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Stream Creative Blog

4 Ways HubSpot’s New CRM System Will Transform Sales For Small & Mid-Sized Businesses

Posted by Steve James on Sep 16, 2014 4:30:00 PM

HubSpot CRM What do feel when you look out the window of your home and see someone walking up your doorstep with a clipboard? The first feeling may be fear, the second is likely anxiety, and the third is oftentimes annoyance. Gone are the days when people tolerated disruptive soliciting and selling.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, Sales, Inbound 14, CRM

Serve Up Sales With Content Marketing

Posted by Jeff Coon on Sep 5, 2014 4:25:00 PM

serving-up-salesI like to think of a great content marketing plan like an exceptional server at your favorite restaurant. There are a few key ingredients that go into creating an effective content marketing plan that serves up more visitors, leads and sales.

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Topics: Content Marketing

Website Redesign: 5 Tips to Create Team Pages People Actually Want To Read

Posted by Andrea Brinkman on Sep 4, 2014 4:42:41 PM

Last week, we had the pleasure of helping our friends and partners with PR 20/20 launch their new website. As fellow inbound marketers based out of Cleveland, Ohio, the PR 20/20 team created exceptional content and imagery while our Stream Creative web team assisted with the design and development of the site. One element of the website that is a favorite of both groups is the team page - highlighting the company’s philosophy of creating a “culture of we,” along with personalized bios and individual / group interests and passions.

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The personalities, expertise and ethics of the people that make up a company are as important as the company’s reputation and achievements. Creating a team page that offers unique insight into a company’s culture and character adds value to any site where client / agency partnerships are an important part of business relations. Additionally, it adds a personal element and credibility that builds trust with partners and clients. These are 5 of our favorite elements of PR 20/20’s website team page that are great examples of how to make employees stand out, while exhibiting unity: 

1. Put a face & personality to the name. Most companies include professional photos of key personnel on their team page that will help partners, clients and prospects put a face to the name. PR 20/20 took this feature a step further by not only including a headshot of each of their team members, but personal photos with friends and family to showcase each unique personality. Multiple photos of the team at social functions were incorporated on the site page to display camaraderie, teamwork and most importantly, the fun that the group enjoys together.

2. Explain what has contributed to professional expertise to establish credibility. Rather than including the traditionally, often stuffy bio information, PR 20/20 included individual team member’s “professional moments”, “favorite moments” or “fun facts” both personally and professionally to allow their staff to highlight skills, areas of expertise and other industry credentials. 

3. Include fun, personal passions and interests that make individuals approachable and showcase personalities. Each individual team member’s page includes a listing of personal passions and interests that correspond with photos of friends, family and hobbies. The value of including interesting personal information makes the individual more approachable to the reader - offering possible commonalities and interests. The bottom line is that it portrays the company as a group of real people and will likely give clients and prospects something to talk about next time they chat with their PR 20/20 partner. 

4. Include personal social media handles or links. A company is only as strong as its team and this philosophy shines through when a team member shares their expertise via social channels. While it’s important to position a company as an industry expert, oftentimes team members have much to contribute via their personal blogs, relevant publications and other content they read or research on a daily basis. The information shared through an employee's personal social channels is a reflection of the company’s expertise as a whole. Including an employee’s personal social handles or links is a great way to encourage readers to get to know your staff and the knowledge they offer, by following their daily postings.

5. Encourage team members to provide descriptive quotes for their colleagues’ pages – further showcasing personalities, expertise and work ethic. One of our favorite elements of the PR 20/20 team page is the “testimonial” quotes fellow team members provided for each individual’s bio page. The quotes not only represent who the employee is as an individual, but also the strength of their individual role and incredible value they bring to the team (as told by their colleagues). 

Team bio & about pages are one of the most important components of any website. PR 20/20 did an incredible job putting a face to the personalities that make up their team, allowing website visitors to view the “realness” of their company. Adding a human touch can help build credibility and position your company and its representatives not only as thought leaders, but partners that clients and prospects will respect. 

How can you add greater personalization to showcase the expertise and unique personalities of your team on your company bio or about page?

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Topics: Content, Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, Web Design and Development

4 Ways Marketers Can Use LinkedIn To Build Buyer Personas

Posted by Andrea Brinkman on Jul 22, 2014 11:50:00 AM

4 Ways Marketers Can Use LinkedIn to Build Buyer PersonasBuilding buyer personas is one of the critical first steps to developing and implementing a lead generating marketing campaign for your business or client. Identifying your ideal customer and interviewing key individuals or groups of individuals who align with the characteristics of that ideal customer, is the spot-on way to gather information needed to create the most detailed persona outline. Individuals or groups may include current customers, prospective customers, and third party networks. Information collected that will provide valuable insight for your persona development may include both demographic and psychographic information, needs, interests, goals, challenges,pain points, social networks used, areas where the prospect interacts with others or does research online, and more.

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Topics: Lead Generation, LinkedIn, Buyer Persona, Marketing Campaign, Inbound Markeing

3 Must-See Elements of Inbound Marketing Week 2014

Posted by Andrea Brinkman on Apr 23, 2014 12:40:00 PM

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As if inbound marketing wasn’t exceptional enough as is – it now has its own dedicated week where professionals from around the globe will unite. In partnership with HubSpot and Eventbrite, Inbound Marketing Week will take place June 2nd – 6th, 2014 with a series of events happening globally which will allow professionals to collaborate, share knowledge and ideas, best practices and trends. Whether you'll be hosting your own event or attending one in your area, here are 3 elements to help plan your Inbound Marketing Week:

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Topics: Lead Nurturing, Lead Generation, Content Creation, Content Marketing, HubSpot, Inbound Marketing Week, Inbound Marketing Day

Transform An Old School Skeptic Into An Inbound Believer

Posted by Andrea Brinkman on Mar 26, 2014 9:39:00 AM

Converting inbound skeptics into believers

Day to day, situations present themselves that make human beings naturally skeptical. From weather reports to religious beliefs, aggressive work deadlines, or if a co-workers lunch is actually edible - skepticism represents the absence of knowing all the facts. Information is what converts a skeptic into a full believer.

Like any evangelist, inbound marketing professionals face circumstances where their philosophies and beliefs will be questioned.  Thankfully, the foundation lies in the undeniable proof and statistics that show the impact inbound marketing can make for those who use it successfully. The challenge is effectively communicating facts and examples in a way that is adapted to best make an impact pertaining to the skeptic’s particular service or business. Frank the Tank (Will Ferrell) displays this style best.

If you tap into these 4 characteristics of how an individual’s brain works, you may just transform a skeptic into a believer.

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Topics: Outbound Marketing, Content Creation, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing, Case Studies

What’s Your Marketing Game Plan? 5 Must-Haves To Kick-Off A Successful Inbound Campaign

Posted by Andrea Brinkman on Feb 3, 2014 12:11:00 PM

When it comes to inbound marketing plans, kicking off a new campaign can be intimidating whether you are a rookie or a seasoned player. Change yourgame by identifying the way people learn about your company online, marketing-game-planalign your marketing goals and create the best experience for your prospects. Whether you are planning your first campaign or brushing up on inbound basics, we have 5 must-haves to plan like a pro.

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Topics: Website Analytics, Lead Nurturing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Campaign, Content Marketing

Experience Inbound Marketing & Sales Conference Roars In To Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson® Museum

Posted by Steve James on Jan 19, 2014 3:15:00 PM

experience nbound-milwaukee storifyOverlooking a couple beautiful hogs and a steamy Menomonee River, more than 150 attendees joined Stream Creative for the inaugural Experience Inbound conference on Thursday, January 9.  With six dynamic speakers and a room full the brightest marketing & sales minds – we all had a lot to say about the event. Using Storify to help gather the best chatter from the day, we are able to share the event experience and comments that were posted throughout the day. Read them here...  

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Topics: milwaukee inbound marketing agency, Inbound Markeing, Experience Inbound

6 Actionable Take-Aways from Experience Inbound 2014 in Milwaukee

Posted by Steve James on Jan 17, 2014 1:43:00 PM

Experience Inbound MilwaukeeEach year, our Stream Creative team heads to Boston for the annual Inbound conference hosted by HubSpot. The best part about attending the conference is the opportunity we have to meet and network with some of the most creative and talented individuals from around the world. This past November, we came away from the event inspired to bring a similar experience to the sales and marketing professionals of Southeastern Wisconsin. That was when Experience Inbound was born and to be honest, we weren’t sure if anyone would come. Thanks to our event speakers, sponsors and supporters, we were thrilled to have more than 150 attendees join us for the inaugural event. Here are a few of our favorite actionable takeaways our event speakers shared to help boost your inbound efforts in the year ahead.

1. “Traditional marketing is like renting space on someone else’s assets”

Brian Halligan, Co-Founder & CEO of HubSpot

Brian kicked off the morning with a dynamic talk about the future of inbound marketing and sales. He began his discussion by mentioning the brisk walk to the Harley-Davidson® Museum from the Iron Horse Hotel – which in his compliments to the city of Milwaukee he mentioned was the “nicest place he has ever stayed.” He focused on many key inbound facts and areas of consideration including how to build your marketing assets.

Quick Tip: Marketing assets are thought of very differently today than they were 20 years ago, partly because of the way we now live and work. Instead of interrupting your way to get the attention of prospective buyers or clients through “renting space” on someone else’s assets (traditional advertising), how do you pull them in? That can be achieved through increasing webpages, links, keywords, followers, remarkable content, etc. Brian told us to think about building these assets as if you were building a moat around your business.

Watch a video of Brian Halligan’s Experience Inbound keynote presentation, view his slides and read his interview with Jeff Sherman of OnMilwaukee.com.

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Topics: Lead Generation, LinkedIn, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Experience Inbound, Sales

5 Ways Inbound Marketing Will Work For Your Manufacturing Company

Posted by Jeff Coon on Jan 2, 2014 2:12:00 PM

The landscape of marketing among manufacturing companies is changing. If your company is still relying solely on outbound marketing (traditional advertising) by using print ads, trade shows, telemarketing and other costly tactics to generate new business by pushing messages outward – you are sure to experience something our partners at HubSpot call the “Oh S**T” Moment.

Inbound Marketing for Manufacturing CompaniesThis is the moment when you realize that it is not only people looking for a Black Friday deal, a new phone or an electronic item that use Google for their search. Did you know that over 90% of B2B buyers (including those researching new manufacturing equipment and services) start their research online? If your potential customers can’t find you, they may find your competitor. And there is that moment…

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Topics: Lead Nurturing, Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Manufacturing