Why Your Inbound Marketing Efforts Need to Be Cohesive
Inbound marketing can be a lot like preparing a grand meal—each is made up of several distinct steps that add up to something greater than the sum of their parts.
Just as you wouldn’t plan a menu without considering how different ingredients and dishes complement each other, you shouldn’t undertake an inbound campaign without understanding how different elements play off of and contribute to one another.
Design, content creation, social media marketing, email marketing and even traditional outbound channels like TV and billboard advertising all occupy their own place in a cohesive, wholistic strategy.
Unfortunately, many inbound marketers focus too much on singular tactics and lose perspective on the strategy as a whole.
Why You Should Take a Wholistic Approach to Your Inbound Marketing
The simple fact is that inbound marketing really only works to its fullest abilities when it’s done with a cohesive strategy in place. In fact, inbound is not even inbound unless you are taking a full-funnel strategic approach.
The many tactics that make up a good inbound strategy work well on their own but are truly effective when they’re used to improve and build on one another.
For example, blogging is a tried and true SEO tactic that can target long-tail keywords, improve a website’s authority, and attract inbound links. But that doesn't make up an entire campaign.
Integrating your company’s blog with your social media and email marketing efforts will not only provide fresh, original content to share with your followers, but help to improve traffic and inbound linking to each post. Thus the performance of each channel—SEO, social, and email—is greatly improved.
Likewise, social media can be a great way to nurture relationships with industry influencers. Those relationships can then be leveraged to organically promote content and generate high-authority backlinks.
Further down the funnel, landing pages and lead nurturing emails should be created with the message, stylistic elements and overall tone of blogging and social content in place. The alternative risks turning off prospective customers who are attracted by one thing and then presented with another.
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Incorporating Traditional Outbound Marketing
If you’re engaged in any outbound marketing, such as TV ads, print ads, billboards or other tactics, be sure to incorporate them into your overall strategy as well. Just because it’s not digital doesn’t mean it’s not content.
Treating inbound and outbound like two completely separate worlds undermines their ability to complement and reinforce each other.
Outbound advertising can be a great way to bolster top-of-the-funnel lead numbers, build brand awareness and more—all of which works toward the benefit of your inbound efforts.
On the other hand, data analytics gathered over the course of an inbound campaign can be used to improve the effectiveness of outbound content. Extensive online A/B testing may demonstrate that your highest converting demographics respond better to one piece of copy than another. Wouldn’t it be wise to use that knowledge when crafting copy for an upcoming print ad?
Place the Buyer and Their Journey at the Core of Your Strategy
All inbound marketing is based on the philosophy that marketing should be done to provide value to the user, not to outwardly promote your business at every stage of the buyer's journey. Of course, there is a time and place for that too.
Inbound marketers need to work every day to understand their customers a little better than before, and use that understanding to give them the content and solutions they’re really looking for.
Build a strategy based around each customer’s unique persona and their individual journey. Consider tactics (inbound or outbound) only when they contribute to that strategy. The alternative is marketing done for its own sake, rather than for the sake of your business and your buyers.
Keep this in mind and a wholistic, cohesive and effective approach will follow.