An inbound marketing strategy is an organic method of attracting visitors to your brand, converting them into leads and ultimately, nurturing them into satisfied customers. Engaging an effective inbound marketing strategy requires some effort upfront but will increase your brand awareness and grow your customer base, driving the success of your business.
IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Before you create any content, you need to figure out who it is you want to attract. Who do you envision benefiting most from your product or service? Creating buyer personas is an easy way to solidify the profiles of your target customers. Buffer recommends creating 3-5 personas in order to capture a wide swath of your customers and yet retain value as you move forward with your marketing efforts.
For each buyer persona, identify their pain points, greatest needs and goals. These personas represent your target audience. Keep this target audience in mind as you brainstorm and craft your content.
DETERMINE WHICH TYPES OF CONTENT YOU WANT TO CREATE
Ok, you’re over one hurdle. You know who you’re generating content for. Now it’s time to determine which types of content to create. And the list of possibilities is long! How does your audience ingest information? Are they bookworms and love a good ebook? Or maybe they are frequent webinar subscribers. Do they enjoy reading and sharing memes with their coworkers and friends? Or maybe they ingest information audibly and keep a running queue of podcasts for their daily commutes. Vlogs, videos, how-to’s, guides, case studies, polls, press releases…what lights their fires? You must create relevant content if you want to make that valuable connection.
SEO: DO YOUR RESEARCH
Paying attention to SEO trends is critical. After all, you don’t want to waste your time generating awesome content that no one can find. Topic clusters are a current search engine favorite. Think of creating topic clusters like 10th grade word webbing in prep for your next research paper. When planning out your marketing strategy, put your main topic in the middle of the web and connect related subtopics with strands extending out from the center. Then create a cornerstone piece of content on your main topic and link all future subtopics back to it.
Did you catch that? Internal links are powerful little buggers that help web your valuable content…and search engines love them! Over time, with a web of relevant, linked content, search engines will perceive you as an authority on your topic and your rankings will increase.
By now you’re getting an idea of how to devise an effective inbound marketing strategy. But where should outbound marketing strategies fit into your marketing efforts and what’s the real difference between the two? To learn more, read our recent post here! (See how we did that? Sneaky, right?)