Traditional (outbound) marketing encourages companies to focus on finding a small number of customers within a large audience. To do this they use techniques that are only generally targeted and interruptive. Examples of this would be cold-calling, print/online advertising, T.V./radio advertising, junk mail etc.
Instead of interrupting people with television ads, inbound marketers create videos that potential customers want to see. Instead of display ads in print or online (where they are easily and often ignored) they create a blogs that people subscribe to and look forward to reading; finding the content informative and helpful. Instead of cold calling, they create useful content and tools so that people call them looking for more information. Rather than repeating the same marketing message to a mass audience who are intent on not hearing the message them inbound marketers attract highly qualified customers to their business, product or service by using attractive content like a magnet.
Great content needs to be at the heart of any Inbound Marketing strategy. It will attract, inform, entertain and engage with the intended target audience.
The content of each page is optimised specifically to be relevant and attractive to that specific target group matching the search terms they are likely to use.
In your content you need provide answers to the questions that your potential customers are seeking online. Think "How" Why" and "Guide to" - engaging with the real interests of you target audience rather than selling your product directly.
Content needs to be added to your site on a regular basis so make a plan for regular updates.
SEO is the process by which you make your site or page more readily visible or "findable" by Search Engines and present your content as a good match for specific search terms or phrase. The better your match the more likely you are to appear higher up the search results. The higher you appear the more clicks and traffic you will gain for your site.
Deploying your chosen keywords correctly on the page in titles, headlines, on images and in the body copy is important but not the whole story.
Search engines look at far more than keyword density, they are also taking into account links to your page and the opinions of your readers by examining signals of approval such as likes,tweets, shares and +1's on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
Social Media will help you to spread the word about your latest post and improve the impact of your content.
When your content is distributed across and discussed on social platforms you become part of many different networks of personal relationships. This adds to your message as the third party involvement and contribution makes your message more authentic and interesting to others.
Shared content with additional comment or endorsement will be more likely to send more self qualified potential customers towards your site..
Social media interactions such as likes, plus ones or comments all send positive social signals to search engines who will improve your rank based on these endorsements.
Stay engaged with you customersafter the initial sale and continue to communicate with them. This will assist with upselling and future repeat business.
Happy and engaged customers will continue to promote and amplify your message through their own networks.
If you maintain a positive connection with them you will be able to secure valuable positive reviews and testimonials that will support future sales as well as adding to your positive social signals for SEO.
Traditional outbound marketing means spending money - whether you are buying adverts (print or online), buying mailing or email lists or even renting stand space at a trade show. In any of these examples you seeking the small percentage of individuals in this large audience who are interested in your business, product or service. This is hard work and wasteful.
Inbound marketing however only requires that you create good quality content and then talk about it online usually with an audience of people who are interested in your message. People who find you via search are self qualified and interested in what you have to say. More good news is that most of the tools you will need such as blogs and social media accounts are free and easy to use.
Unlike advertising which is an ongoing expense content creation is an investment; having produced quality posts and articles they will contine to rank well and drive traffic from search engines for some considerable time.
Having created your compelling content you then need to work on converting your traffic into leads and ultimately sales
One of the best things about inbound marketing is that you can connect with you target market wherever they are in the buying cycle. This is particularly valuable for smaller businesses who offer higher value products or services which typically requires an extended period of interaction before a purchase is made.
By creating content that appeals to potential customer in the early stages of research with "introductions to...", basic guides, check lists or primers or those at a later stage with tools, pricing guides, or specific content about the use of a product or service you will engage with potential customers wherever they are in the buying cycle.
Having brought a visitor to your content always use calls to action and landing pages to futher engage with the reader. Your call to action should use a form to collect data and incentivise the exchange with the provision of items and extras appropriate to their stage in the cycle. Your sales and marketing teams can then guide and nuture the potential cutomer through the cyle towards conversion.
Creating content and planning what you might need over the course of a year can be a major task. If you would like some additional input or resource for keeping your content and social media up to date why not contact us for an initial chat. We can provide affordable help.