In the age of smart consumers and social media, inbound marketing has proven to be effective for both company and client in reducing cost, solving problems, and producing results.
One of the biggest challenges that businesses face today is that of growth. With so many ideas, software, and methodologies being introduced daily for how businesses can maximize their marketing dollars, boost sales, and increase revenue, it can be hard to discern between those options which work and those which don’t. One option that has proven to work when it comes to business growth is that of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing or “pull” marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing, also known as “push” marketing, which involves traditional forms of advertising such as purchasing an ad in a local magazine or newspaper, getting a spot on radio, mailing out print sales flyers, and making cold calls. Even though outbound marketing is effective to a certain degree and in certain industries, it requires marketers to expend a lot of effort, time, and money. Additionally, outbound marketing is largely a one-way conversation, is often considered intrusive and irrelevant, and can be hard to measure.
In the age of smart consumers and social media, inbound marketing is more effective because it allows for a two-way conversation between customer and company, costs less, involves publishing relevant content solutions to solve customer problems, and produces measurable results. When you use inbound marketing to grow your business, you focus on pulling in potential customers online by creating quality content through blogs, podcasts, video, white papers, eBooks, and other forms. In other words, you earn their attention instead of begging for their attention.
3 Tips to Grow Your Business with Inbound Marketing
1. Do Your Research
To create an effective inbound marketing strategy, you must have a thorough understanding of what your business does, how your industry is changing, and what your customers want. Once you have clearly defined the key performance indicators your business will measure success by, the revenue goals your business desires to reach, and what growth means to your business, then you will be in a better position to identify and implement inbound marketing tactics that work for your business.
Doing research on the industry that your business is in will help you stay abreast of any recent changes, products, or ideas that are around the curve. Instead of being blindsided by sudden happenings, research industry will keep you up to date on current events and news so you will always be able to produce relevant content, be able to ensure that the goals your business has are realistic, and be able to stay beside or even ahead of your business competitors.
Research will also help you better understand your customer demographics, as well as what sort of content forms they most respond to.
2. Create Amazing Content
Once you know what sort of content forms your customers are most likely to respond to, you can then begin creating that sort of content. A dynamic website, a relevant blog, engaging social media posts, entertaining videos, and informative white papers are all key tools when it comes to inbound content marketing. Blogging is a terrific way to drive traffic to your business website. For your content creation to support your inbound marketing strategy, be sure to: (1) find a niche in which to write, (2) publish the right content, (3) publish that right content consistently, (3) place calls-to-action (CTAs) in your blogs posts, website articles, or at the end of your videos.
While inbound marketing is not the same as content marketing, an integral part to having an effective inbound marketing campaign is unique, relevant – and sometimes, premium – content. According to HubSpot, “Google now values websites/brands that create fresh, relevant content on a regular basis and have a growing social network of followers that like and share that content.” Never get stuck in creating only one form of content when there are so many you can use, including: eBooks, infographics, and podcasts.
3. Engage Your Leads
After creating content to drive traffic to your website, you must work on turning that traffic into leads. To do this, consider offering premium content such as webinars, case studies, slide decks, white papers, and eBooks. Premium content is a way to place value on your original insight and work and to begin establishing your business as a credible, leading authority in your industry.
Before they access the premium content, you can require visitors to provide their contact information via a form or landing page. Providing the required information shows they are interested in your business, and that they have switched from being a visitor to being a lead.
Research has shown that inbound leads are more likely to become customers, compared to leads gained from outbound marketing; but as you bring in leads, you must stay in constant contact with them to keep them engaged with your business. Regularly communicating with your leads will help you determine what specific product or service they are looking for from your business, what questions they want your business to answer, and whether they will soon make the jump from lead to customer.