Today, I’d like to chat about some of the specific tools and techniques that you can use to succeed with your inbound marketing efforts.
When you set inbound marketing into motion, you will soon find it is a strategy that thrives on consistency. The most powerful tool in your arsenal is the Blog on your company’s website. You control how much information you disseminate, what information you provide and how often you distribute that information. Ideally, your blog will consist of multiple short (but not too short) articles on relevant topics that set you up as an authority in your field.
The goal is two-fold:
- You get readers who learn to seek you out for your expertise.
- You get others to link to your material…thereby bringing more readers who will learn to seek you out for your expertise.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of inbound marketing. You don’t have to become an expert in SEO yourself, but you do need to know what the right keywords are and how to use them effectively. The goal is to increase your search rank. You want to be on that first page of Google and bing results when internet users search for your keywords.
The great thing about SEO is that it is something that can be tweaked and worked on to help your visibility. Over time, you will be able to determine what your effective keywords are – what words are bringing visitors to your site. And you will be able to track links leading to your site.
You can also track links from within your site. Perhaps your current blog post has a hyperlink to an older post on related material. Instead of using a direct link, you can use a tool that will allow you to shorten the link and also see the traffic reports on that url. For example, we use ilnk.me and get a special shortened url. Later we can obtain the information on how often the link was clicked, the highest traffic times and so on. Remember, information is power and you want that information to know what is working and what is not.
Social Networking Platforms
A bit overwhelmed by all the social media platforms out there? Start with two. Perhaps it’s Twitter and Facebook. Maybe it’s LinkedIn and YouTube. But start with two and build from there.
Don’t assume more is better.
You should only have as many social media profiles as you can manage to maintain. And while your main goal with social media may be to promote your brand and distribute content, don’t forget that these platforms are interactive. They invite a conversation with the internet visitor. That’s something you never want to lose sight of.
The Online Marketing Audit
Yes, you’ve got a business to run. But even if you use tools to automate as much content as possible, you should schedule regular “check ups” on each platform to make sure there isn’t a question or comment lingering.
Also, the technology behind online marketing can change quite frequently and at a faster pace than traditional media.
Thus, having an online marketing audit conducted regularly may help alert you to new features that you should be taking advantage of to promote your business.
Integrating Inbound Marketing into Your Sales Process
The reality is – visitors are not customers. It’s up to you to turn them into your customers.
As you integrate the SEO aspect with the content and the social media visibility, you will find that you will get those visitors.
In order to turn them into customers, you need to cultivate them into leads. Content can also play a big role in that! Your company should have a stash of content in hand that can support the Sales team at each step in the buying cycle.
Whether you are trying to convert a visitor into an inquiry, an inquiry into a lead, or a lead into a sale, you will need specific content to help move people through each step.
By doing that, you will be working to ensure that your inbound marketing efforts prove to be a success!
John Foley is the founder of Grow Socially (www.GrowSocially.com) which was founded in 2010 to help companies with their online marketing efforts, with a focus on social media.
Read more from The Digital Nirvana: http://thedigitalnirvana.com/2012/04/tools-and-techniques-to-succeed-with-inbound-marketing/?utm_source=WhatTheyThink+Newsletters&utm_campaign=50a3a56555-daily&utm_medium=email