Inbound marketing is a big, robust, ever-evolving discipline, which means there’s as much potential for mistakes as there is for success. Teaming up with a proven SEO company is a good step toward getting the ROI of your dreams. At the same time, you can take inspiration from some inbound marketing best practices.
Content best practices
Sometimes it seems that a fine line separates “cool beans!” from “this again?” Because a best practice of inbound marketing involves publishing content consistently, the temptation to cut corners is always there. Content that becomes less customer-focused and more sales-pitched can turn off your audience.
One good way to forestall content burnout is to diversify not just your subject matter but your authorship:
Ask employees or colleagues to contribute articles written from their perspective.
Star your customers in how-to videos.
Join forces with an industry organization to create a more credible white paper.
Update older blogs with new information.
Lead nurturing best practices
Ever been to a trade show where a vendor requests your business card in exchange for some cool giveaway? The typical outcome is that long after you’ve tossed the tchotchke, you’re still receiving sales-y email or snail mail – even if you have no interest in the product or service – forcing you toward the inevitable opt-out. That’s no way to turn a lead into a customer.
So don’t let your inbound tactics follow suit. The essence of inbound lead nurturing is getting people interested in following you, not chasing them down. The best way to do that is to “give it away”. Demonstrate your insight into the clients’ interests and concerns through carefully considered communications that guides them to a well-designed landing page. Contact information is then exchanged not for email blasts but for something of genuine value, like a white paper, webinar or exclusive report. Once that relationship of trust has been firmly established, you may consider offering more personal contact between your leads and your reps.
Social media best practices
Social networking and inbound marketing are intertwined, for better or (sometimes) worse. The slower decision cycle of B2B makes having a wonderfully optimized social page a good place to help visitors and leads understand exactly what you stand for. If you tend to clutter your social pages with ads and other self-promotion, you’ll come off as insensitive.
So populate your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Google+ pages not just with your own content, but great information you’ve found in your own research. A helpful article or engaging video that you’ve discovered and shared demonstrates your industry insight and, not coincidentally, encourages more likes, comments and shares for your page, which helps boost its ranking on algorithms like Facebook’s EdgeRank.
SEO best practices
You already know the vital role that search engine optimization (SEO) plays in your website and other content. The march of technology is making possible more ways leverage keywords and draw attention to your content. One of them is Google Authorship, a recent markup technology that places your photo and name alongside the title tags for your blog. This highly visual “byline” greatly enhances credibility and has been proven to increase click-throughs.
Whether or not you choose to adopt Authorship, your SEO remains a powerful force. Working with your SEO services company, you’ll determine the right long-tail keywords that help drive your site and content to the top of the results pages.