The Internet has changed our lives forever, including the way we do business. Governed by the needs and wants of millions of online consumers, the virtual business environment undergoes continuous change. To keep up with emerging technology and consumer behaviour trends, business professionals must reinvent their methodologies and develop effective inbound marketing plans. In fact, the ability to create a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy that fits the ever-changing online environment has never been more important than it is today.
Because only inbound marketing includes all the tactics and strategies a company needs in order to get found online by prospects. Additionally, recent reports have shown that:
- inbound marketing strategies cost about 60 percent less per sales lead than outbound marketing; this is because inbound is more affordable than outbound marketing
- most companies with a lucrative inbound marketing strategy in place have significantly increased their bottom lines, doubling their marketing budgets within two years; a higher budget means more marketing power and the ability to reach a larger audience
No one can deny it anymore: inbound marketing can help any organisation become successful. However, the real key to business success consists in identifying the most relevant inbound marketing strategies for your company and brand.
Here is how you can update your plan of action with a little inbound marketing magic:
Define customer personas – Without knowing to whom you are trying to sell your products or services, you will be unable to identify your markets and understand the needs of potential customers. This will prevent you from crafting the right marketing and sales strategy. Furthermore, your marketing message may reach the wrong audience, at the wrong time, returning no results.
Analyse your current marketing strategy – Assessing your current marketing plan can help you understand whether or not you are on the right path. How many people visit your site each month? How many leads your website generates? How many of them convert to loyal customers? All these questions will give you some ideas of how to fine-tune your marketing strategy in order to achieve the outcomes desired.
Review (and refresh) your brand – Before implementing an inbound marketing strategy, you must review your brand. A few essential aspects you should consider are: company vision, mission, and culture; brand attractiveness and relevance; and the possibility of improving brand position.
Increase brand recognition: Creating great content is one of the best ways to boost marketing results and increase brand recognition. Since the Web already abounds with poor writing, lacklustre, low-quality content is the last thing Internet users need. Thus, you should create high-quality content that users will love to engage with and share. Additionally, the articles, blog posts, press releases, and whitepapers you intend to post should communicate your brand identity and company goals, while demonstrating your commitment to customers.
Open new communication channels: Today, you can use social media to reach a larger audience. Websites like Facebook and Twitter offer a wide range of opportunities to identify and connect with new prospects, who will otherwise remain complete strangers to your brand. By simply opening up new communication channels, you are introducing your brand to hundreds of potential customers every day, expanding your lead-generating possibilities.
Choose a dedicated person: Inbound marketing implies a series of complex processes, ranging from creating compelling content, managing SEO to increase traffic, and developing lead generation strategies to measuring website’s success with analytics tools. Although you do not need to start with all these at once, you will eventually need a dedicated person to perform these tasks on a regular basis.
Increase your customer base – There are many reasons why a company stops growing. However, developing a lucrative marketing strategy using inbound marketing tools, customer management systems (CMSs), and email marketing strategies can sometimes help remedy the situation. Whilst CMSs enable companies to manage the way you interact with current and future customers, automating and organising sales, marketing, and customer service processes, inbound marketing tools and email marketing strategies deliver some of the most effective instruments you can use to turn prospects into customers. Why? Because they allow you to transfer information about your business from impersonal to personal environments (e.g. from your website to customers’ email inboxes), and from there, to even more personal environments, such as social media accounts, for further message distribution.
Be creative – No, creativity is not only about using cool fonts, colours, and images. When it comes to inbound marketing, creativity must be combined with energy, patience, and willingness to push the boundaries in order to offer unparalleled experiences to your customers. The most important aspect relating to marketing creativity is coming up with clever ways to draw attention to your business. To create unique, unforgettable customer experiences, you should let your imagination run wild (but never forget to keep an eye on the real world, on what your customers really want). How can you do that? By simply spending more time on what you should do and less time worrying about how you will implement your ideas. Deciding on the best marketing strategies and determining where to advertise are two more essential factors you need to consider.
Regrettably, what many people do not know is that inbound marketing defines an on-going process that must be monitored and tweaked at regular intervals for the best outcomes to be achieved. Here are a few tips you should consider right now to make the most of inbound marketing: