Inbound marketing has become the latest buzzword for businesses looking to earn a bigger audience. Traditional marketing, like TV ads, radio spots, and mail circulars, are still commonplace, but they’re like antibiotics; over time, they’ve grown less effective against the defenses of an ever-changing public. Inbound marketing, which is when a business creates content like a blog, podcast, or video channel, is when you try to earn your audience’s loyalty by giving them valuable things with no strings attached.
Inbound marketing sounds easy; all it takes is a well-liked series of reviews, a solid how-to video channel, or a well-attended podcast to get business pouring in. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, though, which is why you should take these inbound marketing tips to heart.
Tip #1: Thought Leadership is a Necessity
While it might sound like an empty buzzword, thought leadership is important when it comes to standing out in the crowd. Put simply, it means that you need to get ahead of the curve when it comes to new content, and original thoughts. If you’re writing movie reviews, it’s not enough to just review the latest releases; you have to put a unique spin on it that no one else is doing. Whether it’s an exclusive interview with someone involved, or viewing modern cinema through the lens of classic movies, it makes your content different from your competition.
Tip #2: Use A Call To Action
You don’t want to cram your content full of advertisements and self-promotion, because that will turn your readers, listeners, and viewers off. However, you do want them to know that your content is connected to a business, and that if your audience likes your content then they might want to check out the company that’s creating it. A call to action at the end of your content which invites viewers to go to your main site is enough to make the offer, without making it seem like you’re being pushy.
Tip #3: Be Consistent
Consistency is something that readers like, and it helps generate a routine that keeps people coming back. If your audience knows you publish a new blog entry on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, then they’re going to check back on your scheduled updates to see what the newest entries have to say. The same is true if you put up new videos on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, or your podcast goes live every Tuesday at 8:30; people like consistency. If you’re going to miss an update, it’s important to let your audience know, and to do something to make it up to them.
Tip #4: Set A Goal
Inbound marketing is just like any other kind of marketing campaign; without a goal, there’s no telling how well you’re doing. So, before you even get started, you have to define what your victory conditions are. Do you want your inbound marketing to increase your website traffic by a certain amount? Do you want your blog/video channel/podcast to become a secondary source of income, as well as a way to gather more customers? Those are things you need to decide before you get started, because if you don’t know where you’re going then you can’t measure how close you are to getting there.
Tip #5: Find Promotion Channels That Work For You
It isn’t enough to create content; you have to promote it. Whether that means posting on your Facebook page, and on that site’s groups, using an Internet bookmarking service like StumbleUpon or Digg, or establishing a presence on a forum site like Reddit, you need to put your content in front of an audience. If you create content on the Internet, and no one is around to see it or hear it, then you may as well have not created it.
For more tips on how you can improve your inbound marketing efforts, simply contact us today!