7 Inbound Marketing Strategies Your Startup Needs to Start Using Today
Inbound marketing, as a term, came from the Hubspot team. This is their definition:
“Inbound marketing is a method of attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust.”
That’s cool. But what is it, exactly?
It’s a technique for attracting your target audience. You get them to the products and services you sell.
For that, you use different methods:
· Content marketing in all shapes and forms
Inbound marketing combines two essential elements.
First, you inform the audience about the things you sell.
Then, you attract them to the place where they can buy.
The method is not limited to attracting. It’s composed of three stages:
In other words, you have to make those customers happy once you attract them to your store.
Inbound Marketing Through a Practical Example
Dell is an excellent example of a brand using inbound strategies.
Go ahead and check the official Facebook page.
What do you notice?
The marketing team engages the fans through a series of questions and calls to action.
They also share in-depth articles, so they turn the page into a source of knowledge, too.
The videos are also very cool. We can see them featured on the Facebook page, but the marketing team also uses Twitter to share them.
Also, the Dell marketing team is excellent at emailing.
We can see a multilayered inbound strategy that takes people towards product pages. It works.
We’re talking about a significant brand here.
However, if you look at the marketing methods, you’ll notice they are straightforward.
They work well for startups without massive investments.
We won’t assume that the posts on Dell’s social media platforms are random.
The team doesn’t brainstorm and decide: “Hey; we should post a video about USB-C today!” No.
Everything is well-planned. Each post fits into a strategy with precise steps.
Inbound Is All about the Strategy
When you promote a business, you try to attract customers and make them happy.
Yes; but do you have a precise strategy for that?
Let’s look at some statistics. Here’s what the 2018 State of Inbound report says:
· 61% of marketers see generating traffic and leads as a significant challenge.
· 40% of the respondents said that it was more challenging to get a response from prospects than it was 2-3 years ago.
· 75% named “closing more deals” as the top priority for their sales marketing campaign for next year.
· 48% said named “improving the efficiency of the sales funnel” as a priority.
Those responses tell us something important.
Marketing experts focus on strategising.
They outline clear goals and develop a clear plan to achieve them.
If you just started a business, online marketing can get messy. It’s hard to keep up with the competitors.
You see them posting daily on social media.
You’ll soon get overwhelmed, so you’ll end up sharing random posts.
That’s not what a focused marketing expert would do. That’s not what the Dell team does.
They develop a strategy and take plan each step towards a goal.
So how do you develop that strategy?
How do you plan those separate steps?
How do you make them work together towards a synchronised campaign?
We’ll suggest seven methods that every startup needs to start using.
7 Inbound Marketing Strategies that Every Startup Needs
1. Focus on a Target Persona
Every guide on online marketing will tell you: personalisation is the key to success.
When you share a message, a potential customer should feel like you wrote it for them.
The first step towards personalisation is the development of a target persona.
You’re creating an imaginary person.
This is someone who encompasses all the typical characteristics of your target audience.
When you have this persona to mind, you’ll tailor marketing messages that answer their needs.
However, this doesn’t mean you’re targeting a single person.
Your potential buyers see themselves in the general characteristics of this persona.
With that, you reach out to a much broader audience.
How do you develop your target persona?
First, you need to identify the general characteristics of your audience. These are the methods to help with that:
· Survey your target audience
This is the easiest way to find out about their likes, needs, and personal interests. If you already have an email list, send out that survey and offer a discount code in return.
· Dig into Social Media Insights
Who likes your brand on social media? If you sell bath bombs for pain relief, you’ll focus on adults dealing with pain. Most of them exercise and want relief for muscle strain. You can find out about their interests. Do you find that a big part of this audience is into yoga? If that’s the case, you’ll include that trait into a video digital marketing campaign.
However, what if you don’t have a massive following on social media? Even if that’s the case, the current insights can help you figure out how your existing customer looks like. Understand the demographics and use them to create your customer persona.
2. Start With Email Marketing ASAP
People still check their emails.
If they want to hear from a brand, they will subscribe to its email list.
It’s the perfect opportunity for you to attract people towards your website.
Do you want to compare it to any other digital channel?
The return of investment for email marketing is twice as big.
- Offer something extraordinary for your subscribers. They can get exclusive offers before anyone else. They will get discount codes, too.
- Make sure the content for your email marketing campaign is brilliant! When someone opens that message, they should find useful content that provides solutions. It should convince them to get to your website and buy that solution. If producing great content means hiring a copywriter, you’ll need to do that. It’s a small investment that means a lot for your brand.
- Include visuals in the messages. When you break up the text, it’s easy for the recipient to scan.
- The subject line is crucial. It should be informative, so the recipient will know what’s in that email. However, it should also be snappy and engaging.
- Don’t forget the call to action. Remember: you want the recipients at your website. You want them to buy.
BetterWorldBooks does email marketing well.
Here’s how one of their messages looks like:
3. Include SEO in Your Inbound Marketing Campaign
Sure; Facebook ads and Google Adwords can contribute towards your marketing campaign.
However, SEO is about organic marketing.
You want to get people to your site, but you don’t want them to think you’re advertising something.
SEO is about delivering exceptional value through content marketing and other methods.
It will convince Google to start showing your website among the results on the first page.
· Search engine optimisation is not easy to master. The best place to start? Google gives you a great guide that will teach you the fundamentals. Please go through it. Give yourself some time to learn. Remember: you can’t master SEO in a day.
· To take things further, you can take the SEO specialisation course on Coursera. Through the structured lectures, you’ll get a solid foundation for a start.
· If you want to focus on your business, you’ll hardly have time to learn everything there is to learn about SEO. That’s okay. You only need the basics. For everything else, you can hire a team. You’ll have someone to plan your marketing campaign. You’ll employ graphic designers to develop visuals. For the actual content, you can count on the writers and editors.
If you want to make things even simpler, you can hire an SEO agency and let them take care of the entire campaign for you.
Still, you need basic knowledge.
You should be able to give instructions, watch the process, and check the results.
4. Start Blogging
Active blogging will be part of your SEO strategy.
It would help if you were serious about it.
Blogs are an excellent addition to all kinds of websites.
Take ASOS as an example. It’s a thriving international store. You’d assume that it doesn’t need a blog. But it has one!
The blog has lots of marketing potential.
That’s because it gives you space to share high-quality content.
In that content, you’ll have space for keywords that will attract the search engines your way.
However, you’ll also have the potential to get featured on other blogs.
When other sources of content link to you, you’ll notice the real effects of a fresh marketing campaign.
Of course, you’ll also engage in the guest blogging.
You won’t sit there and wait for other sites to link to you.
You’ll pitch ideas to authority websites, and you’ll write posts for them.
Somewhere along the way, you’ll include links to your blog, so you’ll get more visitors there.
5. Enrich Your Content Marketing Strategy
Many startup owners identify inbound marketing with content marketing.
Then they identify content marketing with blogging and blogging with textual posts.
First of all, inbound marketing is not limited to content marketing.
It’s also about nurturing leads, social media presence, branding, conversions, and more.
Content marketing is not limited to blogging.
Content can take many shapes and forms, so you’ll need to get creative here.
These are few ideas on new types of content you can use to promote your brand:
· White papers, surveys and case studies
· Live videos and stories on social media
See? There’s so much more to it.
Plan to include different types of content in your marketing campaign.
That’s a great way to make it more attractive.
6. Team Up with Influencers
If you get influencers to do some of the inbound marketing for you, you’ll take your strategy to the next level.
Do you know why this method works?
People trust influencers.
They always have something interesting to share on social media.
When they share something about their favourite brands, the followers want to see what it is.
Find the right influencers.
Their interests should be close to your business.
If you sell vegan chocolate, you can get a chef with a massive Instagram following to promote it.
Get on Sara La Fountain’s Instagram profile. She is a famous chef.
You’ll see how she promotes olive oil.
Build a good relationship with your influencers.
You’ll have a contract that outlines the terms of your collaboration.
Don’t make this too promotional and business-oriented, in any case.
You can invite them for an interview or arrange a relaxed photoshoot. Do something fun!
7. Work on Your Website
Remember: inbound marketing is not just about attracting visitors to your website.
There’s something more critical: converting those visitors and making the customers happy.
The website of your startup has to be as close to perfect as possible.
Make it mobile-friendly and crazy easy to use.
Provide all needed information for your target audience.
Hire good customer support agents and train them well.
You worked hard to get people to your website.
This is the least you could do: make it good enough for the people who come.
Inbound Marketing Is a Challenge, But It’s Necessary
The best thing about inbound marketing is that you can count on tons of educational content.
If you decide to learn and practice, you can start doing that today.
The above-listed tips are a good stepping stone.
Now, take things further and dig deeper into the concept.
Your startup will be grateful for that!
Author Bio: Becky Holton is a journalist and a blogger at assignment writing service. She is interested in education technologies, essay have reviews, Australian writing, and is always ready to support informative speaking at Essayuniverse, assignment service.