The idea of inbound marketing is easy to fall in love with. It makes so much sense:
- Create content that draws visitors to your website.
- Share your expertise with those who are interested in your products or services.
- Convert them to leads and then (hopefully) customers with your educational marketing approach.
The inbound marketing process sounds great... but then you have to get it all done. And that starts largely with creating content.
If you'd like to learn more about how the inbound process can be tracked and reported, download our ebook:
As for creating great content, here are five resources for inbound content development that you may not have considered before:
1. Customers - What kinds of questions do you get when you talk with customers? If there are things that you seem to talk about a lot or questions you answer often, you might consider turning that information into a blog post. If your customers are talking about it, there are sure to be people who are looking for those answers who are in the buying decision process.
2. Sales People - Your sales people are out in the field and on the phone talking with potential buyers. The questions they address are often different from those you might be asked by existing customers. Get their feedback and then use it to create checklists, eBooks and blog posts that will help other buyers at various points in the buyer's journey -- whether just starting or almost ready to make a decision.
3. Industry News - New regulations, certifications, research findings or new technologies can come on the scene and affect how your industry conducts business. You can address these new items as they happen, giving clarity on the issues for those who are trying to understand it. If you can jump on top of these opportunities quickly you won't appear to be part of the "bandwagon" that will write about the new development after time goes by. For our clients, search engine optimization is critical. When Google made a big change to their requirement for a mobile-friendly website last year, we needed to pay attention and share that with customers and potential buyers by quickly addressing a) there was a new Google requirement that would affect many, b) helping them understand what it meant for their companies and c) how to solve the problem.
By writing about it and sharing it, we were able to start conversations with potential clients who were researching what to do in light of the new Google requirement.
4. Your Personal Experiences - Sometimes we are solving a problem for one of our clients and it spurs an idea for a blog post that addresses the concern and how it can be solved. Things like: Defining landing pages and why you need them, or how to budget for inbound marketing.
Think about what you've been working on lately. Is there a case study that you can pull from it? Or a how-to blog post? If you've solved a problem that others may also be experiencing, odds are good it would make a good blog post or even an ebook that people would be willing to download in exchange for becoming a lead.
5. Content Experts in Your Organization - While the sales and marketing team is very knowledgeable on the key features and benefits of your products and services, there is also a breadth of knowledge in your operations department. This is especially true with healthcare B2B marketing that some of our clients do. In this case, there are clinicians who can address issues that another clinician would have and be able to word it in a way that speaks to their colleagues. While you don't want to get too technical and deep in jargon, they can give you ideas and key phrases that are important for that target audience. We've also found that your content experts don't really have the time to blog with all of their other duties. So let them talk to you for a while and then you can turn it into content that is very relevant to your target audience.
Other reminders for successful inbound marketing
Research your key phrases
You will have a general idea of what you're trying to optimize for, but you may be surprised which phrase is actually the most searched. The Hubspot software offers this feature, as well as a few other services that will help you understand the volume of monthly searches compared to other phrases along with how hard it will be to rank for the phrase(s).
Create evergreen content
Evergreen content, like the tree, is useful year round, and year after year. All of your inbound marketing content doesn't need to be evergreen, especially when you're talking about industry news or the latest technology. But choose a few things that can be lasting.
Also, check out your blog stats over time. You might be surprised to see which content is really drawing in visitors months or even years after you've written it. Expand in that direction. Lead those visitors to the next step: becoming a lead.
Create content for potential buyers at all phases of the buyer's journey
Some are just getting started. Others have made some decisions and they're in the process of narrowing down their selection. this means that you may have some content that seems elementary to some.... because they've already finished that part of the buyer's journey. And you'll have some content that seems advanced, because they're not to that point in the process yet. Both are good. Both are needed to help people grow that trust with your organization regardless of how far along they are.
One of the greatest things about inbound marketing is that you can track your results. You'll know if your inbound content development process is paying off as you watch the analytics. To learn more about using analytics in your marketing and proving an ROI on marketing, download our free eBook.