What exactly is inbound marketing? I’m sure if you follow any kind of digital marketing blogs you’ve seen headlines or ads that mention inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a digital marketing strategy that is based on attracting people, usually to a website, using content that will help them in some way and then continuing to use that content strategy to move those visitors through the sales funnel until you finally end up with highly qualified sales ready leads.
Here are 4 essential keys to a successful inbound marketing campaign.
1) Define your ideal customer. Inbound marketing works best when you target your campaign.
Targeting on the Internet? Is that even possible? Yes. In fact you can do your best targeting online.
Old school targeting relies on broad demographics or similar type product purchases to identify their targets.
With online targeting you can identify what a person is searching for. So if they are looking for answers about how to manage small business expenses for tax reporting purposes, then you can be assured that that person needs help with that subject and it is unlikely that they have an accountant. So if you’re a small business accountant that person would be a great target for you.
2) Keep your content helpful and save the sales pitch for the end. When you’re delivering your content make sure it’s helpful to your prospects. If your content is a sales pitch, people will tune it out.
Times have changed and buyers now control the process. Help them and you’ll walk them through the sales funnel and that will lead to sales. Different parts of the funnel will require different content types.
Top of the funnel is for awareness content. Leads at the top of funnel are typically searching for general information about a subject. This is a great place for answering questions that a prospect may have about the types of services you offer. See our accountant example above.
Middle of the funnel is for evaluation content. Leads in the middle of funnel need to be introduced to your brand and learn what it is like to do business with you. Branded webinars, case studies, free samples, catalogs, FAQ sheets or spec sheets can be used to effectively introduce your brand while providing value to the user.
Bottom of funnel is for purchase decision content. Leads at the bottom of funnel are most often looking for information that communicates the functionality and benefits of your product/service. They have shown signs that they are specifically evaluating your product/service. Sometimes these leads just need a little taste of what it is you have to offer – this might be a free trial, a live product demo, a discount or a complimentary assessment, consultation or estimate.
3) Use campaign specific calls to action and landing pages. If you fail to use campaign specific calls to action in your content and on your website and you fail to use campaign specific landing pages you create multiple problems for yourself.
First, you will lose conversions, probably most of them. Visitors need to be directed and led to the conversion. Any friction or distraction will result in lost conversions.
Second, you won’t be able to track how well your campaign is doing. If you have a huge hit or a huge bomb you need to know. Both will give you tons of information that you can use to improve your next campaign. If you don’t track each campaign separately, you will never know which one got results.
4) Make sure you analyze your results. Organized and planned analysis is essential to a successful campaign. Even if your results aren’t great, you can always learn something. Most times learning what didn’t work is more educational than learning what did.
Setting up systematic analysis ensures that you review and assess every aspect of your campaign and will have results you can compare to other campaigns.
Your inbound marketing campaign will be off to an awesome start if you follow these four essential keys. Follow them and enjoy success!