Let’s talk inbound marketing. Sometimes referred to as content marketing.
Inbound marketing is something you need to know about, understand and use if you want to grow your business.
Social media is great – an extremely effective tool. However, it’s really only effective as long as you stay on top of it. All those twitter followers you’ll have after following yesterday’s Twitter guide? They’ll quickly become worthless if you’re not regularly tweeting from your account.
Content on your website or blog lasts much longer. A well-researched awesome blog post that’s relevant to your potential customers will drive traffic (and customers) to your business for 2-3 years to come. Sometimes longer.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a target audience – with the objective of acquiring new customers and increasing loyalty
The hub of your online marketing effort will be your website and blog. It’ll drive traffic and sales for the long-term. Even if you stop working on it (though we don’t recommend that!)
What is Inbound?
Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
Want some data to back this up?
- The average cost per lead (potential customer) using inbound was 1/3 the cost of outbound-dominated organizations.
- SEO leads (people who found you through a search engine like Google) are 8 times more likely to turn into customers than through outbound channels
- Leads from other websites are 5 times more likely to turn into customers than outbound channels.
- 86% of people don’t watch TV ads
- 44% of direct mail is never opened
- 2/3 of US citizens are on the FTC Do Not Call List
- Usage of Marketing Automation Software (which promotes content marketing) is expected to rise 50% by 2015.
- 79% of online shoppers spend 1/2 of their time researching products
Content Marketing lets people find you on their schedule, not yours. When done right it’s educational, fun, informative, entertaining AND drives traffic to your site, develops trust and likeability for you and your business without you having to actually be there!
So, if content marketing is so good, why isn’t everyone doing it?
2 reasons primarily: It can be difficult to set up (but it doesn’t need to be!), and: It involves work. And here’s where most small businesses fall off. There’s no free lunch. You need to put in some effort to get clients.
Think about what this means. You have an opportunity to reach thousands of people you could never hope to reach through any other medium. People who are ALREADY searching for someone just like you.
Not only can you get more customers – but you can get better ones by using content marketing. That it requires some work means you have a great opportunity to stand out among your competition. Or get buried by them when they adopt it. Never before has there been an opportunity for small business to get heard by so many. Content marketing used in combination with social media is a small business super-weapon.
What work, exactly, will you need to do? You’ll need to talk about you, your business, your thoughts on your industry or market, market data, informational pieces for potential buyers.
You probably already talk to potential customers face to face about these things – now you can scale it over the internet.
Content marketing is your online backbone – it’s where all your social media and search engine traffic should end up. It’s where anonymous website visitors start to get to know you, and decide if they might want to buy from you.
It’s also where you can take the relationship to the next stage. By offering them something of value, for free on your blog/website, they can choose to hear more from you. Much like you did when you chose to enter your email address on the Spokal site.