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Inbound or inbound marketing: concept and strategies
Written by Pedro kazitch on 12 January 2018
Inbound or inbound marketing is one of those slightly nebulous expressions that float in the air at meetings: a concept that everyone thinks they more or less understand, and that everyone is trying to implement.
But often, it is believed that inbound marketing is about eliminating a few blog articles that don't generate a lot of traffic or leads, or other minimalist initiatives.
This clearly indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of the concept of incoming marketing, and how to implement it.
We therefore clarify in this article what inbound marketing is, and the steps to follow to effectively implement an inbound marketing campaign.
What is inbound or inbound marketing?
The simplest way to explain the concept of inbound marketing is to consider it as a channel to attract visitors to your site through the publication and optimization of targeted and particularly engaging content. This content must then be promoted by you, the e-merchant or affiliate, and more importantly, by the people who consume it.
This differs from a traditional online marketing approach, in that there is no need to invest a large advertising budget to generate paid traffic on a website. Inbound marketing is therefore very valuable for startups and small companies that do not have large marketing budgets.
Remember, however, that while the implementation of an incoming marketing strategy will not require a lot of capital at an early stage, it will still consume a lot of resources, since it takes a lot of effort to create a high quality content bank.
Let's look at the main steps in implementing an inbound marketing campaign.
1. Start by searching for keywords
The first step in implementing an inbound marketing campaign is to identify the topics to be addressed in your content that are most likely to generate qualified traffic (not just traffic).
For obvious reasons, these topics must be related to your field of activity and your target audience. There is no need to blog about gardening if you sell decorative furniture.
In general, for your content to generate a significant number of visits, you must ensure the following:
  • A considerable number of people are looking for the keywords you intend to target in your content in the first place.
  • Not all search results are saturated with articles from popular sites that deal with exactly the same topic.
In other words, you generally need to find a "content niche" - a gap in search results that reflects a demand for information related to your domain that is not yet being served.
To find this niche, you will need to use a keyword search tool. There are several on the market, such as SEMRush, Serpstat and Ahrefs.
  • The monthly volume of searches recorded by specific keywords.
  • The level of difficulty to rank for these keywords.
Suppose you have created an iPhone application designed for joggers, and you want to sell it to people who want to stay fit. You can now enter terms or phrases in your keyword search tool to identify the highest search volumes and find high-potential titles for your blog posts.
To continue with this example, you will quickly realize that it would be pointless to publish articles with titles targeting generic keywords that record very high search volumes, such as "iphone" or "iphone applications" - since you will never be able to compete with Apple in search results.
That said, you may identify an opportunity in search results for keywords such as "free iphone application for joggers", or "app ios joggers".
The trick is to find expressions that not only generate a considerable amount of research from those most likely to be interested in your product or service, but also have a lower level of difficulty.
2. Create extremely engaging content
Once you have found your niche, it will be time to create content optimized for search engines, which will also generate clicks from Internet users. In general, highly developed content shared in the form of blog posts will be the best choice.
There are many reasons that make developed content the best type of content to produce, the two most important being:
  • Its wealth of keywords, which is highly appreciated by search engines.
  • The depth of content allows users to find answers to their questions and makes them more likely to share your blog post.
When creating your content, you must also ensure that you take certain basic steps to ensure its visibility by search engines. This means adhering to best practices regarding the formatting and formulation of page titles, headings, and metadata in your content.
The key is to ensure that the content you create for an inbound marketing campaign provides real added value, whether it is a blog post or a video, whether it is long or short. Whether this content brings value by entertaining, informing, or conjuring certain emotions, it must really satisfy your readers and make them want to share it.
3. Encourage content sharing
Inbound marketing campaigns only really succeed when people share the content you have produced for them.
There are two types of content sharing to encourage:
  • Social Sharing - Tweets, inserting your content into Facebook publications, etc.
  • Creating backlinks - When someone publishes a link to your content on their site.
As you probably already know, social sharing generates traffic to your content by increasing its visibility in social flows, and it also generates clicks. To this end, it would be wise to add social sharing icons to your site, making them clearly visible, and to encourage social sharing in your articles.
Return links are extremely important to ensure visibility in search results. Simply put, the more reliable your content generates links from sources, the more likely it is that Internet users will find it in search results.
You should directly ask readers to post a link back to your content on their site. Even if some readers will not have a website or blog, others will have an online presence, and will create a valuable "link juice" if they respond in large numbers to your request. So be sure to include a call to action such as "Link to this article if you find it useful! "in your content.
In addition, in most cases, you will need to deploy a backlink building strategy. This involves contacting bloggers and news site editors to get them to insert links in their content that point to your own content. Ideally, your backlinks should contain an anchor text - the clickable text of a link - that includes the keywords for which you would like to rank.
4. Convert visitors to prospects
Once visitors are on your pages, it will be time to convert them. The best way to do this is to capture their email addresses.
Although it is certainly useful to accumulate followers on social networks through content marketing, capturing email addresses remains the best form of lead acquisition for two main reasons:
  • E-mailing offers a higher return on investment (ROI)
  • You manage your relationship with your subscribers and you can contact them directly by e-mail. You will not have to worry about updates to social algorithms that may affect the organic visibility of your content.
To capture email addresses, you will need to use an email marketing service and integrate clearly visible registration forms into your site.
In general, contextual registration forms and giant welcome forms are the most effective. However, you should pay attention to how you implement them, since Google does not like intrusive popups.
Whether you use popups or not, you must make sure that the registration forms for your e-mail list are very visible.
This generally means that:
  • Registration forms should be integrated into the sidebar of your site.
  • A subscription button should be integrated in your navigation.
  •  A registration form should be included at the bottom of each blog post.
  •  Your footer should include a button that allows visitors to subscribe to your list.
Ultimately, you should make it as easy as possible for visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. In addition, you must make the opportunity to join your list very attractive. Do not use a generic call to action such as "Subscribe to the newsletter! " - highlight all the benefits that the potential subscriber could enjoy by subscribing to your list.
Once you have captured a visitor's email address, you will be tempted to take the opportunity to immediately try to sell them your services or products.
And while it is obviously important to promote your offers to your email list, if you are serious about your inbound marketing strategy, you should also encourage your list to promote your content elements - for example, blog posts and videos (among others) that your subscribers might find interesting.
The more subscribers discover your content through your newsletters, the more this content will be viewed, which is likely to result in more social sharing and return links to your content (and ultimately more traffic).
You can promote your content very easily by using autoresponders - tools that are integrated with email marketing solutions, which automate the sending of newsletters at predefined intervals. These autoresponders must refer subscribers to other content on your site that they may enjoy. Naturally, in your newsletters, you should encourage them to share this content on social networks and create backlinks.
5. Create a sales tunnel
To get the most out of inbound marketing, you need to have a very clear idea of the demands you will make on the prospects you have captured through your sustained content creation efforts.
A structured message sequence in the form of a sales or conversion tunnel will be particularly useful at this stage. It is essentially a set of steps that each prospect will have to follow. The nature of your sales tunnel will depend on the type of activity you manage, the goal being to create a path that effectively converts the subscribers on your email list into customers who buy what you sell.
Ideally, this conversion process should be as personalized as possible. Use data segmentation in conjunction with e-mailing content and phone call scripts to provide your prospects with the most targeted and relevant information available.
Autoresponders can be very useful here, as can customer relationship management systems - especially those that take into account user data and behavior to assist you in creating sophisticated processes and a series of highly personalized and automated messages.
Analyze, optimize, repeat
Once your inbound marketing process is operational and on track, you don't have to stop there. Your next task is to identify what works and what is problematic, optimize the process, and repeat the process.
Use data from keyword research tools, website analysis, e-mailing reports, and your social profiles to identify the type of content that performs best, as well as the type of content you should create in the future.
Similarly, keep an eye on your sales tunnel, autoresponders, and customer relationship management system to understand what works in lead and customer generation, and determine ways to streamline and optimize this process as you grow your business.

Article published par Pedro Kazitch

Pedro Kazitch is a Slovak, he has over 15 years of experience in content marketing and copywriting. he deliver high-quality work, on time, every time. he write video scripts, blog posts, web copy, and emails, ebooks, special reports, and white papers.
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