7 minute read
How Inbound Marketing Pulls Prospects to Your Brand with Content
Updated on February 21, 2022 by Brad Smith
Inbound marketing uses online content, along with search engine marketing, to "pull" prospects to your brand. The "inbound" part of inbound marketing refers to sales coming to you, rather than you going after specific customers. Inbound marketing is normally part of a well-rounded campaign of both inbound, direct, paid, and other marketing approaches.
Let’s take a closer look at what inbound marketing is and how you can use it to grow your business in six easy ways.
What’s inbound marketing, and how can it help me grow my business?
Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that focuses on attracting customers. Used fiercely in the marketing world, inbound marketing helps brands become a magnetic powerhouse for ideal customers. It's all about developing content, and using that content to attract those ideal customer personas.
In other words, inbound marketing encourages customers to come to you. It cuts out sleazy sales tactics and focuses on authentically drawing in customers through relationship building, which can strengthen your corporate reputation.
Inbound marketing often focuses on three types of strategies, including:
1. Attracting strategies
Strategies that help you attract customers via personalized, relatable, and valuable content. For instance, writing informative blog posts and marketing them on social media.
2. Delighting strategies
Strategies that help you deliver seamless customer experiences throughout the buyer’s journey. A prime example would be having a barrier-free checkout process.
3. Engaging strategies
Strategies that help you generate, nurture, and convert leads. For instance, starting an email newsletter or building a social media community.
How can inbound marketing strategies help you grow your business?
Simply put, inbound marketing helps you make the most out of your marketing and sales resources.
Struggling with managing costly ad budgets? Inbound marketing can help you introduce content marketing strategies that reduce your ad costs. Cold-calling efforts weighing down your team? Social media listening tools can help you identify hotter leads and conversion opportunities.
But the most crucial way inbound marketing helps you grow your business is by helping you cultivate long-term customer relationships.
Growing your business through inbound marketing in 6 ways
Now that we’ve laid down the groundwork for inbound marketing let’s take a closer look at how to use it to grow your business.
1. Learn everything you can about inbound marketing
You can’t become a pro at inbound marketing unless you first educate yourself on the subject matter.
While this article is a fantastic start, inbound marketing requires consistent education, care, and experimentation.
In other words, learn everything you can about inbound marketing before employing any of these strategies.
To start, we recommend creating an arsenal of resources your marketing team can use to study up on the subject.
There are many helpful business courses on MasterClass that your team can sign up for. You can also study content produced by high authority sites.
If all else fails, don’t be afraid to seek help from a marketing expert specializing in designing custom inbound marketing strategies.
2. Outline your goals
Your team has undergone training, and you’re all feeling better about this inbound marketing thing.
Great. Now what?
It’s time to get clear on your goals.
Start with the end in mind. What specifically do you want to see happen after employing inbound marketing strategies? What does success with inbound marketing mean to you?
In other words, what do you want to achieve with inbound marketing, and how will you know if it has been successful?
For instance, are you interested in expanding into new markets by the end of 2023? Would you like to double your profits in the next five years? Do you want to build a high-converting social media community?
Getting laser-specific on what you’d like to achieve is paramount to designing a successful inbound marketing strategy.
3. Design an inbound marketing plan in line with your goals
Once you're clear on what you'd like to achieve, work from there to develop your inbound marketing plan. To avoid overwhelm, start by coming up with three specific actions your team can take to get on track toward achieving your goals.
For instance, let’s say your main objective is building a higher website authority score with Google.
In this case, your inbound marketing plan might include:
- Publishing weekly guest posts on high authority sites to generate quality backlinks
- Creating a Knowledge Base on your website consisting of 200 optimized articles
- Posting two customer-centric articles per week on your blog that are formatted according to user intent
Or, if your main goal is to build a high-converting community, then your plan might include:
- Starting a niche-focused Facebook group for VIP customers only
- Sharing relatable, personalized, and authentic content on social media channels every day
- Going live on social media twice a week to share helpful content and answer live questions from the audience
4. Focus on community building
Community building is the foundation of inbound marketing.
Without a community, attracting customers to your brand can be challenging.
Sure, people may hear about you from their friends — or after conducting a Google search. But is that enough?
The truth is, the real magic happens when you have a tight-knit community that adores and trusts you. The kind of community that can’t wait to see what you post on social media next and smiles when they receive an email from you. It’s the kind of community that believes you have value to offer them.
Feeling stuck on how to build a community? Here are some quick tips:
- Lock arms with social media influencers and affiliate marketers to catapult your social media growth
- Run weekly contests and giveaways you know your followers won’t say no to
- Respond to every comment and question that users post on your social media pages
- Use social media listening tools to discover what people are saying about you on social
- Use social media listening tools to engage with users who mention your brand
- Start an email newsletter that shares helpful tips, discounts, and freebies every month
- Consider starting a Facebook group for your followers or beloved customers
- Only post social media posts, marketing emails, and comments that are helpful, valuable, relatable, personalized, informative, and engaging
- Introduce yourself or say thanks to five of your esteemed followers in DMs once a day (no sleazy sales DMs please)
- Know your followers the way you know your best friends and tailor your content accordingly
5. Create an SEO protocol
If SEO isn’t a perfect example of inbound marketing, we’re not sure what is.
SEO and inbound marketing go hand-in-hand because SEO’s main goal is to rank your content for the masses.
SEO tells Google: “Hey, this page is engaging and optimized for user-intent. Let’s go ahead and show this page to more searchers.” That means more eyes are on you, and hopefully, more converted leads.
In other words, having an SEO protocol is crucial to attracting more customers.
When designing an SEO protocol, focus on answering the following questions:
- What methods and tools will you use to optimize your websites and landing pages?
- What SEO protocol will you use to optimize blog posts?
- How will you optimize knowledge base articles?
- How can you make sure all of your pages and websites are mobile-friendly?
- What kinds of content are you planning on optimizing? Is there anything you won’t include on the optimization list? Why?
- What’s the plan for social media optimization?
To give you a leg-up, take a look at this graphic by Statista, which breaks down the top leading SEO factors for search rankings worldwide:
Feeling stuck on what kind of SEO protocol to employ? Consider hiring an SEO strategist to guide you.
6. Solidify a content marketing plan
This tip may be last on this list, but we promise it’s one of the most important.
Solidifying a content marketing plan is paramount to attracting, delighting, and engaging leads.
In fact, a content marketing plan can help you attract, delight, and engage leads like no other strategy can.
Why? Content marketing checks multiple boxes on the inbound marketing list.
Not only does it help brands deliver massive value. But it also helps brands deploy more lead conversion strategies, build authority with Google and social channels, and become a trusted resource for searchers.
When creating your content marketing plan, we recommend focusing on three main avenues:
- Social media content: What’s your content plan for social media? Which channels will you post on? How often will you post? What kind of content will you share? Why?
- Blog content: What does your blogging strategy look like? How often will you post? What kind of content will you share? Why?
- Knowledge base content: What kinds of helpful tools, resources, and information can you include in your knowledge base section? What types of content will you use? What questions are you planning on answering? Will you design a tutorial section? What about a customer support section?
Consider partnering with a content production company to solidify a more personalized content marketing plan.
Growing a business to its maximum potential requires tenacity and consistent action. You need to magnetize your brand, create virality, and convert leads with minimal effort.
By taking advantage of the inbound marketing tips we shared today, your brand can become the high-converting machine you’ve always dreamt of.
Excited about trying any of these? Leave a comment below to let us know how it goes!