Seven Inbound Marketing Techniques That Get Results
What’s the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing?
In the course of running your business, you’ve probably heard the terms “inbound” marketing and “outbound” marketing as they relate to lead generation.
Simply put, inbound marketing is about attracting, engaging, and retaining your audience so that you can create more customers with bigger lifetime customer value. Inbound relies on customers finding you, and seeking you out. This type of marketing relies on the powerful human motivators of curiosity and the thrill of discovery.
Outbound marketing is about starting a conversation where none exists- it’s the more traditional form of marketing, where the company reaches out directly to customers and tries to generate interest in their product or service. Cold calls or telemarketing are two examples of outbound lead generation strategies.
Companies focused on lead generation tend to use both inbound and outbound strategies.
Inbound strategies can sometimes lead to faster conversion; so many businesses focus the bulk of their marketing efforts there.
Let’s look at 7 ways you can improve your inbound marketing efforts to get results.
1. Add, Improve, or Refresh Your Lead Magnet – A lead magnet (also known as an ethical bribe) is a free product or service that you give away, or sell for a very low price, in order to generate a customer. Every lead magnet should be built around solving a problem for your future customer and, ideally, would offer a way to solve the problem fast. Even better would be a done-for-you component to the lead magnet that solves the problem FOR the client. Let’s say that you were having a problem with ground bees at your house. Would you be interested in a lead magnet that tells you how to get rid of ground bees safely? Most likely yes. But would you be MORE interested in a lead magnet that tells you how to get rid of ground bees, and offers to do it for you (even if at a fee)? More likely yes. Most of us would opt for the ”done for us” service all things being equal.
2. People over Search Engines – Page titles, header tags, keywords – these are all important, but speaking directly to your audience is more important. SEO is a discovery strategy; in that it can help your audience find you. But writing for the search engines doesn’t necessarily create rapport with your visitor, and your visitor is the one who is going to buy something- not the search engines. So while a strong SEO strategy can bring you an audience; you can generate one yourself by giving value and meeting your clients where they already are, such as social media.
3. Have something to offer next – If you are an expert in your topic, you very likely have a lot of ideas for classes, programs, and services to provide your client. You can use any of these to drive more sales, and to generate more inbound marketing results. Every piece of content you create in your business can be put through the 10x cycle- which is where it becomes useful in 10 ways. So, for instance, this blog post could become a podcast and video. I could use this same blog post for an infographic, and I could break it out into social media updates, and I could turn it into an ecourse, and I could make it a free-standing lead magnet- just for starters. With the push towards longer-form content, it just makes sense to get as much use out of all your content as possible.
4. Be consistent – when you begin your inbound marketing efforts, stick with them. Build an inbound marketing process that you can repeat over and over. As I write about in my internet marketing book – you only need about 3-5 marketing strategies you do consistently in order to have a full and thriving business. But consistency is key to inbound marketing- people have to know, like, and trust you before they will do business with you.
5. Market in various formats – When you are building your inbound marketing plan, it makes sense to market in a mix of formats- such as written, audio, video, and visuals. This means you want to offer your content in multiple forms, in order to attract the maximum number of people. Everyone has a preferred way to access content, and you want to make sure your content is available to them in their chosen format.
6. Go where the people are – As I tell my clients, building an audience from scratch- starting from nothing- is one of the most difficult ways to build your business. Instead, seek out opportunities to collaborate with others. Write guest blog posts, contribute to groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, look for places to share your message and offer value. Again, you will need to do this consistently in order to get results.
7. Provide amazing service and products – When you give a great deal of value, and do this in a way that is honest, and transparent, you will create a good reputation. And in the online world, reputation matters. People are more likely to refer others to you if they believe you to be credible, trustworthy, and effective. Do what you can to provide highly valuable and effective services so your expertise attracts more clients.
These seven strategies can help you engage, attract, and delight your customers.
CTA: If you’d like help building your inbound lead generation strategy, I’d love to take a look at what you’re doing and offer you at least three ideas for how you can accelerate your results. Start by submitting a consultation application.