Inbound Marketing is a term coined by HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan, which is a proven method for creating and sharing content to convert strangers into promoters of your business.
It includes four stages: The conversion starts with strangers to visitors, visitors to leads, leads to customers, and customers to promoters.
For all these conversions, content is the main pillar. Along with SEO, blogging, and emails, Social media is an important tool you can use for your Inbound Marketing.
Social media channels are considered to be the best friends of Inbound Marketing.
Want to know how? Continue reading to get deeper insights into how you can use social media to improve your ROI in Inbound Marketing.
How Social Media Works
Social media plays a vital role in all the four stages. But, Attract phase takes more advantage. Here is the flow of how social media channels work in Attract stage.
- Attract new customers to your site: Attract more visitors to your site by making relevant posts, engaging and insightful posts.
- Build your brand: Social media helps you in building up an authority and interacting with customers online. Determine the right tone of voice to keep them engaged with your brand.
- Social engagement shows your company cares: More potential customers look for active social media presence, the way you respond back for queries and feedback can be a benefit. This makes customers feel that your business really cares.
- Social ads engage with more readers: Social ads can help you get more number of visitors to your site than normal. While paying for paid ads you must consider that the posts are relevant, they are being delivered to the right audience and the time-sensitivity of the ads.
- Transform readers into contacts: Use of social media and posting regularly can convert visitors into contacts and customers.
You can also increase your traffic by offering discounts and incentives to convert the customers into promoters. Social media can boost your Inbound Marketing strategy and improve traffic to any business, brand or eCommerce site.
Impact of Social Media on Inbound Marketing
1. Content promotion
Social media helps to attract new readers and returning visitors which is important for your Inbound Marketing strategy.
What should you do to get more traffic to your website?
The first step is to create great content. It is the key to attract more readers to your content.
Creating a great content promotion plan can help you draw more visitors and readers to your site.
How can you create your content promotion plan?
Your content promotion plan should include paid, owned, earned social media tactics.
- Paid media: The content for which you pay to reach potential customers such as ads and sponsored posts.
- Owned media: The content you create yourself such as blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, etc. You have complete control over your content.
- Earned media: Your audiences are the main players. The content they create will help promote you such as social shares, reviews, or any other user activity.
The social media content promotion is not only limited to the above factors. The social media channels will allow you to promote the content and achieve your goals.
2. Content ideas
To create new content ideas you can make use of different types of social media channels and social media monitoring tools.
Here is the list of different types of social media:
- Personal network: To connect with people (and brands) online.
- Interest-based network: To connect with others around a shared interest or hobby.
- E-Commerce: To spot trends, follow brands, share great finds, and make purchases.
- Media sharing networks: To find and share photos, videos, live video, and other media online.
- Discussion forums: To find, discuss, and share news, information, and opinions.
- Bookmarking sites: To discover, save, share, and discuss new and trending content and media.
- Social publishing: To publish, discover, and comment on content online.
- Online reviews: To find, review, and share information about brands, products, and services, and more.
- Economy networks: To advertise, find, share, buy, sell, and trade products and services between peers.
- Anonymous social networks: Communicate anonymously (To gossip, vent, snoop, and sometimes bully.)
These are the social media channels which you can use to gain content ideas. Comparing all the types of social media, the discussion forum is the best one.
Discussion forums such as Quora and Reddit are great sites to visit to learn more about what kind of content people are talking about. You can get a lot of content ideas from these platforms.
Once the content is ready, How can you monitor them?
Social media monitoring tools provide you the outlet to listen to what is being shared the most and what is reflecting (resonating) on social media.
Social media monitoring tools:
- Allow you to capture powerful insights.
- Focus on target specific keywords and topics.
These captured insights can help you influence your online presence and help improve brand sentiment.
This will guide you to create content that people actually want to read.
You should spread your social media monitoring across the right social media channels and keep a constant watch to take the full advantage of social media channels. And it is definitely not an instant process. It takes time and use of right social monitoring tools.
3. Greater understanding of your audience
Understanding your audience is very important. Social media helps you in understanding your audience with a significant amount of data.
So, what do you need to do now?
You need to create content that will bring in more visitors. To gather the ones you deserve you need to make sure that you are effectively creating content for your audience.
To write effective content, you need to have the insights what kind of content your audience engages with the most.
You can use social media analytics tools to:
- Collect insights into the statistical and geographic breakdown of your audience
- Get an idea of the most engaging content
- Create the search engine-friendly content
Google appreciates the content that answers the audience search queries.
4. Helps with SEO
Social media data is great for learning about your audience. So you can create more search engine optimized content.
Social media helps in:
- Potential for links
- Build an audience
- Branded searches
- Helps promotion
On the other hand, social media also helps you in building relationships with bloggers, social media influencers, and brand advocates.
They can help you promote your content through their social channels, blog, and networks which will help link building. By doing so, will increase your ranking in Google’s search engine results pages (SERP). And you will have a higher chance of gaining more visitors to your content.
5. You can find new opportunities
Your brand has a specific target audience and geographic location. Social media provides a lot of opportunities and insights into new territories and groups of people who are most likely to be interested in your brand.
In social media, you can use relevant hashtags to reach people who are interested in your product and brand.
Differentiating your Inbound Marketing content from competitors is important to deliver quality content to beat your competitors.
- New social advertising units
- New social networking players: With the rise of mobile messaging applications
- New video formats: Videos are seeing an impressive performance at a lower cost per engagement comparing with other forms
...can be some of the new opportunities in social media.
3 Things to Consider in Social Media:
- Understand which social channels your buyer personas actively use
- Consider the ROI and lead gen potential of your social channels
- Decide what content to share
Top 5 Social media channels you can make use of:
- Massive exposure on a global scale
- Low marketing expenses
- Ability to target potential customers
- Developing brand loyalty
- Increasing your web traffic
- Useful info – Facebook insights and competitor information
- Focus on one funnel at a time
- Start with the end product first
- Follow up
- Rise, repeat and optimize
- Increased engagement
- High conversion rate
- Reach target market
- Lower CPC
- Increased visibility
- Multichannel connection
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Break the distanced corporate image
- Generate traffic to your website
- Follow the trends in your industry
- Communicate more effectively
- Strengthen your connection with your local community
- It’s pretty much another website
- It’s a way to target your company updates
- It’s a lead generator
- It optimizes your website for SEO ranking
- Ideal for showcasing your products or services
- Generates traffic to your site
- Great for brand visibility
- Build your corporate identity
Social media is a boon for marketing. It is an open platform where you can reach out to millions and billions of customers on the go.
Social media go hand-in-hand with Inbound Marketing in all the stages. Social media is a brilliant way of attracting new visitors and for retaining the existing customers.
Creating good content is just the part of the journey. You have to understand your customers and create brilliant content to bring them through the funnel.
If you haven’t started using social media, the biggest step you can take today is to start using social media for your business.
All social media channels are proven ways to give a boost to your business. Have a plan, create great content, understand your customers, monitor the social networks, reach out to social connections and influencers, drive business.
Got any questions about gearing up your social media presence the inbound way? Let's get talking!