Did you know that a solid inbound marketing strategy (a.k.a. content marketing) can generate nearly eight times more site traffic than traditional outbound marketing approaches?
Or, that content marketing also leads to heightened brand recognition, conversion rates, and customer engagement?
Yet, despite all of these benefits, inbound marketing proves more affordable than traditional marketing approaches. Studies show it costs 62% less than other forms of advertising while still generating three times more leads.
How’s that for a win-win?
If your school keeps putting off their website makeover and procrastinating about starting a consistent blog, then now’s the time to get serious about inbound marketing. Or, be left in the digital dust.
Keep reading for a full breakdown of why inbound marketing works. Then, explore real-world case studies that illustrate the bounty to be reaped from this approach.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Traditional marketing for schools involves pushing out a message to your ideal audience. It’s all about your brand and getting it in front of lots of potential students. Less thought is given to who these individual customers might be.
While traditional outbound marketing remains important, it’s also become less effective. Especially in the Digital Age where customers make online research an important step in the buying process.
Inbound marketing lets you attract new prospects to your company pages, and it helps you convert them into students. It focuses on drawing people to your website, blog posts, and landing pages.
How? Through strategic storytelling. This allows you to connect with visitors in meaningful ways. (Instead of just highlighting the benefits of your classes and services the way that traditional marketing does.)
Besides telling a story and connecting with people, inbound marketing relies on aggressive SEO strategies to drive more traffic to your site. How? By optimizing your content for the terms your customers prove most likely to search.
Why Inbound Marketing Works For Trade Schools
Since Google drives 94% of organic traffic, your company needs a solid SEO strategy to have a fighting chance in the Digital Age.
This begs the question: how do you ensure your company’s content gets found online? Through inbound marketing.
By its very nature, inbound marketing relies on the best practices in SEO to drive more traffic to your site and other digital marketing materials.
That’s why inbound marketing is essential to your school’s lead generation. It encompasses a multi-pronged approach relying on the very things Google uses to rank websites, including:
- User-friendly design
- Relevant content
- Proper keyword and key phrase use
- A thorough understanding of your customers
- Relevant images
In other words, with inbound marketing, you not only enjoy more business but you also ensure uninterrupted lead generation via Google.
Of course, the process doesn’t stop at converting leads into customers. Content marketing provides you with ways to continue interacting with customers.
The Four Stages of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing can be divided into four distinct stages:
- The close
- Delighting customers
In the first step or “attraction” phase, keywords, a blog, and social media publishing help attract more people to your website pages.
These visitors become familiar with your brand. Over time, they convert to leads as a result of tools such as strategic forms, calls to action (CTAs), and landing pages.
The next step involves turning leads into actual students during the close. This requires a comprehensive plan for customer relationship management (CRM) as well as email strategies, automation, and workflows.
Once you’ve closed the deal, content marketing lets you focus on delighting your customers. This often-overlooked step proves crucial to longterm customer retention.
It also guarantees customer satisfaction. How? By relying on surveys, smart content, and social monitoring to enhance communication, engagement, and retention.
After all, it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain repeat ones.
Why Inbound Marketing Proves So Successful
What makes inbound marketing such an effective means of reaching out to prospects and customers? It represents a customer-centric approach rather than one focused primarily on your brand.
At the heart of this approach remains getting to know your customer really, really well. This starts with a solid customer persona.
A customer persona is an archetype based on what you know about your ideal customer. In essence, it’s a semi-fictional profile. But it should be grounded in data that you’ve collected via web analytics and user research.
What does a customer persona allow you to do? It provides you with insights into what potential customers are doing and thinking during the conversion process.
A persona also lets you better understand the problems that may turn away potential customers. That way, you can make adjustments before losing leads. This will help you ramp up the success of future lead generation efforts.
Let’s take a look at how inbound marketing has helped a variety of companies attract more traffic to their websites and increase their overall conversions.
Inbound Marketing Case Studies You Need to Know About
What does transforming your marketing efforts from an outbound to an inbound approach look like? And what can you expect to see in terms of results?
While each case proves different, real-life scenarios can give you a better idea of the benefits associated with a customer-focused approach.
From a real estate company to a college, a trucking company to a manufacturer, well-executed inbound marketing works.
A Successful Trade School Inbound Marketing Reinvention
One trade school wanted to reach more potential customers. This started with strengthening their inbound marketing efforts through a revamp of their outdated website.
Working with a full marketing agency, they made decisions based on a careful understanding of who their customers are and what differentiates their brand from the competition.
Their website makeover included creating a family-friendly vibe. One that also underscored their pursuit of excellence in the higher education industry.
With our help, they opted for user-friendly options such as large, easily navigable tabs. They also chose site images that communicated the benefits of working with them.
In terms of PPC and SEO campaigns, they pursed an aggressive remarketing strategy that targeted local search terms. These combined efforts resulted in a 110% increase in conversions.
They also enjoyed a 2175% increase in search engine traffic. And all of this while decreasing their PPC ads spend by nearly 40%!
Other Industry – Gambling on Success Through Content Marketing at One Casino
A casino wanted to appeal to their clientele in exciting new ways. But their website left much to be desired.
What’s more, they envisioned a multitasking website. One that not only attracted new leads but facilitated the operations of hotel employees. With a marketing agency, they used a solid inbound marketing approach to facilitate this transition.
Updating their website involved creating a new, award-winning appearance. They relied on various design features to do this. These included using body images to portray the excitement of a big win and an interactive header.
On the backend, they added a customized management system (CMS). This CMS permitted all site changes to be approved through managers before taking effect online.
In concert with an aggressive PPC and SEO ad campaign, the casino soon saw a 24% increase in website traffic. This included a 31% increase in search engine traffic and a 16% decrease in the site’s bounce rate.
Massive Increase in Traffic Puts One Manufacturer on the Map
When it came time for a website redesign, one manufacturer looked to inbound marketing to revolutionize their business. They monetized their site by putting all available products online with lengthy, keyword-rich descriptions.
In their website restructure, they paid close attention to crafting an SEO-friendly design and used flash animation to underscore their premier products. After the website update, they quickly reached global rankings for their top search terms.
They also hit number one in Google search for a variety of relevant keywords, having beat out top competitors.
What has this new focus on inbound marketing yielded the company overall? They’ve seen traffic increase by 70% and a search engine traffic increase of 52%. What’s more, 35% of visitors now spend more time on their site.
One Trucking Company’s Journey From Outdated to Outstanding
One trucking company’s website saw approximately 650 unique visitors daily. But it was defunct and lacked contemporary functionality. The website didn’t even have basics such as site search, analytics tracking, and contact forms.
The site also suffered from many broken links, errors, and a general lack of user-friendly features. After completely reworking the company’s site, they implemented an aggressive SEO campaign to attract more traffic.
Their website saw a 17% jump in overall traffic and a 25% drop in bounce rates. They also enjoyed top placement for 47 keywords.
Using PPC strategies in concert with SEO, they saw a 367% spike in calls to the office. What’s more, their website conversions skyrocketed by 350%.
The Future of Inbound Marketing Strategy
As you can see from the case studies above, inbound marketing can lead to dramatic results when done right.
Moving forward, inbound marketing will continue to evolve. This will include innovative ways to deliver storytelling thereby helping customers connect with brands in more meaningful ways.
To distinguish your brand from the rest, you’ll also want to share insights as well as the vision motivating your company. Customers want to feel good about the brands they patronize. Storytelling will continue to help companies foster these feelings.
Blogging will remain a primary channel for disseminating storytelling as content marketing. There will also be a shift toward more guest blogging.
Since creating high-quality blog posts takes time and effort, guest blogging marks an excellent way to reap its benefits.
Just what does it take to create a successful blog post? Here are some tips that will continue to inform content marketing moving forward.
SEO’s Continued Role in Content Marketing
It’s also important to remember that inbound marketing cannot overlook SEO. Particularly technical SEO.
That’s why it’s in your company’s best interest to work with a full marketing agency. This agency should have proven experience getting results as well as the resources to deliver a superior inbound marketing product to you.
Inbound marketing also involves avoiding costly mistakes when it comes to SEO. Such mistakes prove surprisingly common and can come between you and your customers.
These mistakes include:
- Failing to create a consistent, relevant blog
- Failing to use website traffic to your advantage
- Lack of optimized lead generation
- Poor or inadequate headlines
- Fear of experimentation
- Lack of focus on user-generated content
- And more
Such mistakes put your company behind the times when it comes to attracting new customers and leads to your website.
Work with a content marketing agency that can help you dominate the SEO game in terms of your blog, lead generation, PPC ads, and more. Read on to learn more about pitfalls on your journey to developing a solid content marketing plan.
How to Make an Inbound Marketing Methodology Work for You
Are you excited about the prospect of ramping up your inbound marketing strategy? Would you like to see how it could attract more traffic to your website and ramp up your sales?
Then, it’s time to get serious about taking your marketing efforts to the next level. This means moving away from outdated, traditional styles of marketing to a proven method for engaging with your customers in more meaningful ways.
But what if you’re not sure where to start when it comes to inbound marketing? No worries. We’ve got you covered.
From revamping your website to creating a high-quality blog, upping your SEO strategy, and more, we’ve got the tools that you need to raise your A-game. So, what are you waiting for?
Contact us today to discuss how we can work together to ramp up your inbound marketing and bring more customers and conversions to your company’s website.