How do you go from a website barely generating any traffic to getting over 400k page views per month?
It’s way simpler than you think – and you can do it too.
Our technique revolves around a robust inbound marketing strategy. To understand why that is, you’ll want to fully grasp what it means when a marketing tactic is ‘inbound.’
Put simply: the inbound methodology involves attracting customers by providing them with valuable content (how-to’s, blogs, video content) tailored to their needs.
In other words, you’re drawing your audience to you instead of interrupting their experiences with ads.
This revelation completely changed how we approached content creation – which led to us developing a successful inbound marketing system.
With this system, not only are we able to drive lots of traffic – we get TARGETED traffic. It’s buyer traffic (the best kind).
What did we do?
Read on to find out, as well as learn more about why inbound marketing is so effective.
Understanding the Inbound Methodology: A Personal Approach to Marketing
Inbound marketing embodies the philosophy of ‘let them come to you.’ By creating relevant content that addresses and solves pain points for your target audience, new leads and customers will begin falling in your lap.
The inbound methodology combines a few marketing techniques. Namely, it involves heavy use of content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO-wise, you’ll want to discover what your potential buyers are searching for the most. The keywords you discover through research will help you show up in the search engine results of potential customers.
Next, you’ll want to use those keywords in great content that informs, educates, and provides value to your audience – or in other words – content marketing.
Provide Value Through Your Content
How to create content that adds value depends on the needs of the audience you want to attract. For example, if you want to appeal to ‘do-it-yourselfers’ (DIY’ers), high-quality content options include:
- How-To YouTube videos demonstrating how to build fun projects step-by-step.
- A DIY’er newsletter that features DIY projects and educational content on how to properly use power tools.
- Blog posts that solve common DIY’er problems.
- An infographic that provides helpful safety tips for DIY’ers.
This content is all relevant and provides real value to do-it-yourselfers. When combined with SEO best practices, it’s highly likely that your target audience will seek out your content by themselves.
Beyond that, you’ll build trust with these prospects, as they will begin to view you as a thought leader in the field.
They’ll turn to your brand for updates on what’s happening in the DIY’er landscape and to find solutions to problems.
The content is only half of the formula, though. You’ll want to make sure each piece of content has a strong CTA (call-to-action) – as well as make use of sign-up forms, callout boxes, and social media marketing techniques.
That’s what separates inbound marketing from content marketing. While creating excellent content is always part of the mix, you’ll also want to include savvy ways to convert prospects into new customers. It’s a delicate balance that takes some tweaking to get right, as you don’t want to push the sale too hard.
The Four Stages and Five Principles of Inbound Marketing
The inbound strategy has seen some refinement over the years. In particular, there are four stages and five principles that make up the philosophy. The stages are:
The first step is to attract strangers, so they discover and interact with your brand. To achieve this, you’ll need to do keyword research and create relevant content.
Once the content is ready, publish it and promote it through all your marketing channels (social media, video content, email marketing, etc.).
Once the first stage is done, you’ll see an increase in organic traffic. That’s not enough, though, as you’ll want to increase your conversion rates.
Methods include using a landing page designed to convert, callout boxes, newsletter sign-up forms, and CTAs. These marketing techniques will help you convert visitors into leads.
By now, you will have a list of qualified leads to generate sales. This is when you’ll want to initiate the closing process.
Some techniques include CRM (customer relationship management), email nurturing campaigns, and marketing automation. You’ll want to regularly follow up in polite ways with your leads to increase the chances of making a sale.
This stage involves thanking the customer with delightful content. It could be as simple as a well-written thank you page or as complex as an interactive message. Also, you’ll want to convert your customers into promoters at this stage. That means they’ll actively promote and recommend your brand to others, expanding your reach and impact.
Customer surveys, reviews, and social media shout-outs are great ways to get customers to promote your brand.
In preparing an inbound marketing strategy, you’ll want to pay close attention to these four stages. Make sure that you’ve included methods from each of the stages in your marketing plan, and you’ll be good to go.
The Core Principles of Inbound Marketing
Besides the four stages, there are five core principles of inbound marketing, which form the acronym SCOPE:
The idea here is that all the content you release should remain consistent. While the subject matter will undoubtedly change, the beliefs and values of your organization will not. As such, it’s crucial to ensure that all your content has a recognizable voice that’s in line with your company values.
While standardizing is about maintaining a consistent voice, contextualizing deals with making the content relevant to your audience. This is where it pays to have done research on the buyer persona for your niche.
What are their pain points? Where are they in the buyer’s journey? Which channel are they viewing your content through? These are all key questions to ask when contextualizing content.
At this point, you have a piece of content that’s in line with your messaging and tailored to your audience. Now it’s time to optimize it to the point of near perfection.
You’ll want to form a hypothesis for how you can make your content even better. After that, try it out and track the metrics. After you get the results, use what works and throw away what doesn’t.
This principle is all about adding a personal touch to not only the content you create but how you interact with customers.
Nowadays, the average customer gets buried with automated follow-up emails and heartless robocalls. That’s why being able to personalize your content can be invaluable. Simple techniques such as including customer names in emails can go a long way toward building trust.
This principle refers to understanding and relating to the human experience with customers. Being able to relate to customer pain points takes a fair amount of empathy. It’s also great for building trust and showing customers that you actually care. You aren’t here to robotically sell them something; you’re here to assist them and provide value.
You should aim to saturate your inbound strategy with these five principles in as many ways as you can. That will increase your chances of generating qualified leads that you can convert into customers.
Examples of Stellar Inbound Content That Generates Clicks
When constructing an inbound marketing campaign, you’ll want to have an airtight content strategy. After all, the quality of your content will make or break your entire inbound marketing plan.
Bearing that in mind, here are some candid examples of inbound content that will help you attract tons of new customers.
Informative and educational blog posts that are up-to-date
By far, one of the most popular forms of inbound content is a simple blog post, and it’s easy to see why. Marketers that make blogging a priority are 13x more likely to enjoy a positive ROI from their efforts.
A huge benefit of writing blogs is how versatile they are, as a blog post can be:
- A helpful how-to post
- A problem-solving post
- A recipe
- A report containing statistics
- A listicle counting down educational and relevant information
- Social commentary
- News updates
- A testimonial
Another huge plus is how cost-effective blogs are to write. You’ll have to spend far fewer resources creating a blog than you will on a video or webinar, for example.
It’s also crucial to keep your blogs as current as possible. The more up-to-date your blogs are, the more likely people are to see you as a thought leader. You’ll want your prospects to know that they can always rely on your blog for factual, up-to-date information.
Creating an infographic
For users who don’t have time to sit and read a long-form blog post, infographics are the ideal solution. An infographic serves as a quick snapshot of insightful data that’s very easy to digest.
An infographic is a sure-fire way to quickly and conveniently convey:
As you can see, there are many different types of information you can display with infographics, not just general stats.
It’s well worth spending time creating unique infographics that inform and educate not only for your inbound marketing strategy but also for SEO purposes.
Infographics tend to generate quite a bit of buzz around the web, especially for web pages within the same niche. If you create a stellar infographic containing useful information, you’ll likely receive inquiries from other blogs wanting to share it. That’s a fantastic way to build backlinks, which will help give you a boost in search engine rankings.
Another type of content is a whitepaper, the more formal cousin of the blog post. A whitepaper is a highly educational piece of content that goes more in-depth than blogs.
Your whitepapers should be wholly original and well-researched. It’s also imperative to adopt a more professional tone. It’s a good idea to hire writers specifically trained in whitepapers to ensure you get the best results.
You should strive to make them as visually appealing as possible, too.
Users are far more likely to download a whitepaper if it looks sleek and contains useful information.
Why should you bother with whitepapers if you’re already releasing blogs and infographics?
The primary benefit of a whitepaper is that you can require users to share their contact information to be able to download it. An example would be asking for users to enter their email addresses in a form to receive the download link.
For this reason, whitepapers are incredible for building an email list of new leads. If part of your campaign is to nurture your email leads, you’ll want to invest in creating whitepapers. Doing so will help you build bigger email lists so you can begin a nurturing campaign.
An eBook will provide a similar benefit to a whitepaper. You’ll be able to trade user contact information for the free download of an original eBook.
If you go the eBook route, you shouldn’t take it lightly. Do your best to make it an actual BOOK, not an extended blog post. As a result, you should save your hardest-hitting and most relevant material for an eBook.
Why go with an eBook over a whitepaper?
Well, it may be more cost-effective, as it can be rather costly to produce a high-quality whitepaper. eBooks can have a more informal tone than a whitepaper, so your regular writers will likely have an easier time writing one. Still, you should ensure that there’s enough original material there to warrant an eBook instead of a longer blog post.
A quality eBook can work wonders for building your email list. It will also further establish you as a thought leader and build trust with customers.
Case studies and customer spotlights
It’s crucial not to overlook the power of a superb case study. It’s a form of content that builds brand awareness and forms trust. Let’s consider a brief example.
You’re on the web searching for an SEO consultant. That’s when you come across a case study that speaks of a client that’s similar to you.
The case study goes into detail about how the consultant revolutionized the client’s company and generated tons of traffic and new leads. It then motivates you to navigate to the Contact Us page to reach out for a consultation.
That’s how effective a targeted case study can be – so it’s important not to forget about them. The more that you can convey how effective your brand is through real customer stories, the better.
You never know when a case study or customer spotlight may convince a visitor to try out what you have to offer, so they’re worth the investment.
Starting a podcast
We live in the age of podcasting, so why not jump on the bandwagon? On average, podcast listeners tune into eight different shows a week. Not only that, but 28% of adults in the US listen to podcasts when driving. That’s a significant market that you can cater to with a relevant podcast.
It doesn’t take much to start one, either. All you need is a laptop and a couple of microphones for you and a co-host. One 30-minute episode a week is all it takes to join the podcasting craze.
It’s also a fantastic way to inject some personality into your brand. Regular listeners will get a chance to relate to your hosts, which is great for building customer loyalty. They’ll recognize you not only as a valuable resource but also as one they can relate to and understand.
Putting on webinars
Another great way to personalize your content is by putting on webinars. A webinar is an online seminar where you inform and educate a group of listeners.
While there are ways to personalize the written word, you can’t beat a living, breathing human being that communicates with your prospects.
Potential customers will get the chance to ask questions and interact with someone from your company. Webinars are also great for collecting customer contact information. For example, you can require attendees to enter their email addresses in order to join the webinar.
Remember, you should only put on a webinar if you have powerful, impactful information to share with listeners that they can’t find anywhere else.
Creating engaging video content
Last but not least, video is one of the most impactful forms of content you can use. In fact, 87% of marketers say videos have helped them increase traffic. A well-made video can inform, entertain, educate, and convert customers.
Videos will also bolster your SEO efforts. For example, a blog post containing a complementary video is seen as more powerful than one with no video.
That’s because it’s often more convenient for users to watch a quick video than it is to read a 2,000-word blog post. 94% of marketers also stated that videos helped increase customers’ understanding of their products and services. So if you want to break down how something works, video reigns supreme.
Our Big Mistake That Led to Creating Our Inbound Marketing Strategy
Since you have a better understanding of inbound marketing now, it’s time to learn how we came up with our foolproof inbound strategy that boosted our page views into the stratosphere.
For a long time, we were just trying to rank our product pages for our end-of-cycle buyer keywords. In other words, 100% of our efforts went toward only providing value to the customer at the END of the buyer’s journey.
Our tactics didn’t include value for the customer beyond what we were selling. We were also only focusing on customers that had the intent to make a purchase.
This can work, but we were missing out on a HUGE portion of user traffic.
Fast forward to 2014, and we re-started our blog and really started adding valuable content for our audience.
We focused on attracting our niche audience by creating content that answered our customer’s top questions, kept them up to date with current industry trends, and provided content that was useful as a resource for SEO.
The results were insane:
Not only did we create a better relationship with our audience, but we also became more trustworthy, and our sales shot up by a whopping 4x!
Instead of just pushing our products, we started attracting our target audience through the core principles of inbound marketing. We became obsessed with providing value through long-form blogs, videos, case studies, and more.
On top of that, we started ranking for all kinds of long-tail keywords that our audience was searching for, thanks to our robust keyword research.
Needless to say, our traffic started increasing month after month, and so did our leads and sales.
But it isn’t all rainbows and unicorn farts; it takes real work and dedication to do inbound marketing the right way.
The Problem With Most Blogs
The catch is that you can’t just start a random blog and hope for traffic.
You have to do it with a strategy:
- You have to first define who you want to attract. Getting traffic is useless unless it’s the right traffic. That’s where staunch keyword research comes into play.
- You have to find out what your target audience wants. That means not coming up with random topics – You need to validate your ideas before you even write anything. As stated before, you’ll need to do in-depth research on your buyer persona.
- You have to write in an intelligent, no-fluff, data-backed way. Readers have no time for fluffy articles, long blocks of text, or fancy words that say a lot without saying anything.
- You have to promote each piece of writing. You can and should put it on all your social channels. Beyond that, send it out to everyone on your email list and encourage them to share it with their friends and family. Remember, you’re trying to attract strangers with a new piece of content, so you should give it ample promotion.
Sounds easy, right?
Well, the real world has a few problems:
You’re probably really busy running your company, so It’s very hard to find the time to blog when you have a business to run.
On top of that, outsourcing is hard.
It’s not easy to come up with topics, validate them, find a writer, train them on formatting, do the quality control, and then finally get it posted to your blog.
So we created a solution that solves all of that, and it’s called HOTH Blogger.
Here’s how it works:
- You give us your website details and some information about your target market.
- We research and validate topic ideas that are PROVEN to be popular in your niche.
- We’ll send over your validated topics so you can pick your favorites.
- Our writers craft awesome, well-researched, well-formatted, SEO-optimized articles for your blog, complete with authority outbound links and internal linking.
- We’ll send you drafts for approval. You can send the drafts back as many times as you want until you’re 100% satisfied.
- We’ll even post the article directly to your blog if you’d like, fully optimized for SEO.
We want you to get started attracting your perfect audience and increasing your traffic, so you should hop on HOTH Blogger now!
Concluding Thoughts: Inbound Marketing Strategy
In the current era, inbound techniques are taking over the marketing world, especially online. With a robust content strategy and savvy CTAs, you can start attracting customers to your brand instead of actively going after them.
By following this guide, you should be able to conduct a thorough inbound marketing campaign of your own.
Get Started with HOTHBlogger Today
Click here to check out HOTH Blogger – our proven effective blogging service that creates stellar inbound content for your brand. Also, if you’re interested in other SEO and digital marketing services, please don’t wait to schedule a call today.
Any questions? Let us know in the comments!