Do you know what inbound marketing is? Are you interested to find out how it might benefit your business and improve your marketing ROI? This blog is designed to help you fully understand the concept of inbound marketing, including how you can use content, SEO and social media to generate leads.
What is inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a strategy designed to attract customers to your brand as opposed to having to go out and get their attention. It is the art of making your company easy to find by earning the attention of your visitors with captivating content.
The opposite approach is inbound marketing using tactics such as email and traditional forms of marketing such as direct mail, TV, radio and print advertising to attract your customers. With inbound marketing you earn visitors by offering something interesting instead of buying consumer attention.
Read more: Check our digital marketing kit. Learn meaningful and successful online marketing strategies for your products and services.
Where do you start?
First you need a website to act as the mothership for all your inbound marketing efforts. Your website should have a blog as well as links to all your email newsletter sign up and all associated social media profiles.
The next step is to develop a strong content strategy designed to push your visitors towards a conversion. Content is king when it comes to your inbound marketing efforts, so spending time planning this piece of the strategy is important. Ideally, your plan will include a content funnel designed to push your visitors towards a goal or conversion - we will look further into this concept later in the blog. Your content funnel could include some or all of the following types of content:
- Blogs - released weekly with information on trending topics, how to guides, top 10 lists and so on
- Whitepapers - between 7 - 15 pages of content designed to educate your audience on a specific topic
- Videos - usually instructional commentary on industry related subjects
- Webinars/Slideshare - A presentation on an industry concept or theme
- Podcasts - audio shows that usually include an interview with an industry expert
How to ensure your content is found?
There are two ways you can push your content out to your industry and earn the interest of your audience: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media.
- SEO is an art form that is constantly changing however there are some key elements of SEO that your content needs to perform well on the web:
- Keywords: Before you start writing your content, spend 10 minutes researching keywords to see what people are looking for online. Don’t presume you know, as you will likely be surprised by what users type into Google. Taking this extra step will set you apart from the competition.
- Make sure you use your chosen keywords, or keyword phrases for your page title, meta descriptions, URL, alt tags and header tags.
- Make sure your blog is mobile friendly.
- Ensure your images are all sized for the web and will not impact your page-speed.
You need to push all your content out on your social media platforms and, if you have the budget, boost your content to reach the audience that doesn’t already know you exist. The more reach you get, the higher the chance is you will push that prospective customer through your content funnel to a conversion. Social media posts that are successful also boost the SEO of that content too, so SEO and social now work together to bring you results.
What is a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel, or sales funnel, is designed to push visitors to leads and leads to customers and then customers to brand advocates. The idea is that you will attract an audience, generate leads, nurture this relationship until they convert and then nurture it further until they become a brand advocate.
There are some key features that your website must have to facilitate a marketing funnel strategy:
- Strong CTA (Call to Action) - You need to have your conversion CTA on every page of your website making it easy for your visitor to convert on any page. This maybe a button for ‘Sign up to Our Newsletter’ or a an offer such as “Contact us now for a Free Consultation”.
- Landing Page - A good landing page is vital to a successful inbound marketing campaign and holds the key wot converting customers vs. customers bouncing away, never to return. Your landing page should be well-written, serve a singular function, be easy to follow and simple to fill out of there is a form.
- Track events and goals - Every online campaign needs sufficient tracking to ensure the conversion funnel is working. Monitoring the analytics of a content funnel can help your to recognise a stage which has a huge drop off, so you can revisit and analyse the reason why this section is losing consumer interest. You can use Google Tag Manager to easily setup and monitor certain events happening on your website.
So there you have it, a quick 101 in inbound marketing with some starting points to get you going. Tell us how it goes over on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.