Inbound marketing is one of the major forms of getting people to your site and product. But what exactly is it? And how can you use it?
Inbound marketing is one of the major forms of getting people to your site and product. It deploys many of the proven digital tactics we recommend. But what exactly is it? And how can we turn that form of marketing into something? Marketing is something we have spoken about often, but how can we make that into something we can direct at our audiences? Today we wanted to share with you the meaning of Inbound Marketing, along with our client Dorian's own story about in-bound marketing. Hopefully you can turn it into results for yourself!
Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding. It tries to build trust by offering potential customers information they value via company sponsored newsletters, blogs and entries on social media platforms. In contrast, outbound marketing is what we would most likely define as marketing, such as, paid advertising, promotions, samples, etc. Smaller businesses can accelerate their potential, but inbound marketing might be the easiest way to lead to growth.
The theory goes that inbound marketing is designed to help customers learn and gain valuable information and insight. When customers see that value that a service provides, it builds trust, credibility, and relevant awareness. Outbound marketing, in contrast is, by definition, intrusive. It interrupts content and doesn't enhance it. Outbound marketing can be very effective, too. Each has its place. If you already know and trust a brand, outbound marketing can be useful to bring it top-of-mind. Inbound marketing works better when something is new, or where education is key. It also can often be cheaper when done correctly.
According to a survey of businesses, who use inbound marketing, they claimed it increased their leads by 72% and their conversion by 55% in the past six months. Both are key aspects of inbound marketing: identifying leads & converting them.
There are 5 major tactics that are used most often for inbound marketing: social media, content promotion, visual content (a.k.a. infographics), blog content, and SEO. Combining them can add to growing your business remarkably.
A surprising 90% of businesses leverage social media for inbound marketing. It is no wonder. They are easy to use. The platforms have large audiences, and they utilize sophisticated algorithms to make targeting a breeze. While almost everyone uses it, not all agree regarding its effectiveness. Only about 4 out 10 businesses say that social media produces the best results. In fact, 2 in 10 say it's the worst. Why? Many don't use it effectively. Social media is like gardening. It only works when it's well tended. Forget to water it, and things wither and die. It may be cheap and easy, but it is a significant time commitment, for both new businesses and older ones.
Content promotion is when you pay to have content served to a target audience. It's where you take your best posts and promote them so more people see them than would have seen them organically. It's less time consuming. You create the content once and them promote it vs. gaining likes and shares. If you have powerful content, with which a large audience interacts, content promotion can be very effective. If you are new, have a smaller following, or the topic is impactful but only to smaller audience, content promotion can help there as well.
Infographics are a great way to promote content. If done right, they are simple, straight-forward, and easy to understand. They don't require a heavy investment in time or a bunch of clicks to get to where you need to be. Having something visual can be a core aspect of any small business marketing plan, both to show
Blogs are a more time consuming form of inbound marketing, but possibly more fruitful. However, they offer a great way to provide more complex information. They can be very useful in credibility building this guy or gal knows what he or she is talking about. They can showcase knowledge, but if not done well, they can under perform. There's only so much time a person can spend. Blogs are also the food for SEO. We all can remember the days of key word loaded, useless blogs used as link bait. While SEO has become much more sophisticated, blogs are still one of the best tools to ensure good rankings.
At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns. We're designed to help give you the marketing 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.
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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