People are drawn to a product or service through the use of informative, entertaining and value-added content available to them online.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) January 28, 2014
“Inbound marketing, which has steadily grown in popularity and effectiveness over the past ten years, focuses instead of pulling prospective customers, rather than interrupting them,” says Jeremy Durant, business principal at Bop Design, a San Diego web design agency. “People are drawn to a product or service through the use of informative, entertaining and value-added content available to them online.”
This method instantly pre-qualifies leads who are more responsive to a specific marketing message and more inclined to take the next step in the purchasing process. As a result, inbound marketing is almost always less expensive than traditional methods (no need to purchase ads, rent booths at trade shows, etc.). It does a better job of targeting a desired audience, since potential customers have already demonstrated an interest in the content provided to them. It also generates greater inbound traffic to a business website—representing visitors who can be captured, converted and sold to over a shorter period of time.
At its core, inbound marketing (also called “content marketing”) consists of three key elements:
Content – Keyword-rich information or resources that serve as the “gateway” for attracting potential customers to a website’s landing page
Search engine optimization – The process of building a website and using inbound links to boost a business’s ranking in search engines, where the buying process usually begins for most people
Social media – The ever-growing platform with which a business distributes content and offers it up for networks to share
So what types of content are most effective in drawing would-be customers to a business website?
“Perhaps the easiest, and least expensive option is creating a blog aimed at your customers, then populating that blog with useful content,” Durant notes. “A business blog that offers valuable insights and solutions will gradually emerge as a thought-leader, drawing an ever-greater audience.”
Blog posts should include a call-to-action that carries visitors further along the sales funnel, by for example, asking them to exchange their contact information for more great content (a free white paper, case study, etc.). And blog posts are easily shared among social media platforms as well.
Other effective types of content include:
- Q&As with industry leaders and influencers
“Whatever type of content you choose to provide, the underlying strategy should be a relentless focus on both the pain your target audience experiences and the solutions your product or service provides to address that pain,” Durant advises. “Build a list of keywords that fall into ‘pain’ and ‘solution’ categories and then organically incorporate them into your content.”
Use of these “long-tail keywords” addresses the need for effective SEO (the second core element of inbound marketing). The more times people click on the page, the greater impact this has on various search engines. As a particular link rises in the rankings, it becomes one of the first things potential customers see when they begin their initial search.
“Your business’s search engine ranking also benefits from interest shown in social media,” Durant says. “That’s why it’s a good idea to dedicate resources to promoting blog posts, new articles and other content marketing offers across all channels. This generates greater interest and a potentially large and loyal following.”
Inbound marketing represents a dramatic advance over traditional marketing techniques and should be an integral tool in every business’s sales and marketing strategy.
Bop Design is a San Diego web design and development agency with offices also in Orange County, CA and the New York metro area. Specializing in B2B marketing, Bop Design creates holistic marketing plans geared toward lead generation and business development. Bop Design offers services in branding, logo design, website design and development, responsive web design, SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing. http://www.bopdesign.com