There are certain traits and factors that help to sort out the best and worst, the winners from the losers. This is true not only for individuals and companies, but also for inbound marketing programs.
LeadG2 works with inbound marketing clients on a daily basis to build and implement successful inbound marketing strategies, and we have observed five common characteristics of the ones that get results.
Are you following these best practices?
1) Target the correct audience/persona.
One of the first steps is to determine what your objectives are and which audiences you are trying to reach. If you don’t know who you are trying to reach, chances are that you won’t reach them.
From day one, set out a clear definition of who your blog and other content is intended to reach, and continue to provide information on topics that your audience is interested in.
2) Publish frequently.
Simply put, blogs that are published more frequently have a higher number of visitors and do better in search. Don’t prioritze quantity over quality however — you don’t want to be publishing poorly authored blog posts several times per week just to keep up your frequency of publishing.
Our consultants at LeadG2 recommend to our clients that they publish at least two blog posts per week.
3) Focus on lead generation.
The reason you're blogging is to generate leads. To do this, you can include a sentence or a graphic at the bottom of each blog post that tells a reader to take a certain action. It could be “subscribe to our blog” or “contact us if you have questions” or something like “download our latest white paper.” If you are not including these types of calls-to-action (CTAs) at the bottom of your blog posts, you are simply blogging and not focused on lead generation.
4) Use effective tools.
If you could imagine trying to cut down a tree in your backyard using a pocketknife one day and a chainsaw the next, you can certainly understand how difficult it is to accomplish something with the wrong tools. You need tools that work well and that integrate easily with one another.
Let’s face it… most likely the designer of your email program didn’t factor in which CRM you are using or which CMS you will be authoring your blogs in. You have to put together all of these systems and make them work together if you are not using a tool, like HubSpot, that’s designated for inbound marketing.
5) Stay focused on ROI.
The last—but possibly the most important—reason why a company’s inbound marketing efforts succeed is the amount of focus that’s placed on the inbound initiatives by management and those writing the blog.
A lack of focus can be indicated by long gaps between blog posts, lack of premium content or landing pages, and not having enough interest from employees to author blog posts.
Companies that are focused on inbound marketing keep management and their teams of writers engaged by providing periodic updates on the blog, capturing success stories (no matter how small at first), integrating inbound within all areas of the company, and periodically reminding everyone involved the long-term benefits that are being sought.
Is your company following the best practices that companies who are successful at inbound marketing are using? If not, maybe it's time to have an expert look at your company’s inbound marketing efforts.