Many business owners see the merit in inbound marketing but are hesitant to try it without some type of aggressive direct-marketing action, because they feel that if they passively wait for customers to find them, they will never make a sale. While many successful websites rely exclusively on inbound marketing techniques, others use inbound and direct marketing in tandem to close deals.
It takes skill, knowledge, and a lot of work to put together a successful inbound marketing campaign, but it is worth the time it takes to master it. Companies that use inbound marketing techniques correctly see a big jump in sales. Websites that use inbound marketing techniques exclusively are thriving.
Here are some great reasons why you should look into inbound marketing for your company:
1. It works. Inbound marketing strategies have been shown to increase web traffic by 60% and nearly half of that traffic generates viable new sales leads.
2. People like it. While direct marketing techniques, such as phone calls and emails can get irritating, inbound marketing relies on developing a website that is attractive and memorable. When people are ready to buy, they become active consumers. Ready-to-buy customers are online looking for information. Most people use search engines to find sites that will help them learn more about products they want before they buy. Many of those people stay online to make their purchase. If your website offers the content they want, they will seek you out.
3. It is cheaper than direct marketing. Viable leads found through inbound marketing techniques cost under half as much to develop as those gained with outbound techniques such as television and radio commercials.
Inbound marketing does work and it will work for you. However, you must know all of the right moves to make, if you want customers to flock to your site.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing, sometimes called “digital marketing,” is a combination of strategies designed to make people search out your website and spend money with you. It differs from outbound or direct marketing in that it attempts to attract people through quality and content. While direct marketing techniques use a blanket approach that reaches out to millions in the hope of finding a few people who want to buy, inbound marketers develop a presence on the web that people will find when they are actively engaged in the buying process. Contacts made this way are much more likely to turn into customers.
Those who engage in inbound marketing post useful blogs on their websites. They fill their site with words that will move them to the top of search engine lists, and they maintain a page on social media such as Facebook and Linkedin.
The downside of inbound marketing is that it is a relatively new process. Even though many businesses are using one technique of inbound marketing called content marketing, they are still floundering with the concept. Since they haven’t completely mastered the art, they are still not generating the leads they had hoped. Not even a fourth of businesses feel they are good at it.
So what is the secret to successful inbound marketing? Research suggests that successful inbound marketers develop a clear goal and use all of the strategies of digital marketing together in one cohesive plan.
Some companies have just jumped into inbound marketing and seen positive results, but most will fail unless they have a comprehensive strategy. That is why some CEOs are reluctant to spend money on activities that don’t seem to offer a tangible reward. Rather than give up on these efforts, they need to learn more about the process.
What are the techniques of inbound marketing?
Businesses can effectively attract more customers while lowering their cost per lead by following a five step process.
1. Develop a cohesive inbound marketing plan. Most companies use website development, blogs, social media and a host of other digital marketing tools in a hodgepodge way with no clear plan or goal. Successful businesses develop a written plan and stick to it. This might include:
• Using search engine optimization terms that will make the web page easier to find.
Usint social media such as Facebook to develop brand awareness and attract leads to the website.
• Creating quality content that will attract readers who will then become leads.
• Creating landing pages and call-to-action buttons that will convert leads to customers.
• Marrying digital marketing techniques to direct marketing so that the sales department can take over to target leads that will likely become customers.
2. Use a publishing calendar. Your blogs should capture leads by relying on content that is goal focused. Once you have attracted an audience, you have to make sure you keep them interested. In addition to blogs you should publish a variety of material such as:
• Photos of your products or services,
• Videos offering advice about using or maintaining your products,
Ebooks and infographics with detailed information that your readers will find interesting.
Social media posts telling people about what is available.
3. Optimize your content so that you will be easy to find. This means more than just using the right words for a search engine. In order to help people find you, you need to get off of your own web page and offer some content to other publishers. Links in these articles should lead readers back to your site. Experts advise putting just one fourth of your information on your own site. The rest of your efforts should be directed towards providing content to sites that will bring in leads. More than that, when readers repost your videos and articles, or just “like” them, you raise your search engine rankings starting an upward spiral.
4. Monitor your success. Automated tools are available that will measure the return on your investment. These tools will allow you to determine how inbound marketing techniques have affected brand awareness. You will be able to see the number of leads brought in by every marketing effort you have made and determine how many customers are attracted by these activities.. They will analyze the quality as well as quantity brought in by each source, allowing you to fine tune your efforts and lower your cost for every lead generated. Most companies already measure the amount of traffic that comes in through social media, but very few of them know how to measure the value of the leads that are generated that way.
5. Make necessary changes. If one of your inbound marketing techniques isn’t working, change it. Maybe you need to re-write a page description or change some keywords. Or perhaps you have a blog post that needs to be completely rewritten to better attract readers. Maybe you need to do something entirely different like publishing an ebook with advice about using your product or contacting a well-known website about writing a guest article. Perhaps mentioning some special offers in one of your posts will generate some new leads.
Talk to your team about the results of your analysis and get some new ideas working to attract new business. Don’t forget, though, to incorporate these ideas with the ones that are working for you to keep a cohesive plan focused on your marketing goals.
Parker Powers, is an American serial entrepreneur, recognized leader in personal branding, Top 100 ranked CEO, author, speaker and recognized internet personality.
Parker Powers has bootstrapped multiple companies over the past 20 years, generating over $100MM in revenue online.
As a contributing writer for over 25 major publications, and a humanitarian, his ventures have spanned many industries and continents over the years.
Parker is a published and respected business transformation leader followed by publications like Forbes Magazine and quoted and featured in business books, magazines, and online publications.
Through his coaching, advising, consulting, and diverse teamwork within the Blackwell SGP network, he is a known strategic growth partner for many entrepreneurs and companies across the U.S. & Europe.
Inc. 500|5000 Entrepreneur
Branding + Executive Coach
Dallas Top 100 CEO
Bootstrapped $25k to $100MM Revenue Company
Bootstrapped $5k to $10MM Revenue Company
Bootstrapped $600 to $500k Revenue Company
Top 20 Revenue Magazine
Inc. 500|5000 Entrepreneur
Mentor @RealCo Seed Fund
I help people grow brands, businesses, and exit.
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