Costly outbound marketing is out, inbound marketing is in, and it’s here to stay. With inbound, you’re looking to attract prospects to your business organically by leveraging a variety of different tactics and techniques. However, with so many pathways to go down, you may feel overwhelmed with the vast number of options for your business.
If you’ve already got the bare bones of your inbound strategy then this guide is perfect for you. With persona research, conversion paths, and success measurement out of the way, you can start to get even more creative with your approach.
Have you been in the inbound game for some time now and you’re starting to notice your results stagnate? Now is the time for action. With inbound now rapidly making its way through marketing departments, you need to do more to outshine other brands and separate yourself from the competition.
Inbound marketing offers marketers a great opportunity to get creative and have fun with innovative strategies. Let’s take a look at some ways you can grow and enhance your inbound programme to achieve even better results.
8 Inbound Marketing Initiatives
- Utilise Paid Media, Google Ads & Social Ads
- Create & Share Infographics
- Launch a Loyalty Programme
- Produce a Video Series
- Run a Competition
- Implement Exit-Intent Actions
- Gating Your Content
- Create a Research Report
Utilise Paid Media, Google Ads & Social Ads
A fundamental pillar of inbound marketing is protecting and conserving an uninterrupted user experience. It’s been long debated whether or not paid media deserves a space within inbound programmes but we firmly believe it does. Paid media, ranging from Google ad campaigns to Linkedin ads, boast a great opportunity to do paid advertising in a way that complements the buyer’s journey.
Targeted ads deserve a spot within your inbound strategy because they can generate quality leads in similar ways to your organic content. By crafting highly targeted ad campaigns, you can engage users who have a genuine interest in your offering whether that be a product and/or service.
Of course, as with any element of digital marketing, you’ll need a strategic approach to achieve good results. One of the greatest things about social and search advertisements is that they are scalable. You aren’t required to build and execute multiple campaigns all at once. However, with that said, continual monitoring and optimisation are essential to the long-term success of your paid media.
Remember to refer to your persona data to explore where your audience spends their time online before rolling out omnichannel ads. You’ll want to invest your marketing budgets where they will be most effective.
Create & Share Infographics
Never underestimate the power of an infographic. These creative pieces of content are perfect ways to capture the attention of users who do not have time to sit and read long-form content. We know that written pieces are great, and if you’ve already started your inbound strategy, this should be something you’re leveraging already.
Visual aids are great tools for businesses spanning across a variety of unique industries and sectors. Studies have found that 65% of people remember information presented as a visual element as opposed to the 10% who retain audible information better. These illustrated images are an ideal way to share a snapshot of insightful data.
Infographics don’t need to be huge, complex images. In fact, condensed information would be much better in this instance. Another great feature of infographics is their shareability. These graphics can be used on social media or even other websites should a business see the value within your asset. Both contribute to enhancing your brand awareness and increasing opportunities for potential conversions.
Launch a Loyalty Programme
Loyalty programmes are perfect for your delighted customers. They can drive trust and engagement amongst your existing customers and clients as well as increase influence for new prospects to your business. Loyalty, as the term suggests, also increases your ability to retain business, keeping your current customer base satisfied and happy.
A loyalty programme can be launched in a variety of different ways, dependent on the incentives your business can offer. These schemes commonly involve encouraging your brand advocates to complete an action and in return, they receive a reward. These actions can be a variety of things, from leaving a review online or completing a short feedback survey.
Your business can then use this content to reinforce your brand perception. Demonstrating your business’s successes all the while increasing brand engagement and influencing new prospects to convert into leads. Reviews, for example, can be a hugely valuable asset for your business and can often make or break a potential sale in B2B and B2C markets. Consider this when inviting your customers to complete such actions!
Aside from reviews, you could try a tiered loyalty system where users earn points depending on the number or value of recent purchases. You could offer unique discounts or rewards to those who are considered as your most valuable customers. As expressed in this section alone, there are a number of different things to work with here.
Produce a Video Series
Long has video marketing accounted for a variety of business successes. The video marketing industry is going from strength to strength and is forecasted to continue doing so. A study found that by 2022, online video will account for 82% of the internet. As brands continue to steer away from expensive broadcast advertisements, online video is flourishing. In addition to this, social video generates 1200% more shares than image and text posts combined! Now that’s a huge potential for brand reach and awareness.
As a marketing professional, you’re already familiar with the power of video from a brand perspective, enabling you to send powerful messages to your audience. However, it’s worth noting that whilst a video is shareable, you need to consider that the average attention span for such media is low. Remember this when you begin to map out your ‘mini’ video series, you’ll captivate a much broader audience this way too.
Run a Competition
Now this tactic won’t necessarily be appropriate for every business out there, but if it is, the results can be great. Competitions can be positioned in a number of ways, depending on the goals your business is looking to achieve. Contests and competitions are a quick way to secure a number of conversions and leads in a short space of time. Whilst there isn’t a guarantee that these users are actively interested in your business, continual nurturing has the potential to transition these leads into customers.
Competitions can be run on a multitude of platforms, including email, social media, or print. As a rule of thumb, you should always take the time to explore the rules and regulations of such activities. Some may require a declaration of sponsorship or full terms and conditions so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The concept of your competition should be guided by your business and marketing objectives. If you’re looking to increase your brand reach, you could explore options that require users to share and follow to enter. Alternatively, you could tie in your loyalty scheme and create a prize draw for all customers who leave a review over a period of time. This tactic is something you can really have fun with.
Implement Exit-Intent Actions
As an avid internet user, you may have noticed the increase of pop-ups displayed seemingly out of the blue when browsing websites. Well, these pop-ups or other messages aren’t displayed randomly, your actions are the trigger. From idle time to switch browser tabs, websites can now recognise when you’re about to exit their site.
Exit-intent actions enable your business another opportunity to display key messages or a specific call to action. Also referred to as overlay popups, these actions provide one last opportunity to secure a valuable action or better still, a conversion. It’s important to note that these pop-ups are entirely different from the traditional annoying ad pop-ups that block user visibility.
In addition to exit-intent actions, smart modules enable businesses to provide custom occurrences within a website based upon the users’ behaviour, but that’s a whole other topic.
Gating Your Content
Another surefire way to increase the conversions that happen on your website. Gated content should be a fundamental element of any inbound marketing strategy as it provides opportunities for prospects to convert into leads.
Now, we’re not suggesting you should go out and immediately gate all of your content. You should consider the fair trade of user data, is the content you’re offering a fair exchange for the user’s email address? The content pieces you choose to gate should be the most valuable creative assets you can give to your audience.
Depending on the content you currently have at your disposal, you could consider gating your guides, ebooks, and white papers behind contact forms. When users submit their details you can then market to these users on an ongoing basis, gently encouraging them along their buyer’s journey.
Create a Research Report
Another great way to captivate the attention of your audience. Fresh and new to the industry data and insights will help establish your business as a thought leader. Effective thought leadership can quickly build trust and authority for your brand. Research reports can be one of the most time-consuming and challenging tactics within your strategy but the payoff will be great.
To decide the topic or hypothesis of your research you should consider what data will be of the most interest to your prospective buyers or personas. You could potentially use your existing client base to conduct primary research, providing that they have consented to this type of communication.
New studies, reports, and research can gain traction very quickly, and the repurposing value of this content is great too. Your research report could be broken down into a variety of blogs, infographics, or perhaps form the topic of your next video. This tactic offers a great opportunity to build your brand’s credibility.
Bright Design Inbound Marketing Agency
At Bright Design, we’re a digital marketing agency specialising in all things inbound. From creative content to marketing automation, our expert delivery team has the experience and skills to enhance your digital strategies. If you’re interested in building or enhancing your existing inbound strategy, get in touch with our friendly team today.