Marketing is essential when it comes to running your business smoothly. Marketing has many aspects to it, one of the broader kinds of marketing include inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is your traditional marketing strategy where a person goes to the customer to promote his or her business. This includes advertisements, trade fairs, door to door salesmanship, cold calling etc. Inbound marketing however is the reverse, makes the customer come to the business. This includes content marketing, SEO, backlinking, social media etc.
Nowadays, more and more people are using the inbound marketing strategy because not only it is more effective but it’s also quite inexpensive as compared to outbound marketing strategies.
In order to succeed in business, it’s imperative to have a good understanding of inbound marketing. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you just can’t overlook the importance of marketing you brand. Inbound marketing is a crucial strategy used by entrepreneurs and people who have start ups because it requires little to no cost which is perfect for people on a tight budget.
Inbound Marketing Tactics – Old school ways are out
Times have changed and so are the rules of the marketing playbook. People and their choices are evolving therefore the marketing strategies are changing as well. Many people have unsubscribed from email lists and so that is something people don’t use much these days. Many consumers who record shows on their TV do so in order to save time and especially to skip ads or they just download the shows or stream it. People have now more options in life especially due to internet. T
he way that modern consumers are shopping has changed dramatically and so companies should adapt to these changes as well in order to not only survive but to thrive as well. Customers don’t like to be aggressively approached now the way they previously used to be so brands need to be able to attract them in subtle ways to have them as loyal customers.
Brands have to now earn their customers attention and must engage with them in meaningful ways by creating a unique inbound experience for them. In a nutshell, inbound marketing’s primary focus is the width of creativity and not the size of the wallet when it comes to advertising or promoting your brand.
Create compelling content
There are so many mediums to advertise for products and services these days. TV, radio, billboards, internet etc, every place is cluttered with people trying to sell stuff. All these mediums compete with each other to attract the average consumer. With time everyone has become used to these things and they don’t easily attract them anymore because of the same old and rehashed ways. In order to stand out, a brand must create unique content which should be educational, inspirational or entertaining so that people are compelled to know about the product or service.
Make your website a hub and not a loudspeaker
Many companies think they can use their websites as a megaphone or a broadcasting channel where they need to address large groups of people which is a wrong approach. A brand’s website should function very smoothly in an elegant yet professional manner and should give a hint of human touch to it. The company website should be creatively designed, easy to navigate and must always be user friendly. It shouldn’t have an aggressive approach and must not seem as if one is standing on a soapbox.
Code and content
Many businesses especially entrepreneurs and startups create a huge amount of content and think that it’s inbound marketing. Well to a certain extent yes but that is one of the pitfalls of this strategy if used wrongly. They need to be able to code it as well because shipping code is very important. There are many free tools on the web that convert web traffic into business leads.
Free tools such as InsightSquared can dramatically change the whole customer experience. So in order to succeed in inbound marketing, one must invest in developer resources because it will create the maximum impact.
Be an expert in calling to action
It is really difficult to get traffic on a website, so if users go to a website and don’t know how to navigate through it then it’s a total waste of the efforts of the business because they failed in creating good content. A call to action is a sign showing the users what they should do next. For example, a blogger must make its readers find it easy to subscribe and go through the website seamlessly and to also read similar article on the web.
It’s not enough for your site to be optimized for search – it has to be optimized for action too.
People have small attention spans. The average attention according to research is only eight seconds. So if you write a really long thesis about your product or service, chances are that nobody would want to read it. As clichéd as it sounds, a picture is still worth a thousand words, and so, companies should try to use appealing visuals to boost customer engagement. It could be a simple yet catchy picture and can even be without any words or slogan with it. In fact a picture without a word makes people curious about the ad even more.
Delivering more ROI
ROI (Return on Investment) is something all companies strive for at the end of the day. It costs a lot to pay channels and ad agencies to promote a company and it’s always a risk getting returns. Inbound marketing such as blogging and using social media is free of cost and reduces any risk involved. The chances of getting returns are high as well.
All companies need a strong marketing strategy; therefore a strong and smart marketer is of utmost importance. Hiring a person in your company or an agency to promote you must be done wisely. Always ensure that that the person matches the skill set and core values of your company. They should be highly analytical, digital savvy and must be an expert in creating compelling content.
The marketing world requires brands to be continually optimizing themselves. The marketing team must be good with technology, tech savvy and must always be coming up with new ideas. A winning inbound marketing strategy is an art that requires expertise and a lot of experience in order for the company or brand to be successful in attracting a good amount of customer base.
Be social media savvy
Creating social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc will amp the brand image a lot because it will help reach the maximum number of people. Everybody uses social media these days and all companies are hiring social media executives who manage all of their social media accounts.
Previously, nobody even heard of the title “social media executive’ and now it’s a company staff staple. The great thing about social media is that it shows the more human and approachable side of a company. A company or brand isn’t just a corporate entity anymore but it seems like a person. It injects some personality to your brand and shows that you value this mode of connecting with others as well.
Always make sure that the “About” section for all your social media accounts is written well and links back to the company website. Social media lets you interact with customers on a more personal level and makes a brand seem more trust worthy and credible.
Blogging can take a lot of time, but there is value in it if you’re delivering good content. One has to be patient to let the blog build its readership. Getting an audience overnight is something everyone wishes for but that is not the case. However, as daunting as it sounds it really isn’t that hard. All one needs is creativity and good writing skills. Blogging makes you seem like an expert I the field and also raises your website rank because of the keywords used in it. Every good company website usually has.
More Information about Blogging: BLOG GROWTH TACTICS
Nothing is better than word of mouth promotion. Have a testimonials page on your website to make your products or services stand out. It won’t’ seem as showing off as many people assume but it will give people an impression that you are trustworthy and reliable. These reviews are really important for others to gauge the quality of your brand. Telling people about your successes and achievements won’t seem like bragging but will show the value your company can deliver to others.
This is a great approach when it comes to promoting a business. Instead of paying heaps and tons of money to advertisement agencies to create ad campaigns which might not necessarily deliver any results or profit, connecting with an influencer is always a sure shot way into getting a larger audience or demographic. Influencers are basically people who are experts in their fields and mostly have a more or less celebrity status online. They have a large following and so getting a nod from them is setting you up for success. For example, if you run a cosmetic or make up company, then contact a beauty blogger of makeup guru on YouTube, send them free samples of your product and ask them if they can review or endorse your products.
The best thing is if they don’t like what you have to offer then at least they won’t give a bad review since you sent them everything for free. Always connect with an influencer who is relevant to your field or whom you might think can use your product or service.
If you want to have an in depth report on what is the progress of your SEO strategies and how many people visit your website then Google Analytics is one of the best tools out there. You need to be able to know what works, the success of KPI’s and your goals and conversion rates etc. All this is very important to know in order to make any changes in your inbound strategies to move forward and staying up to date.
It might sound aggressive but it’s not – it’s just simply a product re-enforcement technique. In the real world, it’s when a cashier at the checkout counter tells you “wow that’s a great choice for a (insert XYZ product) you have there.” They are indirectly telling you to come back and buy it again from us or buy more products from us.
Similarly, when a user has visited your website and showed some interest in your content by clicking a few times then a way to keep them engaged is by using cookies from your website to follow them around the web and show them ads on various other sites they are visiting. It reminds them about your product/service and basically indirectly tells the user to visit the website again.