Inbound Marketing & Why Your Business Needs a Blog

by Jul 14, 2017Marketing

When most people think of a blog, they think of a work-from-home entrepreneur who is writing opinion posts in their pajamas. While that does happen a lot, that isn’t the end all be all when it comes to blogging. Having a blog on your business website can help you in a number of ways. Let’s take a look at why your business needs a blog and why it is a vital part of your inbound marketing strategy.

Website blogging benefits

Having a blog that you keep regularly updated provides several benefits to your business website in addition to generating interest on social media. Most of these benefits come in terms of search engine optimization and inbound marketing. Let’s take a second and break those two parts down so that you can understand how a blog helps with both of these.

Search engine optimization

Search engines like Google love it when you keep your blog regularly updated. When you are constantly adding new stuff to your website, like news and events, Google will purposely crawl your website more often. Also, when you naturally write about industry events or news about new products or services that you’re offering, it is a great opportunity for your website to rank naturally for these key terms.

How can you get the most SEO out of a business blog?

First of all, you’ll want to do a little keyword research, either with Google keyword planner, or some other keyword analysis software. You’d be surprised how many longer keywords and phrases are easy to rank for, while providing a lot of monthly searches. Average monthly searches means that a consistent number of people are constantly looking for this term each month. For example, let’s say you’re blogging about a certain event and it has 1000 monthly searches. If you get ranked in the top three spots for that event, you’ll get a large portion of the traffic for that search term.

Of course, the higher you rank, the more traffic you will get. Let’s say you’ve got the number two spot for that event that has 1000 monthly searches. If the number two spot gets 30% of the overall traffic, then you’ll get 300 monthly visits to your website. This can be a significant traffic boost just for one well-written blog post.

Important SEO tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a variety of keywords and phrases that have to do with an event or a subject in your industry.
  • Don’t forget to put all tags on your images that describe the photo, while using keywords or phrases that relate to what you’re talking about.
  • If you can, and if it makes sense to, link to previous blog posts or internal pages. This can be a great opportunity to link to a product page, so that visitors can find out more about a specific product.
  • Link out to relevant resources. If you’re talking about an event, link to the event website if there is one available. If you’re talking about a specific topic, link to a popular blog post or an authoritative website with good information related to your topic.
  • Researches everything. Do your keyword research before sitting down to write your article. This can help you to remember to place certain keywords or phrases within your text.
  • Write conversationally and use short, specific sentences. Don’t string along sentences, making them over complicated. Google takes into consideration how easy it is to read your content. Just because you can use every $20 word in your article doesn’t mean you have to. Keep it simple. Think about it: do you like to struggle to read something? It’s tough to get immersed into an article or a news post when someone writes in a complicated manner.

Mixing Content Types and Outreach

  • Break up your content with a lot of images and video. A mix of content will keep readers on your page longer, which is good for SEO. Also, the mix of content looks more natural to Google. For example, you might record a short video where you meet someone of interest at an industry event. You can upload that video to YouTube or Vimeo and embed it in your blog post.
  • Reach out to others for back links to your posts. Using our event as an example, ask other attendees, or the people that organize the event, to link to your post. Not always, but sometimes you can get a decent amount of back links to your post, which will help it to rank in search engines better.

Note* Check out this post for a Free 14 Point On-page-SEO checklist.

Inbound marketing

It can be tough to define inbound. Inbound marketing involves using your website and social media to drive interested people or businesses to your business. This type of marketing usually consists of two initiatives. The first one is called B2C, which is business to consumer. The second one is called B2B, which is business-to-business. Your inbound marketing efforts all depend on your business, your products, and your services. Here is an infographic (Published originally on Hubspot’s Blog) that explains the inbound method of marketing process completely.

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

The Inbound Marketing Process: How to get Started in 3 Months

The difference between inbound and outbound marketing

Outbound marketing is when you roach out directly to customers or your target market. Examples of outbound marketing are TV commercials, radio commercials, print advertisements such as newspaper ads, magazine ads, flyers, direct mailers, brochures, and catalogs, as well as cold calls, and email blasts and the obsolete door to door method. The mentality and methodology is different with inbound versus outbound marketing. Most importantly, it is more about warming up to customers who are already interested in what you do, and they are looking for more information. Ultimately, inbound and outbound marketing are both essential for any well-rounded business.

Inbound marketing benefits

  • Any business can increase brand awareness.
  • It works for you 24 hours per day, seven days per week, without breaks or a paycheck.
  • Customers control how they interact with you and your brand.
  • It provides diverse backlinks for your site (great for SEO).
  • It gives you the power to influence future purchases.
  • Good content increased website and social activity looks great to search engines.
  • If you set it up to be so, it can be evergreen, meaning it never gets old or outdated.
  • It is a very cost effective way to generate leads.
  • It helps you develop relationships with a focus on long term interaction.

How your blog can help with inbound marketing

Writing a consistent blog post on your website can help with inbound marketing in several ways. Initially, one way it helps is that when someone searches for a particular topic, they may find your blog post. They may read your blog post, which may lead them to reading other pages on your website in learning more about your business. Essentially, this is the simplest form of inbound marketing. Most businesses use a blog as a part of their inbound marketing funnel. If you are going to create a steady blog, I would highly recommend it to be an integral part of your marketing and sales funnel.

marketing and sales funnel infographic

What is a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is how you bring in new prospects and possible clients. Most importantly, you establish trust and authority by providing value, and it is your way of getting your foot in the door with businesses and customers. A healthy sales and marketing funnel keeps a steady stream of interested buyers coming to you.

Lead Magnets Provide Value

You can take your inbound marketing to the next level with your blog by providing lead magnets in your posts. You can also provide them in the sidebar of your website, or via a pop-up. There are several different methods to use lead magnets in your website. Simply put, lead magnet is simply a bribe of some kind in exchange for an email address or other contact information. A great example of this is a website called HubSpot. When it comes to inbound marketing, they are the authority resource for tactics and information. Essentially, they use white papers and other PDF lead magnets that provide valuable information in exchange for your contact information. They are very successful in getting new business owners to fill out a decent amount of information about themselves and their business in exchange for information about different inbound marketing subjects and tactics.

You can do the same thing for your own website. You don’t necessarily have to give away the farm, but you can give away some valuable information to help build trust, while also obtaining contact information. This contact information is important, because it enables you to reach out directly to a business or a consumer, which can eventually turn into a paying customer.

lead magnets and inbound marketingWhy lead magnets works so well

The reason lead magnets works so well is because you are able to reach out to people who are directly interested in a particular topic or service. Also, you can cater your marketing efforts directly to them in order to help close the sale. Instead of actively advertising via TV commercials and all sorts of other methods, you’re driving customers directly to your doorstep. As a result, clients come directly to you!

First of all, it is easy to create a lead magnet. It can be something as simple as a PDF that provides a list of valuable resources to your website visitor. It’s very cheap to make, and once you make it, it is they are working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Tips for using your blog for inbound marketing

  • Always tried to provide a lead magnet either in the sidebar of your website, or at the bottom of your blog post.
  • You are limited to the number of lead magnets that you can have on your website. You can have a different lead magnet for every blog post you write.
  • To be effective, try your best to add as much value as possible. The goal is to establish as much trust in authority as possible, while collecting their contact information.
  • Set up autoresponders or a drip campaign as a part of your sales funnel. It’s important to follow up with someone who opts in for one of your lead magnets with either more information, or even another lead magnet.
  • Be sure to collect the information that you need. If your type of business would benefit most from a phone number, be sure to collect that along with their email address. Inbound marketing does you no good if it doesn’t bring in the types of leads that are right for your business.
  • Try to be creative with your lead magnets. The most effective lead magnets are the ones that are unique, providing something useful that keeps you in the minds of the people that opt in. If you make a good impression with your lead magnet, it may entice them to inquire more into your products or services because you have built trust.
  • Be creative with your inbound marketing efforts. The content that you provide should be engaging and unique to your business. New technology pops up daily with different methods for engaging your audience. You can even add lead generation forms to the end of videos now.
  • Follow up with more information, more content and build more trust with them. Think of this as a long term investment in a solid business relationship.

Social Media Marketing

social media marketing

You should have a solid social media strategy for promoting your content. Social media is a great vessel for your inbound marketing, as it enables you to reach a large audience. You don’t need a marketing agency to utilize social media marketing for your business, your blog, or your content (but it helps!). Social marketing is a great way to fly under the radar and reach customers and clients you may not reach otherwise.

Social media sites are just a part of a bigger digital marketing strategy you should be implementing in your business. With a mix of SEO and social media, you can maximize your content marketing efforts for the best results. Two of the main social media sites that are really effective right now are Facebook marketing and Instagram marketing. With the right strategy and the right setup, you can maximize your local reach, while minimizing costs. These forms of social media advertising are becoming preferred methods for many digital marketers and online businesses.

A few social media marketing tips for your blog:

  • Share your posts with relevant Facebook groups (Make sure you follow group guidelines! No one likes a spammer).
  • You don’t have to break the bank to promote your content. You can boost a post for as little as $5. I used specific targeting and have seen as little as 8 cents per engagement (clicks or post likes).
  • You can add funds, essentially re-boosting a post you have before.
  • Add social sharing buttons to your blog, in a place to make it easy to share your content. People looking to grow their own following will share your post as a part of their content curation strategy.
  • If you mention a person, a business, or a website in your pot, reach out to them via email, or tag them in your social post to see if they will promote your post to their audience.
  • LinkedIn is a great way (and one of the most overlooked ways) to promote your content to just the right audience.

A business blog has become the staple of most successful businesses

You can’t ignore or deny the effectiveness of a business blog. If done properly, and updated regularly, a business blog can be an effective way to drive traffic to your website. It’s also an effective way to generate leads for your business. Leveraging the curiosity of people or other businesses who are interested in your topic, is a great way to generate leads for any business.

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