Published on February 11th, 2012
Ideally the goal of a competition is to win. Otherwise we are doing what Tim Ferris, author of the “4 Hour Work Week”, calls work for works sake. As entrepreneurs we should always leverage our time and money. So here are some simple strategies you can use to dominate yourcompetition in any inbound marketing campaign.
Create a Content Focused Blog
Blogging is definitely the land of good content. When promoting a blog, blackhat link building schemes will only get you as far as Google’s Panda can reach. To avoid any backlinking despair, creating unique content focused articles or posts is imperative. Be sure to integrate on-page SEO factors and avoid keyword stuffing.
Active Content Promotion
Promote your content across social media sites. Don’t be afraid to be seen but also remember the concepts of permission marketing made famous by literary extraordinaire Seth Godin.
Promote In Industry Specific Directories
Look for the right places to advertise your website. You can start with free directories that are specific to your industry type (e.g. insurance directories, design directories, etc.).
Join the Local Movement
Implement QR codes in your offline marketing strategies. You can also join your hyperlocal online communities. Participating in networks like Meetup or local news sites can really improve your online presence.
Search Engine Compliance
Be sure to consider search engine guidelines. Many rogue agencies and bloggers forget the powerful of search engine compliance. Simple tasks like submitting site maps and following Google guidelines to a T can quickly optimize your website’s inbound campaigns.
Social Media Community
According to Econsultancy 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Consequently, the viral aspects of social media community help “Spread the word”. You can create a Facebook fanpage, Twitter account, LinkedIn company page, and YouTube channel that maintains a consistent social media presence and helps promote viral marketing.
Ask Your Subscribers to Participate
Social media management is a time intensive task but worthwhile nonetheless. However, you can leverage your social media campaigns by asking your current email subscribers to participate. Don’t expect participation for no reason at all-- give them an incentive to create videos showcasing your service or write reviews. For example, many companies using Facebook FanPages ask their followers or fans to post pictures or videos and the videos and pics with the most likes gets a prize.
Seamless Consistent Integration
Many websites are laissez-faire about social media icon placement. It’s all over the place, not in some places, has a poor interface, and does not integrate with the open graph. Be sure to optimize social media icon placement as well as social media optimization (e.g. OG protocol, etc.).
Calls to Action
Make it Personal
Integrating personal features like “Hey Your Subscriber’s Name” really help personalize the B2C experience. Or perhaps pass on the subscribers name to a landing or registration page. These little details can dramatically improve your lead nurturing campaign. When at all possible be sure to automate these tasks so that you’re not stuck in the office all day typing “Dear John, Sally, or Joe” in 1,000+ emails. Collect Automate and Repeat is a very simple but business sound model.
Give and Give Some More
In this age of business the terms “streamline” and “cost effective” are very popular consulting terms. But terms like value and over-delivering are much more popular to today’s consumer. Try to give as much as you can and your consumers will reciprocate.
Campaigns Tailored to each Client
Every client is different which is of course the exact opposite of a mass marketed campaign. Take the high level understanding of your business and don’t just give your potential clients what they want. Instead give them “Exactly what they want”. According to Gleanster Research, over 40% of qualified leads are not ready to buy. This is why a campaign tailored to specific user segments is a fundamental consumer focuses process.
Collect and Divide
Tailoring each lead nurturing email campaign is only one part of an inbound strategy. You can also collect website visitor information such as Facebook users, Twitter followers, personal blogs (if available), etc. Connect with your subscribers via Facebook or comment on their blogs to show how committed you are to them. The point here is to use more than one strategy with the information you collect.
Ask for Feedback
If you want to identify anomalies your best bet is to go straight to the source. You can request your subscribers complete a survey via email. Although to avoid any data miscalculations it’s much more efficient to provide an unalterable form survey with specific answers users can choose from. You can also collect data in realtime by integrating a polling feature into your webinars or training offers.
Use Multiple forms of media to attract your consumers. People learn and remember in very different ways. Some enjoy reading, others listening, others watching. Create videos, infographics, or podcast to help support your user base. The more you can engage with them in terms of sensory perception the more likely they are to remember you.
The one thing many web designers and bloggers forget is that there are people around the world with many different circumstances. Simple website changes like language translations and read aloud features help meet the needs of every user.
Be User Friendly
Sometimes a website designer’s biggest flaw is being a creative genius in all the wrong ways. Creating a user friendly site will ensure that the average user is not confused by the design. They can easily navigate through your site and they also recognize the different actions they must take in order to complete a process. If a user is confused about how to use your site they probably won’t go very far. This is a very simple but logical consideration.
Always provide benchmarks by defining the current state of your inbound campaign and it’s relation to the competition, as well as your marketing milestones and end of period goals.
Use the data you collect to create an in-depth analysis on the success and failures of your current campaign. Some important datasets include website visitors, lead generation, inbound links, social media engagement, fan & follower count, engagement levels via blog comments and social media, etc.
Use your analysis to create enhancement strategies. Be very specific about these strategies. For example instead of saying “We need to increase traffic” document exactly how it will be accomplished and when you expect to see results.
Analytics and discussion are only half the battle. Be sure to put the changes into action.
A blog is always a work in progress. If you want to maintain and improve traffic you much analyze, implement, and repeat.
Don’t forget to nurture your leads. According to MarketingSerpa over 70% of marketing leads don’t convert to sales largely because they are nurtured.
Be sure your watching your conversion tracking data very closely. This is not something that should be done quarterly or annually unless you decide you want to lose money as opposed to making it. Do it weekly or even daily if at all possible.
Whenever possible automate processes to avoid going insane. On a more serious note inbound marketing is not an overly complex task. It does however require knowledgeable implementation and a great deal of manning. Therefore, automation is essential.
Keep Up With Tech and Web Trends
You might think that keeping up with technology is much like keeping up with the Jones’. In contrast it’s quite the opposite. The distinction is keeping up with the right kind of trends as opposed to the excessive inconsequential ones. Yes, we do live in an information rich society. However, the abundance of availability also highlights the fact that much of the information is either obsolete or unreliable so choose your sources carefully.
We hope these 25 strategies help you build your business. Let us know if they did. Of course, if you need any help or have any questions let us know. We’re here for you!
If getting ahead of your competition is something that you are interested in but don't know how to get started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.
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