Starting Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
By John Foley on March 27th, 2012
In my last article, I discussed the growing importance of understanding inbound marketing. Yes, it is a popular topic in the worlds of business and communications today… but for good reason: an effective inbound marketing strategy can truly help your organization grow!
Today, I’d like to discuss a bit about how to move forward with building and executing an inbound marketing strategy.
At the Core is Your Website
You already know that the internet is a terrific playing field. It’s the great leveler in that any business can have a web presence and in many cases the internet reader would never know whether a business is a mom and pop shop or a million dollar company in a penthouse suite downtown. Any business can and should have a good-looking, easy to navigate website that appeals to its target market. This website becomes the base for your inbound marketing strategy.
Reaching Your Audience
Of course, you need to decide how you will provide information to your target market. Blogging or regular article posts should be a given. If you don’t have a blogging platform built into your website, you should have that added. Then you can schedule your posts. Will they be weekly? Daily? You want consistency and timeliness. So you should establish a schedule that you know you can keep.
Then you need to create a list of blog topics. What kind of information do you want to provide? Think about what is relevant to your target market. What will they want to read? What will establish you as the expert?
Not a writer? Not to worry. You have several options. Look to someone within your company or perhaps a trusted colleague. You can also look into ghostwriters to write the content for you. You want someone to write for your company with a voice that fits. Not everyone is a wordsmith. And that’s okay. An outsider can write in your voice and your posts will still be relevant and authentic.
It’s tempting to buy a bunch of articles that are touted to be laden with key words and optimized for the search engines. But these articles can be found all over the net. And you’ll lose your authenticity if the internet reader figures out that your information is not yours.
The Multi-Channel Marketing Approach
Start thinking about how you can provide information that utilizes other mediums. How about some audio files that are chock full of tips? Or what about getting a guest spot on an internet radio show? An audio question and answer session can be provided as a downloadable link on your website or posted on your social media profiles. (Learn more about inbound marketing tools and techniques such as social media platforms here.)
Humanize Your Brand
Don’t forget that amidst all this information dissemination, you need to portray your business personality. It’s okay to have a post that isn’t all business. Want to post a shout out to a customer? Do it. Want to whip up a quick video clip showing a couple minutes of your employees hard at work? These sorts of things make you only that much more real to your target market. And it can give you a definite edge. So as you implement your inbound marketing plans, don’t forget to show your target market a bit of personality here and there.