Inbound marketing is a term that has come up a lot in recent years. It is the new buzzword in the marketing world. Is it just a trend? A passing fad that will soon be gone with the wind? The answer is no; inbound marketing is here to stay. And the faster you learn to shift to this new style of marketing, the better off your website traf- c, and ultimately your business, will be.

But what is it, and how is it different from traditional marketing? Inbound marketing, in a nutshell, is a more customer focused way to market to your customers. It is all about drawing them into your site and providing them with useful information and resources. It is about building trust, loyalty, and industry leadership.

Get Your Website Up To Snuff

CONVERSION FOCUSSED

DESIGN YOUR WEBSITE FOR LEAD GENERATION

Design goes far beyond how something looks. At its core, design is how something works. Having a beautiful website is great. But if it doesn’t score your business new leads, what’s the point? Your site should be a lead producing machine, not just a pretty paint job. It should be the platform for your business to attract, convert, close, and retain new customers.

MOBILE REPONSIVE

Create a website that looks great on any device.
Gone are the days when people viewed all websites from stationary computer

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monitors that only came in a few standard screen sizes. In fact, most people are browsing from mobile phones and tablets. This has made web design that much more challenging for designers.

How is it possible to create a site that works on so many different screens and platforms? Enter mobile responsive design. Websites that are mobile responsive dynamically adjust to the device on which they are being viewed. So whether the visitor is on a mobile phone, tablet, pc, or laptop, the site will load appropriately.

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BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO INBOUND MARKETING

SEO OPTIMIZED

Craft your website for search engine success.

Traditional web design practices don’t always take into account the importance of SEO. This can result in search engine optimization that is added as an afterthought rather than built into the foundation of the web design.

Because search engine visibility is so competitive, your website must be construct- ed properly to have any chance at winning. Don’t make the mistake of having to x SEO shortcomings after the fact with band aid coding efforts. Get a website that is created for search engine success – right from the start.

Design Buyer Personas for the Campaign

Ask yourself who is buying your product or service. If your answer is, “uh, I don’t know… women?” Then your success with content marketing is going to be painfully slow. Maybe even nonexistent.

You need to know exactly who your buyers are. Are they male or female? How old are they? What do they do for a living? What’s their nancial situation? What kind of education do they have? What are their shopping habits? What do they do in their free time? Why do they need your product or service?

When it comes to marketing, a one-size- ts-all approach rarely works. Many com-

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panies try to market to everyone out of fear of missing potential customers outside of their target audience, but that approach usually back res because their messag- es end up being too mixed or vague to resonate with anyone. Not only do they end up losing potential customers outside of their target audience, but they also lose some people in their target audience!

That’s why you need to understand your buyer, develop a set of accurate buyer personas, and then revolve your marketing strategy around those personas. In fact, many would agree that this is the key to effective marketing.

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What is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a well-researched archetype of your average buyer to help you better understand how to market your product or service more effectively. For ex- ample, a lumber store might have three different buyer personas:

Creative DIYers: Budget-savvy women in their 20s or 30s who spend their free time browsing Pinterest for woodworking or furniture restoration project ideas

Professional or hobby carpenters: Middle-aged men who are passionate about woodworking and would always value quality over quantity when it comes to crafts- manship

Contractors: Busy men in their 40s who order wood in bulk, preferably at a discount, and would be interested in establishing a long-term relationship with a trusted lumber shop

With those three personas in mind, the lumber store can come up with targeted marketing solutions. Such solutions may include creating a Pinterest board with fun woodworking projects and tutorials for the creative DIYers, actively promoting the quality of their lumber to attract the carpenters, and focusing exclusively on contrac- tors to build personal relationships with them.

Anyone who has ever taken a marketing 101 class knows that having a set of well- researched buyer personas will help you generate more sales through targeted

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advertising. However, here’s a lesser-known fact: buyer personas are the key to a successful inbound marketing strategy.

While traditional marketing is focused on generating sales, inbound marketing is different. The purpose of inbound marketing is simply to build trust and loyalty in customers by providing consistent, valuable information through articles, videos, or any other type of content that can be shared.

HOW WILL BUYER PERSONAS HELP YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY?

Let’s take a look at ve reasons why you need buyer personas to successfully mar- ket your content:

1. Your brand message will be stronger than ever.
If you try to market to everyone, your message comes across as weak, diluted, and

less likely to stick in anyone’s head. No one, not even your ideal customer, will feel like you’re talking directly to them. The more succinct and targeted your content, the more powerful it will be. Buyer personas enable you to craft your content to achieve the most impact on the people who are most likely to become repeat customers.

2. You will be able to make better use of your time.

Instead of wasting your time on potential customers who might be remotely in- terested in your product or service, you can use your buyer personas to nd the people who are most likely to become repeat customers and create the right kind of content for them. By doing this, you’ll get more ROI for your time.

BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO INBOUND MARKETING

3. You will get the most bang for your buck.

If you’re like most businesses, you have limited marketing funds that need to be allocated to various marketing projects. Instead of going through a trial and error phase with each project (and wasting money in the process), you will be able to use your set of buyer personas to nd out what kind of content would resonate the most with your target customers, and then use the information to develop cost-effective inbound marketing strategies that will produce results the rst time around.

4. You will have a better chance of becoming an authority in your eld.

You don’t want to spread yourself thin by covering a lot of generic topics some of your customers may be interested in. Instead, nd your niche based on your target customers’ needs, wants, and interests, and then create niche-speci c, high-quality content that really resonates with them. By providing overwhelming value in your content to the right people, you will be likely to become perceived as an authority in your eld.

5. You will build more loyalty and trust in your customers.

If you’re a female teacher who just had a baby, which blog post would you be more likely to read: one that begins with, “hey, you” or one that begins with, “hey, new mother who works full-time”? The latter would make your ears perk up. They’re talking to you! Better nd out what they have to say, then!

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By understanding your target customers, you will be able to speak directly to them, and they will listen to what you have to say. Also, buyer personas will enable you to nd speci c problems or beliefs to address in your content. Your target customers will start to trust your brand if they feel that your business wholly understands their needs, wants, struggles, and interests.

Decide Which Inbound Tools will be Right for Your Campaign

It’s important to understand that the tactics used in your inbound strategy will be very unique to the particular industry you are trying to target. That means every campaign is going to be extremely custom.
Inbound marketing is like having a garage full of tools. Your goals, demographic, and success metrics will help you select the most effective devices for accomplish- ing your online objectives.

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TRADITIONAL SEO

Traditional SEO was very static and narrow. You would nd the strategic keywords for your company and then use onsite optimization and link building to improve the organic rankings. The basic idea was to trick Google into improving where your site showed up in the SERPs.

While this tactic and way of thinking worked very well for a long time, Google has changed the game. Working within the old construct is sure to get an organic pen- alty placed on your domain.

INBOUND MARKETING

Inbound marketing is almost the exact opposite of traditional SEO. It uses a wide range of custom methods that add value to the user. You have to start creating con- tent with the user in mind rather than the search engine.

This is a major paradigm shift that can take a little bit of practice. However, working in this manner will produce the long-term, sustainable results you desire.

Tools Used in Inbound Marketing

There are many different tactics used in a successful inbound strategy. First look at the different kinds of ful llment, and then you can decide what’s going to be most effective for your business.

BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO INBOUND MARKETING

WEBSITE DESIGN & CUSTOM MESSAGING

Having a professional website is the rst step to a successful online marketing cam- paign. It is truly incredible how many businesses are still running sites from 2001. Even if a user were to land on the site, chances are low they would trust your brand enough to move forward in the sales process.

Depending on how the site is built and optimized may or may not signi cantly affect your organic positioning. However, there is something much bigger here than the organic SERPs. You want to provide a very high level of user trust. They need to see that you are an expert in the eld, and are an industry leader.

This is primarily done through effective design, quality messaging, and frequency new of content.
If you are running an old, junk site, getting it up to snuff should be the rst item on your agenda.

CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing is quickly becoming the backbone to all inbound marketing. The basic idea is to consistently add new posts to your site that answer customer ques- tions.

For Example:
Digital Flavor has a client that sells peptides. We thought a user could very well have a question about how to nd the best kind of product. For this reason, we cre-

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ated a piece of content that answers “What Questions to Ask Before Buying Pep- tides.” You can see that with this topic our client is in the #1 position.

Why? Because the title of the post addressed a question that a lot of customers were actually asking. As a result, ranking for this question has been driving some very quali ed site visitors for this client.

You want to do this on a very large scale. At a bare minimum, you should be adding a targeted blog post to the site on a weekly basis. The goal is to get your website ranking for as many different long-tail search phrases as possible

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Content marketing also balances out your link building. A website generating great blog posts will naturally pick up a wide range of social shares and backlinks.

DOWNLOADABLE MATERIAL

Once a user lands on your site and sees that you have something meaningful to say, you want to present them with a variety of options in case they aren’t quite ready to purchase your product or service. Creating a number of calls to action from which they can choose is a good way to keep them engaged without applying too much pressure.

The soft call to action is to offer a user a piece of downloadable content. This could be anything from an eBook to a guide. Everybody loves free stuff, right? And all they have to do to reciprocate is provide you with their contact information, which you gather for later use.

Having great content in your downloadable material will also build up your indus- try expertise. These can be displayed on the sidebar of the widgets areas on your website. You should also build out a resources section and include it in the main navigation.

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Create a Cohesive 3 Month Content Plan

In the online world, things change quickly. Keeping up with the latest uctuations in search engine rankings is a never-ending process. One of the best ways to optimize your website with sure- re strategies that will keep your online visibility intact is to create a content plan for your site.

By planning ahead, you can strategize carefully rather than just frantically trying to adjust every time Google announces its newest algorithm.

CONTENT STRATEGY

You’ve heard that your online visibility is directly connected to your content, and it’s true. But a whirlwind of content without aim doesn’t get you anywhere. Content that is designed to accomplish your goals and solidify your brand increases your visibil- ity better than any other tactic.

A content strategy analyzes your brand, goals, target market, and competitors; then turns it all into an actionable plan for success. It gives the content on your site a direction and purpose broader than just ranking. It’s a powerful tool that turns rank- ing into traf c, and traf c into loyal customers or readers.

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KEYWORD CATEGORY BRANDING

Contrary to popular belief, traditional SEO is not the most effective way to get top rankings for your site. In fact, SEO has recently shifted its focus to people rst and search engines second. With this focus in mind, the right kind of SEO can elevate your copy to be the best friend of readers and browsers alike.

Keywords have shifted too. As search engines become smarter, keywords are important to you because they serve to categorize you into a brand; something speci c that a certain group of people are looking for. If your brand has been cat- egorized on Google with the right keywords, people nd exactly what they want—on your website.

CONTENT CALENDARS

Fresh and regular content is the name of the game. You become the watering hole of the internet as you provide sharable, valuable, and constant content. One way to keep up with all this content is the content calendar.

Planning out months of blog posts, social shares, and press releases that align with your strategy will harmonize your content to create the visibility you’ve been work- ing for all along. You can even automate publishing so you never miss a beat.

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Be Consistent with Your Campaign

No amount of tricks, tactics, or techniques will matter in the end if you don’t run a consistent campaign. Your customers and readers want to know that they can de- pend on you to provide them with fresh, up-to-date material and information on a regular basis.

Building trust doesn’t happen overnight. In order to draw customers in and build loyalty, you must prove that you are willing and able to constantly meet their needs.

With steady consistency and the marketing tips and tools provided above, you can quickly go from beginner to master with your inbound marketing campaign, and in doing so bring your business to the next level.

See published E-Book here:

h p://www.digital avor.com/resources/

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