The 10 must-have rules of inbound marketing

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Inbound marketing gets results. Companies using inbound marketing tactics are growing faster than those that don’t. These firms are creating a permanent digital footprint for their target market to access for years. By not paying attention to inbound marketing, you may be losing market share to competitors and not know it!

The fundamentals of inbound marketing are built around the use of digital content to attract people to your company and brand. This content meets their research needs and generates leads for your sales team.

Many Vistage companies do not take advantage of inbound marketing because of a lack of knowledge. Don’t let this be a barrier! Get the resources and information to implement inbound marketing tactics and grow your qualified leads.

The 10 must-have rules of inbound marketing

1. Write for the reader.

The most common mistake that companies make with inbound marketing is writing from the perspective of the company. Each organization has an internal language and methods for communicating that work for their company. This may not be how prospective customers communicate.

Speak in the language of the reader and develop content that helps people in your target market do their jobs better and improves the quality of their lives.

2. Use content to raise your placement on Google.

The more content on your website, the higher your Google placement.

  • 500 to 1,000 website pages is ideal.
  • Adding 50 pages to your site is equal to 48% more traffic.
  • Your website gets nine times more traffic with 1,000 pages.
  • Websites with blogs get five times more traffic.

3. Let content serve as the voice of your brand.

It is important to have one consistent voice for your company brand. This builds trust and drives simplicity for readers as they learn more about your company. Consistency is critical to communicate a clear brand message.

4. Translate what you do well into online content.

Write about what your company does very well and better than others. This content is loaded with benefits and should include videos, photos, graphics, audio and other media. Marketing verbiage and ads are not perceived as valuable content.

5. Make free digital content a competitive advantage.

Free content has a new definition: It is your competitive advantage. Many companies resist this because they believe they are giving away secrets. If you don’t write about your value, others will. You are only hiding value if you don’t distribute excellent content.

6. Write great headlines and taglines.

Headlines, taglines and photo captions are the most-read digital content. They save people time and create value. When website visitors see the benefit in headlines and taglines, they will pursue deeper digital content.

7. Communicate in layers.

Website visitors scan content quickly. The reader of your website should be able to go deeper into your site and find volumes of content and information, but they will only find this content if they can first scan and search. Set up your content in layers on your website. Use tag lines, provide brief bullet points with links to more information and create an intuitive menu for navigation. Keep your content brief on the key landing pages of your website. Most website content can be cut in half and still communicate the same message.

8. Always use captions with photos and graphics.

Photos get people’s attention. Images without captions tell different stories to different people. Always write clear and direct captions for all your website photography so people can easily understand the message and the purpose of the photo. Avoid stock photography. Use photos of real people and things at your company.

9. Watch the ROI on inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is cheaper than most forms of marketing. Set up tracking methods to monitor conversions and track the ROI from inbound marketing. Inbound marketing has excellent and measurable ROI.

10. Create a company culture for content marketing.

It is especially important that sales and marketing staff and top leadership embrace inbound marketing. Writing and preparing content is hard work, and support must come from top levels of the organization. Improved marketing results will help drive the culture needed to implement a winning content marketing strategy.

Barriers to content marketing

Many people avoid inbound marketing because they don’t like to write. You can find people who love to write and will create excellent content on any subject. Here are a few reasons that companies put off inbound marketing:

  • They don’t have the time or the people.
  • Their teams will have to work too hard.
  • Giving away free content will not work for the company.
  • The marketing or sales staff don’t have the right skill sets.
  • They’re unable to relate to the customer or understand online prospecting.

Don’t let these barriers get in the way of your digital marketing success. Find the right people and build a team to implement inbound marketing strategies.

Action items

  • Include an inbound marketing strategy in your marketing plan.
  • Meet with your key sales and marketing staff and get them involved in inbound marketing.
  • Assign the content work to people who show initiative and want to write.
  • Review the need for outside contractors.
  • Review websites like Writer’s Access to find qualified writers who can learn about your company.
  • Understand and segment the audience for each form of content.
  • Determine your content outlets, types and topics.
  • Assign a team member to schedule content placement in various channels and prepare a content calendar.
  • Make sure all content is optimized for search engines.
  • Track results and conversion rates to determine your ROI.
  • Hold a monthly inbound marketing meeting with your team.

Category: Marketing

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About the Author: Tom Young

Thomas Young is President of Intuitive Websites and an award-winning Vistage speaker for 17 years. He is the author of “Winning the Website War” and a Vistage member based in Denver, Colorado. Thomas has worked in the field for 19 years a

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