If you think about marketing as hunting, inbound marketing is like setting out traps and outbound marketing is like stalking game. One depends on the game coming to you, the other on you going after the game.
In this blog we’re going to focus on inbound marketing, so the question is, how do you attract a potential customer to your site?
It’s a two-step process:
1) Have awesome content that provides value to your target prospect.
2) Have a form to get to grab contact information, usually an email address, which you can use to follow up with them.
Content marketing, such as blogging, attracts prospects to your website. It works because search engines are looking for regularly updated, high-quality content – which is what a good blog is.
If you want to know what a good blog looks like, well, you’re reading one. Since we started blogging regularly a few years ago, our Google traffic rank has gone from over 20 million to just over 3 million.
This is a good blog because:
1) It is updated regularly, at least monthly, but usually much more frequently. (We’ve all seen blogs that were last updated three years ago, right? And what do you think when you see that? Probably something like, “Man, this company is either lazy or incompetent.” An unkept blog is worse than no blog at all.)
2) It is keyword-focused. For example, we want to pop up on the first page of searches for “Nashville PR Firms,” so you’ll see this phrase in a lot of our blogs, as well as other terms, like “inbound marketing,” “social media,” “marketing strategy” and “blogging” – which are all services we provide.
3) It is original. Search engines frown on word-for-word repurposing (i.e., theft) of content. Everything you read in this blog comes out of our own heads.
Once you get the prospect to your website, you have to capture her information. You do this by offering something enticing enough that she will give you her email address to have it.
It’s called clickbait. Good clickbait includes such things as:
1) An offer to provide a free service. For example, one of our clickbait offers is providing a customized report of your industry’s top 50 twitter influencers.
2) Actionable information you can’t easily get just anywhere, such as our offer to give you tips on generating sales leads that are drawn from a database of responses by over 4,000 businesses.
3) Something odd or curious. For example, for a client in the electronic signature business, we created as clickbait a sampling of the most beautiful and ugly signatures of all time by public figures.
4) An interesting infographic. I once created an infographics that mapped the history of PR firm in Nashville that provided information you can’t get just anywhere in an easily digestible format. It would have been good clickbait, just like the infographic by our Account Manager Meredith Yates that provided five tips for landing TV coverage.
5) A list. People just love ‘em.
6) Data you would normally need to pay for, such as a list of all companies in your market that gross between $10 million and $50 million and the names and email addresses of their CEOs.
7) A test. Particularly a test that tells you something about your
self, like your personality or IQ