There is a wealth of information online on how to make inbound marketing part of your wider marketing strategy. But what are the essential components of an inbound marketing system?
In this article, we're going to cover what you need in your toolbox to do inbound marketing well. These things will make up your unique inbound marketing system.
Inbound marketing is about encouraging potential customers to come to you as a natural result of their own research. Instead of funnelling money into advertising, it's about helping leads find your business and decide to buy from you.
Broken down, there are essentially two stages to setting up your unique inbound marketing system:
- Creating and maintaining a website worth visiting (content, web design, landing pages etc.)
- Making your website easy to find by leads who will benefit from your products or services (SEO, social media etc.)
Now that you know the basics in how to do it, let's go through the essential components required for your inbound marketing system to be successful.
Buyer personas are essential to your inbound marketing system. They should act as a framework for all your sales and marketing activities.
Buyer personas should be a key reference when you're creating content, doing SEO and targeting on social media.
A good website
A good website is about more than just good content. It needs to be:
- responsive and optimised for mobile
- accessible to those with visual impairments or other disabilities
- intuitive to use so that visitors can navigate easily
- fast-loading so that visitors don't click away (consider reducing the size of your images and pages if your loading time is more than a few seconds)
SEO is essential to your inbound marketing system. It mainly concerns your content and the structure of your website. The goal is to have search engines index your site so that leads can find you.
Choose keywords with a high search volume and low competition. Don't forget to make sure your website is optimised for mobile.
In 1996, Bill Gates declared that content is king.
More than 20 years on, this is still as true as ever.
Content has a number of purposes in your inbound marketing system. For best results, use a variety of formats, including:
- case studies
Write educational content which solves your leads' problems. This will help position your business as a thought leader in your industry, increasing your search engine rankings.
The type of content you produce should vary for each stage of a lead's inbound journey.
Awareness stage content
- broad-level eBooks
- how-to articles and videos
- educational webinars
Consideration stage content
- product webinars
- case studies
- expert guides
- in-depth eBooks
Decision stage content
- case studies
- product literature
- product infographics
Social media can be an excellent lead generation tool when used correctly. Many businesses put too much focus on interactions (likes, comments, shares etc.). Whilst interactions are necessary for cracking the platform's algorithms, they're not enough for your inbound marketing system to be a success.
For lead generation, use social media to share and promote your content, directing leads back to your website. For lead nurture, use the platforms to build your brand presence and develop relationships with your prospects.
Focus your efforts on the platforms that work for your business. For example, LinkedIn is excellent for B2B, wheres Instagram is generally better for B2C.
Landing pages include product pages, subscriber forms and gated content downloads.
They're essential for inbound marketing because they're often a lead's first impression of your business once they've landed on your website from social media or a search engine.
For your landing pages to work their magic, they need to be on-brand and have a clear focus. Make sure each page is related to the CTA that links to it and make it clear exactly what the lead needs to do.
Try to remove any distractions that might take the lead away from the page, as this is your chance to collect their information and move them along their inbound journey.
Keep forms short (long forms can discourage a lead from filling it out). Use videos, images and testimonials as part of the page. Run A/B tests to see which designs increase conversion.
Platforms for your inbound marketing system
Many of the above tools are things you need to create or put together yourself. However, there are also many platforms that make it easier to manage your inbound marketing efforts.
Content management system
As the name suggests, a content management system is essential for managing all the content on your website. But many of them do a lot more than just content management.
Choose a system that also facilitates good web-design and SEO link structure.
Marketing automation and CRM system
Many of the platforms available today encompass both marketing automation and CRM. This software is essential for managing leads and customers across all stages of their inbound marketing journeys.
Inbound marketing is a big topic. If you want some advice on the best tools and strategies to use, Flowbird can help. Contact us today and we can get your inbound marketing strategy in motion.