Inbound – or content – marketing is definitely big business now. A lot of businesses and individuals are making money from writing content and having a good inbound strategy. According to Hubspot’s blog, in 2017 79% of people surveyed considered content marketing to be either ‘very or quite effective’. So it’s useful then.
But what exactly is inbound marketing? Simply put, it’s the practice of creating content – drawing visitors in to your website and owned media.
There are plenty of benefits to inbound marketing, such as:
It’s a way to get more visitors to your website.
By posting about your latest piece of content, it draws people in to your website. It’s a way you can reach people who don’t necessarily want to buy something there and then on your site – meaning they might see something and make a purchase afterwards, or just remember you next time they want to place an order.
It makes you more memorable.
This kind of follows on from the previous point – if people read a great piece of content, they might remember it next time they’d like to make a purchase. Alternatively, the process from reader to converter might take a little longer – the potential customer could read many of your posts before finally converting. But it’s still a benefit to sales.
Your website has a wider range of content.
As well as product pages, and maybe an ‘About Us’ section, adding content will mean there is more things for customers to look at. There are more things to draw them into your site or keep them on there for longer. Which can only be a good thing.
We’re going to be going into more detail in an upcoming post, but content can help your SEO in a variety of ways. As well as giving your website more content, and possibly improving rankings for certain keywords (if done right), content is shareable – meaning there’s a chance people will link to it. Which brings us nicely to the next point.
Content can help a business’s social media presence, partly for the reasons outlined in the previous paragraph. Not only does it give you more to post about (it’s a way to get people to your site without actually plugging products, after all), content is the kind of thing which people might want to share to their friends and followers. So it increases your brand’s visibility. So then more people could end up on your website.
This pretty much sums up the variety of benefits content marketing can have for a business. Quite a few, right?
So now the next question is: what types of things count as inbound marketing? There are a lot of types of content which can contribute to an inbound strategy, some of which include:
It’s the fairly obvious one – which is why it’s first in the list. But blogs are a key part of any content strategy. Not only do they appeal to customers for the help/entertainment/advice they can offer, blogs are great for SEO. They just mean your business has more to offer to customers – instead of solely focusing on great products or services, blogs mean there’s something they can have a read through and learn a thing or two from. Or have a laugh. Or be kept up to date on something. There are plenty of things they can do.
If you’re not sure where to start with blogging, this post we’ve done on the topic should be able to help you start work on planning a blog.
Okay, so maybe vlogs are a little like the previous point. But this isn’t necessarily just about those. It’s one-off videos about events you attend, big launches you’ve got, new product lines. Videos are a massive part of the online world, with Brandwatch suggesting that over a billion hours of YouTube video are watched every DAY. So quite a lot then.
Videos are kind of like blogs in that they allow people to get to know your business a little better. Even if you haven’t got any ideas for videos at the moment, they’re definitely worth considering in the future. Have a little think, and maybe a great idea for your first video will pop into your mind one day. Maybe don’t think about it much and it’ll come on it’s own.
The important thing to mention about this point is not to make an awful video immediately just so you’ve made something. Wait for a decent idea before committing to this one. It’ll help the business more in the long run if you wait a little while for a good idea.
Posting on social media profiles is a great way to create inbound content – and to get people to see your other content by linking to it. You can really get across the voice of your brand, and let people see what you’re all about (when you’re not selling products). Not only that, it allows your business to get closer to customers and see what they’re interested in too. Social media is a great place to reply to customers who have queries, or see if they’re saying anything positive about your brand online.
If you’re not sure about creating a tone of voice, we’ve created this post to help.
Have you ever been on those websites which advertise signing up to their mailing list and getting a free ebook as a reward? There seems to be a lot of them about, especially amongst bloggers or people who offer courses.
An ebook is a great way to get people interested – as if they like what they see on your website, why wouldn’t they want an ebook with more things? Plus, it gets more people to sign up to your mailing list – another bonus.
Just because it’s called an ebook doesn’t mean it needs to be a 200 page novel either. An ebook could just be 15-20 pages (or sometimes even less) of content. Whilst some of it could be things from your site, there needs to be some original content too – maybe another couple of articles? If not, why would people bother signing up to get an ebook with stuff they can get for free on your website?
This one might be good too if you’re the kind of website which offers courses – as potential customers could see part of this course in an ebook which might make them go and sign up to the full thing.
Email marketing is still a key part of a Digital Marketing strategy – and it’s a great way to promote your content. Although it’s not necessarily Inbound content like blogs are, it’s a way to let an interested audience know you’ve uploaded new content. Which is why Email Marketing can’t be ignored.
You don’t need to do this that often – as people are less likely to be interested if you’re constantly bombarding them with emails. If you’d like more email marketing tips, then check out this blog post!
There are a lot of different types of content, all of which can contribute to your inbound marketing strategy. You could utilise all of these, and more, or just focus on a couple of types of content. However, a key part of inbound marketing is making sure the content is quality – as if it’s not, people aren’t going to be interested. There’s no point spending time making content if no-one’s going to bother with it.
It all depends what works best for your business. Maybe it’s only a blog, or maybe ebooks and blog posts are the best combinations. Or perhaps videos and social media are the way forward.
It’s up to you – but the important thing with inbound marketing is that if it’s not having an impact on the business, then reconsider your strategy or tweak the content you’re posting.
One final point is that inbound strategies don’t change everything overnight. A blog doesn’t become a success after one post. It takes continued content to get people interested, and because of this, it takes time. But eventually, the audiences can grow – provided the content is quality.
Looking to improve your Inbound Marketing strategy?
Teknet Marketing’s Inbound Marketing service could be just what you need to improve your content. See our Inbound Marketing page for more information! Alternatively, to make an enquiry, email us at [email protected] or phone 0800 488 0400.