When brainstorming your inbound marketing strategy, it can feel overwhelming at best, and impossible at worst. Advice regarding designing your plan revolves around appealing to your audience. Simple, yet effective. Put yourself in your consumers’ shoes, and ask yourself – what will convince them to look further into your company? What inbound marketing approach will spark their curiosity, and hopefully, lead to a loyal customer?
When Audience Changes from One Medium to Another
First of all, I know I framed that as a possibility, but the truth is, it’s an inevitability. There are countless forms of media that can be used in your inbound marketing strategy that attract different kinds of people. Obviously, the same person may use multiple mediums, but at different times of day, and in different moods. For example, Facebook and blogs might appear to be very similar forms of media, at first glance. Both mediums utilize writing, as opposed to visual, or auditory forms. Both Facebook and blogs can implement pictures, links, or videos. But the truth is, from an inbound marketing strategy standpoint, they should be approached differently and there are some crucial differences.
How Do You Market Differently to The Same Person?
While everybody nowadays seems to have an incredibly short attention span, the ability or desire to pay attention shifts depending on our moods – those moods will reflect what kind of media we engage with. When somebody is on Facebook, chances are, they are seeking something to satisfy their short-attention span – but only for a few seconds. People on Facebook scroll through their newsfeed quickly, trying to waste time. Memes, photos, quick videos, emojis, and a few sentences are the best ways to get Facebook users’ attention. Your inbound marketing strategy goal on Facebook should be to attract attention quickly and memorably, not necessarily to keep the attention for long. Blogs, on the other hand, are more well-written. They can include photos, videos, links, or memes as well, of course. But, the consumer who chooses to visit the blog is already interested in learning more about the company. They want to read more about the topic. At this moment, you are a blog-reader, and hopefully you are still reading this post. If something this long had been posted on Facebook, on the other hand, you’d have likely scrolled past it without a second glance. The inbound marketing strategy is different for these different forms of seemingly similar media.
With all of this in mind, let’s dive into some other popular mediums used in inbound marketing strategies. All of these can be implemented into your approach and help you create the most effective purchase funnel possible. That said, I don’t mean to suggest that everything should always be used for everyone. Think critically about what you can provide to your audience, who your audience is in reality and who you want them to be, and whether you want to maintain that particular medium. Because, at the end of the day, maintenance is the most important aspect of any strategy. If you promise to write a blog post once a week or once a day, you’d better be prepared to deliver.
As of 2015, half of US podcast listeners are between 12 and 34 years old, according to Maximize Social Business. So, if your business is geared toward older audiences, take that into consideration before committing to a podcast. Podcast listeners are plugged into social media more than the average citizen. This means that many podcast listeners overlap with your social media users. Obviously, they’ll be in a different state of mind and will likely be using the two at separate times. People listen to podcasts during their commute, while they exercise, or as they are falling asleep. The consumers listening to podcasts are also more affluent and educated than the average citizen. According to the same website, Maximize Social Business, 24% of Americans with a college degree listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, compared with the 10% of listeners without a college degree. Additionally, your podcast users are twice as likely to make $100,000 or above than they are to make $50,000 or below. Your podcast users are smart and rich, making this a great marketing opportunity. They have the money to spend on your product or business. On the flip side, your business must be willing to invest the resources toward creating a regular podcast. But, if this sounds like your audience, podcasts can be an under-utilized marketing resource for businesses. Your podcast listeners are a more captive audience than your social media listeners. It’s more difficult to multitask while listening to something, so when someone chooses to tune into a podcast, it’s likely because they need to be distracted from something else – be it heavy traffic or their daily run. This gives you a unique opportunity to make your 20 or 40 minute podcast entertaining, interesting, and relatable to an audience that may have scrolled right past your business in a different social media avenue. Your inbound marketing strategy might benefit an extraordinary amount from using podcasts, if your audience is the right demographic.
Snapchat is becoming increasingly popular as an inbound marketing strategy for businesses. National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, and Comedy Central are just a few of the businesses who have recognized the enormous potential the platform possesses. Snapchat is growing at a constant and rapid rate, and boasts a diverse demographic, albeit a younger one. MediaKix presents compelling statistics for businesses, such as the fact that Snapchat’s video views are now greater than Facebook’s as of 2016, or that 60% of Smartphone users are now on Snapchat. It reaches 11% of the American population. Snapchat is comprised of a younger audience, with millennials making up about 70% of Snapchat users, but still an impressive audience your business could reach. Most of the users watch the stories, which is where many businesses post daily to reach an audience they may not otherwise have. Businesses can also create a Snapchat “filter” for a day, which works well for promotions. Recently, there was a Batman vs. Superman filter to promote the movie by the same name. Another option for your business on Snapchat is to include ads in between personal stories. The opportunities to promote your business on Snapchat are plentiful. This marketing tool is a creative way to reach an audience by working with short attention spans.
Now, this is a tricky category. It won’t be useful for all businesses. But, depending on what your business is for, it can be an interesting addition to your inbound marketing strategy. Videos are, obviously, different from any other medium. It requires visual and auditory attention. But, if your company is trying to sell something, or you need to reach a different audience, YouTube can be a creative way to accomplish your goals. Luckily, you don’t even need to make your own business channel to utilize all YouTube has to offer, although that’s certainly an option as well. Rather, your business might be better off collaborating with established YouTubers. It takes a lot of energy and luck to create a successful channel, but YouTube is a rather tight-knit community. If your business creates lasting relationships with a few YouTubers, you’ll have crucial business partnerships. Full-time YouTubers should not be overlooked. YouTube is their job, and can help you advertise your business through an already reputable channel. YouTube may be unconventional, but it would be a shame to overlook its possibilities. It will take some research on your part to learn which channel will be best for your business and brand, but with over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, there’s something for everyone.
Inbound marketing strategies are challenging because they’re so daunting. In modern day, there seem to be countless ways to attract your customers. Simply put, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It will take some fiddling, experimentation, and thought to create a plan suited for your needs. Not just for your brand and business in general, but you’ll have to create a specific plan for every medium you choose to pursue.