Mass marketing techniques are no longer as effective as they used to be. Pop-up ads and hard sells are more likely to annoy consumers than attract them. Nowadays, people like to decide whether, when, and how they receive marketing communications.
This is why inbound marketing matters. Companies can reach potential buyers by drawing them in organically instead of disrupting their viewing or reading experience. Inbound marketing is all about delivering the right content to the right person at the right time.
In this article, we’ll look at inbound marketing strategies you can use with social media. But first, let’s look at some of its benefits, in case you’re not yet fully convinced.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing offers your business a way to attract more high-quality leads. This is because with inbound marketing strategies, you give consumers the power to decide. You use content to grab the attention of potential customers so that they will come to you.
Let’s look at three inbound marketing benefits for your company:
1. Reduced expenses
Forget about spending as much as $115,000 for a 30-second spot broadcast nationally! When you implement inbound marketing strategies, all you need is high-quality content.Though you might have to spend a bit on promoting your website, that’s nothing compared to the thousands of dollars you would need to pay for outbound marketing. Spending less money and getting better results? It’s a win-win!
2. Quality traffic
Since the potential customers coming to you are doing so of their own volition, they are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. That means that all you need to do is convince them your products or services address their pain points.
With outbound marketing, you’re sending out messages that may or may not resonate with your audience. Most marketers now recognize that outbound marketing attracts fewer high-quality leads than inbound marketing does.
3. Meaningful relationships
With inbound marketing, you get off on the right foot with your audience. That is because you don’t send them in-your-face messages to get them to make a purchase. Instead, you provide value and give them a choice to come to you.
Since you start your relationships with potential customers right, you can further nurture them and build meaningful relationships based on trust. You can even turn some of them into brand ambassadors who will vouch for you in the future.
Why Is Social Media an Important Part of Inbound Marketing?
Facebook alone has over 60 million active business pages, and it’s predicted that there will be over 4.4 billion users of social media overall by 2025. Social media is an important part of inbound marketing because it’s your audience's go-to for C2B engagement and feedback.
Therefore, it’s essential that you know what they're saying about your brand – even when they’re not engaging with you directly – by using the best social listening tools, and that you create great content that is influenced by current trends.
Four Inbound Marketing Strategies Using Social Media
In this section, we’ll look at four types of inbound marketing strategies using social media. You don’t have to use all of these at once. Just choose the platforms where your target audience is most likely to be, and focus on those.
After all, you can’t get your target consumers to you if you’re promoting your content on a platform they’re not even using.
1. Leverage Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are great for visual storytelling, and since they last for just 24 hours – unless you add them to highlights – they encourage constant interaction so that the audience doesn’t miss out.
According to DevShop, the inbound marketing consultancy agency, Instagram Stories are useful for inbound marketing for many reasons, including:
Instagram Stories are designed to inhabit the entire screen of a user’s device, which cuts down on distractions from other sources in the feed. The goal is to create a sense of closeness between the user and your brand, without the distraction of other (competing) content.
It encourages engagement. Tools such as polls, sliders, and question boxes are ways to stand out on Instagram as they invite your customers and followers to interact directly.
Brands can get as creative as they want with Instagram Stories to get quality leads. If you have 10,000 followers or more, you can also use the swipe up function to send users directly to a webpage.
Tip: Did you know you can schedule Instagram Stories? That will save you time and make your marketing more efficient.
2. Create videos
Viral videos are a great way to grab attention. Videos that spread like wildfire won’t only generate all the quality leads that you need. They will also increase your sales, brand awareness, and engagement dramatically. Bonus: you can even make money on YouTube if your videos do well!
There is no fixed formula for getting a video to go viral on social media. Content that has the following characteristics is more likely to perform well:
It resonates with a target audience
It uses a compelling visual strategy that is compatible with the brand and the target audience
It exudes creativity
It appeals to the emotions of the target audience
It is shareable
It is published at a time people are on social media
Dove’s “Stop the Beauty Test” video fits all these characteristics. The campaign launched in February 2021 in India sought to put a stop to the stereotypical notions of beauty. It urged people to understand that each person is beautiful in their own right.
3. Start an influencer marketing campaign
Influencers can help grab the attention of your target audience and send them your way. When you work with influencers, it’s easier to grab your audience’s attention and engage with them because the influencer already has an established relationship with them.
In fact, the average content engagement rate for Instagram influencers is 5.7%, which is almost double the amount seen by content published by brands themselves. But you must partner with the right influencer for your campaign. The person you choose should cater to your target audience. Pay attention to:
Number of online followers
The activity level on social media
The influencer’s reputation is also essential. You want an influencer who is known for professionalism. That person’s values should also fit your company’s mission and vision.
Don’t forget to choose the right platform either. If your target consumers are mostly Facebook users, pick a Facebook influencer. If they are Instagram users, then an Instagram influencer is your best bet. In other words, your influencer should use a platform your target consumers use.
Dior is known to tap influencers to promote its products:
Since it wanted to target the younger generation, it tapped young Instagram influencers such as Iga Wysocka to promote its Autumn/Winter 2021 collection.
4. Use paid advertising
You can generate qualified leads on social media by using paid advertisements strategically. With paid ads, your content can get in front of the right people faster. Although organic social media posts are useful tools for reaching your target audience, paid social media ads are even better. You can zero in on specific members of your target audience when you pay.
If you decide to run a paid advertising campaign, make sure you choose the platform where your target consumers are. Your ads should also be relevant, timely, and provide value. You want people to click the ad? Then give them a reason to do that.
Pro tip: use an attention-grabbing first line. Social media is a passive medium, so you’ll need to interest people enough to make them stop scrolling and pay attention to what you have to say.
When you run social media ads, you should create a landing page for each campaign. Your web design agency or in-house department can always help you with this! Don’t send your target audience to your homepage. If you do, they are likely to get lost or distracted. Your landing page should be the extension of your ad. It should contain one simple and easy call-to-action that reflects your goal for the campaign.
Social media is a powerful tool to boost your inbound marketing performance. You can use social media platforms to get the attention of your target audience by providing great content. Instead of forcing people to view your content through aggressive outbound marketing strategies, you make them want to consume it. You can do this by offering valuable and engaging material.
In this article, I gave you four inbound marketing strategies using social media. Now it’s over to you. Choose your approach wisely. Understand your target audience. Know the best times to post on social media. And, of course, monitor your results and tweak things accordingly. If you do all these things, you can quickly get those quality leads who might well be your next loyal customers.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.