The Often Untapped Power of “Inbound Marketing”

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In this week’s blog we wish to describe some marketing techniques to help you market your website for free. For free? Yes. The advent of the internet has given birth to marketing techniques now known as “inbound marketing” – that doesn’t rely on funding traditional, often expensive, marketing campaigns.

Inbound marketing is an overall technique that a company, or perhaps just your personal website as well, can use to market itself through blog posts, seo optimization, press releases, electronic newsletters, whitepapers, social media, article writing and other similar creative methods that you might come up with. That is a list of marketing tools that don’t really require money upfront if you are willing to do the work to assemble and publish the materials. Inbound marketing is also commonly referred to as “content marketing” as well. Inbound marketing retains the benefit creating value from the very start of the interaction with prospective customers.

In short, Inbound marketing is pretty much all about creating, publishing, and sharing content (also posted in a discoverable way typically through search engines) around the internet.

The other way to market your website is known as Outbound Marketing. Outbound marketing is basically purchasing attention for your website/business. That can include traditional print/radio advertising, telemarketing/flyers, spam (be careful though, aggressive spamming is now considered against the law in Canada), billboards, pay-per-click (PPC) search engine advertising (such as Google adwords) and perhaps even tv advertisements. In the days before the internet and search engines, outbound marketing was really the only way to bring customers in; but in today’s world outbound marketing is being replaced, to ever higher degrees, with inbound methods.

So inbound marketing is more preferable on tighter budgets, and can also be more effective too. If excess funds are available, a company could decide to even hire a marketing agency to do all the work for them. But inbound marketing techniques actually are lasting ways to bring more business in – as the content you produce for your website can be lastingly built into/onto your website.

Inbound marketing is especially effective for small businesses that offer knowledge-based products; where prospects are prone to do prior research and subsequently purchase services from a business that is known for their expertise. If you create evergreen content which is is of value and remains available for a very long period of time, you’ll get a good deal back almost from each, if not all, of your efforts.

Outbound marketing is perhaps done best during certain high demand times, such as around holiday purchasing periods for certain products, or time periods when certain groups of people will be most likely in need of and looking for a certain kind of product or service.

The main methods used with Inbound marketing include creating key content and then distributing it to key market segments, to people who are likely to benefit the most by it. Inbound marketing also helps you establish yourself as an authority within your industry. It might seem like a painfully slow climb, but it is a climb that will most likely be well worth it. When people seek information about what you do; and when they discover it, they are going to come to you.

With utilizing social media aspects inbound marketing allows your business to dialog and perhaps gain valuable feedback from your customers. You can also possibly benefit from a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to help organize customer information and their feedback. Use of CRM really depends on your business model and the size of your business. Longer sales processes, usually concerning higher priced or more rare products and services, gain from use of CRM rather then short term sales of commodity items.

Inbound marketing really shines relative to your ability to impress and delight prospects – and also your existing customers. Many companies often seem to forget about their customers the moment after a sale is made. Alternatively, once the sale is complete this can be the beginning of a positive and memorable relationship. Maintaining a periodic and friendly relationship will also increase the referral rate; in terms having leverage your existing customer base to later, automagically, bring in more business. Cultivating and asking for referrals can also be thought of as another form of inbound marketing.

A use of a blog, such as this one that you are reading now can help educate your customers and provide way to serve existing customers and new prospects in continuous ways. Surveys are another idea, but usually you can expect low participation rates in surveys, as people are generally quite busy and no willing to take the time to fill out long surveys.

Inbound marketing covers the entire life cycle your customer, from prospect attraction through building a lasting relationship; and it all begins with quality content. Best of wishes in expanding your marketing reach through your Inbound marketing initiatives.

{ If you would be interested in help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a notably powerful inbound marketing technique, just click on this link to our SEO services. }

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