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The 5 Pillars of Effective Inbound Marketing (and How an Inbound Marketing Agency Can Help)

effective inbound marketing

Effective inbound marketing is all about gaining visibility that allows you to draw in and maintain relationships with new visitors, leads, and customers. In order to stand out from the crowd, your inbound marketing plan must include content that organically speaks to your customers about their wants and needs. It must offer solutions to prospect’s problems the moment they begin looking for answers.

Effective Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is far less intrusive than traditional forms of outbound marketing. It allows you to build credibility with prospective customers and establish a trusting relationship. If you were partnered with an inbound marketing agency, one of the most obvious characteristics you would notice is the methodical approach to marketing. Rather than blasting your audience with a constant barrage of advertisements and marketing materials, effective inbound marketing seeks to help prospective customers overcome problems without interfering or imposing.

An effective inbound marketing strategy rests on these five pillars:

1. Content strategy

2. Search engine optimization

3. Social media marketing

4. Email marketing

5. Marketing automation

1. Content Strategy

An effective inbound marketing plan must include outstanding content that is written to educate and relate to your readers. Your content strategy should define your target audience, anticipate their needs and what problems they need solved, and offer a list of topics that will provide clear benefits to your customers. This it is the time to create outstanding blog posts, videos, eBooks and other materials that are not centered around sales, but rather offer value to your prospects.

A good inbound marketing agency will always recommend that you document your content marketing strategy. This provides a variety of benefits that enhance the overall function and performance of effective inbound marketing.

2. Search Engine Optimization

A discussion of effective inbound marketing is never complete without a focus on search engine optimization (SEO). SEO involves focusing your content around the words, phrases, and concepts your prospective customers search for on the web. It also includes optimizing the structures of your posts so that they are easily discovered by search engines. While SEO is an important part of the inbound marketing methodology, the quality of your content should never suffer in favor of it.

Optimizing your content is the key to great SEO. A successful inbound marketing agency knows that blogs, website copy and even social media posts have an effect on your ranking. Search engines process a vast amount of content in their pursuit to match searchers with qualified content. Poorly optimized content counts as a strike against your site’s ranking.

3. Social Media Marketing

Of all the hours Americans spend on the internet, 30% of them are spent on social media. These channels allow companies to reach customers in new places and ways. There’s something for everyone when it comes to social media, and finding the right way to engage with users on each platform is key to success. To incorporate social media into your effective inbound marketing plan, make sure you’re being social. Connect on social media and relate to your customers, rather than pitching them products and services.

Inbound marketing agencies use social media to build a leadership status among competitors that speaks to target audiences and turns prospects into customers.

4. Email Marketing

Some marketers are still trying to claim that email is being pushed aside by all of the other tools out there. However, according to the Direct Marketing Association, 66% of online customers have made a purchase as a result of email marketing messages. Email is still one of the preferred ways consumers like to receive marketing information and it has a very high return on investment, leading the Harvard Business Review to declare that “Email Marketing is King”, along with a slew of other marketers and business professionals.

Some of the most effective inbound marketing strategies place an emphasis on building compelling email campaigns. In fact, most inbound marketing agencies who use email marketing tactics experience the majority of conversions through email.

5. Marketing Automation

Once the pieces of an effective inbound marketing strategy are in place, marketing automation will streamline your process of lead nurturing by simplifying repetitive tasks. This is accomplished without sacrificing the authenticity of your content by using highly organized tactics. Automation can help you deliver targeted messages to qualified leads at planned stops along your sales funnel, based on their activity and engagement with your brand.

With marketing automation, the risk of losing leads due to a poorly planned broadcast or email blast is mitigated. It also gives you better insight into what your visitors and leads are doing, such as how they are connecting with your content and responding to your emails. This allows you to identify areas of your strategy that need improvement.

Effective inbound marketing is a truly holistic approach to attracting and maintaining customers. By resting your inbound marketing strategies on these five pillars and customizing your approach to cater to the needs of your customers, your marketing goals will be both attainable and measurable.

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