The marketplace is getting more crowded by the day and standing out is harder than ever. Inbound marketing is certainly a tactic that can help as it focuses on being found instead of aggressively pursuing leads.
Marketers used to ‘shout’ about their products and services to get noticed and it was all about headlines and the company. Digital marketing and social media have considerably changed consumer behaviour. TV ads, cold-calling, and direct mail have mostly been replaced with social media and content marketing. It’s no longer about simply selling something to your customer but more about helping them find what they are looking for.
Inbound Marketing: The Buyer-Centric Approach
Businesses want traffic, leads and customers but it’s important to treat each prospect as an individual. Not everyone will be at the same stage within the buying cycle which means it’s not one size fits all and the context of communication is key.
Inbound marketing/marketing automation allows a holistic view of your contacts. You can see what they’re up to, what social sites they visit, if they like or share content or download your offers. This gives you the ability to work out where they are in the buyer’s journey and subsequently segment and personalise your content.
Individually each element works well but when used together, it is incredibly powerful. Here is our breakdown of the 5 Key Inbound Marketing Elements.
Content and Content Marketing
As the old cliché goes, ‘Content is King’, there really is no denying the validity of this statement. Good content brings the internet to life and highlights your marketing efforts. With a little creativity, content can be used across multiple channels and in a number of ways. Some examples include blogs, white papers, infographics, webinars, videos and even podcasts.
Let’s face it, what is the internet without content?
Some may feel that email marketing is old-school but statistics show otherwise. In fact, it’s still one of the most successful forms of marketing in terms of budget versus conversion. Did you know that a June 2016 study revealed that emails have an average of 122% ROI? This is four times higher than even social media and paid search.
A good email marketing campaign can lay the foundation for a successful campaign and there are a number of email platforms. Mailchimp and Constant Contact are two examples but if you’re looking for a marketing automation tool, consider SharpSpring as an affordable and top quality option. Good platforms generally include an email sender with behaviour based tracking capabilities, a CRM, landing page builder, dynamic forms and much more. It allows you to fully maximise all your marketing efforts in one system with the ability to accurately determine your ROI.
Design and User Experience
Seen as the glue that binds all the inbound marketing elements together, good design and user experience are fundamentally important. Your brand identity needs to stand out with well-designed content, and mobile-friendliness is essential. Design and user experience go hand-in-hand. It needs to be interesting, simple and your audience want to be informed. Don’t take them on a 10-page tour if all they want is the price of an item. They will lose interest and find another website.
Search Engine Optimisation
Good on-site SEO combined with good quality, relevant content distributed across your online channels will bring good organic search results. Achieving rankings through organic SEO is not something that will happen overnight though and will take time and effort. Search engines want to deliver trustworthy, relevant results when people search for information which is great for consumers and if you’re employing the right SEO tactics, then it’s great for business too.
Take a look at these 7 SEO strategies. They haven’t changed much over time but are still highly effective.
Modern marketing would not be possible without social media. It has the power to spread your brand message well beyond your community. Valuable and powerful content will remain top of mind with your audience and if they like it, they’ll share it faster than you can generate leads.
If you need help understanding Inbound Marketing, SEO and Campaigns please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.