Inbound marketing is a new buzz word that has been thrown around in the last couple of years. This has become a hot topic with the increase of online marketing and social media campaigns. If you can put the right piece of content in front of the right people. The results will not only bring you traffic and social signals but customers to your business.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is taking your expertise of your niche and putting it out there for the world. Sharing useful and meaningful content will not only help drive sales and conversions. It will also build your brand awareness and site authority in your niche.
How is the Different from Outbound Marketing?
What do you think of when you hear online advertising and marketing? Most will think about buying online advertisement, emails list or leads, print advertising, etc. These examples are considered outbound marketing. Basically anything outside your website or from an external service.
List of Inbound Marketing Examples
To help you understand what type of marketing campaigns are considered inbound marketing. Here are a couple of real-life examples you see every day.
- Writing How To Articles
This is informational articles that you write on your niche. This is a hundred percent geared towards helping people understand your industry. In result, they trust you as their provider.
- Updating your Blog
Blogging about news, reviews, or humor in your niche can help you introduce new things. This can be targeted to your existing customers or help new customers find you.
- Sharing Useful Information on Social Media
I wanted to specify "useful information" on social media. Because sharing random things might not give you the full return you would like. Sharing useful niche related information gives your followers a reason to follow you. This content can mix with your how to articles and blog posts.
- Email Marketing
If you're not trying to build an email list, you need to start. This is the best way to reach out to your "fans" of your website. There is a reason they signed up for your newsletter. They are expecting you to send them information about your niche. This can be similar to your social media campaign, but not as often.
- Landing Pages
These are pages that are specifically designed for one main goal, increase your ROI. Most of the time this is geared to get email subscribers or to receive a special offer on your website.
- Conversion Optimization
This has the same goal of your landing pages, to increase ROI. The different with this is that you are trying to increase your already existing pages on your site. This usually requires software where it dynamically changes page elements per visits. Then you can do further analyzing on the elements you switched and see which ones performs better.
Putting it All Together
You have the building blocks describe to you, now to put it together. You need to define your audience, create your content, promote and test the results.
Defining Your Audience
One of the hardest parts to starting your strategy is deciding what target audience to market. Looking at some analytics can help you get an idea of what age group and gender you are working with. Using online tools like Compete.com, Alexa.com and Google Analytics will give you some basic information. Use this to give you a broad idea where to start.
Once you have a basic idea of who your audience is, you can write some personas to narrow down your results. These personas are people you know that come to your site and covert.
One half step that you might want to incorporate here is a small amount of keyword research. It always helps to have keywords in your content that people are actually looking for. This will help you take this marketing campaign to a full scale.
Now you have your converting persona and some keywords. Maybe it’s a woman that loves comic books and is really excited about the new DC Comic movie coming out. How can you apply that to your business and attract people like her to your site?
You could write an article on your blog on how your niche will help Batman. Or if Batman had your product he could this. It could be almost anything if you can incorporate it in a creative way.
Now one more step.
Can you link this blog post to a relevant page to your site? Sometimes it makes sense to create a custom landing page for a promotion. Other times a page on your current site might be fully optimized to handle the target users. The only way to know for sure is to test and analyze.
Promote & Engage
There are many ways to promote your newly created content. The most popular way is to share it to your social networks. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are the leading market share. Plus these places have a never ending flow of new customers.
Another way to try to find new users is telling other blog niche sites about your new post. They could share it with their users and push them to you. You don’t want to do this to your direct competition because they probably won’t help you out. Look around and you will find places that you help you promote your content.
Lastly, send it to your existing customers is your email newsletter. There is nothing wrong with updating your users when you have a great article to share. If you do this too often though you could cause your unsubscribe rate to increase. Use your best judgment and watch your statistics.
You have now found your audience, wrote your content and got some promotion going. You are now bringing in some potential clients. Now it’s time to convert them. If you decided to make a separate landing page for this promotion, see how it’s converting. If it’s not doing great, try doing some A-B testing on some elements. Maybe the colors of your buttons are not attractive, wrong copy on the page or maybe it’s too hard to use. If you can’t figure it out, try directing them to a main page on your site.
If you are pushing to your main website, make sure your goal funnel is not dropping too hard. This is where your A-B optimization will pay off. Having your elements tested and optimized could be the difference of converting at one or three percent. This might not seem big, but if you are doing ten thousand people, you will see the difference between one hundred and three hundred.
Analyze & Repeat
If you had a successful run, time to repeat the process with a new promotion. If you didn’t get the result you were looking for, time to go back through each process and try to identify what went wrong. It could have been the wrong people, maybe the page, or even the topic you wrote about. The more homework you do the better the results. Don’t spend too much time on the homework, because doing something wrong is better than not doing anything at all.