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6 Modern Rules of Inbound Marketing

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What’s changed in inbound marketing, and what rules should you be following?

Key takeaways

  • Inbound marketing has changed forever with the digital revolution and a greater emphasis on personalization
  • 6 modern inbound marketing rules:
    1. Share and follow your brand values
    2. Focus on the customer experience
    3. Post relevant content
    4. Make your CTA natural yet enticing
    5. Personalize, personalize, personalize
    6. Always ensure content is high-quality

The marketing world is always changing. With everything going digital, online tactics to engage, excite, and inspire customers look a lot different today than they did even just a few years ago. That means a new set of rules now applies to marketers focusing on the inbound side of things, which focuses on attracting customers with more valuable, personalized experiences.

Here is an overview of how inbound marketing has changed and six spoken and unspoken rules that businesses should remember to appeal to today’s audiences.

How has inbound marketing changed?

Advertising has been around for a very long time and marketing your products and services to communities is nothing new. But today’s inbound marketing looks a lot different from it did just 10 years ago. 

One big reason it continues to change is the digital revolution. Now, marketers have to focus their attention on attracting customers via online channels. They need to have a website to be relevant in today’s world, and social media is a must, too. While digital marketing takes a whole new skill set than traditional marketing, there are even more opportunities now than ever before to gather data about customers and use analytics tools to reach them better.

All these changes have led to another: a greater emphasis on personalization. Customers want experiences that are catered to them as individuals. Marketers now need to understand what drives them, what they’re looking for, and what kind of messaging they respond well to.

6 rules of inbound marketing

As we mentioned, the marketing world is ever-changing, making it extremely important to keep up with current trends. Here are a few key inbound marketing rules that are extremely relevant today:

1. Share and follow your brand values

The way you present your brand online is very meaningful to consumers. They want to support companies that they feel they can attach their own beliefs to. One report found that 71% of consumers prefer making purchases from brands they can align with. And millennials care even more about this issue when shopping; 83% of them stress the importance of value alignment.

2. Focus on the customer experience

Customer service is, of course, a big part of client satisfaction. But, in today’s environment, you need to take this a step further and focus on the holistic experience your customers get when interacting with you or buying from you. 

Think of ways you can truly delight your customers. What incentives would excite them? What are creative ways you can make your messaging more fun and interactive instead of saying the same old stuff? How can you follow up with customers after they buy to foster better relationships and create brand promoters?

3. Post relevant content

Whether you’re posting new content on social media, your email newsletter, or your website, you need to focus on what your customers care about and what they’ll get from the content. Don’t just post promotional content that describes your products.

For example, when you’re creating a social media post, ask your audience a question, or tell them that you have an answer to one of their pain points. Your content should help people understand what your service can do for them. Customers should be able to grab valuable bits of insight or get something in return for supporting you.

Also, focus on creating exciting headlines. Pull in the attention of your followers with questions, short insights from research, and keywords that they’ll look for. Post polls and surveys on Instagram and Facebook to engage them in fun ways. Again: focus on the experience of what you’re doing.

4. Make your CTA natural yet enticing

Whatever content you post, you should always include a call-to-action at the end, where customers can easily do the thing you want them to do. This could be signing up for a newsletter, downloading an eBook, or making a purchase. Whatever it is, make it pop on the page, but also make sure it fits naturally with the content you’re posting.

5. Personalize, personalize, personalize

When you focus on the value of your content and your customers’ experience, it will all naturally fit with personalization. A big benefit of digital marketing is all the opportunities you now have to use data to get to know your customers in ways you couldn’t before. You can see what they do online, where they do it, what they search for, what kind of content they respond to, where they get their information, and much more, all from analytics. 

This helps you cater your messaging and your overall marketing approach to these individuals. You need to see them as humans and not just customers. Practice empathy and ask yourself what it might be like to be them. Then create a plan that helps them solve a problem by sending out relevant content that will help you make better connections with your audiences.

6. Always use high-quality content

Finally, make sure that you’re taking the time to craft well-written, engaging, and SEO-friendly content for all your inbound marketing outlets. Customers will quickly become wary of brands that post content with a lot of mistakes or that just doesn’t make sense. It’s also clear to them if you’re stuffing in keywords just to get noticed by Google. 

These six rules are the ones that we find to be the most helpful in today’s digital landscape. 

Need help reaching your audience?

ContentBacon is here to deliver tasty inbound marketing content and help you create the right strategy. Our writers, editors, strategists, designers, and marketers will meet with you to understand your brand voice and values and assist you in aligning your goals to your content. 

Contact the ContentBacon team to learn more about how we can help.

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