For marketing professionals, there are two different fundamental practices for marketing to consumers – Outbound marketing and inbound marketing.
Outbound marketing strategies include many old-hat channels of reaching consumers by pushing out direct mail pieces, radio, TV and billboard advertising, or cold calling to attract sales.
Inbound marketing is the new-school ideology of reaching consumers through Internet marketing channels such as SEO, email marketing, social media, content marketing, and other strategies that work to drive inbound traffic to your website.
The role of an inbound marketing agency is to help their clients:
- Get found by consumers who are searching for what they have to offer
- Convert users into leads and sales
- Analyze the inbound marketing strategy to identify ways to improve performance metrics
Below I outline the core elements that your inbound marketing consultant will utilize to promote a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy that will drive traffic to your website, increase conversions and improve client acquisition.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of building relevancy, credibility, and authority for your web pages by optimizing them for targeted keyword phrases. SEO uses a mixture of on-site and off-site techniques from developing optimized content on your site to promoting your content off-site through a variety of social media, blogging and content marketing initiatives that help build links, promotes credibility and increases your overall authority on the subject. When executed properly, SEO is a highly effective means of inbound marketing because it increases traffic to your website. SEO is also highly effective for increasing conversions, with a rate of nearly 15% conversion as compared to a conversion rate of just 1.7% for traditional outbound marketing strategies.
At the core of any successful inbound marketing campaign is exceptional web content. Developing a content marketing strategy that effectively communicates your business’ brand through a multi-channeled approach helps to shape an inbound marketing strategy built for success. Crafting exquisite content that is interesting to read, listen or watch and has value to web users is the essential ingredient for a successful content marketing strategy. Keeping a diversified approach to content marketing by using videos, podcasts, blogs, articles, whitepapers, and infographics helps your brand reach a wide range of Internet users who may be interested in what you have to offer. According to HubSpot, companies that participate in blogging 15 or more times per month receive 5x more inbound web traffic than businesses that do not.
Social Media Marketing
Among the most effective inbound marketing strategies for companies and marketers today is social media marketing. Businesses can connect and engage targeted consumers who are interested in their product offerings, as well as promote retention of existing clients through various social media platforms. Among the channels that businesses should consider utilizing to communicate their brand (as well as promote their content) are Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Each of these platforms has a unique audience that your business can speak to, offering discounts and other promotions that build inbound traffic (and sales) and increase overall satisfaction and client retention.
Email marketing is an inbound marketing strategy that offers companies a measurable, scalable and cost-effective means of communicating their brand to targeted consumers. Email marketing provides a medium for promotion of your web content to drive more inbound traffic to your website. It also offers a means for promoting your company’s products and services, as well as any specials or discounts that your targeted consumers might be interested in. With email marketing you can increase traffic and brand impressions that lead to more sales and growth of your client base.
Website Conversion Optimization
One of the most overlooked aspects of inbound marketing is optimizing your website so it captures more conversions (leads or sales.) In inbound marketing, you can drive as much highly qualified traffic as you want using social media, SEO, email marketing or content marketing, but if those efforts don’t lead to conversions, you’re wasting your money. Be sure to work with an inbound marketing agency that understands the intricacies of driving more conversions. Among the website optimization techniques that your inbound marketing consultant might utilize are stronger calls to action, special on-site offers to visitors, custom landing pages focused on conversion, and simple navigation structure to promote easy access to web content.
When your company invests in an inbound marketing campaign, it’s important to continually measure the performance of your campaign on an ongoing basis. Doing this analysis allows you to identify potential shortfalls in your campaign that can be improved. It also allows you to identify additional avenues that your company should be using as part of its inbound marketing strategy. The overall growth and performance of your campaign hinges on this analysis process.
A well-rounded inbound marketing campaign can pay huge dividends for your company by increasing inbound traffic and generating more leads and sales. To learn more about developing a successful inbound marketing campaign, contact me today for a consultation.