Inbound Marketing

If your marketing strategy isn’t delivering the website traffic, qualified leads, conversion rates and results you need or expect, it’s time for an uplift. Enter inbound marketing.

The goal of inbound marketing is to draw the potential customer to your business, rather than tracking them down and waving your products and services in their face. It’s a gentler, subtler way to introduce your company to prospects. It still delivers all the core benefits of traditional marketing but comes with some added bonuses.

stratus-blog-content.jpgInstead of forcing a sell for the sake of your bottom line, you work on gaining the trust of your potential customers by educating and engaging with them until they are ready to make a purchase. If you’re just embarking on the inbound marketing journey, we’re sharing 4 inbound marketing techniques every company should employ.


Stratus-Blog-Icons-7-15-blogging.png 1) Blogging

If you want to hone your competitive edge and capture the interest of new customers, you need to join the blogging bandwagon.

Blogging is an important tool in your marketing arsenal. You can bet your competitors are blogging and working towards building a loyal following. If you want to hone your competitive edge and capture the interest of new customers, you need to join the blogging bandwagon. By blogging consistently on topics relevant to your company, product or services, and industry, you increase your chances of getting your content discovered by your ideal customers. Position yourself as a trustworthy source of information by writing about topics that speak to your target audience’s interests and needs.

Answer questions your target customers may have about your products or services, but avoid going in for the hard sell. Instead, guide them through the buying process. Educate them on a challenge they may be facing, present a viable solution, and then, when they’re ready to make a purchase and not before, mention your product or services. Pitching your product too early will only turn off potential customers and send them running to competitors.

 

Stratus-Blog-Icons-7-15-blogging.png2) Keyword Optimization

Inbound marketing and SEO go hand in hand. If your webpages aren’t keyword optimized and appearing in the top search results, how will prospects even find your website or content? And if your pages aren’t ranking for the right keywords, visitors will click on your link, realize your site wasn’t what they were looking for and bounce (visiting your website and leaving after only viewing one page). For example, if your page ranks for duck umbrellas, but it’s actually focused on hedgehog figurines (no, I don't collect these), visitors will visit your website, feel like they’ve been duped and immediately leave.

Before you even touch a single page on your website, you need to define your SEO strategy and the keywords you want to rank for. This will require conducting some research and using a keywords tool like Google Keyword Planner or Hubspot’s Keyword Tool. Choose at least ten golden keywords that are relevant to your business or industry and are low in SEO competition (how difficult it will be to rank for this specific keyword) and high in search volume. The goal here is to show up in the top rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) when these keywords are typed into search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Once you have your list of target keywords, make optimizing your web content and pages a top priority. Now, this doesn’t mean throwing keywords in left and right. Remember you want each page to rank for the right keyword, a keyword that makes sense for the specific page. It will take some time and research to narrow down the right keywords for your company, but this will ultimately drive traffic to your website and boost lead generation. 

Stratus-Blog-Icons-7-15-blogging.png3) Email Marketing

Social media may be taking the world by storm, but email marketing is not dead. According to the Direct Marketing Association, emails yield an estimated ROI of 4,300%! Crafting engaging and persuasive emails will enable you to grow business and improve conversions. The frequency of your emails depends on your business, industry and product offering, but the key is to keep them consistent without cluttering your prospects and customers’ inboxes.

Don’t waste your subscribers’ time. Only send emails when you have something valuable to share. It could be a monthly newsletter that recaps the latest industry news and trends, a weekly highlight of your best-performing blog posts, or an email announcing an upcoming webinar or sharing your new white paper. Just make sure you’re sending compelling and share-worthy content that your readers actually want to see-- pointless emails will only lead to readers clicking the dreaded “unsubscribe” link!

Most importantly, PERSONALIZE your emails. Your subscribers want to feel special. Make your emails feel more personal by writing as if you’re talking to one person only and not your entire list of subscribers. Also, send your emails from an actual person instead of a company email address.

Stratus-Blog-Icons-7-15-blogging.png4) FREE Content Offerings

The best things in life are...you guessed it, free! Reward visitors, prospects and customers for opening an email or reading a blog by offering a free content offer in a CTA at the end of an email, blog post or on a specific webpage. By offering a guide, white paper, checklist, SlideShare, video, etc. that deep dives into industry trends, common challenges or your product offering, you’ll help your readers make well-informed decisions and solve their pain points.

Even better, you can create gated content that requires visitors to fill out a form on a landing page before they can download the offer. You’ll gather coveted contact information, such as their email address and phone number, and demonstrate your expertise and industry know-how. You want these content offerings to appeal to your target audience, increasing your chances of generating qualified leads that will in turn convert into customers.

All types of businesses can benefit from these vital inbound marketing techniques. By building a successful inbound marketing strategy, you’ll supercharge your lead generation pipeline and drive sustainable business growth.

Learn how to create a blog that converts with this step-by-step guide to business blogging! Get Free eBook

Topics:   Inbound Marketing

Courtney Feairheller

Courtney is the content writer at Stratus Interactive, where she is responsible for writing original, thought-provoking blog posts on a variety of topics. Courtney has been writing stories since she was a wee little one and has experience in B2B and B2C content marketing in addition to SEO. See all Courtney Feairheller's posts.

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