Over the last decade and a half, inbound marketing has made the necessity of business growth a more streamlined task than an arduous obstacle course.
Our growth marketing team understands the importance of inbound, and just how beneficial it can be in your various campaigns. Not only can it help you understand how to best meet the needs of your customers, but it can provide ways to find new prospects.
Inbound, while not considered traditional marketing, is not a brand new concept. Meaning many companies have been sharing their achievements for a while so other businesses can find success as well. Our team at DC Dev Shop is no different.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a business methodology that encourages creating content that is tailored towards specific customers. It emphasizes forming connections with customers while solving their problems.
According to HubSpot – the originator of the term “inbound marketing” – there are three ways the inbound methodology can be applied:
- Attract: drawing in the right customers with helpful content that encourages engagement
- Engage: providing solutions that support their goals
- Delight: offering support to inspire your customers’ success
When your existing customers are successful and share that with others, new prospects will find their way to you. They become sponsors or, in a way, walking billboards. Therefore, creating an inbound strategy that works for your business can make all the difference.
1. Expand Your Media Content
The visual is an extremely important aspect of every marketing strategy. Having the ability to create and share media that incorporates your brand is a great way to market your business.
Whether it be through social media or other marketing strategies, adding a visual component can be the deciding factor for audience interaction with your content.
Photos & Videos
Implementing photos and videos into your marketing is always a great idea. Not only do they give you enhanced creative freedom over your branding, they allow you to share that creativity with others in a very approachable and visually pleasing way.
In recent years, podcasts have become incredibly popular. While they aren’t for everyone, podcasts can introduce your business to a new audio-friendly audience. They give customers a unique way to learn about specific topics that you provide to them at their own pace.
Additionally, podcasts are a great way for you to form relationships with your audience members by giving them a way to hear your voice. This provides a new platform for customers to feel connected to your brand and closer to your business.
2. Search Engine Optimization
When someone researches a topic on a search engine, the order of the results depends on SEO. No matter the topic, any website that can relate to the searched term will appear in a ranked order. Fortunately, there are different actions you can take to help increase your website’s ranking online.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is improving both the quantity and quality of traffic coming to your website through search engine results. This is derived from better online rankings via search engines.
To get a start on SEO, consider adding keywords to your blogs, website and other marketing material. These keywords will ideally be what your customers are searching for and can help rank your website higher in their search results.
More advanced practices involve setting up your content to match the intent behind the search queries, which we’ll cover next.
3. Write Relatable, Desirable Content
Writing and sharing targeted content on your social media accounts and website is great. However, making sure you are writing relatable blog posts is even better. By producing content that your audience wants or is interested in, you increase your chances of exposure.
This is where many of your SEO efforts will happen. By writing about commonly searched topics and including those keywords, you are increasing your SEO. Once your audience deems your writing useful, they are more likely to come back to your site for advice, or your business for services.
Writing to relate is another way to make your site more credible and user-friendly as it pushes visitors through the customer journey, or “Buyer’s Journey” as it’s called in inbound.
Sharing your website with others can only do so much. You need to ensure that once visitors arrive on landing pages you have taken the necessary steps to encourage conversions.
Whether this involves simply making the design visually appealing, or including different ways to interact with visitors, it is important that you make landing pages that convert.
Mobile Responsive Pages
With the popularity and accessibility of cell phones and tablets, it is vital that your website is accessible on mobile devices. Many times, your website will appear differently on various devices, so having mobile pages that work across different screens is extremely important.
Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a very important aspect of creating landing pages that convert. CTAs ask visitors on your website to do something. Whether that is to subscribe to something, fill out a form for a specific service or share their information, CTAs are a great way to solicit interaction from your visitors.
5. Utilize Email Campaigns
Don’t have a mailing list? Utilizing the emails of various contacts is a great way to maintain customer engagement.
It’s important to remember that emails don’t always have to be selling a specific product. Maybe you write a piece of content for your site that can be combined with others and made into a monthly newsletter. Alternatively, you can advertise events like contests and meetups via email.
No matter what you use your email list for, it’s crucial that you don’t overdo it. What does that mean? Decide what you want to use it for and keep it simple. Whether that be a monthly or biweekly email, set the pace that works for you and maintain it. Growth can occur over time.
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6. Have an Authentic Social Media Presence
Having an authentic social media presence plays a crucial role in your digital marketing efforts. Oftentimes, prospects will look for a business’ social media accounts during the research stage (Awareness Stage of the Buyer’s Journey). Therefore, making sure you have a social media presence is crucial.
Additionally, interacting positively and authentically online is an important way to form and maintain relationships with customers. Including honest reviews and sharing your work are more ways to be active on social media while maintaining an authentic presence.
7. Create a Contest or Giveaway
Who doesn’t love a giveaway? Obviously, not everyone who enters can win, but you will!
By creating a contest or giveaway, you have been able to gain contact information from either customers or prospects.
Additionally, creating a contest or giveaway is an awesome way to get people interested in whatever services you offer. Prospects, whether they won or not, are now aware of your business. Your contest has given people an excuse to look at your website and read about what you offer.
8. Release a Survey
A survey is always a good way to stay updated with your customers. Aside from giving you another reason to check in on the service you provided, it allows you to remind them of your additional offerings. Additionally, a survey shows your customers that you care about their feedback and want to keep them engaged.
If there is something new you want feedback on, make sure to include a question about it. You have the ability to get feedback on whatever aspect of your service you choose.
Once you receive completed surveys, feel free to tell your customers you’ve heard them. Following up in an email or phone call to thank them for completing the survey and either gather more information about their responses or explaining next steps is great customer service.
Remember that no matter how you send the survey, you can get creative. Don’t be afraid to design it in a way that emphasizes your brand or offer it in a less than traditional way.
9. Display Case Studies
Sharing the case studies for your previous work is an excellent way to display your service and expertise to prospects. No matter your business or industry, providing examples of how you have solved other customers’ problems is a great way to promote yourself.
Case studies can also be a way for you to talk about a time that you were collaborating with a customer and worked past a dilemma. Showing how you were able to resolve the issue and get the work done can illustrate your resilience and ability to problem solve.
Finally, case studies are a great way for prospects to recognize your work. Maybe you have worked with someone they know of and they were unaware. Or maybe you have worked on a similar project. By sharing those case studies, you have showcased your previous success and the potential for their project in a familiar way.
Networking is the most important thing you can do in any field. Whether it be at an event, in person or online, networking is the best way to expand your contacts. Once you’ve made those connections, you can reach out to them for a variety of reasons.
Contacts in your network can not only help with inbound marketing, but with employment, mentorship or other field-related questions. While you point others in their direction because of their services, they should be pointing leads in your direction as well.
Additionally, contacts that are willing to interact with your brand on social media or give feedback on your marketing efforts are extremely helpful. Any pointers they can give based on their experience will be beneficial.
11. Provide Resources
Providing your customers and prospects resources is a great inbound marketing strategy. It shows that you are willing to give them what they need to succeed. Furthermore, it displays your ability to provide them with the information they need to solve their problems.
If your customers know they can rely on your business to provide them with reliable resources to help solve their problems, they will keep coming back and potentially bring more contacts with them.
These resources can be anything from other companies and contacts or a physical resource like a tool or informational pamphlet. Making sure your business has a reputation for being helpful and reliable can be as simple as offering these resources to the right people.
A checklist is a simple offer you can give prospects that help them in the buyer’s journey. Essentially, as they are researching a product or service, it will help them along in the process while giving your business credibility.
A good checklist will be introduced as a helpful tool prospects or customers can use to measure where they stand in terms of an offering you provide. They will fill it out and either feel accomplished, thanking your company for the insight, or that they have a major operational flaw.
Checklists give prospects a reason to come to your site and convert on multiple levels. By asking for a prospect’s email before giving them the checklist, you are adding people to your mailing list. For current customers, checklists help you provide further support and keep them engaged.
Practice What You Preach
It’s one thing to research inbound marketing tips and another to put them into play, so try some of them out! Not every tip will work for your business, but it is important you keep exploring. Once you find methods that work best for you, you’re set!
Inbound Marketing is all about finding new prospects while satisfying current customers. That being said, you should always be looking to improve. Yes, selling your service is important, but what’s even more important is keeping those that support your business happy.
Our team at DC Dev Shop understands what goes into a successful inbound marketing strategy, which is why we practice what we preach. Interested in hearing more about our inbound strategy or what you can do to improve yours? Contact our team today!
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