In recent years, outbound marketing (when businesses tried to cold call or reach out in some other way to potential customers) has taken a back set to inbound marketing (where businesses focus on offering value and letting customers come to them). Part of it is that consumers today are savvier and inherently suspicious of people trying to sell them something. Today’s average consumer prefers to seek out the product or service they need themselves. The following seven elements are all things your business’s inbound marketing strategy will need to succeed.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Long gone are the days of flipping through phonebooks to find local businesses. Search engines are the new gatekeepers in the world of business and your success will directly correlate to how far up or down the search results page your business is. It should be every company’s goal to be at the very top of the search results page. One option is to target specific keywords and pay to make sure your website is listed in the sponsored search results at the very top. But the most important way is to have a solid understanding of how these search engines’ algorithms work to prioritize certain websites over others so that you can increase the odds of being at the top of the list.
Social Media presence
After search engines like Google, social media platforms are the next place people go to find local businesses. Social media is no longer just for friends and family to stay connected. It’s a great way for businesses to stay in the public eye and interact with customers on a daily basis. You need to make it easy for customers to find you across all of the relevant social media platforms.
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing
Though PPC could be considered outbound marketing since you’re paying to place ads, it has some overlap with inbound marketing since you’re usually trying to place those ads on influencer blogs where your ideal customers are already looking for info relating to your business’s industry.
Excellent landing pages
Whether they’re clicking on a link in an email or text message, clicking on a link from an affiliate site, or finding you on Google, when they click on that link to get on your website, the landing page needs to keep them from leaving. A good landing page will be rather minimalistic usually containing just one key call to action that you need to get them started on the path to eventually purchase and become a customer.
A good content strategy
A good content strategy is at the heart of an inbound marketing campaign because it’s where you’re offering value to your potential customers and asking for nothing in return. The goal of content marketing is to take the time to produce high quality, relevant, and valuable content that people will want to seek out and see more of in the future. You want people to subscribe to your blog and newsletters, and to go to you when they want an opinion from good authority about a given subject.
Through email marketing, businesses can compile a database of loyal customers who have given their permission to receive regular correspondence with a business. It’s a great alternative to printed mailers and newsletters and can be a great content marketing channel and coupon distribution method.
SMS (text message) marketing
Like email marketing, text message marketing (or SMS marketing) allows businesses to build up a loyal customer base. While it’s more expensive per message than email, it’s also much more effective because of the significantly higher open and click-through rates. SMS can be used to distribute mobile coupons as well as micro content, order status updates, appointment reminders, and any time sensitive information that a business might want to communicate with their most loyal customers.