Ultimate, Must-Have Components of Inbound Marketing
If you’ve read our blog, you know we’re advocates for great inbound marketing! Inbound marketing has impressive benefits other marketing efforts just can’t touch. While inbound marketing can include of a slew of elements, we’ve outlined the absolute must-have components for a solid inbound marketing strategy.
Target Audience – Before you can begin your inbound marketing strategy, you need to know who you’re writing it for. By understanding your buyer personas, you’ll be better equipped to understand your customers and their needs. Ask yourself who your customers are: What are their ages? Location? Job Title? Struggles? Goals? Needs? Family Life?
Keep in mind, it’s important to segment your audience. How are your audiences alike? How are they different? Some companies will have one or two buyer personas and others will have upwards of 10. Group your target audiences into buyer personas so you can optimize your efforts by writing content for each specific group.
Keyword Research – You won’t get the results you want if you don’t do your research. While you now have an idea of who your audience is (assuming you did your Target Audience homework), now you need to find out what they are entering in search engines. What search terms are they using? What queries do they have and how can you fill those needs with content? Don’t forget to be mindful of search volumes and competition of the keywords you want to rank for.
Attract Content – Attract content, or “top of the funnel” content, comes in all shapes and sizes. The goal of attract content is to drive potential customers in your target audience to your website. Examples of attract content would be engaging social media, blogging, search engine optimization and website optimization.
Convert Content – Great, you’ve driven users to your website who are in your target audience – one of the hardest components of inbound marketing! Now, it’s time to convert said traffic into leads. The best way to start converting your website traffic is by earning their email address – use call-to-actions, forms, and landing pages to achieve this goal. You need to provide value to the user in exchange for their email address. Try putting content behind your landing pages to gain emails, use forms to gather more in-depth information and utilize call-to-actions to drive traffic where you want them to go.
Close Content – Now that you have email addresses, it’s time to turn leads into customers. This stage requires email marketing and lead nurturing. If the lead still isn’t ready to close with your business, use email newsletters to continue to build trust with the user and establish your brand as an authority in the industry. Beyond email blasts, you can use lead nurturing to encourage leads to close. Lead nurturing, often called drip campaigns, are a set of emails that provide fresh content regularly for your users. Lead nurturing emails can be sent out on a schedule, or based around a specific action that the user takes. An example of user-actions would be if they opened a previous email, didn’t open a previous email, clicked through an email, etc. This automation workflow of emails should have an end conversion goal in mind, and the content in each email should further your goal.
Delight Content – You did it! Congratulations! You decided who your target audience is, identified their needs, drove them to your website, captured their information and converted them into customers. The work doesn’t end here, however. Now it’s time to retain those customers. You want your customers to become brand advocates by engaging on social media, leaving 5 star reviews, taking surveys and purchasing from your business again. Use email marketing to encourage repeat business, send out surveys via email to understand where your business can improve, direct users to leave reviews, and keep them engaged with social media, blogging and creating even more content that will continue to fill their specific needs.
Analytics and Reporting – This step shouldn’t be last, but rather a part of every step. Tracking website analytics, social analytics, and email analytics will give you valuable information such as bounce rate, engagement rate, open rate and click through rates. Leverage this information to optimize every step – from the copy you write, to the images you use, to the content you create. Read those analytics and optimize, optimize, optimize!
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