thinking about new campaigns and projects. We also want to show them new ideas and share tips and advice.
  • Delight. We also send out emails to existing customers and engage with them on social media. Our objective is to build long term relationships with our customers and this engagement is part of that process.

HubSpot ties all these stages together and helps us manage the whole process. Although it all sounds quite complex, actually, in the spirit of ‘making financial services marketing simpler’, having a single portal for all our online marketing makes it much easier.

Inbound results

It’s early days but so far we’ve seen:

  • The number of site visits treble
  • Dozens of new leads converting through our landing pages
  • Lots more social media interaction
  • Hundreds of new visits to our site from LinkedIn and Twitter

When it comes to inbound, this short marriage has been all honeymoon.

Financial services inbound marketing

But what does it mean for the rest of the financial sector? With banks such as First Direct and Metro disrupting the high street model and platforms like Nutmeg and Cofunds (full disclosure: a client) changing the traditional investment model, all financial services companies need to be alert for changes in how they talk to partners, IFAs and end-customers.

People aren’t always ready to buy when they visit a website and they’re much less responsive to a hard sell. They have more information available to them now from the internet than ever before, all at the end of a Google search. In other words, they’re looking for trusted advisors and inbound marketing, driven by useful content, is a powerful way to build trust and share advice.

It’s also good for business. It’s highly effective at building relationships with customers in an efficient way and lets you measure the effectiveness of different marketing activities. A marketing tool with built-in analytics and closed-loop reporting can help financial services firms optimise their campaigns and cut waste.

In short, we think inbound is the way forward for financial services marketing. If you’d like to know more about what we’re doing and how it works, request a free, no-obligation marketing consultation.