Inbound Marketing is the function of bringing warm, qualified leads and clients into your business in lieu of reaching outward (with blinders on in most cases) to cold and unqualified targets. Please, not another trade show...my feet hurt just thinking about it! Traditional "outbound marketing" is largely focused on outbound methods such as cold calls, print ads, attending trade shows and the list goes on. The gist, get in front of cold leads and attempt to get them to try your products/services. Doesn't that sound exhausting?
Inbound marketing in a nutshell. You know you would have to get in contact with a "large number" of people before one of them would be interested to purchase or work with you. This is inefficient and expensive, causing businesses to waste money and time getting in contact with a lot people who, frankly, have no interest in what you are selling.
On the other hand we have Inbound Marketing which is becoming more popular as businesses are looking for more direct, efficient and affordable ways to reach targeted prospects.
Some of the most popular Inbound Marketing techniques include:
E-books for Download
Social Media Content
SEO (search engine optimization)
All of the above methods assist to pre-qualify those that you are interacting with. If they are interested in what you have to offer they will read, sign up, attend, buy, refer, etc. By bringing warm leads into the fold, you will save energy, money and time on the old outbound strategies. And the best part, these individuals on the whole are much more fun to work with, they want what you are laying down.
How To Use Inbound Marketing: Creating Great Content: This is by far the most important part of a successful inbound marketing strategy. It will bring people into your business. Read more about Fresh Content.
An SEO Optimized Website: Another important ingredient is ensuring that you have a web site that is optimized to engage visitors once they "land" on your website. Once they are engaged, they stay longer and when they stay longer they see more and when they see more they interact with your business, resulting in your business growing. Read more about Search Engine Optimization
Blog and Get Found: A great way to get "found" is to keep an updated blog. By creating blog content that is relevant to your business, you will:
Rise in organic search resultsCreate linkable contentEducate your audience
All of these will help you bring in warm leads that have been pre-qualified through a Google search for relevant terms or similar content that links back to your business.
By creating Inbound Marketing in your business, you will continually bring in new leads and grow. However, it won't happen overnight and you have to follow up! While Inbound Marketing will save you money, it does take a commitment and patience, stop watching that clock! You won't be the top Google result for desired terms overnight and your first webinar may only have a few people register, but by making a long term commitment to inbound marketing you will see results and your business will grow.