It’s no secret the marketing industry has changed considerably over the last several years with the addition of digital strategies, social media and mobile technologies. Gone are the days that businesses blanket the world with their one-side ad messages. Today, it’s all about attracting customers who have a truly vested interest in what you have to say. Marketing has evolved into conversations, two-way communication and interaction.
In short: it’s called inbound marketing and it can fuel business growth by bringing to your doorstep qualified and engaged consumers.
So just how can you use this strategy to create business growth?
Start by creating or reviewing customer profiles and personas. Simply put, you should hone in on your ideal customers and their demographics. Work with your sales team to figure out the top questions they receive from customers or potential customers. Think about customer pain points – what are their greatest needs? Narrow down customer demographics like age, income, gender, occupation, hobbies and educational levels. This information will allow you to create targeted content that will be especially appealing to these customers.
Give your blog a boost. If you’re not blogging, you’re missing out on a critical component of inbound marketing. First, having a blog on your website gives your SEO a boost as it brings in organic traffic, more visitors and provides search engines with new, quality content to index. Second, blogs are one of the best ways to share your content with current and prospective customers.
You’ll want to commit to consistent blogging (at least once a week) with posts that directly align with your customer profiles. For example, remember those common questions the sales team gets from customers? How can you answer those and similar questions on the blog?
Each blog article should be SEO optimized. You may check out these 7 On Page SEO Tips for Your Business Blog to assist in optimizing your blog articles.
Use social media to bolster your efforts. You want to go where your customers are hanging out and that means Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Share your blog posts and other content on social media as a way to drive website traffic. Social media is also the place where you can directly engage with consumers. Answer their questions, respond to comments and engage in social listening to see what they are saying about your brand.
Take customers to the next level with calls to action. Each blog post should have a call to action, asking the reader to take that next step in downloading a white paper, signing up for an email list or calling for a free consultation. Some 70 percent of businesses don't have calls to action on their homepage. How will customers know where to go and what to do next? You've crossed that first hurdle in using inbound marketing to attract them to your blog or website so don't lose them because they aren't sure what to do next.
Offer added value or premium content. Aside from your social media content and blog posts, create premium content that gives your potential customers even more value. Think back to that customer profile and the pain point you can help address. What sort of specialized content can you create around that? Maybe it’s a white paper with 10 steps for solving a particular problem or an e-book that guides customers through a five-step process to somehow make their lives easier.
Don’t give your premium content away for free. Ask consumers to give you something in return. Usually it’s a form requiring, at a minimum, a name and email address. This is an excellent way to build your email database. Because these consumers have taken that next step, they are likely to be more qualified leads that can be converted to new customers.
According to Hubspot, premium content offers such as ebooks generate three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing efforts. Plus, they cost more than 62 percent less.
Lastly, be sure to track your progress. You need to know if the carefully crafted inbound marketing strategy you’ve created is truly working and creating business growth. Monitor the results regularly so you can course-correct in real time.
If you haven’t developed an inbound marketing strategy you’re missing out on a chance to attract interested consumers and convert them into satisfied customers. Following these tips will help you get started so you’ll soon see real business growth.
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