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Is Inbound Marketing a Good Strategy for Your Business?

Posted on: August 20, 2013
Tags: Online marketing strategy
Inbound Marketing Chart

As consumers change the way they research and shop for products and services, so must businesses - eliminating ineffective and expensive traditional marketing tactics like cold calling, direct mail, and print and TV advertising (Outbound Marketing), and instead leveraging tactics that appeal to how the modern consumer shops, such as SEO, Social Media and Content Creation (Inbound Marketing).  

Four Core Services of Inbound Marketing:

1) Traffic Generation

One of my new clients has no online brand awareness. They can't be found when you search words or key phrases important to their business. Another client is a new business with zero web presence. 

Generating more traffic for a website is like baking: your business needs lots of complimentary ingredients to get a good result. There is no one tactic singularly proven to produce worthwhile results; rather, it requires a set of strategies and supporting tools working together. These strategies are Search Engine Optimization, Blogging and Social Media sharing.

Search Engine Optimization- 

A solid search engine optimization strategy is key to meeting or exceeding traffic goals. Keywords chosen are integrated into the site's back end and in on-page content so that search engines identify the website as one worth returning to for important search terms.

Monitoring the rankings and traffic is also critical, taking note of what’s working, and making adjustments if organic traffic goals are not being met.

Content Creation Through Blogging-

Each page on a website is an opportunity to rank for a keyword or phrase. More pages means more chances to rank – enter the magic of content creation via blogging.  If you have a dynamic business with a long list of services and products, but not individual pages discussing each - then these need to be created. They will help improve rankings for branded terms, as well as key industry descriptors and terms.

Keep in mind, product pages are limited to the actual number of products offered, but topics for blog posts are infinite. Blogs influence purchase decisions by leveraging customer language and topics. Having an active blog will help your website index more pages and rank better, as well as create more top-of-the-sales funnel content to attract more leads.

Social Media Sharing-

If a blog gets posted in the forest, will anyone read it? Probably not - the point is: once a blog is created, it needs to be posted on relevant social media sites to have the biggest impact on search engine traffic. Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

2) Online Lead Generation

Successfully generating website traffic is only half the battle.  It's also important to take what you know about your ideal customer and develop premium content offers, landing pages and call-to-action buttons, which will move potential customers deeper into the sales funnel. 

Where blogs are public-facing and available for all to digest, premium offers like webinars and e-book downloads are linked to from call-to-action buttons and require visitors to submit their email address on a landing page in order to retrieve or register. When a visitor fills out the form to access this content, a qualified lead is created that can be followed up on. 

This is online lead generation at its simplest and most effective. For businesses seriously considering their website as a tool for growth, the marketing efficiency behind these tactics is undeniable. And from a sales perspective, leads generated from premium educational, customer-targeted content are very productive because they convey a prospect's needs.

3) Converting Leads to Customers

From a Leads to Customers perspective, it’s important that the content spans the length of your customer’s sales funnel. Educational information like industry trends and how-to blog posts are proven winners for the top of the funnel. But offers tied more closely to your client’s products and services, as well as efficient means of getting that content in front of them, will be needed to turn leads into customer status.

All website visitors who download your content need to be followed up with, either by a human or in an automated fashion. Part of that follow-up needs to be deeper content offers, which invite leads to access more of your products/services. They self-qualify by opting into these offers. These offers are presented through email marketing and lead nurturing. Lead nurturing and segmented email campaigns can be used to better target leads after they've converted on your site, and kick off a series of actions intended to generate sales. 

4) Analysis and Measurement

“Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” And an online marketer would add, “worth doing again.” This old saying was seemingly built for inbound marketing. The web's massive footprint allows for almost total traceability, which means all the tactics and campaigns you create are instantly measurable. This allows for easy replication of success and recognition of failure. Metrics to review and questions to ask include: Has your site's overall traffic increased? Have your rankings for keywords inherent to your core business improved with the blogging you've been doing? Have social media and link building efforts translated into a worthwhile amount of referral traffic? Have the webinars you've been conducting on industry topics been getting good registration and live attendance? How are the download numbers versus page visits of your ebook landing pages? What insights can you glean from the numbers to improve your lead generation efforts?

Sales and marketing cohesiveness is one of inbound marketing's critical success factors, and your ability to hand off quality, sales-ready leads is critical. How are the leads you are generating being rated by your sales team? Are they converting into customers at a high rate? Lead nurturing sequences and click through rates on segmented email blasts need to be heavily examined in order to make sure the right types of folks are getting handed off to sales.

Need some help with your Inbound marketing strategy and campaign?  Please contact us today for a FREE Consultation.  We would be happy to help! 

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