Inbound Marketing Strategies

Inbound marketing provides you with the best opportunity to connect with your audience in a way that's engaging and cost-effective. Today, businesses realize that outbound marketing tactics such as advertising and buying leads only go so far. With inbound marketing, you're connecting more directly with people, creating content they can actually use. Let's look at the top 5 inbound marketing tips and tricks to make it easier to engage with your audience.

Identify Your Goals

What do you want to accomplish with your inbound marketing campaigns? Before you simply answer "more customers" or "more sales," try to think about it a more deeply. Everyone wants to grow their business. Each campaign, however, should have a specific short-term goal.

For example, do you want your next campaign to generate a certain amount of revenue or are you more concerned with generating leads or brand building? It's certainly possible to do all of these things simultaneously, but certain tactics are more effective for generating quick sales while others are more suited for getting people to sign up for your newsletter or order free samples of your product.

Take the Time to Really Know Your Audience

One of the biggest reasons businesses fail with inbound marketing is that they don't really know the people they're talking to. It's not enough to simply have a broad niche such as healthcare, travel, pets, fitness or whatever industry you might be in. Your business and website needs to target actual people with real needs and problems.

In order to know your market, you need to do a certain amount of research before you start sending out emails, writing blog posts or engaging in any type of promotions. This includes:

  • Demographics. What's the typical age, gender, location, level of education, and income bracket of your audience?
  • What problems can you solve? Identify what your customers need most. For example, do they want to lose weight, have more attractive hair, get their oil changed faster, or grow tastier vegetables in their garden? Knowing this is essential for planning any inbound marketing campaigns.
  • Where does your audience hang out? While almost everyone uses Google and Facebook, other platforms are more segmented.┬áIf they're young, they probably use social media sites such as Snapchat and Instagram. Are there particular forums, social networks or websites that are especially popular with your customers?

Make the Most of Your Blog Posts

Blog posts are one of the simplest yet most effective tools for any type of inbound marketing. For one thing, blog posts give you a chance to use keywords in a natural way. Google no longer permits keyword stuffing, where you overuse keywords in the hope of getting ranked. However, by choosing keywords based on your visitors' actual interests, you make your content both more valuable to readers and search engine friendly. Keyword research is useful to help inspire you for blog topics.

Another great thing about blogging is that it's easy to connect your blog posts to social media. Once you publish a post, it only takes a few extra seconds to share it on Twitter, Facebook and other social sites. This helps you build your following all over the web. This also gives your followers many ways to share your content!

Think of your blog as a long-term investment in your business. Each post has longevity on the web and will add to your archive of content. To make your blog more compelling, add images and video to your text. Address issues that are important to your readers. The idea is to build your authority rather than to sell something right away.

Have a Strong Landing Page

Your landing page is where visitors take action. Whether it's to buy a product, request a sample, sign up for your newsletter or download a report, you need a landing page that's professional, compelling and highly targeted. Make the design attractive but simple. Images or a video are helpful for improving conversions, but don't have so many elements that it's distracting.

Make sure that this page closely matches whatever the visitor saw before landing here. A poor match will mean poor conversions. For example, if someone clicks on a post that promises a free solution and that finds he has to buy something, you've already failed to build trust.

Build Trust With Recommendations and Reviews

Today's consumers are more savvy than ever about checking out businesses before making purchases. As important as it is to offer great content and toot your own horn, it's even more compelling when other customers and disinterested parties speak up on your behalf. This brings us to the arena of testimonials, recommendations and reviews. Today, all businesses need online reviews. Here are a few guidelines to help you make the most out of this.

  • Build your reputation on LinkedIn. This is especially effective for B2B marketers. Endorsements are especially useful on LinkedIn. Endorse as many of your contacts as possible and many will return the favor. Simply building a strong presence on LinkedIn also helps your credibility.
  • Don't be shy about soliciting reviews. Happy customers are usually glad to provide reviews. Many people, however, won't think of doing so without being asked.
  • Leverage your reviews. Make sure you leverage your reviews for maximum benefit. Publish them on your website, share them on social media, use them on sales pages.
  • Manage your reputation. The flip side to soliciting positive reviews is that it's crucial to monitor the web for negative reviews and complaints. Set notices such as Google Alerts for your business so you know what people are saying about you. Very often, if you address negative remarks in a reasonable manner, you can resolve the issue and get the person to withdraw or update the comment.