How to Create an Inbound Marketing Strategy
What Hollywood can teach us about hooking an audience
A powerful inbound marketing strategy is a lot like a good film. Both should hook an audience instantly, keep them captivated with a compelling story and always leave them wanting more.
In fact, movies can teach marketers a lot about how to effectively execute an inbound marketing strategy to gain more leads and close more business.
You should read this if you're struggling with:
- Getting your website found
- Engaging on social media
- Converting website visitors into enquiries
- Generating sales ready leads
- Measuring the success of your marketing
Step 1: Create a magnetic presence
"Well, as far as I'm concerned, the Internet is just another way of getting returned by women." George Pappas, You've Got Mail.
Poor George. He clearly has not discovered how to create a compelling online profile.
His profile would probably start: 'I like to read, go to the cinema, and play golf. I would like to meet an attractive, rich woman. ' Nothing outstanding, terribly cliched and just all wrong.
Do not let your marketing efforts suffer the same fate.
The first step is to make sure potential customers can find you
This means understanding how your website generates traffic and whether it's appealing the right type of leads.
The next step is to structure your website content properly. Search engines help users find what they want online by ranking content in terms of quality.
They look at the following things when ranking your website against a search term:
- Social shares
- Inbound and outbound links
Decide on the few critical keywords and then ensure you include them on relevant pages through your website.
But that does not mean loading your website with keywords and content links
Search engines recognize this behavior and will give these sites a lower ranking (or blacklist them) – not to mention that this makes for a poor user experience, too.
So approach search engine marketing (SEM) or search engine optimization (SEO) like the formula for a winning film and use this SEO checklist to ensure every piece of content is optimized to achieve the highest ranking possible.
Since prospects will rarely go to the second page of search results, you should aim to get your content on the first page and hook them right away.
A higher search ranking will result in more traffic to your website and extremely more leads to your sales team.
Step 2: Connect with your audience
If search engine marketing is about getting the attention of your audience, then social media marketing is about keeping it. You want your audience to be just like Dorothy: charmed by Jerry's opening line and willing to stick around to find out more. If only converting a lead was that simple.
Unfortunately, statistics show that only 27% of B2B leads are sales-ready when first generated2. This means that the vast majority of your buyers are two-thirds of the way through their buying process before they even start talking to your sales team.
So you'll need to warm them up by connecting and engaging in their preferred way (which nowdays is through social media).