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Maybe you have heard of inbound marketing before… Maybe you haven’t. Well inbound means incoming, and that is exactly what inbound marketing is. It’s helping potential customers find you, and then turning them eventually into customers. Notice that I didn’t say letting your customers find you… it’s helping them find you. Inbound marketing isn’t about waiting around for some miracle, (I mean who doesn’t want to just sit back, relax and wait for the customers to come pouring in but dream on) it’s about giving leads that extra little nudge that helps draw them to you.

Well let me tell you that you have come to the right place. I’m going to lay out the dummy version of imbound marketing for ya’ll.

1. Engage prospects with content

I’m not talking about ads, or promotions. I’m talking about content that they ACTUALLY want to read. Content that educates them, and they want to share with others. Examples are video’s, or blog postings.

2. Use SEO to get that content out there!

After all, if this amazing content that you produce is not seen, then all your hard work is worth nothing at all. (We wouldn’t want that now, would we?)

3. Balance inbound marketing efforts with outbound marketing

Of course you knew that outbound marketing was going to be in this post somewhere… This is how your inbound marketing efforts are going to be found. (And thus outbound marketing is equally important.)

4. Do not waste your leads (Or else this all becomes quite a waste!)

This means giving your prospects the right information. Yes this means that each prospect is different, and wants different information. (Think back to the first marketing class you ever took, c’mon now think hard…) So give the prospect the information that best suits them is vital.

5. Don’t forget about corporate marketing

This means don’t forget about brand image. I don’t know about you but I have always always talked about Coke when it comes to brand loyalty. Coke is a brand that people are loyal to a fault with. Trust me, I work at a restaurant and serve more diet cokes then water. The brand loyalty of Coke has to do with the emotional attachment of drinking Coke and the memories associated with it. The whole point is that you NEED brand loyalty. Well you want it! You really want it! (Coke has been successful because of brand loyalty!)

6. Use marketing automation

Marketo defines marketing automation as, “the use of technology to manage and automate the process of converting prospective customers into actual buyers.” I couldn’t of said it any better.

So there you go… Now that you have inbound marketing down lets talk about some of the things that could go wrong with inbound marketing and troubleshooting these problems.

A. You aren’t pinpointing people

Concentrate your efforts on the right people and your results will show it

B. Your content isn’t pushing potential customers in the right direction

A.K.A. Your content sucks! Make your content answer potential customers questions and needs.

C. You aren’t qualifying your leads

Therefore you aren’t reaching the decision makers and thus are losing out to a different company.

D. Stand out!

You will never get anywhere doing what everyone else is doing. PERIOD. You need to make your content stand out, or else what seperates you from the rest?

So your probably thinking, “Is this really going to work?” Of course it is. If you do it right. Some more tips to help make the most out of inbound marketing include: try and create a customer culture, be patient, and (I am going to say it again..) be unique! A customer culture can help you receive feedback from your customers and suggestions, as well as engaging them (who said inbound marketing isn’t win-win?).Inbound marketing can require patience as results aren’t going to show up overnight. It is important to remember that consistency is key. And I’m going to try not to overly push being unique but YOU MUST BE UNIQUE. Inbound marketing allows you to build trust with leads, and if you don’t start buildiing trust and your competitors do then you have lost the battle, my friend. So don’t lose the battle, win the war.

References

Blogger, G. (n.d.). 5 Lessons from Inbound Marketing Success Stories – Business 2 Community. Business 2 Community – Building Deeper Business Relationships Through Engaging Communities. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from http://www.business2community.com/marketing/5-lessons-inbound-marketing-success-stories-0634762

Inbound: Amplify your Impact. (n.d.). Marketo. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from markstaton.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/inbound_marketing.pdf

Throw out the book on ROI for #InboundMarketing. (n.d.). Technorati. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from technorati.com/social-media/article/throw-out-the-book-on-roi/

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