For many businesses, inbound marketing is the key to keeping the sales pipeline filled with fresh, qualified leads. By developing a steady stream of content that is relevant to web-surfing audiences and answers the questions that prospective clients often have, businesses are able to educate potential clients and cultivate a pipeline of qualified leads for their sales teams to follow-up with.
As inbound marketers, we’re often asked what makes inbound marketing an effective sales tool for businesses. While the answers to this question often vary based on the goals and objectives of the business, all industries can benefit from ensuring their inbound marketing program follows these five golden rules of inbound marketing.
Think like your client
It’s common sense, right? Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Effective inbound marketing content is written with prospective clients in mind and helps to solve a problem. Think toolkits, e-books, whitepapers and blog posts that answer the common questions your sales team fields from prospective clients during the sales cycle combined with helpful tips that demonstrate your team’s depth and breadth of expertise.
Make is reader-friendly
While you want to offer an adequate amount of information to educate – and further intrigue – your readers, you also want to avoid overwhelming prospective clients. Whether you break up lists of action steps with numbers or bullets, use charts to organize copy-dense sections or incorporate a compelling infographic to illustrate a process, pay careful attention to how best to organize the information for optimal impact.
The popularity of social media marketing channels like Pinterest and Instagram are no coincidence. They are proof positive that visuals can make an impact and – when coupled with the right copy – can drive meaningful and measurable action. Consider how to strategically use visuals to increase the impact of your online marketing content. Think adding custom graphics to blog posts, creating infographics to synthesize processes and commemorate milestones and developing short, original videos to embed in everything from blog posts to email marketing.
For businesses seeking to reach multiple vertical markets with their inbound marketing content, developing an adequate amount of relevant, compelling, high-quality content can be a challenge. It is often hard to avoid creating a deluge of great content during the off-season and going dark when business is booming. While all marketing programs are subject to an ebb and flow, it is important to ensure your online marketing channels are updated consistently. A blog that hasn’t been updated in months can lead visitors to believe the company isn’t up-to-date or, even worse, has shuttered its doors. Creating an inbound marketing calendar (or content calendar) can help to ensure a steady stream of information that touches all of one’s target audiences on a consistent basis.
Focus on the analytics
The beauty of inbound marketing is that there is no lack of data to inform refinements to one’s strategy. Use the data from your Google Analytics console and inbound marketing software to evaluate overall website traffic, most popular blog posts, the landing pages that drive the most conversion, etc. Inbound marketing programs that use data to inform the strategy allow companies to allocate resources to marketing tools and tactics that are generating the greatest ROI. Check analytics often and look for patterns and trends. For businesses with seasonality to their products and services, this is even more important.
Whether your company is looking to launch its first inbound marketing program or looking to refine an existing marketing program, the key is to remain focused on quality, consistency and ROI.
Considering launching an inbound marketing program for your business? Check out our blog posts on key questions to ask before getting started.
Ready to launch and inbound marketing program and ready to hire an inbound marketing agency? Check out our blog posts on key questions to ask when hiring an inbound marketing agency.