So, what exactly is “inbound marketing” and what is the difference from “outbound marketing?” This is a question I used to ask myself all the time when I first became a marketing major in college. For many, marketing comes easy, along with all of the terms “marketers” use. Now I’ll admit it I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, I have my moments, but one thing that does come easy to me is the concept of inbound marketing strategies.
Let me ask you, by a show of hands or “likes” on this post, do you know what the difference between “inbound” and “outbound” marketing is? If not, keep reading. If you do, then feel welcome to jump ahead to the top 10 changes to drive up your results.
Inbound marketing is simply advertising, A different kind of advertising. Inbound consists of getting people to come to you. Through your blogs, videos, podcasts, eNewsletters, eBooks, SEO, and social media marketing to name a few. There are other forms of content marketing as well that many people use to create “inbound” approaches. Outbound marketing is when you’re simply buying attention through mail, radio, TV commercials, flyers, spam, and email marketing along with many other approaches. With “inbound” marketing, you can help yourself “get found” by others already out there in your industry yearning to learn and shop what your industry has to offer.
Here are the top 10 changes you should make to drive up your inbound marketing results.
1. Share your blogs across all social media platforms. Share your blogs with friends, followers, connections you’ve made on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other sites. You will continue to drive up more traffic to your website and this way you can create new leads and close more sales. Social media marketing opens a huge door for businesses and the opportunity to connect with potential prospects. Most of your prospects are already on a social media platform and are actively looking for educational material.
2. Is your website sending the right message? If not, fix it. They say you have 10 seconds to capture the attention of your visitor before they hit the back button. Your prospects want to feel like you “get them.” understand their challenges and have solutions to fix them. This tends to be a very common and difficult challenge for marketers. People make most of their purchasing decisions on an emotional level, don’t overlook the important things.
3. Share blog content with key groups. LinkedIn for example is a place to connect with people who match many target audiences profiles. There are a ton of people who use LinkedIn groups for every kind of industry, role, and firm. Identify groups that include your “perfect prospect” join these groups and begin sharing your content.
4. Create and add graphic call to action buttons. Gone are the days of plain and simple links, today you need flash, colorful, graphics that are visually appealing that will attract your visitors. You want them to click and communicate with you, make it valuable. This will also help you increase the number of leads from your website.
5. Create visitors into leads. To do this you need a conversion strategy, here is where landing pages come into play. Create dedicated landing pages that use your best practices to convert your visitors into leads. Don’t use a page navigation, this tends to distract visitors and make them leave your page. Use images of your material and offer a brief description of the product. Make sure your visitor feels comfortable.
6. Who doesn’t love special offers? Add offers to your website and make sure they are appealing to your customers and prospects at all stages of the buying process. Inbound marketing has proven that educational material, such as videos, eBooks, podcast and invites to webinars help increase your likelihood on generating leads. Consider people who request such material as “leads” but they are not ready to speak with a sales person yet.
7. Create Campaigns. Build a lead nurturing email to continue conversation with possible new leads. Do so even after they have downloaded your material. Continue sending them regular emails with more educational content after they have downloaded original material. You must nurture all the way through your sales process.
8. Blog at least three to four times a week. Blogging help by adding fresh content to your pages on a regular basis. Google then rewards sites with fresh content by increasing their likelihood of moving up on the search results pages. You may be on page three today and by next week you may be on page one or two. Blogging gives you and your business the advantage with an authentic voice and allows you to display though leadership. Share your perspectives, this way your prospects will engage with you more quickly and convert from a visitor to a lead.
9. Double T! Track and test everything you offer. Just like in science you have to test your hypothesis and track your results, same thing goes for inbound marketing. Your tools needed for your research include tools for analytics, testing and content creation. Your final package must provide marketers with tracking results, be able to measure effectiveness, create easy to use testing environments, and also produce a more powerful, quantitative, reiterate results in the program.
10. Reuse Content. What are at least three other websites potential prospects use? Can you identify them? If so, drive these prospects back to your site. Reusing content is a key factor an inbound marketing. It can be difficult to create original content consistently, but you can offer your blog content, eBooks, slideshows on other sites that are looking for content of their own. When they post your content with a link back to your site this is a back-link and you get more visitors, leads, and possibly more potential customers. You don’t want to create duplicate content you just simply want to share it with others and make sure to update content regularly.
It’s been stated that most marketers today spend ninety percent of their efforts on outbound marketing and ten percent on inbound marketing, in today’s world these numbers need to be switched. By adding these ten elements to your inbound marketing effort, you will begin to start seeing your business being found, getting leads and eventually closing sales.
Content Creator/Blogger/Social Media Strategist