Regardless of what product or service your business offers, you likely have one primary objective in mind - growth! Thankfully, inbound marketing’s growth-driven design has you covered in that department. We have outlined a list of our top 11 tips for growing your business with the inbound marketing strategy. There are four main components to this process - research, SEO and content, blogging, and lead nurturing. Read on to learn about how inbound marketing can help optimize your business’s potential.
This is going to be all your preliminary, foundational stuff. You have to determine what direction you want to go with your business, and evaluate your objectives as well as your obstacles. The research stage is all about planning and asking questions.
- Define your business. What are your goals? What aspect of your business is going to be indicative of your success? What is your sales process? What exactly does growth mean to you? These are all questions that you need to be asking when going through this process.
- Study your industry. Knowing what the trends of the industry are and what your competitors are doing is paramount to your success. Keep up with the latest news in your field so that you can follow the industry-specific goals, as well as stay on top of the competition. And to that end - what is the competition doing? Why is what you’re offering different or better as compared to your competitors? The most important part of this step is to check back constantly - industry standards are always changing, and you don’t want your business left behind.
- Know your customer. We always want to emphasize and optimize the user experience and the buyer’s journey. Talk to your sales team about who your customers are and what questions they ask most frequently. What are your target demographics? What correspondences do they respond best to? If your target demographic is ages 65 and over, using Snapchat as your primary marketing platform might not be the most effective move for your business. Knowing who the customer is, what they want, and including them in the process will not only help you sell your brand, but will also establish trust with the customer and keep them coming back for more.
SEO and Content
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to how all the factors of your website influence your search engine ranking. How you organize your content strategy, the quality of the content you put out, how much traffic you generate, and the keywords you use are just a few things that you might consider when addressing your SEO.
- Keywords, keywords everywhere!! Use industry-related language throughout your web page - in page text, URLs, headers, and in page properties like the meta-description. Play with some phrasing variation and incorporate both short- and long-tail keywords. A short tail keyword would be “website design”; these are great for including you in broader search results, when a potential visitor might not know what options are available to them. If you want to get more specific, use a long-tail keyword, like “website design and development South Carolina”. This is a much more specific search and will narrow the results significantly and give them exactly what they’re looking for - you! (Or in this example, us. Because we’re awesome.)
- Seriously. Don’t underestimate the keywords. You can even include keywords in your images and ALT tags. The images won’t display the words, but the search engine can still read them. For example, if I posted a picture and the name of the file was “web-design.jpg”, the search engine would be able to find that image if you searched “inbound marketing”.
- Create topic clusters. Topic clusters are basically a group of articles that fall under an umbrella topic. This article is part of our Inbound Marketing topic cluster, and there are several other articles included that pertain to more specific information within the same discussion. Topic clusters are great for marketing your website as a one-stop shop for all your customer’s questions in that topic. Link everything back to your blogs, and drive users to certain landing pages to help them pass through the buyer’s funnel.
Maintaining a blog is your opportunity to refine and present your content. Blogs are a great tool for your customers because they’re a gold mine of valuable information that users are delighted to read. And they’re great for you, too - engaging your users with your blogs generates high website traffic, which boosts your SEO and gets your brand out in the market. If your blog is successful, your business will be thriving in no time!
- Publish the right content, consistently. Your content needs to address the challenges and questions that your guests want answered. Obviously the most attractive information to us is the most relevant information, so you want to be consistent with the content that you present. You also want to be consistent with the frequency of your posts - with as fast as customer needs, industry goals, and technology are evolving, it is imperative that you stay relevant by posting frequently. Your content will quickly and easily get buried by your competitor’s blogs, who probably update weekly or even daily, if you do not update your own!
- Remember to use those CTAs!! We cannot stress this enough. CTAs are how you engage visitors with the product or service itself. Direct your visitors to a landing page with information about premium content - ebooks, whitepages, newsletter, email updates, you name it. CTAs should be central to your growth-driven design approach; they directly engage users with your business, and will transition your leads into customers in no time.
Now is when things really get fun! Lead nurturing can make or break your relationship with your leads, so this step is super important! (I mean, they all are, but still. Pay attention!!) You’ve spent all this time and energy dazzling your leads with your professional, informative website; now is the time for fine-tuning so that you can transform your leads into customers - and, most likely, promoters. Delight, delight, delight.
- Timing is everything. People don’t like to bombarded with anything, be it a sales flyer, an email, a promotion, or anything else that you may be offering. Overloading your leads with offers is a quick way to get them to unsubscribe completely, so be thoughtful and intentional with how you present your offers. If your sales cycle lasts a few months, send them an email every couple of weeks. That way your correspondence is relevant and current, but it’s not overbearing on your leads.
- Always strive to improve - refine your messaging! Be as specific as possible. Based on your lead’s interactions with your company - downloading an ebook, subscribing to a specific newsletter - you already have an idea of the type of information that they’re looking for, and even the format that they might prefer it in. You can build more content for them around these inferences, which is sure to delight your leads. Everyone likes to feel important; including your lead’s feedback into your business approach will make them feel like a truly valued customer to a trustworthy company.
- Decide what to give them. What are you sending your leads in these emails? What exactly do they want, or at least respond the best to? Blogs would be great to incorporate into this process; send them an excerpt from a blog post that elaborates on a topic they’ve already read about. Then, link them the full blog post within the email, so that they will be redirected to your website - and interact with your business even more. It’s all about the fine details at this stage of your marketing approach, so make them count!
If you follow these simple steps, your business will be ready to accommodate new leads and transform them into reliable, returning customers and promoters. Many of these tips are common sense, but they are not necessarily common practice. Make your business stand out by incorporating the user experience into every step of your marketing campaign - you’ll be leaving your customers wanting more!