Whether your business is a startup or have been in the industry for quite some time, one thing is for sure - you’d want to scale it. If you feel like your business is not growing as fast as you’d like it to, inbound marketing should be on your list of things to work on to get things going for your business. It’s been dubbed as the future of marketing. Not only does it help you reach new markets, but it also helps you nurture leads and current customers for increased customer retention. It gets you a higher customer lifetime value so you’ll be making the most out of the budget you put out. In this post, we’ll be talking about why inbound marketing is a must in this digital era. We’ll also share with you a simple inbound formula to guide you with youtube inbound marketing efforts.
We’ll then move forward and run down actionable steps on how you can scale your business with inbound marketing on various channels including some digital marketing trends everybody should be doing.
Let’s dive right in.
Why Inbound Marketing Is Important
Inbound marketing gives you the best value for your budget when you do it right. Unlike most traditional marketing techniques, inbound marketing lets leads come to you instead of the other way around. By offering something of value to your audience, you let them give you the permission to contact them over and over again for a relationship to be formed. You give them a solution to their problem and they let you contact them for follow-ups. Once trust is formed, these leads will turn into recurring customers, thus increasing their customer lifetime value - the bang for your budget, also the growth you’ve been wanting for your business.
Boosts Outbound Marketing Efforts
If you're engaging in cold emails and cold calling, inbound marketing will promote more results for your outbound efforts. With inbound content, you let conversation grow naturally. They’re less sales-y so there is less friction for them to trust you. If this happens, they’ll be more willing to engage and more likely to convert.
Generate More Warm And Hot Leads
Again, with inbound marketing (the less intrusive and pervasive marketing strategy), you’ll catch leads that are predisposed to giving you a chance. If they consume your content, that means they perceive you have something valuable to say and they’re willing to listen to it. Inbound marketing attracts the right people. So you’ll be getting more willing buyers you can lead to the sales team to close the deal. Think back to full-page newspaper and magazine ads, television spots, and highway billboards. These marketing strategies cannot accurately target the right audience for your offer. It’s like throwing seeds in the air hoping everything gets to fertile land. In most cases, it doesn’t. Especially with the world transitioning to be highly dependent on the digital world. Simply said, these old strategies cannot direct the sales team to a workable audience to capitalize on, unlike inbound marketing that can create a clear actionable path.
Let’s put television ads back as an example. With this old marketing technique, you’ll be highly reliant on Nielson to do the scan and tell you how many people watched the show where your ads are shown. They’re not accurate. All you get is vague data. On the other hand, inbound marketing is more measurable. You’ll get insights on how many people visited your website, how many people added items to their cart and what those items are, which part of the landing page interested them most, how many views your video had, and how many people downloaded your lead magnets. It tells you their demographics, their interests, and behavior that you can leverage to get them the right messages for them to convert. It can even let you do A/B testing to ensure you’re using the right campaigns and make adjustments where there’s a need for it. Now that you know why you shouldn’t skip inbound marketing, let’s talk about a simple formula to guide your marketing efforts.
The Simple Inbound Marketing Formula
This simple formula will help direct your marketing messages to the right people and help them progress in stages, ultimately making them convert.
So here it is: Traffic > Leads > Customers > Repeat Customers
This is basically a funnel, the buyer’s journey as many call it. It shows you how to attract the right audience and how to reach out to them in each stage before the actual conversion. Nobody knows your brand exists unless you tell them about it. And you have to tell the right people- those who share your product’s interest. Once they start interacting with your brand, they become leads. But they’re not convinced enough yet. They still have some pressing questions that require answers to give them a level of assurance that they’re making the right decision. And when they finally close, the next step is to nurture the trust and relationship so they’ll keep coming back to your brand. So now let’s put this formula into action. Let’s look through inbound marketing techniques you can apply to scale your business.
Identify Your Brand’s Core
When you decide to scale your brand or your product, make sure that you have something solid to offer, something that’s worth people's attention and money. Unless you’re truly confident about what your product can do, go back and check what needs to be improved first. A great example of this is the paddleboard brand Gili. They made the product to be inflatable to make it portable but also assured it’s strong and rigid by using military-grade PVC to build it. With these features, it’s hard to opt-out of the product. Once you get that worked out, identify your brand’s values, your product’s unique selling propositions, an initial list of audiences to reach out to and test, and marketing channels to leverage. To help you identify your brand’s core, ask yourself these questions:
- What can my product do and what can I offer that competitors can’t?
- Who is my target market?
- Which marketing channels give the best ROI?
Once you figure out the answers to the questions listed, it might be a good time to start scaling.
Optimizing Your Website
Refining your website will help attract the right website visitors, turn traffic into leads, and leads into customers. There are several actionable steps to optimize your website, consider applying these steps one at a time. If you don’t have a website set up yet, here are some of the best website builders you can consider
Build Pages/Sections For Target Personas
Each product or service benefits several categories of people. For example, an online printing service for booklets and catalogs target product-based businesses, freelance graphic portfolios for artists, or decor samples for interior designers just to name a few. Creating separate pages for each persona will make each target group feel like the services are personalized for their needs and thus be more willing to get their portfolios printed by them. On each page, explain the pain points of the target personas and show how you can solve their problems for them. This allows you to create targeted copies for each persona so your brand message can resonate with them to a deeper level. A great example of how to do this is how WinPure segregated their business solutions per industry.
To make sure the page serves its purpose, put yourself in the shoes of the persona you are targeting and ask: is this the right product/service for me? In other cases, there’s no need for elaborate copies. Just segregating the products per buyer persona, will make it easier for visitors to find what they want and purchase them. Great examples for this are 3Wishes (a costume seller) and Mannequin Mall (a mannequin seller). Both businesses segment their products to cater faster to different personas, creating less friction in the buying process and encouraging purchases when they’re promptly presented with what they need.
Optimize For Mobile Users
According to Telemediaonline, 50.88% of internet traffic is coming from mobile phones and the rate only gets higher. If your website is not optimized for mobile users, chances are, visitors will have a bad experience exploring your website and vow never to check it out again. Imagine how much traffic you’ll lose with that. Remember, when your website is optimized for mobile users, you improve user experience and in turn foster competitiveness and visibility and help you gain your audience’s trust. If you care enough to give them a good experience right from the moment they land on your website, they’ll get an indirect assurance that your product will give them that same satisfaction. If you want to see how a mobile-optimized website looks, check out Key West Aloe’s site. You’ll see how easy it is to navigate even if you’re using a significantly smaller screen.
Additionally, 57% of online buyers won’t recommend a business with poor mobile sites to their peers. A mobile-friendly website gets you a wider audience and is a plus factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Lastly, having a mobile-friendly site will mean it’ll be easier for leads to contact you. Meaning there’s lesser friction when it comes to making a close. If you want to know what else to enhance for your website, check out this post about core web vitals.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or tweaking your website content to rank better in search engines is a vital factor in scaling with inbound marketing. It’s more than just adding keywords and meta tags, it’s about making the website more relevant to the right audience and letting search engines read that. Here are a few things you can do to optimize your website for search engines:
Analyze The Target Market
This involves putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. It involves understanding how they find information and solutions. As an example, a medical alert review website targets the elderly population. In one blog they wrote on setting up senior telehealth, they listed down all the common healthcare questions asked by the target group.
How did they come up with the questions? By analyzing keywords about the topic and leveraging how the search engine suggested how the questions should be structured.
Keyword research is one of the most important elements of search engine optimization because getting the right keywords, those exactly used by the target market, brings your website closer to the audience as a solution to their problems. If you use the words they use, you resonate better and so search engines rank your content as a result of the person’s query. A great example of this is blog content for Amazon sellers about Amazon automation. As you can see in the image below, the content uses the keyword “Amazon automation” several times together with slight variations of the main keyword.
Doing this will help search engines know what the page is about so they can rank it for people asking about it.
Target Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are huge opportunities to rank high on search engines especially because it’s placed above the first organic result for the query. It’s the first thing a person sees when the results load giving it the best chances to get opened compared to the result below it. To get chosen as a featured snippet, answer “people also ask” questions and mark it as H2. Directly after the subheading, answer the question succinctly. Your content also gets featured as a snippet when you include numbered lists, bulleted lists, and tables.
Google My Business
For local businesses, using Google My Business gets you more visibility for localized searches for the keyword you’re targeting. It gives you ownership of your profile and brings more opportunities for your business. It also allows you to respond to questions and customer reviews and gives you access to local search performance analytics. If you want to grow as an expert with SEO, it might be helpful to take an SEO training course.
Improve your brand’s E-A-T when creating content for your website especially for blogs and guides. E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, trustworthiness). E-A-T makes you credible. You can do this by sharing why you’re qualified to write about the topic or to make a guide about it. Doing so makes you a thought leader in the niche and encourages the readers to trust what you say and believe it because you’ve proven your credibility on the topic.
Repurposing content improves its effectiveness. A copy used in the landing page and feature pages can be incorporated into the blogs. Parts of the blog can be repurposed for social media content and email copies. If the blogs are expounded, they can be transformed as lead magnet guides. Tweak the blogs a bit and send them as a guest post to related websites so you can earn backlinks that’ll help you rank better in search engines. Reusing content utilized the information used in one channel and expanded into various formats. In a way, it gives the best value for your marketing budget because you’ll be spending less time creating content from scratch.
Plan Content For Different Stages Of The Funnel
As mentioned in the inbound marketing formula earlier, buyers start as traffic that turns to lead and is nurtured enough to finally convert. In each stage, there are different needs. Raw traffic will have to know more about the brand and the product and why it came to exist. Here is where “what is” types of content will be helpful. This is exactly what Close did when they introduced their predictive dialer software to the market.
You can also do “best products” types of posts at this stage just like what TimeCamp did when they created the best free time tracking apps blog and placed their own on number one. Leads are already considering the product but are not convinced enough to bring their money out for it. In this stage, you have to analyze their apprehensions, answer the questions and assure them by creating “how-to” types of content. Leads can also be apprehensive thinking that the competitor offers a better deal. During this part of the funnel, you should create content that will explain why your brand is a better choice than others. When you effectively create content for each stage, not only will users convert, they can even be retargeted later on for email campaigns to nurture them and turn them to brand loyalists, or better yet, brand ambassadors.
Social media channels are great tools for brand awareness. With it, you can get more traffic and more traffic means more leads. The word-of-mouth nature of this platform makes the word spread fast and easy in a cost-effective way. When leveraging social media, always keep interactivity in mind.
Because 93% of marketers reveal that interactive content makes it more educational and engaging in nature. Moreover, interactive content is 50% more shareable. This means more leads and lesser bounce rates. If you don’t have the knack for it, you can always tap illustrators and other interactive graphic experts. Being interactive doesn’t have to be limited to social channels, even the landing page of your website can be made interactive by incorporating animations and adding short videos just like what Everytale did.
If social is great for brand awareness or gathering leads, email marketing is great for nurturing them. It’s great for building relationships. While many businesses focus on enticing more new clients, using email marketing can help you get more repeat buyers and eventually brand loyalists. With new buyers, you’ll likely get one-time revenue. But with recurring customers, you’ll be able to get more conversions, not just for new releases but also upsells and cross-sells. But every email shouldn’t be a sales pitch. Schedule emails that give subscribers value without paying for something. This is how strong trust is built when the relationship isn’t only based on what one can give but on what he can also receive.
Once your email list grows, it’ll be hard to manage. Automating processes allow you to keep in touch with all your contacts without lacking in the personal touch. One good way to automate things is to use a CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce. If you’re confused about which is better, you check out this HubSpot vs Salesforce comparison. If you want more CRM choices, here’s a list of HubSpot alternatives you can look into.
Set KPIs And Track The Metrics
As mentioned at the outset, inbound marketing allows for accurate data to be gathered. From this data, you can deduce if you are reaching your goals or falling behind. If it’s the latter, the specifics of the marketing metric KPIs will show you where the problem lies so you’ll know what to fix and where. It’ll give you a strong basis for eliminating or revamping poor-performing initiatives.
To scale your business with inbound marketing, you should leverage:
- Your brand website
- Social media channels
- Website content like blogs
- Email marketing
To automate processes especially when the consumer database starts growing, using a CRM will take the heavy lifting off your shoulders. Lastly, to check if you’re reaching your goals, set KPIs and compare them with your monthly progress. Later on, you can leverage other growth hacking tools and techniques and scale your business to another level.
About the Author
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on novumhq.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.