February 16, 2021

How to Use In-Bound Marketing for Your Small Business

Case Study of how in-bound marketing works. The case highlights the challenges that many in Professional Services fields face: Why should I trust them?

We have already spoken about inbound marketing, but we wanted to show you today an example of how in-bound marketing works. Our client, Dorian, is the owner of an holistic healthcare practice. To most people, holistic healthcare is still somewhat unknown and untrusted. Dorian faced the same challenges many in the Professional Services fields. Why should I trust him? Do I really understand what his practice is all about?

Trust, credibility, awareness are all areas where in-bound marketing can be very powerful. Dorian opted for in-bound marketing because it was the best tool for his challenges and to help him expand his business potential.

Using In-Bound Marketing Smartly: Dorian's Story

Dorian was unknown, and the practice of holistic medicine is considered by some to be pseudo-science instead of healthcare. Therefore, he needed to showcase himself as an authority, as well as, build the case for where a holistic approach is right and, importantly, when it wasn't. To do this, he utilized a mix of social media, promoted content with infographics, and blogs. SEO was important and woven into his blogs and content calendar.

Measure twice, cut once

Metrics were key to understand what was performing and what needed to be optimized to perform better. Dorian had a whole set of KPIs. First, we built several content funnels to track users on the website. We could see what content drove the most people to specific conversion points. It was important to track several so we could see where any bottlenecks were created and to build some hypotheses as to why people stayed or left.

We tested a number of different infographics to see which were the most impactful and drove the most interaction and traffic. We also kept a list of our posts to look for patterns that might predict with which content people would interact the most. The tactics we used were very similar to what most other businesses use. However, since we were in the start up phase, we relied less on e-mail since we didn't have a large list, yet. We focused more on e-mail once we built our list. Plus it allowed us time to better understand of which content was the most effective.

Dorian's results

In-bound marketing takes time. It's the first thing you need to accept. It's hard when that's typically when revenues are the lowest, and you need the sales. However, it can be an investment worth making. After daily blogging, social posting, and several tries at infographic tests, it took Dorian about 3 months to start to hit his stride. After 3 months, we finally had enough data to start to make some clear choices on optimization of our message, website, and tactical mix and on growing his business.

When we started, Dorian had bounce rates around 40%, CTRs of 1.5%, and a dribble of leads. At six months and after more testing and optimization, Dorian cut his bounce rate significantly to < 30%, increased our CTR to 2.5%, and had enough leads to build a predictable funnel for demand.

What Can You Do?

Start a blog

First and foremost, start a blog. It's the foundation of any inbound marketing campaign. To prove yourself and showcase your capabilities, you need to provide proof and show your expertise. Importantly, people are not going to spend money with you if they don't firmly believe you can help them solve their problems. A blog is a great way to showcase what you know. It also serves as the engine for SEO. The higher you show up in an organic search the more credibility you will have.

Get in the press

Another way to help bolster your reputation is earned media. If the press is siting you as an expert or a source, it adds credibility to your message. It can help new customers take notice of you in the a non-sponsor piece, which will then make it easier for them to believe you later if they see similar things on your blog, social media, etc.

In-bound marketing only works with a great website

Your website is the where the magic happens. With all due respect to the DIY website builders out there, a poorly constructed site can kill you. Image that you are doing all this work to drive people to your site, but when they get there, they leave, get lost, or give up because it takes to long to load. There are a thousand ways things could go wrong. Even a professionally built site won't get it right on the first try. We don't subscribe to the believe that every effective site needs to be professionally built, but we do believe that they should be managed professionally. That means have the right tags, funnels, testing, tracking, and the like. Without it, you lose the ability to optimize, which greatly diminishes your effectiveness. No amount of press or reviews can help if people just bounce due to bad web design.

A picture says 1000 words

We can stress enough the power of a great infographic. People are visual creatures, and a great image can convey more information more quickly that paragraphs of words. You don't need to be a professional designer to be effective, but you need to design your images professionally, meaning the image must have the same meaning as the words. It must be simple, aesthetically pleasing, and easily read.

Finally, don't forget to answer or solicit online reviews.

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We're designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love. If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.

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About the Author

Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile

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