In today’s highly competitive marketplace, it’s difficult being a small business operating on a shoestring budget. Small businesses, however, have a secret weapon—inbound marketing, or using content to attract buyers.
Inbound marketing has become one of the most successful and cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses. In fact, inbound leads cost 60% less than leads generating from outbound marketing (such as paid search), according to data from the Search Engine Journal.
The benefits of inbound marketing are far reaching. Not only is the strategy cost effective, but it also helps establish thought leadership, generate high-quality leads, and build long-lasting relationships with buyers.
While inbound marketing helps deliver results that other marketing tactics simply can’t match, there’s always room for improvement. If you’re looking to get more out of your inbound marketing strategy but don’t want to spend your entire budget, consider the following:
1. Mix Up Content
Content is the driving force behind your inbound marketing strategy. It’s what initially attracts consumers and helps keep them engaged throughout the entire buying cycle. If you aren’t seeing the return on investment you initially thought you would, you might want to mix up your content to include a variety of assets like white papers, eBooks, videos, and podcasts.
In creating these assets, it’s important that you make them compelling enough that your prospects don’t think twice about filling out the lead generation form to get the information. Make sure that you have a strong call to action and the content speaks directly to your prospects’ likes, dislikes, and challenges.
2. Step Up Your SEO Effort
SEO plays a major role in your inbound marketing strategy. When consumers are searching online for a product or service, a good SEO strategy will ensure that your business shows up on the first page of search engine results. If your keywords aren’t generating traffic, then you might want to consider stepping up your efforts.
Start with reevaluating the keywords in which you’re trying to rank. Take a look at whatever analytics tool you use to figure out what keyword is generating the most traction and which ones aren’t. If certain keywords aren’t pulling their weight it could be because there’s such high competition. Try ranking for long tail keywords that have good search demand and low competition. Moz has a great beginner's guide to keyword research.
3. Leverage Data Insight
The data generated by your inbound marketing tactics can reveal important trends that can then be used to improve your strategy. Understanding what content assets are downloaded the most, for example, can give you insight into what your target audience prefers.
What’s more, identifying which tactics are generating the most leads will help you determine where you should be investing your marketing dollars as well as reveal what tactics you should eliminate.
Most small business owners are already using inbound marketing strategies without even knowing it. While effective and low cost, inbound marketing shouldn’t be your only strategy. It’s important to combine inbound and outbound marketing strategies so that you can generate a well-rounded amount of leads.