If you’re a small business owner and don’t have a strong online presence, you are not keeping up with the times. Whether you are a professional like a doctor or lawyer, run a swanky downtown spa or sell used car parts from a dusty garage, people are online looking for what you sell. If you aren’t there at the right time to meet them, you’re losing sales to the competition.

Inbound Marketing Defined

One way that modern companies compete in the digital space is through inbound marketing. As the name suggests, inbound marketing refers to marketing tactics and strategies that result in prospects finding you, rather than you taking measures to find them.

When inbound marketing is utilized effectively, your prospective clients and customers will find you at the precise moment they are looking for what you are selling. You will attract their attention, merge with their current thoughts and guide them through the sales process, almost as if they were in a trance.

Of course, being at the right place at the right time for people to find you and become a new lead or conversion can be a complicated process. Here are five tips that will help make it happen.

1 – Create Detailed Buyer Personas

Creating buying personas for your ideal customers or clients is an integral part of a successful inbound marketing campaign. And you need to dig deep, too. Tossing out an age range or occupation just isn’t going to cut it if you want to drive leads and conversions. You can have more than one buyer persona, especially if you offer more than one type of product or service. Each one should include elements like:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Family situation
  • Occupation
  • Salary range
  • Hobbies
  • Likes/dislikes
  • Personal goals/struggles
  • Professional goals/struggles

Go as deep as possible, and you’ll know exactly what to say to attract his or her attention.

2 – Create Content that Speaks to Your Buyer Personas

Inbound marketing success and content creation go hand in hand, but you can’t just be filling up empty space with words. With your buyer personas at your side, you must create highly targeted content that is tailored to their specific needs. This isn’t about ego-driven content that tells everyone how wonderful your products are; it is the type of content that joins the conversation your prospect is having inside their head at that exact moment and helps them finish their thought.

3 – Become an Authority in Your Industry

Content creation in the inbound marketing process can take many forms, and it is all designed to help make you an authority in your industry. Becoming an authority means having a website filled with useful, relevant pages that include keywords you want people to use to find you. It means blogging regularly to increase the number of pages search engines can index. It means sharing your posts via social media channels, creating videos that your prospects want to see and growing an email list of people you can market to on a regular basis.

4 – Use Proven Lead Generation & Conversion Strategies

It’s great to know your prospect and guide them to the point that it’s time to make a decision, but if you can’t close the deal, then you’ve wasted your time. At some point, you’ll want your prospect to take an action. It may be giving their email address so you can grow your list, filling out a survey so you can find out more information about them or it may be making a purchase. Whatever the action you desire, using proven methods of making it happen makes the most sense.

Creating and then giving away ebooks, whitepapers and fact sheets for free in exchange for an email address is a proven strategy, although you must tailor your piece to the persona you are trying to impress. Specific landing pages with basic calls-to-action also work well because your visitor can’t be distracted by other things happening on the page. Pay-per-click advertising works well to attract attention and drive traffic to your landing page. Just remember to offer something of value and make it easy for them to get it, and you’ll see your leads and conversions increase.

5 – Test, Measure and Test Again

Analytics are used in all forms of business, and for good reason. There is always a chance to improve and boost your results, so you should never become set in your ways during an inbound marketing campaign. All good online marketing includes testing, measuring your results and then testing again. A/B split testing of ads, emails, sales letters, website elements and other factors is an excellent way to see what is working and what isn’t in any particular campaign.

The process of digital marketing and particularly inbound marketing includes many different variables that need to be working together for you to find success. If you’re one of the many business owners that know adopting a targeted inbound marketing strategy will boost sales, but you aren’t sure what to do next, give us a call, and we’ll help you get started.
Bob Lange

Written by Bob Lange