In our last blog we wrote about how small businesses, as well as getting a growth boost for Christmas with inbound marketing, need to look beyond the holidays at long-term solutions to keep visitors coming back for more.
We want to expand on that here. Regular readers will know that one of our core messages when it comes to growing your business through inbound marketing is that it’s essential to have the right strategy in place to attract new business and retain customers.
While holidays like Christmas can be a great time to offer discounts and boost visibility of your brand, wouldn’t it be better if you could attract that kind of attention on a year-round basis and be at the front of customers’ minds whenever they have a particular shopping scratch that needs itching?
Strategy: The key to growth in 2017
Some of the inbound marketing techniques we write about can be adopted by any business of any size, and can incorporate everything from organic search engine positioning to highly-targeted paid methods such as PPC and social media campaigns.
With an abundance of free tools out there on the market today a lot of business owners feel like they can do their marketing themselves. Marketing for long-term growth, however, is a lot different and far more complex than simply having a Facebook and Twitter account.
Ethical, transparent data collection, for instance, is an essential cornerstone for serious business growth and to reach out to loyal customers and casual shoppers that may visit your site from time to time.
Take the Royal Mail, though. According to their research, they say that poor-quality customer collection data is costing UK organisations as much as six per cent of annual revenues.
Some of the problems Royal Mail cite are duplicate data being collected as well as out-of-date data and incomplete data.
The survey also shows that 37 per cent of businesses lack any formal processes for cleansing their data. Nearly one in five (19 per cent) do not validate customer contact data at the point of data capture.
Planning your strategy for success in 2017
Data collection should be just one part of your overall long-term growth marketing strategy. You may have an email sign up box on your homepage to collect addresses, but chances are it won’t be enough if you’re looking to take the next step up with your brand.
And this is why so many people choose to outsource their marketing to an agency. Once they realise how much effort goes into not just maintaining, sorting, organising and creatively actioning a strong data collection strategy is, it also usually follows that that same amount of time needs to go into all aspects of an inbound growth campaign.
Social targeting, content creation, building links, managing a search and social budget… All need to marry together for serious business growth. The best way to do that is with an effective long-term strategy.
Here are some things to consider:
1: Who am I targeting and how can I reach them?
This is the one of the first things you should know when you’re starting your company. It can also be a holy grail of business growth online if you get your personas right, thanks to the targeted options that paid search and social media can provide.
Using your personas effectively is crucial to attracting the right kind of audience to your business. How old are they, what kind of salary do they pull in, how do they like to spend their money and, most importantly, where do they spend their time online so you can get in front of them?
This should be a key part of your long-term growth strategy, and it’s essential you get it right and amend it as time goes by.
2: Identifying industry trends before they happen
If you keep a close eye on Google Trends you can open yourself up to a treasure trove of information. Google Trends is also an essential way to see what certain audiences are up to in what’s fast becoming a post-TV world.
As well as keeping an eye on industry events and trade shows, the right social and search strategy can not only help you to identify current trends happening in your industry, but help you to identify future trends that are building excitement and traction.
It’s a great way not only to plan for new stock and prepare services when changes in the market happen, but to strike up conversations on social media to generate interest, create content to help you capitalise on searches for those trends, and target new customers before anyone else.
3: Reinvigorate your search efforts
Search engine optimisation is still a hugely important technique in the inbound growth marketing process, and while you’re investigating future trends for your customers, it’s essential to keep an eye on SEO trends that will help bring in more organic traffic.
Are you targeting really competitive keywords? Why not try and diversify and target more longtail, niche keywords to attract an untapped audience you may not know exists? At the same time, how is your SEO strategy complementing your paid search and social efforts?
SEO in 2017 is set to be more mobile-focused than before. Are your website and search offerings positioned to capitalise on a mobile-focused audience?
4: Look to strategise beyond your website
You may have a fantastic website, but is your strategy optimised to draw in the right crowd and reach out to them after they’ve made a purchase?
Marketing automation can help you especially to create and refine an effective after-sales process as well as collecting the right data to reach out to people to help them become loyal retainers. Collecting information is not enough; organising it, storing it and using it effectively is key to business growth.
As is researching your keywords and personas to target the right people with paid search and social targeting. Combine these points and more into a harmonious long-term strategy and the future of your business will look brighter than ever before.
If you’d like to learn more about how to market your business to new customers and want to develop a specialist inbound growth strategy, contact Webpresence today.