Inbound marketing is the method of growing your business by building meaningful, long-term relationships with your customers, prospects and consumers. The inbound methodology has three stages which are Attract, Engage and Delight. Content strategy can be used throughout these stages to convert potential leads into customers. It is an important part of your inbound marketing strategy. Your strategy should have relevant and useful content to acquire customers.
Content can be used to build authority and rank on topics that resonate with your prospects. This content can send potential leads to your website. These leads can further be nurtured with content like blogs, ebooks or emails to engage them. Using personalized content can help you build trust and eventually close the sale. It is all about sending the right message to the right people at the right time.
What type of content you can use for your inbound methodology depends on your business and how you would like to connect with your customers. It can be confusing to figure out which content will best suit your business. It is important to analyze your goals and buyer personas to understand what works for you.
Let’s discuss some content types that can make it easier for you to figure out which type of content is best for your organization. You can use some or all of them depending on your needs.
Social Media Content
Social media content is universal and can be suitable for any type of business. Businesses can find most of their prospects on various social media channels. You can choose which platform has the majority of your prospects in order to connect with them. There are many opportunities when it comes to social media. You can share blogs, write Tweets, create videos, images and stories to get your message across.
Social listening is also an important part of the process especially in the Delight stage. You can see what your customers are commenting about your products or services. It can also help you assess what their needs are to better engage with them.
Tip: Check out the insights provided by the social media platform to analyze how your audience is engaging with you. Also, it can help you find out which content is most liked by your audience.
Writing blogs is a great way to answer your prospect’s pressing questions. It can help educate them on various topics and spark their interest in your brand. When you build up blog content your prospects view you as a knowledgeable source in your respective field. Blogs can help your business build credibility and trust.
Through blogs you can provide solutions to various problems your audience might be facing, provide information, give advice or share expert opinions. Whatever topic you choose to write on, just remember that it should resonate with your ideal customers. Blogs are a good way to retain the traffic coming to your website and further engaging them.
Tip: Make sure to use focus keywords throughout your blog content to optimize it and improve your ranking.
It is important to include visuals along with text. Not all visuals can tell a story, but infographics will. Infographics are a creative way to visualize different pieces of information, statistics, and facts. It can help present your information in a clear way and keep your audience’s attention. Infographics are a great tool to make difficult topics easy to grasp.
Tip: While creating infographics you will have to give equal attention to the design elements along with the text. You don’t have to worry about creating the perfect design, just keep it simple. Use readable fonts, calming colors and a clean layout so that it's easy on the eye.
Ebooks are in-depth and long-form types of content. A writer and graphic designer can pitch in to create it. You can share the company’s story, educate on relevant topics or entertain the reader. The content should spark a reader’s attention and encourage them to download it.
Ebooks can be provided to a customer after a sale is closed or even later on to encourage more sales. It is also useful when you want to encourage sign-ups to build your email list. They also make great freebies.
Webinar is an internet seminar presented to a select web audience. It is a great way to provide information to the audience in a more personal way. It gives an impression that a brand is directly holding conversation with their audience. You can provide tips and insights on relevant topics. Webinars focused on educating their audience is a great way to build trust and confidence in your brand. Moreover, webinar registrations can help you get your prospect’s information.
Emails make it easier for you to reach the customers instantly on their smart devices. Working professionals always have emails at their fingertips and frequently check their inbox throughout the day. Email should incorporate a very personal tone in order to engage the customers. Like using your customer’s name can add a personal touch to your message. You can target customers throughout their buyer journey. Create email campaigns based on the stages where your audience is at in this journey.
Tip: Make the Subject Line and Preview Text in the email interesting enough to encourage the customer to open and view it.
FAQ’s are helpful text documents on your website that provide your audience with information. Concise and informative pieces of text can spark the readers interest and answer their questions. It is more important for many businesses. For example, e-commerce businesses with FAQ’s on return policies, account set-ups etc. It all depends on your business type. However, this is the most sought-after page on a website.
Videos have the potential to grab the attention of your audience even more than still photos. You can include snippets of videos on your website, blogs and emails. You can create videos for various social media platforms. It can be useful to get any message across in various interesting ways like animation. You can create short videos to give your viewers a little glimpse of your brand or products.
If you want to stay in touch with your audience periodically then you can use newsletters. Newsletters are like magazines but with shorter documents to keep your audience interested and informed. They provide information on various upcoming events in the organization in addition to other helpful information. It enables you to nurture important customers and retain them.
Whitepaper is an authoritative and in-depth report on a topic that presents a problem and gives a solution. Whitepapers are aimed toward educating the audience on a particular subject, or promote a certain methodology. If you want to write something quick to connect with your prospects then whitepaper is not the solution. Blogs and ebooks can take anywhere between a few hours to a few weeks, whereas a well-written whitepaper can take upto few weeks to few months. It is much more serious in tone.
Whitepapers are a great way to encourage email lists sign-ups. They also form great piller pieces for your website and can also be downloaded by your prospects.
Content is vital for inbound marketing methodology. With digital platforms there are numerous forms of content you can use to connect with your prospects. As discussed above, you can analyze and adapt whichever content is useful for your business model. Creating fresh, authentic and useful content forms a foundation for a successful inbound marketing strategy.
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