The most common thing I hear about implementing an inbound marketing strategy is how overwhelming it feels getting started. With so many different moving pieces such as blog content, email marketing, social media, and SEO, it can feel as if there are a hundred things stay on top of all at once.
There are a lot of great ways to leverage your marketing with inbound, but it’s better to do a few things very well than to do too many things with mediocrity. When it comes to mastering social media, it’s best to choose one or two networks to start with and then add additional platforms if needed. I believe this is a strategy that can translate with inbound as well.
Even though you already have a great idea of who your target audience includes it’s vital to thoroughly think through your messaging before you begin to develop content. By empathizing with your ideal buyer and taking time to walk in their shoes, you will better understand how to create content that helps and educates your current clients as well as potential customers. Download our free Guide to Building a Better Persona here
Optimize Your Website
Every marketing strategy should include taking steps to make sure you are found in a search query. It would be a shame to produce amazing blog content week after week only to realize later that the reason people can’t find you quickly in a Google search is that you haven’t taken the proper steps to tell Google about your content.
Optimizing your site so it will be found by readers requires some additional work, but once it is complete, you will be able to spend the majority of your time focusing on other aspects of inbound. SEO optimization includes adding meta descriptions, title tags, images, and excellent content with targeted keywords. Read more about optimization here.
I know it’s tempting to jump right onto Facebook and start promoting your company, but without articles, videos, and infographics about what you offer you have very little information to add to the conversation. Remember, inbound marketing is about attracting the right customers and clients. The best way to do this is with excellent content that explains what your product or services are and why your ideal buyer needs what you are offering.
Blog articles are an excellent way to show Google that your website is active. Additionally, every new post is an additional URL opportunity for customers to find you in search. Blogs help you connect with customers in many ways including assisting you in explaining your processes, personality, and product features.
Still on the fence about blogging? Remember, “B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost three times more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month.” (HubSpot, 2015) Read 7 Ways a Blog Can Help Your Business Right Now.
“Written articles, videos, and images are the three most engaging types of content on social media.” (Clutch, 2017) So, now that you have a few blog articles under your belt as well as more in the pipeline to write, it’s time to get active on social media. Since you took the time to develop your buyer persona, you know which social media platforms your ideal customers prefer. This is great because social media for inbound is about existing in the same spaces as your customers and developing a trusting relationship with them.
I know what you are thinking, “this is going to take too long.” Building relationships is going to take much longer than reaching out to sell but remember, blog posts are one of the top things people prefer to engage with on social media. Your followers are less likely to ignore your posts or scroll past without reading them when you have something of interest to share.
One important social strategy to implement on every social media platform is to give more than you ask. Different marketers suggest varying ratios; 7-1, 4-1-1, 10-4-1 but they all agree you should share helpful, entertaining, or inspirational content more often than self-promotional content. If you give more than you take, you will build a strong following.. The great thing about inbound marketing is that this theory aligns with the entire marketing strategy, so it’s seamless to implement.
Leverage social within your comfort zone, but don’t be afraid to try new things. Post an Instagram story or make a Facebook Live announcement showing off a new product. And of course, be social!
Build Your Email List
Social media is a great way to get your company name out there and engage with customers, but it’s important to remember that you do not own the space on which you are posting. If Facebook crashes or closes your account, you lose every contact you’ve made. Building an email list is an important part of implementing a simple inbound marketing strategy. It may not be easy, but it's the only source of contact with your clients that you own besides your website.
Using MailChimp, you can begin building your email list for free and keep your contacts organized and GDPR compliant. Utilizing inbound methodology means that you will go a step further to build your email list than just asking for emails.
I suggest you review your analytics and determine which pieces of blog content seem to resonate most with your customers. Then create an offer around that subject. This may mean developing a longer written version of the blog post or creating a short webinar. Now that you have something great to give your customers that will help them, they are more likely to provide you with their email address for continued communication.
Ask for Help
Many companies set marketing aside when they get busy with clients, but this can have a negative impact on your website and social media presence. Automation will keep things running to some degree. You can schedule social media posts, blog articles and emails to send at specific times. Automation allows you to use your time more efficiently.
Still, as you continue to grow your best option is to delegate marketing to an expert who understands the importance of SEO best practices as well as inbound marketing. You will have more time to focus on your clients, and your marketing will continue seamlessly allowing you to continue to reach your ideal client.
We’ve just brushed the surface of inbound today if you are ready to learn more about how inbound marketing will help your business grow, start with our Free Checklist: How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign.
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