You’ll use this data to create content. According to recent data, 69 percent of best-in-class marketers align their content with their marketing and sales funnel stages, while only 48 percent of other marketers do this. Understanding the customer journey and their needs is critical to making great content, but it’s not the only strategy you’ll need to draw in new customers and leads. Here’s how to make it work for you. Optimize keywords on each page To start with, you need to make sure that each piece of your content is prepared to make the best use of the traffic search engines could send to you. Launch an email course There’s another form of content you can create that will drive new customers. That strategy is to create an email course. Start an influencer marketing campaign One of the most effective strategies for building up your inbound marketing is getting other influencers to market for you. Find and target relevant authorities First and most importantly, you need to make sure you’re appealing to the right influencers. Once you have the traffic, work to convert those visitors with free content and influencer marketing that drives leads.
Are you ready to skyrocket the success of your startup?
If so, you need to focus your efforts on inbound marketing.
Instead of broadcasting to the customer, like traditional outbound marketing does, inbound marketing focuses on creating reasons for the customer to come to you.
According to HubSpot, which coined the term “inbound marketing” back in 2006, the strategy consists of four stages.
First, you work to attract a visitor by using compelling content and appearing in search engine results.
Next, you convert that visitor to a lead. Then you close the deal and create a customer.
Finally, you delight that customer with stellar content.
It’s a proven system that works for the best companies in the world, and it has launched dozens of startups to stellar success.
In this article, you’ll learn the 22 inbound marketing strategies I recommend you use to grow your startup.
Let’s get started.
Create a target persona
The first and most critical part in creating compelling content is to deeply understand what your target customers want to learn about.
Since 79 percent of decision makers say their decision window has shrunk in the past two years, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of your market so you can react quickly.
Here’s how you can do that.
1. Review Facebook page insights
As you work to create a customer profile, you’ll need to understand the demographics that define most of your customers.
While age, gender, and location aren’t the biggest factors in who wants to buy from you, they can be helpful.
If your startup has a Facebook page with a few hundred fans, you can easily see what your current market looks like.
First, go to your Facebook page. At the top, you’ll see a button labeled Insights. Click on it.
In the sidebar that opens, click on People.
From there, you’re going to want to look at the Your Fans column. Check to see where the percentages lie to understand what demographics apply to your business.
This can give you a general feel for who is interested in your startup. But that’s not all we need.
Next, we’re going to find out what interests these people, and how you can write content that appeals to what they truly care about.
2. Survey your current customers and leads
The first and easiest way to get to know your target market is through a survey.
This doesn’t have to complicated. If you already have an email list, you can send them a simple form through SurveyMonkey.
To make this work, you really only need to ask one question: “What is your biggest struggle?”
Your goal is to understand the problems they’re facing so you can create effective content that targets their deepest interests.
3. Conduct in-depth interviews
Once you have the general feelings of your target market, it’s a good idea to start seeking out individuals you can contact for more in-depth information.
I recommend looking for a few clients or customers you’ve already acquired.
Ask them if they’d be OK with a 10-minute phone call or a video chat about their current struggles. Mention you’ll offer them advice if you can.
(Usually, customers are excited about this. It’s like a free consultation for them.)
Once you’re on the call, try to find out exactly what their biggest struggles are. Ask them to describe those struggles in the clearest language possible.
Get to exactly what frustrates them, and what solutions they tried before but weren’t successful with.
You’ll use this data to create content.
Produce incredible content
The quality of the content you create is the most important feature of your inbound marketing strategy.
If you create generic, self-serving articles and videos, you’ll never see success.
No matter how hard you promote this content or how you designed it to rank well in search engines, you’re going to struggle to find new clients and customers.
The best-in-class content marketers work tirelessly to adapt their content to the target audiences they want to attract — and where they are in the customer journey.
According to recent data, 69 percent of best-in-class marketers align their content with their marketing and sales funnel stages, while only 48 percent of other marketers do this.
Understanding the customer journey and their needs is critical to making great content, but it’s not the only strategy you’ll need to draw in new customers and leads.
Here’s how you can make your content stand out from the millions of pieces of content those customers are currently ignoring.
4. Start with a great headline
The most important piece of the work you create is the headline. This is what will drive the most clicks and draw in new traffic.
You should spend lots of time crafting a headline that appeals to your most targeted customers.
One of the best ways to do this is to include a bit of negativity, according to data by WordStream.
Of course, you shouldn’t always have negative headlines.
But if you have a list of mistakes, or you talk about the worst strategies that could be hurting your customer, this can be an effective way to drive traffic.
According to SevenAtoms, companies who blog receive 97 percent more leads to their websites than companies that don’t.
If you’re going to produce this content, you need to make sure it works to its best ability.
5. Include other forms of media in your content
Humans are drawn to visuals and other types of media. For your content to appeal to your ideal readers, make sure there’s more to it than just large blocks of text.
Including lots of images, charts, and graphs is a technique I use to make my content more appealing.
You can also include videos, calculators, or other features that make the content engaging and interactive.
CoSchedule does a great job of including lots of images in their articles, and it’s one of the reasons they’ve become so successful with their content marketing.
Instead of providing fluff, the CoSchedule blog is full of detailed guides and step-by-step instructions for accomplishing tasks important to their target audience.
6. Write long, data-driven articles
Instead of writing short posts, you should be doing extensive research and producing in-depth content.
This is true no matter what type of content you’re producing. Longer videos around 10 minutes work well, as do long reports, e-books, and podcasts.
But since blog posts are the most effective type of content at bringing in leads, I’ll focus there.
You should be writing articles that are a few thousand words long and supported by lots of data and analysis.
This is not only better for your SEO rankings, it’s more helpful for your customers.
The better your content, the more likely your readers are to share it with friends, recommend your site to others, and actually implement what you say.
7. Include stories in what you write
Just because you base your content around data and analysis, however, it doesn’t mean it needs to be dry and academic.
In fact, you should work to produce the opposite type of content. Create articles that tell a story in a conversational way.
Content that tells a story and articles with a plot are the best ways for customers to learn about you. Research shows that 80 percent of decision makers prefer this to advertising.
To make this effective, look for story lines where you can talk about your product or business.
This will draw more people to your sales funnel and help grow your startup through inbound marketing.
Start guest posting
When you look at the data, you’ll find that guest blogging is the best inbound marketing strategy.
This is because it provides you with backlinks, authority in the space, and relationships with key influencers.
But most people go about it the wrong way. If you aren’t using smart strategies to spread your message through guest posting on other blogs, you might as well not do it.
Here’s how to make it work for you.
8. Make guest contributions consistently
First and most importantly, you need to write consistently.
This is how the most successful startup owners have made guest blogging work well for them. Instead of a few posts, they wrote prolifically and gained ground quickly.
If you do a Google search for guest posts by Danny Iny, you’ll find dozens of pieces of content across the web.
This massive, consistent guest-posting strategy allowed him to grow his business Mirasee into the powerhouse it is today.
On his homepage, he displays an in-depth list of all the sites where he has been featured.
Dedicate some of your time to creating compelling content for other blogs to reach as many customers as possible.
9. Publish on blogs with engaged readers
Another problem I see with entrepreneurs who want to use guest posting an an inbound marketing strategy is that they don’t look for sites that will actually give them much ROI.
The truth is that every guest post requires work, and that’s…