Many businesses today have been left a little shell shocked by the rapid marketing transitions that have occurred over the past few years. And just when they thought they had their online marketing covered with a business website, they find they are struggling again. Dwindling web traffic, irrelevant web content and out-dated online marketing methods can put a business way behind its competition. If this sounds familiar, there is an answer to your predicament. It comes in the form of inbound marketing. You may have already heard of it. You may already be using it without realizing.
So what exactly is it?
Inbound Marketing is a content driven advertising that earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website by the virtue of interesting content. Contrary to traditional Outbound Marketing, which includes the process of buying attention; cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, email marketing, telemarketing, Inbound Marketing is content driven and virtually free.
The various elements of digital branding viz. SEO, content marketing, social media, newsletter/email marketing, online advertising etc. have a hierarchy of relevance and reach. SEO has the greatest relevance whereas online advertising has the greatest reach. Ideally, you should formulate a strategy based on both parameters.
Your online marketing plank should follow the guideline of
Get found with SEO, SEM or social media Convert the leads by directing them to landing pages on websites Analyze the response using marketing analytics Retain the prospect by enrolling and signing him up Your inbound marketing strategy depends on Content strategy
the topics, tone, style of the substance, and the prioritization and breaking up of the content into building blocks. The content has to be moderated, the quality, consistency and the integrity of the content needs to be governed. The 5 Ws of content strategy are
Who: The reader, whom you are addressing. Focus on what he wants to know instead of talking about your product.
What: Address how your customer's business may be affected. Create interest around the topic and then introduce your solution.
When: Stay with current trends inj blogs and news articles. Maintain the frequency of your posting.
Where: Identify the correct social media mix amongst the many platforms available.
Why: Engaging in more conversations will better your search visibility and better customer interaction.
Search Engine Optimization
Keywords and links in your content which are specially designed so as to come out on top when customers search for content related to your services.
Social media Identify where your customers are present. Have a selective mix of platforms for visibility instead of trying to establish a presence everywhere. Keep your business website at the heart and use your other platforms to drive business to the site.
Newsjacking is a method by which you can achieve maximum exposure. It is a process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business. It creates a level playing field-literally anyone can newsjack-but, that new level favors players who are observant, quick to react, and skilled at communicating. It's a powerful tool that can be used to throw an opponent or simply draft off the news momentum to further your own ends.
Some stats about the state of Inbound Marketing in the industry
60% of companies have adopted some element of the inbound marketing methodology into their overall strategy.
41% of marketers say inbound marketing produced measurable ROI in 2013.
53% of CEOs/CMOs increased their 2013 inbound marketing budgets.
SEO and social media accounted for a combined 23% of all inbound budget allocations in 2013.
45% of B2B companies increased marketing budgets due to past inbound success.
82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly.
18% of marketers confirmed that developing quality content was their top priority in 2013.
10% of companies have a dedicated marketer for content creation.
SEO is the top channel for sales conversions, with 15% of marketers reporting it produces above average conversion rates in 2013.
13% of marketers noted that social media generates above average lead conversion rates.
52% of all marketers generated a lead from Facebook in 2013. 36% of markers found a new customer from Twitter this year. 9% of marketers sourced a customer from Pinterest.
Inbound marketers' average website conversion is double the rate of non-inbound marketers - 12% vs. 6%. (source: HubSpot)
As you can see, the results obtained from Inbound Marketing are promising to say the least. Change your online marketing methods to keep with the flow.
Creative Factor Integrated Marketing is a strategic brand, design and marketing consultancy firm. Started in 2009, we hold expertise in orchestrating various marketing initiatives to compliment your brand, and have been involved in several successful social media strategies for both large and small businesses. Our in house team of digital media specialists, media planners, copywriters and designers ensure that all the key services of inbound marketing are delivered to you.
We also offer a customised Marketing Management Program that will give you an insight into what drives effective marketing. To know more about our program, get in touch with us here.