Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. Inbound marketing should get at least the amount of attention given to outbound marketing, if not more. Customers who come by choice instead of being led by coercion are more loyal, spend more, and are the best word-of-mouth advertising.
Every business should have an inbound-marketing strategy that enables them to make the most of their content by using it to reach out to potential customers and retain existing customers. In this article we will look at the foundations of a successful inbound-marketing strategy: tried and tested techniques that bring customers closer to brands, such as blogging, videos, email newsletters and social-media marketing among others.
It’s Not Rocket Science
There are three very basic concepts in any successful inbound marketing campaign:
1. Create something great that people want to see or read.
2. Get your name and content in front of every eyeball possible.
So really, you only have to master two things. First of all, if you don’t have quality content there’s no point in even moving forward. If there’s no one in the company that’s currently capable of creating great content, you should hire someone. There are multitudes of freelancers out there, some undoubtedly with the skill set and knowledge that you need for your company’s campaigns.
Once you have great content, you have to let people know about it. Guess what? All of your target audience gets the same endless stream of marketing as everyone else does, so hanging a sign outside won’t cut it. The simplest way to get the furthest reach in the shortest amount of time is by using social media. If you don’t already have a social media campaign or even accounts, you might want to hire an agency to at least launch everything and help establish a presence online.
It would behoove you, however, to begin training people internally to eventually take over your inbound campaign and your social media marketing. There are plenty of skills they can learn to make your business more lean in the future by not requiring outsourcing, such as taking a Photoshop course, an HTML course or a video editing course.
You need a blog. A blog is the key component upon which you build your inbound strategy. It is the primary destination, from which sales, signups, and enrollments are born. That means that the content there needs to be astounding, quite frankly. It needs to draw attention quickly and hold it. It can’t be a series of “X things you should”. That doesn’t stand out anymore. A great way to start (and maintain) a blog for your business is to simply address the biggest issues of your customers or industry. What do people ask most about? What are their biggest complaints?
After a blog, you can consider whether your industry or company has the kind of information that would best fit an email newsletter, videos, or some other form of media and communication. You should also look into the possibility of contributing guest blogs to other sites that might earn you exposure or customers. Another great idea for your website is to include testimonials from past clients. These could be from a rating site like TripAdvisor, a comment from a Facebook post, or a handwritten note someone dropped by your office. You can even reach out to former customers and ask them for a testimonial. They’re the next best thing to word-of-mouth.