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Inbound Marketing is the future of marketing, and is a powerful marketing tool which essentially aims at driving customers directly to you through non-invasive means. This is achieved by creating unique and valuable content that is relevant for your customers. In this article, we’ll look at how we can integrate our Inbound Marketing strategies across our online channels, specifically through creating engaging and story-driven content.
Inbound Marketing at its core encompasses the domains of Content Creation, SEO and Social Media. For an overview click here! For our Inbound Marketing strategy to be as effective as possible, it’s important that we know how to integrate these concepts into our online channels. As with any marketing strategy, it’s vital to first design an overarching strategy, by carefully defining our goals and target audience. For more information check out our article on how to develop a successful Inbound Marketing strategy. Looking specifically at Content Creation, one of the easiest ways of creating content is to have a blog on your site.
Blogging and Storytelling
The main goal of many marketing campaigns is to repeatedly expose an audience to a brand or product. This can be achieved in many ways, but is an old fashioned way of thinking. Inbound marketing on the other hand is about creating unique and engaging content to drive customers to your site, and has been shown to have an ROI three times that of traditional advertising. Now, read over the last three sentences again. I’m sure we can agree that they are very dry and boring to read. Now read the following, which conveys the same exact information in a different style:
When I first got started in the world of marketing and advertising, the main goal of many campaigns was to repeatedly expose an audience to a brand or product. I remember one of my first Creative Directors telling me : ‘’Exposure is good, but over-exposure is better. Let’s bombard these suckers with our adverts until they can’t do anything but notice them!’’. I held this belief for many years, but then I was introduced to the concept of Inbound Marketing. Initially I thought that the old way must be better. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After experimenting with different strategies, I found that creating unique and engaging content was a superior way of getting new customers. The turning point for me came when I realized that Inbound Marketing averaged three times the return on investment compared to traditional advertising!
That was a bit more interesting to read, wasn’t it? Having a great product or service is fantastic. Having a great story to tell is even better. Studies show that we remember stories way better than mere facts, as the brain tends to react to a story as if we were actually experiencing the story ourselves. To further exemplify this point, imagine how easy it is for you to recall the plot of your favorite book, even if it’s been ages since you read it, and compare that to how difficult it is for you to remember what you had for lunch two days ago.
Integrating stories into our Inbound Marketing strategy is a great way of creating memorable and engaging content, and it’s quite easy to do so. For example, making a blogpost about how great your product is could easily be converted into a story about how your product changes the lives of your customers, or what inspired you to get started in your industry.
Again, a key factor of a successful Inbound Marketing strategy is to not try to sell your product, but to create valuable and unique content relevant to the audience. While you’re at it, you can even integrate storytelling into your Social Media outlets as well, by prompting followers to share their own personal stories with you. When you think of your favorite product or service, you don’t think about the product itself, but rather instances where it’s been useful to you. Keep this in mind when writing content, and create little stories around your products for maximum effect. Combine this with a solid SEO strategy, and you’ll be on your way to more customers in a heartbeat!
Setting up a blog and updating it regularly may seem like a daunting task to some, but it’s actually incredibly easy. A lot of companies outsource their content creation to marketing firms, saving them a lot of time, and it’s probably way cheaper than you think. Creating an email newsletter as well, and incentivizing signing up to it in some way, is another easy and effective way of keeping your customers updated and encouraging them coming back for more content.
SEO and Multi-channel Integration
Having a high rank on search engines should always be a priority when writing new content. The vast majority of your traffic will come from search engines, and you may as well use that to your advantage by always keeping SEO in mind when creating content, or rewriting existing content. If SEO is completely new territory to you, check out our brief overview here. It’s important to note that a lot of newcomers to the world of SEO have the tendency to slightly overdo it, by repeating the same few keywords over and over again, which makes for quite a cumbersome reading experience, so be sure to keep readability in mind, and preserve the goal of writing interesting and valuable content.
When devising your Inbound Marketing strategy, it’s also vital to ensure proper integration across the board. If you have a YouTube channel, link to it from your blog and Facebook, and vice-versa! When writing your blog articles, make sure your meta-tags are in order, to allow for it to be shared on Facebook with a proper thumbnail and description.
Tying it all together
Integrating your Inbound Marketing Strategy across your online channels is easier than it sounds, and you should endeavour to have your overarching strategy in the back of your head at all times. Always try to put yourself in the customer’s place, and imagine what kind of content would be most relevant and interesting to you, if you were on the other side of the table. Inbound Marketing is about creating value to your customers, and making them engage with you in a way that wouldn’t be possible by using other marketing methods. Get creative, and go tell some stories!