Do you reminisce about the days when filling the sales funnel was as simple as taking out a few PPC campaigns and sitting back to watch the dollars roll in? These days, digital marketing is far more complex. So, what are you missing? How do you turn your marketing frown upside down, and create an effective strategy in 2019?
Whether you’re a small business owner or high-level marketing executive, you’ll almost certainly have heard the term ‘inbound marketing’. A key part of any successful digital marketing strategy, inbound marketing is the most essential marketing tool in 2019, according to over 60% of marketers surveyed by Hubspot. Why? Read on.
The ever-shifting landscape of digital marketing
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” said Benjamin Franklin. And loads of other noteworthy Oxford scholar types. They’re not wrong. However, the 21st century version of this old adage would have to include an observation about the constantly changing nature of digital marketing. Perhaps, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and that you need a stellar inbound marketing strategy if you’re going to succeed in business.” Although, it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
The mistake that many marketers make is assuming that PPC (or pay per click) advertising is the only strategy when it comes to digital marketing. Not only is that an outdated view, it’s also an incredibly costly one for many businesses today. Inbound marketing, as opposed to PPC, involves driving traffic (and by extension, sales) to your site organically, by combining great content with a quality SEO strategy, social media outreach, and effective branding. Essentially: The traffic you don’t have to pay a cent for. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
The trouble with inbound marketing is that it’s a moving target. Digital marketing trends shift much more quickly than the old-school print, radio and television advertising models of decades past. Which is why so many marketers out there are finding their marketing strategies ineffective. Being on top of current digital marketing trends and developments in inbound marketing strategy is crucial, yet easier said that done.
Why isn’t my marketing driving traffic?
If you’re unsatisfied with the results of your recent digital marketing campaigns, you’re not alone. Chances are you haven’t quite nailed your inbound marketing strategy and are focusing too heavily on the outbound variety. In fact, according to Hubspot:
“33% of inbound marketers and 31% of outbound marketers rank outbound marketing practices, such as paid advertising, as the top waste of time and resources.”
The traditional sales funnel model that marketers have been following since the beginning of the internet age is becoming obsolete, and too few marketers are aware of its new-age replacement: the flywheel.
The flywheel, a graphic depiction of the heart of the inbound marketing model, puts customers at the centre of the strategy, rather than making them an afterthought. In our increasingly digital age, customers are savvier, have access to a huge variety of online businesses, and tend to purchase from brands they trust and identify with. Inbound marketing involves creating personalised, engaging and targeted content for your customers, rather than simply putting ads in front of them. Why? Customers are becoming more averse to direct advertising. A mind-blowing 80% of customers would rather buy from a brand who offers them a personalised approach. Therefore, putting the customer at the centre of your marketing strategy is critical.
Why do you need an effective inbound marketing strategy in 2019?
Three words: Traffic. Trust. Sales.
The most effective way to drive traffic, build trust, and ultimately increase sales in 2019 is to create an effective inbound marketing strategy. Not only does inbound marketing drive ‘free’ traffic to your site, it also helps to build trust between your business and its potential customers. It positions your brand as an industry leader, but more than that, it creates brand evangelists; those avid brand-ambassadors who do the selling for you by sharing with their networks and espousing your brand’s values on your behalf.
What’s more, inbound marketing has been proven to achieve higher ROI than outbound marketing. The higher ROI from your inbound marketing strategy is two-fold. Firstly, leads generated by inbound marketing are stronger and more qualified. And secondly, the traffic generated is likely to attract more visits, repeat visitors, and shares over the long-term. ‘Nuff said.
Ok great. But where do I start?
Whilst saving on your ad spend will put dollars back into the collective marketing spending pool, deploying a great inbound strategy isn’t free, and is going to involve some investment. To be sure you’re spending those dollars effectively, having a clear set of goals and a strong strategy is important. There are 5 key steps to building your inbound marketing strategy.
1. Know your customers
Creating customer personas will help you to understand your audience better and assist in understanding their pain points. Identify: Who are you customers, what are their needs, what problems can you help them to solve?
2. Build your keyword list
A fundamental component of an effective inbound marketing strategy is SEO. Develop a list of keywords for your business based on what your customers are searching for, keep in mind that targeting the lesser-used keywords might be a more effective strategy than trying to rank for the most obvious ones.
3. Set your goals for digital marketing
What are you hoping to achieve from your new inbound digital marketing strategy? This might sound like an obvious question – you want to increase brand awareness and sales – but think specifically about how you’ll measure the success of your strategy. Are you looking to increase your website’s traffic? By how much? How will you send traffic to your site, and how will you measure the results?
4. Develop your content strategy
What kind of content are you going to create and how will it serve your goals? Content is likely to account for the bulk of your inbound marketing investment, so this step is imperative. You’ll need to create content for each stage of the ‘awareness, evaluation, purchase’ journey.
5. Incorporate inbound marketing technology and expert digital marketers
The content is one thing, but the technology behind your inbound marketing is also important. You’ll need to incorporate the relevant technology to create, deploy, and measure your new digital marketing strategy. This is no mean feat for a sole marketing manager. That’s why bringing in a team of experts is so important. Worth their weight in digital gold, you might say, a digital marketing firm like Blue Beetle can take all the pain out of the inbound marketing process by creating and deploying tailored marketing solutions based on tried and tested strategies. In short: They’ve seen and done it all before, they know what works, and they’ll save you time, money and tears.
If you’re struggling to wrap your head around your inbound marketing strategy, it’s time to bring in the experts from Blue Beetle. We’re a Gold HubSpot partner and digital marketing agency based in Dubai, working with clients around the globe to develop and execute next-level inbound marketing strategies which drive leads, nurture customers and convert sales.