16 Tips for Results Driven Inbound Marketing

Written by Randy Malmquist

Oct 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

What is Inbound Marketing? It is apparent to successful business people that an inbound marketing strategy along with your sales strategy will boost your number of new clients.

The fact is, more people are consuming content online than ever before. In turn more sales managers and marketing professional are providing their potential clients with much needed valuable information as a result of this increase in content consumption. The cost of a starting a content strategy is low, your company already has content so you just need to utilize it. As much as 70% of the content your company has, is not being used at all or used properly. The truth is that the best investment you will make is to begin a content marketing strategy. Everywhere you look companies are using a content strategy to engage customers and share their message.

  • 36% of companies with a documented content strategy indicate their content marketing is “very effective” or “extremely effective.” (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • 77% of all companies rate their social media marketing as successful at achieving the most important objectives set for it to some extent. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
  • Metrics for B2B content marketing success: Sales Lead Quality (87%); Sales (84%); High Conversion Rates (82%); Sales Lead Quantity (71%); Website Traffic (71%); Brand Lift (69%); SEO Ranking (87%) (Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)
  • Year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers (19.7% vs 2.5%). (Source: Aberdeen)
  • Of the nearly 4,000 people HubSpot surveyed, inbound had a 75% chance of being the marketing approach of choice. Outbound has only 25% chance. (business2businesscommunity.com)
  • Inbound leads cost 60% less than outbound leads. (business2businesscommunity.com)

1. INBOUND MARKETING

Inbound Marketing is described by Joeri Van Overloop founder of Bizwebjournal “…providing quality content to attract potential clients to the products and services you’re offering after which you then get to know those clients personally so that they are eventually left with no choice but to do business with you.” You can do this by starting a blog, blogging will allow you to communicate with your prospective clients at the appropriate time. You will be able to gain their trust by giving them free valuable content and they will look to you as a trusted resource for information. My favorite aspect of inbound is that you can automate it. Once you have solidified your message and your routine you can sit back and watch as the visit and contact role in. It does take some time to build a base of content to promote, but perseverance is the key, so stick to it! Keep in mind digital content marketing is much cheaper than traditional marketing, the main investment is your time and energy.  

2. BLOGGING

According to a recent U.K. survey, bloggers have ranked as the third most trustworthy source of information, following only friends and family. That’s right — bloggers are trusted more than celebrities, journalists, brands, and politicians. Starting a blog is fun, you get to communicate your ideas to your audience. Blogging should be easily accessed by your prospective clients and should have some design aspects considered. Let people know about your blog. Promoting the blog is crucial to its success. Although grammar and spelling are very important, focus on the readability and don’t spend too much time on each blog post. As Susanna Gebauer from The Social M’s says “Blog audiences know that you are not the New York Times. They know that you don’t have 3 editors checking every post” So don’t freak out about every blog post being 100% prefect. Try to have a constant stream of new content available for your readers. Most importantly if you are thinking that a blog is not for you. A blog will increase web traffic to your company website, helps develop your companies online personality as well as communicate companies events, job fairs, industry news and much more.

3. SHARE “LIST” POSTS

When people visit your blog they are looking to answer a question, solve a problem or get some information. Numbered list posts are the undefeated champion of posts. They are quick and easy to read and share.An attention grabbing headline is crucial. “It’s a blogosphere favorite for good reason — “list” content works, in large part due to the attention-grabbing power of the headline.” copyblogger.com An effective numbered list post will introduce a complex topic and break it down into consumable material for your ideal client or candidate. If you make the information easily digested, you will get more shares and likes.”It has become widely accepted, that content arranged in list form is quicker to find, easier to remember, and more actionable, which makes lists ideal for sharing content as part of a highly effective content plan.”Content Marketing Institute List posts also are the most effective ways to funnel traffic from the web via SEO and Google analytics, because they utilize long tail keywords. Search phrase based keywords are more effective then shorter versions because they deliver the most relevant leads to you. An attention grabbing headline is crucial, your goal is to be found in an organic web search. 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. In other words, you are competing to appear on the first page of search results with each new post.

4. SHARE “HOW TO” POSTS

How to posts are the most important form of content in my opinion. Most people who read your posts will be looking for some information to help them solve a problem or fill a need.  How to posts are a great way to establish your self as an industry expert. Depending on your specific area of expertise you can tailor these easily. If you specialize is placing graphic designers for marketing firms you can create a blog titled. “How to find the best Graphic Designers”, or “What are the most important traits of an experienced Graphic Designer.” The tip is to keep the how-to-guide closely related to either your core product, service or to something that prospective customers of your business would find useful. 

5. SHARE TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials are a great way to get your customers or candidates to read about your company. Customer reviews and testimonials are more important now than ever, customers are more savvy when it comes to the way they do business online and they want to hear how good you are from their peers. “This phenomenon is known as social proof: a psychological mechanism where people tend follow the actions and behaviors of other people, in an attempt to make the “right” choices.” Testimonials also is great because user generated content is one of the newest trends for generating traffic. User-Generated Content will continue to make waves this 2016 and for a good reason. In fact, it is 20% more effective when it comes to facilitating buying decisions, according to a research paper released by Go.crowdtap.com.

6. WRITE ABOUT INDUSTRY NEWS

At the very least, having an industry news blog will show that you are engaged with your industry and aware of the trends and updates. Blogging about industry news is great because so much information exists about your industry. A never-ending amount of content about industry news means that you have something to comment on. You will learn more about your industry while drawing more traffic to your website. According to Hubspot.com, The more informed we are, the more invaluable and influential we become — always ready with the statistic that makes the deck, the perfect quote from an industry insider, or a genius idea for a new partnership.” Basically, this is the center of your blogging strategy, you have your finger on the pulse of the industry making it consistently more attractive for your inbound leads to do business with you.

7. CREATE BUYER PERSONAS

Buyers today are savvier than ever before, they consume different content at different times in different ways. Creating semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers will allow you to focus on your best customers. You can also create buyer personas for the customers you don’t want to do business with. Having multiple buyer personas will also allow you to tailor your content to a specific niche market. Buyer personas include demographics, age, work role, company size, common issues or problems. developing personas allows you to create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience. It also enables you to target or personalize your marketing for different segments of your audience.

8. EMAIL MARKETING

Email is still the most important and cost-effective way to communicate with your customers, but if you are not segmenting your leads and customers based on their buyer personas, you are wasting your time (we will get more into that in the next section). Email can be used very effectively to nurture your leads and convert more new leads. All the industry leaders agree that email marketing is the best investment for marketing and sales. 

  • Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. – McKinsey
  • Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social. – Monetate
  • Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. – DMA
  • Email’s ROI was 28.5% compared to 7% for direct mail. – Chief Marketer
  • For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. – Campaign Monitor

9. SEGMENTING LEADS

Segmenting leads and customers will really allow you to tailor your sales and marketing campaigns to target specific buyer personas. You will now be able to create custom offers for each buyer in the particular part of the buyers journey that they are in. In other words, you can now have multiple offers for each buyer persona to offer them as the travel through the process of buying your product or service. You will also get a sharp increase in repeat business and activate those old clients you haven’t heard from. Interestingly, you will also be able to interact with candidates through segmentation. For example, you may have an opening for Graphic Designers which needs to be filled yesterday, you can segment your candidates into each industry by categories. You will need a good CRM to help you with this, good thing you know us because we can hook you up with a good free CRM.

    10. INBOUND MARKETING FOR SEO OPTIMIZATION

    How does blogging help with Google Analytics and SEO? That may be the best question you have asked me yet. Blogging seems to have a magic formula for helping your website rank higher on web searches. The Penguin and Panda updates changed the way major algorithms work and made them more relevant to specific search terms. That is why long-tail keywords are one of the keys to blogging success. These long-tail keywords are based on what people are typing into search engines. You can be easily found by matching your potential clients keywords. Blogging consistently will increase the likelihood of your content being found with your industry specific long-tail keywords. Producing fresh content consistently will optimize your exposure on search engines. “Search engines want to provide the optimal user experience for those typing queries into the search bars. To this end, they seek fresh, up-to-date content and websites.” “In algorithmic terms this is known as Query Deserves Freshness or QDF, where more weight is given to recent content on trending or spiking topics.” searchenginewatch.com

      11. CONSISTENCY INCREASES WEBSITE TRAFFIC

      Your content needs to be flowing consistently through the blogosphere in order to increase your social media presence. Did you know that Facebook has over one billion users? Twitter and LinkedIn have a couple hundred million. Source That means if you can direct a small percentage of relevant web search results to your site, you can benefit greatly. According to Kissmetrics.com you can actually double your social media traffic by promoting your blog the right way. I always hear people say “You must create great content”, but what does that mean? To me it means readable and easily consumed. Your content should focus on a consistent problem or pain point that your clients experience. The best marketing approach for a staffing firm lead generation campaign is to issue an appeal to your target audience. Determine what types of material are likely to generate a response from potential clients and candidates and individualize the marketing messages you send to each group. You must make it clear what you want your potential customers to do with the data you are sending in order to create an interest in your staffing firm and encourage potential customers to reach out to your sales people. You should have social sharing icons embedded within the blog post so it can be easily shared.

       

        12. CREATE AN ONLINE PRESENCE

        Your online presence is important in order to differentiate yourself from the competition. According to SearchEngineJournal.com their are 15 different places to share your content online. You never know where that next client or candidate will find you. The idea is to get the maximum exposure to your content. Creating a blogging calendar will help you stay on task. You can even schedule blog posts to be posted in the future. You don’t want to promote your content 100% of the time, each social media platform has a recommended or benchmark etiquette. I personally like to use the 80/20 rule for content offers. Which means that I promote my own content only 20% of the time. outboundengine.com If this stuff is starting to make sense check out our inbound marketing road-map to get the big picture. User generated content is the future of content marketing. Iterating with your customers on your website is an important resource for your overall marketing strategy. “Fifty-nine percent of millennials say they use UGC to inform their purchase decisions about major electronics. That’s followed by cars (54%), major appliances (53%), mobile phones (46%), hotels (45%), and travel plans (40%). (Crowdtap)

          13. USE CALL TO ACTIONS AND LANDING PAGES

          Having a call to action on your blog post will allow you to collect some valuable data about prospective new client. You can include job posting within the content of your post, have apply now buttons, have an opt in for email and job fair updates. If this stuff is starting to make sense check out our inbound marketing road-map to get the big picture. A landing page in the context of marketing and advertising is a standalone web page, distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single highly focused objective – guiding visitors toward your intended conversion goal or CTA (Call to Action). A call to action should be very easy to understand and communicate what you are trying to get the point across. According to wordstream.com, “You want to be able to elicit a strong response from your audience as a result of their enthusiasm. If your CTA is enthusiastic, then your audience will be enthusiastic too.” What do you think about my call to action below?

           

            14. USE TOPIC CLUSTERS

            Topic cluster are the best way to get you content found online. Content, or Topic clusters are longer and more specific phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase. They’re a little bit counter-intuitive, at first, but they can be hugely valuable if you know how to use them.” Being more specific with your blog titles, URL’s and having at least one target keyword linked to your pillar page, within your blog text will in fact increase SEO results.

            Here is an example, lets pretend you own a recruiting firm which specializes in word press designer positions. You would look to target keywords that were targeted to your ideal customer or candidate. You would want to use a long-tail keyword such as “6 ways to find a solid WordPress designer for websites” or “What is the best way to find an experienced WordPress designer in the UK?” These titles utilize targeted keywords to increase the possibility to appear in a Google search result on the first page. Essentially you are making a much better investment with long-tail keywords, you will substantially decrease competition by using long-tail keywords. 

              15. HIGH VOLUME BLOGGING

              The more blog posts you create per week, the more inbound traffic you will receive to your website. How does consistent blogging help with Google Analytics and SEO? Blogging has a magic-like formula for helping your website rank higher on web searches. Blogging regularly will increase the likelihood of your content being found with your industry specific long-tail keywords. If you are able to publish 15 blog articles per week you will see a huge increase with your web traffic. 

                16. USE ANCHOR TEXT

                Anchor text describing your content  will allow your URL to look relevant to both Google bots and to individual users. You can use your keywords in your URL in order to rank higher on search engines. Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. SEO best practice requires that the text must be relevant to the page it links to and not just generic. There are many different types of anchor text for your links. I like to use exact match anchor text in order to match a specific keyword. For example: the anchor text “content marketing for recruiting firms”, if a potential client searches for this exact term it will give my anchor text the ability to rank on a search engine. 

                The more sites that link with the anchor containing the phrase “content marketing for recruiting firms”(exact or partial), the more certain Google will be that the linked page should rank for that query. Blogging has a magic-like formula for helping your website rank higher on web searches. The Penguin and Panda updates changed the way major algorithms work and made them more relevant to specific search terms and achor text. 

                There is no doubt that if done properly, a content marketing strategy will produce dramatic results for your business. The psychology behind content marketing is why it works. You are giving your customer something free and not asking them to buy anything. This creates a more comfortable atmosphere, where the customer feels no pressure to buy. The customer will look to you as a resource not a salesman, and when the time is right you will be there. The most effective content marketers offer at least one new piece of content every day.

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