The way modern consumers find and buy stuff online is transforming at a rapid pace. If you’ve already run a few online marketing campaigns, you probably are aware of the growing hatred for intrusive advertising and how it destroys the user experience.
While entrepreneurs and marketers have been using interruption-based, outbound marketing strategies to sell products for decades, we must explore alternative, less intrusive strategies in 2022 and beyond.
That’s where we need to explore more about inbound marketing strategies. If we look at the stats, companies that use inbound marketing can generate as high as 126% more leads than those that don’t.
Why has inbound marketing grown in popularity and success? One obvious reason is the psychology of modern consumers: they want their needs to be conveniently addressed without being bombarded with unwanted, intrusive content.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that helps businesses draw customers to their products or services through valuable content, branding, SEO, or social media.
As a business owner, it would be ideal for you to just sit back and let the customers come to you. But this isn’t going to happen overnight. Inbound ways of attracting new customers requires time and strategic efforts.
For a moment, think of yourself as a consumer. What do you do when you have a problem and are not sure what product or method will solve it? Most consumers go to Google and just type in the problem. And what does Google do? It comes up with tons of articles and blogs, delivering more information than they probably need to solve the problem or find that ideal product.
When it comes to inbound marketing, you must create content around those questions or problems your audience is asking on the web. You don’t have to promote your business. Instead, you’ll focus on what your audience wants to listen to or read.
Here are 5 inbound marketing tips and best practices that you must consider applying in 2022 and beyond:
1. Know Your Audience’s Preferences
It all starts from knowing your audience. Who are they? What kind of challenges do your prospective customers face? What are their goals? How do they like to consume content or communicate? By answering these questions, you try to anticipate the problems or questions they might have.
To make things easier, start with defining your buyer personas and ideal customer profile (ICP). This step involves defining the characteristics of your prospects that are likely to benefit from your products or services. If you run a B2B business, those characteristics might include company size, location, and budget.
While ICP doesn’t dive too deep into your targeted audience, buyer personas talk more about individual buyers based on their role, goals, motivations, title, preferences, etc.
2. Create Value-Driven Content
Creating high-quality content that speaks directly to your audience is at the core of your inbound marketing efforts. It’s your chance to attract, engage, and delight your readers and convert them into paying customers.
As I mentioned earlier, the first step is to understand your audience so that you predict the questions they might have.
Wondering what type of content you should use to engage your audience? Well, there’s no hard and fast rule. It really depends on what your audience likes to consume. If they prefer to consume visual content, you might consider creating videos or infographics. Generally speaking, you can create the following forms of content to inspire your prospects and customers:
- Blog posts
- How-to videos
- Live Video
- Social media posts
- White papers
The more detailed and easy answers you provide, the more authority and thought leadership you build in your industry. When creating content for your campaigns, don’t forget to use SEO to rank your content higher on Search Engine Result Pages. Many great tools such as Mongools and Twinword are available to help you track and improve your SEO strategies through keyword search, rank tracking, and more.
3. Build a Powerful Website
Your website is going to be an integral part of your inbound marketing strategy. You might have great products or services, but if your website isn’t up to your customer’s expectations, you’ll lose customers to your competitors.
You spend plenty of your resources creating great content for your audience. And when they’re ready to visit your website and learn more about your business, your website shouldn’t disappoint them. So, be sure your website is fast, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly.
Here is a quick fact to consider here:
70% of customers believe website speed has an impact on their purchasing decisions. When your site delivers a great user experience, your online presence leads to increased sales and revenue. Therefore, keep your users in mind when creating your business website. Each page should be clear and contain a consistent brand message. Wix and SquareSpace are on the top of the list for the best and easiest website builders to use that can help you quickly launch a professional website, but if you want something a bit more sophisticated and more flexible then you can consider WordPress for your website.
4. Take Advantage of Automation
The success of your inbound marketing plan depends largely on your ability to create an enjoyable customer experience across channels. Automating most of your marketing tasks will help you improve your overall customer experience.
Implement the right marketing automation program to improve communication with your customers and keep your efforts consistent. Automation also makes it easier to measure your performance against your set goals. Hubspot and Constant Contact are affordable and powerful tools that can help you with some of your marketing automation.
5. Test Rigorously
Keep tracking your marketing campaigns on a regular basis. There’s always room for improvement. The good thing about digital marketing is the ease of tracking your performance and testing your campaigns.
Whether you want to run a content marketing campaign or want to test a CTA on your website, you’ll find plenty of tools and analytics to test everything. Google Optimize is a good example of such a testing tool that lets you experiment with things and refine your strategy.
So, don’t hesitate to use proven tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Moz to gain valuable insights into your digital presence, what is working, and what’s not.
Inbound marketing has gained immense popularity over the last few years as being more effective and successful than traditional marketing. As opposed to outbound methodologies, inbound marketing puts customers at the center of your overall marketing efforts. With the right content and insights, you can easily generate quality leads and convert them into happy customers.
So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to guide your prospects and customers to your company. While PPC and cold calling still drive results for big brands, inbound marketing could be a less expensive and more powerful marketing technique for your business.