If your marketing efforts consist primarily of renting advertising space, paying for contacts or shouting your message from every rooftop, consider this your cue to make a change. The world of business has evolved dramatically in recent years and modern marketing is now all about finding ways to draw your target audience to you. Inbound marketing is designed to do just that and, according to HubSpot, it has been the most effective form of online business marketing since 2006. This is a brief look at all you need to know.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing focuses on creating and sharing content that your ideal customers will want and need most, making it easy for people looking for businesses like yours to find you a little more naturally. By saving time and money on searching for potential customers and competing for their attention, you can instead concentrate your efforts on nurturing those connections and establishing longer-lasting relationships. Want to know more? Let’s get started then, shall we?
Step 1 – Quality content and lots of it
Modern consumers will often spend a lot of time researching products and services before making their decision; therefore, providing quality content that is interesting, useful and engaging is a great way to get on their radar. The more content you add, the better; this way there will always be a reason for potential customers to keep coming back.
For best results, focus your efforts around the following important tools;
Nothing will attract more people to your website than a quality blog, particularly if every posting is insightful, meaningful and valuable. Whether you offer tips and advice, weigh in on the latest industry developments or highlight impressive projects you’ve been working on, use your blog content to build trust, establish your expertise and even show a little personality. Your blog also provides the perfect place to showcase your customer service skills, so use it respond to any questions, concerns and feedback you get as well.
If you have managed to attract a new visitor to your site, making a good impression is vital; after all, this may be your only opportunity to do so. Your web pages should clearly describe who you are, what you do, and why it matters; including clear, colourful and relevant imagery will make your site easier on the eyes, and adding testimonials from happy customers is another savvy move. Be sure to use simple language right throughout your site as well, because confusing people with jargon or complicated terms will never end well.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
For your target audience to find your business online it will need to feature prominently on search engine listings, which means having your website optimised for SEO purposes. Adding quality content to your site regularly will definitely help, though you also need to include keywords that people are likely to use when searching for businesses like yours, and do so naturally. While there is no shortage of online tools available to help you optimise your website (some of which are even free), investing in professional SEO services is an investment well worthwhile.
Effective inbound marketing is all about taking a multi-channel approach and being active on social media is a must. Aside from providing another venue to share engaging and valuable content, getting social provides a great way to take advantage of opportunities quickly as well as put out fires before they can do too much damage. You can also learn a lot about your target audience through those social channels, such as who they are, what they want and need, as well as what they think about you.
Step 2 – Generating leads
If you have attracted visitors to your site and managed to peak their interest, the next step is finding a way to engage with them further. For best results, each and every page of your website should include a call to action. Apart from making it obvious how interested parties can find out more or even make a purchase, leading potential customers to landing pages can be a great way to gather their all-important contact details.
Step 3 – Turning leads into sales
Getting a potential customer’s contact details provides a fantastic opportunity to get to know them a little better, though it is crucial that you are taking a measured and respectful approach; otherwise, you will likely scare them away. Marketing automation can play an important role, particularly early on in the relationship, as this is an efficient and effective way to ensure that those interested in your business find out more. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can also help by tracking each interaction and making it easier to tell how, when and where to connect.
Step 4 – Keep your finger on the pulse
If you have made it to this stage in your inbound marketing efforts, congratulations, because it means you have successfully turned those leads into customers, but if you expect them to stick around for long you need to show that you care about more than just their money. This means investing time and effort into getting to know your customers and constantly proving that you are worthy of their business. Look for every opportunity to solicit feedback, monitor mentions of your business online, and go out of your way to exceed expectations at every turn.
Inbound marketing won’t just make finding your ideal customers less of a lottery, it will make keeping them happy a whole lot easier as well, so stop pouring your marketing budget into the bottomless pit that is outbound marketing and switch your focus to a method that actually works. If you need help creating quality content for your inbound marketing efforts, I can help. Contact me today for a free consultation and quote.