(This post starts with the blog post: The 15 Minute Guide to an Inbound Marketing Strategy (part I): Information Architecture and SEO tips)
Now that you have a solid structure and awesome content on it, you must do everything to maximize its reach and get the most of it. The easiest and common way to start is to promote your content on social media.
4. Keep Traction and Growth to Leverage your Content.
Managing your social media presence translates into the development of relations with influential people in your industry, to curate content, and discreetly spread links to your own content in the process. While you can automate most of the work when it comes to social media, you cannot automate the creation of relationships.
With that in mind, you should start by improving yours and your brand’s/company’s first impression.
What exactly are we talking about?
- If there is a field to fill on any of your Social Media Profiles, you should fill it;
- Have a recent and impactful professional photo image on your profile;
- Place a CTA (Call-To-Action – Like a signup form for your newsletter) whenever it is possible;
- Participate or even create your own Facebook and LinkedIn groups, engaging in real conversations (Please, don’t be a spammer);
- Bet on LinkedIn (since it is a professional network) and explore tools like LinkedIn Answers and LinkedIn Pulse;
- Participate on Twitter Chats (Hootsuite or TweetDeck might help you on that) and try to target some problems with a solution that a piece of your content might answer (By the way, if you get by a problem and you don’t have the content to answer, there is your chance to produce even more great and targeted content);
- In order to maximize your Pinterest profile and drive traffic to your website, you need to make sure that all the pins that come from images on your website include a brief summary of what the pin and/or article is about;
- In Video networks, never forget to optimize the Video Description Box or even include a transcription of the video;
- To really take advantage of video, include a brief call-to-action at the beginning, along with your website’s URL, include call-to-action Overlays along the video, and in the end, don’t forget to include another, telling viewers to subscribe or know more;
- And of course, never forget to link your website wherever it makes sense, whether it is on a specific section (a field for the website URL or Products), or in portions of text that support links (which is the case of the Twitter profile description).
Besides Social Media, but still in digital channels, you can do some more actions, in order to spread the word about your content and your business. These can include:
- Creating Contests and Giveaways, whether alone or with some kind of partnership/sponsorship;
- Guest Blogging, whether you publish on another website, or you let others share content on yours;
- Writing an eBook and sell it to establish yourself as an authority, or give it away for free, can turn you into a lead magnet;
- Hosting or participating in webinars or online workshops;
- Interviewing industry leaders, allowing you to build content around the interviews (text, video, papers, and so on) and reaching out to their audience;
- Repurposing your own content, by transforming a video into a written article, improving or updating an article you have written a few time ago, or even turn a written article into a presentation, a checklist or an infographic.
And finally, if you are thinking “Inbound” you should always remember offline. You see, everything you do, builds up reputation, and reputation is not 100% online. For that reason, you should always focus your efforts in building up your reputation through a solid image transmission in an omnichannel approach. If you focus all your efforts exclusively online, I’m sorry, but you will probably not make it too far.
You can better work your offline presence and communication by:
- Working on a Public Relations Strategy, so media can talk about you;
- Attending and Participating in Events, and always have in hand your business cards ready, with your website URL included;
- Proposing yourself as a speaker, or organizing your own events (and don’t forget to place your website URL on the deck);
- Recording your speaking presentations, and uploading them as Video or even Audio, to get more traction from the same content;
- Besides Business Cards, you can offer merchandising, so people can spread the word for you. These can include branded t-shirts, posters or even postcards, mugs, pens or other kind of stationery, the typical branded calendar, or the funnier keychains or door/fridge magnets, all of them with your URL.
Every communication effort that you do, must ring a bell on “email” if you are willing to go with a complete inbound marketing strategy. What does this mean? Means that you must focus first on traffic acquisition, and after that, you must maximize that traffic acquisition effort by getting the user’s email. Ideally you will enrich these email addresses with profile data to develop a high segmentation methodology, for correct segmentation and targeting as many interested contacts as you can.
An opt-in list – the only kind you should have – is something that takes time to build. However, it allows you to reach previous and potential customers, or people with some kind of interest in your business.
You need to nurture it and grow it over time. How can you do this?
- Placing a sticky bar on the top of the website, like Hello Bar;
- With a permanent subscription box at the end of every blog post you write (before the comments area or on top of the footer, for example);
- Displaying an intelligent modal window or fly-in (the so-called popup that is not actually a popup) that can be triggered either by exit intent technology, when the user reaches near the end of the content, or after a certain navigation behaviour;
- Building landing pages or boxes with access to offers (like a coupon, some samples, a tour, a free consultation, a free how-to guide or how-to video, an eBook, or even an awesome infographic) after subscription;
- With a widgetized subscription banner/box that floats on the sidebar;
- Launching a survey that offers the results on subscription;
- Or just using a plain simple (but clearly visible) newsletter subscription field anywhere on your website.
But don’t think the only way to gather subscribers is through your website. Once again, since you’re getting hands-on with Inbound Marketing, try to get the whole picture, with things like:
- Including a link to your newsletter sign up form in your email signature;
- Creating a tab on your Facebook page and including an email sign up form;
- If you have an ecommerce store, ask customers at the end of their online shopping experience to sign up for your newsletter, in case they have not yet subscribed;
- If you have a retail store, a restaurant, or any other services based store/office, create mechanics for newsletter subscription next to every register or table you have;
- Joining or partnering with a chamber of commerce, or any other commercial partner, and emailing their member list (if it’s opt-in) about your services, including a link to sign up for your newsletter;
- If you exhibit at an event, try to get users to sign up, using a computer or a tablet.
As you might noticed, we can almost say that your imagination is your limit. As long as you respect your users and the legislation, your technical capabilities, and your platforms scalability (because growing also costs money) you can almost use any tactic possible, in order to have a well prepared website, produce great content, grow your traffic and visibility, and consequently, grow your email database. This Inbound Marketing approach will allow you to grow sustainably while measuring your efforts. And if you consequently do your research, the only way is up. Good luck!
This article was written by Daniel Pereira – Entrepreneur in the field of Digital Strategy and Search Engine Optimization, founded and manages MindSEO.com – Where besides being Executive Director, he develops as a consultant in Strategic Marketing, with greater focus on aspects of Inbound Marketing and SEO. He is also a Google Trainer, Google Search Console Beta Tester, as well as Tester for the new AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages. Previously, he was the Executive Director of APPM (The Portuguese Marketing Association) from 2013-2014, and before that, he managed projects on Software Development and Network Infrastructures, for almost 10 years.