It’s no mystery that inbound marketing is one of the most successful strategies a business can have. If you are serious about your digital marketing, it is a MUST and your audience expects it. The digital age is the catalyst to the birth of this sophisticated approach intended to gain a following of loyal clients for your business. If you are new to inbound marketing you should really take a moment to understand What is Inbound Marketing. Whether you are looking into implementing an inbound marketing strategy or your company is already working it, check out the following 4 core elements of Inbound Marketing that are key to your success.
#1 Responsive Website
A solid multiplatform website with fresh & quality content that meets current search engine requirements is the first step and will serve as the cornerstone to all of your marketing efforts. Some of the key things search engines look for in websites are original, high-quality content and optimized images, focus keywords, page loading speed, & mobile responsiveness to name a few.
Also, an interactive website loaded with juicy resources that provide value that visitors can download or sign up for like free pdf guides or eBooks. You’ll want to make sure that you have strategically placed CTA’s throughout your website. A CTA is a “Call to Action” designed to urge an immediate response from a visitor on your website which results in some action they can take right away. So for instance it could say, “Download our Free 10 Step Guide” the visitor can sign up with their contact information to receive the free guide providing them with value as you offer a solution to their problem, in turn you gain a potential lead. Another example could be one that says “Find Out More” that will lead them to click through to another area in your website. The more time a user spends on your website improves your website analytics.
These are a small fraction of all of the various ways you can design your website to enhance your inbound marketing strategy. Nonetheless, an optimized website is the first and most important element that will be necessary to harness the true power of inbound marketing that will tie in with the key elements to follow.
#2 Quality & Original Blog Content
Publishing consistent, high-quality content on a blog via your website is another key strategy to focus on your inbound marketing efforts. This directly ties in with your website in that it is often times the blog content that will bring in the traffic to your website. You will need to do some footwork to determine the direction for your blog. A good blog will be relevant to the industry and people you serve while zeroing in on the topics that your audience is looking for. Finding your niche can ensure that you are talking the same talk that can attract the ideal audience that you want for your business.
Furthermore, a blog is yet another opportunity to position yourself as the expert authority in your industry so that you can prove to potential clients that you offer the solution to their problem. Through some diligent research you can immediately address the pain points of your audience via keyword research and also find the communities that your audience lives and discusses related topics.
If you spend some time to understand your audience’s problems and interests you could target your blog content to address these topics. A magical thing happens when you produce targeted content that is written to search engine standards and loaded with the right keywords… you become the resource.
When you become the resource people go to get answers, it’s all a domino effect from then on. Search engines will notice your audience engagement going up, if your content is so good it gets shared, even better, this links back to you, boosts your credibility to your audience and search engines, and you get ranked higher and appear in more places and get more visitors. But you have to be consistent! If you produce it, they will come.
If you don’t publish regular content, you will not have resources people can come to and in turn you will not have traffic to your website. Imagine a fisherman sitting on his boat and waiting for the fish to come and jump into his buckets. Without doing anything, he will not catch fish. But if he constantly casts out a net with good bait, he will catch fish. You must do your part like the fisherman puts bait on the net for the fish to come consume so he can catch them. Now I’m not saying your clients are fish, but simply that you must put out good content that the audience you are trying to attract will be interested in enough to attract them to you. The key is to be very specific and to keep creating content to keep the momentum going.
#3 Social Media Content
There are so many social media sites that are super popular and have a built in user engagement. This is a major advantage for companies working on building an audience and establishing their brand. In this case, these social media venues are centralizing users to their application and if you can get to know the ins and outs of the various platforms, you can break through the crowds and gain a following. Producing methodical social media content in turn will improve the result of your inbound marketing strategy.
The most popular social media platforms every business should be a part of include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, & LinkedIn. There are of course so many more, but these are the leaders in the social media world that you must be part of. You will need to establish which platforms make the most sense for your business and come up with a social media strategy.
It is important to know the intricacies of each different social media venue and also recognize that user behavior, preferences, and expectations will vary from one platform to the next so you can optimize. Even though your audience may be using a variety of these, they will be expecting unique content tailored to their expectations within the platform. This means you have to really be dedicated and strategic. If you are not dedicated in establishing yourself as a voice in your industry within each individual social media profile, your audience will not be dedicated to you and you will most likely find it challenging to build a loyal audience.
Social Media is a place for community, entertainment, and information. It’s all about connecting with others. You must be willing to connect and constantly produce engaging content. Because with built in users, if you are successful in attracting them to your profile, you have endless opportunities to win over your audience so that they stay interested and engaged and take the time to get to know more about what your company can do for them.
Let’s take Instagram for example; algorithms are already designed to put you and others in front of user profiles with common interests. If a user clicks on your profile cause of a catchy name, profile picture, or post, the awesome part is that they might follow you if your posts catch their interest. Further, if you use the built in feature to include a website link in your profile, there is a good chance they will click on it to get to know more. This means user engagement on your Instagram profile has also influenced traffic to your website, and this is exactly what you want. Once the user has gotten to your website then your strategies go to work, you could have gained a lead, and everything comes full circle!
There are so many benefits to social media. Think of it this way, you are on some of the top utilized social platforms getting totally free exposure. Not to mention there are also paid marketing options within each platform that you could implement for yet another boost if you have a marketing budget. Get to know social media and get social with your clients!
#4 Search Engine Optimization
We have already brushed over search engine optimization earlier on because it is the technical piece of inbound marketing. Search engine optimization, or SEO is always the focal point of all inbound marketing efforts. Every strategy you implement that you wish to successfully execute will need to be conducted with SEO in mind always.
It can be a number of things for instance, the image size and resolution quality on your website or even social media. Another is ensuring written content is optimized for SEO meaning that you are using the right keywords, total word count, format and structure. Another example is making sure your website structure is up to date with current recognizable requirements. How other sites link back to you, is also an aspect taken into account. The list is very lengthy when it comes to all the things that can be done for SEO. Ultimately, it can’t be ignored if you want to increase your visibility in organic search engine results.
Your visibility online will either make or break your inbound marketing efforts. There are a lot of technical aspects to look for in SEO so making sure you know your stuff or working with an SEO expert is paramount to your success. SEO strategy as a core element of inbound marketing will tie everything else together.
No matter how great your content is on your website, blog, or even social media, if no one can find it, then it’s pointless and this is why SEO is the glue that will hold the other elements together and influence the ultimate success of your overall inbound marketing strategy.
Once you notice consistency and results from these 4 core elements, there are so many additional ways you can enhance your overall inbound marketing. A good rule of thumb is to always keep your client and their needs at the forefront of everything you do. After all, if you demonstrate a genuine concern for your ideal customer, they WILL notice. This caring approach is the heart of what will sustain your audience loyalty as a result of your inbound marketing efforts.