Why is inbound marketing so valuable over traditional forms of marketing? For starters, it’s about building a lasting, meaningful relationship with consumers that nudges them through your sales funnel while creating a sense of brand resonance that fuels returning customers.
Inbound marketing isn’t about turning up the ad spend or cold calling; rather, it’s centered around the core principle of, “if you build it, they will come.”
Using data, marketers can enrich their understanding of the buyer journey and identify areas of weakness and potential growth in their supply chain. Additionally, data collected from social channels can point to how well a brand is competing for market share alongside its competitors. This ultimately results in smarter inbound campaigns that can be iterated on and improved over time.
Let’s take a look at a few tech-savvy tips to help you make the most out of your inbound marketing strategy.
Adopt a Motto: It’s All About the Data
Marketers can leverage data from all areas of the business to understand the buyer journey. Insights gained from this data can then be applied to your inbound marketing strategy. It’s important to note that data can come from all over the business. Take a look at some metrics that can reveal a surprising amount about your customers.
- Order Management
- Financial Projections
- Order Fulfillment
Metrics like these, which fall on the operational side of the business, can tell you a lot about customer behavior. Although they aren’t customer-facing metrics, they point to trends in the consumer-brand relationship, specifically with respect to how brands are meeting consumer needs. Analyzing higher-level financial data using software tools like an ERP system can identify fluctuations in these areas, as well as insights into the reasons why consumers make certain choices.
Digital tools are helping brands establish cooperation between marketing and sales departments as well. For modern inbound marketers, using a CRM platform can help to elevate their marketing strategy. These software tools provide valuable signals during a buyer’s journey, as well as help foster more qualified leads.
All of this data works holistically to paint an accurate picture of the current state of your entire business, as well as how to orient strategy to meet fluctuating consumer demands.
Make Your KPIs Count
Determining the success of a campaign or analyzing datasets requires a marketing team to have goals to measure against. Teams should first set and communicate a clear mission and goals, and then lock in tangible key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be reported and iterated on over time.
The key is to establish baseline parameters that tie into business outcomes. For example, if a brand has the goal to increase conversion activities on its site, a KPI could be the number of organic sessions or the quality of their leads. From there, marketers can build out more impactful campaigns.
Large-scale projects can be a logistical hurdle. Many marketers leverage project management tools to help them better communicate and organize all the moving parts. These enable different teams to work on campaigns that require cross-functional expertise (hello, “smarketing”), which ultimately leads to better business outcomes.
Take a Closer Look at UX
One of the most important elements of inbound marketing lies in user experience (UX). How well your landing pages are constructed and optimized can be directly tied to conversion activities and lead generation. You can leverage tools like Google Analytics to determine where consumers are dropping off in the funnel.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your checkout process need work?
- Are your product descriptions too thin or too complex?
- Does your on-page content address what people are searching for online?
The fact is, if you aren’t investing in UX, your competitors likely are. An article from the Turing Society reported that nearly 70 percent of companies that called themselves “design-driven” exceeded their business goals in 2017. Investing in UX helps your business gain greater insight into the needs of its users, while simultaneously allowing your business to make more thoughtful product and content marketing decisions.
Treat Social Listening as a Two-Way Street
Social listening is not just about scouring the web to determine the resonance of a brand. It’s also about taking sentiment analysis for a brand and its competitors and applying it to a marketing strategy, as well as using platforms like Twitter and Instagram to communicate with consumers. Judicious listening has never been more important in an era where customer feedback is public.
Social media marketing strategies are evolving to reflect these changing times. Social media marketing automation, for example, is a powerful tool for inbound marketing strategies because it makes it easier to manage an omnichannel strategy. And, many of these tools are free.
Getting consumers to notice your brand is hard work. Building a brand that has longevity requires a thoughtful, data-driven strategy that considers the whole business, not just from the operational side of things, but also from the point of view of the consumer.
If your company invests in digital tools and processes that enable holistic strategy, then your inbound marketing efforts will thrive. Today’s marketers are looking to inbound marketing to create lasting connections with consumers in an increasingly digitized world. Make your brand one of them.