Many businesses today have been left a little shell shocked by the rapid marketing transitions that have occurred over the past few years. And just when they thought they had their online marketing covered by launching a website, they find they are struggling again. Dwindling web traffic, irrelevant web content and out-dated online marketing methods can put a business way behind its competition and missing out on their share of the market.
If this sounds familiar, there is an answer and it comes in the form of inbound marketing. You may have already heard of it. You may already be using it without realising. Whilst a business website is a great start, inbound marketing can take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Start the dialogue
Inbound marketing means pushing the direct sales pitch to one side and going for a more engaging, two-way, proactive approach to marketing. This method of marketing is relatively simple to implement, it costs less and it gives you so much more in return. According to marketing software giant, Hubspot, inbound marketing leads can cost 62% less to manage than outbound leads.
Examples of inbound marketing methods include:
- A regularly updated blog – give your audience information that answers their questions, that is fresh and engaging. Not only will this attract more visitors, but it can also boost your search engine rankings considerably.
- **Social media marketing **– Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. These are great ways of creating dialogue with your target audience.
- Keyword optimisation on all website pages – Target your keywords to your audience and write your content for people, not just search engines. Make every page relevant to your visitors.
Turning strangers into promoters of your brand
There is something big happening in social media and it is benefiting businesses everywhere. If you not already engaging with your audience over Facebook or Twitter, you might want to consider creating a social media presence for your business. More and more businesses are making use of Facebook business pages and Twitter accounts to keep their audience in the loop with product news, promotions and any other snippets of information their audience will find interesting.
By creating fresh, exciting and engaging dialogue with your target audience you create interest in your brand, enhance your reputation and direct your audience gently towards your services or products. And if they like what they see, they are sure to tell others. Just one Facebook ‘share’ or ‘like’ could put you in front of so many more people.
The foundations of inbound marketing are very much built on trust. By avoiding the pestering sales pitch and gently steering your audience into trusting and liking your brand, they are more likely to feel compelled to find out more about you and what you have to offer. The days of cold-calling are almost over. Inbound marketing brings leads to your door and what’s more, they will be receptive to your sales message when it is time to deliver it.
Small changes can reap big rewards
By making some relatively small and cost effective changes to your marketing strategy you can start to see some big changes. Creating a blog, launching compelling offers on Facebook, creating targeted landing pages and optimising your web pages are not necessarily radical changes, but they can bring you some huge rewards.
What’s more, inbound marketing is measurable. There are many tools you can use to analyse, measure and improve your inbound marketing methods to ensure you get the best returns from your marketing efforts.
Could your business benefit from inbound marketing?
Any business, large, medium or small could benefit from implementing a number of inbound marketing techniques. Whether you are looking to reach out to a new geographical area, boost your web traffic or promote a new product, inbound marketing can work very well indeed.
Now it’s your turn
Are you using inbound marketing methods already? Are you seeing results?