The main objective of this step is to turn strangers into visitors.
Welcome back to the next set of the inbound marketing methodology lesson. Last time we talked about the general outline of what inbound marketing is, and how you can utilize the four steps to market your business more successfully in the digital age. This week we will dive deeper into each step of the methodology, and talk about how you can use it to attract customers to your site.
The sole purpose of the ATTRACT phase is to turn strangers into visitors; essentially, you want to get your business on the map. The key to the inbound methodology is meeting the customers where they are, and that means that unlike outbound marketing, we need to speak to and craft a plan around a select target audience. This target audience is called your buyer persona, and understanding your buyer persona is vital in the attract phase. If for instance your ideal customer is a career woman named Jenny, in her mid 20’s that enjoys caramel frappuccinos, cats, pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to market to Carl, a man in his 60’s who has recently retired and spends his days playing golf and watching the news. I know, duh, right? That may seem obvious, but it’s imperative to understand, because the words you use and the content you create will be vastly different depending on who your target is.
Once we have our goals in place and a deep understanding of our buyer persona, what do we do to get them to our site?
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
First, it is important to understand that just because you have made a website, it doesn’t mean that search engines like Google and Bing have indexed your site as existent. Even if you have an address, if you aren’t on the map, strangers won’t be able to find you. To check if you have been put on the map, go to a search bar and type in “site:” followed by your domain name-- For example, “site:digitalradar.agency”. The results show all of the pages on your site that have been indexed, and if your pages all show then you are off to a good start. If they aren’t then you can submit your site through Google Search Console to be crawled and indexed.
Google and Bing are rather ‘hush hush’ about the exact algorithms used to determine ranking, but lucky for you and I, there have been others before us that have done the research and compiled a list of top ranking factors for onsite SEO that Google looks for. There are over 200 factors, and different verticals may require that you put your efforts into different areas to rank. So how do you know which one to focus on first?
Well, you could ask an expert for help! I mean, no olympic gold medal winner did it without help, right?
Or you could also follow this basic rule of thumb: The number one way to achieve a higher ranking and to increase visibility is to acquire many high quality backlinks. With more backlinks from other quality sites, you have proven yourself as a dependable source and authority in your field, and Google wants to reward that by putting you on page one. So you may ask, how do you get these backlinks? Well you could pay for them, but be careful to not use blackhat tactics that try and cheat the system. That may work initially, but in the long run it will hurt your business much more than if you had taken them time to acquire the links organically. The best way to achieve this is through a purpose driven content like a blog.
Backlinks are queen, and content is king.
Long before the invention of the internet, before books, and possibly even before cave drawings, humans would pass on information and the history of their culture to one another through stories. The power of storytelling is ingrained in us, and we are biologically wired to relate a story to our life and transform it into an idea or experience that is our own. That’s why, if done well, a blog can be a powerful tool in harnessing attraction. Not only can a relevant blog on a topic in your niche set you apart from the crowd and make you an authority, it can garner the attention of others that may be interested in sharing what you have to say. By making shareable content, you are meeting the customers where they are and offering something useful to them. The entire purpose of the inbound methodology is to no longer look at your customer as just a paycheck, but as a a partner and friend; and by sharing your expertise with them, you are building a relationship and trust between you and your audience.
But remember, if you aren’t tailoring your content and keywords to your target audience, then the backlinks and response that you get won’t be relevant or worth the time, money, and effort you’ve put in. So make sure that you are taking the time to do market research and identifying your audience clearly. Once your content is created, you need a way to let your new friends know that it exists, and social media is an excellent platform to use to share your content with the world.
According to Forbes, 53% of the world’s population is online, and of that, 42% is on social media. That is 3.2 billion sets of eyeballs that could potentially see your content! And where the eyeballs are, money follows.
We all know that the most efficient form of marketing is from word of mouth, because people tend to trust the opinion of their friends over the opinion of a brand. Since the advent of the internet, consumers have become much more educated on their buying choices, and trust for corporations has gone way down. So the way to leverage that information is to talk to them like they are a friend. Make content on social media that will be useful to your audience, and make sure that your posts are adding positively to their experience online, as if you were a friend or family member showing up on their feed.
Every buyer persona has its own unique way of moving through social media. They use different platforms, at different times, with different hashtags. For example, LinkedIn may be better suited to reach your career woman Jenny, while Facebook may be a better outlet to reach Carl. Make sure that you transform the data you’ve collected into a strong strategy that incorporates how to effectively market on social media using the analytics you’ve collected.
Now that you know a little more about how to attract visitors to your site, the next step is to turn those visitors into leads. Next week we will go more in depth on step two; how to convert.
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Katie Goodwill is Digital Radar’s newest copywriter/intern extraordinaire. She uses the power of storytelling to connect a brand to its audience on a personal level. With a perfect mixture of psychology, design, and data she brings brands to life.