Why Inbound Marketing is the Future for Your Business
It doesn’t take an expert to notice that the way consumers interact with brands and products is changing, and it has changed drastically as the millennial generation has grown up. Our exposure to a brand was once limited to outbound marketing sources like radio ads, TV commercials, print ads and billboards. Teams of salespeople would work vigorously to construct these outbound marketing campaigns to reach their audience. In fact, many businesses still approach marketing this way. The problem with this is that unless you are offering a product or service that will have a broad appeal across all demographics, outbound marketing is sort of a shot in the dark. You have no way of knowing if your 30-second radio ad will be heard by your target audience, and if it isn’t then you are spending money on marketing to people who aren’t interested in your product. Obviously, this is inefficient for your business and it won’t yield the kind of response you are looking for. You need something more sustainable that will connect with your audience and engage with them long enough to convert them into customers.
The Attractive Power of Inbound Marketing
That’s where inbound marketing comes in. Inbound marketing draws the target audience in, rather than blasting messages out to every demographic. Inbound marketing harnesses the power of the internet to attract the right audience through social media, blog posts, special offers and more. More than ever before, today’s consumers will research a product thoroughly and compare it with the competition. Inbound marketing creates a positive conversation around your business and calls your target audience to engage with you. When someone wants to buy a pair of sneakers and they go online to search for the best deals on Nike shoes, you want them to encounter material linked to your business that will draw them to you by showing that you are a quality source for the product they want to buy. Since this person is in the market for new sneakers, they are exactly the target audience that you want to reach. The difference between inbound and outbound marketing in this scenario is that outbound marketing would try to go out and reach that person through ad campaigns, but their chances of actually finding them would be slim. Inbound marketing campaigns prepare for when that person shows up so they can draw them in and seal the deal.
Post Compelling Blogs
Blog writing is a major component of successful inbound marketing. You need to write frequently so you always have new content to engage your audience with, but you also need to be posting material that is relevant. Think about what your audience needs to know, or what aspects of your business you would like to share with them. Blog posts help to build your credibility as a business by showing people that you are an authority in your industry. If the knowledge you share is useful, readers are likely to come back to you the next time they have a related question. One of the best parts about blog posts is that they can be reused! Even if you don’t repost them, people will still find old ones when they are search for a particular subject, and these can direct them to your business. If you have some effective way of tracking the results generated by your blog then you will quickly get a good idea of how much it is helping with your inbound marketing. These blogs can be posted on several sites simultaneously, increasing the chances of them being read by your target audience.
A New Tool for Lead Generation
Inbound marketing isn’t just about generating immediate sales; it’s also about generating leads for future sales. Most inbound marketing campaigns have a collection stage where contact information is gathered after engaging with a potential customer. You may get someone’s email by encouraging them to sign up for your newsletter or get their mailing address by offering a discount. You can use this data for future campaigns and quickly build a list of leads that all fit within the parameters of your target audience.
Consider the Savings
So what’s the catch? You might be thinking that inbound marketing could end up being more costly for your business. In fact, it’s the opposite! According to research studies, inbound is actually 61% less expensive than outbound. Outbound marketing is costly because it requires you to pay for expensive air time for live ads or costly billboard spaces. These types of campaigns also require a sales team, and this comes with the expense of hiring and payroll. Instead of bulking up your sales team, why not spend a much smaller amount of money and beef up your digital marketing campaign? You can outsource this work to experts, or keep it in house if you have people with the right skills to create the content you need to draw people in. Imagine running a more effective marketing campaign that grows your business, while saving money in the process! And to help keep you on track we have developed a handy inbound marketing checklist. This checklist will help you organize everything you need to do in order to create a successful inbound marketing campaign.
Conclusion: Meeting Your Customer’s Needs
Inbound marketing is a new way of thinking about business, and in an increasingly competitive global market, it is the best way. Instead of the old mantra of “Sell! Sell! Sell!” which sparked many multi-million dollar ad campaigns to blanket as many people as possible, inbound marketing focuses on answering this question: “How can we meet our customer’s needs?” To find an answer, you will have to consider who your typical customer is and what sort of needs they will come to you with. Once you understand that, you’ll be ready to begin constructing an inbound marketing campaign.
Need help getting started with your inbound marketing campaign? Check out our free inbound marketing checklist: “How to Run a Great Inbound Marketing Campaign”. This simple checklist will help you master the basics of inbound marketing in no time!