Inbound marketing represents a central shift in the way businesses market themselves creating wonderful opportunities for small businesses. If you happen to have a small business, inbound marketing awards you the fortuity of leveling the playing field and attracting new customers.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Usually, marketers have depended upon seminars, purchased lists, trade shows, cold calling, email blasts, advertising, telemarketing, and whatever else it takes to bring about leads. These are all differing types of “outbound marketing.” All efforts are concentrated on pushing messages “out” via a number of channels in hopes of hooking bate, so to speak. Outbound marketing is pushy and akin to fumbling for customers, while inbound marketing is more sophisticated and clever. With inbound marketing, companies take time to “chill out.” Instead of forcing your brand or message on your target market, you focus on allowing your business to be “discovered” by people who are already interested in your product or service.
How Does this Work?
Inbound marketing works by ensuring that your website draws visitors through social media, search engines, and the blogosphere. It covers any and everything marketers do naturally to attract attention, but more frequently operates through several methods:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization
This option makes web pages more accessible via keyword searches. As a result, web content is better optimized to appear in key search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex.
Social Media Marketing
Participating and contributing to social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn, allows your business more exposure to your target audience. Blog communities and discussion forums are relevant as well.
Remember that you are not “searching” for an audience; you are permitting your audience to “find” you, albeit in a nonchalant manner. It’s like giving a loved one an idea. In order to “keep the peace,” you present the idea in a way to make them believe it was their idea all along. In the same way, even though you are “targeting” your audience, they are not actually aware of it.
Creating and promoting web content in any platform whether videos, blogs, info graphics, or presentations, in order to garner responsiveness, traffic, and branding, will go along way in promoting your business.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
CRO is the practice of repetitive improvements and tests to construct an enhanced marketing channel by endorsing use of your ideas, products, or services.
Inbound marketing is all about providing notable content to your users, whether they are visitors, leads, or current customers. Keep in mind, just because a customer has already purchased your product or services, it doesn’t mean you should forget about them. Your inbound marketing campaign should continue to engage your current customer base to turn them into satisfied promoters of your company. Consumer review sites are one example of how current customers can become ambassadors of your business for free! There are various means of maintaining your current customer base through call-to-action, social media, email, and marketing.
Is Inbound Marketing Free?
In one word, no. In order to create a good inbound marketing campaign, time and money will be required. However, the benefit of this type of marketing is that it becomes extremely cost-effective once it takes effect. One snippet of content can be boundlessly shared and viewed at zero cost to you.
Nonetheless, inbound marketing takes work. You master it by utilizing tools and applications that help you generate and deliver content that appeals to exactly the right customer, in the right places, and at the right time. It’s earned attention!