ATTRACT Your Ideal Customers with Our Proven Inbound Marketing Strategies

You’ll need to do some kind of marketing, no matter what kind of business you run. Small businesses are having a hard time with this as a lot of marketing approaches are inconvenient or too expensive for them to successfully employ. This is why inbound marketing will make sense for any kind of business, but especially for smaller businesses and start-ups.

Inbound marketing is referring to a specific approach to marketing rather than a list of strategies. Inbound marketing is all about attracting potential customers and prospects rather than going out and trying to find those individuals. With inbound marketing, you will use content marketing, organic search traffic, opt-in email forms, blogs, social media and more to attract new business and create brand awareness. You are creating content that addresses problems that your customers have and by doing that, you are attracting qualified leads. So, no matter what kind of business you run, whether is B2C, B2B, brick and mortar or e-commerce, inbound marketing is probably the best approach.

Outbound marketing is basically traditional marketing where people buy ads on TV, radio, billboards, in magazines, in AdWords and Facebook ads, etc. Here, you are basically hoping that a small percentage of the audience to who you market to will pay attention to your advertisement and convert into a customer. Outbound marketing has significantly lower conversion rate than inbound marketing methods.

Inbound marketing works by providing education and resources to help your prospects develop a relationship with you and your brand or business. You focus on providing helpful and relevant information, offer useful tips, and overall give them content that will show them how much you care about their success. You are appealing to your potential customers on an informational level by offering best practices, industry guides and tips.

This type of tactics and content work really well to educate a prospect about the potential and benefits of the product, rather than just a product itself. You’ll also have to combine hard-selling methods (outbound marketing) with inbound marketing so you move prospects through the sales funnel.

Today’s world is very abundant with information but very scarce in attention. This is why the old marketing methods where you are basically renting attention with ads and interrupting the prospects in the process are becoming less effective.  Inbound marketing gives you the ability to give the consumer or prospect the answers they are looking for in that moment which builds reputation, trust, and authority towards your business.

Inbound marketing methods are replacing these old marketing tactics and are focusing on building awareness and developing a relationship with leads. Inbound marketing is great because you are not actively chasing leads, but rather they are coming to you. It’s great at the early stages of the buyer’s decision-making process because you are leaving the impression that you are the authority and this way you are influencing their future buying decision.

This is why you need to use inbound marketing in your business:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Enables customers to engage with your business at their specific point of need
  • Generates social media shares
  • Influences future customer purchases
  • Gets you more qualified leads for less money

What’s great about inbound marketing is that your effort will build upon themselves over time. One example would be that you post a great article that will offer an immediate (and also long-term) solution to your prospects, plus it will continue to bring attention to your business as prospects in the future will come and read it. Next, as it gets more exposure, that article can become an ongoing source of traffic from search engines, shares on social networks, and word of mouth. All this from a single blog post!

How To Get Started With Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing will work well for your business if:

  • You are selling through your website or social media
  • You want to explore other ways of reaching your prospects
  • Your audience uses the internet to research and learn about topics your business is about
  • You know your target buyers well enough to create relevant content for them

On the top, you can see the actions that you must take when doing inbound marketing and on the bottom are the strategies with which you can accomplish the actions.

Step #1 – Attract

This is the initial step where you need attract the right kind of traffic that is the most likely to convert to customers. You need to think really hard about who your ideal customer is and know their persona inside and out. You can come up with this information when you think about your customer’s challenges, goals, pain points, and objections they usually have prior to buying your product or service. You can also include the personal and demographic information as well.

Social Media

Social media should be one of the central spots for your inbound marketing strategy. Social media can spread your message and brand like wildfire when used correctly. When you start using social media for this purpose, don’t just make it about generating leads bur rather about posting and sharing valuable and interesting content with your followers, plus don’t forget to engage them in a conversation!

Each social media platform is different, so you have to think about what people use them for individually and then post the content that is the most relevant for that specific platform. Things you can post include eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, posts about industry news and statistics, etc. Remember that posts should have a wider appeal for your ideal audience.

SEO

When someone wants to buy a product or service online, they usually start by going to Google and try to find answers to their questions. Your SEO efforts should be focused on positioning your website on the top of the first page for the keywords your prospects are using. You can implement SEO into your inbound marketing strategy by:

  • Building relationships with influencers in your industry and leveraging them for shares and backlinks
  • Analyzing keywords and trends to help create compelling content for your prospects
  • Keeping your website and blog fast and error-free (to create a good user experience)

You have to realize that people are not using Google to make one-and-done searches. They are usually making a series of searches before they arrive at a decision about their potential purchase. Each search is an opportunity for you to build a relationship with the prospect and influence their purchase decision. Think of all the search queries your prospect might use on Google to research a product or service and you’ll have a treasure chest of keywords and topics that you can use to write content for your blog and social media.

Videos

Videos are one of the most accessible and shared pieces of content. Videos can have an unlimited reach, especially if it’s on a topic that has a very broad appeal. Animated videos can easily break down complex concepts that will teach and also entertain the prospect.

Video content has exploded in the recent years with Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and even Twitter. On Facebook Live, people can even leave comments which can come very handy for a specific strategy like contests. With the advancement in technology like this and coming of 5G internet, videos were never so easy to upload or stream (even on the go). 

Step #2 – Convert

Now that you have visitors coming to your website, now you need to convert them into leads. You do this simply by collecting their contact information. What information you collect is up to you, but you need their email address at the minimum. Don’t go overboard and ask them to fill out a long form if there’s no absolute need for it because it will really hurt the conversion rate. Usually, you’d want to give them something in return in exchange for their information. Things that you can offer them include eBooks, whitepapers, video course, email course, etc. 

Landing page

This is a web page where the prospect can submit their contact information and where they can receive the offer you promised them. This is where you send your visitors from a blog post that you wrote as a part of your inbound marketing strategy by putting a click to action button (CTA) or link in the blog post. CTA’s are critical as they encourage visitors to take a certain action and if you lack or don’t have any CTA’s, then you won’t get any leads.

Landing pages are designed strategically in order to maximize the click-through rate and conversion rate so you can easily generate leads when you send visitors to it. A big mistake that many businesses do is that they send their visitors to their homepages and they are basically throwing leads away by doing this. You can capture much more leads if you send them to a targeted landing page.

Opt-in Forms

This is where your visitors will become leads after they submit their information. You can also utilize email popups. Some people dislike them but they are proven to be successful. Opt-in forms will build you an email list which is arguably the most important strategy in your entire marketing strategy. You can A/B test different kind of opt-in forms so you can find the right one that generates you the highest amount of leads.

Emails that you generate with opt-in forms and popups can be a very successful tactic to fill up your sales funnel. Via email, you can educate your prospects about your business through a series of email that you’ll broadcast on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. In emails, include links to helpful and useful resources and make sure to avoid spam and over-communication. Remember that everyone is receiving an enormous amount of emails and messages every day, so stick to a more seldom schedule like monthly email newsletters.

Step #3 – Close

After you successfully converted the traffic to the leads, then you have to take it a step forward and convert them to customers. Let’s take a look at some tools that can help you in this stage.

Email

As discussed, email series is a great way to build trust with prospects and make them a warmer lead. Emails are great because you are entirely in control of the content that you are sending and you can craft your emails in the best way that will slowly, but surely, close your leads.

CRM

Customer relationship management software is great for keeping track of all the contacts and information about the individuals but also companies that you are working with or trying to do so. This will help you have the right information in front of you when you need it the most, i.e. when closing the deal. 

Step #4 – Delight

You shouldn’t forget someone when they become a customer. Inbound marketing is all about nurturing your leads but also customers. There are several ways that you can further improve your image in your customer’s eyes that will make them love you even more.

 Surveys

If you don’t know what your leads or customers want, then just ask them! Your customers will provide you a valuable feedback that you can use to improve every part of your funnel.

Social Monitoring

You can follow all the social conversations from your customers that are important to you and see what their questions and comments are about and what they like or dislike. You can then engage with them directly but also use that feedback to create new content that they’ll love even more.

CONCLUSION

Businesses today are realizing that outbound marketing alone is usually not enough to produce a great profit. This is why many of them are turning to inbound marketing as a way to attract more leads and create a better brand presence. Successful inbound marketing requires a proper approach to content creation, making use of proper marketing automation tools and then optimizing how leads flow through the sales pipeline.

Inbound marketing is great because it allows you to tell your prospects a story in a holistic and educational way on your own website and social media platforms. As a result, you are also able to track all kinds of metrics so this kind of marketing is highly measurable.