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The Four Objectives of Inbound Marketing

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iStock_000063772297_MediumIt’s no secret that inbound marketing and establishing yourself as a knowledgeable resource in your industry can benefit your company by increasing leads and referrals. Plus, according to Impress, content marketing costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing. But these benefits only come when marketers understand the four objectives of inbound marketing.

All the digital content you deploy in your content strategies should inspire individuals to find you, learn from you, talk to you, and eventually trust you. These components work together and when implemented, can help you create content that counts.

Find Me

Your content marketing strategy isn’t going to get you very far if customers can’t find you. The secret of inbound marketing is to step into your client’s space and create interest, with the hopes of them reaching out to you. Here are three simple tactics you can employ to make your business easily reachable for clients and prospects:

  • Connect on social media– Vibrant social media pages make all the difference when building relationships with your clients. Your social media strategy should include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and regular blog posts.
  • Become an address collector– Don’t buy email lists; build them. You have something valuable to offer your clients and their connections, so get in the habit of emphasizing this when meeting someone new. Show off your branded email newsletter or handy infographics and have them share their email with you to receive updates. Your email list will grow quickly, and every name will be a quality lead.
  • Boost your SEO– Search Engine Optimization is something a lot of our customers tend to shy away from because there is no quick and easy strategy. That being said, there are a few things you can do today to boost your website’s SEO. Optimize with keywords, such as your location and services, update Google Places with your current office information and keep your site updated with new, useful content.

These are just a few of the ways you can make yourself more relevant in the digital space. Once customers have found you, show them that they can learn from you.

Learn From Me

Take a moment and think about the websites and social pages that you visit frequently. Chances are, they have content that changes regularly, are entertaining, and offer you something of value. By following these three criteria, you can inspire your guests and teach them something new about your industry.

  • Consistently refresh content on your website– You should be in the habit of placing something new on your site at least once a week. This content may be created or curated, but either way, it reminds visitors that you always have something new to share. And don’t forget: share your new content on your social profiles, as well!
  • Entertain and educate your visitors– Make sure that your digital content strategy emphasizes your core values and expertise. Strike a balance between entertaining and educating by sharing relevant content from outside sources, creating your own content, and providing calculators and data. This balance will generate a connection between you and your clients that can grow with future interactions.
  • Offer something of value– Think about providing industry advice in the same way that Costco hands out samples; if you share a little bit at a time, people will come back for the five-gallon size. Service professionals are often tempted to keep their knowledge a secret, but sharing ideas enhances your guests’ experience and will keep them coming back for more.

They say that knowledge is the key to success, so help your visitors succeed by providing opportunities for them to learn from you. After they have learned from you, they will want to reach out.

Talk to Me

Communication is a vital step in building client confidence. Creating a communication channel between yourself and your client will help you progress your relationships. Here are some simple ways to jumpstart a conversation:

  • Have several “Have a Question?” forms on your website
  • Join LinkedIn discussion groups
  • Have links to your social profiles on your website
  • Engage with clients by responding to their comments and messages regularly

These conversations are what will eventually build trust between you and your client or prospect. Visitors want to know that there is a real person on the other side of the screen, and by engaging with clients and making them feel important, they will be more likely to reach out and trust what you have to say.

Trust Me

All of your inbound marketing efforts help to build trust and credibility. At this stage of the process, your clients can become your most valuable marketing resource as they become part of a community that talks to you and each other. Here are some things to consider when building trust with your clients:

  • The quality of content– The quality of your content builds trust in your expertise, and as clients and prospects continually view your content, they will trust you to guide their decisions in your industry.
  • Sharing is caring– When marketers ask individuals to share their content, they are requesting that they spend time and energy promoting their brand. This means that when a client shares your content, your relationship becomes stronger, and the client trusts you enough to spend their social capital on you.
  • Be available– The abundance of social media channels, websites, and mobile apps have made it easy for clients to reach out to you on their schedule. Make sure you are available by checking your sites regularly and answering messages promptly. If you are available, trust will build.
  • Encourage referrals– In addition to promoting word of mouth referrals, make it easy for individuals to refer your site or social media profiles. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking visitors to pass your message along.

Creating content that counts makes all the difference in a content marketing strategy. These four objectives should always be on your mind when creating or curating content for your inbound marketing plan. After visitors find you, learn from you, talk to you, and trust you, they are much more likely to work with you and your firm.

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