8 reasons why inbound marketing is crucial to your marketing success
Inbound Marketing is that umbrella term for all the activity you need to carry out to attract clients to come to you. The concept in many of its forms is not new, but with the ever-increasing popularity of social media and the reliance on personal recommendations rather than trusting a company, and the ever-decreasing popularity of traditional marketing methods like mail-shots and advertising, we all need to be aware and taking on this method of marketing. Here are some more reasons in detail:
1. Helps you to complete sales more easily
I'm not a salesperson by any stretch of the imagination so this is why I've got this as number one in my list. The fact is, we all, in our industries, know our stuff. That's why we set up in business in the first place, right? But for a lot of us, it can be really difficult when you're face to face with a potential client to think coherently and explain why that person should use us rather than someone else.
By using inbound marketing we're giving potential clients lots of reasons to see why they should choose us. Through quality content we can
- explain our product or service in a calm, clear way
- demonstrate why it is best to use our business
- qualify the leads we are really looking for
Fantastic - what a time saver! By the time the prospect comes to you he or she is practically ready to buy, its just about clearing up one or two things with them.
2. Very cost effective
In a previous business we were very foolish. We went the outbound marketing way and paid for radio advertising. The campaign cost £6000 and we didn't get a single lead. We've learnt from that!
Yes, we pay for a subscription to the Adobe suite so we can create and manipulate images, but other than that, for our content we produce it ourselves without spending a penny.
Now, there is of course the caviat of time here. As business people our time is precious and in many cases, more expensive than we actually charge for, so if you want to carry out a proper inbound marketing campaign it might be more cost-effective in the long run to actually hire someone to do it for you - the strategy and production of the content along with the social media promotion. But in the day to day running of the business, making sure you've got a blog scheduled in once a week is a habit that will stand you in good stead and keep your inbound marketing on an even (free!) keel.
This is pretty important! If the method isn't effective why are we doing it?
From our own experience, inbound marketing that we've carried out for others and ourselves has proven itself time and again. Checking Google Analytics against the sites we're working with is without exception, always a pleasure. Hits are rising, visitors are engaged and staying on the website for good periods of time and bouncebacks are reducing. Inbound marketing works. Don't get me wrong, outbound marketing does work as well, but you have to work harder for your return, because people get distracted so its hard to keep their attention. What do you think they get distracted by? My guess would be the great post they've just spotted on their favourite social media platform! Its taking our attention and we need to be there folks with our own great content!
4. Makes you the authority
Who is the person everyone recognises in your industry? Is there anyone at all? If you are blessed with being in one of those industries where not much is said at all about it online, by carrying out Inbound Marketing you could take that spot! Providing quality content and being easily found on Social Media platforms is not difficult when you really do know your subject, so make yourself the authority and watch people pass over your competitors to go direct to you, because you've proven yourself and given of your expertise. Its all about sharing now, so don't be afraid to share your knowledge and educate people. You'll be respected for it.
5. Keeps your website fresh
There's nothing like going to a website and discovering the last news item was 5 years ago announcing the business had a new website! Don't fall into the trap of thinking that because your website has a nice design and looks beautiful, people will want to stay. We're all information hungry and we have to feed our prospects if we want to keep them interested. Carrying out Inbound Marketing will ensure that your website stays fresh because you'll be adding new content all the time for visitors to look at, each time they come back.
6. Helps you rank well in the search engines
There are a number of elements to Inbound Marketing that will help you to rank well:
- Your website is constantly refreshed with new content
- You will have a lot of links pointing to your site
- Through social media you'll be able to make sure there are a lot of hits to your site, making it relevant and noticed by the search engines
7. Gives you quality content to share on Social Media
I've said it before: people are engaged by interesting, quality content. And usually nowadays, they find it via a Social Media platform. When you don't have anything to share, things become really difficult! So an Inbound Marketing campaign can help relieve this stress by ensuring you've got plenty of interesting content to share with your friends and followers.
8. Helps you keep current clients engaged too
Inbound Marketing isn't just about getting new clients. It can be used to help you keep your current clients too. When you get new clients, do you keep in touch? For some businesses this is more instinctive than others. For example, if we were just website designers, we'd work with a client to build their site then it is possible we wouldn't have any contact with them again for a couple of years until they wanted a new website. I think we all know this is bad, but it does happen and its easy to slip into this kind of situation. So keep your clients engaged and remembering who you are, by at the least sending them a newsletter to tell them what you've been up to, with an RSS feed to your blog post so they've got some interesting content to read as well.
What's your take on Inbound Marketing? Have you got a reason I haven't mentioned here that works for you?