The Inbound Marketing Strategy Guide by Cory Bosket on 01/28/2016 Since the mid-2000s, no marketing tactic has been more effective than inbound marketing. How effective you ask? Well, 3 out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritize an inbound approach to marketing. It’s no wonder why, either. Companies that successfully create and maintain an inbound marketing campaign found their ROI to be up to three times higher than their outbound marketing efforts. Frankly, inbound marketing gets you results. Its heavy focus on naturally attracting visitors to places they want to be increases your chance of converting them into paying or even repeat customers. More than anything else, inbound marketing follows the mindset that businesses are better off creating content for themselves instead of disrupting content their customers actually want to consume. Over the past few months, we’ve taken you inside and behind the scenes of the many myriads that power inbound marketing. Content marketing, social media, paid advertising, SEO and email marketing all pull their own weight to improve your website, but it’s when these many moving parts work as one marketing machine that will have your website working at its fullest potential. So, What Makes Inbound Marketing Effective? No one likes interruptions. It’s one of the big reasons why streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are rapidly gaining ground on cable TV in terms of popularity. Well, inbound marketing is like a subscription service. Instead of forcing your products and services on customers across the web, inbound marketing relies on earning the interest of your customers instead of buying it. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, relies on finding a large following and periodically placing your products front and center, hoping that a percentage of that audience feels the disruption is warranted and enters the sales funnel. Essentially, it’s a world filled with jargon and buzzwords with the loudest and most obnoxious eventually being rewarded. When comparing the two tactics, it’s no surprise that inbound marketing is winning the battle. Its content heavy focus not only enables the customer to choose what they are consuming, but it empowers them to make better buying decisions with tools and information to help them dodge deceptive advertising tactics. How It Works We explained early on that a successful inbound marketing strategy brings many moving parts together to work as one. While each tactic has its own role, the inbound marketing process can basically be boiled down to attracting new visitors, engaging an audience visitors into contacts and leads, closing leads, and nurturing customers to be promoters for your brand. Attracting The Right Visitors While gaining more visitors to your site is definitely a good sign, attracting the right visitors will ultimately determine your success. You want to be able to attract people who are most likely to become leads and eventually happy customers. That means presenting the right content at the right time. Start by identifying your target customer persona. Once you have an image of your ideal customer in mind, it’s time to start creating content that draws them towards your brand. Start by revamping your blog, creating high quality, educational content that answers the questions your audiences wants answered. While updating your site with relevant content that gives your brand a bit of personality is the primary way to attract and retain new traffic, text will only take you so far. You’ll want to mesh your content strategy with solid SEO practices to ensure that your audience actual sees the content you create. Engage Your Audience and Capture Information According to research, only two percent of your customers will convert on their first visit to your site. That being said, you don’t want all of your new traffic taking what they learned on their initial visit and running off to some other company. Instead, focus on finding ways to engage your audience past the first visit. Within every blog post, include links to your social profiles to encourage readers to follow for future updates while you build a social community for sharing and conversation. Additionally, make use of retargeting ads to provide previous visitors with reminders of your brand as they explore elsewhere on the web. One of the best ways to keep your audience coming back for more is to provide them with tangible value. Premium pieces of content, sometimes referred to as offers, are a great way to move your audience along the sales funnel while keeping them actively engaged with what you have to say. Worksheets, checklists, expert guides and manuals all help to showcase your brand’s position as an industry thought leader while making you their ‘go-to’ source for information. Nurture Your Audience, Keeping Them Engaged While Gaining Their Trust So, what exactly do you get in return for sharing your best kept secrets in the offer? Well, in exchange for your expert advice and insight, customers enter their actual email address and enter into your email marketing campaign. Unlike buying email lists that are likely to never be opened, the emails you capture are from real customers who actually are interested in what you have to say. Make sure you appeal to your audience’s interests in the subject and capture their attention from the second they open the email with good design and images. After sending out your initial welcome email, make them feel at home by gradually introducing your contacts to your brand with a series of emails over a week. Studies have shown that spreading out your email actions can actually increase engagement with your brand and lead to higher click-through rates. Be sure to take your time creating every email you send out, making certain it demonstrates the value of your brand while directly appealing to your customer’s needs and wants. Convert Your Audience Into Customers and Brand Ambassadors Now that you’ve got the right audience coming to your site again and again, how do you get them to pull the trigger? This is where all of your hard work and dedication towards best practice inbound marketing tactics pay off. When great content, a conversational social media community, carefully placed ads, solid SEO practices and engaging emails come together, the results are simple – happier, more informed customers who are ready to do business with your company. The customer journey doesn’t stop there. If you really want to build a raving and loyal base of brand ambassadors, continue to provide them with fresh, relevant content that appeals to their deepest desires. Make it a point to keep them in the know and engage in conversations on social media. Encourage them to subscribe to an email list or newsletter for all the latest and greatest things going on in your company. Check out our blog series on these essential parts of an effective inbound marketing campaign. There’s many other techniques you can apply to your inbound marketing campaign but these are the most essential: Content Marketing: Start creating content that focuses on driving customer engagement. Begin by attracting an audience with informative blog posts and turn your visitors into leads with outstanding landing page copy and in-depth offers. Social Media Marketing: Don’t leave your website to do all the work and break down communications barriers for your brand why creating conversational communities on social media. Social media is not just a way to drive customer engagement, but it can also be used to gain valuable insights into your audience. Paid Advertising: Not all paid advertising is intrusive. Make sure all the hard work you put into your content and social media efforts pay off by supporting them with smartly placed ads. Social advertising, content amplification channels and retargeting ads can all help put your content in front of customers who are interested in what you have to say. Search Engine Optimization: SEO is not dead. In many cases, your content wouldn’t be seen without it. SEO still very much matters in the world of marketing, and if you want new prospects, better leads and an improvement in your ROI, incorporating SEO ‘s best practices into your inbound marketing campaign is key. Target the right keywords, apply them to your content marketing, focus on creating an outstanding user experience and you’ll soon see why SEO still makes a big difference. Email Marketing: Marketers may have a myriad of tools available, but none of them are more effective or true than email marketing. There is simply no better way to keep potential customers engaged and involved with your brand than an effective email marketing campaign. Capture the email addresses or interested customers in your content, appeal to their interests, deploy intelligence driven automations and you may see up to a 4300 percent ROI. The key to your inbound marketing is creating an experience that hits it out of the park with your buyer personas. Make sure your brand is hitting a home run with every customer experience with help from the creators, writers and innovators at Eyeflow. Our award-winning inbound marketing services deliver real results to your bottom line, helping to extend your brand’s reach across the web and reach customers you never even knew were out there. The secret is out on inbound marketing. If you want your business to start taking strangers and transforming them into brand ambassadors, work with the inbound marketing experts at Eyeflow and sit back, relax and watch your business grow. Share the Love Related posts: Inside Inbound Marketing: Social Media’s Role Inside Inbound Marketing: Content Creation Inside Inbound Marketing: Paid Advertising’s Role Inside Inbound Marketing: Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign Cory BosketCory is the Director of Content Development at Eyeflow. He graduated with a degree in Multimedia from Point Park University, where he held focus in print writing and online content. When not at work, Cory spends his time conquering Pittsburgh's hills on his bike, tackling DIY projects and crafting creative recipes. 2016 Digital Marketing Essentials Learn how to improve your search engine performance dramatically and do more business online! Check it out!