So, are you one of those many people who think Inbound Marketing is yet another buzzword created to confound marketers? Or, do you think it is the latest trend in marketing strategy? Well, it is much more than that. Inbound marketing is an approach that aids in driving growth and generating leads in a measurable manner. It is convenient, scalable and easy to implement. Organizations that have followed or are following inbound marketing strategies have proven to be at least 4 times more effective in reaching their sales targets and driving revenues.
What happens in Inbound Marketing
The complete antithesis of Outbound Marketing – the older style where information was doled out to the masses through a TV or a newspaper ad among other mediums – Inbound Marketing focuses on attracting traffic, converting them into leads and then taking these leads ahead and turning them into opportunities and new sales.
Sounds quite easy and linear, isn’t it? But it is the sum of many small parts that need to be looked into and catered to at various stages of development. Along with ongoing strategy, inbound marketing includes constant research, creation of content, updating it regularly, promoting it as well as focusing on different facets such as email marketing, ad campaigns, social media and much more.
You need to keep in mind that your prospective buyers are doing their own bit of research. And if they do not find you out there, the chances of doing business with you becomes rather slim. Here are some pointers that will help you up the ante.
#1. Make your website a pivotal point
An engaging and interactive website is the beginning of a long-lasting relationship with your customer. It is also an important cornerstone for a successful content marketing program. Simply put, your website should focus on the customer and not your organization. The mantra is to keep it simple, smart and educative. Emphasize keyword phrases and properly define your goals. If you decide to cram your site with more than all this, then you will alienate your customers who might not revisit your site. So, simplify their lives as well as your own by helping them find information they can use.
#2. Make blogging a habit
While some trade pundits might label blogging as an outdated practice, it is still the most effective way to accomplish a considerable feat such as getting traffic to your site. In order to do so, keep a calendar handy and publish content regularly. To get more results, blog every week if not more. Be unique, provide your honest opinion (even if it is controversial), ask, tell, explain and do a whole lot more with all the words you have in mind.
Blog articles are here to stay and are timeless marketing assets. So keep on writing.
#3. Go for survey reports
Establish thought leadership and get noticed within the industry by creating surveys. You can include links and blogs in your surveys as well. By publishing your survey results on external websites, you can also be more visible and gain an enviable status.
#4. Lead conversion offers in the blog articles
It isn’t called ‘call to action’ for nothing. Use CTAs to drive interested buyers to dive deeper into the content. There are chances that people who have read your blog and like it might want to know more. Give them this opportunity in the form of an ebook or something similar, so that they come back for more andor go on to the landing pages to know a bit more about you.
#5. A wise mix of media should be used for content marketing
Go ahead and use slideshare presentations, videos, infographics and webinars along with your blogs and other written content. Visual media leaves an impact and can be quite effective to help you break all the clutter that’s floating around. Use affordable video production software and create videos that your audience will like and appreciate.
#6. Social media will be of great use for the promotion of your content
Your blog content as well as other content can be promoted properly if you use your social media channels effectively. Don’t go overboard and try to sell yourself hard, but create content that will be informative as well as useful for the users out there. You could also mix in content from others along with your own in your posts. Ask friends, well-wishers, vendors and customers along with some others to spread the word and help you share your content.
#7. Talk about your customers in your content
First of all, ask your customers if they are fine with being included in your content. If yes, then use their stories and case studies, talk about how you’ve worked together beautifully by solving issues together and produced a positive outcome at the end of it all. Case studies such as these are good to educate your audience. And more often than not, your customers will be happy to be portrayed in a positive light. Publishing customer interviews is also a great idea.
#8. Heighten your content marketing results with the right inbound marketing software usage
Software such as HubSpot or something else lets you figure out what is working and what’s not. Know how well your landing pages are doing and measure your website traffic accordingly. Software can help you optimize your results and let you know how to garner the most favorable business results for your organisation.
#9. Watch your competitors
Do a thorough competitive analysis. This can be accomplished by getting someone to help you with an outsider’s point of view of the industry. Try and stay a little ahead of other companies and make a mark while doing so with the knowledge acquired.
#10. Communicate with your sales team
By working in tandem with the sales team, more leads can be generated as well as closed. Knowing how the sales function works and collaborating with them can help the business grow. Once a few metrics are in place, marketing and sales can work together in harmony and lead to success.
#11. Know your numbers well
This is not a choice; not knowing your numbers isn’t an option you can avail, irrespective of whether you’re comfortable with them or not. The right software and people can help you know these numbers like the back of your hand. HubSpot can help with the analytics and aid just about anyone, even those with no numbers at all.
#12. Pay Per Click and Advertising
Let the so-called ‘wise ones’ say what they want, but online advertising is a great way to get prospects to – at the very least – visit your website and/or the landing page. It is not only measurable but also scalable, and can be repeated extensively. But, attention needs to be paid to optimize ads and messaging correctly if we wish to attract the right leads.
This particular element showcases your prowess, and also entails the value you could add to the user. They even aid in building trust, helping with lead generations and also demonstrate the value a consulting company can bring to a client. Acting as an important source of information, prospects could even use these whitepapers to estimate the value of your organization.
So, what’s the conclusion?
We think inbound marketing is truly an effective way to drive growth. Costing less than traditional means, it helps with lead generation in an effective manner. Over time, it lends itself to generating traffic to your website and/or social media pages. If the process is thought out well and designed in the right manner, this traffic will automatically get converted to more leads. By drawing prospects into the sales funnel, it helps them take informed decisions and gradually moves them into the purchase phase.
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We’re looking forward to an inspiring week and spending time with like-minded people, see you there!