For a couple of years now the term “inbound marketing” has been tossed around online, it’s joined by a couple of other buzz words like “social media”, “social strategists”, “social influence” and so on. But like so many of the buzz words that get tossed out there, inbound marketing is often misunderstood.
So let me explain. Inbound marketing is simply the practice of getting your ideal clients to come to you through marketing activities done online. Essentially it is positioning your brand online right where the people who want your service will be looking… Organic search for instance.
Sounds awesome right? Clients coming to you. Well, it is, but there is much work to be done before the clients come rolling in. Lets talk a little about what inbound marketing involves.
For years marketers have force fed consumers their message. You’ll see it everywhere- in magazines, on billboards, on park benches, even hear it on the radio. The idea here is that the more places you plaster your brand, the more chances that your ideal client will see and come to you for a product or service.
This form of marketing does work, but it is costly and it is harder for the little guy to compete. The other problem with this form of marketing is that you are casting your net wide, but you are not always getting your ideal client and if you are, how do you know they are wanting or needing your product or service or if they are ready to buy?
Inbound marketing requires you to make a shift in thinking from pushing your message and brand onto people who aren’t interested to pulling and attracting people who are interested and ready to buy from you.
components of an inbound marketing strategy
There are several components of inbound marketing. When you work these together, along with a little PR, you can rock your online space:
Like I said in this post about social media managers, social media is a part of your online marketing but really works better when you have the other pieces as well. You can grow a strong presence, but if you don’t have great content to share, SEO know how, and aren’t growing an email list, then you are missing the whole picture, and a lot more clients.
SEO for your blog is important so that search engines can read your site well and you can rank in organic search. Roughly 46% of people who search for something online are looking to buy something.
Meeting them at their closest point to purchase is very important to your business.
blogging and content marketing
Blog content is really, really, really, really important. Your content helps to establish you as an authority, gives credibility and builds trust, and it also adds value to your readers which is a great way to keep them around and build relationships.
I once heard it said that a list of 30,000 subscribers equalled a million dollar business. I’m inclined to believe it. Especially if you use your list right. Email marketing is gold and is where you will do your business. Check out these great list building tips.
getting your business inbound marketing ready
You need to get your biz ready for inbound marketing success here’s a couple things you need to sort out while creating a strategy for inbound success:
What message are you trying to convey? What is your brand about? What do you want your content to do? Read more about creating a content strategy here.
You need to look good online. You need to look the same on every platform, sound the same, be adding the same value everywhere you are online. You want people to easily recognize your brand. Branding is not just about how you look, but your brand is what people perceive you as.
How will you use these parts to work together to achieve a common goal? What is that goal? It’s not enough to just use these platforms, its knowing how you are going to use them together and what you want them to do for you and your business that is important.
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