Breaking Out of Your Inbound Marketing Rut
Despite your best efforts in 2011, traffic and leads are leveling out. You're doing your best with blog posts and social media updates, but somehow the momentum has flagged in recent months. Is it simply that you've had other priorities, like keeping the company afloat, or is it your content that's become stale and lifeless. Maybe you should put some eggs in other baskets that may help you gain some inbound marketing mojo again. Here are some ideas.
Focus on Blog Post Syndication
If you think about it, when you post a blog, you are publishing to the same audience over and over again - your blog subscribers, your social media followers and people who happen to be searching on keywords in your blog topics and titles. How can you break out of that relatively limited group? Hopefully your audience grows with time as you gain thought leadership and social media reach, but those sources advance relatively slowly and organically. One great way to break out of the mold is through blog post syndication. Our posts get picked up by a couple of very popular industry sites, socialmediatoday.com and business2community.com. These well-respected syndication sites feature articles by thought leaders in the marketing industry, and we're lucky enough to be counted among them. The net result? About 20% of our traffic and a whopping 40% of inbound leads come from referrals, and most of them are blog syndication sites. Bottom line, get out of your rut by finding popular blog post syndication sites in your industry. Find out how you can get your posts published there - most often by submitting a few really good posts and nurturing the relationship over time.
Crank Out Some Professional Quality Videos
Yes, this can be quite expensive, but compared to a traditional ad campaign over even PPC over time, a great video can go a long way towards attracting attention via YouTube and other social channels, and most importantly, it persists over time and gains authority in search engines. Add to that the benefit of naturally fitting your mobile site content, and you have a potentially huge way of bringing in new visitors and leads that goes beyond your usual channels. We record all of our live webinars, which is a good start, but we know we need to do better with original video content. It's a high priority for us this year. Here are some ideas that B2B companies can work on:
- Interviews and discussions with industry leaders. Consider also making these into podcasts for the mobile commuters.
- Insider tours and demonstrations. These can be boring, so it will take some creativity to add life and make them interesting.
- Non-Testimonials. These are more like case studies than testimonials. You're trying to get across how you executed a project and how it turned out, preferably through a discussion with a high-ranking client officer to add credibility.
- Fun videos. You have to have the right corporate personality, but these can be dynamite. HubSpot does a great job with entertaining videos, and they drive tons of traffic and leads every year.
Write a Book
Yes, I know, easier said than done, but a well-written traditional book or e-book can bring in a whole new group of loyal followers and, ultimately, customers. HubSpot again comes to mind with their publication of "Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs" in 2009. Writing a book more-or-less cements you as an authority in your industry if it's considered well written, original and informative. If you are an expert at what you do, why not memorialize your knowledge and get some inbound marketing "oomph" in return?
Build an App
This can also be expensive, but a well-conceived and well-designed mobile app could be huge, since mobile is one of the fastest growing marketplaces anywhere. Your app should solve a specific problem or address a specific need (unless it's a game of course). It should be pretty unique, so do your homework first. Think about what your customers or other professionals in your industry would kill for on their smartphones. Something that would remove a common barrier or expedite their daily workflow. Find a reputable app developer or company and work closely with them on the project scope, deliverables and timeframe.
Avoid Future Ruts
It's not hard coming up with new ideas that can keep your content fresh and expand your reach. What is hard is dedicating time and resources to getting that done. The key thing is making creativity a priority in your organization. Assign someone as the Chief Creative Wonk and give them real responsibility, authority and budget. Get involved in reinventing yourself constantly with great new content and you will be rewarded with expanding sales horizons.
Photo Credit: seanrnicholson
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