Most of the marketing professionals and business owners I talk to have the same problem:
They need more inbound leads.
After we discuss their inbound marketing strategy, I learn that one or more of the following crucial tactics is missing from their overall strategy.
1. Create Buyer Personas
If you’ve been blindly using inbound marketing in an attempt to grow your business, stop it. Get to know your potential customers with buyer personas.
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Because nearly everything you do in your business—product development, sales, marketing, service—will be tied to your personas.
Buyer personas (most businesses will have 3 to 5) are your ideal customers. They are high-value descriptions that among other things identify your buyers’ demographics, goals, challenges (pain points), and possible objections to your products or services.
And as you’ll see with some of the examples below, everything you do with your inbound marketing will start with your buyer personas in mind.
2. Optimize for Search
Maybe you’ve just had a site redesign. It looks slick. The colors pop. Your spouse thinks it’s beautiful. But you’re wondering why you’re not getting traffic.
When was the last time you audited your site? Don’t worry. It’s not as daunting as it sounds.
A basic audit involves simply helping a search engine’s web crawler help you get found. And you do that by knocking out the basics of on-page SEO.
Optimizing your page titles, page URL, headers, and key phrases can mean the difference between showing up on page 10 of a SERP and page 1.
Another aspect of search is mobile optimization, but we’ll save that for another article.
For now, check out our “Easy SEO Tactics.”
3. Optimize for User Experience
Your website is your store, inside and out. How it’s perceived from the second a visitor lands on a page to the next few clicks will determine whether they stay or bounce.
Try to follow the Don’t Make Me Think philosophy when it comes to design.
When it comes to your pages, are you providing the right information? If one of your personas is a first-time buyer they will need to be educated, especially if your product/service is complicated.
Will they know where to go on your site to learn the basics? Even more important, are the basics (definitions, guides, FAQs, etc.) even on your site?
Ask what is the goal of each page? Then jump into the mind of each of your personas to see if that goal is being achieved.
4. Give em’ what they want
I’m always perusing Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Without fail a few days after a search, Amazon will send an email that goes something like this: Are you looking for something in our History books department? If so, you might be interested in these items.
A list of books on the topic I was searching on appears with some good and most important, relevant suggestions.
I love Barnes and Noble, but I can’t recall a time they’ve sent an email based on my searches. The weekly emails I receive are generic—everything but the kitchen sink approach—that rarely piques my interest.
Guess who gets more of my business?
Know who your potential or current customers are. Know where they are in their buyer’s journey. And give em’ what they want whether it’s with your lead nurturing, calls-to-action, or blog posts.
If you don’t know what they want, complete step #1.
5. Create Content Regularly
There are loads of statistics that show more content equals more visitors, leads and sales. In general, more is better. But I’m not advocating that you blog every day and Tweet 10x a day. Not even close (unless you’re the Beibs).
Just create regular content that speaks to your buyer personas. So before you even write a blog post, refer to your buyer personas. What topics are they interested in? What gaps in knowledge can you close? What pains can you alleviate?
And yes, the regularly part in content creation can be a challenge. A few quick ideas: talk with everyone in your company; you’ll be surprised with the ideas you get.
Push away from the desk, go out into the world and observe—even better ask questions from people you encounter. Read a magazine or book that’s not in your industry. Call a friend and ask them about their job.
Don’t forget to jot your ideas down.
For more ways to get a handle on business’ inbound marketing strategy, download our “Work Smarter, Not Harder” e-book.