Inbound marketing: what a wonderful term, isn’t it 😉 At Waalaxy, we’ve reached a mind-blowing 8,000 customers in 120 countries around the world and over 50k users. All this in less than 2 years. Although we use an automated prospecting tool, which helped us find our first clients, our main acquisition strategy today is content. At Scalezia, they also know a lot about content.
And for a little while! They have exceeded 30,000 subscribers to their newsletter, the Missive, 100% thanks to their content strategy. So we had to share this with you.
And we did, during a live event with more than 800 subscribers, on June 9, 2021. Because not everyone wants to stick with 2 hours of video, we decided to offer you an article that summarizes all the lessons learned from these strategies, which allow our respective companies to keep a monthly double digit growth. 😱
NB: All our content is shared in preview on our Facebook community. Hundreds of people share their best growth strategies there every day. Join us!
What is an inbound marketing strategy?
An inbound marketing strategy is literally an “inbound marketing strategy“. Its objective is to bring a prospect who doesn’t know you, to become a customer, most often through the creation of content. Some of the strategies include:
- Publish on social networks.
- Organize lives and webinars.
- Create video content on Youtube.
- White papers.
- Search engine optimization.
- And many others.
The content strategy, or inbound marketing, is a holistic strategy, meaning that it aims to accompany a prospect from the first time he hears about us until he becomes a loyal customer. And that’s really important.
But we’ll come back to that later. 😉
Outbound and inbound marketing strategy?
“Outbound marketing”, as opposed to “inbound marketing”, is all about going after the customer. In general, it involves using prospecting and advertising as acquisition channels.
It is often opposed to an inbound strategy, as if a choice had to be made, whereas the two are complementary and much more powerful when they are well combined. We will have the opportunity to come back to this as well.
Among the outbound marketing strategies, we can mention :
- Door to door marketing,
- TV and social media advertising,
- Distribution of flyers, leaflets & samples,
- Sponsored links,
- Prospecting on LinkedIn or by email,
- Cold calling.
The outbound marketing will be useful to obtain customers quickly, on more or less important volumes.
These strategies are effective if you have large budgets but have the disadvantage of not “scaling up” easily, of being very costly and of being effective only at the beginning of the sales tunnel.
And above all, unlike inbound, this strategy has two disadvantages:
- There is no long tail: when you stop prospecting or stop advertising, the acquisition does not last.
- There is no scale effect and exponential results: if you want 10 times more customers, you have to pay 10 times more advertising or have 10 times more sales people to prospect.
Why implement an inbound marketing strategy?
The content strategy requires time and continuous investment.
Results can be difficult to measure accurately and can be slow to come. But I can tell you: it’s worth it.
Here are a few benefits.
Assert yourself as an expert to your target audience
Let’s take a silly example: I sell eco-friendly laundry detergent. Well, it’s a subject that doesn’t excite the masses.
It has to be said.
Let’s say I post every day on Facebook and LinkedIn, and write articles about the following topics:
- The impact of laundry detergent on nature.
- Why ecological detergents are just as effective as traditional detergents.
- The different chemicals contained in laundry detergent.
- A guide to choose your detergent according to your needs and your machine.
- The impact of detergent on our skin.
- The best laundry scents in 2021.
In short, by talking about lots of topics related to what I do, without always highlighting my product, I will develop a higher perceived value for my product or service to my target audience.
And therefore, when it comes to choosing their laundry detergent, people who have followed and seen my content will be more likely to choose an eco-friendly detergent.
Inbound marketing : Bring value & educate your audience
It is said that in a market 5% of people are ready to buy the service you and your competitors offer. 95% are not even aware of the problem you are solving and the solutions that exist.
You can choose to share the 5% with your competitors. Or tap into the 95%. A content strategy will allow you to hit the 95%. By educating.
We’re not talking about a messianic act but just making your prospect aware of the benefits of using a product or service like yours.
⚠️⚠️ We’re not talking about spamming him by telling him that you have the best service. Because for the record, he doesn’t even know he has a problem or the impact that solving that problem can have on his business.
No, we’re talking about “bringing him value.” If I take my example: I’m selling an automation tool on LinkedIn. Yet, you are reading an article about the importance of content creation in terms of customer acquisition.
Weird right? 🤔
Simply because my goal is to help you find clients for your business, by sharing all my knowledge about it.
What matters to me is that by the end of the article you are saying to yourself. “Wow, I have everything I need to get started with my content strategy.
The Waalaxy team produces quality content, they master their subject. I’m going to join their community on Facebook to get more best practices like this.
Or I’ll share on LinkedIn, mistakes not to make in prospecting, bad and good examples of approaches, how to find the right people.
In short, the goal is to create a positive image of what you do, providing value for free.
⚠️⚠️And here I know the rhetoric: “If I share everything, my prospect doesn’t need my services anymore, right?”
Get that out of your head. We live in a world where almost all knowledge is available and accessible. Withholding information is the worst thing you can do. I mean, even if you have an SEO agency and you share your best practices in terms of SEO on Google, your customers are not going to stop coming to you saying.
“I’m going to do it all by myself”. No. Because implementing these strategies takes time, still requires expertise. No. You will educate your prospect that SEO is a fundamental aspect of customer acquisition in 2021.
And once he understands that, that he’ll need a service like? He’ll come to you.
A marketing strategy that impacts the prospect throughout his customer life
If you browse our blog, you’ll quickly understand what I mean. Content has an impact on the entire life of the customer. In “growth marketing“, we will talk about the AAARRR framework which allows to present the sales funnel for a user.
This framework applies to online software but works for almost all activities.
- Awareness: the prospect has heard or read something about us or a similar offer and has started to be interested.
- Acquisition: the prospect makes a first step towards us or a first step towards the sale. This is usually done by visiting our website or registering on our site.
- Activation: The prospect, now a user, takes a first action that will allow him to see the value of our product or service. For example, he launches his first prospecting campaign on Waalaxy or he accepts to have a demo. This first action will guide him to his first success.
- Retention: The prospect comes back regularly. He gets in touch again, revisits our site or uses our product regularly in free version. Sometimes we define retention as a user who continues to pay for the service
- Revenue: The prospect becomes a customer and pays for our service
- Referral: The customer now talks about our products around him, even outside a commercial relationship. He recommends our product, contributing to its success. This is THE best way to acquire new customers
The content fits perfectly into the whole marketing funnel.
AAARRR framework of Waalaxy
If I take Waalaxy and our content strategy as an example:
- Awareness : the user sees a LinkedIn post about prospecting or reads an article he found while searching for how to optimize his LinkedIn profile on Google.
- Acquisition : he signs up for our blog newsletter and will receive 3 emails on the best prospecting strategies. Convinced he’s interested, he downloads our Chrome extension.
- Activation : new to prospecting, he doesn’t know where to start. Fortunately, he receives an email about lead generation strategy on LinkedIn, which gives him all the info to get started.
- Retention : Following a webinar led by our team, he discovered techniques he hadn’t thought of, and returned to the tool to implement them.
- Revenue : now convinced, he is about to choose a subscription. While reading an article on our rates, he realizes that the Business plan allows him to automatically find the emails of his prospects, which seems very interesting, whereas he was previously thinking of choosing a lower subscription.
- Referral : an informed user, he shares his best practices on his blog or on LinkedIn directly, or shares one of our articles about the 5 mistakes not to make in LinkedIn prospecting.
So, in this example, content becomes a lever to improve your customer’s experience, at all stages of the sales funnel, not just acquisition.
As we often say in our company, before trying to prospect on large volumes, you have to make sure that your funnel is well built and your product is good, to avoid sending your prospects into a basket full of holes.
Don’t forget that the ultimate goal is to get new customers!
Exponential results through content creation
One of the pros and cons of content is its exponential aspect.
When we post on LinkedIn, for example, we’re not looking to get 10 new customers on our first post. No, a content strategy must be thought in the long term, in relation to everything we’ve seen before. So it requires regularity.
But the beauty of content is that the results are exponential. If we take the example of Scalezia : it took them almost 1 year to reach their first 10k subscribers on their newsletter. And 3 weeks to go from 20k to 30k.
If you start an inbound marketing strategy, you have to plan for at least 1 year before you see real results. But when you persevere, the return on investment is huge and grows exponentially.
This is true for LinkedIn content, video content, SEO, in short, any type of inbound marketing strategy.
Time passes while content stays
Unless you’re creating content with an extremely short shelf life (like news content), inbound marketing strategies have one major advantage: they have a long tail. In other words, when you have an effective strategy, even if you stop producing, you’ll still reap the benefits.
You have to look at content strategy as cumulative effects. Your actions today will have a long-term impact. To give you an example, one of our most read articles on our blog still today is “How to get 51% acceptance on LinkedIn” and is over 18 months old…
So, unlike prospecting or social media ads, inbound marketing strategy doesn’t stop when budgets are cut. It is a strategy that lasts over time.
Create marketing contrast with your competitors
Finally, an argument that carries weight: your competitors are not doing it. This is called the simple exposure effect.
A cognitive bias on which advertising as a whole is based and which consists in saying that the more we are exposed to an object or a person, the more likely we are to have a positive image of it.
(Yes, you can imagine that Coca-Cola, a company that everyone knows, still advertises today, so there is a reason 😉).
To illustrate this bias, I like to use the example of the cereal box. Imagine two companies that produce breakfast cereal. Taste is similar. The price is the same. The packaging is standard. And you arrive at your favorite store to choose between these two brands. Except you’ve seen the ad for one of them recently on TV. And that’s what will make the difference.
You will most likely choose this brand because you have a more positive image of it than the one you don’t know. It’s the same with content exposure. See, today, you may not be a customer of ours. And you probably won’t become one immediately after reading this article.
Now let’s say, in a few weeks, you need an automated prospecting tool. Or that someone you know has this need and asks you for advice… While you haven’t tested any tool on the market, chances are you will choose or recommend Waalaxy. Or at least will start with our tool. 😜 And considering how great the product is… maybe you won’t even shop around.
So here’s a huge advantage over competitors who don’t do the same job of creating content.
Before you start building a good Inbound Marketing strategy
What is good content?
In B2B, good content is content that :
It’s sliders, not options. By that we mean you can’t make content that just inspires and educates. Because no one wants to read content out of an encyclopedia. Boring content.
Besides, this article itself is a good example:
- It educates by sharing the great concepts of inbound marketing strategy, best practices and how to implement it.
- It inspires by the results these strategies have produced on our business and by the ideas it gives you for your own strategy.
- It entertains because it is written without strong language, with GIFs and emojis, which are there to make the digestion of this dense content more pleasant.
So just because you make professional content doesn’t mean it has to look like a dictionary. No. The human brain is made the way it is. That is, not made to eat 10,000 words of raw text written in old French. 😅
Think of your content as a product
We talked just before about the AAARRR framework. It turns out that this framework applies very well to content creation.
- Attract attention: work on the title, the tagline of the LinkedIn post, your profile picture, the interface of your blog.
- Generate an action: a content must propose a specific action to maintain the relationship. Comment on the post, join a community, subscribe to a newsletter, read another article.
- Build loyalty: a content must be qualitative to build loyalty. It must bring value. A content that attracts attention but does not satisfy in the end and does not make the audience come back is not successful. The content must allow to create a long term relationship.
- Encourage sharing: this is the consequence of quality content. We want to share it, to talk about it around us, to create a “virality loop” (we will come back to this later).
- Be part of an income strategy: at some point the content must have an objective of generating income. In other words, it is also necessary to make content with the aim of getting known and converting.
How to build an inbound marketing strategy?
We have seen together all the things to know before launching a good inbound marketing strategy. It’s time to see how to implement this strategy, in a concrete way.
Choose the right type of content
We identify 3 types of content: branding, distribution and conversion.
Branded content or “branding
Branded content, should represent about 80% of your content. This is the content that focuses on attracting attention and providing value as widely as possible.
A LinkedIn post about our best techniques or prospecting or even this article is branding content.
Conversion content. It represents 20% of the content you need to produce. This content is intended to move the prospect along the sales funnel. For example, our newsletter or our Facebook community are places where we create conversion content.
The prospect is a little bit warmer because they’ve gone to the next step.
This is the content that is used to distribute other content. For example, make a LinkedIn post to promote a Youtube video, share an excerpt of your latest live event on Facebook to encourage registration for the next webinar, etc…
Choose the right distribution channel
Once you have an idea of what you want to share and you have understood the distribution of the types of content, you have to see by which channel you attack.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What are my creative affinities?
If you make spelling mistakes every other word you probably don’t want to start with written content.
If, on the other hand, you have a calm and pleasant voice, audio content (such as podcasts) may be a good idea.
Basically, content creation should be a process you are comfortable with. If it’s a chore, it may lack the consistency, quality and authenticity that are the pillars of content. So start with a channel where you are comfortable.
What channel am I used to?
Yes, you don’t express yourself on TikTok like you do on Facebook. You don’t express yourself on Facebook like you do on LInkedIn.
Each channel has its own content creation codes. The length, the language, the format… a lot of things vary from one channel to another. The best thing to do is to start with a channel that you use: you will master the codes more easily.
You’ll be better at spotting what your favorite content creators are missing and how to do better.
On which channel is my audience?
Let’s say you’re a video king and you spend your days on TikTok, but your prospect is an executive in a big company. You might get stuck (although you can have surprises).
So go for the obvious, even if there are sometimes counter-intuitive things, target the channels where your prospects are obviously, at least to start.
Later on, you can test more eccentric things, and who knows, maybe you’ll get some great results.
Start small in your strategy
If few boxes use content as a strategy, there’s a reason: it takes time and consistency. Okay, we’ve already talked about this in this article. But I see too many people giving up, thinking that 3 LinkedIn posts a year would propel their business.
Creating content requires a good strategy to be regular, to test things. Nothing insurmountable, but you have to be aware of it. In any case, the results are worth the investment. We therefore advise you to start with one channel.
As for prospecting, it is better to be excellent on one channel than average on two. You choose to publish on LinkedIn? OK then, forget about reposting on Facebook, Instagram or other. Focus on LinkedIn. Test. Measure. Iterate.
Until you build an audience, get engagement, create a creative process that is optimized. And once that’s in place, move on to another channel. Also, start small. Because you may be thinking at this point: “I have a thousand post ideas, I’m going to publish 5 times a day next week”. Easy fellow!
Content creation is marathon, by a sprint. Start with one post a week. Got lots of ideas? Schedule your posts for the next 10 weeks if you have to, but there’s nothing worse than giving up after a few weeks…
How do you come up with content ideas?
Speaking of ideas. Here we go. You’re hot to launch your strategy and now you’re thinking: “What the hell am I going to talk about?” It’s normal.
In the beginning everyone asks this question. You’ll see, as the creative process gets underway, the ideas flow more easily. Here are a few techniques to get ideas for your inbound marketing strategy.
10-minute brainstorming method
Simple. Basic. Effective. Exercises with a maximum duration are often the most effective. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
Write down all the ideas you can think of about the value you bring.
You should come up with 20 ideas in less than 10 minutes.
The 20 tips method
Write down 20 tips that you would like to give to your ideal prospect, your audience, to solve their problem.
Use idea generation tools
From keywords, these tools give you what people are looking for on the web, and thus an almost inexhaustible source of content ideas.
We can mention Sparktoro, the most efficient one, which is free, but also Answer Socrates.
Use the small bets method
From the 20 ideas found in the previous techniques, test each tip, each idea in a dedicated content and then see what worked best, to duplicate these contents and iterate by approaching them from a new angle.
Inbound marketing : Consume content yourself
Consuming other people’s content is an inexhaustible source of ideas, both in terms of formats and topics. It’s also a great way to find your own style by taking inspiration from others.
By consuming content, you can also take ideas from content on one channel and share them on another channel.
For example, you watch a Youtube video on the 5 big mistakes in LinkedIn prospecting and you make 5 LinkedIn posts, presenting each mistake, even if it means quoting the Youtube source.
Talk to your clients. Brainstorm with your teams.
By exchanging with your current customers, you will get a better idea of who they are, what they are looking for, what channels they are on and what topics interest them.
All you have to do is create the right content on the right channel based on the right idea. Also talk to your teams, especially your support and sales teams, who know your customers better than anyone, to come up with new ideas.
Clear your head
Walk. Meditate. Stretch. Play sports. All activities that are good for your health. But also for your creativity. It’s often when our brains wander and find their freedom to think that the best ideas come.
So take a step back and maybe the idea of the century will come to you.
Be prepared to write down
An idea can fly off the tongue. Make it a habit to write them all down, even if they seem dubious. A bad idea can hide a good one.
A note on your phone or a notebook are perfect for always being ready to capture the ephemerality of an idea in the moment.
Set up an editorial schedule
This is one of the key elements that allows for regularity and facilitates the repackaging of content (we’ll talk about this later).
You need something simple, to set up on Notion or Trello, that allows you to track what you want to produce, what you’ve produced but not yet distributed and what you’re going to distribute.
This is especially useful if you have several people creating content.
Producing your Inbound Marketing strategy
Writing: good copywriting practices
There is a kind of myth around copywriting. As if it were black magic that only some people master.
As if those who wrote “Copywriter” on LinkedIn were the wizards of the 21st century, able to convert any cold prospect in a few words or create viral content with every publication… 😂
The truth is, there are a few good techniques that allow you to write relevant, enjoyable and engaging content.
Prioritize your ideas
At the start you have a topic. A raw idea.
You need to break it down into sub-ideas. It’s kind of like making a plan with the different points you want to address.
For example, I want to talk about why to start a content strategy on LinkedIn, in a LinkedIn post. I’ll write down my ideas:
- The importance of content creation as a complementary channel to prospecting.
- The effect of simple exposure and its value on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn is a network where you can reach people who are not friends with you.
- This is a competitive advantage.
Structure your content
Here, we will base ourselves on creation frameworks like the AIDA framework (I let you search on Google).
We will try to create a “narrative tension”.
The objective is simply to make the reader want to read the next line at each step.
So I’m going to write a first version of the post that might read:
“The majority of B2B companies are making a huge mistake… And a few of them are taking advantage of it. That mistake is… Not publishing on LinkedIn. First of all, because 70% of the people who accept you in their network won’t reply to any of your messages. So besides harassing them, you’ll have to find a way to make yourself visible to them. Then, publishing on LinkedIn is free advertising. You can post and people will read and engage. What better way to gain visibility without investing thousands of dollars in advertising? Finally, LinkedIn is a network (unlike Facebook); where your publications can go far beyond your network. We can see that the top third of posts have a reach rate of over 300%. Publishing on LinkedIN is therefore a competitive advantage. Because if you are there and your competitors are not, you have won. And in the opposite case, you have lost. “
So you get content that’s a bit raw and not super engaging, it has to be said.
Stylizing your content
Let’s give this content a little polish. Branding type content, but you already noticed that 😉
In the stylization phase, we seek to amplify the tone and put figures of speech, which will make our post shine. We would then get a content like:
“99% of BtoB companies make a huge mistake…. And the other 1% benefit from it. 🤯 That mistake is… Not publishing on LinkedIn. Why 🤔 Because 70% of your LinkedIn connections will never respond to your prospecting messages. Because publishing on LinkedIn is free advertising. You can post messages and your prospects will see them. What better way to gain visibility without investing thousands of euros in advertising? But also because LinkedIn is a network where your publications can go far beyond your network because 1 post on 3 is seen by more than 3 times your network. Publishing on LinkedIn is not a competitive advantage, it’s more than that. Because if you are there and your competitors are not, you have won but the opposite case, you have lost. “
Clean up your content
The content must be pleasant to read aloud. It is therefore necessary to remove all the figures and parts that summarize the fluidity of reading.
In general, we will try to remove 10 to 20% of the content.
Remove adverbs. Replace commas with periods. Thus, in our example, we obtain:
“99% of B2B companies make a huge mistake… And the other 1% benefit from it. 🤯 That mistake is… Not publishing on LinkedIn. Why 🤔 Because 70% of your LinkedIn connections will never respond to your prospecting messages. Because publishing on LinkedIN is free advertising. What better way to gain visibility without investing thousands of euros? But also because LinkedIn is a network where your publications can go far beyond your network. 1 post out of 3 is seen by more than 3 times your network. 🚀 Posting on LinkedIn is not a competitive advantage. It’s more than that. Because if you’re there and your competitors aren’t, you’ve won. If not, you’ve lost. “
Inbound marketing : Use the 3-step method
Finally, a very good practice for creating your text content is this:
- I write my content in one go, with a timer and without proofreading.
- I let it settle for 24 hours.
- I rewrite using the above principles.
Video: best practices
Just like text content, video content should be dynamic and enjoyable to watch. Forget pompous sentences and get straight to the point.
Don’t hesitate to cut out slow moments and language errors when editing to make the video more dynamic.
Avoid too long intros that decrease the viewing time of the video (because people leave, and it’s not good for the Youtube algo either).
Be natural and authentic above all. Be yourself, that’s what your audience wants to see. Finally, instead of talking, show. If there are topics to illustrate, do screenshares and show live.
Visuals: illustrate your content
A picture is worth 1,000 words. Sorry, I didn’t mean to pull out that lame quote but it slipped my mind.
The visual support, whether it is for social networks publications, videos or articles, is essential. Here is a quick checklist to create quality visuals.
- Simplicity = clarity. Put a minimum of text information in your visual. The human brain is not designed to cram a lot of information in one go. Keep only the essential. Distill the information into multiple visuals (like LinkedIn carousels).
- Use bright colors & primary colors (the brain prefers that too).
- Forget stock images. It’s gross, everyone has seen it 1,000 times. It reduces the perceived value of your content.
- Use memes and GIFs. There are plenty of tools for that and giphy type databases. Even in BtoB, these visuals bring the aspect. Even in BtoB, these visuals bring the “entertainment” aspect of the content, which helps to make the audience smile and keep the attention in the long content.
Finally, some tools :
- Canva: to create visuals very simply. Freemium version quite complete and only 12€ per month.
- Loom: to record video of your screen and yourself at the same time. Ideal for tutorial / explanatory videos.
- Kapwing: to create your memes videos or anything that requires a quick and efficient editing on short formats !
- Screenpresso to quickly make illustrative GIFs (perfect for “show don’t tell” in your articles and social network content).
Promote or distribute your content
You may be thinking: I’ve created my content, job done! Eh eh. Yes… but no.
Now we’ll have to distribute it. In fact, we consider that in the creation of content, 20% is attributed to creation and 80% to distribution.
Why is that?
Simply because we live in an era of infobesity, where everyone creates content. It’s the war for attention.
So you have to make your content known.
And at first, the algorithms are not favorable to us. Here are some levers to spread your content.
Inbound marketing : Social network communities
We live in a beautiful world. A world filled with people who gather around common interests. Communities.
These communities are gathered on the different social networks and forums. We can mention :
- Facebook groups. Probably the most important communities. Particularly effective on the target +45 years.
- LinkedIn groups. Quite honestly, sharing content in these groups will not have any impact because the LinkedIn algorithm does not emphasize group content. However, using these groups as a database to distribute your prospecting content is a great idea.
- Forums. Quora or Reddit for example. You can find everything there. The scope is relative, it really depends on the topic.
- Slack. It is basically an internal messaging tool that has been hijacked to make “private” communities where a lot of content is exchanged. To have tested several of them, only a few are really active and useful. And not always easy to find. But when you come across the active Slack community in your industry, it’s a godsend.
- Discord. In the same genre as Slack, more oriented on gamer or developer communities, although this tends to change.
Communities, a lever
In general, we must remember that communities are a great starting lever to share its content.
They generally bring little volume but a very qualified traffic. 👨🍳
Little tip from the boss: don’t throw your articles in “Hi I did an article on growth hacking go and see” mode.
The publication you’re going to do on these communities should be built like all the other types of content we talked about above, remembering that it’s a distributor content whose call to action is to go consume your content.
Also be careful, not all communities allow self-promotion and sharing of its content.
In this case, prefer a qualitative approach by going to answer the questions of the community on the issues that concern you and by sharing your content discreetly, in a qualitative way.
Cross-platform consists in using a given channel to promote content from another channel.
A classic example: using LinkedIn publications to promote Youtube or podcast content.
Ideally, it’s about using a channel you’re already good at (and where you have traction) to promote content on a channel you’re just starting.
This strategy fits perfectly with the “content factory” strategy we talk about next. Be careful though: each channel requires a specific editorial line, specific to the consumption habits of that channel.
So we will not promote on Instagram and on LinkedIn are Youtube content in the same way. Think about it, otherwise you risk having rather disappointing results.
Viral loops (or viral loop)
The viral loop consists in seeking virality of a content, using the algorithm to its advantage. By asking an exogenous audience to engage on a content.
The example par excellence is the “lead magnet” on LinkedIn, which consists in asking people to comment on a LinkedIn post in order to receive another content (Youtube video, link for a live show, complete course on a subject).
It allows you to get hundreds or even thousands of people who want to receive the content and the benefits are multiple:
- The algorithm will see a high engagement rate (number of comments for example) and decide to significantly increase the reach of the content.
- People who comment are sometimes outside your network, but by showing interest in your content through a comment, are much more likely to see your next content, and therefore stay in your audience.
- You create a list of qualified leads in your favorite automation tool, which allows you to retarget these people later, with another similar content. This is called “nurturing”. In order to, once again, build loyalty.
Paid advertising in Outbound Marketing
Paid advertising is nowadays quite cheap on some channels (Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Youtube Ads (display)) and can be very interesting to boost a content that has already done quite well.
Example: you make a LinkedIn post or a youtube video that works better than usual. You boost the publication with a small Ads budget because you already know that this content is popular, to reach new audiences.
On Youtube, it’s a great way to increase the “social proof”, a psychological bias that leads us to have a more positive image of something if it has been validated by our peers.
In this case, we are talking about promoting your Youtube video through ads to increase the number of views and thus give the impression to the audience that your content is doing great.
Outreach (or prospecting)
We talked about it very quickly above. Using prospecting to distribute your content is an excellent practice. We will mainly use this technique in BtoB on LinkedIn.
It is about identifying potential prospects and contacting them by sending them a content with high added value that can address one of their problems. The advantage is multiple: you are not in a direct, cold and commercial prospecting, you highlight your expertise and bring value to the target and finally to promote your content.
Your prospect will surely become part of your audience and will continue to consume your content, until surely one day becoming a customer. 👨🍳
Chef’s Tip: If your content is not hosted on your site, but you want to retarget via advertising the people who click on your link (which is a clear mark of interest in your issue), you can use a tool like PixelMe.
PixelMe allows you to place a retargeting pixel when someone clicks on your link and thus display ads on different social networks around similar topics.
Quality or quantity?
When it comes to content distribution, everyone imagines reaching hundreds of thousands of views one day.
And that for that there are hacks that make everything explode. Because success stories rarely talk about rigorously applied methods, failures and iterations but more often about hacks, miracle methods that made everything explode.
It is a fundamental mistake to believe that hacks will change everything.
A content strategy (and a growth strategy in general) is based on consistency, persistence and iteration. And when you get traction, you start looking for optimizations. To get a few more views. A little more reach.
But don’t look for virality at all costs. It’s better to have 100 people see all your content, comment on it and talk about it around them than millions who see a post or a video and forget about you the next second.
Of course, it is interesting to go for volume to increase your audience. But not at any price. You have to find the right balance between acquiring a new audience and building loyalty/retention of your current audience.
Recycling your content: the content factory
Repurposing” consists in reusing a content by changing its format and its channel, to multiply the Return On Investment of its creation (and enter the strategy of 20% creation / 80% diffusion).
I like to call it “recycling”. Scalezia are the masters in this field. The content you’re reading now is recycled content. And the example is very concrete. We did a webinar with Scalezia, which we prepared well, with maximum value.
We could have stopped there. 300 people in attendance is not bad. But no.
Reuse a channel
We’re going to reuse this live event to make it :
- A replay with an editing that removes the less dynamic parts.
- this article (and another one to come on SEO), which puts in writing the essential of what we learned during the live session.
- LinkedIn posts on our respective networks, which will present some of the learnings of the live by “major theme.
- LinkedIn lead magnet publications (to promote the webinar, then the replay, then the article).
- Shorter video formats that Scalezia likes to do and use less “BtoB” networks like Scalezia.
- Scalezia will also promote the content in its newsletter and cut out in the following months the things to remember in the form of paragraph on its newsletter too (which has more than 30k subscribers. By the way, if you are not subscribed, do it, it’s a digest of tools and methods every week to accelerate your business and find new customers. Probably the best content of this kind in France).
- And why not infographics that summarize the learnings?
Without forgetting to say that this article will be extremely well referenced on Google. We call it the “content factory”.
It’s a mix of the cross-platform strategy and a strategy that consists in duplicating its content in different formats, to reach other audiences (who would not want to read an 8k words article or a 2h video 😂).
Improve your content… continuously
Once you get started, there’s one simple rule.
By varying formats, by varying content, by varying channels. Measure. With the right metrics, what works best (number of views, engagement rate, click rate, viewing time…). Iterate.
By doubling down on what works best for you.
The important thing is not to do well from the start but to do better every time. No one will remember you if you make a flop LinkedIn post.
But you will be remembered if you keep trying to improve.
On the other hand, if you never post, no matter what, no one will remember you.
To launch your Inbound marketing strategy
You’re still reluctant to take action. Here’s a 7-step starter kit to take action.
- Define your ideal customer (the one who should see your content). Prefer a niche target at the beginning rather than a too generalized persona. (Because if you want to please everyone, you’ll please no one).
- List between 10 and 20 tips to help them solve a HARD problem (painful, urgent, recognized).
- Make a LinkedIn post for each tip (in writing, video or carousel).
- Write an e-book (PDF or blog post) with these 10-20 tips.
- Make a LinkedIn post based on the AIDA framework (with the techniques given in this article) into a lead magnet, i.e. asking people to comment to receive the content.
- Get the people who commented on the post with Waalaxy and send them the content in PM (using the “Elysium” sequence).
- Identify the tips that worked best and repurpose them into longer content that you can repost in the same way.
Come on, no more excuses not to start (tag Toinon Georget or Benoit Dubois in the comments of your LinkedIn posts telling us that you have applied the method, we will come and support you).
Conclusion of the article about Inbound Marketing
At this time, this is the longest content I’ve ever written. But also probably the one with the highest added value.
If you want more content like this, our Facebook community is full of it. Also, feel free to share the article if you think others could use it!
Inbound Marketing article FAQ
Is there a replay available of the Live?
Yes, you can access the replay (raw without editing).
How to identify your target?
This is a complex marketing subject, which cannot be answered in 2 minutes.
In general, we talk about a “persona“, an archetype of his ideal customer with his personal and professional aspirations, his problems, his needs etc…
The Internet is full of content on this subject. To give some hints, it is interesting to :
- Look at who your competitor’s customers/audiences are.
- Prospect on LinkedIn for people you think are your target, asking them questions about the issues you solve, to see if it’s a match.
How often should I publish content?
There is no general rule on the frequency of publication. It is important to remember that:
- Algorithms like high frequencies, which vary in definition depending on the network. We can say that one video per week on Youtube is a fairly high frequency and that 3 to 5 publications on LinkedIn per week is a high frequency.
- The audience likes regularity and the long term: it is better to publish a little less but regularly and over the long term.
Should you create your content in advance?
Indeed, this is one of the keys to content creation. The more you do it in advance, the better you will be to stay regular and feed your audience continuously.
It requires a little bit of organization and rigor. Don’t look for complicated things, a simple Trello (free task management tool) is enough to organize and plan your content creation.
You can also use post scheduling tools like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule your posts and always be one step ahead.
Is using pods essential to going viral on LinkedIn?
No and no. There is no such thing as a miracle tool or method. Pods, or engagement groups, allow people who share common interests to get together to like and comment on each other’s posts, sending a positive message to the social network algorithm.
Pods are a powerful tool to improve the reach of publications but cannot compensate for poor quality content. It is advisable to start by creating content naturally and when you have traction, you can start using these tools, with good intelligence of course!
The lead nurturing with inbound marketing
How can I talk to you about inbound marketing and forget to mention lead nurturing? Doesn’t this concept sound familiar to you? We’ll explain it to you now.
In fact it’s very simple, lead nurturing will allow you to retain prospects in order to turn them into customers 🤑. And this concept is related to inbound marketing for several reasons:
Because you’re going to generate new customers by nurturing your prospects through your prospecting funnel.
You’re going to encourage the conversion of your leads into real customers.
For your company, lead nurturing is the way in which you will maintain the relationship with your prospects before they convert with you.
There you have it, now you know how to build an effective Inbound Marketing strategy ! 🚀