Here, kitty kitty
Inbound marketing. Sweetly luring the customer to you, instead of the often annoying, ambulance-chasing schemes of outbound marketing. SPAM, cold calling, interruptive ads—goodbye. Attracting leads instead of chasing them: this is customer-centric advertising, and it’s the goal of inbound marketing.
But before you start, do your research. Know exactly who you’re targeting. Create a “buyer persona” and work backwards. Using hard data, study your target audience—you know, those leads you want to convert. What are their buying patterns, motivations, behaviors, what are their demographics? Study your audience. Know where they are, and what they do. Only then will you know how to best convert them.
And ask yourself, if you were in their shoes, what are the salient benefits of your service or product that would motivate you to be in touch? These are the questions that your research must answer before you start your inbound marketing efforts.
Choose your stage
Understand which platforms are the best fit for your campaign. Social media, like Instagram and Facebook? LinkedIn and Google, the kings of B2B search and social? Video marketing like YouTube? Q&A like Quora? They all have unique value.
You must take the time to find out the best platform for your campaign, and the best platform is determined by understanding your target(s) and where they “live.” Are you running a B2B campaign? Are you after millennials? The success is in the fit.
Matchy matchy! pair ads to platforms
Like dating, ads and platforms must be a match! You need to decide on the right ad type for each platform. But when it comes to inbound marketing, you don’t have to kiss a lot of toads before you find your prince. Take the fast (smart) track by first analyzing the data, then setting the date. Don’t take shortcuts here. Do your research.
Which ads perform best on the platform you’ve chosen to use? If it’s a B2B platform, create content accordingly. Is it a desktop-only platform, mobile-friendly, or both? Study ad performance on the platform you’ve selected, before you start.
Target, aim, write
Content, content, content. Quality content is the name of the game. But remember that buyer’s persona? Yes, that again. Only once you have a firm grasp of your target audience, warts and all, can you effectively target your leads.
When that’s under your belt, and you’ve truly understood your target, then write your ads. Create content accordingly, and contextualize! Make it as relevant as possible for your target audience.
Measure, with a measure
Measure what matters. Be smart about your analytics. Click metrics aren’t as informative as conversion metrics, so understand the difference. Conversion metrics are what you should study in order to understand campaign effectiveness.
And when evaluating the success of campaigns, measure with measure. Focus on what happens with an ad. Be conversion focused, and look at the actions that ads drive.
Track, adjust, optimize
Track and optimize your inbound marketing campaigns. Test your ads, and do more of what’s working and less of what’s not. You must know how many leads an ad generates. A/B testing is a great tool here. With A/B testing you can study ad and keyword performance, and see which ones are driving more conversions. Build on successes by optimizing ads and increasing the budget for those ads that are working, and pause ads that are ineffective.
With these methods you can get the most out of your marketing efforts. Sure, easier said than done, hands-down. But with the right tools, applied the right way, you’re off to a really great start.