In the world of digital marketing, it can be hard to know which tactic works best. These days, a lot of businesses mistakenly focus too much of their digital marketing efforts on one specific tactic like blogging or social media, thinking it will bring them results. However, each part of your marketing strategy should fit together as one cohesive piece. Your website, social media presence, user experience (UX), customer experience (CX), etc. should all work together to create a successful inbound marketing plan.
Bring Them To You
Digital marketing, and specifically inbound marketing, is all about the consumer. However, it’s not about bombarding them with interruptive advertisements; it’s about providing relevant and helpful information to your customers. Internet has truly changed the flow of advertising because consumers are now able to research a product before making a purchase. As a marketing professional, it’s important to think of yourself more as a resource than a salesperson. People will want to come to you if you’re providing the right kind of information. When people see you as an asset, they’ll feel a sense of trust.
Research Your Audience
The first thing you need to do to serve as this resource to your consumer is to identify who your audience is. A multifamily property in downtown Dallas may know that a typical resident is a young professional between the ages of 23 and 30, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Using market research, you can analyze who your target market is beyond the typical demographics, and begin to understand their needs, their pain points, and where they might seek out information. A combination of market research and customer interviews can help you create buyer personas. Per HubSpot, a buyer persona is the creation of a semi-fictional profile that should include: a day in the life (a narrative of day-to-day interactions), demographic and biographic behavior, goals, pain points, what his/her information search process has been thus far, the type of experience desired, common objections, and a photo of your persona. Most businesses have multiple buyer personas to understand the full scope of the audience that uses their product or service, so having a unique profile for each is important. Your buyer personas should inform everything you do, and are integral to your marketing strategy.
The Perfect Content
Once you have a persona, the next step is attracting people through content creation. Inbound marketing leader HubSpot, says businesses should focus on “creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.” Now here’s the caveat: According to SingleGrain, you should be spending about 80% of your time promoting your content and 20% of your time creating it. Think about it, If you have the world’s best content but people aren’t seeing it, what’s the point? It’s like the old adage about a tree falling in the forest when no one’s around to hear it — did it really fall? So while creating relevant content is incredibly important, it’s the promotion of that content that is imperative.
Now this is where the other elements of your digital marketing strategy can come into play. Each of these tactics should work together, along with your content, to build a well-rounded digital marketing campaign. These tactics are much more effective working together rather than separately because the inbound methodology builds on each individual tactic to create a full strategy.
Digital Marketing Elements: Email, Web, Social Media
Email marketing, for example, is considered to be one of the strongest tactics for nurturing leads. Integrating a strong email campaign into your digital marketing strategy is an important part of converting leads to leases. However, it is most effective when pushing out sharable content like blogs or offers, that will lead customers down a purchase path. Email marketing is also a great tool for tracking your target market so you can inform your content strategy. Based on the number of email opens and the clickthrough rate, you can see what kind of material your prospects are interested in by looking at what’s performing best and focus on promoting that content more.
This is also the case on your website. Automation allows you to track what your website visitors are doing and where they are looking on your site. Using this newly gathered information and truly understanding their interests, you can help move leads along in a more personalized and effective way, and continually inform your marketing process.
Knowing the content that your audience is interested in is also a huge notion in social media as you’re able to show them more of what they want to see. Keep in mind that while social media can help promote your content, it is only effective when you split the time between promotional content and aggregated content from other sources. Your user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) also tie into this notion. The better the experience your potential clients have, whether in person or online, the more interest they will have in moving forward with you. The same works for existing clients. About 83% of customers who experience positive interactions with brands are willing to offer referrals if asked.
The integration of all aspects of the inbound methodology will differentiate you from the competition. You need more than a few social media pages or an automated email campaign to be a successful marketer. A full inbound marketing strategy includes these elements as a foundation, and builds on them as a part of a more comprehensive plan. Because it’s the combination of these strategies, and how the analytics inform them, that will truly make your digital marketing strategy successful.