Inbound Marketing -- Working Smarter, Not Harder
Outbound Marketing is basically what marketing used to be: renting a billboard, sending direct mail, or buying commercial space on your local TV and radio stations. These strategies serve their purpose, otherwise companies would no longer be doing them. But with the advent of the internet, it became necessary to change how we attract and then interact with new customers in a virtual space — and how to convert those new customers into long-time clients.
And so the concept of “Inbound Marketing” was born. Inbound Marketing draws your customers in by engaging them with interesting content, rather than sending a message out and having it arrive in your mailbox. Some examples of Inbound Marketing are blogs, social media, SEO, podcasts, PPC, and videos.
When a customer searches for your product or service in their web browser, the choices that come up are entirely based on the words you use on your website. This is called Search Engine Optimization. The name of your company, the one sentence you use to describe your company, the header at the top of your home page, the copy you write for your product descriptions — they all contain keywords search engines use to find you.
Once a potential customer finds your website, it is time to nurture them by engaging them, not annoying them. A great way to engage customers is by writing interesting content like blog posts. The customer is drawn in because they’re learning something new about the phrase they Googled. You have just met a need they self-identified. It is the virtual equivalent of walking into a gardening store, asking about your roses, and having a clerk actually answer your questions. Hopefully, you are learning from this blog post. And so you scroll down and read the next one. You bookmark this page to show your colleague at lunch. And you forward the link to a friend designing a new website. This is Inbound Marketing at work. Be sure and sign up for our newsletter or subscribe to our blog for resourceful information like this.
A business’s social media posts are written specifically to attract traffic to the company’s website. How do you convert that traffic into leads? You learn from the customer. How many people followed the link on your Twitter account? If you write the copy differently, or market a product that is more popular, do more people click through the social media post? If you have a post with a low click through rate, you probably don’t want to try the exact same post again. You’re working smarter by utilizing the information customers give you, rather than harder by writing 15 posts and hoping for the best. It is important to track the information you put out on the internet — and then use that information to hone in on your most valuable messages.
If a customer enjoys your podcasts and subscribes to them, you can track which podcasts they listen to and send them an email targeting something else you think they will use. A customer that watches 3 videos about UI web design clearly needs help with their UI web design. And now that you know, you can reach out to them with messages targeted specifically to help because that is a part of what your business does. And you can also offer them a slightly different service that directly correlates with what they’re trying to do. If you capture the right information, a member of your sales team can contact them and convert them into a client that uses multiple products.
Align your online and offline marketing efforts and you will start to see inbound marketing work for your business, which will increase engagement, CTA’s, and an increase in overall revenue.