You know your company has plenty to offer customers. Your team works hard to ensure you have valuable contributions to add to the conversations happening in your industry. You’re doing everything you can think of to get your message in front of consumers. So why isn’t anyone listening to you?
A lack of brand equity could be keeping your company from reaching the heights it deserves. Brand equity is all about how customers perceive your brand, according to the American Marketing Association (AMA). Do consumers believe your brand is relevant, esteemed, and unique? Do they even know your brand exists?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, you might be in need of an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound has been around for a long time, but it’s just starting to gain steam as a comprehensive approach to driving higher-quality leads and creating a better user experience with your brand. Here’s how companies across industries are using it to build brand equity.
Inbound marketing is a digital marketing methodology that leverages quality content, SEO, and lead nurturing tactics to attract consumers to your brand and keep it top of mind as they are making buying decisions.
The days of hounding unwitting would-be customers by saturating them with radio, TV, billboards, and direct mail advertisements are gone. That’s not how people consume information or engage with brands anymore. Unlike outbound marketing, which competes for consumers’ attention, inbound marketing attracts and entices customers naturally by providing answers to their questions, meeting their needs, and solving their problems. Rather than pushing your messaging on people, you’re pulling prospects toward your brand because of the quality of information you’re providing.
Prospects will remember you when it comes time to buy if your site consistently provides helpful information.
Digital channels today are the playgrounds in which people facing purchasing decisions play. According to Forbes, millennials (ages 18-34) are spending $200 billion in annual buying power on brands that feel “authentic,” and 99 percent of them report that a compelling advertisement would not increase their trust in a brand. Thanks to an intense sense of brand loyalty, Forbes says, “the sooner you build a relationship and deep connection with millennials, the better.”
Inbound marketing is a company’s opportunity to build genuine connections and increase the brand equity that consumers are seeking when they decide where to spend their money.
Still not convinced inbound marketing holds the key to getting your message in front of the right people at the right time? Search Engine Journal reports that inbound leads cost 61 percent less than outbound leads, making this marketing methodology something worth considering.
You know your company should publish blog posts regularly and have an active social media presence, but how exactly does Twitter boost your brand equity? Let’s dig into the specifics of how inbound marketing can build your brand equity and turn strangers into leads that convert.
Search engine optimization is the key to developing the “awareness” piece of your brand equity. When people have a question, they look to search engines for the answer—specifically Google, which processes more than 40,000 search queries every second and performs about 63 percent of all Internet searches.
If your website isn’t landing on the first page of Google for relevant search queries and keywords, your brand could be in trouble. Statistics show that the top three organic search results receive 61 percent of clicks, and less than 10 percent of searchers look at the second page of search results. Combine this with data from Econsultancy, which shows 61 percent of consumers use search engines to help them research a product before buying, and you’ve got a compelling case for why SEO matters to brands across all industries.
SEO helps brands meet consumers where they are in their decision-making process. Not only does a strong standing in search results give you the credibility and authority that comes with Google’s seal of approval, it also shows consumers that you understand their problems and have relevant, informative, authoritative content to help them out.
You can’t talk about SEO without talking about content. Google’s ranking algorithm is a closely held secret, but we know content is one of the top three factors it uses to determine a site’s position in search rankings. That’s because Google wants to deliver the best, most relevant results to its users, which means only high-quality, authoritative content will grace the top spots.
Google isn’t the only one prioritizing value-driven content. Potential customers are far more likely to remember your brand when it comes time to buy if your site consistently provides helpful information. The Content Marketing Institute reports 70 percent of people would rather learn about a company through an article than a traditional advertisement, and HubSpot shares 68 percent of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.
By producing high-quality content in a variety of mediums, from written blog posts to visuals and videos, your brand is showing consumers that you’re worth listening to. Your reward for creating personalized content could be a more memorable brand, higher engagement rates, and three times as many leads as outbound marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Gaining brand awareness through SEO and content marketing is all well and good, but digital consumers want even more from companies: They want brands they can engage with in real time. Social media offers companies the opportunity to communicate with their target audiences on platforms where they’re already spending much of their time.
Ninety-two percent of marketers report that social media is important to their business, which should come as no surprise considering that nearly one-third of the world uses social networks regularly. Kissmetrics also suggests that brands that are active on social media are more easily discovered by people whose friends have liked or followed your accounts. This bump in social proof is especially important as younger consumers emerge into adulthood, with Econsultancy reporting that 75 percent of 18-26-year-olds use recommendations on social media to help them research products and make purchasing decisions.
You can use your social platforms to share your brand message, poll your audience in real-time, see how consumers are engaging with your product, and gracefully respond to negative reviews and PR mishaps. Companies who take advantage of social media are in a prime position to increase their brand equity and boost their trust and credibility among consumers.
Inbound marketing lets you offer value and enhance consumers’ experience, making your brand stand out as one that’s worthy of consumers’ trust and loyalty. If you’re ready to experience the transformative power of inbound marketing, check out our approach.