Before Inbound Marketing
Before the age of the internet, businesses used more traditional means of marketing such as radio, print, or television. The problem with this is that you are limited to what you can do. Usually giving the customer one direct call to action and message with little personal feel to the experience.
With Inbound marketing the customer comes to you. You can have a wide array of messages, marketing funnels, mediums, and options to attain your customer; with a more personal feel to the experience. All at a fraction of the cost that it would take to get the same messages out with traditional advertising and marketing techniques.
Why inbound marketing?
Now, I am an advocate for both inbound and outbound marketing as both have their place in business today.
However, with the growing digital age, you must have a strong inbound marketing strategy in place for your business.
Many millennials cutting the cord and getting rid of TV subscriptions, ditching car ownership for services like uber and Lyft, using services like Spotify for music and Netflix to watch movies and TV; you can safely say traditional advertising and marketing strategies are slowly dying.
You need to be online in order for your business to flourish and keep growing as we move toward 2020, 2030, 2040 and beyond. As the millennial generation ages; inbound will become even more relevant than it is today.
Do you honestly know a 20-year-old that reads the newspaper and uses it as a means of making decisions about the products and services they consume? I sure don’t!
So now, let’s take a look at why inbound marketing is so damn AWESOME!
Inbound marketing establishes trust with your customer
One of the greatest way to “get” is to give.
Attract customers by sharing your knowledge and experience with relevant information that would be helpful to them during their buying process of the product or service you are selling. It all depends on your niche.
If you sell home furniture products, you could write a blog post “Hottest Patio Decor Ideas For Summer 2016”. Talk about current trends and styles. Show your customers beautiful imagery of decor styles in the post. You can then link to product pages that have what they need to achieve that look for themselves.
Gary Vaynerchuk is an expert of establishing trust through inbound marketing. Gary provides a lot of value online for free.
Gary interacts with his community through his show #AskGaryVee. It has made Gary a highly sought out expert in the digital marketing community. This is earning him money through speaking engagements and business for his company VaynerMedia.
Other than a book every couple years, he doesn’t sell many “products”. He is selling himself. Businesses are not doing business with VaynerMedia, they are doing it with Gary Vaynerchuk.
Start “selling” yourself, you are the expert after all!
Inbound marketing can be crowdsourced
We’ve all heard the old adage “word of mouth is the best marketing”. Well, you can do exactly that with inbound marketing.
Find influencers that have an audience you want to connect with and reach out to them.
You can find Youtubers that do review videos and how to videos. Send them your product for free in return for a video on their channel. They get content for their channel, you get a mention in their video; win-win!
If you sell low-cost products like t-shirts, you don’t even need to find high-value influencers with 100’s of thousands of followers. Many normal people nowadays have engaged Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat accounts with a good size following that may have your exact market.
It’s well worth the cost of a t-shirt and shipping for the exposure gained. People love free stuff, they are more inclined to buy from you again, as well as become an ambassador of your product when you treat them well.
An example of achieving this would be to go on Instagram, search #Fashion and related tags, find pages that are a good fit for your product, connect with the person and agree to send them a free t-shirt in return for a permanent post on their page.
An excellent addition to this strategy is to provide affiliate links for your influencers so that they can make a profit on any of their audience that buys your product because of their influence. In essence, you are creating a crowdsourced sales team by doing this.
Inbound is GREAT for SEO
Social media sites come and go as fads change. Your website is forever!
It is the first place your online experience should start. Not only is your website your most permanent online asset, it is also 100% yours, you OWN the traffic, not a social media company.
When creating an online experience and engaging on social media platforms, you NEED to direct your traffic to the right section of your website. In the long run, all the links and traffic sent from your campaigns on social media will help to increase your search ranking.
Also, blogging is a really great way to drive inbound traffic to your website for valuable keywords related to your business. Blog content is great for sharing on social media as well.
Many people pay really good money for Pay Per Click advertising campaigns, why not reduce those costs by boosting your SEO through inbound marketing?
Inbound is a two-way conversation
With more traditional means of advertising, you are “shouting at your customer”.
You are delivering a message to them, interrupting their day to sell them a product they probably do not want. Budgets and time restrictions can shorten the message. Most importantly, there is no two-way conversation happening, no way to leave feedback, ask a quick question, learn about why they should etc…
Inbound is about finding your customer by letting them find you. Provide value to their life, engage with them on a personal level that better helps their buying process, rather than shoving your product down their throat.
As mentioned earlier, Gary Vaynerchuk has become a marketing legend by providing value and being engaged with his audience through the #AskGaryVee show.
He made it a conversation, you don’t have “Grandma Vee”(Snapchat users know what I’m talking about) yelling at you on the radio or TV about why Vaynermedia is the best. You have Gary doing a fine job of the two-way aspect of inbound marketing himself and engaging and connect with the people.
Not inbound marketing? Your business is going to die!
Don’t let your business die a slow and painful death!
Bold statement, I know. But it’s 100% true.
Millennials, the fastest growing consumer base are very likely to do an online search of businesses they plan on buying from; if you’re not there, you are missing out!
If your business is relying solely on outdated traditional means of advertising with no immediate plan to implement an inbound strategy. It is inevitable your business will die a slow and painful death.
The thing with inbound marketing, it takes a long time to really start seeing the true benefits. It is not something that is done all at once, you need a strategy and must stay focused on it to meet your goals.
You WILL NOT write 5 blog posts today and magically rank you on page one for all your keywords in a day. It takes time and patience.
To make sure your business “lives a long and happy life” as the digital age grows, you MUST implement an inbound marketing strategy today!