If you’re just starting out in inbound marketing, you may find it kind of daunting. It’s being heralded as the next big thing in brand promotion, and the future of the marketing field. But what does it take to get started with inbound marketing? How do you implement a successful inbound strategy? Here are 5 essential elements to any successful inbound marketing plan.
- Goals. It’s not enough just to say, “I’m going to create content that draws people to my site, and then my sales will soar!” Inbound marketing isn’t a magic spell to wave over your business and grant it success. In order to be successful at inbound marketing, first you need to know exactly what you want to get out of it, so that you can form a specific plan to achieve those goals.
- Demographics. When reaching out to a target audience, it’s important to know who that audience is and what they want. Things like their age range and background can be useful in targeting content to them. Even more useful is knowing what kind of information they’re looking for. Do they want how-to guides and instructions for solving specific problems? Do they want updates and commentary on current industry trends? Reviews of recent product releases? This is what sets inbound marketing apart from more traditional forms of marketing. It seeks to reach a specific type of person in a way that will interest them and draw them in, rather than casting a broad message out into the ether and hoping that the right people are paying attention to it.
- Dynamic SEO. Just as important as what the audience wants is how they’re asking for it. A little research on the most popular search queries for your particular industry can be extremely beneficial. This is how to hook an audience for your brand. Taking advantage of popular search terms and building content around those terms will help you increase your content’s visibility when people enter those search terms in the future. And ultimately, it will increase your brand’s visibility as well.
- Engaging Content. SEO is what hooks a potential customer, but your content is what reels them in. Each of those popular search terms is a potential topic for a blog post, or a video, or a podcast. For example, someone who sells fish tank supplies might see the search terms “How to clean your fish tank” and “Most popular types of fish for pets.” These are the things that their customers want to know. So creating content that provides their customers with that information will gain the customers’ interest and ultimately drive them to the website.
- Social Media Presence. SEO is great for driving content, but it’s not enough. Waiting for people to enter in specific terms and find a specific page is passive. In order to drive sales and create brand awareness, you need to promote your content actively. And you do that through social media. Posting content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other channels is a great way to promote a brand. It also allows you to engage with your audience actively, building trust and relationships and increasing your sphere of influence. It can build people’s interest in your brand and help you develop a loyal following. Then, when those loyal people are ready to make a purchase, they’ll turn to the brand they’ve come to know and trust. That’s what inbound marketing is all about.