The world of inbound marketing can seem intimidating with its buzzwords and tech 'stuff', but really what it does well - plus, what every business needs - is a developed marketing strategy that creates a clear view of what your best "next move" with a potential lead is.
We are in the process of creating insightful blog posts, which aim to give you, the business owner, a step-by-step introduction to this revolutionary online marketing technique.
We say revolutionary, well, because it is!
The connections that inbound marketing offers, over traditional outbound methods, are much more likely to reduce costs, increase customer demand and generate leads.
Firstly, what you must not do is decide to replace all the old outbound marketing methods. We say this because inbound only becomes cost effective, measurable marketing, when incorporated into an extensive marketing strategy.
In today's fast-paced, competitive market we cannot rely solely on print, advertising or telemarketing calls. Instead, today's public looks online for its shopping, relationships and news, so why not take your business online? This is where the inbound marketing process begins – and where your selling techniques are crucial.
Inbound marketing: 'The process of helping potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue.' (Marketo)
Essentially, you have to have imagination, valuable information and creativity to engage online users.
Discover Element Three suggests that American internet users spend three times more minutes on blogs and social networking than on their email, and we are pretty certain that would translate similarly in the UK.
There is a wealth of options when it comes to inbound marketing, including, but not limited to, the following methods:
- Email Marketing campaigns
- SEO and keyword optimisation
- Social Media Marketing
- Creating free tools to attract visitors, i.e. web resources, such as, ebooks, white papers etc
Since 2006 these methods (and more) have formed 'inbound marketing', making it, unarguably, the most effective marketing strategy with which to perform business online.
A marketing strategy for success
A suggested four-tier marketing plan for inbound marketers to encourage lead generation as well as, converting leads, segmenting leads and tracking leads, is the 'attract, convert, close and delight' method.
This inbound marketing model focuses on:
- ATTRACT (From strangers to visitors): Blog, social media, keywords and pages
- CONVERT (From visitors to leads): Calls-to-action, landing pages, forms, contacts
- CLOSE (From leads to customers): Email, workflows, lead scoring, CRM integration
- DELIGHT (From customers to promoters): Social media, smart calls-to-action, email, workflow
All of these steps are what we go through with you to develop strangers into promoters of your company - encouraging your status as a thought leader in your arena. Businesses who have already dabbled in inbound marketing might feel that it 'just doesn't work', 'it's a waste of time', or, 'it doesn't result in sales growth of increase lead volume'. We say, consider your strategy and your aims for inbound marketing.
For a full understanding of these steps, check out our blog series fully exploring the ways and means of inbound marketing methodology.
Why it went wrong before
- Your aim wasn't specific enough: Are you finding people but they aren't the people you really want? Consider the marketing methods you implement and which channels are most appealing to your demographic.
- They know you, but don't know why: The internet can be over saturated with blogs, Twitter feeds and content that you find interesting but are you putting out there what you do and who you are?
- They can't hear you: Twitter hours involve promoting your business, and others, with regular tweets in a 60 minute interval, but if everyone else is doing the same how can you get attention in the chaos? Sound different and shout about something unusual!
How we make it right for you
- Marketing Plan: You've found people before so you know what marketing method are out there, but are you using them correctly? You shouldn't stretch yourself across every available network, but select the ones right for you. Our strategic Marketing Plan analyses all of your current channels and summarises which ones are working - creating a specific aim for all of your marketing.
- Content Creation: Anybody, technically speaking, can create content and must people have the basic knowledge to make it shareable. However, if you aren't writing it for a clear audience or purpose, it's going to get lost out there. We can help focus your content creation, whether it's checking, editing, amending or suggesting copy, or just creating it all for you, we have a team with the perfect skill set to do so - so they know who you are, what you do and why you're the right business for them.
- Social Media Marketing: Vlogging is going to become a huge thing, Pinterest is taking off and all the other rules from years before still apply (use Facebook, tweet, create email marketing...) so we can not only perform a social media audit we can also do it all for you! Our audit is designed to review your current state and work towards better brand awareness, customer reach and, ultimately, high quality leads. When we have completed this, we can go forward and implement all of your social media marketing for you, either with or without your input - so they will hear you just fine.