No one is saying that inbound marketing is as easy as five simple steps. In fact, there are countless books and blogs written about each of the steps below. You could spend a lifetime reading each of these books too. Just remember, inbound marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. Overtime you will develop a mastery of the below and reap the benefits for your business.
The below five steps were developed with the assumption that you have a website, blog, done a keyword workshop and your on-page SEO factors have been considered and deployed.
This is the number one most important inbound marketing step you can take. If you’re not blogging at least three times per week you’re doing yourself and your company an injustice. Besides, it kills two SEO birds with one stone – It forces Google to index your website much more often and it is a great way to build inbound links. Often times, I hear clients or prospective clients make the excuse that their industry doesn’t merit writing that often. Businesses are in the business of solving people’s problems and they do it every day. That experience alone merits writing often. Focus your blogs on solving people’s problems.
Your website and blog should contain multiple unique value propositions (UVPs) and moral bribes. This is the Quid pro quo of the Internet and the source of the vast majority of all of your leads. By offering a visitor something of unique value in exchange for an email address and additional information you will quickly build a solid database of leads. Make sure to publish at least one new piece of advanced content per month. You lead quality will depend on three factors:
- Lead source
- Qualifying questions in your form
- Quality of advanced content offered
Advanced content can include:
- Case Studies
- Podcast, Audio
- eBooks, eZines, White Papers
- Guides, Blueprints, How-to’s
- Widgets, Scripts
- Software Trials, Beta Testing
Webinars are a great way to help people solve their problems in real time. The technology also allows you to remove all geographic barriers associated with offline presentations and speak with people all around the world. If you provide very good actionable content in your webinar at the same day and time every month you’ll develop it into a rituals. Your fans will come to plan for your rituals and will be much more likely to become an evangelist for your advanced content and webinars. Another good thing about webinars is that you can record them and use the video as another piece of advanced content to offer your website visitors.
Email is a great way to promote your advanced content. Assuming you didn’t buy your email list; it should represent customers or leads captured previously. You may be wondering how emailing your previously captured leads will help you earn new leads. It doesn’t necessarily. What it does do is nurture your previously captured leads further down into your sales funnel and better qualify them. By offering them additional content that may help solve their problems and continuing to expose them to your brand they are much more likely to become customers. In addition, an email gives the person an opportunity to advocate for your brand and vouch for your content by forwarding or sharing on social media.
Social media is a major distribution channel for content and shouldn’t be ignored. Keep in mind though, social media is not about standing on top of a mountain and yelling as loud as you can about how awesome your company is. Social media is about building relationships, helping people, engaging in conversation and sharing. If you follow the social media rules of engagement and consistently distribute meaningful, helpful and engaging content you will not only have a robust content distribution channel, but you will also develop and build brand advocates, new customers and have improved SEO.
If you are starting from scratch don’t expect the deployment of the above five tactics to payoff immediately. With the right content strategy in place, the right personnel and a good content management system (CMS) you’ll be well on your way to lassoing 100 new leads a month within six months.
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