Increasing the impact of your content
Traditionally marketing has employed outbound marketing tactics such as cold calling, advertising, emails and direct mailing. These methods have become increasingly less effective as people are getting much better at blocking them using simple things like caller ID or spam filters. Out bound marketing is when you go outwards and attempt to find customers. Now a new breed of marketing is becoming increasingly popular, it’s called inbound marketing and it helps your customers find you. This means that potential customers who are looking for your product or service find you instead of you needing to find them. Inbound marketing has only recently been possible due to the popularity of search engines such as Google , social media sites and blogs. Now if people want to find a product or service their instinct is to Google what they need, inbound marketing takes advantage of this and helps those people find what they are looking for.
Inbound marketing can be broken into 3 different categories…
Content includes Blogs, videos, white papers and eBooks. The content includes information that will attract customers to your site. Content is the real substance of any inbound marketing campaign as it gives your products and services credibility.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is how you improve the visibility of your web site in search engines. SEO is based on knowledge of how the search engines work and relates that to what people are searching for to make your site easier to find. The main purpose of SEO is to achieve the best possible ranking in search engine results. It stands to reason that if your site is at the top of the list potential customers are more likely to click it, if you are 99th on the list it’s less likely they will click.
Social media channels are an important aspect of inbound marketing as they increase the impact of the content. The more followers and positive comments the more credibility your products and services will have. Social media shows that your marketing is not an empty gesture, its shows real people who can reinforce the message that your products and services are reliable and worth using.
There are many benefits of inbound marketing over outbound marketing, the main being that you are not pushing your product at potential customers in a hostile way. With inbound marketing customers come to you, instead of you finding them so it is much easier to convert potential customers into sales as you are targeting only those that are already interested. Inbound marketing is much more passive and makes your potential customers feel at ease as they think it was their idea.
Another big benefit of inbound marketing is it is very cost effective. As you are targeting the right people you can do more for much less. With outbound marketing you may call 1000 people to try and sell your product but of that 1000 you might only get 2 or 3 that are interested but you have paid for the 1000 calls. Inbound marketing is very low cost if not free and every single potential customer that you attract will have a much better chance of converting.
If you wish to improve your inbound marketing strategy these can simply be achieved by improving your rankings in Google to get more traffic, by building and promoting a blog for your business and by growing and nurturing a community on the most popular social media sites. Inbound marketing is a constant process that requires constant attention through social media but the results can be very rewarding as not only will you receive new customers but you will also increase awareness and the profile of your brand.
What inbound marketing have you been using?