"Inbound Marketing" as a term, is still relatively new in the marketing world, and gaining popularity...
But is it effective? Or more importantly, WHY is it effective?
When we started down the yellow brick road called "Inbound Marketing", we wondered the same thing. It was explained to us that through content creation, you can attract customers, and nurther them into leads, and finally into converted sales.
On the surface, it sounds simple (and the concepts really are), but underneath, it's much more complex than that, and is an invaluable marketing tool to 'get your name out there' and "attract, convert, close and delight" your customers.
But who is Inbound Marketing for, why is it effective, and most importantly... is it for you?
Who is Inbound For?
There are a number of criteria which would distinguish whether Inbound Marketing is right for you:
- Do you have or are you trying to attract customers or clientele online?
- Do you have a specific profile of the types of clientele you want to attract, and how many you want to get through inbound?
- Does a client have a lifetime value above the one-time purchase amount? (I.e. do your clients keep coming back?)
- Do you currently have an outbound marketing (or conventional advertising budget)? Is it working?
- Do you maintain a social media presence? Is it part of your daily routine?
- Do your existing customers / prospects ask a lot of questions, or require some thought before purchasing your product/service?
- Do you have a marketing department, person, or the time to work on content yourself?
- Do you have a sales department / person, whose job it is to find or convert leads?
- Are you ranking in the search engines for terms that you WANT to rank for?
- Are you seen as an expert or leader in your industry (Locally? Regionally? Nationally?)
- Do you have the budget to hire an Inbound Marketing Team (for the price of a single, low paid staffer)?
- Are you committed to increasing your marketing efforts through the use of online marketing tactics?
If you can answer all of those questions, then you probably have a good idea about whether inbound marketing is a good fit for your company. But what is it?
What is Inbound Marketing?
Very simply, Inbound Marketing is a method of increasing customer traffic by offering content that your specific clientele is looking for. By blogging, posting to social media and sending emails to your existing clientele, you are able to attract people to your website. Your blogs are researched and written to address the questions, and problems your ideal clients have. By including in your blog posts other 'content offers' on your site (content offers that speak even louder to your ideal clientele), and providing them free in exchange for contact information, you are effectively turning those visitors into possible leads. As you continue to offer them content that drives them down the 'sales funnel', you are building trust in your company as an authority, with the intention of eventually converting those contacts into qualified leads, which you can then pass along to your sales team to turn into customers.
By combining blogs, email marketing and content offers, you can create a data-driven campain which speaks directly to the very people whose problems, desires or pains you can solve! The process is complex but can be boiled down into a simplified form:
- Create a Campaign with a specific purpose, and quantifiable SMART* goals.
- Create a content offer (ebook, white paper, webinar, etc...) and a landing page which speaks to your client, and exchange it for a small amount of contact information.
- Write a blog or series of blogs which (through keyword research) will rank highly for the search terms your client are using. Attach a CTA (Call To Action) in the blog directing people to your content offer.
- Create an Email campaign to your existing clientele (make sure they know they're on your list!) that lists your blog and/or content offer, driving them to that page.
- Create a Social Media post pointing people to your blog and/or content offer.
- Analyze the data generated.
- Rinse and repeat.
- Watch your search engine rankings and web traffic increase, as people start to take notice.
Your inbound marketing efforts last as long as the content remains relevant. Unlike traditional "Outbound" advertising, which stops working as soon as the money runs out.
*SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
But I don't have time for all that!
No problem! There are inbound marketing professionals, like Gaslamp Village Media, who are willing to help you with it! By collaborating with you on the specifics of your business, your clientele, and your expertise, an Inbound Marketing professional can come up with the goals, strategy, and the campaigns that will make your business soar. For as little money as a single staff salary, you can hire a team of inbound professionals who will take your online marketing to the next level and grow your business!