This is where inbound marketing comes in.
Instead of wasting resources chasing individuals who may or may not have a need for your product, you can focus on winning over those who are already looking for you. By making yourself discoverable and accessible to those whose needs you can meet, you dramatically increase the likelihood of conversion and make your entire marketing strategy more efficient.
There are several avenues from which to approach inbound marketing, and not all of them will be ideal for your business. So to help you get going, here are a few tried and tested approaches that are easy to implement and can yield great results. Here’s to making inbound easy.
The staple of any digital marketer, blogging is always a brilliant place to start. After all, once customers have found your website, there needs to be something there for them to look at. By creating high-quality content that appeals to your target audience, you increase the value of your website to those individuals. You also vastly increase your likelihood of appearing in relevant searches — it’s one of the easiest ways to set yourself up as a leading light in your industry.
Quality content does not always need to be informative; it can be entertaining, reflective, or insightful, for example. However, it is important to ensure that each piece of content offers something useful to your intended customers.
Unique, varied, interesting content is invaluable when it comes to keeping customers interested, and encouraging them to return to your website. You can be as creative and off-the-wall as you like with it, as long as you can find a way to make it relevant to your audience.
The best way to get people to find your website is to ensure that it ranks well in searches. This means polishing your SEO and figuring out exactly what people search for when they want to find the type of product or service that your business provides.
As you already know, a lot of this will come down to identifying target keywords for your niche, and building your content around these words and phrases. It also requires you to have a well-indexed site, with clear, relevant information throughout. This helps web crawlers to effectively index your website, determine its function, and rate its usefulness to its intended audience — potentially selecting it for a featured snippet.
Building your landing pages is a big part of this optimization process, as these will often be the first thing a user sees when arriving at your site. As such, it needs to be eye-catching, evocative, and functional. Not only do you want users to stick around and explore, but you also want to be able to meet their needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Of course, your offsite SEO is also important, and you should keep your target keywords, along with your overarching brand message, in mind at all times. Remember, there is more to SEO than keywords and backlinks, and factors such as social proof now play a significant part in your SERPs.
Discover which social media platforms your audience uses and focus a portion of your marketing efforts there. This could include hosting Q&As, showcasing products, or even sharing video content.
Encourage users to share, review, and comment on your content. This will boost its visibility, and also cause your audience to feel more involved with your brand.
Reach out to influencers to promote your brand to a wider audience, and allow them to see your products in action.
Optimize your content for mobile browsing. Google favors mobile-friendly pages, so it is worth investing in this aspect of your business if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. This is especially true for any businesses looking to make the most of local search which is now hugely mobile-focussed.
There is always more to do when it comes to SEO, but by keeping an eye on your rankings, you can figure out what’s working for you and what requires a new approach. Over time, this will greatly improve your website’s searchability, which in turn should mean more leads, and more sales.
At first glance, email marketing might seem like an outbound tactic. However, while blanket messages to purchased mailing lists fall into this category, email marketing can also be used as an inbound strategy. The difference is that your email campaign is directed solely at those who have chosen to sign up to your mailing list.
Setting up automated email campaigns is a big part of lead nurturing, and a great way to make your customers feel connected to your business. Consider including personal touches, such as opening with the user’s name, or including featured products based on the individual’s taste profile.
Another great way to get your brand’s name out there is to post guest features on other sites. Make sure there is some connection between your business and the website you’re posting on, as you want their audience to be interested in your content, and click through to your website.
The reason this works as an inbound tactic is similar to the advantages of being shared on social media. Because your content is featured on a website that the readers already know and trust, they are more likely to invest time into reading it. If it hits the mark, there is then a good chance that they will investigate further. As an added bonus, they will arrive at your website with a positive impression of your business already in place.
A further upside to successful guest blogging is that it generates valuable backlinks that can increase the authority of your website. This is less of driving factor in SEO than it used to be, but it can still play a part in boosting your website’s discoverability, and pushing it a little further up the rankings.
Every customer is a boon to your business, but those which truly enable you to grow are the ones that keep coming back. Yet while a satisfied customer may have every intention of returning to your store, they may forget, become distracted, or even be tempted by your competition.
This is where remarketing can save the day. This strategy focuses on reaching out to former customers and giving them a reason to come back to your site. This might mean offering a discount for a product they’ve shown an interest in or providing a sneak peek at a new product line. These highly-targeted advertisements are displayed to small, custom audiences, for whom the message is as relevant as possible to increase the chance of re-engagement.
Lead scoring is another helpful tactic to employ, as it helps you to prioritize users who are the best fit for your business. These individuals are the ones you should see the highest returns from in relation to the efforts required to convert and retain them. This system also helps you to identify when someone is slipping away, or stuck in the marketing funnel, and may require further persuasion.
While we’ve made the case for inbound marketing, that’s not to say that there’s no place for outbound tactics in your marketing strategy. A balanced campaign will use a combination of approaches, selected to fit the needs and expectations of your target audience.
It may take time to find the balance between these tactics, and determine how much or little your customers want to hear from your business. However, by listening to their feedback, and acting on insights gained from data analytics, you can continuously improve your approach.
In the long run, this will mean a more efficient marketing strategy, greater ROI on your campaigns, and happier customers who are keen to keep coming back for more.
**About the Author: Kayleigh Toyra: is a half-Finnish, half-British Content Strategist and marketer based in Bristol. She loves to write and explore themes like storytelling and customer experience marketing. She also manages a small team of writers at a boutique agency.