If you are a busy person, and I’m sure you are, this how-to will help you get started with Inbound Marketing without spending too much of your valuable time AND money.
Let’s start with the most important question:
What can Inbound Marketing do for you?
Essentially, inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing. Rather than reaching out to your prospects via email, phone or advertisement, you are aiming to get to the point, where prospects reach out to you.
What is Inbound Marketing?
- Personalized: Targeted, quality content that answers prospects and customers questions and needs.
- Multi-Channel: Reach prospects where they are and want to interact with you.
- Timing & Analytics: Publish the right content at the right time and measure the reach (Number of visits, shares)
What does Inbound Marketing look like in action?
There are a total of 4 stages:
Your website is likely the most important tool when it comes to inbound marketing. It’s critical that all content is easy to understand and relevant - try not to go into too much detail on the first page but instead focus on answering the questions that are on your prospects mind.
Having a great website is not enough. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.
Keywords / SEO
Use keywords and phrases that your prospects use to find you or a close competitor on Google. Don’t hesitate to ask your customers how they found you and listen carefully what sort of problems they are looking to solve - there’s something to write about right there!
Share your content to maximize reach. Concentrate on 1-2 social networks where your prospects spend most of their time. Do not try to do everything, everywhere. It’s only natural that one network will work better for you than another.
Call to Action
Calls-to-action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action. Make them stand out - do not hesitate to experiment with the design, wording or placement.
“Download your free Inbound Marketing Guide”
When a visitor clicks on a call-to-action button or link, they should be taken to a landing page. Your landing page should focus on a single product or service - your goal is, to collect your visitor’s details.
In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Don’t overwhelm them with a long list of questions but keep it simple and collect only what you really need to get the process rolling.
If your prospect is not ready to become a customer, a series of useful, educational emails can builds trust and help the prospect become ready to buy.
We usually refer to that as drip marketing campaign
Salesforce Pardot: The Basics of Drip Campaigns
Keep track of all contacts, companies, and deals in your pipeline, and easily get in touch with the right prospects at the right time.
Tip: Integrate your website and CRM to automatically add leads to your sales funnel.
Our inbound journey doesn’t end after you’ve closed the deal. After all, a happy customer may may not only send more business your way but will also talk about you - to other potential prospects.
We will talk more about this in our next article.
Now that we know a bit more about inbound marketing, let’s look at what you should do to get started:
- Have a good look at your existing customer base
- How did they find you?
- Why are they working with you?
- Have a look at your website
- Is your content relevant and enticing?
- Do you already have any sort of call-to-action? Do they work?
- Is it easy for a visitor to get in touch with you?
- Does your website work on mobile devices?
- Check out your analytics
- Where do your visitors come from?
- Which pages of your website perform the best?
- Where and when do people leave your website? Find out why.
Don’t have analytics software?
For your website, Check out Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. If you are willing to invest a few bucks a month, I’d suggest having a look at the excellent GoSquared (Much easier to use! DKKMA clients get free access!)
If you’d like to find out about your social media stats, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, each have their own, free, built-in analytics tools.
- Come up with a list of headlines and set a publishing schedule for those. If you’re really busy, start with two posts a month. Alternatively you may hire a copywriter to do that for you.
- It’s important that you stick to your schedule. Inbound Marketing is only effective if you publish regularly.
- It is also important to remember that your content should not focus on selling but educating. Don’t talk too much about yourself.
- Create a landing page for your most important product or service and link to it from the product / service page on your website. Keep making small changes every once in a while to see how they affect the conversion rate (number of visitors / number of people that get in touch).
- Start using a tool such as Hootsuite to streamline your social media efforts. It’s easy to share or schedule a post and to publish to all networks at once.
If you are just getting started with inbound marketing, you probably don’t have enough data to make an informed decision what channel to focus on. If that’s the case, have a look at where other industries acquire their customers: Is Facebook an effective marketing tool for your business?
This concludes our first post, in a series of how-to’s. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.