Hubspot coined the phrase Inbound Marketing 12 years ago and inbound digital marketing has never been the same. Instead of the common outbound marketing practices at the time, Inbound marketing used methods to pull in potential customers on their own to make purchasing decisions.
Inbound marketing used the power of the web to change old school marketing activities that showed painful results. Marketing as a whole has evolved over the years and there will be more things evolving in 2018.
Here is the 2018 inbound marketing strategy for digital marketers:
SEO is not dead! People have been calling the death of SEO for years, yet SEO is stronger than ever. Neil Patel once said that “all the content in the world won’t help you rank in Google without proper SEO”. This is the mistake early inbound marketers make when starting out. Posting 8 blogs a week, posting on social, and watching your traffic not move and have your site showing up on the 8th page of Google.
SEO is the main essential point of inbound marketing. Inbound is meant for prospects to find you, yet how will they find you if you are not visible on Google. Here are some key ways to start gaining some serious traffic.
Backlinks – Backlinks are the holy grail of SEO. If you want traffic and want to get ranked high, put together a linking strategy. Reach out to key blogs and quality sites related to your niche and ask to link to your site.
Internal Links – Internal Links are key for Google’s bots to scan your site and find related key pages with keywords. Use links within your page and also use external links to other sites. This can assist in generating more traffic.
Long Tail Keywords – Long tail keywords are targeted keywords of 4 or more words that have medium to low search rate and low competition. This is what the best inbound marketing companies do. The value of long tail is you are hyper targeting potential prospects or finding more qualified prospects who will have a need for your product. Use Google keyword search planner and do research on competitive keywords. You can also find the keyword phrases that Google provides at the bottom of a search to help you with inputting long tail keywords into your content.
The talk of video being on the rise for digital marketers is something you can’t ignore. Youtube is now the second biggest search engine behind Google and experts believe that videos will take up 69% of consumer traffic according to Hubspot via Blueleadz.
Videos can create serious awareness with your brand and build a familirarity that a blog can’t do. Create educational videos and implement targeted keyword SEO methods with your video title and description.
Sales & Marketing Alignment
Creating a large quantity and even quality set of leads will get you nowhere unless a sales rep can understand the process and the inbound funnel. Sales reps need to understand the inbound funnel and know that somebody who subscribes to your company’s blog is not considered a lead but who is someone that is mildly interested in your product but not ready to buy.
It’s important for sales reps and marketers to work together on the hand-off phase and work together to determine what is a qualified sales lead and what is something that needs to get passed back to marketing for the nurturing phase.
- Create Lead Scoring List
- Pass High Score Leads to Sales
- Have Sales Pass Back Leads Who Are Not Ready move forward
- Do not pass leads to sales who are still in need of awareness and branding
- Do not pass blog subscribers to sales unless pass lead score test
- Keep records of all leads in separate folders for buyer journey email campaign
Content is king and without content, inbound marketing has no value. According to Content Marketing Institute, small business with blogs get 126% more lead growth than businesses without. In regards to the SEO commentary above, Google views blogs with rich added media content as more helpful and will increase rankings over others.
When it comes to conversions, content marketing converts six times higher than other methods. Having an effective content marketing strategy can increase conversions using some of the tools below:
Build Warm Lists
Warms leads are better than cold leads. If you build your list full of warmer leads and properly nurture them, you can expect to be closing deals pretty frequently. Warm leads are further down the funnel and passed the awareness stage. They are more closer to moving forward, so having a large warm list full of decision makers is the key to effective list building and vital to your digital marketing plan.
Once you capture the prospects information on your website, it’s crucial to put them on a proper segmented list. Build separate lists for blog subscribers, trial requests, content downloads, webinar attendees, etc… This way you can properly segment each campaign for the particular buyer journey the prospect is currently in.
The next step is to add even more to the list with internal referrals. Have the sales team call the warm list every other month and ask for an internal referral for someone else within the organization that would like to be added to your list. If you have been properly dripping and helping them with content, they will be more than happy to refer you to more colleagues which means more decision makers/users on your list.
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