There is a reason every marketer today is putting Millennials on top of their lists. Wielding an annual buying power exceeding trillions of dollars, these 18- to 34-year-old consumers who make up 25% of the US population is one lucrative market. Pushy, annoying, disruptive and unsolicited—this is how they see traditional marketing, so if you’re still using this technique, it won’t work on them. Rather than using advertisements and listings that feature products and services, focus your efforts on inbound digital marketing strategies that pulls people to your brand.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a data-driven approach using blogs, videos, podcasts, e-books, white papers and other forms of content marketing to attract individuals and convert them into lasting customers. A Social Times infographic shows that Millennials spend around 5-10 hours a day (between 8 p.m. and midnight) consuming copious amount of online content. If you are a business wanting to capture the Millennial attention, you should create meaningful, engaging and targeted content to increase their chances of getting found, “liked” and shared.
Fortunately, many companies are already seeing the benefits of inbound strategies that include improved quality of leads, brand visibility and awareness, and increased customer trust and satisfaction. Regarding ROI, HubSpot’s 2015 State of Inbound report reveals that companies using inbound strategies are 3x more likely to see higher ROI than outbound. For these reasons, it’s no longer surprising that 69% of marketers are already allocating a significant portion of their digital marketing fund toward website content, development and performance optimization. Inbound marketers who prove higher ROI were 2x more likely to get higher budgets in the following years to those who couldn’t.
To reap the benefits of inbound marketing, here are some pointers to get you started on the right foot:
1. Invest in Your Web Platform
A website is a company’s profile on the Internet, and as online competition grows, users gain access to more choices, which makes them less tolerant to poor usability and design. Web design impacts lead generation and conversions so build one that is growth-driven, responsive and reliable. An aesthetically appealing website creates a lasting visual impression that improves credibility and trust rating, but an intuitive and seamless experience will make them stay, so have both. To prevent site visitors from bouncing away from your site, consider these tools.
2. Do Content Mapping
Content mapping is the process of aligning content with the customers’ buyer personas and lifecycle stages. Knowing this information is crucial to building the type of content that customers will love and crave. Start by gathering information about your target audience, their behavior, the channels they use online, their preferences, needs and wants, as well as their buying journey—basically, things that influence their “buying” attitude online.
Building customer or prospect data goes hand in hand with in-depth research. Have the best insider information by doing one-on-one interviews, focused group discussions and surveys. Knowing this will enable you to align your content, landing pages and call-to-actions accordingly.
This increases your chance of generating inbound organic traffic that eventually converts potential customers and makes long-term profits.
3. Fill Your Blog with Informative and Helpful Content
Millennials are known to have a voracious hunger for news and social or user-generated posts. Satisfy this need by publishing compelling, relatable and regular content that inspire, educate and provide a solution to an industry’s pressing problems.
Take cues from thought leadership sites and marketing gurus, such as Seth Godin, when you publish blogs, e-books, whitepapers and other how-to information. Millennials love video marketing, too—76% of consumers follow brands on Youtube and nearly 80% consider video content in their purchase decisions. Incorporate these into your content strategy and expect to generate valuable leads and traffic.
4. Design a Strategic Landing Page with Catchy Call-to-Actions
Landing pages are focused and customized sales pitches, designed to convince visitors to make an action. Since they are targeted, landing pages can increase ad conversion rates by at least 25%, according to Omniture—a reason 48% of marketers design one for every campaign. With the use of tools like Adsense, Google Analytics and other built-in WordPress plugins, you can easily gauge the effectiveness of your advertising efforts and know more about your demographics.
There are two common types of landing pages: Click-through and Lead Generation. A Click-through landing page is used to persuade a visitor to click through to another page to become a member, claim a reward or complete a purchase. A Lead Generation landing page, on the other hand, is used to capture user data, allowing you to market to the prospect at a subsequent time. By offering a free eBook or a whitepaper, marketers can get visitors to provide their name, email address and other important information about their company or requirements.
To build your ideal landing page, Bootstrap, Leadpages and Instapage provide free templates that you can download, customize and publish according to your preference. If you want to magnify your campaign’s return on investment, check out Unbounce’s 101 Landing Optimization Tips.
5. Create Relevant and Enticing Materials
Prospects risk giving out their personal information for content that they think is important. Provide key statistics, infographics, case studies or white papers that stand out and can’t be found anywhere else. Like any great content, the material should have interesting takeaways that educate, inspire and initiate discussions or even motivate writers to write based on your material. Nurture your relationship with clients by having a consistent stream of content that they can look forward to.
6. Be Prepared to Engage Directly with Audience via Social Media
Done right, social media marketing generates quality leads and allows you to engage with prospects, current customers and influencers. According to eMarketer, 84% of companies believe that social marketing enhances relationships with existing customers while allowing them to engage with media influencers. And since around 93% of buying decisions are influenced by peers’ recommendations on social media, you need to be visible, accessible and committed to your social media audience. By feeding them with regular information, you stay in the customers’ subconscious. They may not buy now, but eventually, they will, and when that time comes, you’d want to be on top of their list.
Why Explore Inbound Marketing Now
Traditional marketing has worked wonders for big brands in the past, and it still does. However, as customers vary and their buying journey continues to evolve, marketers need to align themselves and their strategies with the needs of the market. Millennials spend an average of 25 hours a week surfing the Internet, which should prompt you to channel efforts into tactics that catch and sustain their undivided online attention.
Inbound marketing strategy is not rocket science and certainly doesn’t require voodoo. Simply give your current customers and prospects what they want and do what makes them happy. When customers are happy with their brand experience, they will come back for more. They will become loyal, and might even promote your product or service for free. Engage with your customers, create a relationship with them and sustain it to generate trust and loyalty. This inbound marketing strategy is the way to win not just the hearts of the Millennials, but also other buyer personas.