The following is a guest post by Freya Kuka. Freya is the founder of the personal finance blog CollectingCents that teaches readers how to grow their passive income, save money, improve their credit score, and manage debt. She has been featured in publications like Business Insider, Fox Business, the Huffington Post, and GoBankingRates.
As the popularity of inbound marketing continues to increase and outbound marketing techniques are left in the dust, more companies are keen on learning more about what it takes to increase their conversion rates.
On average, inbound marketing produces 72% more leads than traditional outbound practices. The idea behind inbound marketing is simple- attract, engage, and delight. It is a three-step process that businesses spend months trying to master down to a science.
Most companies fail to create a clear inbound marketing strategy for themselves. This might be due to the wrong marketing methods or a lack of understanding of what inbound marketing is all about.
Here are a few inbound marketing strategies that are imperative to any business’ growth-
#1 Offering A Free Tool
A lot of companies have reaped the benefits of following the ‘Give Before You Ask’ approach. Offering a free tool, giving away valuable information, or offering a free subscription option can be scary for a business because there is a maddening worry that people will not invest in your paid products if you have a free option up for grabs.
As understandable as that worry is, it has been proven to be false numerous times. CoSchedule, for example, offers a free headline tool that is probably the most popular in the market at this point. It has only brought in more interest for their main product, a work management software.
Similarly, a service like FindThatLead offers 50 credits as part of their free monthly plan. This gives users a chance to test run their amazing lead generation software without having to spend any money or even use their credit card.
While they may lose a small number of customers that need only 50 credits every month, they are more likely to nab those big-ticket customers that need a large number of credits for bigger outreach campaigns.
It is easy and understandable to get a bit scared when offering a valuable product for free but once you take the leap, what lies ahead of you is business growth.
However, if you do not want to offer an entire tool for free, you could consider offering your customers a free 15-day trial like 3dcart, an ecommerce software, does. This is a good way to give them a taste of what you have to offer as a brand.
This idea would work particularly well for software based services that might not have the ability to create a whole new tool that they can offer for free.
#2 Powerful Video Creation
Video content is superior to text-based content in almost every way- it allows users to digest information faster, it is more entertaining, and most importantly for marketers- it has a higher ROI.
54% of all consumers surveyed want to see more video content from a brand or business they support and eight out of ten people have purchased a piece of software or an app after watching a company’s video.
Creating good video content is the closest you can get to meeting your customers virtually. It is a way to show them the people behind the product, better illustrate what your service or company can offer, and engage with your customers in a way text-based content simply cannot.
It also fits in very well with an omnichannel approach. This approach focuses on creating a seamless experience for your customers across platforms and includes repurposing content on different platforms.
This means stretching your resources as far as possible by utilizing the same blog content you have to possibly make a great video for social media or create a podcast.
For your brand to truly succeed in the competitive and ever expanding place we call the internet, you need to give the people what they want and what they can digest with ease. That’s video content.
#3 Guest Posting
Guest posting not only allows you to reach a new audience, but it is also a valuable growth tool for your business. You can build valuable backlinks towards your blog and get a new set of eyes on your content.
It acts as stage one in the inbound marketing process (attract). If you create an amazing guest post with a subtle but relevant mention of your product within it, there is a good chance you will get a few readers to visit your website and take a look at your service (engage).
This might just lead to them considering purchasing it (desire). Adam Enfroy attributes the growth of his blog to a solid guest posting strategy among other good SEO decisions.
#4 Launch an Email Course
An email course works in the same way a free tool does- it gives your prospects a chance to figure out whether your services/ products are what they are looking for. Mike from Stupid Simple SEO has an amazing six-part video training that is jam-packed full of amazing SEO information. He sends this over as an email course whenever someone adds themselves to his email list.
The course is so good that some have said it gives paid courses a run for their money. If someone is impressed by his free training, they can choose to invest money in his paid course. Mike’s paid course would not garner half the attention it does if he did not have some solid proof backing his SEO abilities.
Giving away a free email course also allows you to benefit from some email list building since a good email course works as an amazing lead magnet. If you are interested in creating one of your own, you could use a free email campaign software like the one from sendinblue.
Brittany and Kelan from the The Savvy Couple are another great example of an email course that successfully brings in hundreds of leads. Their online jobs article includes an opt-in for a free ‘Start Your Blog Boot Camp’ that helps subscribers start their own blog and get it off the ground.
The opt-in is relevant to the content that surrounds it and is eye-catching for any scrolling reader.
#5 Hosting Webinars
Webinars packed with valuable information are a great way to convert prospects into leads. ConvertKit, an email marketing software targeted towards bloggers, used simple webinar software to grow from $98k in monthly revenue to $625k.
Darrell Vesterfelt was the guy behind ConvertKit’s webinar growth strategy. Instead of focusing on multiple marketing strategies, he put his all into one and it paid off.
It was an affordable and easy strategy but it worked wonders. Darrell would partner up with their affiliates and host webinars that were packed with enough information to help a viewer walk away with a game plan. They succeeded because of a couple of reasons:
- They worked with every single affiliate that reached out to them no matter the size of their audience. Instead of working exclusively with more successful bloggers, they made it a point to work with everyone.
- He was putting the work in- Darrell hosted 150 webinars in his first month which means more than one a day at times.
- They allowed anyone to become an affiliate. A lot of companies ask affiliates to go fill a form which they use to approve or deny their application. Darrell believes in never saying no to a potential affiliate.
- Instead of simply pitching his product, Darrell would give away thousands of dollars in value. The webinars were full of relevant information that bloggers could put into action the moment the webinar ended without spending a penny. This built trust between viewers and the brand. Darrell was giving away free ebooks, information, and even courses as freebies at the end of every webinar- without asking for anything in return. At the end of it, people wanted to test run ConvertKit just to put his amazing tips in action mode. It also gave them a glimpse at the impeccable customer service that the company offers.
If you have a narrow audience, a software to sell, or a smaller than average marketing budget- a good webinar strategy could be what gives your sales a boost.
#6 Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a far more subtle technique than your average billboard. It is a great way to attract customers and engage with them online. Gymshark is a prime example of influencer marketing done right.
Valued at $1.3 billion according to Forbes, a large percentage of Gymshark’s success can be attributed to what the company calls its ‘Gymshark ambassadors’.
Focusing heavily on influencer marketing has also saved money in the long run since less of the overall marketing budget needs to be spent on PPC ads and the like.
Ben Francis, the founder of Gymshark, partnered up with multiple fitness influencers to spread the word. The company is pretty picky about who they work with as well. The influencer they work with has to have an engaged audience that is relevant to Gymshark. If they find an influencer that makes the cut, Gymshark will sponsor them in exchange for posts wearing the company’s active clothing or even a link to their online store within the influencer’s Instagram bio.
This marketing technique works wonders because the influencer’s followers are already interested in learning more about their lives which is why their posts have such high engagement rates. Including Gymshark clothing in a natural way leads to an increase in sales and more popularity for the brand overall.
Of Course Gymshark has active social media accounts of their own as well. They are present on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Reaching potential buyers through influencer marketing is a great way to increase brand knowledge without appearing pushy or annoying.
#7 Double Survey Technique
Starting your blog is only half the battle won. After this, you need to figure out how to get your content in front of the right people- your target audience. Here is where backlinks come in- the internet’s informal currency.
The double survey technique that was created by Kyle Byers is a great mix of two of the best content formats known to marketing gurus- original research and expert opinions. The process is simple enough- you first find a topic that does not have enough original research out there and then create an in depth survey on it.
Once you get a few hundred people to take the survey (you can use a free service like Jotform to get this done), you have your original research data. After this, you can reach out to experts in the industry and compile a list of quotes that you will include in the article.
This amazing combination of original data backed by research and expert quotes is exactly what you need to bring in some awesome backlinks which is what is going to help you rank for your target keywords as well as benefit your overall SEO strategy.
When Kyle put the double survey technique into action, he managed to nab 109 backlinks from some pretty hire DR websites and there is no reason why you cannot do the same.
Another example of how surveys and statistics are backlink magnets is the remote work statistics article prepared by the people behind GetVoip. It is full of facts, tips and relevant information regarding remote work. It has brought the website an impressive 87 backlinks.
If you choose to invest your time in this strategy, I would suggest also including an infographic to give your article an even better chance of bringing in backlinks. There is no writer out there that does not love a good infographic.
Wrapping it up
Inbound marketing strategies cost less than outbound channels do (3 out of 4 inbound channels cost less than any outbound channel) while also bringing in more leads for the company overall. No sane marketing team is missing out on these opportunities and neither should yours.