Table of Contents
Inbound Marketing Overview
Social Media Platforms
Growing Social Media
Before I jump into the importance of social media and why is social media an important part of inbound marketing, I want to take a minute to define inbound marketing, modern tools that can be used to generate inbound leads, and how inbound marketing compares to traditional marketing.
A Brief Overview of Modern Inbound Marketing
Your customers are your customers because in some way, you provide a solution to their problems. Be it a product, service, or information, your business fills a need that they have and so they become customers. Inbound marketing is a strategic approcah to creating content that your customers consider valuable and in turn, that content inspires a long-term relationship instead of a one time purchase.
By generating valuable content, inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on attracting and engaging customers. It’s a customer-based approach that aims to develop a relationship with customer’s by providing them with relevant and valuable information about their needs and interests. While traditional marketing relites on what we call “interruptive tactics”, inbound marketing focuses on attracting your potential customers through information.
Some examples of interruptive marketing tactics include cold calling, email blasts, and TV ads. Inbound marketing works to engage customers through channels such as blogs, social media, search engine optimization (see What Is SEO?), and general content marketing. The diea is that by creating high-quality content that addresses problems and interests of a potential customers, you attract them to your brand, and build trust and credibility.
Inbound marketing generally involves four steps:
This step entails developing and promoting content that will entice your target audience to visit your website or social media profiles. This can include blog posts, social media updates, videos, e-books, and other sorts of content that your audience will find valuable.
After attracting visitors to your website, the next step is to convert them into leads by providing something of value in exchange for their contact information. This can include free trials, e-books, webinars, or other sorts of material tailored to their specific needs and interests.
Following the generation of leads, the next step is to nurture them with targeted emails, personalized content, and other strategies that aid in the development of trust and credibility. The goal is to drive them through the sales funnel and close the deal by providing them with the appropriate solution at the appropriate moment.
Finally, the inbound marketing strategy entails exceeding clients’ expectations not just by delivering a great product or service by continuing to provide good customer service, tailored and informative content, and other experiences. This last step contributes to the development of customer loyalty and advocacy, which can lead to repeat business and referrals.
Modern inbound marketing tools include a variety of platforms that assist in creating, publishing, and promoting content in order to attract and engage customers. The first and most important tool in content marketing is a website that will not only host your content but help convert potential customers into inbound leads. Other inbound marketing tools that can be used to drive traffic to your website include, email marketing platforms, social media and social media management tools, analytics platforms such as Google Analytics, and customer relationship management software (CRMs). These tools allow you to produce and distribute content across numerous platforms, track campaign efficiency, and engage with customers in a personalized manner, and eventually driving overall business growth and success.
Why is Social Media an Important Part of Inbound Marketing?
Now let’s discuss the main topic of this article, why is social media an important part of inbound marketing?
If you’re a business owner who hasn’t yet considered implementing social media as a major component of your company’s growth strategy, it’s time to join the masses. – Forbes
According to Forbes Magazine, the average American spent more than 1,300 hours on social media last year. That’s an average of three and a half hours a day spent on social media.
Last week I was talking to the owner of an auto-repair shop who wanted to know more about social media. His concern was that he didn’t have time to post on social media, he didn’t really know how the various social media platforms work, and anyway, he didn’t spend much time on social media so he didn’t think it would help him. Funny enough, what he was telling me were the exact reasons he needed to use social media, and just because he didn’t spend much time on social media doesn’t mean his customers don’t. Obviously, he hadn’t heard about the auto body shop in Florida that nearly broke TikTok through its hilarious cat video and how social media eventually flooded that shop with more customers than it could handle.
With so many people spending so much time on social media, social media isn’t just a “nice to have”, it has become a vital and crucial component of inbound marketing, especially for businesses looking to expand their online presence and attract more customers.
Here are some of the reasons why social media is so vital for businesses:
1. Social media helps increase a business’ reach to many potential customers: I don’t know many people without a social media account of some kind. Also, the main social media platforms have billions of active users every day. By using social media and inbound marketing, businesses can reach a massive number of potential customers.
2. Social media provides businesses with targeted advertising: If you’ve ever scrolled through social media and seen an ad related to something you searched on the internet, that’s targeted advertising. In addition to that, social media allows businesses to create targeted ads that are displayed to specific audiences. This means as a business, you can reach people who are more likely to be interested in your products or services by telling social media who you want your ads to be shown to.
3. Social media also helps build branding and make it known: One thing is to create a brand, and another thing is to get it known and recognized by your customers. Social media is a great way to build a brand and establish a unique look, feel, or “voice” for a business. Through regular posting and engaging with followers, businesses can create and build a positive brand reputation.
4. Social media makes it easier to engage with your customers and potential customers: The easier it is for a customer to reach a business, the more they are likely to buy a service or product. Social media provides a direct line of communication between businesses and customers. By responding to comments and messages, businesses can build a stronger connection with their customers and collect valuable feedback.
5. Social media can help increase your website’s traffic and improve inbound lead generation: As I mentioned earlier in this article, your website will be the central focal point of inbound marketing. It hosts all your content, received interested viewers, and works to convert them into customers. By a website or blog link on social media, businesses can drive traffic and increase their online visibility. And, more visits can ultimately lead to more sales and conversions.
To summarize, social media is an important part of inbound marketing and is critical for businesses that want to expand their online presence and become well-known since it allows them to reach a broad audience, produce targeted advertising, build a brand, communicate with customers, and improve traffic.
What Are Some of The Main Social Media Platforms and What Kind of Businesses Are They Most Appropriate For?
Now, that I’ve covered why and how social media is an important part of inbound marketing, I think it would be good to answer the next question some businesses may have, “where do I start?” or, “what social media platform will work best for my business?”
While most companies may choose to use a combination of social media platforms or cross-post social media content across several platforms, here are the most most commonly used social media platforms and what kind of businesses would benefit the most from each.
With over 2 billion active users, Facebook is an excellent platform for businesses seeking to reach a large audience. It’s especially useful for B2C (business-to-consumer) companies looking to increase brand awareness, engage customers, and generate website traffic. Facebook also offers one of the most expansive and widely used ad platforms, Facebook Ads, that can help significantly increase a business inbound marketing and lead generation.
Instagram is a visual platform and is excellent for businesses looking to display their products or services through photographs and videos. It’s especially popular with younger consumers and works well for lifestyle brands such as fashion, beauty, food, and travel. Like Facebook, Instagram also offers advertising services to help a business reach their target audience. In fact, since Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same company, there is also an option to have your Facebooks ads display to the same audience on Instagram. This can help a business reach users who may not be on Facebook but use Instagram.
Twitter is a social media network that provides real-time updates, news, and conversation about trending topics and news. It’s perfect for businesses that wish to engage in conversations with their customers and establish relationships with them. It’s especially useful for B2B (business-to-business) companies or non-profit organizations looking to engage with industry influencers and opinion leaders.
LinkedIn is a professional networking tool that is great for B2B businesses wishing to connect with other companies, market their skills, and hire new personnel. It’s especially useful for companies in the technology, finance, and professional services sectors. While LinkedIn offers ad services and can also be used for inbound marketing and lead generation, it’s more traditional used to locate new opportunities, business development and finding potential personnel to hire.
Although TikTok was built for a younger audience, it’s not uncommon for people of all ages to spend hours looking at its interesting video content. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that only a third of TikTok users are under the age of 20. TikTok is a short-form visual platform that helps users create fun and engaging videos. It’s ideal for companies who want to display their products or services in a unique and engaging way. It’s especially useful for businesses in the fashion, cosmetics, and entertainment industries.
If you’ve ever looked for home decoration ideas, DIY project ideas, or fashion products, you’ve probably run across Pintrest boards. Pinterest is a visual discovery platform that is great for businesses that want to highlight their products or services using high-quality photographs and videos. It’s especially useful for firms in the fashion, cosmetics, cuisine, and home decor industries.
There are probably more social media platforms than one would imagine. And, as time comes, probably news one will emerge and some will even blow up and become the “next big thing.” Above are just five of the most commonly used ones. Businesses should use different social media sites depending on their industry, the services or products they want to promote, their target audience or demographic, and overall marketing goals. By choosing the most appropriate social media platform/s and utilizing them effectively, a business can expand their reach, better engage with their target customers, and experience growth and expansion.
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How Can YouTube be Used to Increase a Business’ Inbound Marketing, Online Presence, and SEO?
You may have noticed that up to this point I didn’t mention YouTube. That’s because YouTube isn’t really considered social media. However, it is the second most used search engine in the world, second only to Google. But if YouTube isn’t a social media platform, why am I talking about it in this article. The reason is simple:
YouTube has over 2.7 billion users, which means more than 35% of the world’s population uses YouTube. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, American’s spend an average of 22 hours per month watching YouTube videos.
As you can see, like social media, YouTube can be a powerful way for a business to increase their online presence, improve SEO, and ultimately reach a massive number of potential customers.
Here are a few ways that any business can use YouTube:
1. Produce and display video content: Businesses can utilize YouTube to produce and showcase engaging yet longer video material that educates, entertains, or informs their target audience. Businesses that use YouTube can gain trust from their viewers and establish themselves as thought leaders in their field by offering value through their content.
2. Optimize YouTube videos for SEO: Because YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, it’s critical to optimize videos for SEO. This includes incorporating relevant keywords into the video title, description, and tags, as well as including transcripts and captions. Doing so will help a business’ video reach more people.
3. Advertise YouTube videos on other platforms: YouTube is a great way to share informative content on social media. Businesses can post or advertise their YouTube videos on the same social media platforms they use for inbound marketing to boost attention to their channel. Doing this can also help increase internet presence and can help reach a larger audience.
4. Respond to comments and interact with viewers: By reacting to comments and engaging with viewers on a YouTube channel, businesses will strengthen their ties with their audience and obtain vital feedback. This can also help to boost interaction and generate more views and subscribers.
5. Collaborate with other YouTubers: Working with other YouTubers can help businesses reach new audiences and establish a good reputation. Companies can tap into their existing audience and receive greater exposure by working with influencers or other businesses in their field.
What Kind of Businesses Would Benefit The Most From a YouTube Channel
With all that said, consistently shooting, editing, and posting videos can be time-consuming. So, what business would most benefit from a YouTube channel? What business would potentially get a return from all the time and money invested in building the channel?
Product-based businesses should use YouTube to showcase their products and demonstrate their product’s features and benefits. A beauty firm, for example, could use YouTube to provide videos on how to apply its products, while a tech company could create product demos.
Service-based businesses can utilize YouTube to educate their target audience about their services, demonstrate their expertise, and provide useful tips and advice. A financial advisor, for example, may utilize YouTube to make films about financial planning or investment methods.
YouTube is a fantastic platform for educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities. They can utilize YouTube to display their facilities, emphasize their academic programs, and provide students with useful suggestions and guidance.
Non-profit organizations can utilize YouTube to generate awareness about their cause, share success stories, and demonstrate the effect they are making. Non-profit organizations may motivate their viewers to take action and support their cause by generating effective and emotional videos.
I always say that there’s a video on YouTube for everything, and that’s pretty much the case. It’s funny and almost unexpected the kind of videos that can generate millions of videos on YouTUbe. Having said that, pretty much any business could potentially benefit from a YouTube channel. However, among of the types of businesses that can gain the most from having a YouTube presence are product-based businesses, service-based businesses, influencers and content creators, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.
What Are Some Simple Things Any Business Can Do To Grow Their Social Media Accounts?
Alright, now that we’ve got YouTube out of the way let’s go back to discussing social media the main subject of this article, “why is social media an important part of inbound marketing?” The more a business uses a social media platform and engages with it, the more they will benefit from it. Here are some basic steps that any business can take to gros their social media and use social media to generate leads.
1. Decide what you are going to post: Before you begin posting or growing your social media accounts, it is critical to establish clear goals and objectives that are connected with your business goals. In essence, this means what do you want to post and what do you want to achieve through social media. This will allow you to track your progress and determine the effectiveness of your social media approach.
2. Decide who you want to reach: Because social media is used by so many people, it’s a common mistake to just try and reach everyone. To effectively grow your social media accounts, you must first identify your target audience. And by this, I mean try to get as specific as possible. This will assist you in creating material that will resonate with them and engaging with them in a way that will develop trust and credibility.
3. Optimize your social media profiles: Now that you know what you want to post, what you want to achieve, and who you want to reach, make sure your social media profiles are complete and optimized for that. Use clear and easy-to-see profile and cover photographs, write clear and appealing descriptions that include topics you post about and the people you want to reach, and don’t forget to include essential contact information. Make sure all your special media accounts look and “feel” the same and take time to full fill your entire profile. Doing so will help users and potential customers follow you easier and know what to expect.
4. Consistently create great content: Now the fun part, consistently create high-quality content for your target audience that is relevant, educational, and entertaining. You’ll see here that I didn’t just say “post stuff”, that’s because consistency is essential, so post on a regular basis and at times when your audience is most active. Additionally, post things that align with steps 1 and 2 above and try to generate an overall look and feel, which is to say a brand.
5. Use social media and engage with your audience: Ok, now this part can get a little time-consuming but it’s what social media is all about. Respond to comments, messages, and mentions to engage your audience. This will aid in the development of better relationships with your target audience as well as the expansion of your reach and engagement. And, if you want to take it a bit further, take a bit of time to check out your followers’ accounts and like and comment on their posts.
6. Use hashtags: Hashtags are essentially how social media categorizes your posts and knows what they are about. The subject of hashtags can get a bit tricky, are you using too many, are you using too few, are you using ones that get used by too many people, and even, should you even use hashtags at all? The best way to approach hashtags is to use relevant hashtags in your posts to make your posts visible and reach a larger audience outside your followers. Another way to do it is to find popular hashtags that relate to your business and include them in your posts strategically.
7. Extend your reach by collaborating with clients or influencers: You’ve probably seen influencers or people with a lot of followers promoting a product or service through their social media. This is a common way to collaborate through special media to reach more people. Another way is to work with similar companies to yours or industry leaders to broaden your reach and tap into their existing following. And yet, another way is to ask your customers to post about you or tag you in one of their posts with your products. By collaborating with others, you can reach more people than just those that follow you and in that way reach new customers.
Growing social media accounts takes time and effort, but by setting clear goals and objectives, identifying your target audience, optimizing your profiles, consistently creating high-quality content, engaging with your audience, using hashtags, and collaborating with others, any business can increase their social media presence and reach.
Should You Hire a Marketing Company to Manage Your Social Media Accounts?
Before you think my answer is bias, let’s me say whether a company should hire a marketing agency to manage their special media will come down to three things: do they have the funds to hire them, do they have the time to manage their own accounts, and do they have the knowledge and experience to grow and make their social media accounts effective. I will let you deduce the answer, however, here are some advantages of hiring a marketing company to do it for you:
Marketing companies that specialize in social media marketing have a team of specialists with the knowledge and experience to develop and implement an effective social media plan. They have access to the most up-to-date tools and technologies for tracking and optimizing your social media operations.
Managing social media accounts takes time, which is especially important for small businesses with limited resources. You may free up your time and focus on other elements of your business by hiring a marketing company to manage your social media accounts.
Consistent social media posting is essential for growing your brand and engaging with your audience. A marketing company can ensure that your social media accounts are routinely updated with high-quality material that is relevant to your target audience.
Marketing companies can provide unique viewpoints and ideas for your social media campaign. They may create compelling material that distinguishes you from the competition and aids in the development of a strong brand identity.
Analytics and Reporting
Marketing companies may monitor your social media activity and provide frequent statistics on reach, engagement, and ROI. This enables you to assess the effectiveness of your social media initiatives and make data-driven decisions to improve your strategy.
Marketing companies can scale their services to fit the needs of your growing business. A marketing company can give personalized solutions to help you achieve your goals, whether you’re just starting out or have an established social media presence.
Hiring a marketing company to manage your social media accounts can bring numerous benefits like expertise, time savings, consistency, creativity, analytics and reporting, and scalability. Working with a marketing company can also help you build a strong social media presence that will help you reach your business goals and stand out in a crowded field.
How Can Ads on Social Media Help With Inbound Marketing?
Almost every social media provides ad services, it’s one of the main ways they make money. While ads don’t replace the tips I gave above about how you can grow a special media account, they do provide powerful way to reach and attract more customers through social media. Here are some ways a company can benefit from special media ads, in addition to routinely posting good content and engaging with the platform:
You may target certain demographics, hobbies, and behaviors using social media ads, which means you can reach people who are more likely to be interested in your products or services. You can generate more qualified leads and improve the success of your inbound marketing activities by targeting the correct audience.
Social media ads can help to raise brand, product, or service awareness, which is a crucial initial step in the inbound marketing process. You may draw visitors to your website or social media profiles and inspire them to learn more by producing entertaining and informative advertising that highlight your value offer.
By delivering quality information like e-books, webinars, or free trials, social media ads can be leveraged to create leads. You can persuade people who are already interested in your products or services to contribute their contact information in exchange for access to your material by targeting them.
People who have visited your website or interacted with your social media content might be retargeted using social media ads. You may urge them to take more action, such as signing up for a newsletter or completing a purchase, by showing them relevant adverts that target their interests or pain areas.
Social media advertising offers precise data that can assist you in determining the performance of your inbound marketing activities. You can optimize your ads and improve your whole inbound marketing approach by measuring metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and cost per lead.
In conclusion, social media advertising can be a helpful tool for inbound marketing since they allow you to target the correct audience, raise awareness, create leads, retarget interested prospects, and track campaign performance. You may generate more qualified leads, create stronger relationships with your audience, and ultimately expand your business by implementing social media ads into your inbound marketing plan.
An Ending Statement on Social Media and It’s Importance in Inbound Marketing
If you’ve made it to this part of the article, you’ve probably learned a lot! And that’s why I write these article. It’s to help businesses learn more about marketing and ways they can use it to grow their company and ultimately, achieve their goals.
As you can see, social media has become a crucial component of every business’ inbound marketing strategy, providing a direct and cost-effective means of reaching out to and engaging with potential customers.
With more than 3.6 billion users globally, businesses cannot afford to ignore social media. At Key Marketing Strategies, we know know how to create and implement social media strategies that produce results, from raising brand awareness and driving website traffic to increasing consumer engagement and sales. Even though you may know the important of social media, it may be hard to decide which platforms to use and how to use them. To help you navigate the ever-changing world of social media and digital marketing, we provide obligation-free social media consultations to help any business interested in social media figure out what approach is best for them. Contact us today to learn more about social media and how we can help you in achieving your social media and inbound marketing objectives.