The old way of marketing isn't cutting it anymore.
People only have so much attention, and they're less likely to waste it on companies that aren't relevant.
But if a business provides value, if it offers something that customers are already looking for, they'll give their full attention.
Content marketing has the potential to get you there--being the brand your customers are looking for.
How To Optimize Inbound to Boost Sales
Inbound marketing is a powerful approach if you put effort into your content and give it time blossom. One study found content marketing sees three times the leads per dollar spent over paid ads.
Follow the tips below to optimize Inbound for your brand, and you can see the same results.
1. Use Topic Clusters
Topic clusters are a relatively new approach to SEO. Rather than focusing purely on keywords, hoping to rank for individual terms, sites can earn a spot at the top of the SERP based on their topic.
Google is becoming better at providing search results that meet intent, so marketers need to improve the way they show and deliver value in their content. This means creating evergreen content and ensuring it all links to the topic's pillar, and from the pillar back.
You need to address anything and everything your customer cares about. Even if the posed questions are challenging, you need to address it. This is customer-centric marketing and focuses on providing value in the content consumers are searching for. If you're not doing this, you're not optimized for growth.
2. Focus Your Content
Every piece of content needs to be ultra-specific to what the headline offers. Your topic clusters already organize your content, so you need to deliver as much value to whatever the consumer is searching for.
Ensure your pillar pages include lots of detailed information or comprehensive guides that you can link your content to. Again, make it all evergreen.
While the topics will remain static, create pieces for every stage of the buyer's journey and use any forms of media that best provide value to answer their question.
To help focus your content further, continually ensure you're addressing the goal of the piece. Whether it's to provide awareness or earn a contact, keeping that goal at the forefront of your writing will help you achieve the results you're after.
3. Pay Attention to SEO
Even though topic clusters will improve your SERP rankings, it's still important to optimize your site's SEO.
Keywords continue to play a significant role in showing search engines what you're trying to get across. Aim for long-tail keywords to improve your search rankings and ensure you're providing as much information as possible on the topic. Quality content will get users to actually read the material, increasing time on page and potentially sending them to another article on your site.
Like we mentioned before, ensure your internal links are present. Every article should link back to the pillar page, and other useful resources should be contextually linked throughout.
While your meta description won't help your search rankings, seeing keywords in bold on the SERP will catch the eye of readers. This could be what draws a consumer to your site, so don't neglect it.
4. Make the Right Offer
It doesn't matter how great of a writer you are, without the right offer, your audience isn't going to buy. This means you need to tailor your content to match the CTA you're providing.
Make your CTAs clear and concise and feel free to end your article with a quick paragraph on why it'll help them. If they took the time to read through everything else, adding a quick pitch could help earn that engagement.
It's also important to note that customers can have different reasons for wanting the same offer. You can and should create different versions of CTAs that offer the same product, but to address other benefits. This creates a more focused offer that is likely to drive engagement. It also lets you segment your audience based on intent, rather than just the CTA they opted-in with.
5. Use All Your Platforms
Nothing is stopping you from spreading your content with an Inbound marketing approach. In fact, distribution is encouraged.
Write on your blog, share and engage on social, and send emails to your list. Use every platform to further your marketing strategy, but don't spread too thin. If one avenue isn't providing strong numbers, you can address it, or abandon it to focus on the more worthwhile ones.
Have a plan for each platform, but be sure to use them together and maintain a consistent brand voice throughout.
6. Create a Calendar
To find the best benefits of Inbound marketing, you need to have a content calendar. This is essential for staying on point with your strategy, especially if you're publishing on multiple platforms.
When creating your calendar, collect information for each post like the title, author, CTA, campaign, and publishing date. You should also include a tracking code so you can monitor where it is in your publication pipeline.
Using a calendar lets you plan ahead to keep content fresh and varied. It allows you to organize around specific campaigns and times of the year and makes cross-platform publication work in your favor.
7. Update Your Landing Pages
The first step is ensuring your landing page is relevant to the ad that sent them there. If things don't look the same or offer what they thought they were arriving to, they'll bounce before reading your copy.
Focus on the benefits your product offers and be sure to conduct A/B tests of your design and copy. You want your CTA to be clear and concise, have contrasting colors, and the page should be void of external navigation. These are basic tips, but many sites ignore them.
After the consumer clicks through the offer, send them to a "thank you" page with another offer. Don't be afraid to take advantage of the fact they're becoming more invested in your company. Provide the right value, and they'll continue to purchase.
8. Review the Data
Every marketer should be well-versed in data, but many don't take advantage of the information it provides.
If you've focused your content and set a goal for each piece, you can look at the data to see what you're doing that's working and what's not. It also gives you better insight into whether your CTAs match what the audience is after.
For example, if two similar articles have different CTAs and different success rates, switching the lesser engaging one could provide better results.
Study what content is performing well with your audience and segment them based on what they're engaging with. You can do this with social and email analytics, as well as your organic data.
If users are finding your site through a specific channel, use that data to double down and increase efforts along that avenue, providing better overall ROI.
Optimize for the Long Game
Don't be discouraged by slow, short term growth at first. Small steps now will lead to dramatic results later and continue to blow outbound strategies out of the water.
If you want more ideas on how to strengthen your content marketing, check out Conquering the Inbound Marketing Mountain. This is our free guide to help you build customer personas, set goals, and develop a content calendar of your own. Download your copy today and continue to optimize your Inbound marketing strategy.