Inbound marketing has been compared to running a marathon. It takes work and commitment in order to be successful. If you really want to reap the benefits, then you will need to put in the time. Inbound is not a quick fix or a magical solution to your marketing problems. It won’t happen overnight, but it can work extremely well if you put in the effort.
Here’s what you really need to do to drive results with your inbound marketing.
Develop A Strategy Around Buyer Personas
If you are new to inbound, one of the first things you will need to do is document your buyer personas. These semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers are the starting point for your inbound marketing strategy. A fundamental understanding of your personas is necessary to build your marketing, but as you go along you can update them as you continue to learn more about your audience.
You need to think of your personas first when creating content or designing a campaign. Think about how you will meet their needs. Your content will need to be customized and relevant to this audience.
Once you understand your audience and have mapped out their path to purchase through the buyer’s journey, you can set better goals for your inbound efforts. Use these goals to frame your strategy. Documenting your marketing strategy will help to increase effectiveness by giving you a plan to follow and keeping everyone on your team on the same page.
One of the top benefits of business blogging is that it increases website traffic. Each blog post becomes a new indexed page on your website, which increases the chances of being found on search engines. You can generate leads from your blog posts through enticing CTA’s and premium content offers. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing. It also helps you to establish trust with your audience and demonstrate your expertise in your industry. Don’t forget that quality matters. Creating large amounts of bad content is not any better than having no content at all.
So, how often should you be blogging? A good benchmark is 3 to 4 times per week. HubSpot found that companies who blogged 16 or more times a month saw 3.5x the amount of website traffic and generated 4.5x the amount of leads, and compared with companies who blogged less than 4 times. When you’re starting out with inbound, consistency is very important. Remember to be patient. You will start to see results if you stick with it.
The keywords you choose for your blog posts will help you to rank with search engines. Choose long-tail keywords that will have less competition, increasing your chances of a higher ranking. Short-tail, or more general keywords face higher competition, and it will be less likely for your blog post to be found in an organic search.
Use Social Media
Social media is a way to connect with your buyer personas, as well as a channel to share all of the content you are creating, and hopefully get people to read it. Make sure you are leveraging your content by reusing old blogs and content offers. Social media can also be used to learn more about your audience and what their interests are so you can create content in line with it.
Using ads on social media to promote your blog or a content offer can help to drive traffic, especially when you are starting out. You can target these ads to specific groups based on your buyer personas.
Analyze And Adjust
A beautiful thing about digital marketing is the ability to track analytics and evaluate your performance. Optimize your campaigns as you go by analyzing the data to see what’s working for you so far and where you should devote some more time. Make sure you are measuring the right metrics and using them as a benchmark for future efforts. Analytics will also help you demonstrate the ROI of your inbound marketing efforts.