There are more than 30 million small businesses at work in the United States at the moment and this number is always growing. In fact, each month, roughly 543,000 businesses open up.
This means that competition is fierce and falling behind on marketing strategies could cost you dearly. 20% of small businesses fail within their first year. This is where successful inbound marketing can help.
This marketing strategy focuses on bringing customers to your business’ website in order to boost sales and brand engagement. But in order for your inbound marketing to be really effective, you need to know what you’re doing.
In that case, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out our twelve top tips on how to make your inbound marketing strategy as successful as possible.
How Can Successful Inbound Marketing Help Your Business?
Inbound marketing is a specific type of marketing strategy that focuses on bringing customers to your website. This contrasts with other strategies that promote specific services or products for customers to buy on the spot.
It works by creating new ways for customers to come to your website. So, rather than finding your services via a TV ad or billboard (which is outbound advertising), they might find you through a specific blog post.
Bringing customers to your website to browse is important for any small business. This helps to familiarize them with your brand and services.
Because of this, customers may end up buying more than they originally intended to. Or they may revisit your website in the future to use your services over and over again.
This is particularly useful if you want to build a long-lasting customer base or if you have a long sales cycle. Success in either of these areas relies on a trusting relationship between you and your customers. This is exactly what a successful inbound marketing campaign can create.
Sounds great, right? Well, in that case, let’s take a look at twelve top tips to improve your inbound marketing.
1. Find a Target Audience
First things first, you need to know who you are targeting. Tailoring your strategies is key to success and you can only do this if you know who you’re talking to.
If you use marketing with social media, this is a good place to start.
Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer free ‘Insight’ services. You can use this to see which demographics are reading your posts and sharing your content the most.
Demographics may be based on age, gender, location, or occupation. You can even narrow down your search criteria for more specific feedback. These are the people who are most likely to respond to your inbound marketing.
Once you know what your primary demographic is, you can use this to carry out further research. You could carry out online surveys about which strategies customers have engaged with recently. Or you can hold focus groups or individual interviews with willing customers.
These are a great opportunity to learn about your existing strategies and to get ideas on how to improve your marketing. Make sure you always give participants the opportunity to provide feedback. You never know what bright ideas might come your way!
2. Start a Blog
Starting a blog and sharing regular blog posts is a great way to bring more traffic to your website. It provides a new and organic way for customers to come across your website.
For example, if someone searches ‘How to remove red wine stains’ and you have a blog article with the same title they may find this.
Obviously, you want your blog content to be relevant to your business. So if you run a roofing business you could feature articles about the importance of keeping your gutters clean. Or if your business is fashion-orientated, you might share tips on accessorizing.
Whatever you share there are several things you should keep in mind.
Always have a catchy title. This should be engaging to reel customers in and contain important keywords.
The content of each article is important as well. Articles that are repetitive, rambling, or not specific enough will quickly lose an audience’s attention. So make sure they are informative, engaging, and get to the point quickly.
3. Create Variation on Your Website
When releasing engaging content, it’s important to remember that the written word isn’t the only thing that will draw people in. So when you’re updating your website, keep this in mind!
In fact, people are much more likely to read through an article that uses pictures or videos to break it up. Infographics are also a great way to display statistics without overwhelming your audience.
If you save these images with appropriate names, they may also come up in relevant internet searches, in the same way, that a blog post would.
You can also build a network from your website by connecting social media accounts, such as Twitter or Instagram. You can even create Spotify playlists to link up to your site if this is appropriate for your business. All of this helps to bring customers back to your brand through numerous different channels.
4. Use Backlinks and Guest Posting on Your Blog
Linking your website and other people’s is another important inbound marketing strategy. This builds a network, which draws traffic to a specific page on your site.
There are two ways that you can do this.
You can guest post, which involves letting another someone else write a blog that will appear on your website. Usually, this post will feature links to their own website. It means that whenever someone searches for them, your website will also appear in the results.
Backlinking works in a similar way, although you can use it to create a wider, less specific network. Whenever you reference something in your articles, such as a statistic or fact, you can create a hyperlink to a source for this information.
As with guest posting, this creates a link between the two websites, which makes yours easier to find in online searches.
5. Respond to Customer Comments
Communicating with customers is extremely important to the success of any business. It helps you to establish a trusting relationship that will stand the test of time. However, responding to your customers can also be a valuable way to boost traffic for your website.
When customers post relevant comments or feedback on your website, this can improve your SEO. The more these comments are responded to, the more likely this is.
When replying to your customers, make sure that you do not use a generic message. If people see generic ‘thank you for your query’ messages popping up, they’ll quickly disengage and may look elsewhere for answers.
6. Optimize Your Keyword Usage
SEO or search engine optimization is key to bringing more traffic to your business’ website. There are many ways to boost your SEO, some of which we’ve already looked at. One of the most important things you can do is use keywords throughout your website.
Keywords or keyword phrases are a few relevant words that will help potential customers to find your website.
For example, if you want to advertise your company’s wedding dresses one of your keywords might be ‘bridal gowns’. This is because it is what people often search to find your products. Other keyphrases may be ‘wedding dresses’ and ‘best wedding dresses for summer’.
Using these words throughout your articles means that they will appear higher up in the search because they are mentioned more. This is a really simple and effective way to bring more traffic your way.
7. Host Webinars on Your Website
Interactive content is a great way to draw in people’s attention when they visit your site and webinars are a great way to do this. They offer people a reason to visit your website that isn’t directly focused on selling a specific product.
These are a great way to engage customers on a personal level, which is great for sales and for building customer loyalty.
You can prerecord webinar videos or host them live. Webinars don’t have to be long and can be about almost anything! Shorter training videos are more likely to hold people’s attention for ten to fifteen minutes.
If your business sells security software, a webinar about online threats would lead your customers to your services. For fashion and retail businesses, video reviews of products or tips on how to use a product can be really engaging.
To promote your webinars, have a link to them on the homepage of your website. You could even have this as a pop-up welcome window so it’s the first thing people see.
8. Engage With Influencers
Social media influencers are all the rage at the moment and are a very effective way to reach a large audience quickly. With more than one billion monthly Instagram users, this is definitely a market you want to tap into!
Influencers will promote your products by talking about them on their social media pages. They can even include links directly to your website.
Fostering a good relationship with your influencers is important. Make sure that you find someone who has an interest in your services and has experience promoting similar things. That way you know that their followers will also be interested in the content they’re promoting.
9. Email Marketing Strategies Are Long Haul Tactics
Email marketing is a tried and tested form of inbound marketing but it’s important to see this as part of your long-game rather than a quick fix.
An effective email marketing campaign is all about creating a positive relationship with your customers rather than bombarding them with your latest deals. You should use your emails to share content that your customers will find interesting and informative.
You could use it to share your latest blog titles, for example. This is also a really good way to engage with current events in your industry and around the world. That way customers are more likely to read your emails rather than sending them to their junk mailbox.
10. Make Sure Your Website Is Accessible
Major flaws in your design will quickly become apparent to all users. However, Many able-bodied, tech-savvy users won’t notice how accessible your website is. Nevertheless, it is important to keep all your potential customers in mind when designing your inbound marketing.
Small details can make a lot of difference and will show your customers that you’ve thought about them individually. This can have a huge benefit on the relationship you create with them.
For example, adding audio descriptions to your website will help people who are visually impaired navigate it. This includes descriptions of any visual content on your website and recordings of any written content.
You can make your website more accessible by providing different language options and an option to make the font bigger.
11. Use Content Upgrades to Drive Conversions
Getting people to your website is one thing but getting them to stay (or ‘converting’ them) is vital.
There are some general ways that you can do this, including welcome pop-ups and featuring interesting videos on your homepage. However, content upgrades can really help you boost your conversion rate.
Content upgrades find out exactly what content on your website is providing the most conversions and promote this throughout the site. So it may feature as a recommended read on your blog page or be the first thing people see on your home page.
12. Assess Your Strategies Using Analytics
Having a great strategy in place is one thing but you need to make sure that this is working.
Keep an eye on which strategies are pulling in the most customers and which ones are falling behind. It may be that you need to change the type of content that you’re sharing or that you need to revise the formatting of your website.
Things you should look at are:
- Where your traffic is coming from (and where it isn’t!)
- How long people spend reading or watching your inbound content
- How long people spend on your website once they arrive
- The demographics of your customers vs. your target demographic
You should also keep in mind that some strategies are short-term while others are long-term. Your email marketing, for example, may seem to bring in fewer people but may have a higher conversion rate. So it’s important to find a balance between quantity and quality.
Get Ready to Reap the Benefits of Successful Inbound Marketing!
Successful inbound marketing can make an enormous difference in the success of your small business and these twelve tips will help you run the best campaign yet! So what are you waiting for?
For more support designing the perfect inbound marketing strategy, get in touch today. We’re here to help!
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