by Shannon R
 

5 Must-Have Components to Succeed at Inbound Marketing

Proven Strategies to Attract New Audiences - Download the guide

We’re sure you’ve heard about the power of inbound marketing but what does that really mean? What’s all the fuss about? Inbound marketing is an essential tactic to attract potential customers to your website with the intent of purposely connecting them with the value of your products and services. Once you cultivate a recognizable brand that’s providing real-time value to the target audiences you’ve built your experience around, prospects will return to you when they need to find a solution to the challenge your product (or service) solves.

The four main stages of inbound marketing can easily be chalked up to attracting, engaging, closing and delighting. These stages are focused on building an emotional relationship with your client base using knowledge as the main vehicle for establishing trust. Although tactics may vary depending on your specific business or campaign, your central goal is to gain loyal customers who will advocate for and promote your product or service by being confident in the value your customer experience brings to the table.

So that begs the question, how do I start building an effective inbound marketing strategy? We figured you may be overwhelmed with the thousands of articles on the topic (Thanks Google!) so we’ve boiled it down to five simple strategies to kick off your growth campaigns.

  1. Building Brand Awareness: Attract Audiences With Buyers’ Intent

    The best way to organically attract new but engaged audiences to your website is to create high-quality content that’s relevant to their search behavior and immediate needs. This content can come in a number of formats, including:

    • Blogs
    • Vlogs (video blogs)
    • Social Media Posts
    • Downloadable eBooks & eGuides
    • Whitepapers
    • eCourses & Webinars
    • Podcasts
    • Content Hubs or Libraries
    • Surveys & Quizzes
    • Infographics
    • Microsites

    The method of delivering content that is best for you depends on where they are searching and how your potential customers prefer to digest information. Ultimately, interviews and consumer research help determine exactly how the content you produce will fit into your audience’s custom journey, and what role it will play in delivering tangible results so tools such as SurveyMonkey, TypeForm, and audience data collected from Google Analytics can help your marketing team make decisions which lead to more personalized customer experiences.

  1. Making An Impression: Create Content That Provides Unique Customer Value

    Even with the most innovative content, your digital marketing efforts (and results) will fall short if you’ve managed to exclude optimization for search engine discovery across devices including desktop, mobile, and voice assistants. Conventionally, the use of short and long-tail target keywords in your posts, factor heavily into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) whether that’s your company’s latest Q&A on Quora or a long-form post on Medium. The latest research shows that keywords are a less important factor than they used to be in Google's algorithm however the search marketing experts at SEMrush found the most important SEO ranking factors are:

    • Website visits
    • Time spent on site
    • Pages per session
    • Bounce rate
    • Referring domains

    So basically it comes down to, if the page content is loved by the user, search engines are going to love it too.

  1. Tell Your Story: A Million Different Ways If Possible

    Many brands and companies pour time, effort and money into creating content, but get so consumed in constantly churning out new content, they forget to take the time to make sure audiences get multiple opportunities to digest it. In our crowded and information-packed world, 'build it and they will come' won't cut it as a sales mantra. In addition to ensuring SEO is a core component of your marketing mix, content should be promoted on key channels where your target audiences are searching, engaging with others on similar topics and above all, looking for dynamic media types (video, animations, illustrations etc.) to convince them of the value they’re looking to convert on.

    Some effective ways to amplify content include:

    • Leveraging social media channels by audience type
    • Creating a consistent email newsletter distribution
    • Engaging Influencers to endorse your product
    • Using native advertising platforms like Outbrain, Taboola, Revcontent, and Sharethrough
    • Direct publishing to sites like LinkedIn and Medium where audiences have specific user search behaviors
    • Answering relevant Reddit and Quora questions with facts drawn from your content
    • Repurposing content into different formats to reach new audiences
  1. Find Your Tribe

    Writing consistently and guest posting can allow you to grow your reach but if you’re not speaking to audiences who need your guidance or expertise, who is going to listen? Many times when a site has high traffic but low conversion it’s because irrelevant audiences are being targeted. When looking to share content across platforms such as Buzzfeed Community or thinking about pitching your product to Refinery 29, be sure to look for sites that share the same or similar demographic audience profiles as your target personas.

    If you are not publishing your work on blogs with an audience who’s lifestyle needs connect to the content you’re producing, you’ve probably spent all that cash on a content writing service for naught. Users’ attention is a new age commodity and we’ve got to make sure we’re leveraging content that’s worth their time to trade.

  1. Give a Little to Get A Little.

    Creating, optimizing, and amplifying great content will draw traffic to your website, but it's an impressive user experience that will help convert your visitors into honest-to-goodness customers.

    Produce "gated" or "premium" content offers, so that audiences get a chance to really see what you’re worth but in turn, you learn a little more about them whether that’s just their email address for keeping them in the loop with brand announcements or sending them a follow-up coupon offer at a later date. Whitepapers, eBooks, special reports, product trials, and other freebies are often great formats to start out with and with further testing, you can find the sweet spot of which formats rank high with your high converting audiences.

    You may also want to keep in mind:

    • Remove all website navigation, outbound links, and other distractions from landing pages to ensure that you’re guiding users through focused user experiences and personalized sales funnels.
    • Take a "less is more" approach when asking users to complete gated form fields.
    • Be bold and dynamic in how you offer free content. Give a free webinar, host a free workshop at your local coffee house, be sure to be human and value-based in any initiative you choose to launch in a bid to amplify your inbound marketing success.

    No matter what outcome you hope to achieve with your digital user experience, without clear goals and a strong inbound marketing strategy that’s built on user behavior and analytics, success will be challenged because personalization is not at the core of what you’re building. Using a combination of effective marketing tools, channels, and just a human-centered approach, you’ll be on track towards building a results-driven inbound strategy if you pay attention to where your audiences are searching, what they’re looking for and how they’re finding it.

  1. Want to learn more on how you can use inbound marketing to create personalized digital customer experiences and increase brand lift?

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