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Not related to Charles Schwab.
Tom Schwab joins the 51st session of Smart Brand Marketing.
- Being a great podcast guest
- Inbound marketing explained
- How to connect with listeners, turn them into leads, and convert those into customers
- Goodbye crutches and finding new traffic sources
- Insights from Tom’s last attended podcast conference
How to Generate Enough Web Traffic With Inbound Marketing
It’s that one thing that many people can either live without or need desperately. As a matter of fact, you can go through an entire lifespan not getting noticed and still come out sane.
However, in the online world, getting attention is not only a necessity, it’s a major goal. Attention can be gauged by the volume of traffic going through your site. Of course, traffic can be a major indicator of profit which means sites that get more attention tend to earn more for their owners.
So, is there a way to generate enough interest to your brand to the point that it can increase traffic in your web pages? The answer is yes. And the best way to do this is through a carefully planned inbound marketing campaign.
What is Inbound Marketing?
To fully understand what inbound marketing is, you must first understand how traditional marketing works. In traditional marketing, it is you the one that is buying all sorts of media to get your brand known across the market.
Whether you are buying air time for your radio and TV ads or renting space to place your billboards at, or cold-calling potential customers and buying out email lists, or showing up at major public events and sponsoring them, the concept of these types of marketing strategies are the same:
Your brand reaching out to the market.
In essence you are pushing OUT in order to illicit a response in the market. This is what is recently called as outbound marketing and there is still a need for such. Recent strategies like SEO, Blogging, and putting up videos on YouTube can all be considered as outbound marketing, after all.
But what if there was a strategy out there that calls for less effort but can still produce the same results? Or what if there was one other strategy out there that can enhance the effects of your outbound marketing strategies.
The answer comes in Inbound Marketing and how it works is quite simple.
You have to consider that people are already looking for answers online, deciding whether or not they should try one service/product or another, or any other query that requires them to do something or make a purchasing decision. What inbound marketing does is simply pull these people IN to your brand.
But having informative content is not enough. What inbound marketing aims to do is to encourage these people to complete all the necessary steps of the buying process. As such, the content that it produces does not only aim to inform but also encourage your audience to try something out.
How inbound marketing does this is through producing content that answers those queries or push those people to make an informed decision. If you can create content that aligns with the overall interests of your target audience, then you should be generating enough inbound traffic to your pages.
How Do I Do Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing might sound like this overly complex marketing process but the truth is that it is actually a simple process to follow. As a matter of fact, inbound marketing can be completed in 4 stages. Also, in each stage, your audience changes their status according to how they interact with the brand.
- 1. Attraction
This is the most labor-intensive part of the process as you have to, well, attract people to your brand and then convince them that your offers are of good quality. As of this point of the process, your target audience are total strangers as they have yet to know anything about the brand. However, as they go to your pages, they become visitors.This is also the phase where you have to provide answers to their queries through the content that you publish. You can also use your outbound marketing strategies here such as your blogs, social media posts, and even your keyword and SEO strategies to draw people in.
- 2. Conversion
Once you have drawn people into your brand, the next part of the process includes turning site visitors into potential leads. Here, you will need to rely on the design of your landing pages, forms, and even your call-to-action sections in your content to help these people complete the conversion process. Here, what you should be looking for is the information of your visitors so that you can retarget them at a later date.To do this, you must offer them something valuable in return. Some viable offers during this phase include discounts, webinars, and promises of access to other important content. The goal here is to entice them to the point that they will trade their most basic information for something valuable.
- 3. Closing
Once you have your potential leads, the goal is then to turn these people into customers. Retargeting your potential leads should be easy now as you already have a list of their contact information. The goal here is to provide them with further offers to entice them to starting the sales process.This can be a bit demanding as you still have to convince that person to part their money to try something that your brand offers and then, as the name implies, close a deal with them. As of this point, you can only rely on the convincing you made on the first stages as well as the quality of your offers for them to complete the buying process.
- 4. Delighting
You might think that turning that site visitor into a customer is the end of the process but it is not. Once the sales process has been complete, the next part will involve you enticing these customers with more offers. This is sometimes an overlooked process but giving people more reason to come back to your site often ensures the best referrals to your brand.Once you have instilled a strong sense of loyalty to your brand, your customers have now become a promoter for your business. In essence, they can now do some bit of marketing for you which should generate more interest for your brand.
Lead Nurturing: Why Should You Care About It?
So, let’s say that you’ve got the process of turning complete strangers into customers down pat and you know the tricks to drum up interest for your brand. So now you’ve got more visitors to your site than you could have imagined but the problem remains: not all of your visitors are leaving it without completing a sales process.
Why aren’t your visitors making a lot of important purchasing decisions in your site then? The answer is simple, really:
Not everyone that comes to your website is ready to buy
You can generate all the leads that you want but it is going to take more than that if you want to see noticeable changes in your sales within the coming months. This is where lead nurturing comes into play and it should help you turn those leads into customers and then into promoters.
You have to understand that each lead has its own story and, due to this, should be handled in different ways if you want them to fully convert.
How do you perform lead nurturing properly? Here’s how
- 1. Identify Their Needs
Since not every lead is the same, you have to directly interact with them to understand at what stage of the inbound marketing process they are currently in. Have they just been introduced to your products and services? Have they just stumbled to your site? Have they filled up a form and given their contact information to you in the past?Knowing where these people currently stand in the process should tell you how ready to buy they are. But always remember that just because your leads are not yet ready to buy that they will never buy in the future.
- 2. Talk to Them
Once you have identified the status of your leads, you then need to build trust with them. This can be done if you open up a line of conversation with them. These people should already be in your email list so you should have no problems contacting them.When talking to them, you must appear as genuine and sincere as possible. Most people today can tell if a business owner is talking to them honestly or is using a cut-and-paste, generic email to get them talking. This is the time that you should start learning how to personalize your content and emails if you want them to give their trust. The more they see the humanity behind the brand, the more they will give their attention to you.
- 3. Do it Regularly (But Not Too Often)A tried and true method of scaring away potential customers to your brand is if you are too pushy with your approach. If you are too assertive with your offers or pop up in their emails in the most inopportune of times, your leads might think of you less as a viable opportunity and more of annoyance.Be share to check in regularly but not daily or weekly. Also, plan your content in as much as that they will be released according to the stage of the conversion process that person will step into. The goal here is not to drive your leads crazy with too much offers that they shut down completely when faced with encountering your brand later on.
Moving on From Google: How to Find Other Sources of Traffic?
Nearly every marketing campaign in existence has always relied on big ol’ Google for traffic and also keeping note of any changes within it. After all, it is the biggest search engine right now and is the most visited website on the Internet on a daily basis.
That used to be the norm until there was a push for social media during the mid to latter half of the 2010s. Nothing against Google, mind you, but it is best that you don’t rely on it too much as a crutch and find other sources to draw traffic from. Here’s how:
- 1. Syndicating Your Content
So now you have this library of content in your website but you feel that they could have reached more since you think that your brand is not reaching out to millions when it should. There’s a way to reach out to those then-unreached millions by way of Content Syndication which is simply you submitting content to 3rd party websites within your market. It’s basically republishing your content so that it generates more leads to your primary site while also leveraging your past content for further use. Sites like ZergNet and Outbrain often allow for syndicated content on their front pages and, in turn, have their own content be syndicated in other websites.
- 2. Guest Blogging
This is a favorite amongst bloggers as it allows them to collaborate with each other. It’s basically you writing content for another blog and letting another blogger write on yours. It’s a great way to establish yourself in the local market while also showcasing the best of your abilities there. The key here is to find blogs that fit your own niche in the industry and the best source of information for these sites is, well, Google.
- 3. Podcasts
Here’s a secret: People love to talk as much as they love to write. On the flipside, people love to listen to audio as they want to read text or watch videos. Podcasts are a great way for you to repurpose your content as you can use them as talking points to facilitate discussions with your guests. Not only will this allow you to establish yourself as an authority in that subject but you allow others to contribute and expand more on details you might have missed on that topic. It’s a great way to build connections in the industry while also channeling a lot of content to your own page.
Does inbound marketing really work in the long term? That truly depends on how you use it to reach your goals. Always remember that the goal here is to draw people on to your side instead of spreading yourself too thin on the market. Also, remember that content plays a large role here and you must never compromise on their quality just to draw in traffic.
Whether you are writing articles, making podcasts, producing videos, and creating eBooks, the goal is always the same: always offer something of value if you want your leads to convert into customers.
Have you tried inbound marketing before? What other ways do you know to generate and nurture content? Let us know in the comments below!
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