You need to leverage inbound marketing online, if you expect to achieve results. Effective online inbound marketing has a deceptively simple formula:
Targeted Promotion + Relevant Content = Long Term Results
How does this apply specifically to online marketing?
1. Identify your target consumer.
Before you can effectively drive traffic to your website, you first need to identify and target a specific audience so you can tailor your content to their tastes and habits. Do market research, a survey, and analysis of your existing customers; if you find out that most of your customers find you through your company’s Facebook page and are women between 35-55, you can craft inbound marketing content that appeals specifically to this demographic – and you may decide to create additional content for an inbound marketing plan that will help draw more men to your website and product/service. At this point you could certainly use a relatively low cost marketing/branding platform that can help you both target your reach as well as expand to/test new markets.
Find out more about effective online marketing: Smart Marketing: Maximize ROI on a $100 monthly online marketing budget
2. Decide on your strategy.
Before you come up with a call to action, you need to determine your business goals for the next quarter or two: is your emphasis on consumers purchasing your product? Your online strategy can be to advertise your brand and use offers to promote your product or service, as well as adding “share” buttons to your website pages, email campaigns, and social media presence, combined with the appropriate call to action. The “sharing” capacity is important to encourage word-of-mouth interest and the virality of your targeted inbound marketing content. A platform that empowers you to conduct self-directed online branding and product promotions, and easily share them, would be an effective tool to implement and modify your strategy as you go along.
Find out more about consumer habits: The Journey to Purchase
3. Create your campaign content pieces.
Before you launch your campaign, you’ll need the right content pieces. These can include articles, press releases, white papers, infographics, and videos. What are the habits of your target consumer? If you find out (from Step 1 above) that they are active on Facebook as well as Pinterest, you may see more inbound maketing results from regular, targeted visual posts (ensure they have accompanying images, or use designed offers, infographics, or video) and ad campaigns, than with more text-based posts. Consider using a platform that provides the ability to quickly and easily create an unlimited number of visually attractive brand offers such as coupons, and strategically bid on/place your advertising on valuable online real estate.
Find out more about online offers: An Introduction, and Coupon Demographics
4. Increase your social media presence.
Before you start posting links to any and every social network available, remember the first part of the basic formula for effective online inbound marketing: targeted promotion. Target the social networks where your prospective customers are, then take the time to set up complete profiles; interact/comment with others; and share their content as well, not just your own. This way you’ll become an engaged, respected member of your social networking communities. When you’ve established your own credibility, you can directly ask power users/industry insiders to share your content, to deliver heavier traffic to your web presence. A marketing/branding platform that offers you the ability to post/view relevant content and integrates corporate social responsibility, encourages sharing and increases inbound marketing success.
Find out more about social media trends: The Social Media Advertising Question
5. Measure your progress.
Ensure you keep track of your progress. The great thing about online marketing, is that just about everything is quantitatively trackable. Use analytics tools to measure your conversion rates and monitor your inbound marketing results. A platform with a powerful business generating system that will integrate tracking into your marketing and branding intiatives, is an easy way to do this.
Find out more about marketing trends: CMA Report Shows the Importance of New Marketing