Inbound marketing is an effective form of marketing because it brings your company closer to your market and customers. In fact, you have access to markets and customers all over the world, which helps build your online reputation. With inbound marketing, your customers are active partners with you in growing your business.
However, online lead generation isn't an endeavor to be undertaken lightly. Here are five essentials of great inbound marketing approaches.
1. Know Your Audience
Suffice it to say, you have to know who you're targeting with inbound marketing. This doesn't mean just knowing who the major players are in your market. It means being able to segment your market and being able to identify your buyer personas. It involves mapping out who these buyer personas are, how they buy, when they buy, and what they consider to be critical components of excellent service.
There is no time for a haphazard approach to online lead generation. It will never be as simple as just launching random digital advertising campaigns in order to drive traffic to your website in the hopes that customers just happen to click on your call-to-action.
Knowing your buyer personas means you know how to reach them, know what digital strategies work with them, and how to keep them engaged online.
2. Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Driving traffic is important but it's only one part of the overall solution. The other critical component is improving your chances of being found. Search engine optimization (SEO) isn't just about making sure your website has the right keywords. It means adopting an SEO mindset at the outset of any digital campaign you use for lead generation.
Therefore, it is critical to optimize your website's layout. Make your website mobile-friendly. Use local SEO to be found in local searches and always improve the performance of your website and its landing pages. Optimizing is never a one-time event. It's a constantly evolving process in which you push the boundaries of your digital strategies and website.
3. Yes, Content is King
And it will always reign. So what falls under content's kingdom? Is it just a landing pages? Is it just your website's homepage, or is it much more than these things? Ultimately, content is everything you use to reach your audience. Content is king because it's everywhere and it's how you engage your audience in real-time with thought-provoking arguments, insights, and valuable solutions.
Treat your website as a hub of information. Treat each landing page as a separate entity entirely. Treat every single email campaign as an event. Be proactive on social media.
Content is everywhere and it generates returns long after its published date. Not only is it one of the least expensive lead generation tools available, but it's also easy to implement.
4. Be Part of The Free Economy
Customers soak up free information. Your buyer personas are looking right now for free information. Now, either your competitors give them that information for free and see their lead generation increase, or you do. It's that simple.
Use your history of performance to your advantage. Create business case studies on how your products positively impacted customers. Offer up white papers on best business practices. Showcase your engineering competencies and capabilities in such a way that your strength as a partner is demonstrated. Use those documents as gated content on social media, email campaigns, and newsletters.
5. Be Proactive - Not Reactive
There are still companies that wait for inbound calls. Lead generation is much more than that. It's about creating an online presence, engaging customers by asking and answering questions on social media, and moving your company toward becoming a market influencer by creating a following. Being proactive means knowing what's going on in your market. It means being aware of recent technological advancements, understanding the impact of emerging trends and news, and using that information to your advantage across all your online lead generation strategies.
Inbound marketing is a mindset. It's about being dialed into the world of online marketing and lead generation and viewing all your digital resources as critical to customer engagement.