If you don’t already know it, you’ve probably at least had a hunch that inbound marketing is rapidly overtaking outbound marketing. A less expensive marketing strategy that provides plentiful opportunities for building relationships with potential clients, inbound marketing is becoming the strategy of choice for many businesses.
But in addition to overtaking outbound marketing, inbound marketing itself is quickly evolving, meaning that many old inbound marketing techniques are becoming outmoded. With marketing techniques rapidly changing to keep pace with technology, it takes effort to keep up with inbound marketing.
To make it easier for you to keep up this year, we’ve outlined nine ways to give your strategy an edge:
1. Making it Mobile
You’re losing potential clients if your brand isn’t easily mobile-accessible. Fortunately, this is a straightforward problem to fix. An easy place to start is to check your website’s mobile load speed. If it’s slow, then a good way to start retaining your mobile followers is to use the HTML code that Google recently provided to help improve the load speeds of mobile websites.
In addition to optimizing your page’s load speed, you may want to consider creating an app for your business in order to make it even easier to access your company via mobile platforms.
2. Re-Analyzing Metrics
Different measurements will give you a different picture of how well your marketing strategy is working, which is why you need to make sure that you’re using the right metrics. For example, while it’s important to focus on your site’s page views, don’t stop there. Just because people are viewing your site doesn’t mean that your content is selling. Take a closer look at the content that is creating the most leads and conversions… can you figure out what makes it effective? Once you’ve specified your most effective content, you may wish to use A/B testing to try to pinpoint what, exactly, makes that content sell.
3. Using Big Data
If you’re a small- to mid-sized company, don’t let big data intimidate you. When you’re dealing with a large set of information about current and potential clients, find a way to break the data into smaller sub-categories. Aside from being easier to work with, this has the practical advantage of allowing you to contact sub-groups with highly customized communication. You’ll ultimately be much better poised to create custom content, or to use targeted services via platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
4. Winning Over Potential Clients
Apple recently introduced new ad-blocking apps for iOS users. This is part of a wider trend of ad-blocking among internet users, making paid advertisements a dubious affair. What’s more, you’ve probably realized that internet users are becoming highly selective about the content that they consume. The solution is to spend time creating content that is truly helpful, interesting, or otherwise relevant to your clients’ lives. To do this, you’ll need to use the aforementioned big data to better understand your client base.
5. Creating Episodic Content
The Content Standard recently revealed that, on average, the articles they publish as parts of a series amass over 124% more page views. That’s a big reason to move away from simply publishing single pieces. The act of building suspense among viewers appears to be an effective tactic for enticing clients to return to your page. Aside from being bound to a series, episodic content is just as flexible as any other form of content. It can be used to create video series, written editorial series, photo galleries, or a variety of other series.
6. Integrating Media
If you’re not already doing it, you need to find a way to integrate and automate your social media accounts. One of the biggest social media mistakes that you can make in your inbound marketing strategy is to be inconsistent about posting, often by posting too much at once and then leaving the page untouched for days or weeks. Using content management systems such as HootSuite or Sprout Social will save time and ensure that your posts are published in a consistent manner.
7. Getting Social
In conjunction with the above point, don’t let automated posts completely uproot your presence on social media. Being personally available to answer questions or comments is one of the most powerful ways to build engagement among your potential clients. Just as you would respond to emails in a timely manner, respond to as many social media comments as you can.
8. Trying New Things
Although you risk losing time if a new social media platform’s popularity doesn’t take off, you’ll gain incredible levels of visibility if you’re one of the first businesses to create a presence on a new social media platform.
For example, many companies are having success with live video streaming through platforms such as Periscope. Many people were originally hesitant about trying video streaming, assuming that it wouldn’t sell. It turns out that clients love live streaming… which puts early adopters at an advantage.
9. Dusting Off Old-Fashioned Methods
As the saying goes, “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” when you’re improving your inbound marketing strategy. In particular, email marketing is a nearly ancient strategy, technologically speaking. However, it’s effective. One of the most direct forms of communication, email marketing is a powerful tool for generating leads and conversions.
Interested in finding out more about what you need to do to garner a better ROI from your inbound marketing strategy in 2016? Visit our website or contact us to see how we can help.