The Marion Blog

March 14, 2017 | By: Sandra Bledsoe

The Inbound Marketing Methodology Series: No.1 – Attract

The Inbound Marketing Methodology Series: No.1 – Attract

As a business owner or marketer, you know you must tap a number of resources, implore several strategies, and take advantage of many tools to attract your target audience to your brand and convince them to become customers.

Online marketing became a core consideration in every marketing plan beginning in the mid-2000s and has continued to grow in importance every year.  In that time, marketers have learned much about the methodologies used to attract and convert customers successfully.

One tried-and-true methodology that has countless small, medium and enterprise businesses have successfully utilized is known as the inbound marketing methodology.

What is Inbound Marketing?

The term “inbound marketing” was coined by HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan.  It refers to the idea that you are marketing in a way in which you are bringing customers to you versus pushing your product or services out to them.

It’s is built on the premise that you create something of value for potential customers, build a relationship with them, and use permission marketing techniques to convert them into paying customers.

The inbound methodology promotes a 5-stage life cycle in which strangers convert into, not only customers but your brand promoters over time.

There are four levels of strategy in the methodology – Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.  Each deal specifically with moving an individual from one lifecycle stage to the next.

Inbound Methodology

In this post, we are going to address the three core tools used in the all-important “Attract” strategy and how you can implement them to increase the traffic to your website.

What Makes Inbound Marketing Attract Visitors?

Essentially, the key to attracting visitors to your site is to offer them something of value or to engage with them in a way that encourages them to visit your site, or “attracts” them to your site.

Attracting strangers to your site can be done through a number of means such as blog posts, social media, paid search advertising, and videos.  The bottom line is that all content created and designed for inbound marketing should provide value to your target audience.

You can provide value by creating content that serves to answer a customer’s questions, describes the benefits of a product or service, provides helpful instruction, or otherwise engages the customer.

Inbound Marketing with Keyword Targeting

Generating traffic, in and of itself will hold no value for your business. Ideally, you want to attract customers in your target market, those who are most inclined to purchase your products or services.

To attract the right people, you need to identify the keywords and key phrases most likely to be used by your target audience in conjunction with your product or service.

Start by imagining what your target market will be searching for when they seek information about those products or services on a search engine.

Some keywords will be obvious, but the problem is they will be obvious to competitors, who are probably also using them. You need to think of alternatives and other niche keywords that will still be a likely search query and, hopefully, something your competitors haven’t yet thought of.

But even if they have, you can still maintain your edge by using keywords better and smarter, through a variety of inbound marketing techniques.

Keep in mind, your customer may not even know that your product or service exists.  Try focusing on identifying common questions that may lead an induvial to the realization that your product or service solves a problem that they have.

If you are struggling with your keyword research, or whether keyword research is even important for your online marketing, have a look at our recent post, Do Keywords Still Matter?

Inbound Marketing with Your Blog

Once you know what keywords might work best, you can develop content that’s informative, interesting and beneficial to the consumer. Start with blog posts, but don’t limit yourself to just a blog. These are some ideas for you to consider when developing inbound marketing content:

  • Blog posts showcasing new products or describing services
  • Blog posts discussing industry information or product development
  • Blog posts answering questions consumers in your target might have
  • How-to instructional posts
  • How-to videos, or videos showcasing products in action
  • Webinars
  • E-books
  • Slideshare presentations
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics

You can usually easily repurpose one piece of content to encompass many of the above ideas.

Creating the necessary content to attract your visitors effectively is one of the most time consuming and difficult strategies in inbound marketing.  If you are struggling to create your content, consider enlisting a professional copywriter or content marketing service.

Inbound Marketing with your Social Media

You may have noticed by now, that it’s called a methodology for a reason.  Inbound marketing takes a very methodical approach to converting from strangers into promoters.

We’ve discussed how you should approach establishing targeted keywords and how to create valuable content around those keywords.  The next step is to get that content out in front of your target audience.

One of the most effective ways to get your content seen by as many eyes as possible is to promote everything you create across various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Additionally, your blog should have a subscribe feature, and you should take full advantage of this permission to share as much content with subscribers as possible.

The Take-Away

Attracting visitors to your site is the very first, and possibly most important step in converting strangers into your brand promoters, but it’s often easier said than done.

Planning your inbound marketing campaign doesn’t have to be overly difficult, but it isn’t something you can quickly put together either. Executing a truly successful inbound marketing strategy will require you to invest, whether with your time, energy, or capital in your online marketing.

The long game is the best game to play in online marketing, and if you stick with your inbound strategy, you will be glad that you did.

If you don’t have a dedicated marketing and creative team at your disposal, you might consider retaining the services of a professional digital advertising, web design and SEO company to develop a customized campaign that best suits your needs and helps you achieve your marketing goals.

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About Sandra Bledsoe

Sandra is a Content Developer and Internet Marketing Manager for Marion Integrated Marketing in Houston. When she’s not working, Sandra is a nerd who’s a fangirl of the requisite nerdy television shows (especially Star Trek and Firefly). She also enjoys watching classic movies, reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, and writing fan fiction.