Marketing in older times used to be a set of creative ideas that were developed by qualified individuals, fueled by checks, and executed in field with no idea about the effects they will have. The whole process was disconnected and divided into bits and pieces, and marketers crossed their fingers after launching each campaign. Today, however, the game has changed drastically with the entrance of inbound marketing.
Chief Inbound Marketing scientist, Mike Lieberman asks, ‘Is the marketing campaign dead?’ The answer to this question lies in our own perception of the marketing game. But before we answer this question, let’s look at what inbound marketing is.
Inbound marketing is an omnichannel plan that aligns all of the marketing mediums around a single goal.
Whether you talk about outmoded marketing campaigns or an inbound marketing campaign of today, success is achieved by meticulous planning that puts things into perspective. Inbound marketing grabs emails, social media, SEO, PPC, Ads, blogging and webinars and conjoins them to achieve a single targeted end-goal. Anyone can adopt this strategy to improve their marketing efforts and reap the rewards.
Hubspot has analyzed that companies recorded three times higher ROI when they adopted inbound campaigns. That does not mean that an inbound campaign is easy to execute. It requires a lot of concentrated effort to make content and run it on multiple platforms. But at the end of the day, inbound marketing is the best way to attract, nurture and convert visitors into customers.
If you also wish to run a successful inbound campaign, fortunately there are tried and tested ways that you can adopt to get desired results. These steps will help you design your campaign and also predict a positive result.
Your marketing campaign needs an anchor, otherwise it will scatter away. HubSpot talks a lot about SMART goals, which is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Set SMART goals so that you are able to steer the campaign in the right direction. These goals will help you make decisions when you need to choose between conflicting opinions. Every inbound marketing campaign has a primary goal – to attract people. So if you want to create a goal, start from things that attract the attention of people and make them visit your page or business.
Keep in mind that you need to start with a realistic goal, and not something that exhausts you and your team and gets no results. When these steps will be thought through, work will be easier to divide, implement and complete.
You can also analyze your current statistics on site visitors to set goals for a new campaign. Yes, you want to raise awareness, but how to make your brand/ product attractive?
It’s better to set realistic and achievable targets. You can’t quadruple your sales overnight, but what are the strategies you can employ to increase the current number? These are the kind of questions you need to ask yourself and your team in brainstorming sessions.
Every campaign needs a target audience. You need to research and come up with one or multiple buyer personas if you haven’t already. What section of society will like this product? How do you get their attention? Deciding on the buyer persona is the most fundamental step in any campaign.
It can make all the difference between a neutral message that is lost in the commotion, or a powerful message that makes an impression.
You can develop the target audience persona according to the following components:
You can learn more in the article ‘9 questions you need to ask when developing buyer personas’. If you still haven’t conducted an in-depth research into buyer personas, you need to start right now. The objective should be to know what is the level of brand awareness in these people’s minds about your product and company. Identify the role of key influencers, ages of decision makers, their specific interests, pain points and needs.
When you have a clear understanding of what you need and how you will achieve it, devise a content strategy. Content is going to carry the weight of your campaign and the greater the content, the bigger the leads.
Rachel Foster, a contributor at Content Marketing Institute, says; “The first step in content creation is to align your content with your target audience”. When you define a persona, you will know exactly the kind of content that needs to be created for these people. Align your content with the needs of the audience.
Create content that is interesting and share-able. This will act as a bait.
Once a person clicks, your first goal is accomplished. When you have a person’s attention, you can now tell them about your promotions. Here are some of the qualities of promotable/attractive content:
You also need a solid keyword strategy. Keywords are a must in an inbound campaign. Just select a handful of keywords, maybe three to four, and pay attention to them. This will help you immensely in making and sharing content. Strategic keywords can guide your campaign.
Because you are running a campaign, keywords help in indexing that campaign so that the progress can be recorded and analyzed. A few specific keywords will help your website rise in rankings, compared to scattered and un-identifiable keywords.
Don’t stuff each page with keywords, instead use them in headlines and the like so that indexing can take place easily.
Target keywords that people are searching for, and that are relevant to your site and product.
Google Keyword Planner is the best tool to use for this purpose. It will recommend you keywords to choose from.
Look at the local monthly search volume and find long-tail keywords which are more descriptive. Less competitive keywords are easier to rank, but the traffic that comes in will be targeted because people are looking for specifics.
You can do three things; either look for new keywords which have 0-500 range of searches, growing keywords with a search volume of 500-1000 or popular keywords with a 1,000+ search volume. HubSpot has a guide on choosing the right keywords for your campaign.
Make an awesome landing page which is so welcoming that people don’t bounce off. These pages provide your visitors with all the opportunity to interact with you.
What is the point of a website when it is not earning you any leads? Inbound Marketing may be a new term for business owners, but you will also hear business people wishing that their sites earn more traffic.
Yet, many people don’t know how to turn their sites into customer-attracting platforms. What is on your landing page that can grab the attention of your visitor and make them pay?
All that content curation and research that drives people to your landing page is useless, if the page isn’t ready to house those visits. Here are some best practices you can appy to your business:
Use clear and concise header messages: One good way to grab the visitor’s attention is to give it all in the header message. Look at this page by WhenIWork
Provide call-to-action (CTAs): Wouldn’t it be great if your site visitors knew exactly where you wanted to lead them, and did exactly what you wanted them to do? Since that connection can’t be made, you need to install clear call-to-action buttons. This is the area where you can take help from great site design to be able to portray what you have in mind. You can choose from a wide range of options, like colors and design elements, that direct a user to complete a task on the site.
Use thank you pages: The thank you page allows you another opportunity to sell and reintroduce your header message. It can either ask the visitor to sign up on a form or engage in any way that will help them convert. An example of a thank you page can be one in which the visitor can download the offer, share it on social media via buttons or sign up for a webinar.
Blogging is one of the most effective ways to market content and get the message across nowadays. No matter what industry your business operates in, you can create great blogposts with some creativity and scheduling.
If you are selling sports supplies, a good idea would be to create how-to posts; for example how to stay fit, choose the best fitness routine, and so on.
When you have helpful articles to offer, people are more inclined towards your content and blogs are the best way to lure people to your website. Once they are on the site, you can redirect them to the product pages.
Did you know that blogging is three times more effective at generating leads than traditional marketing?
You can provide your visitors with an offer, like an ebook, a webinar or a PDF download. Make sure that whatever you offer has some relevance to the product you want to sell. If you are promoting a tool that is of not relevant to your business, there is no point in promoting it.
The more the offers the better. Having two to three offers means that you have something for everybody. The Trio of Offers gives you the range to provide something for everyone: No Risk Offers for people just starting their buying process, Low Risk Offers for those slightly more engaged or a little further along and, finally, the Direct Business Offer for people ready to get started right away. – source
After all your channelized efforts, make sure that you record the progress and analyze it. The reward from all your planning will outweigh all the investment in time and money required to reach your goals. Only good and thorough planning will get you the desired rewards and smoother execution.
Inbound marketing may sound difficult, but a good team can make it work for you by custom-designing a plan that perfectly fits your needs.
Not every strategy works for every business. You need to carve out your own strategy for inbound. You can always go to Google Analytics for analysis. It is one of the best tools out there to record and view stats. Sign into Google Analytics, click ‘acquisition’ in the left column and then click ‘campaigns’ to see your campaign data.
If you have valuable advice on inbound marketing best practices, do share it with our community in the comments below!
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