5 Essential Inbound Marketing Tactics – How many do you do?
Optimizing your website for search engines is just one way to drive traffic. Don’t forget these under-utilized inbound marketing methods because if you leave these platforms untouched, their users will leave your website untouched.
1. YouTube Video Marketing
As the third-most popular website according to Alexa — behind Google and Facebook — YouTube provides access to over 1 billion unique visitors monthly, many of whom conduct searches directly on the platform. You can land in their search results with a YouTube brand channel, which also improves your SEO and encourages social sharing.
Setting up a brand channel is easy. Just upload your logo and a banner photo, include a brief company description and post links to your website and other social media. Complete the launch of your YouTube channel by uploading a video, which can also be simple.
Start by examining your website for content suitable for video. By sourcing from your site, your content should already contain strategic keywords. Next, record yourself or an actor explaining the topic. If preferred, hire someone through Fiverr or another freelance site to be on screen.
Then gather additional imagery, such as relevant photos, graphics, or you or an actor demonstrating the concept. Basic video editing software, such as Windows Movie Maker, is all you need to compile everything.
Another option is to interview an expert or a panel of experts. Visit your niche’s popular forums for common questions. If possible, film the interview with more than one camera for a more professional final product with multiple camera angles.
Finish your videos with a strong call to action, such as directing viewers to your website for related content or inviting them to follow you on YouTube.
Finally, upload your video. Give your video a compelling title and forthcoming description, both filled with keywords.
2. iTunes Podcasting
Podcasts can be much longer than articles or videos because your audience can listen while multitasking. For instance, more people download Pat Flynn’s podcast daily than visit his website, The Smart Passive Income Blog. On average, visitors spend seven minutes and 19 seconds on his blog, whereas his podcasts last 45 minutes to an hour.
Start by voice-recording some of your existing online content. Make a list of the main points, and explain them as you would to a friend. Be wary of reading a script verbatim, which can sound unnatural.
If you already have video, you can often convert the audio into a podcast. You can also do the reverse: video-record yourself creating a podcast and turn it into a YouTube video.
Upload your completed podcast to iTunes, and create new podcasts regularly for maximum impact.
3. Amazon Kindle
An excellent method for gathering email leads is to offer a free giveaway, such as an audiobook with the purchase of a Kindle e-book.
First, get inspiration for your Kindle e-book title and topic by searching Amazon for keywords with “Kindle Store” selected as the search type. Related suggestions will appear in a dropdown menu, providing numerous possibilities.
Write as many 5,000-word reports as possible, but keep the quality high. Throughout the report, direct readers to your website and to sign up for the free giveaway. If you don’t feel confident writing your own reports, you can outsource to writers on oDesk, Freelancer.com or a similar site. Outsourcing shouldn’t cost a fortune, but be cautious of paying less than $15 an hour, which may result in subpar content.
Finish your report with an eye-catching cover. Hire a freelancer or make your own at MyCoverMaker, where you can choose different on-screen appearances, insert images and graphics from their stock collection, and manipulate typography.
Next, upload your e-book on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing page. Royalties from the e-books are nice, but the goal is to gather email leads. Therefore, price it low, but not so low that potential customers may suspect inferior content.
Lastly, create a landing page advertising your e-books, with a form for submitting email addresses for the free giveaway. Optimize this squeeze page for mobile devices because most Kindle traffic comes from phones and tablets.
4. Publish Infographics
Infographics are some of the web’s most popular content, and if you create compelling images, others will likely share them.
Start by determining what images appeal to your target audience. Then gather statistics from those already collected by your company, conduct an online survey with Survey Monkey or another free survey site, or search online for credible sources. Just be sure to attribute your sources in the infographic.
After devising a plan, either outsource the infographic design at one of the freelance websites mentioned or create your own at Easel.ly with pre-made templates, stock objects, backgrounds, shapes and typography.
Promote your completed infographic on your website and social networks, and distribute it as much as possible.
5. Brand Your Content
Possibly the most important strategy discussed, branding is essential to becoming a recognizable industry authority. If you haven’t already, get a logo, which can be outsourced.
To brand your videos, place your logo at the beginning and end with a music snippet. If you have the means, have someone animate this intro/outro. Ensure your brand is clearly visible, but don’t make it longer than five seconds.
Using the same musical clip, announce your brand at the start and end of podcasts.
Occasionally mention your brand when appropriate, such as directing listeners to your website for more information.
In your Kindle e-books, tastefully place your logo on the cover and insert your brand name and link in the footnotes of each page.
Protect the images you create by watermarking them with your logo. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, use a tool like Watermark.ws for the job.
As your brand grows from these inbound marketing tactics, your audience will begin to recognize your logo and will start to think of your brand as a trusted industry authority, driving even more traffic to your website and success to your business.