You’ve probably heard the term “Inbound Marketing”… but how many of us actually understand it? What is it really? Why should we care about it and where do you start? In an effort to demystify this I’m breaking it down into 3 simple steps: Attract, Convert and Analyse.
This article was originally printed in the Hunter Business Chamber Review as “Three steps to inbound marketing success (and what does it mean?)” which can be viewed online here.
While EDMs, branded content, video and social all play a vital role in any good Inbound Marketing Strategy, many would agree Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is where it begins.
It’s estimated that search engines drive over 90% of all website traffic and the majority of people searching haven’t made their mind up about a brand before starting their search. This means, appearing at the top is an invaluable advantage over competitors. Basically you can’t afford not to be there. Add the fact it’s cost effective and excellent ROI and it’s no wonder SEO is a top priority for most marketers.
Take our client Reflections Holiday Parks for example, now on the first page for 89% of their search terms, resulting in a 275% increase in organic traffic (accurate at the time of writing this article).
Ranking highly in search means higher click-through rates and relevant click-throughs lead to conversions. If you let SEO inform your content strategy, you can speak directly to your customers’ needs, making you the obvious choice when they’re searching for a solution to their problem or need regardless of industry.
The best way to practice Inbound Marketing is to be helpful. It sounds simple, but many organisations are reluctant to ‘give away’ their smarts for ‘free’. What they don’t realise is that in doing so, they not only gain trust from potential customers, but also position themselves as an authority on whatever topic they are sharing knowledge on (take this very article for example).
If you’re putting helpful content out there and it’s well optimised for search, you are well positioned to be found by your ideal customer and as a result earn not only their trust, but their marketing budget too.
Another client of ours, Greater Bank, do this particularly well with their Here’s How campaign by using genuine customer stories to show how they’ve helped people achieve their goals.
This campaign combined with their thorough online library of guides, calculators and videos authentically position them as truly helpful, uncomplicated and trustworthy which helps them attract new customers.
OK, so you’ve got the content, it’s optimised and you’re turning up in all the right searches. Your ideal customers are clicking through and you are converting them. Job done, right? Wrong!
This is often one of the biggest mistakes. In my experience, the set and forget mentality almost always costs businesses money.
You may be getting 100 people to your site where 20 become leads and 5 convert to customers. What if, 30, 40 or 50 of them became leads which doubles or triples the rate of conversions? You haven’t done any extra work. You’re still using the same content. So, how do you improve on your existing success and maximise your ROI?…
DATA! If content is king, then data is what the king eats for breakfast. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the practice of making the good better and it’s vital. It involves tracking, measuring and analysing, then using that to inform your strategy and optimise the user experience.
Marketing without measurement is like driving with a blindfold on. It’s dangerous, just plain unnecessary… and in the end it will hurt.
A good Inbound Marketing Strategy will enable you to attract, convert, analyse and repeat.