Has Inbound Marketing Killed Web Design?
Take a brief second and consider all the apps you’ve downloaded in your life. Maybe you gave Spotify Premium a chance after downloading the free version of the app. Or maybe you took a class on Khan Academy because you saw a recommended video on YouTube.
Each of these scenarios is a result of successful inbound marketing tactics. The art of inbound marketing is that it moves a person from passive audience member to consumer by leading them through a natural flow of information.
The art of inbound marketing is growing and expanding. Forbes recently labeled inbound marketing as “the No. 1 killer of cold calls.”
Keep reading to see how you can use inbound marketing to replace your old sales tactics and traditional websites that no longer work.
What’s the difference between traditional website design and inbound marketing websites?
There are two main differentiators between inbound and traditional sites: content and call-to-action.
Inbound marketers know how valuable content is for search and SEO. They know that in order to get your site noticed, it needs to be populated with content like blogs, white papers, tip sheets, ebooks, videos, webinars, infographics, and podcasts.
What’s the point of all this content? First, it makes your site SEO-rich so that it’s easily found by search engines. For example, if you are an auto mechanic, you would want to create videos and blog posts addressing common questions that people have about cars. That way, when people search for a common car question or brand, your shop is more likely to be listed as a top result.
Within the content, there should be a call to action that moves the audience to either make a purchase, download an app, sign up for marketing emails, or start a subscription. The call-to-action should feel natural, and should be embedded in content that is relevant to the reader.
The history of inbound marketing
Hubspot created the term “inbound marketing” in 2006. The company describes it this way:
“Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be.”
According to Hubspot, there are four main steps to turn a web visitor into a customer: attract, convert, close and delight.
Step 1: Attract.
You don’t just want any traffic to your site; you want to attract the right kind. Begin by blogging about common complaints or concerns that you know your audience members have. Then populate your blogs (or videos, or podcasts) throughout your website, and share them on your social media publishing sites.
Step 2: Convert.
Next, you need to convert these audience members into business leads by capturing their information. You can do this by creating landing pages and forms where the visitor fills out their contact information, beginning the first step in the conversion process.
Step 3: Close.
Next you need to close the sale. Customer-relationship management and marketing automation tools can help you keep track of your leads. Services like ConvertKit and MailChimp can help you create an ongoing conversation with your audience that will lead them to buy your product or service.
Step 4: Delight.
Now that you have made a customer, you want to do everything in your power to keep them coming back. So take surveys, do Twitter chats, Facebook Live sessions, and connect with them on LinkedIn to find out what their most burning questions and desires are, so that you can tweak your inbound marketing website to cater more to their needs.
How you can utilize inbound marketing in 2017
What we have experienced at Stern Inbound Marketing is that more and more “websites” have shrunk down to one-page landing pages.
You have seen them. These landing pages depend on social media and pay-per-click ads on Google and Bing to drive leads to them.
In reality, these tactics will not work for very long. Building your organic SEO through content marketing and content distribution is still king and still the ground force of organic SEO. And building up your blog, YouTube channel, and social media following at the same time is how to create a constant lead-generating inbound marketing strategy.
To us, everything works together. As a dramatist and playwright who is now a brand strategist and content copywriting consultant, my Stern Storming sessions are where we define and write out what those landing pages, blogs and social media campaigns will be.
At Stern, we put it ALL together. Front to back, your blog is your SEO, and all of your pages and media ARE working Inbound Marketing Landing pages.
Schedule your Stern Storming Discovery call and let’s put together a complete marketing strategy that works for you.