In my last post, I discussed about fundamentals of inbound marketing to make you understand what exactly inbound marketing is. In this post, we got a bit deeper to discuss some important strategies.
Marketing is something which you cannot ignore if you are planning to start a business or sell a new product. While the strategies are plenty, you need to choose the one that suits your business model the best. Inbound marketing is the most effective way to convert strangers into potential customers and then promoters.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is inbound marketing?
- 1.1 #1. SEM (Search Engine Marketing):
- 1.2 #2. Pay-per-Click (PPC):
- 1.3 #3. Blogging:
- 1.4 #4. Website:
- 1.5 #5. Social Media:
- 1.6 #6. A pop-up notification:
- 1.7 #7. Guest blogging:
- 1.8 #8. Content Marketing:
- 1.9 #9. Email marketing:
- 1.10 #10. Affiliate Marketing:
- 1.11 #11. Landing Pages in your website:
What is inbound marketing?
This is a process of attracting people to your website or product and converting them to customers. This uses marketing as a technique by creating appealing content for the customers. Once the content is tailored into the needs of the viewer, select the channels through which you want to publish the content. Publish the content over the internet through the channels and that’s it, you will start getting calls, emails or chats from your potential customers.
For everything in a business we need clear strategy and inbound marketing is not any different. We need actionable strategies in inbound marketing. There are four stages for inbound marketing. Attracting, converting to potential customers, transforming them to customers and then delighting the customer. The ways to attract potential customers to you differs. Once you have got the leads (list of potential customers and their contact details), you have to convert them to customers. Here, we are going to discuss about the strategies we can use while planning for inbound marketing:
#1. SEM (Search Engine Marketing):
This is a technique of marketing in digital media to attract people to your product or service. Using some techniques companies try to increase the visibility of their web site and products to collect leads for potential customers. One of the widely used method in Search Engine Marketing is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In SEO, we seek the help of keywords to get visibility for our website in search results. In other words, we optimize the keywords (Should be taken care while writing the content) used in a way so that the chances for our site to appear on top in the search result are increased. Not only you have to optimize your keywords according to the search pattern, you also have to get an analysis done in a regular basis to know whether a particular keyword is working out. You have web analytic tools in the market for the analysis. This comes in the first stage of inbound marketing.
#2. Pay-per-Click (PPC):
Next in the first stage (attracting leads) of inbound marketing is PPC. This also is a part of Search Engine Marketing, but is paid so we do not have to put much effort as we need to have in Search Engine Optimization. Here you pay for the keyword and make your advertisement shown at top. When you search for something in Google you would have seen a listing which has ‘Ad’ written below the title in green background. These are the paid Ads. They pay to the search engine so that their pages are shown in on top of the search results. Pay per Click (sponsored listings) means you have to pay only if one viewer clicks on the link. There is another version for this as Paid Inclusion just to add the Ad in the searching list and not based on the number of clicks (have a fixed rate).
A blog is one of the best ways to attract people to a website and then convert them into leads. You can write effective and meaningful content to keep the audience interested and make them anxious to know about your product (Services). If the blog is an interactive one, the number of leads will increase. You will have to answer the questions asked about your product and keep them interested. This technique is mainly used to get noticed by more people and collect the leads from them in order to filter out the potential customer. Do not hesitate to use videos and images in your blog, since more than half of the searches in search engines are for videos and images. You can give the option for subscription as a push notification in the home page. You can even leave a toll free number for your company in the posts. Other than creating your own blog you may even do as guest blogger in other blogging sites (Select the blogging sites which are similar to your product’s nature).
Optimize your web site’s home page in a way to attract leads. Make your page appealing to visitors and showcase your site as a beacon of help for their needs. Make good use of content marketing and other online marketing trends to make your digital storefront (website) welcoming. You can even offer a free guide if they are ready to sign up for the newsletter. There are so many ways to make your website user friendly and appealing. You may add a chat button in the home page, by which you may get a customer or get lead to a potential customer. Another strategy is to make your website mobile friendly. Optimizing your website to attract more audience is in the first stage of inbound marketing. Do research on how the similar websites are designed and make the changes keeping people in the mind.
#5. Social Media:
This is another medium by which you can get the leads you want. You can create a page in social networks and introduce your products through them. Nowadays these are the networks on which your ideal customers will be spending their time. People like to be connected always through the social networks. To be in business creating quality content is not enough, but you should have good promotion plan. Social media also provides you with free and paid services and tools to promote your marketing. You get to know the nature and type of the audience you are dealing with and change your strategy accordingly. By using social networks for your inbound marketing, the chances to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) increases. With the data analytic tools you can understand what type of audience are interested in your content and also whether extending your territory will benefit your business. You can even combine with blogging by placing “social snippets” in between your content.
#6. A pop-up notification:
By the name itself you would have understood what I mean by pop-up notifications -a method to succeed in the first stage of marketing. If you have searched for something online you would have definitely landed in a web page that contains the information that you need. Most probably you would have got a pop-up notification asking you to enroll for subscription to get information about new releases or new products. So incorporate something like that in your website and I am sure you will get contacts of potential customers from that. So from those leads you can convert them into loyal customers. Make sure you make it an easy process and do not ask so many questions (You just need the contact information for now).
#7. Guest blogging:
Before saying how to use guest blogging for inbound marketing let us see what guest blogging is. In simple terms it is writing in other’s blog about your views while not compromising the integrity of the host blog. So now you have a platform from where you can drive attention to your website by your views. As the first step, list out the sites that welcome guest bloggers openly. You may create a sheet with the list of sites accepting guest posts. Search online for these types of sites and narrow down the number of sites. After that study the site you wish to post the content and create the content according to that so that you are widely accepted by the site’s audience. Another intelligent idea is to find out the owner of the site and send an E-mail to him/her. In the mail itself mention about your previous posts (Your web site), so that they can check before accepting you as guest writer.
#8. Content Marketing:
Just like any marketing content is the building block. If you do not have a meaningful content, all the processes after that will be a waste. So first we have to create content. This strategy is mainly used in second (transform leads to potential customers) and third (close the transaction and gain a loyal customer) stage of inbound marketing. So for an existing customer and prospect the quality of the content should be the best. Always remember that there is no scarcity in the number of service providers who are ready to provide the same service you are providing or may be more than that. So keep on updating your strategies, technologies and do not hesitate to make the needed changes. So in short if you ask me what is content marketing? – It is the distribution of the relevant and valuable content to attract and retain your customers.
#9. Email marketing:
This is another strategy used in the second stage that it to convert the leads into potential customers. There are so many analytic tools and Email marketing service providers you can seek help from. I searched online and could find a bunch of service providers who provides almost everything that is needed to create and maintain the Email marketing. Their basic feature is the bulk Emailing. But the service providers also equip you with the tools for analysis. When I say tools for analysis, it means tools that provide you the data for analysis and planning. The result gives you the understanding about whom we have to target and whom we have to contact again. What type of audience is interested in your product (Tools even give the idea of the age group). You have another option for this in the form of marketing automation – software that works in the back end and automates the whole marketing process without the intervention of anybody.
#10. Affiliate Marketing:
As everybody knows referral programs are the best example for this type of marketing – making your customer to do the marketing for you. So this is the best idea to keep your existing customers happy and gain new customers. You can even sponsor events (webinar) that are popular. So this makes you and your customer happy. You can do this in two ways; either you can pay for an affiliate with another business or you can offer an affiliate program to your customers. In both cases you will have to pay a commission to your affiliate. Yet another way to market your product is affiliate it with some content writers, so that they will include your product’s link. Here also you will have to pay a small commission to them.
#11. Landing Pages in your website:
Once you have got the leads from the first stage (attracting leads); be sure that the possibility for these leads to become potentials customers is higher. Next stage depends a lot on the landing page and makes sure that it is welcoming and interesting. You can seethe best example for this in the marketing mails from online stores. When you click on the interested products the pages are designed in a way that you cannot close without checking more. Here the better strategy will be to design the page before you start the inbound marketing, so that you get the results fast. Even though the landing page is same as any other page in your website the sole purpose of the landing page is to promote the particular product or service for which you are doing the inbound marketing. So it is necessary that the landing page makes the consumer click on the purchase button. The image, video and content should be optimized for that.
These are the first 11 strategies that came to my mind when I started to write about inbound marketing. As I said in the beginning the four stages are very important and needs different approaches for an inbound marketing to succeed. So now it is your turn to start selecting and planning the strategy suitable for you.
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