In 2017, we can agree that inbound marketing is the best way to do business online when marketing your brand.
More consumers are engaging with companies through social media posts, blog content, email, and online video today than ever before. Compelling statistics continue to prove that inbound marketing tactics draws website visitors, produces more leads, and improves customer retention rates. In fact, organizations that embrace the inbound way are four times as likely to be effective (Source: Hubspot).
To be successful in inbound marketing, however, it’s important that your brand focuses on all the key parts that makes this strategy fully functional. Versus just tending to top-of-the-funnel strategies (i.e. like social media, paid ads) and trying to get the sale, the ultimate goal is to nurture your prospects and customers through a strategic process to becoming loyal fans of your brand.
In this guide, we’ll review the four major components of inbound marketing and share effective inbound marketing strategies that will bolster your plan, essentially driving growth in your business.
13 Effective Inbound Marketing Strategies
The first element to inbound marketing is attracting quality visitors to your website by sharing valuable content that educates, informs, inspires, and solves problems. To effectively publish content that engages your audience, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of your target market and their needs, pains and problems. Developing buyer personas is perhaps the best way to gaining real clarity of your audience.
Draw fresh eyeballs to your content with these four tactics:
#1 Valuable Blog Content
Did you know that 71% of business bloggers say their blog increased visibility in their industries (Source: Business2Community)? Regularly publishing blog posts will position you as an expert in your niche, improve ranking in the search engines, and attract new visitors to your website. With search being the #1 source for content traffic generation, blogging is a great way to boost brand awareness and increase exposure.
#2 Engaging Social Media Posts
Consumers are looking to connect with their favorite brands online. A solid social media marketing strategy consists of ways on how to generate engagement from your followers (likes, comments, shares, and clicks) to keep them connected with you. Visuals absolutely ROCK on social media so leverage images, GIFs, live-streaming videos, infographics, and collages for better responsiveness. Post content that will interest your audience (remember your buyer persona) and don’t forget to be social…reply back, send private messages, and have fun!
#3 Leverage Influencers and Their Audiences
Connect with influencers in your industry by liking, sharing, and commenting on their content to get involved with their audience. Give them due credit by tagging them in your social media posts. You will experience exponential growth when you engage with people who already have the audience you want, then leverage that audience to build your own!
#4 Retargeting Ads
Retargeting, or remarketing, is a paid strategy where you place a tracking code on your website that will set a tracking snippet or cookie on the browser of those who actually visit your website. Your ad content will “follow” your recent visitors wherever they go online to keep your brand “top of mind”.
Facebook retargeting is extremely cost-efficient and simple to implement. You can create custom audiences and tailor content specific to them to optimize results.
As you drive visitors to your website, of course you want to capture as many qualified leads as possible to build your funnel, giving you more prospects to work with for sales conversions. Call-to-actions (CTAs) play a critical role in converting readers into leads. Giving clear and concise instructions on what your audience should do next should be included in the following action tips for converting leads.
#5 Have Compelling Content Offers
To get the exchange of their contact information, a compelling content offer that is valuable and solves a specific problem is needed to bolster conversion rates. eBooks, video series, checklists, a special discount or percentage off, or a webinar are excellent tools to use in capturing leads.
#6 Publish Landing Pages Exclusive to Your Audience
When someone clicks on your link from a social media post (for example), it should direct to a landing page, not the home page (unless you’re promoting a specific blog post). The more landing pages you have that relates to the audience you’re targeting, the more opportunities available to capture leads. Use your landing pages to deliver premium content and convert visitors into actionable leads.
#7 Build Credibility with Social Proof
Every smart marketer knows that adding social proof can increase your conversion rate which is why big brands like Amazon consistently uses online reviews on their sites. Utilize customer reviews, celebrity/influencer endorsements, media mentions, and trust seals, and statistics to build trust with prospects and improve lead conversions.
Now that you have a pipe full of bustling leads that are waiting to hear more from you, it’s time to close them into paying customers and grow your revenue. The good news is that there are a plethora of marketing tools designed to help you cultivate your leads that smoothly moves them closer to the buying decision.
#8 Nurture Your List with Email Content
Email marketing works 40 times better at getting customers than Facebook, Twitter, and compared to other social media channels. It also yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States (Source: Direct Marketing Association). Nurture your subscribers by sharing blog posts, segmenting your list for personalization, while also promoting sales and product launches content to boost profits.
#9 Use a CRM Tool to Track Leads
The benefits to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system abound including increasing productivity, driving sales, and fostering positive customer experiences. It’s an ideal platform to help organize and keep track of your leads to effectively close more sales.
#10 Set Up Marketing Automations
Businesses that can successfully automate their lead nurturing process with targeted messages will experience more sales opportunities versus companies who do not. In fact, 63% of companies that are outgrowing their competitors use marketing automation. Streamline your email, social media content, and other website actions through marketing automation.
The final tactic to an effective inbound marketing strategy is turning customers into loyal, raving fans of your brand who continually support your business and come back for more. These promoters gleefully share their customer experiences with their family, friends, and social networks which, in turns, brings more business to your company. These delight techniques will significantly improve customer retention.
#11 Create Communities on Social Platforms
Establishing social media groups especially for your customers is a compelling way to keep your audience engaged with your brand, share industry news, and build a community of like-minded consumers that can learn from each other. Use a social media management tool to help you post content and monitor conversations around your brand.
#12 Have a Rewards Program for Loyal Customers
Create an exclusive program for your repeat customers to reward and express gratitude for their continued business. Rewards can include birthday offers, discounted promotions after a set number of purchases, or a referral gift for sending someone new to your company. These small tokens of appreciation goes a long way to maintaining relationships with your customers.
#13 Use Surveys and Feedback Tools
Surveys are powerful assets to gleaning direct feedback from your market to bolster customer initiatives and enhance current products and services. You find out exactly what your audience wants so you can produce more of it to create more positive experiences from your brand.
A working inbound marketing strategy attracts visitors to your content, converts these visitors into leads, closes leads to becoming new customers, and creates loyal supporters through by delighting. Simply following the actions outlined will position your business to have a complete marketing plan to reap the benefits of fresh leads and sales generated from your funnel. This is a solid guide to help you start 2017 with a bang!
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