For a long time, larger businesses have had a clear edge over their smaller competition due to the ability to afford a large marketing budget.
Although traditional marketing efforts have often been too costly for small and mid-sized business owners, the rise of the Internet has leveled the playing field significantly, allowing even the smallest of companies to compete through the use of inbound marketing, which is much more cost-efficient and effective than traditional marketing strategies.
However, to have any hopes of competing, you need to implement an effective inbound marketing strategy. The following are some of the essential strategies that you should incorporate into your inbound marketing campaign:
SEO is the key to marketing your website. While a number of different factors are involved, the singular goal of SEO is to improve your search engine ranking. By improving the ranking of your site’s pages, you increase exposure of your site on search engine results pages, thereby bringing in more organic web traffic.
One of the key factors for strong SEO is the use of keywords. The use of good keywords will help Google and other search engines identify your content and will help your target audience to find your content through relevant search queries.
However, choosing the right keywords can be a challenge. Keywords that are too vague won’t rank very high. This is because you’ll have a tough time competing with other businesses using those keywords as well as with attracting relevant visitors. For example, if you are running a fruit of the month club and you use the keyword “apple”, you’ll be competing against Apple computers and potentially attracting the wrong type of audience.
You should make sure that your keywords are relevant and specific to your content. There are many tools out there that can help you find new keywords as well as determine what keywords will be effective for your brand. In fact, you can find out what keywords you are currently ranking for by using RankReveal. This can help you identify effective keywords you didn’t even know you were ranking for.
When it comes to optimizing your site, make sure that the keywords you use are relevant for the page they are used on. You’ll want to use them in the following ways:
Just make sure that you don’t overuse your keywords throughout your body content. Doing so can result in Google levying ranking penalties onto your site for “keyword stuffing,” which is a black hat practice that is severely frowned upon.
You can also check your SEO score for free on Website SEO Checker.
Creating content is a must for any inbound marketing campaign. Without content, your inbound marketing efforts are going to be useless. Content is not only what gets people to visit your website, but that gets people to stay on your website. Without it, you have nothing to offer and you give visitors no reason to convert. The following are a few ways in which content can benefit your inbound marketing campaign:
As you can see, on-site content is vital to all of your inbound marketing goals. However, this particular inbound marketing strategy isn’t going to work effectively if your content isn’t of high quality or relevant to your audience.
Additionally, you need to make sure that you publish new content regularly. Publishing new content once a month won’t cut it since readers that were interested will have forgotten about you by then. Generally speaking, you should publish new content a few times a week – and always at the same time so that readers know when to expect it
Last but not least, it doesn’t matter how amazing your content is or how relevant it is to your audience’s problems, if you don’t promote it, nobody will find it. Use email marketing and social media marketing to promote your on-site content.
While publishing high-quality content on your own website on a regular basis is certainly important, you should also look to write and publish content off-site as well. For example, writing a blog post for another company within your industry (that isn’t a direct competitor, of course) can have a huge impact on your marketing efforts.
First of all, you’ll sustain your reputation as an authority within your industry if you’re writing guest blogs on other reputable websites. Secondly, you’ll be exposing an entirely new audience (that of the company whose site you are guest blogging on) to your brand.
Odds are the site will link your blog post back to your website, thereby directing new traffic, most of which is probably of high quality, to your website. So basically, you’ll be exposing your brand to a large number of high-quality leads with a single blog post.
You can help boost each other’s exposure as well as market each other’s products and services, thereby increasing both of your customer bases.
Email marketing may be an older strategy, but it certainly isn’t an outdated one. By sending out regular newsletters to anyone who has chosen to opt in, you can accomplish the following:
As you can see, email newsletters can have a big impact. However, you have to do it right. This means finding the right balance between sending them out often enough to keep recipients engaged, but not so often that it becomes spam-like.
Not to mention that you have to ensure the newsletters contain good content that’s relevant to your readers. One way to do this is to ask the right questions on your opt-in form so that you can segment your audience and automate your emails.
Producing free in-depth guides is an excellent way to provide your audience with vital information that’s relevant to your brand, whether the guide goes into detail about your services or your products.
Not only will in-depth guides improve the SEO of your site, thereby bringing in more organic traffic, but they can be extremely effective in helping you to convert your leads.
This is because in-depth guides that provide relevant information will help to build brand authority, which in turn will increase the trust that visitors have in your business. The more trust you build, the more likely visitors are to convert. You can make your guides available for free download on landing pages linked from blog content, on your homepage or via email newsletters.
Popups, in general, are a bit controversial because they can disrupt the website experience of your visitors. Because of this, you’ll want to be careful with how you use them. Having an email pop up disrupt your visitors experience every time they visit a new page on your site is probably a bad idea. However, picking and choosing specific places for an email popup can be effective.
What are email pop-ups? Basically, they are popups that allow visitors to sign up to your email list right then and there. One way you can use them is to have them pop up automatically when a visitor clicks on the call-to-action at the end of one of your blog posts that encourages readers to sign up to your newsletter.
There are also email pop-ups available that can automatically track if a user is about to leave your page by the gesture and velocity of their mouse movements as they browse through your site. Once the user is about to leave your page, the popup can show up. In effect, it’s like an extra page view that doesn’t disrupt their experience since they were leaving anyway and it won’t prevent them from leaving either.
There are a number of social media marketing strategies that you should consider using in general, but one of the easiest ones to do is to host a Q&A on through your social media channels. Social media should be used as a way to connect with your customers, thereby building trust as well as increasing brand awareness. A Q&A can do all this and more.
By hosting a Q&A, you give followers the opportunity to communicate directly with you. This in itself helps to make your brand appear more personal, which in turn makes you more relatable. It also gives you the opportunity to provide valuable information about your brand, your products or your services. This can help to nurture leads into regular customers.
Converting people on social media is even more effective because once you convert one person, there’s a good chance that they will begin sharing your content with their own social circles on a more regular basis, thereby boosting your exposure and potentially bringing you more leads.
Keep in mind that Q&As don’t have to always be scheduled events, although scheduling a Q&A with someone of importance within your company is a great strategy for building anticipation and drawing more exposure to your brand.
However, you can also simply post questions to Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels on a daily basis to incite conversation and engage your followers. These can be questions about your products or services in order to receive helpful feedback or even fun questions that could be helpful to other followers and customers.
You should also keep track of any questions asked by followers across your social channels and make sure that you answer them. This shows that you care about what your customers think and helps provide you with good PR.
Focusing on personal branding will help to strengthen your corporate brand. This is because your audience will have an easier time relating to a personal brand – and if it’s linked to a corporate brand, it will become easier for those audience members to trust that corporate brand.
There are many ways that you can enhance your personal brand. For example, writing on-site content with your name and photograph attached and then syndicating that content on social media. You may want to have some of the higher ups in your company write content as well so that they can build their personal brands, all of which will connect to your corporate brand.
As previously mentioned, guest blogging is another effective strategy for strengthening your personal brand. All of this will make your corporate brand more human, more accessible and more trustworthy. It will also make it easier for you to connect with industry influencers using your personal brand.
Influencer marketing is a strategy that isn’t used as often as it should be. The idea of influencer marketing is to target the individuals who hold influence within your industry, such as thought leaders and reviewers. They have large audiences on social media that trust what they have to say, which means that if they mention your brand, product or service in a positive light, it could have a big impact on your reputation.
The way to connect with industry influencers is to identify who they are and to begin following them on social media. Share content that they post and engage in discussions that they start on their channels. This will help bring you exposure to their audience while also giving them exposure to your audience, something that they will appreciate.
Eventually, you can contact them directly to find out if there’s a way you can collaborate or find out if they would be willing to review or highlight one of your products or services.
These are some of the inbound marketing strategies that have proven to be highly effective when properly implemented. Remember, when running an inbound marketing campaign, it’s a good idea to use multiple inbound marketing strategies that are integrated into an overall marketing plan. If you choose to only use one or two strategies, you’re in effect putting all of your eggs in one basket. If one of those fails, then your entire inbound marketing campaign will end up failing.
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