About 80% of marketers say generating more quality leads is now their top priority. Unfortunately, about 19% of marketers say lead generation is a challenge.
Another 21% struggle with converting those leads into paying customers.
Does ongoing lead generation and lead conversion have to be such a challenge?
For most small service businesses, a strategic balance of both inbound marketing and outbound marketing is appropriate and effective.
Not sure where to get started?
Well what follows are 7 inbound marketing tips for beginners. This should provide some insight into at least the inbound marketing side of the digital marketing strategy equation.
➊ Know Your Target Market
Before anything else, it’s important to gather research. The more you know about your target market, the more likely you’ll appeal to their needs.
Be crystal clear on exactly who you’re trying to reach. For example, you can define potential clients based on demographic, psychographic, and/or geographic information. The more you know about your ideal client, the better. Some examples of information you may want to gather could be:
- Marital status
- Household income
- Buying behaviors
- Pain points
If you’re focused on more than one target market (e.g. accountants and IT firms… 2 very different markets with differing challenges, lingo, buying habits, etc.), consider creating separate buyer personas for each.
Then, determine what questions your target market(s) are asking. You can gather keyword research using SEO tools such as SEMRush or Google Keyword Planner, just to name a few. The trend in SEO is to focus on longtail keywords that are phrased as questions. That’s more in alignment with how people are actually searching online.
Use this research to develop your content marketing strategy.
➋ Update Your Brand
If you want to develop an effective inbound marketing funnel, it’s critical to make sure your brand stands out. There’s a whole lot of competition out there for all of us… no matter our industry!
Strong Brands Rank In The Search Engines
Don’t allow your brand to fade into the background. Remember… out of sight, out of mind! Consumers certainly won’t choose you if they either forget you are there and/or don’t understand that you can solve their problem.
Take the time to develop a distinct, powerful brand that includes your:
- Unique value proposition
- Logo styles
- Image styles
- Font styles
- Color palette
Keep your branding consistent and persistent on every marketing platform that makes sense to play on. This will help brand awareness and recognition grow.
➌ Optimize Your Website
Once you update your branding, consider updating your website as well.
Make sure your website is fast and mobile-optimized. Then, make it real easy for site visitors to take a next step with you.
First, how about adding an eye-catching call to action button to your navigation bar or at least somewhere above-the-fold. Use a compelling call to action that’s direct and urgent. Maybe add a form above the fold of your landing pages, too. Or, how about a chatbot to engage visitors. There are lots of options here for you to choose from.
Creating more than one conversion opportunity can help you generate more leads. It also provides the opportunity for you to determine which lead generation tactics work best with your target market.
Your website will become the backbone of your inbound marketing strategy. Create a positive experience on your site to encourage visitors to linger. Consider working with an experienced web design team to make the necessary changes.
➍ Create Informative Content
Why create content?
To educate, inform, and lead… Thus becoming the only obvious choice when it comes down to who to buy from when they (the prospects) are ready.
Studies show that companies that blog over 11 times a month get more than four times as many leads as businesses that blog five times a month. Targeting customers with content relevant to their position on the sales cycle will significantly improve your conversion rates.
Just remember, blogging isn’t the only game in town when it comes to content marketing though. There are lead magnets, emails, texts, and much more. The key is to strike the right balance between the mediums that make sense for you and your target market.
Unfortunately, about 59% of marketers say creating content is one of their top lead nurturing strategy challenges. It doesn’t have to be that way for you though. Be strategic about it. Let your audience guide you. How? We’ll touch on that in tip number seven. In the meantime let’s talk about getting started.
First, look at your keyword research. What questions are your customers asking? Create content that answers their questions and appeals to their search intent. You can create:
- Blog posts
Regardless of the marketing medium used, always, well almost always, inform your audience on what the logical next step is… Your call to action so to speak. For example, you can encourage people to contact you for help. Then, link them straight to a form!
Try turning some of your content into lead magnets. You can encourage people to provide their email in exchange for a helpful eBook.
You can also encourage people to subscribe to your email newsletter for deals, coupons, and exclusives.
Inbound content marketing can help you draw in leads you can nurture into sales.
➎ Optimize For SEO
Writing blog posts and other content for your website is one thing… optimizing that content for the search engines is a whole different animal; A very necessary step in maximizing the effectiveness of your writing efforts. I mean how useful is that very useful content if no one knows it exists?!
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website rank higher on search engine result pages. When someone searches for your product or asks a question, your website could appear.
This is one area where you may want to consider working with an experienced inbound marketing agency. They will best be able to help you maximize these inbound strategies.
➏ Stay Social
Use social media to remain top of mind and engage your target audience regularly.
Reformat, or pull excerpts from your blog posts to use on social media. Consider using live Q&A videos to engage your audience, too. Answering their questions will help you demonstrate your experience and expertise.
Consider joint venture partnerships with influencers (someone who already has influence over and access to your target market) as they can help you expand your reach. An influencer can promote your product or service, then direct customers to your website.
Don’t forget to keep up-to-date with any social media marketing trends as well. Tracking the trends will help you remain relevant.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of Flavor of the Day Marketing though. The marketing you do must make sense! Keep reading to learn more about that.
➐ Analyze And Optimize
Any proper inbound marketing strategy must include a means to monitor its performance. You must have a way to determine what’s working as well as what’s not working based on performance goals you have set. Then and only then can you properly analyze and optimize your marketing campaigns.
Remove the guesswork here! If you don’t, it’s essentially gambling… who knows… maybe you’ll get lucky. I highly do not recommend that approach though.
Know your numbers and you know your business!
Do more of what’s working and less of what is not. Let the data guide you.
That’s a lot to digest… I know. There was a point in time for Online Marketing Muscle where we had to do the same. I only wish we knew then, what we know now!
So here’s a quick recap for you. NOTE: You can click on any of the items in the list below to revisit that specific benefit.
Final Thoughts: 7 Inbound Marketing Tips for Beginners
Inbound Marketing is simple… however don’t let anyone tell you that it’s easy. It takes the willingness to deep dive into understanding your target market, almost better than they do themselves, and then consistently and persistently providing them with the content needed to effectively move them through the buyer journey.
Remember, customers buy when they are ready, not when you want them to. This is why Inbound Marketing is such a crucial piece toward attracting and wowing your target market. Be willing to take their hand and walk them through the buyer journey and into the solution they seek.
Additionally, what I’ve tried to show you a bit here is that Inbound Marketing can be quite formulaic. Use these seven Inbound Marketing tips to set yourself up for success. With these tips, you can bring more customers to your business.
You can demonstrate your experience and expertise before converting more leads and sales. This will also lessen that dreaded buyers remorse that leads to bad Clients, returns, bad reviews and all the other bad stuff we don’t like to deal with.