Inbound marketing is a proven approach for building your business that doesn’t rely on old-fashioned, interruptive marketing methods.
With the right inbound marketing tactics, properly implemented, inbound helps you attract strangers to your website and convert them into customers, as well as promoters of your brand.
But what are the best inbound marketing tactics to deliver a surge of traffic and improve ROI?
Well, the inbound methodology is broken down into four stages, and it is essential to understand them and tailor your tactics to each stage.
As you might have guessed, your goal here is to attract strangers to your website – but not just anyone. You want prospects who are very likely to become leads. The key to attracting and engaging these prospects is to provide them with helpful, relevant content to solve their problems or satisfy their needs.
Essential tactics that attract strangers:
SEO is a discipline that focuses on building your visibility in organic search engine results. It aims to improve your ranking for relevant search terms, drive traffic to your website and generally increase your online exposure.
In addition to organic SEO, PPC (pay per click) campaigns can offer your business valuable additional exposure. Because PPC is advertising it’s not an inbound strategy in the purest sense, but if you use it the right way it can really compliment your efforts to drive new traffic to your website.
3) Social media
Effective social media management focusing on the right platforms can amplify your content, increasing its exposure hugely. Social media is also a great way to interact with prospects to build trust and show that your brand cares about each customer’s needs.
This is one of the best ways to attract new visitors to your website, with educational, problem-solving blogs. By considering the pain points of your ideal customers, you should be able to create comprehensive, high-quality posts that address their needs and offer solutions.
Once you have attracted prospects, you need them to engage with you in a way that suits them. Once they have made contact you are in a strong position to guide them with more useful content and by answering any questions they have.
Essential conversion tactics:
5) Content offers
Smart content offers include educational assets like ebooks, tools and webinars. These resources are designed to expedite a buyer’s journey, (which consists of Awareness, Consideration and Decision stages). Internet users want quality information quickly so the asset you offer has to be of high enough value that they are willing to give you their details in return.
6) Calls to action
Intelligent calls to action (CTAs) are focused on the stage your potential customer is at in their buyer’s journey. Generally speaking, CTAs can be any inducement to share information or get in touch, but when looking to convert a lead you need to offer them additional, relevant content to help them move to the next phase of their journey.
7) Landing pages
Landing pages are designed specifically to capture information from potential customers. Individual landing pages can be created to target different audiences, featuring content offers such as ebooks, vouchers, free trials and more to get a visitor to fill in a form.
Creating easy to use lead capture forms for visitors to complete is yet another effective way to get them to engage and share their information. As we have just mentioned, these forms appear on landing pages but can also appear in other features such as pop-ups or chat windows. They are a vital inbound marketing tactic to maximise conversions.
9) Email capture
Email capture is done with pop-ups, sometimes asking visitors to subscribe to a mailing list, but more effectively with a relevant content offer. There are lots of tips available on how to politely acquire email addresses without disturbing visitors, such as a pop-up at the end of your content rather than while someone is trying to read it.
What’s the best way to turn a qualified lead into a customer? As well as nurturing leads with great customer service, useful, relevant content is an excellent way to help people solve their problems in a way that suits them. Offering information that genuinely helps people also lends your brand valuable credibility.
Essential inbound tactics that close leads into customers:
If your lead has converted by filling out a form or downloading some content, but not yet become a customer, email can help. A series of emails containing useful, relevant content can help build trust and make them more likely to buy.
11) Marketing automation
Marketing automation means using software to automate repetitive marketing tasks, such as emails and social media posts. This can save your team a lot of time and minimise your inbound marketing expenditure.
12) CRM integration
A CRM (customer relationship management system) is a single source of information on all your customer interactions. Tracking everything from page views and emails opened to calls, contact information and sales, a CRM is vital to nurture and close leads.
13) Sales alignment
Getting your sales and marketing teams to work together (known as sales alignment) is another essential part of successful inbound marketing. Having marketing channels integrate with your CRM means everyone in your business can share the same customer information, making it easier for them to work as one big team.
To delight customers, ensuring that they return and become promoters of your business, you need to offer as much help, information and guidance as you can throughout their journey with you.
Tactics that can delight customers:
Asking customers for feedback (and making sure your business takes it on board) is a great way to improve your customer service and your inbound process. It will also ensure you delight as many customers as possible.
Surveys are a reliable way to gain valuable feedback from your customers. The information gained here is also very useful if you are considering amending your inbound strategy, as any changes should always be based on hard data.
16) Customer service programmes
A customer service programme sets out the standards expected from all staff in your organisation. This is an effective way to make sure you provide a service at a consistently high level.
17) Referral programmes
A referral programme is a very good way to get customers to promote your brand after they have made a purchase. These programmes can include discounts or a voucher for the customer and the person they refer, helping you to retain existing customers while attracting new ones. This turns your sales funnel into a sales loop.
Is inbound marketing right for you?
Let’s have a quick recap of the main points covered to help you decide whether inbound marketing is right for you:
- Attracting, converting, closing and delighting customers is about using the right tactics at the right time.
- You need the perfect content for your ideal customer at each stage of their buyer’s journey, to attract them and ensure your leads are qualified
- Utilise inbound tactics like SEO and social media to make sure people see your content, and use that content to guide them through the sales funnel
- Provide a personalised experience and listen to customers, to make them happy to return and happy to promote you in the meantime