There is no doubt that in the world of digital marketing, inbound marketing is a powerful tool. When properly implemented, inbound marketing can help you define your targeted client and provide the insight of how to get in front of them and provide them the information they need to make an informed decision.
If you are not familiar with inbound marketing, then take a look at our Basics of Inbound Marketing Guide for a simple layout of how it works.
As you may know now if you have any inbound marketing training, the power of providing free information and educating your clients is the successful path for online businesses. You should no longer be spamming your clients with cold calling and random email blasts on your products and services. These outbound marketing tactics are too heavily blocked by today’s spam prevention methods, and only seceded in low numbers of customer return. And are they the right customers?
To win the right customer today, you need to use the right tactics and strategy’s to not only be there for them during the education of their research, but as the subject matter expert and professional who can help them when they make the decision to buy.
Today’s online business presence is only mastered by the presence of your website when searched. Whether it’s Google or Facebook, your website needs to be optimized for the proper keywords to get in front of your audience. Arguably the most important step in your online design, choosing keywords to be found for can be difficult without reviewing what people search for. An easy way to do this is to find a competitor in Google who is ranking on the first page and look up their website in the Google Keyword Planner. The resulting list of keywords is what you should be considering for your business.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but many companies do not know who their target customer is. Taking the time to learn this information can have drastic positive changes on your business. Learning your customer’s profile can be challenging without some guidance. One of the best ways I have found to do this is to create a buyer persona. This valuable document will identify who your average target customer is, what their job title is, their goals, responsibilities, and challenges. When completed you will have a blueprint of who your perfect customer is. If you need help with this, follow the free guide created by HubSpot at http://www.makemypersona.com/ and think about who your current best customers are.
Today information is free, and instead of fighting this we need to embrace it by being the leaders in our fields and showing others we have the knowledge and experience to do so. There is no better way to do this then giving away valuable information to you readers, empowering them to not only understand your market place but that you are a leader in it.
Many companies struggle with this as giving away valuable information and strategies may spell out their internal secret sauce. But the reality is that most of this information is available to whoever is researching it. If you don’t think so, then research it yourself. You may be surprised at what is available for free in your market space.
To get started, you can create a free eBook or Infographic that provides a step-by-step process on something your user’s research. This should include your experience and personal insights. Create a Video Guide or Pod Cast on a highly researched topic in your space.
Starting a blog is a great way to keep your audience engaged, and gives you a good reason to stay in front of them regularly. But don’t take this lightly. Creating a blog is a large commitment, and takes more time and energy to get started then most people like. When you do take this important step, be sure and use your blog to educate your readers and provide valuable information in exchange for their time. People do not want to be sold or read articles that are self-serving and focused only on you and your business. Try and blog regularly, once a week is great but if that’s too much time commitment try and make it once a month. Whenever you blog, make it meaningful and something your readers want to read and share. Always SEO optimize your blog posts according to your target keywords, and share them! Be sure and add a way for your readers to join your blog and build your list.
With the ease of creating and publishing videos today, it has quickly become one of the most favored methods of viewers. Videos tell more of a story about you then other forms of content. They are the easiest to follow and appeal to one the highest forms of learning, by adding visual information.
Starting your own video blog is easy with YouTube.com and multiple free or affordable recording apps with your smartphone. Be sure you review what your competition is doing for ideas and insights on what is popular. You likely are not an expert at editing and optimizing your videos, but you would be surprised at how far video editing software and special effects have come in the last few years. If you have a small budget for this take a look at CyberLink PowerDirector for PC and Apple’s Final Cut Pro X.
If you need something free, then check out Windows Movie Maker, a surprisingly good movie editing and creations software from Microsoft, or Apple iMove for Mac OS. For those of you that want to screencast for demonstrations on your computer, take a look at Camtasia studio. They have a free version and a paid version if you want more features and power: https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html.
Like all things in marketing, make a plan for each of the strategies above. Remember that reaching people takes time and consistency. So when you start you blog, after discovering your target audience and keywords, don’t give up if you only get a few views, or no views. It takes the time to build authority and trust, and you are competing with everyone else who is your space. But repetition wins in the end as long as you produce quality content.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Most small businesses don’t have the time and expertise to create quality content. Fins an expert who can take the time and understand your business and help build its inbound marketing efforts if you need it. When done properly the results can be truly astounding.
Sean Riggs | Search & Rank Technologies