It's easy to fall in love with the idea of inbound marketing. The entire concept makes so much sense-- who doesn't want to attract their own customers through their content? The process behind it sounds simple, too. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3:
- Create unique, engaging content to draw visitors to your website
- Share your expertise with members of your audience who are interested in your products or services
- Use your educational marketing approach to convert those audience members into leads and (ideally) customers
There's no denying it: inbound marketing sounds like the ultimate way to create an audience and start racking up customers. Most brands find that issues arise once it's time to actually get all that inbound marketing content created, though. Nobody can blame them-- if you don't know where to start or where to look for resources, the idea of crafting your own content can feel daunting.
5 Resources for Creating Inbound Content
As for creating great content, here are five resources for inbound content development that you may not have considered before:
- Existing customers
- Your sales team
- Industry news
- Content Experts
Content creation is the cornerstone of effective inbound marketing. Those who are unfamiliar with it tend to feel some anxiety at the prospect of writing engaging blog posts, website content, newsletters, and more; but these are excellent tools for reaching your audience. You can actually leverage a number of resources-- all of them at your fingertips-- to help boost your confidence and open the door to inbound marketing.
5 Close-to-Home Resources for Developing New Inbound Marketing Content
1. Your Own Customers
Ask yourself: what kinds of questions do you seem to hear from customers over and over?
These are the questions that your inbound marketing content should answer. If there are topics that seem to resurface with every phone call to a potential customer, you might consider creating blog posts around them. Remember that the questions your customers have tend to align with questions other potential customers-- who are in the buying process-- may rely on to make purchasing decisions.
2. Your own Salespeople
Long gone are the days of underestimating the salespeople who work for us-- your salespeople are constantly out in the field and on the phone talking to potential buyers. If you don't recognize the opportunity this presents, you may want to look a little harder.
The questions that salespeople address tend to be different from those that you might receive from existing customers. This grants a unique window into your audience's desires-- one that your current customers can't always offer.
You should seek feedback from your salespeople. Use their experiences and opinions to create simple, effective resources like checklists, eBooks, and blog posts. Your salespeople-- and the potential clients that they talk to-- can help you market to buyers throughout their buyer journeys.
3. Industry News
News regulations, certifications, research findings, and new technologies directly influence how businesses market and conduct business. If you want to attract a broad audience, consider addressing these breakthroughs as they occur. It positions you as an authority figure to lend clarity on complex new ideas-- and it's a great way to fit timely content into your site, too.
If you jump on top of these opportunities quickly enough, you can avoid looking like a part of a "bandwagon" that will focus on the same development after time goes by.
4. Your Personal Experiences
Many of us underestimate the validity and usefulness of our own personal experiences; but have you ever solved a problem for a client and been hit with an idea for a blog post that addressed the problem and how to solve it?
This is a perfect example of how businesses and content creators can use their own personal experiences to create enticing inbound marketing content. Take some time to think about what you've been working on lately-- is there any sort of useful information that you can pull from it to create helpful resources? Is there a case study that you can create from your most recent project? Or a how-to blog post or video?
If you've solved problems that others could experience, that's an opportunity to teach your audience. Odds are good that you can create a resource that would make a great content that people would be willing to download in exchange for their email address.
5. Content Experts in Your Organization
It's easy to rely solely on your sales and marketing teams to create inbound content. There's no doubt that these team members are knowledgeable about your product or service's key features and benefits, but can they lend you niche advice or information?
Look to the breadth of knowledge in your operations department-- especially if you're in a specialized industry.
For example: We have clients in the like the healthcare B2B sector. 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.
Another thing: in our experience, content experts don't have the time to blog anymore. They have other duties and their attention needs to be focused elsewhere. This is where marketing comes in -- your marketing team should be talking to your content experts every once in a while. They can turn what they learn from the experts into content that's relevant to your target audience.
Other Steps to Improve Inbound Marketing Content
Brands can take a wide variety of steps to improve the quality of their content. Looking to nearby resources for help is a great start, but businesses should also consider:
key phrases Research
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. There is software that 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).
Focus on Creating evergreen content
Evergreen content is so-named because it's like an evergreen tree: useful and present year-round. 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. Create downloadable content and start leading those visitors to the next step: becoming a lead.
Create content for all phases of the buyer's journey
You will have some potential buyer who are just getting started researching. 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, that's fine because you should also have some content that seems advanced to others that are not that far long in the buyer's journey yet.
Both types of content are good. Both are needed to help people grow that trust with your organization regardless of how far along they are.
Keep on Tracking and Trucking
One of the most beneficial aspects of inbound marketing centers around data and analytics. It takes some time to learn which analytic to track (and what they mean), but it's an ideal way to track your results. This makes it easy for brands to determine whether their inbound content development processes are up to snuff.
If you'd like to learn more about leveraging analytics-- and proving an ROI-- in your own marketing, there are a wealth of resources to take advantage of. We recommend our free eBook; and, if you'd like to learn more, you can download for free.