One of the main obstacles for many businesses that are looking to grow their online presence is cutting through the wealth of information that is out there. In competitive industries, there are likely hundreds of different businesses that are attempting to enter the world of content marketing. It can be very difficult to find a way to cover a subject in an original way.
This is something that many businesses that are new to inbound marketing often struggle with. In fact, according to Sirius Decisions, the average sales cycle has increased a total of 22% over the years due to more decision makers being involved in the process of making a purchase. It has become the job of business owners and endow marketers to make sure that the information coming from their company is coming at the right time, and in a format that the customer will appreciate.
Too many businesses go into inbound marketing without a solid plan in place for how they are going to stand out from the crowd and put together excellent content that their customers will be intrigued by. Here are a few tips that can help you to take your inbound marketing to the next level.
Find What Works and Expand Upon It
One of the best strategies for getting started in inbound marketing is to take a look at what is working for your competitors and expand upon it. Find the blog post that are performing at the highest level for your competitors and brainstorm ways in which you can expand upon the content that they have already put together. Now, this is in saying that you should copy your competition, rather just use them as a benchmark for the quality of content that you will be producing.
Too many companies are trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead, focus on what is already working for other companies in your industry and find ways that your company can do it better than them.
Get to Know Your Customers On a Personal Level
It can be difficult to know what content you should be creating when you do not really have a good feel for your customers. Understand that talking to your sales team is going to be a good starting place for getting to know your customers. They are the ones on the ground, out there interacting with customers on a daily basis and they will likely have insight into what motivates your customers, and what things should be included in your marketing to speak to them.
Ask your sales teams questions like what questions do they answer the most, what are the biggest pain points for your customers when they are speaking with them, what are the typical demographics that they are usually speaking with, and what messaging seems to get them to respond most often. Incorporate these things into your inbound marketing strategy, and you will find that your blog posts are more likely to connect with your intended audience.
Consistency is Key
Oftentimes, businesses are getting into inbound marketing using only their spare time to produce content. The fact of the matter is that content marketing in general is so popular these days, you will be hard-pressed to find any traction publishing blog posts on a whim. You should be publishing blog post consistently, so that your audience can reasonably expect that they can come back to your website and find new content.
Of course, the consistency with which you publish depends upon the time that you have available and your budget. If you are outsourcing your content creation, then you may be able to blog numerous times per week by using a stable of writers to produce the content. If all of your content is being produced in-house, you may need to lower your expectations depending upon how many people will be contributing to the content production process.
At minimum, all companies should aim to produce new blog post content at least once every two weeks, with one week being the preferable marker. Companies that go above and beyond by producing several pieces of content per week may find it easier to gain traction on social media and keep readers coming back on a regular basis to find new, insightful content.
Always Call to Action
Just like every page on your website should have a specific goal in mind, every blog post and piece of content that you produce for your inbound marketing strategy should have a goal as well. At the end of every piece of content, you should call your users to action. This action may be something as simple as following you on twitter, or something as important as purchasing your product. It is important that you have a good idea of what you would like from your audience from the moment that you begin writing your article, so that you can build toward that throughout the content.
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