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Are you concerned your company isn’t getting found by prospects? Is your website not delivering enough leads? Do you want to improve your company’s ability to appear in search rankings? Do you want a behaviorally based lead nurturing process?
According to HubSpot, 1/3 of leads generated in 2013 are coming from inbound and content marketing. Inbound marketing is based on a number of online marketing techniques. The goal of inbound marketing is to create quality, keyword-rich content that generates traffic and directs prospects to a website, and ultimately delivers leads. Ultimately it will yield traffic and influence keyword page rankings in search engines such as Google.
Content marketing is predicated on the principles of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing helps you get found when prospects are thinking about your business or related content. Inbound marketing is based on a number of online marketing techniques, including content marketing, search and social media. The foundation of inbound marketing is to create quality, keyword-rich content that generates traffic and prospects to a website, ultimately, delivering leads.
Here are 5 steps to getting started with a content marketing strategy and begin taking advantage of the benefits of inbound marketing.
1. Determine the primary goal for content marketing.
I know what you are thinking: “We need everything to work as hard as possible and meet several objectives.” In a study we recently conducted, marketers said their number-one challenge is “too many priorities and not enough resources.” But everything in marketing communications works better with focus.
One of the first steps is to determine what the primary goal for content marketing is, and therefore where you should focus efforts. Content marketing can be an effective lead generation technique and has the ability to ensure your company can get found when prospects are in the right mind-set. Here are a handful of goals to consider:
• Generate web traffic
• Convert web visitors to leads
• Move unqualified leads to a sales-ready state
• Gather valuable information for lead nurturing as well as marketing and sales follow-up
• Provide a vehicle to package thought leadership content that can be leveraged for sales presentations, conferences and other purposes
Setting a clear objective is essential to determining a focus for content marketing and the first step in the process.
2. Set a content strategy based on keyword analytics.
Analyze current web content to determine what users are interested in and then build a keyword tree to determine related keywords that can help generate traffic. If you don’t have access to a keyword analytics tool that gauges which keywords should be prioritized for content development, you probably need to find a partner that can help.
Determining topics to focus on isn’t as simple as determining what content you have on hand. A more analytical process typically will result in a more effective approach. Factors for setting a content strategy include monthly search volume for a keyword, difficulty to rank against keywords and accessibility of content development for those keywords. This is where art meets science.
Once the keywords are determined, the goal is to begin building meaningful content around those specific words. Content can be in the form of blog articles, videos, polls, web pages, infographics, ebooks and white papers. It’s important to ensure content has appropriate calls-to-action infused throughout it.
3. Determine how you can tie your content marketing to support social media efforts.
Many marketers are constantly looking for topics to message in social media. Leveraging content in social media can transform these efforts into customer versus company-centric communications. Additionally, integrating social media and search engine marketing can help extend reach and build more visibility for the inbound marketing efforts. Utilizing content marketing in social media marketing activities also transforms these activities into lead generation techniques.
4. Determine key interaction points where content marketing strategies can be grounded in actual prospect behavior.
As the process unfolds, analytics are leveraged to determine the most appropriate follow-up for leads. This behavior-based approach creates a lead pipeline that is tailored and relevant based on individual engagement. Applying behavior to ongoing communications can increase the effectiveness of this lead generation technique.
5. Get an inbound marketing assessment.
It’s important to realize that content marketing is becoming a competitive arena. You need to ensure you are putting all the best practices in place or your content marketing effort might fall short. Get a free assessment. Jacobs & Clevenger offers companies a free inbound marketing assessment (shameless plug). These sessions cover key stats demonstrating why so many marketers are adopting a content marketing strategy, plus we’ll work with you to:
• Audit your current content marketing and inbound marketing activities
• Quantify objectives for lead generation, lead nurturing and conversions
• Determine how content marketing can support and integrate with your sales activities
• Discuss keyword analytics that can drive your inbound marketing strategy
• Determine integration points for inbound and outbound marketing
One of the best aspects of inbound marketing is that you gain real-time learnings. As prospects engage with content, these learnings are applied to help generate meaningful and tailored follow-up interactions.
Inbound marketing is a proven winning approach for driving traffic and a viable lead generation technique. According to HubSpot, companies that blog 20 times per month get five times more traffic than those that blog less than four times per month. Our most recent experience actually generated an increase of inbound visits to a website 10-fold within 90 days. And with an aggressive commitment, a marketer can start to see results in 90 days from utilizing this lead generation technique.
Topics: Inbound Marketing