Inbound marketing are becoming extremely popular; in short refers to strategies, tactics and approaches that draw visitors to your website. Traditional marketing consists of marketing representatives, mail and billboard advertisements, cold-calling and e-mail lists very much less effective than inbound marketing. Inbound marketing consists of captivating content publications to attract customers, organic search traffic and opt-in email forms. Inbound marketing is the key to attracting visitors and building a reputation for your business or online presence whether it’s e-commerce, SaaS (Software as service), B2C (Business to consumer), B2B (Business to business), tech or non-tech, or even as far as brick and mortar businesses.
Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing
Know and understand the difference! There is a fine line between capturing and luring a visitor to your web space using innovative and interesting ideas and attempting to ‘buy’ their attention and spam them with unsolicited emails, printing stacks of leaflets, outsourcing telemarketing and trade shows. Ways to interest and attract the viewer to become a visitor requires some creativity, experimenting and possibly humour.
Outbound marketing is the old fashioned out dated ineffective short cut mistakes made by publishers who ‘buy’ e-mail lists & ads and praying for leads. Outbound marketing focuses more on the potential customer having to search for you instead of them discovering you and coming to YOU. Outbound marketing interrupts someone’s path to get their attention, whereas inbound marketing organically, naturally draws the viewer in to your web space.
Inbound marketing features a range of tactical content formats in the form of eBooks, White papers, blog posts, video tutorials, WebCasts, press releases, social media marketing & how-to guides. All of which actively engages and captivates the reader keeping them interested and leaves them wanting more.
Importance of Inbound Marketing
Firstly and probably most importantly – it’s affordable, as opposed to outbound marketing. Research prevailed inbound marketing costs 62% less than traditional outbound marketing with regards to leads. Visitors have grown to almost instantly reject promotional messages without even a second glance. This is why it is important to know what your viewers want, to attract their attention more effectively. Knowing their challenges, their needs and what exactly they are looking for better assist you in being able to provide the right kind of content or information to them to turn them into a visitor that may ultimately become a client.
Be in control of your web space’s goals, measures and objectives. By keeping record of your website’s analytics and constantly testing the water with new ideas and reacting to the outcomes accordingly enables you to stay focused and motivated on putting in effort to reaching targets and constant improvement. You may present your statistics and successes as being credible on the topic or service.
Measuring your success and failures is key for continued success; inbound marketers that measure ROI are 17 times more likely to generate the same or greater ROI when they compared their findings with the previous year, proof that data-focused marketing continuously successfully optimize their viewer approach year by year.
Benefits of implementing Inbound Marketing
Leads that are generated from inbound marketing are not only received in droves, but they’re also of higher quality. The majority of respondents say their inbound leads are more knowledgeable and informed about the product/service than outbound leads. Just one of the many positive results of creating consistent, quality content. Here are a few stats derived from research done on the matter;
- 91% of email users unsubscribe from a company email they opted into after a year or less
- 84% of 25-34-year-olds have left a favourite website as a result of intrusive or irrelevant advertising
- 86% of people skip or avoid television advertisements
- 44% of direct mail is never opened and goes directly to the trash
Inbound marketing is a full time job. Results simplifies the jobs of the sales and marketing team and increases the Brand’s awareness and visibility of the business. The buyer’s journey is researched and a highly-strategic methodical luring and advertising process are put in place. Research on your target consumer group help you keep up to date with the latest trends and to plan for implementing trendy compelling content to attract attention and generate leads from.
Tips for effective inbound marketing strategies/approaches
1) Offer Free Information/guides
If you are looking to get someone to visit your site, make sure to captivate their attention by providing them on detail about the ins and outs of the business and trade. Make sure the information/guide on your web space is directly relevant to your business and that you play a vital role in the process explained in the guide. Provide cold hard facts and statistics that is sure to boost the visitor’s confidence in you and your business. This is a great way to include yourself in their bigger picture and paint a picture for them as they follow through your guide.
Your web space should be resourceful to the visitor, if one article/guide captures their attention and they liked what they read they will be looking for more. Make sure your library/collection of guides/articles stretches as far and wide and the reader/visitor’s mind. . If the visitor liked what he read he might even opt-in on your mailing list and be included in your newsletter(s) and special offers.
Your inbound marketing content should educate, inspire, entertain and engage the viewer/visitor with the ultimate goal to change them from a viewer to visitor to lead to customer/subscriber.
2) Choose your keywords wisely
The power of keywords are almost synonymous with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To successfully attract web traffic to your site you need to include the relevant keywords one were to use in a search engine. Don’t overcrowd your web space with keywords to try and get on top of the search result pages in search engines, rather focus on a few specific key words that visitors will in particularly be searching for. The keyword density to aim for should be around 1% – 3% ideally. Overusing your keywords may cause Google to penalise you for stuffing and may result in a poor reading experience for your audience.
Very few inbound marketers understands keywords and how to use them for the best desired outcome. Keywords are used to keep your topics on track, know what exactly you are targeting. Decide and determine how your keywords affect the search for the viewer; Short tail keywords may cover a broad topic for a broad spectrum of customers. Where long tail keywords cover a more specific topic but is considered to be more informative and accurate.
Keywords can be included in many placed on your web space:
- In the URL of the website
- The main body/content of the site/page
- Title tags
- Image alt texts
- The page title or
- In the meta description (This is a useful string of text derived from the Search Engine about the page which reads well and features search terms)
There are a number of helpful tools online at HubSpot and SEOMoz for instance to test and optimise your keyword utilisation. Include the relevant service specific and product specific terms that are obvious choices. Visit Google Trends to further test and return results helpful to your keyword/term usage. After you have found and are happy with your keywords and terms lists, test them and research their result outcomes from previous users’ experiences. Note factors that include the monthly search volume, momentum and difficulty ratings. Keyword utilization is more than just plucking and picking words to make viewers find you more easily, it takes understanding of both human and data behaviours.
3) Own it!
Be flexible and confident enough to build your own personal brand and style. Build up and advertise yourself and your online presence as innovative as well as a leader. It is impossible to separate yourself from your business, so it is important to build your own personal brand and style accordingly. You may alternatively rather build your brand and use your personal brand to promote it. Being a walking advertisement with the way you carry yourself and involve yourself in the community can create great leads from word to mouth. Influencing outreach by being present at social gatherings and charity fund raising awareness events, actively building and assisting the community are sure to benefit your cause and followers.
Blogging and guest blogging is a great way to attract a big audience. This allows for users to link your web space on their social media and friends as well as advertising around their content either for them or their readers. Little more than 50% of companies who blog reported leads from their blog were “below average” in cost. The average budget for company blogs and social media influence has increased to double in the last few years and for good reason; Research reported that around 57% of businesses have obtained customers through their company blog.
4) Engage your audience
Use social media to ask and answer questions. You cannot rely on social and social media for conversions, but it may serve as a powerful method for inbound marketing to enhance your brand. You need to be involved in conversations, answer questions and tweets and be aware that there is a person behind every follower and ‘like’. Don’t just have a presence, be a presence! Here are some stats related to feedback from companies utilizing social media;
- 42% of businesses have gained customers/followers through Twitter
- 48% of businesses have gained customers through Facebook
- 57% of businesses have gained customers through LinkedIn
- 67% of B2C companies and
- 41% of B2B companies have acquired customers through Facebook.
Don’t just use social media for your advertisement, social media should be used for spreading compelling content that draws viewers and makes them want to share your content – which should only include you and/or your business in a positive light.
Create web site pop ups; There are a lot of mixed feelings about pop ups in websites, many people hate them, but they have proven to be successful IF used correctly, especially in getting users to opt-in on email lists. Do proper research on what works for the specific crowd you are looking to attract. For instance, let a pop up appear after the visitor remained active on your web space for longer than a certain amount of time. Instant pop ups upon entering a web space have become very unpopular and frankly annoying to the person visiting with the intention of learning more about you. Immediate pop ups give the feel of being interrupted.
Many strategies and approaches exist to implement inbound marketing effectively, these have proven positive impacts in businesses and may be the best start to implementing inbound marketing in your online presence. It works on the same concept of “out with the old, in with the new” form of advertising that approach and engage visitors by appealing to their interests and not by smothering them with ads. Giving your target audience the power and control to choose instead of interrupting them or disrupting their experience. Providing an offer or suggestion that entertains and inform potential customers on statistics, advantages, disadvantages and risks that may sway them into your recommended course of action, product or service.
Inbound marketing is an ongoing ever-growing process constantly developing and constantly changing. Its processes form a ‘tree’ with branches of expertise, each branch having its own purpose. Staying on top of new and relevant ways that have been researched and tested ensures a constant success rate with your inbound marketing. Each branch needs to be kept relevant and up to date or the whole ‘tree’ might suffer.
What are your current marketing channels and how they are performing? Let me know in the comments.
Leave a Reply