As government buyers increasingly turn to the internet to help them find the right solutions for their agencies, more and more government contractors are starting to practice inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is based on the premise that buyers will find you when they search for solutions to their problems, whether it be on the web or social media. Market Connections 2015 Federal Content Marketing Review conclusively proves that government buyers are accessing whitepapers, videos and webinars to help them learn how to perform better.
Inbound marketing is all about creating helpful content that engages, educates and captures a specific audience. The name of the game is credibility building; if you create content that helps your ideal customer, you’ve done more than half the job required to close sales. The question is, how do you ensure that your content is always doing what it needs to do in order to win over your buyers?
In the wild world of content creation there are multiple tactics that marketers take on as part of a cohesive strategy. Among these are: social media content, eNewsletters, blog posts, case studies, videos, webinars, ebooks, infographics, whitepapers and research reports, just to name a few. That’s quite a bit of pressure. Putting in the hours necessary to succeed is hard for any business, but especially if you’re a small business with a team that wears multiple hats.
There is no way to cut corners when you’re laying it all out for an audience that’s, ideally, very engaged. However, there are things you can do to make sure that your content is actually resonating with said audience. More specifically, there are strategies you can implement to make your overarching inbound plan more cohesive, tight and, dare I say it, strategic. These three helpful hacks can be integrated into your existing inbound marketing procedures. They may seem small, but they will make a huge difference in the long run and ensure that your hard work pays off.
Hack #1: Always Have a Call to Action (CTA)
If you’re prone to reading content marketing tips on the web, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard this one before. Hubspot has a thing or two to say about this subject, like making CTAs stand out with color and size, why they’re a huge component of generating leads and a list of the different types of CTAs you can implement.
The real hack here is choosing the right kind of CTA and sticking with it. Expedite your content generating process by coming up with a design that fits your site and using it interchangeably with different deliverables sprinkled within your content. These should be big, bold and direct images that really pop from the page. By coming up with a procedure for CTAs, you’ll make sure you never miss this important, but potentially time consuming, step in the inbound marketing process.
Remember to tailor CTAs according to the audience you believe will be reading your content. You can do this manually or, if your CRM allows, automate them by using smart CTAs.
Hack #2: Make Your Content Easier to Share
Social media is a whole other beast when it comes to content marketing. One bullet point in a blog post simply doesn’t do it justice, but it’s also one of the most important hills that marketers must climb. The million-dollar question with social media shouldn’t be, “How do I get more followers?” Instead, you should be asking yourself, “How do I increase engagement?”
Making your content easier to share isn’t just about having a social media button in the footer of your site; it’s also about writing information that people want to talk about and then prompting them to do so. These are carefully crafted social CTA’s, if you will, such as ‘click-to-tweets’ and plugins that direct readers straight to the source. Eliminate as many steps as possible for your reader.
Hack #3: Get Yourself Noticed With a Curated Twitter Media List
Now that you’ve made the content on your website easy to share, you have to make sure that you’re getting it noticed by the right people.
There are a few things you can do to get your content seen. Ideally, you want to get noticed by influencers who have access to the audience you want to gain. How do you do this? Utilize your resources. I’m a fan of the 50/50 posting rule because it forces brands to share other people’s content and, eventually, that get’s recognized. Not everyone will sing your praises for retweeting their posts, but eventually someone important will take note and reciprocate the favor.
The second line item of importance is to make a point to tweet to the people who matter. You can do this by directly engaging with them through questions, finding events that they might be a part of, like industry Twitter chats, or even by sending them content directly if you believe it’s relevant to their audience. However, tread lightly; there is a very fine line between getting noticed and being a nuisance.
Twitter makes it incredibly easy to keep track of the people you should be engaging with by allowing you to split the people you follow up into lists. Private lists are beneficial for marketers because they allow you to easily stay up to date with what these influencers are talking about and sharing. You’ll also be able to find the right people to engage with more easily by utilizing this feature.