5 Tips to Enhance Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
It is time to accept the fact that, when it comes to marketing, inbound is the new outbound. The internet flipped the world of marketing upside down, and ever since, inbound marketing tactics (social media, blogging, landing pages, etc.) have over taken the traditional, outbound ones (television, radio, direct mail). Despite this evident transformation, many businesses have neglected to incorporate inbound marketing tactics into their existing marketing strategy because they simply do not know how. Luckily, the process is not as daunting as it may seem. Here are five tips that will help you implement an effective inbound marketing strategy:
1. Personalize your content. Mass marketing a single, uniform message to your entire target audience is no longer an effective means of communication. People have become accustomed to receiving uniformed and uninspiring emails for years and have innately learned to ignore them.
Personalizing and customizing your content will allow you to connect with your audience on a new level. Start by segmenting your audience based on specific variables and/or demographics, such as age, gender, industry, etc. Once segmented, subsequently personify each group according to their job title and/or responsibilities and identify each group’s goals and challenges. Doing this will allow you to understand your audience clearly, and create and share targeted content that addresses the interests of each segmented group.
2. Leverage existing resources to create content. Too often, organizations avoid inbound marketing because they don’t think they have enough content to share; however, if you know where to look, there is content everywhere!
Create content from frequently asked questions, use numbers and statistics in headlines when sharing content, send out surveys that help identify audiences’ and customers’ interests, develop case studies and testimonials that showcase customer stories and your expertise, and connect with industry influencers so you are always in the know.
You should always make sure you are leveraging your existing resources to both create new content, as well as repurpose existing content – it will make your life much easier in the long run!
3. Distribute content strategically. Contrary to popular belief, inbound marketing is more than simply using Facebook and Twitter to share content. While social media plays a crucial role, it is not the only method of communication that can drive measurable results.
Make sure to use available content channels to share your message in more than one way. For example, if you are advertising a special promotion, you should utilize your website, blog, Twitter, Facebook and other social media to do so. You may even consider developing a video to connect with your target audience. Beyond these channels, take the time to use Search Engine Optimization so your content reaches as many people as possible and use landing pages and forms to collect valuable information and generate leads. On a final note, in order to make the most of your content, create a calendar so you are able to schedule the date and time that you will post content on each channel.
4. Build relationships. Inbound marketing is about creating relationships with others and building trust and confidence in the products and/or services you offer. Develop your brand’s personality and let it shine through the content you share and always, always, always be honest, do the right thing, and show your audience that you care. Simply taking the time to appreciate and respond to those that interact with you will give you credibility and demonstrate that you are invested in the relationship.
5. Measure your inbound marketing. Too often, professionals resist creating an inbound marketing strategy because they don’t know how to measure its results. But, the truth of the matter is, there are a variety of tools you can utilize to justify your resource and time investment. Applications including Google Analytics ,a free, analytical tool that provides website metrics such as page content, engagement, loyalty and traffic sources,, Facebook Insights, LinkedIn analytics and Twitter Analytics each provide measurements to track growth trends and audience engagement.
In the age of information, utilizing inbound marketing tactics to build relationships with your target audience is crucial to your success as a business. Experiment with different inbound channels and find out how your audience responds. Moreover, know who your audience is, don’t be afraid to repurpose content, personalize and customize, be strategic in your dissemination strategy, communicate your brand’s personality and utilize the tools that you have available to measure your success and adjust your plan accordingly.
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About DJ Muller
DJ is President of WebLink International, a position he has held since the company's incorporation in 1996. DJ also served as CEO from 1996 to 2011. DJ conceived and developed the company's first product, Chamber WebLink, which was the first web based product designed specifically for chambers of commerce and associations. Under DJ's direction and…