Below you will learn: What is Inbound Marketing and why?
All types of businesses, especially start-ups and smaller businesses, can benefit from these inbound marketing techniques.
Every business needs to invest time and resources into some form of marketing. But what kind of marketing is the most efficient? Most conventional marketing methods are too costly or unfruitful for smaller businesses and start-ups to pursue.
This is why inbound marketing, and its multitude of anchors, are ideal for any business – but most importantly for smaller business and start-ups. Inbound marketing, at its core, is about attracting prospects to your business rather than mindlessly advertising to find those prospects.
Table of contents:
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing has become one of the most effective marketing methods for grabbing consumer’s attention and driving customer traffic to businesses online. It has been evolving steadily since the millennium and is now at an optimal point where if used properly, should be one of the greatest marketing tools for bringing additional customers to your business.
Instead of the traditional outbound marketing techniques such as paying for ads, purchasing expensive email lists, or just plainly praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses solely on creating great quality content that pulls people inwards toward your company and products.
You create the choice, and this is where consumers naturally want to be. By aligning your content with customer’s interests, you unsurprisingly attract inbound traffic which you can then convert into long term and loyal customers.
Inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content which is tailored and designed to appeal to your target audience, inbound marketing attracts qualified leads and prospects to your business and when maintained properly, it keeps customers coming back for more.
Inbound marketing – but who is my intended audience?
By circulating great meaningful content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes a consistent stream of value and information to your customer base, as opposed to being interruptive and belligerent.
Businesses don’t want any old traffic coming to their websites – businesses want the right traffic coming to their website with a view to turn any footfall into long term valued visitors and customers.
Bottom line – businesses need people browsing their websites that are highly likely to become leads, and essentially, long term connections. These are the sorts of people we want browsing our websites.
Stuck for content? Consider publishing free guides & giveaways.
Inbound marketing is a playground for creativity. HubSpot are paving the way in this field. Consider publishing free guides and giveaways that may be of interest to your audience.
If you’re looking for a brilliant working model of a company that effectively produces and circulates free guides, then look no further than HubSpot. They boast a gigantic ‘library’ of free resources, guides and giveaways and are certainly the exemplar model to gain some inspiration and tips.
How do I know if inbound marketing is working?
It’s not enough to merely have a presence with your marketing. Instead, you need to engage using multiple platforms. Social media is social. And inbound marketing is active.
That means that there are genuine people behind every like, follow and interaction. In order to connect with such people, you need to ask engaging questions, respond to questions, respond to tweets, understand pins and +1s, and generally maintain your presence.
This will ensure a steady flow of traffic and attention to the content that you share.
HubSpot attentively monitor their brand and scour the social realms for mentions. People might feel more obliged to hashtag, tweet or talk about the company due to their brilliant output and the value which their content brings to each reader.
Each social mention provides a foundation for HubSpot (or your business) to interact and engage with real people, therefore maximising brand image and enhancing reach into other streams and networks. You need to focus on creating a ‘web’ of content and engagement that synergises with your marketing strategy and brings value to your readership.
Apply SEO and keyword optimisation to your content
The most important feature of SEO is the power keywords. To take full advantage of this, you need to ensure that you are using relevant keywords within the content that you share. Some may argue that keywords are not as effective and influential as they have been in the past but don’t be fooled.
Keywords are phrases that people type into search engines to find your content. If you can effectively identify the most popular keywords that your content stems from and make use of them in the proper way, then you will highly increase your chances of driving inbound traffic to your company. Use free tools like Wordstream’s keyword tool, or Übersuggest.
It’s good to have a comprehensive list of keywords that you’re tracking and targeting, but it’s a waste of time to try and win all of these keyword categories at once. Best practice is to focus on a few keywords and to optimise the hell out of them.
The Inbound Way…
Inbound marketing strategy is all about providing remarkable content to your audience, whether they are visitors, leads, or even existing customers. Just because someone has already purchased or paid for your services, it doesn’t mean they just go out the window and we forget about them.
Modern companies that are making the best use out of inbound marketing continue to engage with, delight and (ideally) evolve their current customer base into happy promoters of your products and services.
Social media is a playground for inbound marketing..
Social media has transformed inbound marketing into a much more viral and interactive experience.
Instead of just hearing about companies and going to them, potential customers can now find companies, follow companies, and interact with those companies online. There have been many studies to show that Social media has, up until this point, had a low track record for bringing customer conversions.
Email and organic search are by far the best sources for conversion still to this day. Don’t depend upon your social media campaigns for conversions as a priority, however, you should embrace social media as the powerful inbound marketing machine that is it.
It may not necessarily bring conversions, but it offers many great benefits to your brand.There are real people behind every like and every follow.
This is why it is called Social Media. In order to connect with your target audience, you need to ask questions, answer questions, respond to tweets, recognise and reciprocate +1s, and work to maintain your presence. It’s not enough to merely just have a presence.
You can integrate social media into your inbound marketing strategy, and use it as a leverage tool to drive and filter highly relevant traffic to your business website, blog and/or company services.
Inbound marketing empowers marketers to attract visitors, convert leads, close leads into customers, and provide promoters with something to share and spread around on your behalf.
Inbound marketing doesn’t just happen – it has a source – and that source is you. This is achieved using tools and applications that help you to create and deliver content that will appeal to precisely the right people (your customers), in the right places (your blog/channels), at the right time (when your plan is working properly).