Social media has become one of the most important marketing platforms around.
It offers a large and diverse population of active users that businesses can leverage, turning them into potential leads and eventually loyal customers.
There are many unique benefits to using social media to drive your business’s growth, but what makes it such a great choice as part of your inbound marketing strategy?
Before we start, let’s do a quick recap on inbound marketing strategies.
An inbound marketing strategy refers to tactics that are focused on attracting customers, engaging with them, and also providing unique and valuable content.
This contrasts with outbound marketing where the company initiates most of the engagement, such as cold calling or directly contacting company clients to promote a service or product.
Inbound marketing can be done in a number of ways, but the main goal is to drum up interest, generate leads, and eventually convert them into sales and long-term supporters.
A common method is to use search engine optimization, or SEO for short.
This focuses on content creation that can spread to other platforms to reach new customers.
Social media marketing is another method that appeals to customers, especially if you’re looking for increased exposure on a website such as Facebook.
Social media can be a stronger option than focusing on search engines, especially when you’re a small business.
It makes social media an important part of inbound marketing for your business.
Another focal point of marketing strategies is that they’re based on organic growth.
This means that results should occur naturally as part of the company’s usual sales funnel.
It’s achieved by relying less on an intrusive advertising service that could frustrate or annoy potential customers.
In short, remember that inbound marketing is all about growing your brand by building a positive and organic relationship with your customers by meeting their needs and providing value to them.
So what makes social media such an important platform when it comes to inbound marketing?
Unlike blog articles that help you get noticed on a search engine, social media content is a dynamic part of inbound marketing.
It focuses on interacting with customers which makes social media an important part of the process. There are a number of reasons for this.
In summary, your social media strategy plays an important role in inbound marketing because it presents a vast audience to your business.
Unlike other strategies like SEO, it allows you to easily engage with that audience and it encourages the development of a two-way relationship.
It’s also a great place for you to share content, whether it’s just to wow your audience or for the sake of building excitement for a new product or service launch.
Let’s now take a deep dive into the benefits of using social media for inbound and outbound marketing.
One of the most common goals of inbound marketing is to generate leads that will eventually convert into sales.
Social media presents many unique opportunities to do this.
The most straightforward method in the industry is to use advertising services offered by social media platforms.
These will display ads that coincide with other social media posts.
They are designed to seamlessly blend in with the browsing experience, and social media users can often interact with them as well.
The second method is to communicate with your audience on a more personal level.
This can involve answering support questions, responding to people that tag you, or even posting fun pictures and comments in order to start conversations.
The great thing about using social media marketing to grow your business is that you can often tap into audiences that are already somewhat interested in your products and services.
Social media marketing can be a great way to discover who your target audience is and the kind of behaviors that they engage in.
This will help validate a lot of the data that you’ve collected on your customers.
It’s a fantastic research tool that can be used to create new customer profiles, leading to informed marketing and product decisions in the future.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that social media doesn’t represent your entire audience, especially if your product appeals to other demographics that are less likely to use the internet.
Growing your business on social media is simple thanks to the nature of social media.
Almost everything you do, be it engaging with your audience or posting photographs of your products, contributes towards growing your social media presence on the platforms that you choose and the industry you operate in.
The most effective ways to increase brand awareness often involve working with social media influencers and attempting to make viral posts.
Social media is one of the few places where you can encourage your audience to engage with both you and members of your community.
It’s a fantastic place for direct customer feedback, but it can also be a place where people that use your products and services help each other.
It’s a brilliant way to get real-time feedback and data on your products and services, but you can also use it to generate community interest in new offerings.
While social media won’t count for your entire audience, it’s a great place to gather data to produce marketing insights.
For example, you can use it to gauge what kind of demographic enjoys your products, and the location of the majority of your potential customers.
This can help you make informed marketing decisions in the future and also helps with creating content that affects rankings and provides valuable information.
Social media is a constantly evolving platform that requires some serious work to keep up with.
What could be trendy one day might be outdated the next, hence why it’s so difficult for marketers to keep up with social media and keep their companies relevant in the industry.
But with dedicated analysts and social media community managers, it’s possible to take advantage of these ever-changing trends so that you can stay ahead of the curve.
Social media is a fantastic research tool and greatly assists with the development of engaging content for your ideal customer.
All of the data gathered from social media can be used to refine your inbound marketing plan.
Whether it’s changing your target demographic or identifying new opportunities to pivot your products, there are many ways to create value from your use of social media.
If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas, then social media can offer endless inspiration for all of your creative marketing needs and blog post ideas.
Inbound marketing strategies should be measured in order to determine how profitable they are and if you’re getting a return on your investment.
Social media advertising can typically be monitored using analytical tools built into the platform, but also third-party tools that can measure engagement rates and growth.
This makes social media a great place to start if you want to carefully fine-tune your inbound marketing strategies for maximum ROI based on real data.
The internet offers countless opportunities for digital marketing, but social media presents a unique opportunity for low-cost growth due to the nature of the platform.
You don’t need to be a large entity to have a loud voice on social media.
Unlike search engine optimization, you also don’t need to produce long-form content.
Many smaller companies strike gold with viral posts as long as they’re in tune with their communities, and this can often result in huge returns for minimal investment.
In short, using a social media marketing strategy is a great way for smaller businesses to get noticed, or for larger companies to save money on marketing.
It increases brand awareness while minimizing the impact on your budget,
Now that we understand the importance of social media as a crucial component of inbound marketing, let’s examine some of the common strategies that are used.
Like any marketing campaign, it’s vital that you start by clarifying your marketing objectives so that you have a clear goal in mind.
Are you looking to boost your social media profiles?
Do you want to generate leads? Or are you advertising a new product?
Your goal will heavily influence the decisions you make later in your marketing campaign, so it’s best to decide early on.
Social media provides a massive audience of several billion social media users, but you shouldn’t try to aim for all of them.
Instead, focus on a specific audience that you want to appeal to.
Do your research by understanding the target, how they act on social media, where they are most active, and the kind of things that interest them.
This will help you make valuable content that draws their attention.
Platform choice will largely depend on two things: your target audience and your business model.
Companies that are visually oriented, such as fashion brands and food services, may want to focus on Instagram due to the photo-oriented design.
However, companies appealing to mature audiences may prefer Facebook due to its legacy and higher average user age.
Different platforms specialize in different types of content, so it’s a good idea to design specifically with that platform in mind.
Twitter shines when you use short-form posts, and Instagram is good for photographs and illustrations.
TikTok is more popular as a video platform, and Facebook is a great all-rounder that uses all types of media.
The content usually contrasts with how people spend time on your website.
Great content doesn’t need to be focused on SEO, and a great example of this is how social media helps to promote your website and solidify your brand presence.
It’s common in the industry to plan out your content marketing with a calendar.
The goal is to have consistent releases to keep new visitors interested in your company.
If you release content too infrequently, then your audience may lose interest.
Knowing when to release quality content is an important part of inbound marketing.
It helps your company stand out by reaching more people, and it’s a common practice in the industry when you want a visibility and engagement boost.
Lastly, don’t forget that social media isn’t a one-way street.
Engage with your audience on all of the platforms you have chosen and make sure you interact with them on a regular basis.
Doing this can be difficult if you don’t have a dedicated social media or community manager, hence why it’s worth investing in one to ensure you can keep up with messages and trends.
From here, you should focus on optimizing your strategies with help from analytics tools.
Use the data that you generate to create actionable reports and focus on improving your ROI through effective adjustments to target the right audiences with good content ideas.
In short, developing effective content marketing strategies with social media works similarly to other methods.
You have to start by establishing foundational goals, and then identify the audience that you want to target.
From there, it’s about choosing the right platform and creating relevant content.
Social media has become an integral part of any marketing campaign, especially when it comes to your inbound marketing efforts.
The importance of engaging with your audience on two-way channels such as social media cannot be stressed enough, especially in an age where it’s common for companies to interact with their audience on a regular basis and focus on content creation to reach their clients and customers.
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