For startups in the Bay Area and beyond, marketing is a top concern, because everyone needs good marketing solutions to solve it. In fact, a good marketing plan is what every business needs and is in search for in order to succeed. Otherwise, the chances are slim for economic survival for your company.
For some businesses, ditching the archaic ways of outbound marketing can be a difficult concept to swallow. However, this unpleasant experience of interruption and force-fed advertising has caused consumers to tread softly around brands who use these tactics.
So, how do you go above and beyond for each of your website visitors, and position your brand to generate more leads without exhausting your marketing budget?
Content marketing paired with the inbound marketing methodology is your answer and here’s why. In today’s blog, we’re giving you seven quick and straightforward tips to embracing inbound—getting your content development machine primed and ready to produce measurable marketing progress.
- Develop buyer personas: A buyer persona is a tool used internally to help inform and guide your brand for both your marketing and sales teams. Because if you don’t know who your product is for when you first started creating it, it’s going to be difficult to know how to both market and sell the value of your products.
Creating buyer persona profiles will help align your focus in how you market your products to your ideal buyers or specifically people who are need of what you have to offer them. Creating these profiles is essentially creating a living document that should be updated constantly in order to know where your focus should be instead of casting a large net hoping anyone will take a bite.
Because more and more consumer decisions are happening prior to the first interactions with any company, it is imperative to understand what is going on in the decision process prior to that crucial first contact. So take your time and understand the different levels of consumers within your brand's community.
- Make your content interesting: Understanding the pain points, needs and objectives of a lead or potential customer is imperative in the content development process. It is necessary to show the benefits rather than tell them about the benefits. The marketing assets your company creates should be well branded but not brand-centric. Content should always be customer-centric. Relate with your community through demonstrations, video interviews, and webinars. You should use other means of content communication to better settle with your readership, build relationships, and the future sales interactions will develop along the way.
Content is anything that adds value to the reader's life.—Avinash Kaushik
- Optimize content: Within the world of content marketing it is easy to toil over the power of the search engine. And you end up just trying to understand where and when Google or any other search engine will index your content or how your content will measure up to the beastly ever-changing algorithm. This can all factor into a HUGE headache and the last thing that you don’t want to have on your mind.
Well, here’s a tip to alleviate some of the pressure of optimization. Remember those buyer personas? I hope you do, because the tip here is to optimize first for those buyer personas that you have created. If you took the time to develop your target audience, then optimizing your content should become second nature.
Think about it this way. If you were going to purchase a gift for your best friend, how would you do so? If you care enough about this person, you would want to remember if they had mentioned any wants or needs recently. You may think about how they live or possibly what you could purchase to make them smile or make their life easier. Therefore, think about optimizing your content as if you were gifting to your best friend. Understand what your website visitors and essentially what your buyer personas like, want, or need and create content that will fill that gap—making your content the best gift they have received.
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.—Wendy Piersall
Utilize banners to advertise content offers: Banner ads are not against the inbound marketing methodology and a lot of companies successfully integrate these advertisements into their content marketing strategy. But instead of offering their products, they use banners to promote free content offers.
Why is this you may ask?
It’s simple. Content offers are not irritating ads that scream “I only want your money!” Instead, a content marketing offer delivered in an advertisement can be much more effective at building relationships, brand recognition, and most importantly trust. With using content offers, you are letting your community know that it’s not about the sale. Instead it’s about communicating valuable information to better inform them how your brand will best suit their lifestyle and needs.
- Stay current with industry specific information and updates: It is imperative to position your brand as an industry-level thought leader. If you are not providing up-to-date information on news within your industry, then you are doing a disservice to the your audience. How can you expect to build trust and value, without providing the necessary community engagement that only a thought leader can?
Use social media as a distribution highway: Social media has been a hot spot for a while now, and it’s not showing any signs of stopping. Although many individuals are using social media as a spectator sport, it is still a breeding ground for information exchange, collaboration, and networking. All of the amenities included in your online social media community can be amplified with a proper content marketing strategy and the practical application of the inbound marketing methodology.
It is important to note that your community may or may not be on every platform. Understanding the direction of your campaigns and the habits of your community are important when delivering content to social media.
People don’t want to be marketed at in the social channel. This is where they want to talk to each other, and brands are there by invitation. They have to be a great guest at the table.—Veronica Fielding
Establish a process: Develop a process for all of the inbound marketing best practices. Identify who will be in charge of what tasks, how the progression will work, and establish a check and balance system to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
Content marketing and the application of the inbound marketing methodology can seem tedious and time-consuming. However, if you apply all of these tips into your marketing and advertising strategy, you can bet your return on investment, customer engagement, and brand position will all benefit. Take your startup’s marketing to the next level and apply these tips to your next campaign—watching your momentum build with the help of the inbound methodology.
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