These days, how people communicate and what they expect from businesses has changed. This shift in buying behaviors means business owners need to re-think how they go to market, and how to make sure they will get found by buyers using search engines, blogs, reviews and social media. That’s why the team at HubSpot coined the term Inbound Marketing, which is a methodology that helps businesses attract people to their business. The inbound methodology helps businesses adapt to fast-changing needs of the modern buyer – not just in terms of marketing but also the entire customer experience. In this blog, I’m going to talk about 5 incredibly effective inbound marketing techniques to help your business get found by people who are likely to buy from you.
What is Inbound Marketing?
According to HubSpot who created the inbound methodology, “Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey.” Inbound marketing allows potential customers to find you though mediums like search engines, blogs and social media. The great thing about inbound marketing is that you’re not fighting for your customers’ attention. Instead, you’re creating relevant content that addresses the needs of your ideal customer, which attracts them to your business.
1. Content is King (Create a Blog!)
The entire inbound methodology centers around the fact that when it comes to effective marketing and getting found online, content is king. With that in mind, a key part of getting found is making sure your website shows up on the first page of a Google search. This involves perfecting your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) skills. For an SEO strategy to work effectively, you need to create amazing content that your buyers will find interesting, insightful or different (this is referred to as remarkable content). When your love your online content they are more inclined to spread the word organically to other readers, which significantly broadens your reach. Having people like, share and comment on your content helps to increase your page rank in search engines.
It’s important to remember that in order to be successful at this, your content needs to be fresh. That’s why having a blog is so beneficial as it is something you regularly update and is an easy platform to share interesting and relevant content that your target audience will want to read about. It’s vital your blog isn’t just a sales pitch for whatever it is you sell – it has to be about topics your buyers can relate to. Your tone could be educational, funny or even controversial. However, the most important thing is it needs to be engaging, relevant and helpful. The more you post, the faster your traffic will build. However, when it comes down to it, the better your blogs are, the more impact they’ll have.
2. Choose Your Keywords and Optimise, Optimise, Optimise
Next to blogging, one of the most important parts of SEO is the power of keywords. If you want to successfully gain traffic for relevant keywords, you need to use those keywords across your website. When it comes to choosing keywords, think about what people might enter into Google when looking for content like yours. What a lot of marketers do wrong is they try to gain traffic for too many keywords. The most effective strategy is focusing on keywords that are valuable, and then creating specific pages on your website that are specifically for those keywords. The best way to do this is by creating pillar pages centered on the keywords you’re trying to rank for, and linking relevant blog articles and website pages back to the pillar page. You can read more about building pillar pages here.
3. Build Your Brand
If you want to be truly successful at marketing your business, you need to build a personal brand. Whether your business idea is unique or there are plenty of other business out there like yours, being able to stand out from the crowd is vital. Many successful businesses these days depend on the power and influence of their personal brand, so it’s important you take the time to think about how you can build yours in a unique, interesting and engaging way. Take the Australian coffee-scrub brand, Frank Body. Arguably, they have grown their business to where it is today thanks to their personal brand. They use the cheeky and humorous voice of “Frank” on all their social media messaging. It’s fun, it’s interesting and most importantly, their customers love and want to engage with Frank! The brilliance of this brand is their customers create their content for them. Check out their Instagram page to see what I mean!
4. Offer a Free Guide Relevant to Your Business
Let’s be honest – everybody loves a freebie. That’s why offering a free guide that’s relevant to your business and its customers is a great way to build a following and credibility. It’s also an effective way to build your email list – website visitors give you their email address in exchange for valuable (and free!) content. Take HubSpot as an example. HubSpot has an incredible collection of resources and free guides. Why? Simply because they want to provide marketers and business owners with helpful and insightful information. As I mentioned before, this builds an incredible amount of trust and credibility, and makes people more likely to come to you for information in the future.
5. Get Active on Social Media
Social media has essentially turned inbound marketing into a viral interactive experience. These days, instead of people just hearing about businesses and going to them, potential customers find companies, follow these companies and interact with them in real-time. When it comes to inbound marketing, your aim with social media should be to enhance your brand and connect with potential customers. However, it’s not enough to only have a presence on social media. You need to engage with your followers. Social media is called ‘social’ media for a reason. An easy way to connect with your followers it to ask questions, answer questions and just be an online presence.
In Conclusion …
There are plenty of ways to use inbound marketing to grow your business – these are just a few to help you get started. Start by choosing a handful of the techniques listed above and monitor your progress for six months. You’ll be amazed at the changes you’ll see!