June 14th, 2015
Inbound marketing is the wave of the future. It's now easier than ever for potential customers to seek you out and find you when they're particularly interested in your products or services. Most shoppers today start their search online, either for research into certain products and services, or to purchase the products and services themselves. If you have a strong internet presence and are easy to find, customers will naturally gravitate toward you.
Inbound marketing is a very different animal from outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is all about cold calls, flashy advertisements, mass emails, and snail mail advertisements. More and more customers are taking action to protect themselves from these marketing tactics. The "do not call" list puts a big dent in the potential customer base for phone sales. The vast majority of email advertisements are either stopped by the spam filter or sent directly to the trash can by the user. It's clear that outbound marketing tactics are failing.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, focuses on bringing in clients who are already looking for what you have to offer. The internet is a powerful medium for many inbound marketing tactics. By posting engaging blogs and valuable content online, you can draw in an untold number of new potential clients. Some of the resources that you can use for inbound marketing include:
- Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and more
- White papers
Inbound marketing is a powerful tactic for nearly any type of industry. When your customers are already looking for your products and services, it's only natural that they'll be more likely to buy from you when they stumble across your site. The key to success with these marketing tactics is making sure that the customer does, indeed, find your site. There are many ways that you can do this. Smart SEO is one of them. If your page ranks high for relevant keywords, you'll naturally have a better chance of drawing in new customers.
A social media presence is another way to increase the success of your inbound marketing efforts. When you share information on social media sites, it's easy for your fans and followers to turn around and pass it along to their friends. When individuals engage with your brand on a page like Facebook, their actions are posted to the timelines of their friends. This will pull more and more people into the conversation and give you an ever-expanding fan base of potential customers.
Another way to build a strong internet presence that will benefit inbound marketing is to provide extremely valuable or engaging content to your readers. If you're sharing useful information that customers haven't seen anywhere else, they're likely to share it with their friends. They'll also make a note of your blog and come back in the future to see what else you have to offer.
Not all businesses lend themselves well to hard hitting news or in-depth research. Play to your strengths. If you sell quirky products, target your fan base with humorous articles, memes, and videos that are designed to make them laugh. The key is to engage your customers with content that they're going to enjoy and share. Though it's still difficult to calculate the exact number of conversions that you're getting from inbound marketing tactics, this doesn't mean that your efforts are failing. Inbound marketing builds awareness of your brand, engages customers in conversations with the company, and helps you create a strong fan base.
If you're looking for a tangible way to measure some of your successes, try a few tactics that are easier to track. Offer a coupon code on your social media sites and track how many viewers use it. Direct visitors to a landing page that promotes a free newsletter. Potential leads are those who provide contact information to gain access to your news and information sent directly to their inbox.
Inbound marketing will not only bring in more sales, it will also give you a valuable way to keep your finger on the pulse of your customer base. Take the time to read the comments on your social media pages. Engage in dialogue via blog comments, Facebook comments, or Twitter mentions. Interact with your customers to get to the bottom of their needs. If they're perpetually dissatisfied with the quality of a particular product, this is your cue to start investigating improvements. With smart inbound marketing, you can determine just what your customers are after and meet their needs better than ever.