Adam Kraus | Marketing Communications | 10 minute read
The Top 25 Inbound Marketing Strategies to Dominate Any Industry
Don’t interrupt; join in. That’s inbound marketing in a nutshell.
Outbound marketing (traditional marketing) is interruption. The advertiser interrupts your drive or your show or your meal with a sales pitch. It’s billboards. Commercials. Cold calls.
Inbound marketing is joining the conversation. An unsuspecting lead is looking for information or a solution, and you provide it. This plants seeds of positive feelings about your brand, which you water with more useful content, until that lead becomes a customer.
It might sound like a pipe dream, but inbound marketing is 10x more effective at converting leads than outbound marketing.
It’s worth doing, which means it’s worth doing well. So here are 25 inbound marketing strategies that will work in your industry.
1. Know Your Goals
Before you start generating incredible content and drowning in leads, you need to set clear measurable goals. Put hard numbers to the needles you want to move.
2. Know Your Brand
Inbound marketing lives on strong branding. Make sure your voice and visual style are clear and consistent, so that you can build recognition and trust every time an audience member encounters your content
3. Know Your Audience
The better you know your audience, the better you can engage with them. Consider building personas, complete with likes/dislikes, demographics, behaviors, and pain points. Draw on data like social insights, sales numbers, analytics, interviews, and surveys.
4. Know Your Funnel
Once you have your personas, chart out what path(s) they may take through your sales or customer life cycle. This helps you identify when, where, and how to address specific pain points.
5. Know Your SEO Keywords
Potent SEO is crucial to bringing users to your content, so do your keyword research. identify the terms your audiences are searching online, and then optimize your content accordingly. It’s worth the grunt work.
6. Research Your Competition
See how they’re engaging audiences, and then do it better!
7. Blog. A Lot.
Short-form blogs should run between 500 and 1000 words. This length allows you to create content quickly, which means it can be timely. Report on the latest industry news. Highlight new problems, solutions, and insights. The higher the volume of these short-form blogs, the better.
8. Go Deep with Long-Form Articles
Where the superpower of short-form blogs is timeliness, the secret to great long-form articles is timelessness. The most effective long-form articles are evergreen, meaning they’re as relevant to your audience today as they will be in six months. These articles should run 2,000+ words and should be chock-full of data and high-value information.
Long-form articles take more work to produce, but they’re well worth it; people read, link, and share long-form blogs 153% more than shorter content. Valuable long-form blogs rank higher on Google search, and they establish you as an expert in your audience’s eyes.
9. Guest Star on Other Sites
Sites relevant to your industry are always hungry for more solid content. Identify those sites, get a handle on the kind of articles they publish, and reach out with one of your own they might like. It’s an extremely effective way to find new audience members. What’s more, others linking back to your content will help boost your SEO. Win win.
10. Make Information Beautiful
Infographics allow you to make complex information appealing. Don’t skimp on design—well-crafted infographics increase leads and are shared at three times the rate of other content.
11. Lights, Camera, Content
As effective as great blogs and articles can be, it’s no secret that video is king. In fact, video accounts for 85% of search traffic. What’s more, over half of executives prefer watching a video to reading text. If you aren’t engaging users on this level, you are most likely leaving money on the table.
If video content is new to you, don’t let it intimidate you. Show your expertise, use subtle calls to action, and watch your engagement and website visits increase.
12. Get in Their Ears
Podcast listenership is at an all time high, and it’s still growing. Producing a podcast is remarkably simple, especially considering the impact it can have on your brand and your reach. Discuss your industry. Present solutions to common pain points. Interview other experts in your field. Just make sure to stick to a publishing cadence, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly.
Don’t let this list of content ideas overwhelm you. All these content formats can feed each other. A long-form article can easily be turned into a video script. A podcast episode can be transcribed and edited into an article. Recycle your insights across formats to maximize your returns on that investment.
14. Sponsor Influencer Content
As you create your own content, you can also partner with influencers in your industry. This not only outsources content creation, it also expands your reach, getting your products and services in front of the influencer’s established audiences. Find influencers with ties to your industry, and make sure to specify which pain points you want the sponsored content to address.
15. Use Inbound Paid Search Ads
Creating engaging and useful content for your audiences is half the battle. The other half is helping them find that content. Paid search ads help you show up in relevant web searches. Just make sure your ads focus on valuable information, not sales pitches.
16. Remind by Remarketing
Once an audience member has visited your blog, video, or website, the right remarketing ads will follow them around the internet (in a good way). As they browse other sites, these ads will appear to remind them of your content or provide additional content they might find useful, gradually moving them toward becoming a bona fide customer.
17. Stick the Landing
Landing pages are where audience members go if they’ve clicked on your ad or link. One that’s effective will be on topic, clear of clutter, and light on salesmanship. Remember that this isn’t a hard sell; it’s the start of a relationship.
18. Don’t Waste those Site Visits
On every page on your site, include a compelling invitation to sign up for your email list. More great tips and tricks, exclusive access to new content—make the visitor want those emails for the same reason they came to that page in the first place.
19. Infiltrate those Inboxes
Email automation can increase qualified leads by 451%. So don’t neglect that growing email list. Nurture those relationships with a steady drip of personalized emails.
Wondering what to make these emails about? This is where that bank of content comes in handy once again! Condense blogs into emails. Tease an article or video and invite the reader to click through for the full piece. Each email should have an eye-catching subject line. Each should be loaded with useful content, and each should be tailored to move that reader further toward becoming a customer.
20. Share Links on Facebook and LinkedIn
On Facebook and LinkedIn, users can click or tap a link you share and go right to your content. Users can also watch full videos without leaving the app or site. These are great places, then, for sharing links to your blogs, articles, infographics, videos, and podcasts.
21. Share Samples On Instagram
Unless you’re running paid ads, links in your Instagram posts will not be clickable by users. Focus on sharing short clips from your videos and podcasts, infographics, and quotes from your blogs and articles. (Consider experimenting with Instagram Stories, which are viewed by 500 Million people every day.)
22. Make it Snappy on Snapchat
23. Keep It Tight on Twitter
In some ways, Twitter occupies a middle ground between Facebook and Instagram. Links are clickable, while the platform still favors short content. If you share video, keep it under 15 seconds. If you post images, keep them light on text. Keep your content concise, conversational, and useful.
24. Be the Answer on Quora
A platform designed for questions and answers, Quora is well suited for inbound marketing. Easily provide answers asked by potential audience members, establishing yourself as a trusted authority. What’s more, Quora posts often appear in Google Featured Snippets at the top of organic search results.
25. Get Read on Reddit
Reddit is where the Internet goes to talk shop. It sports 330 million active monthly users, all organized into subject-specific communities called subreddits. Join a subreddit relevant to your industry and reguarly provide useful content, and watch new leads flow your way.
Bonus Tip: Trust the Process
Inbound marketing results don’t happen overnight. It takes work, but it also works. Take the time to listen to your customers’ needs. Address pain points and build trust in your brand. Before you know it, you’ll write articles about your successful inbound marketing, which ranks high on Google and draws in more leads, who become customers and then brand advocates who draw in more leads, which… you get the idea.
If you’d like more help, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to talk shop and see how we can support your efforts.
As the director of digital marketing at Imaginasium, Adam brings our team a broad skill set in digital, social and traditional marketing. His deep understanding of integrated marketing gives him a valuable perspective on the role digital and social channels can play most effectively as part of a larger plan. He stays on top of the trends, but he doesn’t let trends dictate strategy—it’s all about what makes the most sense for a client’s specific needs.