Anyone who has ever ventured into the world of internet dating knows that an attractive picture gets noticed. But anyone who has ever gone on a blind date based entirely on a photo also knows that a lot more ultimately goes into how appealing a person is than how he/she looks in in a selfie. The same goes for inbound marketing. If you're hoping to engage and retain consumers, your success or failure is determined by a number of different, dynamic factors. Read on to learn five essential inbound marketing strategies.
The art of luring can be tricky to master.
1. Strategic Marketing Matters
While a variety of inbound marketing tactics exist, they are ineffective without a guiding strategy. Before you can begin implementing methodologies, you must first identify your overall strategic plan, challenges and goals. Solution-driven marketing tactics become the driving force in reaching these goals.
2. Know Your Consumer
The saying "knowledge is power," absolutely holds true when it comes to inbound marketing. Let's revisit the internet dating metaphor: imagine you were trying to craft your dating profile to cast the widest net and appeal to the largest pool of acceptable suitors. Wouldn't it be beneficial to know a bit about your ideal candidate?
In business terms, this is known as a "buyer persona," and includes a range of information such as age, job, location, and social media behaviors. Strategic inbound marketing tactics use this information to craft targeted content designed to specifically appeal to this demographic. In the process, you position yourself to effectively generate leads.
3. Add Value
If you want visitors to come back to your website again and again, original, interesting and valuable content is essential. After all, how many second dates have you gone out on with a total bore? This is where conversion architecture comes in: without a purpose, you've already lost the war. (And while keywords are less critical as Google evolves, it is still essential to incorporate them -- albeit skillfully and to a targeted end.)
While the content is critical, so is its presentation. A block of dense text is anything but compelling. Instead, draw readers in with a mix of eye-catching formatting, including everything from subheads and bullet points to photos and videos.
Valuable content doesn't just make you more important to consumers. It also helps you achieve better search results thereby ensuring greater exposure.
Lastly, keep in mind that visitors are one thing; leads are another. A well-executed call to action can transform the former into the latter.
4. Play Nice
Anyone who's ever witnessed or been involved in a one-sided pairing knows that the best relationships are reciprocal. If you want your content shared, be liberal about sharing the content of others. Leave comments and embrace every opportunity to interact. There is no downside, and the upsides are significant: others will respond and share your content, in turn.
5. Look Ahead
The internet world moves quickly, and yesterday's news can quickly become obsolete. Just as showing up for that first date in your prom tuxedo -- bellbottoms, ruffle shirt, wide lapels and all -- won't make a desirable impression, the same goes for the content you pitch on your site. By following the latest industry news and trends you can stay out in front of the competition while also delivering transformative content and generating leads.
While leads may be the goal, aiming for engaged consumers helps you get there.
Because inbound marketing tactics are neither static nor one-size-fits-all, they require customized, dynamic solutions. These five fundamentals can form the foundation for a strategic inbound marketing plan that not only increases traffic, engages consumers and generates leads, but also aligns with your overall organizational goals.