Why should your small business care about inbound marketing?
A good question and the simple answer is: Inbound marketing can be a more cost-efficient and highly effective marketing strategy for businesses who want to increase leads, acquire new customers, and retain paying customers.
But first, let’s start with marketing concepts you’re probably more familiar with and talk about traditional marketing.
TV ads, mailers, cold calls, internet banners, and pop-up ads are all old-school marketing strategies we’ve experienced. They vary wildly in cost and effectiveness, but the one thing they all have in common is they take an aggressive, “stop whatever you’re doing to focus on me and take action now” approach with the customer.
For traditional marketing like a billboard or print ad, interruption and disruption must happen to get results. That is unless you lucked into catching a customer at the same time they were thinking about buying what you are selling.
In addition, advances in the personalization and the selection of preferences on the devices that we as consumers are connected to 24/7 have made traditional marketing more expensive and less effective. Now smartphones block cold calls, DVRs let you skip commercials, and ad blockers hide your online ads.
While traditional marketing is pushing promotions in customers’ faces whenever the marketer wants (at cost to your business), inbound marketing flips the script by creating valuable and attention-holding content that hits the customer when they are interested in it and actively looking for it.
Shifting to Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing shifts the way you market your small business. Looking at traditional marketing, you rely on interrupting and grabbing the attention of a broad and mostly unqualified audience. Why waste marketing resources when inbound marketing empowers potential customers to take action on offers they are interested in right now?
Instead of paying for television ad production and time, you could create useful videos for YouTube, your website, or social media that potential customers are searching for and want to see.
Instead of cold calling or cold emailing, you can create simple lead magnets or freebies people actually crave to build an email list of leads clearly interested in the type of products or services you provide.
Instead of buying print ads or sending out mailers, you create and continuously add relevant content to your web pages and blog because people use search engines at the start of their buyer’s journey. They don’t look through junk mail or the Sunday paper.
Is Inbound Marketing Right for Your Business?
If you are spending time, money, and other resources on marketing your business already, then inbound marketing can help you reach the following business goals:
- Building awareness in a crowded market
- Attracting more traffic to your website
- Converting more site visitors into leads
- Converting more leads into sales
- Growing email subscriber lists
- Retaining and delighting existing customers
- Upselling and cross-selling existing customers
Inbound marketing is a clear path to growing your business using online channels and digital marketing in an organized manner. It is also far easier to track and measure than traditional marketing.
And unlike some other marketing and promotion expenses, investment in inbound marketing produces compounding results over time. You will create marketing assets like blog posts, landing pages, backlinks, and social media followers that earn traffic, capture leads, and win customers every day going forward.
Can I Handle Inbound Marketing on My Own?
Inbound marketing is something you can start in your business right now with a simple inbound marketing campaign that uses your website, email list, and social media. But the best results will require skills that you or your business may not possess or have time to implement. Skills can be learned, and you could look at hiring a coach or consultant to guide you, if you want to go it alone.
Take a look at what you can accomplish on your own because your inbound marketing may be more effective and consume less resources by outsourcing specific tasks depending on your marketing goals. By retaining digital marketing services to handle your inbound marketing, you can leverage their skills and software to generate more qualified traffic to your website that drives sales.