The first day I came to Reach HQ I was so nervous, anxious and excited… all the emotions I’m now feeling again as I’m about to graduate college. I knew this agency wasn’t like the rest when I walked in and saw orange everywhere… and I mean everywhere! Sounds silly, right? But the office delivers a welcoming, fun feel the minute you walk through the door. The team wasn’t sitting in cubicles like I picture a typical marketing agency in Orlando to be, either. Some were snuggled up on the couch, some were working on the stand-up desks and others were busy at the group tables. I knew at that moment that this was the kind of environment I wanted to work in, not because it looked like they were cozy and relaxed, but because they looked inspired.
After just a few short months at Reach, I’ve learned so much. So, this is the first of our intern series blogs, where you’ll hear about Reach through our eyes. Here are 10 things I learned about interning at an inbound agency… (I could share far more than 10 things, but I limited myself to the good stuff. I figured learning to save my money for staff lunches at Kissimmee’s best restaurants isn’t something to brag about.)
- All about HubSpot, HubSpot, HubSpot – Before interning at an inbound agency, I had heard of HubSpot, but I had never used it. If there’s one thing my peers should take from this blog post, it’s that if your agency doesn’t use HubSpot, tell them it’s time to get on board! This tool manages your client’s social media, from monitoring to publishing, as well as your blog, website and marketing performance. Contacts, landing pages, keywords and competitors are also somewhat automated with HubSpot, too. Did I mention they send out weekly blog posts with how-tos and tips regarding marketing and sales? Inbound marketing and HubSpot work hand-in-hand!
- The Inbound Methodology – There are four stages to inbound marketing: attract, convert, close and delight. Before people can become your customers, we must get their attention. Interning at an inbound agency has taught me it begins with attracting the right kind of prospects to your blogs, websites and social media. Once they’re on your pages, it’s time to convert them through CTAs (I’ll get into that soon), and gathering their contact information. Then it’s time to turn your leads into customers and finally on to promoters. This process is the heart of inbound marketing and I’m always learning more!
- Blogging attracts new customers – Before interning at an inbound agency, I didn’t think blogging played as big of a role as it does in marketing. However, more than half of companies who blog have gained a new client through their blog. How crazy is that? A simple post, written in what feels like a conversational format, can bring a company new customers. I think every business needs to follow in the footsteps of an inbound agency on this one because it makes all the difference… and it’s proven!
- Having a relationship with your clients matters – Inbound agencies not only know their clients’ brands and buyer personas, but they know their actual clients. Interning at an inbound agency has taught me that this relationship helps make both parties successful. The client trusts the agency and their judgment on things which makes the decision process much smoother. An agency that is in it for truly helping the client succeed, and not just about the dollar sign, is one I take pride in working for and one that builds strong brands.
- Genuinely caring for the client makes a big difference – Caring for the client goes beyond building a relationship with them. I’m sure most agencies build relationships with their clients, but at Reach, every account manager truly cares for their clients. I’ve watched them work well beyond the hours of nine to five to make sure the client’s brand is the best it can be. Our chief strategist started Reach with the intent to help businesses in the town she calls home, and she’s done just that!
- How important keywords are – Ok, I’m done with the mushy, gushy stuff for now… onto search engine optimization (SEO). Keywords play a huge part in organic web searches. Another great thing about HubSpot is that it ranks your keywords, how often they get searched and the difficulty behind them. I’ve learned to make sure the keywords our clients rank number one for are used in content often so their website and blog receive as much organic traffic as possible.
- CTAs help convert visitors to leads – These little buttons encourage visitors to do something. Instead of just visiting your website or blog, they’re encouraged to subscribe to your blog or newsletter, download an offer that will educate or help them, and so on. They benefit both parties… and with HubSpot, you can see the click-through rate and other important data, too.
- Buyer personas – This made-up representation of the customer helps us understand who exactly a given brand should target. After learning the different buyer personas for each client, I had a much easier time writing blog posts and learning how to create ads. Everything created is tailored to your buyer persona, being as they are your potential customers.
- The buyer’s journey – The buyer’s journey goes hand in hand with the buyer persona… Before interning at an inbound agency, I never stopped to think, Where is this lead in the buying process? It’s so important to consider if the buyer is in the awareness, consideration or decision stage when marketing for your client.
- How to create good content – Good content means relevant content… especially relevant to your buyer personas. I’ve learned lengthy content means nothing; in fact, people just want to read things that are relatable and meet their interests. When you create good content, you attract the right potential customers.
So there you have it. If you’re interested in marketing in Central Florida and you haven’t interned for an inbound agency yet, I strongly suggest getting your foot in the door. Unless you’re attending HubSpot University, you won’t learn about inbound marketing and how it’s taking over the marketing world from a textbook.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay tuned for the next blog in our intern series!