Often businesses have started different forms of online marketing without much clue of what they’re doing. After months of investing time, efforts, and resources, they don’t see significant improvement and form a permanent mental block against online marketing.
Customers get constantly bombarded with sales messages and over time, have learned to tune these messages out. Through inbound marketing strategies, we focus on distributing relevant content through different channels with a goal to stop chasing and spending on customers. Inbound marketing gives you high conversion rates with zero ad expenditure.
The reason it’s called “inbound” marketing is that we focus on attracting the customers naturally, not through paid ads or other forms of outbound marketing.
So, all strategies we will see in this article are focused on the customer and are fully opposite to those followed in outbound marketing.
Define your business
Every organization (big or small) needs to have a clear picture of its business verticals, goals in each vertical, revenue goals, and a sales process.
Unless you are the pioneer of your industry, you will have many competitors. So, it’s important to understand the state of your own industry too. You need to stay abreast of latest trends, current news, events, and marketplaces where you can list your company to generate more leads.
Define your customer
To attract the customer to your brand, you must know what the customer likes, how they want it and how you can satisfy that need. To this effect, you must define a buyer persona.
Content Marketing Institute defines a buyer persona as a nine-part information document having the right depth and insight for the content team to find ideas that customers can identify with.
These 9 parts help define the customer profile:
- A typical day-in-the-life of your customer
- Professional problems of the customer which you can solve
- Customer’s professional objectives
- Relevant professional obstacles
- Customer professionally placement
- Any important information they may need (at each stage of the sales funnel) to make a professional purchase.
- Any content preferences of your customer
- Any favorite keywords or phrases of the customer? This gives a huge indication of the style they prefer and the information that is critical to them.
- Buyer interaction scenarios for your ideal customer combining his/her professional tendencies and trigger points.
Create content that resonates with your buyer persona
CMI defines content marketing as:
…a strategic marketing approach to generate relevant and highly-valuable content on a consistent basis to form a long-term relationship with a well-defined customer.
Content marketing is a big part of inbound marketing. The buyer persona will be the input of your content team. The content your brand generates must be in-tune with the style and tone preferred by your customer. This can be found out by looking at the type of content they already engage with, on a daily basis.
Strengthen your SEO
The goal of SEO is to show Google you have content relevant to certain keywords, which visitors will find useful. For this, you have to get your content ranked on Google first.
To optimize your content for search engines, you need to focus on three important aspects:
- On-page SEO: Insert your keywords in a healthy-ratio throughout your article, in images, and in the meta Also focus on adding long-tail keywords, which are more specific customizations of your original keywords. Long-tail keywords help you target customers who are closer to conversion in your funnel. Don’t overdo keywords; Google calls it keyword stuffing. And stuffed content never ranks well!
- Interlinking: Don’t interlink just for the sake of driving traffic from one page to another. If you do that, you may end up with visitors only clicking and opening new tabs. Rather than focusing on “where should I drive traffic to?”, focus on “which articles on my website will the visitor find more relevant while reading the current article”.
- Off-page SEO: To tell you the truth, content is king, and backlinks are the queen. Without backlinks, it is VERY, very hard to rank your content. Yes, there have been case studies where SEO experts have successfully ranked without building any backlinks but they usually target very low competition keywords. Not every business niche will have low competition keywords. The more backlinks you generate from relevant high authority sites, the more relevant your content appears to Google.
You can use paid tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush for competitor backlink analysis. Websites like SEO Tools Group Buy and Flikover provide group buy services where you can make use of their interface for using the paid tool. Group buy prices are usually much lower than buying your own account.
Lead Capture and Lead Nurturing
Select a reliable web host for your website so that you don’t lose traffic, leads, and customers because of hosting downtime. Plugins like Thrive Leads and OptinMonster can be integrated while setting up a website. They allow you to create beautiful and professional-looking designs for your email subscription pop-up boxes. These plugins are also highly optimized for conversion.
Once you have their email, the right way is plugging sales content sporadically and after you have given them enough high-value content through email. Once they have bought a service or a product from you, use this trust to make an upsell for higher-value products.
The whole idea of lead nurturing is that you need to sell the right product/service to the right customer, to someone who really needs it. Email is a great way to nurture your leads because it exposes them to your services and when they make a purchase, they are automatically qualified!
Inbound marketing starts with getting a more refined picture of your own business and building a buyer persona that accurately reflects your ideal customer. The buyer persona will be an input to your content team, so make it as in-depth as possible with as many relevant professional details. The content marketing team will then focus on generating high-value, relevant content consistently.
Once you are able to capture users email addresses, you have given your brand an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with your customers. Use email to nurture leads and further strengthen your relationship with your customers.
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