What is inbound marketing?
Outbound marketing covers many types of traditional marketing strategies but these strategies require you to do specific activities to drum up interest and new business. Those activities are harder and harder to succeed with in a highly competitive marketplace. Inbound marketing is a much more unobtrusive method of gaining attention as it works on your behalf to attract organic targeted traffic and sales leads while providing value. With inbound marketing methods, you’ll succeed at developing your reputation in your industry, you create relationships that are continually nurtured, you attract new and repeat customers who find you, and you can reap viral marketing benefits as well, which have a really high ROI. Inbound marketing, in essence, means that instead of chasing down new business, it comes to you.
Why is inbound marketing important for small businesses?
Small businesses have limited resources. Margins are tighter than ever. Outbound marketing methods can be very expensive and the results aren’t easily quantifiable. Inbound marketing is cheaper, more effective, and presents businesses with metrics that can help marketing techniques be continually fine-tuned. From a customer engagement perspective, inbound marketing is a much better way to go. Today’s customers are savvier than they were even just a few years ago. And they know they have many choices when it comes to products and services. People are no longer as susceptible to sales pitches. In fact, many feel almost insulted when they receive a sales pitch and don’t have the time for face-to-face sales calls or tradeshows. Many skip through commercials and ignore print ads. They don’t appreciate continuous interruptions, either, with traditional cold-calling. You’ll probably find that with some customers and coveted prospective customers, you’ll have a hard time getting past the gatekeeper it’s also not as easy to pitch to consumers either. Instead of being told what’s good for them, buyers are looking to discover. They want to be informed about their choices and will choose to work with companies that provide real value. Inbound marketing activities help you position your company so that it is where people you want to work with are looking for information. The right type of inbound marketing activities will bring the customers to you and will help you position your business as an industry expert in your niche and will result in your appearing to be the wise choice for people to buy from. Inbound marketing methods also offer a great help for customers who require a longer sales cycle.
Inbound marketing can help small businesses save money on marketing while growing
Sales and marketing activities can be expensive. Sales and marketing staff can be expensive to pay wages to as well. Small businesses that leverage effective inbound marketing strategies can do more marketing but with less expense and fewer resources. It can become as close to an autopilot marketing method as you can get. And investing in inbound marketing methods and tools once could reap continuous rewards and passive income streams. There are many inbound marketing tools and techniques that help you with your inbound marketing initiatives. A website, for instance, is a powerful tool --- if it’s created with inbound marketing principles in mind. Beyond simply making a website that tells people you should be their preferred source for whatever it is that you’re selling, demonstrate value to them by creating an informational site, such as a blog, a forum, an online magazine, or some other information resource that provides value and positions your company as an authority. If you continually present useful information and a place where people will want to frequently visit for information and this could be an excellent way to position your company as the most logical choice for products and services related to that industry.
Leverage inbound marketing tools and methods
Great inbound marketing software tools should help you not only identify research for and create the sort of resources that people find helpful and informative but they should also help you capture leads and easily measure your results through analytics that tell you where traffic is coming from and how visitors behave. Outbound marketing definitely still has its’ place in the marketing world but when comparing costs and potential results when analyzing outbound marketing versus inbound marketing there is a lot of evidence showing there is a lower cost, less effort, and bigger return on your investment when you use inbound marketing tools.