Inbound Marketing Strategies – Are They Really Effective?

One of the key benefits commonly cited by inbound marketing agencies is that inbound marketing costs 61% less per lead than outbound marketing. Low cost is great; however, results are more important. After all, if you don’t produce enough quality leads to hit your revenue targets, no one cares if you saved 61%. Here, we help you understand how inbound marketing is executed and determine which inbound marketing strategies your company is compatible with. We explore the 4 most common inbound marketing strategies, starting with the least expensive channels and provide inbound marketing tips along the way.

Blogging

Blogging is like publishing your own online magazine. You publish articles on your website which your target audiences will find interesting.

The goal of blogging is to establish your company as a legitimate source of information and knowledge, so forget the hidden sales pitches. Just like a magazine, you must keep publishing regularly to maintain a reader base.

Will succeed if:

  • Your marketing team is large, has talented writers and editors
  • You have a marketer dedicated to managing the blog
  • You incentive’s employees that have excellent industry knowledge to write for you

Will fail if:

  • Your marketing team is too small or stretched
  • Your marketing team lacks writing and editing skills
  • Your employees do not/cannot provide the industry knowledge of interest to your prospects
  • You have an onerous process for the publishing of public material

Social Media Inbound Marketing

Social Media can amplify the reach of your blog or website content. Like a newspaper, publishing articles isn’t enough; you need to acquire new readers. The goal is to create compelling articles which your readers will share with their networks, thus increasing your reader base.

Social media really requires a strategy all of its own. However, in the context of inbound marketing, it’s primary function is to promote your blog or website content.

Will succeed if:

  • Your marketing team understands social media
  • You have a social media strategy
  • You enable and incentive’s employees to spread your messages
  • Your key thought leaders are active in spreading your message (online and offline)

Will fail if:

  • Your marketing team is too small or stretched
  • Your marketing team lacks expertise or focus on social media
  • Your employees cannot/will not spread your message

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy to make sure you appear higher on search engine (Google) rankings. The goal is for your blog and website content to be found before that of your competitors, when your prospects are searching for related search words.

SEO involves optimizing your website and blog for search terms and getting other reputable sites to link to your content, in order to boost your Google ranking.

Will succeed if:

  • You have a dedicated search expert on your team, or
  • You employ a good SEO company

Will fail if:

  • Your industry is competitive in SEO, and you don’t have enough SEO resources
  • You do not produce a high enough volume of articles/content

PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC) is a form of advertising where you pay the search engine (Google) to appear for certain search terms you wish to target. The goal is for your content (website & offers) to be found before that of your competitors, when your prospects are searching for related search words.

The strategy around PPC is optimizing your ad (and offer page) to be the most relevant to the search term. This will reduce the cost of your ad, as Google prefers to show the most relevant ads. PPC is the most expensive inbound marketing strategy.

Will succeed if:

  • Your marketing team understands PPC
  • You have a sufficient PPC budget
  • You have a long term-strategy for the prospects you acquire

Will fail if:

  • You use PPC for purely ‘knee-jerk’ acquisition of prospects to meet short-term goals
  • Your marketing team ‘sets and forgets’ rather than constantly optimizing your ads
  • The contents you offer in your ads are not high enough quality

As you can see, not all inbound marketing strategies are suitable for all companies. They also are all interrelated, so it is not wise to use them in isolation. Hopefully, you now understand how inbound marketing is executed and have determined which inbound marketing strategies your company is most suited to.

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