The term “inbound marketing” is often thrown around by over-zealous marketers who know it’s important but are unsure why. Created by Brian Halligan in 2005, inbound marketing has grown in popularity and use throughout the 2010s. One factor contributing to this success (which stands out more than the others) is its work.
It’s estimated that inbound marketing is up to 10 times more effective at converting leads than traditional outbound marketing strategies.
When implemented properly, inbound marketing strategies can increase your leads significantly. Because of how effective and popular it has become, there’s no shortage of information “out there” telling you how to make it work for your business. Unfortunately, this oversaturation of information can become overwhelming.
If you are new to inbound marketing, some tips can help you get started. For those who have experience with inbound marketing, chances are you will find a few tips and ideas that can enhance your efforts.
Inbound Marketing Defined
Inbound marketing is a marketing technique designed to “draw” and “attract” customers to you. This means potential customers are finding you instead of the other way around.
Remember, using inbound marketing means you are combining content marketing efforts, SEO, and other tactics to find new prospects and get them to come to your business and brand. It also depends on providing the desired solution to a certain pain point.
The goal of inbound marketing is not to achieve an instant conversion. Instead, it builds trust and establishes your business or brand as an authority on the topic. This means the first step (offering valuable content to help solve a problem) isn’t the same thing as the end goal (getting the person to convert into a paying customer).
However, getting from your first step to the end goal requires a lot of time and effort. Some tips that will help you with this are listed here.
1. Determine Your Inbound Marketing Goals
While it may seem obvious, it’s a missed step when creating an inbound marketing strategy. Before you can begin creating quality inbound content and generating new leads, you need to determine your goals. If you don’t, you are essentially shooting in the dark.
Be specific with your goals.
You need to put numbers to the new leads, PDF downloads, and organic page views you want to see. Start with the SMART goals if you don’t know where to begin. After you have determined your goals, review them and revisit them as needed.
2. Define Your Brand in a Consistent Manner
Another overlooked aspect of creating an inbound marketing strategy is ensuring you have a consistent brand message. One of the most important factors related to inbound marketing is that users come back to you because of your value and trust as an expert.
If you don’t have a consistent voice and your message isn’t cohesive, then you aren’t viewed as an expert, no matter how much experience you have.
3. Get to Know Your Audience with Personas
Before being able to attract and convert leads using inbound marketing, it’s necessary to know who you are dealing with – this is where personas come in.
Personals are composite, personalized representations of your audience. They include their likes and dislikes, behaviors, pain points, and demographics. Based on your business, you will likely have several personas to choose from. During this process, you can even give them each a name.
To create powerhouse personas, you must gather all the customer data you can acquire, including sales numbers, social insights, analytics, and direct customer feedback.
4. Conduct SEO Keyword Research and Optimize Your Content
When it comes to inbound marketing, you have to attract people to you and what you offer. SEO can help bring more people to your website; however, this isn’t going to happen without proper keyword research.
Take time to find all the potential search terms used by your buyer personas and then optimize your content based on what you find. It’s important to build a strong SEO foundation for your website. This is going to have a positive impact on all the other inbound marketing tactics you use.
Knowing what your targets are looking for is crucial; however, knowing how the targets are discussing what they search for is just as essential. If you don’t speak the same market or industry language as your targets, it will be more challenging to convince them to move through your funnel.
The bottom line to this tip is that you must speak the language, or you could lose a lead.
5. Get to Know Your Competition
You have taken the time to learn more about your personas, and now it’s time to see what the competition is up to. Chances are, they have also learned more about their audience.
Be sure to keep track and evaluate the different types of content offered, how it is delivered, and what persona it will appeal to. You can take inspiration from, duplicate, or improve what has worked for the competition.
Make sure to exceed the level they have reached.
6. The Impact of Quality, Optimized Content
Now that you have a basis for your inbound marketing strategy, it’s time to start creating content. There are several types of content you can create and use. Some of the most effective are described here.
Believe it or not, old-fashioned blogs are still effective. If your inbound marketing strategies include blogging, it will increase your leads by about 67% compared to those that don’t. Choose a topic that your personas find important or valuable, and then create posts about it regularly. The right users will find you, which means your inbound strategies are working. If your content happens to answer a pain point they are dealing with; then they will move another step closer to a sale.
Effective and quality long-form content will be around 2,000 or more words. The content should be evergreen and full of high-value information and data. This includes things like case studies, e-books, and similar content pieces.
When generating inbound leads, long-form content is the most effective. Consider these facts:
- Valuable long-form blogs rank higher in Google SERPs (search engine results pages).
- People will share, link, and read longer content 153% more than they do shorter content.
- Establishing yourself as a professional is easier when you publish long-form content.
The bottom line is that long-form content works.
Use Guest Posting
Some people are tempted to keep all their creative blogs for themselves. However, convincing another site (especially one with some influence in your niche) to post your content can be extremely helpful to your inbound marketing efforts.
Not only will your brand, content, and solutions reach an entirely new audience, but the backlines you receive (when someone links back to your site) can boost your SEO.
Engage Leads with Podcasts, Infographics, and Video
Having amazing written content is essential. However, it’s sometimes more effective to show rather than tell when it comes to inbound marketing. Remember, having quality and valuable content to share is essential with all these tactics.
Ideas for Inbound Marketing Videos
It’s no big secret that people love to watch videos. In fact, videos make up about 85% of search traffic, and over 50% of executives would rather watch a video than reading text. If you still aren’t engaging users on this level, you probably have left money on the table.
Get in front of potential customers and ensure that the videos you create offer some type of value to your personas. Even the best planned and shot video doesn’t help you get viewers if you don’t provide value or connect with their needs.
To do this, you have three main options:
- Create a video series: If you know your customers’ needs, then you can easily create a series of videos that address their pain points, which will boost your inbound marketing significantly.
- Host a webinar: This allows you to share your know-how directly and interactively with your audience. These are also affordable and easy to create. You can also collect emails upon sign-up, which provides another valuable marketing tactic.
- Facebook live: If you feel like a webinar takes too much time or effort, consider going live on Facebook (or another social media platform).
Creating an Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy
Inbound marketing isn’t a new concept. However, it is one that many people don’t fully understand. With the information here, you should have the basics of creating a foundation for an effective inbound marketing strategy. It’s also wise to partner with a professional who can help guide your strategy and ensure you get the results you want and need. While creating the strategy can initially seem daunting, it can be extremely effective for generating clients and turning them into paying customers.
Inbound marketing is a powerful tool. Now is the time to act if you have not yet utilized this strategy to gain new customers and prospects. It will provide the superior results you are searching for.