Inbound Marketing is a term you will hear more often in 2012. That is because we have become an online nation that hops on Google when we need to look up something or someone. Marketers have caught on to this and have leveraged the power of social media and search engine optimization to attract warm leads (aka: people already searching for information on services or products) to websites by offering free content like articles, ebooks, webinars, reports, quizzes, etc.
According to Marketing Sherpa, marketers are planning to increase their inbound marketing budgets this year with 60% looking to enhance their social media budgets and 41% planning to increase content marketing.
How does inbound marketing affect your personal brand?
Savvy entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, bloggers, coaches, and consultants are taking note and offering free content to attract quality clients and customers. If your goal is to create a business around your personal brand, it is imperative that you incorporate inbound marketing into your online marketing campaign. In having a strategic inbound marketing strategy in place will help your website get more traffic from your niche market that you can convert into sales, as well as solidify yourself as an expert in your industry.
7 Areas of Your Inbound Marketing Campaign – and 8 Resources to Help You Master Them
There are seven areas you need to concentrate on to see a successful return on your campaign. To help you get started, I have included links to my favorite e-books produced by the team over at HubSpot.com, most arguably the leader of inbound marketing.
1. Website – Your website will essentially become your information hub with all of your marketing efforts driving traffic to your there. You want to create a website that is user-friendly, search engine optimized, and strong calls to action for the content you created. I will expand further on these elements below, but the first place to start is with 25 Website Must-Haves for Driving Traffic, Leads, and Sales.
2. Content – Above all else, you want to make sure you are creating valuable content that your interests your niche market. This establishes your authority and thought leadership, as well as demonstrates a giving attitude. Brainstorm the best types of content for your marketing campaign with 100 Inbound Marketing Content Ideas.
3. SEO – To get traffic to your website, you must make your content search engine optimized (SEO) with keywords and best practices, including: your website pages, blog posts, and landing pages. You don’t need to be a SEO genius to do this but you should have a basic primer to make your content online friendly. Learning SEO from the Experts: A Step-by-Step Guide will give you a wealth of knowledge to start you on your way.
4. Social Media Marketing – The debate of using Facebook or Twitter for your company is long over – it an imperative part of any inbound marketing campaign. You will need to decide which channels will reach your audience best and HubSpot has a number of resources dedicated to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and others. Start your research with The Social Media Data Stack, which includes 45 charts to help you find which social media networks your customers are visiting.
6. Lead Nurturing –According to HubSpot, 50% of leads that download your content are qualified but not ready to buy, so having a lead nurturing campaign in place that continuously engages your prospects will help you convert more clients in the future. Check out An Introduction to Lead Nurturing to discover the different types of lead nurturing campaigns you can create and how to set up your first one.
7. Analytics – Whenever you conduct a marketing campaign, you must analyze your results to help you tweak and optimize it to its fullest potential – this principle is true of both traditional marketing and new strategies like inbound marketing. You can easily become overwhelmed with the amount of information and insights available, so you will want to start with An Introduction to Inbound Marketing Analytics to help you effectively analyze your results.
Keep the conversation flowing…will you be implementing an inbound marketing strategy into your 2012 business plans and how will you use it to further the marketing of your personal brand?