How to Improve Inbound Marketing
New to inbound marketing or just looking for some direction to optimize your current inbound marketing strategy? We've come up with a simple process that we use with all of our clients to improve their lead generation through tactics like email campaigns, content marketing, and search engine optimization.
Step 1: Planning and Target Audiences
Strategy is important to carry through your marketing efforts from start to finish. Without a complete strategy, your business risks losing leads and traffic at certain points in the customer journey making your entire campaign ineffective.
So, how can you make sure that your strategy is complete?
Effectively, the start of strategy for most of digital marketing involves industry and competitor research, and a lot of it!
Why Are You Using Inbound Marketing
- Are you looking for more qualified leads?
- Are you willing to work to prove yourself as an authority in your industry?
- Are you establishing smart goals in line with your market?
- Do you need to understand what goes into a inbound marketing plan?
Discuss with your entire company what inbound marketing is and why it matters to potential customers. Discuss as a team what customers are looking for when shopping in your industry and how you can provide content or assets that will help customers solve their problems.
Use your past clients to create buyer personas that frequent your products or services. Research into your buyers and their habits to discover where they're spending their time, what issues or problems they have that you could provide information or education on, and how they prefer to consume their content.
Check Out the "Blank Buyer Persona Example" on the left to understand how you should be developing the different types of buyers that are interested in your products or services.
Research your top competitors in your industry for your main product/service keyword. Use SEO software like SEMRush to determine what inbound marketing strategies your competitors are using. While searching around on your competitors profiles and sites make note of what content and platforms are performing well and what they aren't doing. Use this information in future stages to possibly provide an edge over your competitors.
Step 2: Attracting with Search Engine Optimization and Blog Content
One of the most important foundations to your entire inbound marketing program is keyword research. Again, take your top 5 competitors and determine what keywords are most relevant to your industry, product, or service. Generally, you want to organize your keywords into 3 different groupings.
- Money Or Pillar Keywords: These are keywords that represent your service product at the most basic idea. (Ex. Shoes, Home Building, & Accountant)
- Long Tail Keywords: Usually multiple keywords that specify or enrich on money keywords. (Ex. What are the best quality shoes made of?, How much does it cost to build a custom home?, and small business accountant near me)
Notice how long tail keywords are primarily solving a searchers query? Google understands that users of google are looking for answers and solutions to their problems and will continue using google as long as they find excellent answers to their problems.
Provide customers with the most transparent and helpful content you can with the "cost of custom homes" and Google will soon realize that you may be a excellent result for just the keyword, "custom home" in the future.
On Site SEO
Use on site SEO to provide google and consumers with signals that show relevance to the keyword you are targeting for your page.
If you are trying to rank for "Small Business Accountant in Asheville" make sure you insert those words in places like:
- Your Page URL
- Keyword At the Front of Your Title Tag
- Use keyword in your first paragraph
- Use your keyword in your H1
- Alt Text on Your Page Images
- Use LSI Keywords
- Link Out to Authority Sites On Accounting
Most things like URL, Title, and H1 can be accessed from your sites back-end CMS like squarespace, shopify, wordpress or whatever you use. You can also use sites like SEMRush which has a SEO Content Template Tool that shows the LSI keywords from the top 10 pages already ranking for your keyword.
Blog Content, Writing, and Planning
Creating blog content and service pages for search engines is one of the highest priority for attracting visitors to your site. Although, blogging is the primary form of content for most businesses online, using other forms of media in your content can prove useful for certain industries and clients.
Include these types of content to increase dwell time on your pages and encourage sharing of your content. Naturally, the content will grow over time with organic back-links and more authority given to your page and site.
Pay Per Click
Most social platforms along with Google and YouTube (two of the biggest search engines in the world) have advertising built within their platforms. Reference back to your buyer personas you created earlier and decide if PPC is efficient and the type of results you want with your strategy. Consider creating landing pages on your website specifically designed to the type of persona or client you're advertising to.
Social media should be a representation of everything you do as a company. Use your voice and make social media personal as a bridge between the real people in your business and the real problems your clients and industry are having everyday. Consumers love transparency, human stories and content. Encourage your company and every employee to share their pictures, stories and experiences during the day.
Step 3: Converting Leads and Qualifying Your Traffic
Premium Content That Converts
Your top pieces of content should be turned into premium content to build out your brand awareness, convert traffic and other crucial business assets. Usually these types of content are very thorough and provide some sort of laid out plans or content that users can use on their own that they couldn't create without your knowledge.
- Case Studies
- Product Guides
You want to use this premium content to gain access to certain business assets. Consumers will usually give information like email address, websites, and phone numbers for certain content that they can't access anywhere else on the web.
Use this information to build out lookalike audiences for targeted advertising or send them your blog posts through e-mails when you go live. Generating this type of traffic directly to your site and blog posts is sure to increase authority to your site which in turn will increase your site rankings.
Use CTA's to guide your customers
Think of CTA's (Call to Actions) as a beginning and an end to every page. Think about your home page and what you would do as a consumer once you reached the bottom of your page.
- Are there buttons offering to try your service or product?
- Do you have a button to your blog posts?
- Does your home page instill confidence with case studies or review links for potential customers to see?
These are just a few things to consider when evaluating how your website and pages direct customers through their journey. One tip for determine where your CTA and direction is lacking is to use Google Analytics to watch your traffic and where they leave the site or bounce.
Re-targeting and Increasing Conversion Rate
Personally, Re-targeting is one of my favorite and most underrated things to do that most companies, even very small and medium sized businesses can do at a low cost to improve their leads.
Re-targeting involves advertising to customers specifically the ones that have already visited your website. Through Google and Facebooks Ad Pixel, we can tell the advertisements to only show on customers that have visited our site. This can be classified down into an even more specific niche...
Have an online store full of different types of candles? Facebook can pick out the customers who specifically were on your "coconut candle" web page and you can create targeted ads with information of what makes your candles different or reviews of your coconut candles.
Step 4: Customer Nurturing and Programs
Inbound marketing has increased the practice of keeping customers educated and on top of things in the industry even after purchase. For one, customer opinions are now even more valuable than before. With so many consumer options, a large number of people speaking highly of a product alone may be enough for convert a sale for some customers.
Gain this trust and popularity by continuing education and keeping in touch with your clients through certain digital methods like
- E-Mail List
- Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Use these methods to continue educating your clients on industry standards, practices and common questions (Blog, E-Mail List) or to gather new clients from some of your current or previous clients (Reviews, Testimonials, and referrals).
Step 5: Analyze and Adapt
Inbound marketing is a multi channel approach to increase your visibility, traffic, and leads. From industry to industry, inbound marketing will look differently depending on what channels resonate with customers. It is very important to check and understand why certain channels of your inbound marketing are working or why they are not.
You can do this super simply with google analytics.
Pro Tip: Create goal values on google analytics to not only see where your traffic is coming from, but you can also see where the customers who purchase came from. With this information, you can adapt your marketing spend and strategy on channels that specifically convert for you.
This can save a lot of small businesses from the hassle of spending money they don't have on channels that look like they could work, but never end up converting. Through time, you can define this strategy until you find the sweet spot and watch your business grow!
You Can Do This!
Inbound marketing and marketing in general is easy to understand and implement, but difficult to commit to!
What do you think is the most difficult part of inbound marketing? Reach out to us if you have any questions about moving forward and growing your business into a successful industry leader.