Outbound marketing is important – necessary even – but its interruptive form of engagement isn’t for everyone. Increasingly, millennial buyers and decision-makers prefer a “magnetic” kind of marketing, one that’s hands-off and gives the buyer ultimate agency. Instead of the Kool-Aid Man crashing through the wall to sell them on Kool-Aid, they would rather see a carefully curated and interesting wall of information about drink mixes in general (if you will permit the silly analogy.) That’s inbound marketing.
You might wonder, however, how a company can set itself up for inbound marketing success. How does a form of marketing essentially contingent on the buyer’s whims create a systematic plan for success? This article has it boiled down to three critical steps: measuring and tweaking your efforts, creating compelling content, and optimizing for search engines. Here’s a closer look:
Track and Measure Your Lead Channels
Without measuring your channels and efforts, you will have no way of knowing what content is working and which channels are producing leads. You will have no recourse for correcting mistakes, nor will you know what efforts deserve more attention. You are completely in the dark. Therefore, the first and maybe most important step in successful inbound efforts is lead and sales tracking, which can be done simply with the use of lead management software – check this out for more details.
Craft Compelling Content
Let’s call it “CCC” for short. This is a major tenet of inbound marketing, for good reason. You can spend all you want on your SEO efforts (more on that in a moment) in order to get people to your site, but if you have nothing for them when they arrive, they’ll hit the back button. The same goes for your social media presence. Offer people content that piques their interest, stuff that stands above the clutter and offers real value. How do you know what people are responding to? Refer to point number one!
Optimize Your Web Content for SEO
Search engine optimization, put simply, is the process of optimizing your site for search engines, through the use of keywords and key phrases. If you run a B2B paper company out of Scranton, Pennsylvania (to use a pop culture example) you would optimize for keyword searches like “business paper supplier Scranton” so that you showed up on the front page. That’s an oversimplification of a complex and multifaceted effort, but it illustrates the need for SEO. Your company can have a fantastic product/service and compelling content, but if no one can find you on Google, none of it really matters.
Outbound marketing isn’t going anywhere, and inbound certainly has no aspirations to replace it. That said, businesses should pay closer attention to their inbound marketing efforts. Tracking your lead channels is easy. Pumping out quality content and optimizing for search engines are a little trickier, but they are worth the effort. Together, they constitute a solid, foundational three-step plan to improve your inbound marketing efforts.