You’ve probably heard the term inbound marketing thrown around when talking with marketing people. Maybe you’re even doing research to try and figure out how to make your website more profitable for your business. Either way, inbound marketing has evolved to become the most effective and vital business tool you can use to take that old brochureware website and finally get a return on investment out of it.
In a Nutshell
For those of us looking at inbound marketing for the first time, let’s take a quick look at the principle behind the magic.
It looks simple enough, but as we know in business it’s not as easy as it looks to attract, convert, close and delight customers with all of the moving pieces in today’s business. Here, we’re going to hopefully help streamline that process by offering 5 tips to better understand how the inbound methodology works.
1: It’s About Helping Prospects and Customers
As cliche as it may sound, the truth is that people are looking for answers to their questions online and not just a sales pitch. Think about your online routines and what you look for online. Chances are that between the Facebook and Instagram posts, you’re searching for the answer to a question or even researching a product. The thing about inbound marketing is that to attract strangers into visitors you need to provide the content that they are looking for. If your content isn’t answering a question or solving a problem, then it probably shouldn’t have an important place on your site.
2: It’s Not about the Hard Sell
Traditionally, most marketers will create messages that are aimed squarely at the end goal – getting the consumer to buy the product. Think of all the websites, flyers, etc. in your travels that read in giant letters “Call now for a Free Quote!” or “Contact Us Now!”
Yes, ultimately we do want the visitor to buy, but any good salesperson will tell you that people doing their research aren’t ready to buy yet because they don’t know you or your product/service. Their questions haven’t been answered yet. Part of the job of inbound marketing is to give people the information they need when they need it. This means that someone at the beginning of your sales funnel (or at the beginning of the methodology chart above) should be receiving different content than those who are further down that funnel like those wanting to look at pricing or more specifications before making a purchase via a final call to action.
3: You Need More than just a Website
Having a website should not be your online marketing strategy! The biggest mistake that businesses make is thinking that just having a website means that they’re ahead of the curve with their online marketing strategy. Yes, it’s important to have a website, but do you have a blog? How about an email newsletter? Have you chosen the right social media outlets to use for your business? Do you have an online keyword and SEO strategy? have you set goals and a unified message for all these elements?
These are the elements that make up inbound marketing and turn it into a multi-pronged approach that a website just can’t accomplish by itself.
4: Inbound Marketing is Ongoing
So now that you’ve written some blog posts and sent out a newsletter, now is not the time to sit back and watch the inbound fairy sprinkle her pixie dust all over the interwebs. It’s going to take time and it’s going to take resources. In order to achieve true success from inbound marketing, it takes dedication and overall buy-in from the entire senior staff of your business. Inbound marketing should also be integrated with any traditional outbound marketing such as online and print advertising.
5: Your Online Brand is Another Location
Think of your website as another store or branch of your business. If someone walks in and has a peek around but can’t find anything useful or even any trace of humanity, or nobody to answers their questions, then there’s really no point in them staying or coming back.
So if almost 80% of people are starting their research for products and services online, then you want to 1. Be lucky enough to show up in search rankings and 2. Get them excited about finding you and answering their questions. This is what will lead to your business being put at the top of the list of their prospective providers.
In order to accomplish these 2 feats, you need to give your online location some dedication and resources like you would your physical locations. Set sales goals and other goals for the website. Assign staff members to devote time to it. Hire a web firm like Point Click to handle the inbound marketing for your business to ensure the site is filled with good content and the proper tools and prepared and ready to handle customers.
I Need More Info
If the world of marketing and especially inbound marketing seems like a lot of stuff, don’t worry.
If you have questions please feel free to take advantage of some of the great content here on our site, leave a question in the comments and / or drop us a line and we can be sure to help make these inbound marketing practices work for you.
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