Develop An Inbound Marketing Strategy And Let More Leads Find You!
As business owners sometimes we are apt to focus on creating more leads though outbound marketing: activities such as print ads, cold calling, direct mail and trade shows.
And there’s little doubt that these sorts of activities, executed well and with forethought, can help increase awareness of what our business has to offer and generate potential leads to be nurtured over time.
But just as important should be the consideration we give to inbound marketing – creating informative, engaging and valuable content, optimised across online channels to extend our brand’s reach – and which results in more potential customers seeking us out.
Whilst outbound marketing can be seen as intrusive, inbound marketing is viewed as free advice – a way of demonstrating expertise and trustworthiness to your target audience and thus furthering reputation.
One of the main benefits of inbound marketing is that the people who click on your landing page offer, or respond to your banner ad, are likely to be further on in the buying cycle than those whom you reach out to through outbound marketing. In other words, you will be creating a database of warmer prospects.
The keys to a successful inbound marketing campaign are:
1. Know Your Ideal Customer
As well as the personal and demographic data that makes up your ideal customer or client, think about the following:
- Pleasure points
- Pain points
- Common objections to products/ services
- Where they hang out online (is it more likely to be LinkedIn than Facebook? Pinterest rather than YouTube? All of these?)
Really build up a picture of how your ideal customer looks, acts and interacts online.
2. Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
Now you know everything there is to know about your ideal customer (well virtually), you will need to come up with a workable inbound marketing strategy that will have your target audience flocking to you.
The most common tools for this purpose are:
- Your Blog
Blogs are great for business. As well as providing a practical source of information you can inject your personality (or your brand’s personality) into all your content and differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Social Media
Your research has told you which social media platform(s) your target audience frequents – now it’s time to engage with them there.
Is your website well-structured and easy to navigate? As well as being super user-friendly, are your pages fully optimised to appeal to those hungry buyers?
- Keywords & Key Phrases
You should use targeted keywords in all your online content – but how relevant are those keywords you are currently using? It’s easy to fall into the trap of using the same keywords year upon year, without researching into whether the keywords and phrases your potential buyers use today are still the same ones they were using several years ago. Wordtracker’s Keyword Questions tool can be a helpful place to start researching and planning your content.
Every successful marketing plan combines elements of outbound and inbound marketing to produce an integrated strategy designed to win you more business. If you don’t yet have an inbound marketing strategy that brings in regular business, then creating one now could give you a significant edge over the competition.
Written by Chris Jenkinson, founder of Jenkinson & Associates Ltd.
Jenkinson & Associates Ltd undertake marketing and business consultancy for businesses in different sectors and industries requiring business marketing and consultancy services including local, national, international and global trading companies.