01 Aug What Inbound Marketing Is (And Why You Need It!)
You may have heard the term thrown around, but have no idea what it actually means. Don’t worry – that happens a lot these days! Optimization, lead generation, prospecting, content marketing, outbound marketing… how are we supposed to keep it all straight!? Today, we’ll be talking about inbound marketing and why you should have an inbound marketing strategy.
What Is It?
Let’s keep it simple: Inbound marketing is marketing that brings people in, rather than you having to go out to reach them. Think: Social media, blog posts, search engine optimization, newsletters, videos. These are all examples of inbound marketing. Outbound marketing can be thought of as the good ol’ fashion way: billboards, bus ads, radio ads, etc.
Inbound marketing will grab people’s attention and bring them to a place where they’re ready to interact with your company, either by commenting on social media, signing up for a demo, or emailing you. It’s a more organic way of marketing, done by providing people with quality content that builds trust, conversations, and relationships.
How Much Does It Cost?
This type of marketing is extremely valuable to small businesses, since it can be done at a very low cost. Social media, for example, can be as cheap as free if you have the knowledge to run your own social channels. If you’re a talented writer, you can also upkeep a company blog for free or pay a freelance writer. You can build a quality website and drive people to it with good content, some paid social ads, and even take the time to create an email newsletter (again, cheap!). These are all ways of building effective inbound marketing.
You can also hire an expert to create and deploy a strategy for your company and even train your team to upkeep some of the strategies implemented. Really, the sky is the limit and you can spend as much as you feel comfortable to create a plan that works for your company.
Do I Really Need It?
If you haven’t thought of an inbound marketing strategy, you’re missing a big opportunity. Inbound marketing touches customers at every point in the lifecycle, from when they’re browsing online and doing research, to when they are considering becoming a customer, to when they commit and when they’re deciding whether to return or not.
At the beginning stage of the lifestyle, customers can interact with your inbound marketing by clicking through your social media, reading your blog, or checking out reviews of other people about your company. Once they buy, they’ll interact with you again by posting on social media, leaving their own reviews, or calling customer support if they have any questions.
After and through the lifecycle, customers will continue to rely on your inbound marketing to see what’s next for them and decide if they want to continue to have a relationship with your brand. You want to ensure you have a solid strategy in place that will have a touch point at every part of the lifecycle.
Inbound marketing doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming! With some careful thought, research, and help from an expert if you’d like, you can create a successful strategy that will bring new customers to your business while creating lasting relationships.