When it comes to the internet, Bill Gates said it best when he wrote his 1996 essay:“Content is king.”
Incredibly (or maybe not so incredibly—it is Bill Gates, after all), he was able to predict that content would be the driving force of the internet in the coming years.
Whether it’s sports programming or software-as-a-service, it’s hard to argue the validity of Gates’ thesis here. How to provide access to information, and the profit model for companies who provide that information, are the two most important questions that have shaped the internet as we know it.
The same maxim is true for inbound marketing: it all begins and ends with content.
As an inbound marketer, you must have a well-defined content strategy that answers the following questions:
What kind of content you will produce
Who is the audience for each piece of content
Which content will be gated by requiring readers’ information
How this content will move readers along the buyer’s journey
Not only do you have to produce the content itself, you also need a strategy for how this content will get in front of people’s eyeballs:
SEO:Perhaps the most important part of inbound marketing after creating the content itself.61 percent of marketerssay that improving their SEO organically is their top priority.
Social Media Marketing:An excellent way to build authority, to strike it big with a popular post, and to hear what people are saying about you.
Email Marketing:Useful for targeting particular audience segments and for reactivating leads that have gone cold. (But it’s only inbound if people have already signed up.)
Pay-per-clickandPaid Social:Not a bad option to supplement the three approaches above. Because good inbound marketing takes time to mature, PPC ads can help get attention and build interest while you wait.
Lead Generation:Using strategies such as landing pages, CTAs, forms, etc. to get people’s contact information. This is a concrete sign that readers are interested in your products and services.
Lead Nurturing:Creating strong relationships with people at every stage of the buyer’s journey, by providing them informative, high-quality content that builds trust and awareness of your brand.
Marketing Automation:Almost a necessity if you want to run a marketing campaign at scale. Automated marketing software can help you save massive amounts of time and effort, shed more light on your prospects, and make your email campaigns more personalized.