Inbound marketing - you've heard a lot of buzz about it, but you may not be quite sure what inbound marketing means for your business. How are you supposed to tackle the inbound marketing challenge? What types of content do you really need for your business? If you're considering boosting your sales through inbound marketing, there are several key things you need to know.
Inbound Marketing: Defined
Inbound marketing is designed to create a new way of reaching your customers. Instead of tossing out a wide net like traditional advertisements -- radio ads and billboards, for example -- inbound marketing seeks to locate potential clients who are already interested in what your business does.
Wait -- what?
How are you supposed to sort out potential customers who are already interested in the products and services you're offering?
Inbound marketing is designed to help identify those potential customers for you, then target your ads to those individuals. Often, it starts with clearly identifying your buyer personas -- that is, clearly defining the individuals that you want to market your products or services to. What do they look like? What are their interests? How do they interact with the world: through social media, for example? What are they looking for on search engines? Once you've identified your target buyers, you'll start building your marketing strategy as you better get to know your customers.
Inbound Marketing Tools
Traditional outbound marketing efforts usually focus on ads of some type: billboards, newspaper ads, and radio advertisements, for example. These ads are usually an effort to sweep through a very broad audience to find the specific individuals who are most likely to be interested in their specific products and services. With inbound marketing, on the other hand, you're able to tailor your marketing efforts to a highly specific audience, then take your materials to where they are -- and, in many cases, allow them to find you, rather than going about it the other way around! Consider these tools in your inbound marketing arsenal:
Search engine optimization isn't just a buzzword. When your website is optimized for search, it increases the odds that your page will appear when potential customers do a search on industry information. Ideally, your SEO efforts should focus on keywords that are genuinely important to your business. The more specific the keyword, the better the odds that you'll be able to connect with exactly the customers you're looking for.
Imagine a running store, for example. This store sells running shoes, athletic wear, and items like energy drinks that runners use on a regular basis. They have goods that are useful for many different types of athletes, but they choose to focus on runners. They can -- and probably should -- focus some marketing effort on keywords like "sporting goods" and "sports apparel," but their real focus is on "running shoes" or "gear for runners." By optimizing their website for those keywords, they significantly increase the odds that they'll appear in those top search results on Google and other search engines -- and that raises the odds that customers will be able to find their site when they need it.
Blogging and Content Marketing
Maintaining a blog and other types of content on your website can help draw in customers. It shows off your expertise in your field and gives your customers more confidence in your products and services while simultaneously offering valuable information. This can improve your customers' overall experience and opinion of your business. In our running store example, the store might blog about how to choose the perfect running shoe or offer product reviews on new shoes, but they might also provide information about how to start running or how to handle injuries -- even if they don't sell products that involve those areas.
Social Media Posts
Around 77% of Americans are estimated to have some type of social media profile -- and most of those use them fairly regularly. Social media is an excellent tool for connecting with current customers and inviting new customers to come learn more about your business.
Your email list is made up of people who are genuinely interested, not just in the type of products you offer, but in your company. They have, at some point, provided you with their email address to access information, get a coupon, or add themselves to your mailing list. Are you taking full advantage of your email list?
Emails, like other forms of content, must offer genuine value to your readers. Whether you're sending out a coupon or highlighting your latest piece of blog content, your emails should be actively engaging to encourage readers to open them in the future.
Are you struggling to keep up with your inbound marketing efforts? Are you unsure about what to do next or how to move forward for more successful marketing? If you need help with your inbound marketing strategy, HIVE can help you reach your inbound marketing goals and accomplish more with your inbound marketing efforts. HIVE offers a number of services:
Inbound marketing help. Our basic packages are designed to cover all the details of inbound marketing, improving your place in your industry and giving you a better connection with your customers.
Content strategies. You know you need great content. Content creation, however, is an incredibly difficult proposition. Do you know how to create your content strategy? We can help you develop it and get on schedule to create incredible content that will bring visitors back to your site for their future needs in your industry.
SEO optimization. Do you really know how to optimize your website for search engines? Have you taken the necessary steps to get there? HIVE can help you improve your search ranking and reach a wider range of potential clients.
Website design. Your website is the online storefront for your business. Are you taking full advantage of it to produce the best look possible for your customers? If not, we can help!
We have been highly successful with a wide range of clients, helping them improve their business, make closer connections with their customers, and learn more about their buyers, allowing them to connect more effectively with them in the future. Do you want to increase your inbound marketing success? Are you looking for a company that will help you get there? At HIVE Digital Strategy, we're committed to improving your overall inbound marketing efforts. Want to learn more? Contact us today to discover more about the HIVE difference for your business.