For the past decade, having an effective and optimised inbound marketing strategy has been one of the best ways to grow your business. Inbound marketing essentially tries to get a company to stray away from the usual method of buying up email lists, buying ads on websites and hoping that leads come to your website. Some of the old methods utilised are outdated, spammy and have a horrible return on investment rate when the cost is considered.
There are four basic components to the inbound methodology. You have to attract customers, convert them, close them and delight them.
To attract strangers and potential customers to your blog, you’ll utilise relevant content on your own blog and those of others via guest posting. You have to make sure you’re focusing the right keywords as some are better than others for targeting people ready to purchase something. Also, focusing on social media is important in this stage because some people are more likely to trust something they see shared by others.
The next step is to convert those visitors into customers with an array of actions. First, you’ll have forms that capture potential customers to help you lock them in. Next, you’ll need some call to action buttons that create a need for acting as soon as possible. Finally, you’ll need some landing pages that are well written and well designed so that they appeal to the visitor. Your landing page needs to be a solution to the problem, not just yet another page on the internet trying to sell someone things.
The next step is to close those customers after you’ve captured them and sucked them in with your forms and landing pages. For this, you need to create an effective workflow that goes from day 1 to the day you gain them as a paying customer. Many sites do this by offering free courses or 7 day courses via email. These are insanely popular and usually have a high turnover rate.
After you’ve gained that potential customer, your main goal now is to make them a satisfied and happy customer and to keep them coming back. This can be accomplished by delighting them and showing them how valued their opinion is. Smart relevant content with relevant products might pick up another sale or two if done at the right time. Asking your customers a short survey on what they thought of their interaction with your company or their thoughts on your service may also help you improve in areas you’re lacking or gain some perspective on what the customers are thinking.
The four steps of the inbound marketing methodology will help guide you as you formulate the inbound marketing strategy for your business But how do you create one?
1) Industry & Customer Research
Before you can begin selling to your customer, you have to understand what it is they’re looking for and what they’re currently buying online. If you’re selling a product focused on making money from the internet, you might say that your customer wants to work from home but you have to go deeper than that and research the customer base to have a better understanding.
Who is your main demographic, who is your audience, why do they need your product/service, what problem is your product/service solving of theirs? Try to list as many points as you can from the perspective of your buyer on why they would purchase from your company and try to think of reasons that customers wouldn’t want or need to purchase anything from your company. It’s also not a bad idea to look up industry buying trends for your specific industry. Some industries will pick up and crouch on sales depending on the holiday seasons.
2) Attracting Customers
Everyone has a website on the internet and anyone can make one. The main problem people focus today is they have the means to create a website but they have no idea how to get found and how to attract some customers. After you’ve gained some perspective on who your customers are and what they’re looking for, the next essential step is to find out what keywords your customers are looking for and what they’re searching for.
Finding those core keywords will help you better understand how much volume those keywords have, how hard they would be to rank for, how expensive they are in AdWords and will give you a better understanding of your global and local outreach.
IMPORTANT: If you want organic search traffic or love from Google, you NEED to have effective on page SEO. Onsite SEO consists of a few different key points.
- A well-designed website for every resolution, mobile device or “responsive” is a key element to local SEO. Take the mobile-friendly test to see how your performs: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
- Having a main targeted keyword mentioned throughout the page in a <h1> tag and a <h2> tag doesn’t hurt either, just don’t overdo it.
- Having a fast loading website with compressed images, compressed code and being clutter free helps as well. You can test your site speed at http://tools.pingdom.com
Blog posting, writing and guest posting is also another effective way of targeting customers to help you gain natural search traffic rather than paying for it.
– Google loves blogs. They’re dynamic, constantly updated and their bounce rate is usually pretty low, so this has told Google over the years that they’re gaining importance and provide value to visitors.
– Posting a relevant and well-written article at least once a week will over time build your rank and bring in fresh visitors.
– The main goal here should be to create content that focuses on your buyer’s persona and to drive content to them that not only engages them but piques their interest in your product.
One of the great things about today is that social media has become a great way to purchase some pay per click traffic without using AdWords. AdWords can get relatively expensively very quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing. Social media venues like Twitter and Facebook now sell PPC campaigns and they allow you to target a lot more than Google does.
Social marketing also allows you to network with potential joint ventures in the same industry or attract clients. Websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more will help you branch out to other same industry business owners and customers alike.
3) Closing Your Visitors – Converting To Customers
Finally, you need to take those highly researched leads you have and convert them into customers. When a visitor comes to your page, if you’ve done the proper research, you’ve targeted them through a pinpoint search campaign and they’ve come to a place where they feel your website is the solution to their problem, it’s time to convert and make money.
– You need to have a well designed and developed landing page. Please don’t go cheap on the developer because your website needs to work in every single resolution and every mobile device to ensure every client sees it correctly and it isn’t broken.
– The content on your website needs to be King. Read the content over and over through the buyer’s perspective. Would you buy from this website? Do you feel that the content being presented is good enough for YOU to buy from?
– Including premium or bonus content will make a customer feel like they’re gaining value. Offering them things such as free eBooks, bonus material, case studies, free courses or more will help them feel as if they’re getting more than what they’re paying for.
– Finally, you need to have a call to action that sways customers from just visitors and gets them to perform that final step. Have you ever seen websites with countdown clocks or ridiculous offers to the next “10 customers only?” Do you know why they do that? It works. It’s that simple; they do it because it works.
Everything from when a visitor comes to your site to the moment they become a customer needs to be considered. How will your customer find you, are they even looking for you, does your website target keywords they’re searching for, is your site properly setup for onsite SEO, do you have premium content to offer, do you have a marketing plan to reach out to customers, is your content high quality and are you capturing your customers are all questions you need to answer before going forward with a marketing strategy.
Want to learn more about inbound marketing? Come along to the next Learn Inbound event taking place on Wednesday, 22nd July in the Button Factory in Dublin. Three amazing inbound marketing experts, awesome swag from our sponsors and loads of networking opportunities 🙂