In our noisy world, people are looking for solutions to their problems and these inbound marketing best practices can help you boost leads and sales.
With inbound marketing, your marketing focuses on creating value by helping your target audience with content marketing and other inbound marketing strategies.
The inbound methodology is not new. Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing drives potential customers to the website using search engine optimization (SEO), landing pages, calls to action, and content to get more leads generated.
Once the contact information is in your system you can begin to build trust with case studies and begin to find a fit with the pain and your product or service. Once the prospect is ready to buy your inbound marketing focuses shifts to converting, closing, and delighting the customer.
The high-speed evolution of digital marketing tactics challenges professionals at every turn. Yet in the consumer-focused world of online business, it is imperative to keep up with changing trends and remain on the cutting edge of marketing technology.
Naturally, each stage of your marketing funnel must be continually optimized, but there is always a risk of pouring too many resources into one element, ultimately endangering your overarching strategy.
Despite this concern, getting the most out of your marketing doesnít need to be complicated. But, having a detailed plan, and an in-depth understanding of your objectives is essential.
A good place to start is with your approach to inbound marketing, as your content will often be the first point of contact a potential lead has with your brand. Continue reading to learn about six inbound marketing best practices that will help you attract, convert and close new leads.
1. Define Your Objectives
This may be an elementary step, but itís important enough to restate nonetheless. To fully optimize your marketing approach, schedule content efficiently, and budget effectively, you will need a clearly-defined plan. This means identifying your marketing objectives, choosing your niche, and determining exactly what message you wish to convey.
Once you are able to answer those questions, you can define long-term and short-term goals, set realistic timeframes for their completion, and make provision for any potential setbacks.
Not only does this reduce pressure on your team by giving them a clear path to follow, but it also minimizes potential stress on your budget by avoiding the expense of having to overcome an unforeseen obstacle.
2. Optimize Your Site
Having a strong SEO can underpin the success of your entire marketing campaign. After all, what good is amazing content if it doesnít appear in search engines results? Throughout your website, design and content development, make sure to keep SEO best practices in mind. Begin by identifying commonly-used keywords surrounding your topic; ideally, these should have a high search volume and low competition.
Once you have selected the keywords you wish to focus on, it is essential to keep these in mind throughout all aspects of your marketing campaign. Make sure to include your strategically-chosen keywords in your web pageís title, meta description, permalink, and image alt text.
Be particularly cautious of keyword cannibalization across your content. If multiple pages are competing for the same keywords, it can diminish the value of them all. Carefully monitor the success of each piece of content, and keep an eye on any changes in keyword popularity throughout the course of your marketing campaign.
Other simple steps you can take to improve your SEO include:
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3. Nurture Leads with inbound marketing
Leads are undeniably valuable, but only if they eventually can be converted. Once someone has engaged with your brand and signed up to your website or mailing list, you are certainly past the first hurdle. However, if you do nothing to develop that lead, the individual may lose interest, or forget about you altogether.
Follow up leads with targeted email marketing, and donít give up if the response is not immediate. The same applies to former customers who have not returned to your website. It may require trial and error to determine the optimal interval to leave between marketing communications.
However, those leads that you manage to recapture are more likely to be converted if you can retain their interest. The fact they have chosen to re-engage with your brand is a sign they are actively interested in what you have to offer but may take more work to fully persuade.
4. Create High-Quality Content
Every item of content you release says something about your brand. As such, it is far more valuable to craft a few well-targeted, educational pieces, rather than flood your website and social media channels with lower-quality content.
This will allow you to develop a reputation for useful, engaging content, while also increasing your chances of getting more high-quality traffic.
Quality content strengthens your SEO as it can be recognized by crawlers as being helpful and relevant to its audience. In addition, the more useful and engaging a piece of content is, the more likely it will be shared, discussed, and acted upon by your audience.
5. Learn To Understand Your Data
Watch out for vanity metrics that are meanless in your inbound marketing plans.
The field of data analytics has exploded in recent history, with greater numbers of metrics being defined all the time. †While many business tools can provide detailed access to these statistics, it is important to understand what you are looking at.
Not every metric will be relevant to your business or to your marketing objectives at that time. Others can be misleading if taken out of context, or if not considered alongside other data.
Take the time to brush up on your definitions and learn which information you should monitor in order to gauge the success of your marketing, and identify how and where it can be improved.
The following marketing metrics are a great place to start when analyzing your marketing campaign:
- Qualified leads: these leads are highly valuable because theyíre making their way through your nurture campaign cycle and know what services they need. When youíre aware of these high-quality leads, you can reach out to them personally to close the sale.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Calculate this metric by summing all your marketing expenses and dividing by the number of customers gained over a specific time period. This will show how much it costs to acquire each customer, and in turn, will reveal the effectiveness of your marketing.
- Conversion Rate: You can attract leads all day, every day, but if no one is converting, youíre wasting valuable time and resources. Track your conversion rate to ensure leads are being properly nurtured through the marketing funnel.
6. Repurpose Your Content
One of the reasons inbound marketing can have such a positive ROI is that a single piece of content can often be reused several times. Of course, this is not to suggest that it should simply be re-released in the same form.
However, by converting one form of content into another, you can not only gain the benefit of low-cost content creation but also target more varied audiences.
Some of your potential leads may prefer video content, infographics, or other visual features that are easy to consume while on the move. Others may be more interested in detailed articles, whitepapers, or content roundups.
Each time you repurpose your content, be sure to bring it up to date so it is relevant to your current audience. Furthermore, be conscious of when and where you release the new version, as it can still appear repetitive if readers identify the connection with the previous version.
However diligently you plan, not every piece of content will be a success, nor will every marketing campaign run as smoothly as you might hope. As such, the final point to remember throughout the marketing process is to be flexible, analyze results frequently, and learn from the things that go wrong so that you can make improvements in future campaigns.
You already know the value and potential of your business, so your goal should be to impart that to your audience through your content. Over time, you will evolve your marketing strategy, and refine your content according to the data you gather.
Wrap up on inbound marketing
Success may not happen overnight, but the more you improve your methods with these inbound marketing best practices, the greater the returns will become until your business meets and surpasses your long-term aspirations.
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