There's no such thing as a boring product; just bad marketing.

Inbound marketing is leading the way in evolutionary customer attraction activity and dominating the online growth strategies of corporations worldwide.

Movement away from outbound methods which pushed products and brands out to large, generalist audiences via paid for advertising and purchased email lists is demonstrative of a new era in buying behaviours.

Internet users are becoming increasingly dismissive of sales oriented approaches and instead, expect to be presented with factual information about a service or product that they are interested in, at a time and place that is convenient for them.

So what is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing centres on the production and dissemination of original, high quality content designed to pull interested prospects towards your company; encouraging them to take action in the hope of converting them into customers/clients.

It is a strategy dependent on a combination of SEO, social media and content marketing. Amplified by recent Google Penguin updates, great quality, optimized content is more important than ever in increasing outreach and encouraging link building to improve SEO.

By ensuring that the right content is made available to your target audience at the right place and at the right time, your marketing efforts become helpful and relevant rather than interruptive and inappropriate, increasing the likelihood that prospects will take action.

What defines good content?

Good content is anything that creates awareness, interest and desire, and encourages people to respond and take action; whether in the form of articles, blog entries, infographics or videos.

In brief, content should:

  • Answer questions what is your product and why should people purchase it?
  • Fulfil wants/needs the value-added benefits associated with your product; consider how it will appeal emotionally to the prospect.

For more information on creating quality content, view an earlier post on how to present information in a concise, appropriate and engaging way to capture your online audience.

How to ensure your content is reaching the right people at the right time and place

Pivotal in ensuring content is optimised is the ability to offer information at a time and place where prospects interact.

You can increase the effectiveness of your content by thoroughly researching the topic/industry and listening to relevant online conversations to understand where and how content is shared.

Reach out to prospects, followers and industry leaders and ask if they can share your content. Share on forums and in relevant networks.

Inbound Marketing Infographic

Make content available to multiple audiences through multiple channels, including:

  • Blogs - as one of the best ways to attract visitors to your website, blogs can offer insightful, informative content to position your business as an industry thought leader and encourage visitors to subscribe and share content amongst like-minded individuals. Either create your own or guest post on a site with higher page authority than your own.
  • Social media sites - people share content across multiple networks which will expand brand outreach. Share on your own social media sites and increase the likelihood of your content converting to quantifiable business.
  • Websites - present content either on your own website in the form of downloadable PDFs or in an article archive to boost positioning on SERPs, or submit content to professional bodies or knowledge bases to ensure your content helps educate people whilst improving your reputation through association.

Note: do not reproduce published content, i.e. your completed content should only be live in one place. Duplicate content is penalised by Google and won't earn you SEO points. Promote your content freely using snippets; as long as your content doesn't exist in entirety in multiple places, you're likely to snag the big fishes.

You've cast the hook; it's time to reel them in

The benefits that can be drawn from great content are unending, however we are open to such a vast and diverse online audience that competition to produce unique content has become fierce.

Link baiting is the process whereby dissemination of interesting, informative or entertaining content encourages your target audience to link to it.

The main benefit of link baiting is that it's an organic link building process. In other words, it's a way of increasing the traffic and visibility of your website by proving your company 'know their stuff'. Rather than forcing people to take notice through suspect sales techniques, link baiting earns the trust and attention of customers.

It's a method based on interaction between real people, and we all know people buy in to people.

Fishing is a gathering skill that requires expertise and patience. Find your 'angle' and persevere.