In the current advertising climate, online marketing is at the forefront of any marketing strategy. For business owners, the process of laying out their online marketing plans gets confusing and sometimes ends up in a big mess of too much information. Inbound marketing is the essence of any and all online marketing plan. Defined, inbound marketing is essentially about attracting prospective customers to your website and, ultimately, your business. To better accomplish this goal, following are five tips for successful inbound marketing strategies:
- Understand the inbound marketing cycle. Business owners and internet marketers must understand the inbound marketing cycle. Internet users realize that they have a need or an issue at which point they begin a search to find a solution. From there, they look at their prospects then make decisions as to which websites they choose to visit.
- Content is key. Inbound marketing is all about creating content that is directed to potential buyers and viewers. Not only should content be interesting and entertaining, it has to be engaging. Whether through blogs, landing pages, whitepapers, social media posts, or other online marketing tactics, content is key. It has to be purpose-driven and grab the users within the first 10-15 seconds of landing at your site. One important piece of advice from Seth Godin, best-selling author and founder of Squidoo, is that “it is more important to do something worth tweeting about rather than getting your next tweet out.” The same applies to any form of content marketing.
- Be customer focused. At HubSpot’s Inbound Conference 2013 in August, inbound marketing experts stressed the importance of being customer focused. With that in mind, they suggest that it is important to be authentic and, in addition to knowing your customers, let them know you. Content gives you the ability to help them solve their problems and provide the information they seek. If you truly know your customers, you know what they want and why they want it. That is half the battle!
- Pass the blink test. In the inbound marketing world, this test basically suggests that within the first 3-5 seconds of seeing a website, users decide whether they will stay or go. If you are old enough, you remember The Clash’s 1981 hit “Should I Stay or Should I Go Now.” When you think about the “blink test,” that song starts to play in the back of your mind. To pass the blink test, your site must engage viewers of your site by grabbing their attention and getting them to stay there and seek out more information from your site—all within a few seconds. In an article earlier this year, HubSpot suggests that frequently visited sites load quickly, be easy to read and entertaining all while being easy to navigate so that you lead them where they want to go (and you want them to go).
- All inbound marketing plans have the same goal. Whether you are going the route of SEO (organic searches) or PPC (paid ads on search results), the goal is the same—direct users to your site. Inbound marketing is defined by where the information flows—how you get the information to flow there is up to you. Ideally, using both is the best way to increase the probability of your site being visited. But if you choose to use only SEO, it goes back to content.
Inbound Marketing is Almost a Science
In the past when all marketers and business owners had to do was place ads in the newspapers and commercials on radio and television, it was basically the equivalent of throwing a ton of sand on sticky paper and hoping that most of the sand stuck to the paper. Today, with the accountability of the Internet, inbound marketing is almost a science. It takes a lot of careful thought and preparation along with execution and follow-through to deliver a successful plan which means more viewers and ultimately buyers.
Need help getting started with inbound marketing? Contact the experts at Paveya.
We look forward to helping our customers CREATE leads, CONNECT with customers, and GROW their business.