Unless you have been living under a rock the past few years, you should already know about inbound marketing. This phenomenon first came on the scene in 2006 and has since completely revolutionized the way that we think about marketing in general.
And in tech it's even more effective than in other industries. The big reason for this is the fact that tech buyers research before they buy. This means that they're looking for answers to their questions and trying to get as much information as possible before they pull the trigger on a purchase. And with inbound marketing's focus on answering questions with content, the fit between inbound and tech is a natural one.
But, with the millions of tactics available when it comes to inbound marketing how do you nail down the one that is right for you and your tech business?
Here are a few tips that will jumpstart your inbound marketing and put you on the road to success.
Research is Everything
I know; nobody likes to do research. It's really hard to place value on the research that you do. You can't really put on paper the amount of money that research will make you, but it's still something that we must do. Start by making sure you know your business. Know what your competition is up to and where you want to go as a company. Have goals within your company and understand what it means to be successful.
Finally, know your customer. What are their interests and desires? What makes them get up in the morning? Why and where do they spend their time and money? Knowing people this intimately will help you understand more about what you should do to fulfill their needs.
There are plenty of ways that you can research these items. For example, you can set up Google alerts to learn more about your target market. You should also spend some time talking to your current customers so you can feel them about when it comes to their feelings about your company. You can use a resource like Netigate, Qualtrics, or SurveyMonkey to create a survey that will help you learn the intricacies of your customers.
To learn more about the industry you are in, take the time to scope out your competitors and other businesses in the industry. Look at where the industry is headed and the economic and financial factors that will get it there. Don't forget about looking into the trends and newsworthy items that are taking place in today's world as well.
Give your Content Value
In days gone by, SEO was thought of as keyword stuffing. Those who created websites would take certain words that their target market typically searched for and stuff them on a page. This worked well for a while; until the search engines discovered this trick. Along with being discovered, designers also learned that those visiting their website really didn't like being there. Why? Because they were getting absolutely nothing from those pages.
The same can be said for businesses who constantly push the sell of items to consumers through their website or social media. If this is the only thing that you are doing, there is no reason for someone to visit your site unless they are ready to make a purchase. Without others visiting your site, you won't have anyone to entice to make a purchase. So, how do you get people to your site, stay high in the search results and drive sales?
The best thing to do is to offer content that is actually valuable to your consumers. For example, if you sell carpet for a living, build some information about how to care for the carpet that you sell. Naturally, you will want to add some amazing pictures along with your content that will show those reading your material exactly what they are missing in their homes.
Search engines love this type of content. It's valuable, it's enjoyable and people are looking for it. What better way to get to the top of Google's good list? But, don't forget to add some keywords in there as well as a few links to some of the authorities in your industry. This will help ensure that you are found by those who could benefit from your products and services.
See if it Works
Just because you follow these guidelines, it doesn't mean it's going to work immediately. Sometimes, it’s a bit of a process to find the exact methods that work best for your customers. Plus, you always have to be on the lookout for the next, bigger and better ways to do things. Remember, inbound marketing isn't a ‘set it and forget it' sort of deal. You have to keep stirring the pot to get results.
After you have developed and set in motion a plan, make sure you are tracking it. Go back to your Google alerts account, or other type of monitoring system, and update the information with your new plan. If you aren't getting the results you thought, it may be time to revamp your strategy.
However, when it comes to tracking results, make sure you allow it to begin working before you start making changes. Nothing is going to work immediately. Instead, it could take a few weeks before you begin to see the full results of the program. But, after this time, if you don't see the results you are looking for, you should rethink your strategy.
The most important thing to remember is that the people on the other end of your content are just like you. They have the same fears, insecurities, hopes and dreams that you do. Remembering who you are talking to and why you continue to do what you do is crucial when it comes to inbound marketing. This gives you the ability to relate to your consumer in a way that you will never be able to capture with any computerized strategy.
And most importantly, you need to fix their problems and answer their questions. As I mentioned earlier, the tech industry is all about research before you buy. So, make sure you provide your customers with the proper information to help them make the right decision.