The days of traditional outbound marketing where you would interrupt the digital experience of anyone and every one by displaying your ads are soon to be over. Digital info-seekers have started feeling annoyed by the ads that pop up in the middle of their browning, especially when they are not even anywhere related to their personal search intent or interest.
Replacing outbound in the world of marketing is a more personalized approach offered by inbound marketing!
Indeed, inbound marketing is shaping the new marketing world and enabling businesses to reach out to target audiences based on their own buyer personas and attracting them with what they actually want to see. It is relevant. It is informative. And it does not pop up right in the users face when they do not want it.
The ‘value first’ approach to inbound makes it more effective in marketing. It helps companies gain the trust of their potential customers, convert them with quality content, and even keep them delighted even after they become a customer.
Inbound marketing can help you form connections with the right people by offering what they need through the right channel. It can help you skyrocket your marketing results and that too at a very limited budget. And if you are also looking to supercharge your inbound marketing, here are some strategies you can consider.
1. Reach-out to Micro-Influencers
Influencers are the people with popularity among a particular demographic. While the major influencers could cost your marketing budget to touch skies, reaching out to micro-influencers could be a nice bet.
Research your audience niche and know what age, gender, area, and various other factors you are targeting. Look for micro-influencers in such niches who have a following of around 50k-100k.
Unlike typical celebrities, public figures, and experts, micro-influencers are those who have a strong niche following on social media. In fact, a study by MarketingDive states that 82% of the respondents are "highly likely to follow a micro-influencers’ recommendation"
You can collaborate and join hands with micro-influencers as a part of your inbound marketing strategy. By promoting your product or service, these micro-influencers would reach out to a new set of audiences.
While their following might be smaller, the engagement that they get is much higher. Their discussion around your product or service is also 22.2 times more than the famous influencers with a much higher following.
2. Optimize for Search Engines to Gain Visibility
While many have started believing that search engine optimization has become obsolete in the digital world, the truth is far from it. SEO is the foundation of inbound marketing. Optimizing your content for search engines is the only way to gain more visibility organically.
You want to reach out to your target audiences. What better way to do that by ranking on top when they search something on Google, Bing, or any other search engine. If we talk about Google alone, the search algorithms are changing with each day and each update it rolls out, creates a new challenge for the SEO experts.
● Keyword Research: It all starts with finding the right keywords that your potential customers would search for. Segregate the list into primary keywords and secondary keywords. Competitor search, tools like SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, and various other tactics can be adopted for your keyword research. Try ranking for actionable keywords.
● Great Content: When you want to attract the audience with your content, you better create content that stands out. Great content that fits the right length, has the right mix of primary, secondary, and LSI keywords, and is visually appealing is important. It should offer a great digital engagement and should be crafted to please the readers.
● Internal Linking: Once your content is ranking on the required keywords, you need to start linking all your pieces together. Whether it is your blogs or your web pages, make sure that they are interlinked with keywords as your anchor text so that the visitor never leaves, no matter how much he/she wants to.
● Backlinks: The next way to gain more visibility and lure new visitors is by getting your content on other high authority sites. You want other sites to link back to you so that their visitors can visit your site and know about you.
● Local SEO: What’s reigning high in inbound marketing for 2020 is local SEO. You need to build your local presence in the digital world to attract more business locally. Add local keywords in your content, claim your Google My Business listing, get your address, name, and numbers verified, and much more to improve your local SEO and get inbound leads locally.
3. Leverage the Power of Social Media
To grow your reach among the audience, it is important for marketers to be able to leverage social media to their advantage. Whether it is about content distribution or insights collection, no tool can be better than social media to connect.
This is one platform where your potential customers and prospects can directly communicate with you and know how your brand actually works. This is the most important step in connecting, engaging, and delighting.
Whether you make use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other social media platform, generating visibility becomes quick and easy with social media marketing or SMM.
With over 3.8 billion users, over 48% of the population is on social media. You can leverage the power of the best social media platforms to connect one-to-one with your customers. In addition to sharing engaging content, infographics, images, videos, etc., on social media, you can also see where your audience is mentioning your brand and how they are interacting with it.
4. Go All-In With Video Marketing
Who doesn’t like videos? They are an easy and convenient means to convey your message clearly to the audience. And apparently, 87% of the businesses believe in video marketing. No wonder they’ve gone all-in with videos for their marketing tool.
In fact, not just businesses, if we talk about the audiences for whom you create content, 86% of the people want their favorite brands or even the companies they deal with, to provide video content in 2020. Whether it is about conveying information, creating awareness, generating leads, or even increasing sales, videos are a fool-proof tool.
- You can use social media videos on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and other channels to attract your audiences.
- You can add video content in your blogs to increase reader engagement.
- For explaining your service or products, you can have video-guides or demo videos showcasing each step in a defined manner.
- Have a brand video where it explains your vision, mission, story, and offerings of your company.
- Put up expert interviews on your website to build authority.
- Add video testimonials and case studies to feature your satisfied customers on your page.
5. Improve Your UI & UX
What good would a beautiful website do for a visitor if it isn’t intuitive to make them stay? All your efforts in beautifying your website would go in vain if the user finds your website to be slow in loading or if he/she cannot navigate to the required page. This is why it is important to work on your UI and UX before launching your inbound marketing campaign.
Inbound marketing works in four steps- attract, convert, close, and delight. In order to engage the visitors, you need to improve the UI and UX of your website.
Right from the main navigation of the website and its loading speed to the placement of CTAs (call-to-action buttons) and chatbots, everything should be optimized. Use the data collected by visitor behavior and customize the website experience accordingly.
Look into your buyer personas clearly and ensure that your website is tailored to offer an intuitive experience. By improving your user interface and especially your user experience, you can definitely optimize your lead conversion process as well.
6. Make Content Analytics Tools Work for You
If you have the slightest bit of understanding of digital marketing ecosystem, you would know how important it is to measure and analyze everything. Measuring the results of your efforts is the key to growth. It tells you how well your content performed and whether it was able to garner the reaction or response from the target audience.
Once you know which type of content is working for your inbound marketing and eliciting the required response, you can create similar content.
From analyzing the data collected through different channels to using AI-powered analytics tools for content analytics, you can utilize a plethora of tools to know how your content is working. Here are some of them:
● Google Analytics: One of the best tools you can use to analyze the performance of your content is through Google Analytics. It can tell you the bounce rate, page sessions, new users, repeat users, acquisition, goal completion, and much more.
● SEMrush: SEMrush has a content marketing toolkit that would not just be extremely helpful in analyzing your content performance but also your overall inbound marketing efforts. You can even track the content you have created, the guest posts, and all other things. Apart from that, it allows you to audit your site content to tell what’s working and what’s not.
● HubSpot Analytics: Hubspot came up with the term inbound marketing and its analytics software program works wonders with your inbound marketing strategy. It gives you real-time updates of the users opening your blog or the web pages, conversions made from the blog, CTAs clicked, forms filled, and everything else to simplify your funnel. This is a full-funnel analytics system that simplifies the collection and analysis of content data like potential leads, influential pages, website traffic, etc.
7. Convert With Email Campaigns
Emails marketing has been one of the oldest and traditional forms of marketing and has become an integral part of any inbound marketing strategy. Personalized emails sent out to customers can be an effective way to connect with your prospects.
Send out emails to those who have opted-in for receiving them and ensuring that you are not spamming them. You want your brand to have a positive impact on your prospects and not come out as those annoying companies that spam their inboxes. Make sure you are personalizing your email content and have an attractive subject like instead of simple clickbait to get open.
Most importantly, segment your email list and personalize content accordingly. Based on their click-through-rates, open rates, demographics, activity, satisfaction level, and much more, you can segment your email list and send out relevant content only.
Remember, a good subject like with engaging content and a well-placed CTA in the email can be enough to convert your customer.
8. Take It to the Next Level With Automation
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and many more emerging technologies are taking over the world today. You can make these technologies work for you in your inbound marketing campaign. Using these disruptive technologies, you can automate your inbound marketing.
There are several tools that can be used for automating your inbound marketing strategy based on the data collected post analytics. Marketing automation can play an important role in your inbound strategy as it can help you save time and effort by automating everything.
A very effective way these emerging technologies can be leveraged is by creating AI-powered chatbots that interact with the visitor and solve their general queries. This can be effective in delighting the users as it can give them instant information they require. They can help schedule meetings, qualifying leads, alerting sales teams, and much more.
There are many more ways marketing automation can help in inbound marketing. Here are some:
- Automated marketing analyzes the stage of the buyer's journey and creates email workflows to send out the desired email depending on the action the visitor took.
- It relieves the marketing team to personally guide each individual in the buyer journey. Now, automated marketing guides them through the sales funnel by giving them the required content.
- Creating automated emails and workflows can be effective in lead nurturing.
- It can be used for scheduling social media posts and publishing blog posts on the website as per the editorial calendar.
9. Get Smart With PPC Marketing
In a Utopian world, you would rank on top of the result pages for your desired pages organically by producing great content and search engine optimization. However, this ain’t a fairytale and you are not getting the top stop this easily. This is where PPC marketing comes to help.
With smart PPC marketing techniques, you can rank on top of the SERP with the targeted keywords and attract the visitors back.
- Use ads to answer queries of your target audience. Give them quality content that solves their problems.
- Create ads to help by giving them access to e-books, guides, infographics, etc. Make sure to collect essential information like name and email id on the landing page.
- Pay per click campaigns can also be used to collect and personalize the content the potential customers see on search engines as ads.
- For keywords with high competition, PPC can help you reach on top and gain visibility for the buyers with that search intent.
10. Get on With the New Multivariate Testing
Last but not the least, multivariate testing. This is extremely essential if you are planning for a successful inbound marketing strategy. As technologies have advanced, the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence increased, and we got the new version of A/B testing- the multivariate testing.
With so much data available to the organizations, A/B testing should not be the only option for testing whether one form of content, CTA, content form, or anything else would work. With multivariate testing, you are able to analyze many variables to determine whether your inbound marketing campaign would be successful or not.
The best part about multivariate testing is that you can get updates in real-time only. As you know if something is going to work or not, you can shift the budget and tweak the campaign for better returns. It allows for a more personalized approach to inbound marketing and enables the companies to cut through the noise.
On An Ending Note
Inbound marketing is the way to go if you are cutting down your marketing budget yet want to reach the targeted audience. This is a great way to attract relevant traffic and convert them through great content.
The strategies discussed above were some of the most effective ones in inbound marketing. You can try them in your next inbound marketing campaign and see them succeed.
Tanya Kumari leads the Digital Marketing & Content for Classic Informatics, a global web development company. She is an avid reader, music lover and a technology enthusiast who likes to be up to date with all the latest advancements happening in the techno world. When she is not working on her latest article on tech dynamics, you can find her by the coffee machine, briefing co-workers on the perks of living a healthy lifestyle and how to achieve it.