Go Full Throttle with Inbound Marketing: 5 Ways to Get Started
Jason Thomas has been helping launch and develop start ups for 10 years. Jason's passion is working with motivated entrepreneurs to validate and implement ideas that grow their business.
Jason is a husband, father, and homesteader in training. In his spare time he's generally outside working with his hands and getting dirty.
You are watching your favorite show on TV when it suddenly stops and switches to a series of several ads... sound familiar?
Of course it does.
TV commercials are just one of the many interruption marketing tactics companies employ to capture viewers' attention.
With a completely saturated advertising market, consumers are becoming more and more numb to the tirade of visual, attention-seeking ads that populate television, internet, every city road and highway, and numerous pages of their favorite magazines. These interruption tactics are hard-pressed to foster the same kind of trust inbound marketing tactics are capable of.
Getting Started With Inbound Marketing
Don’t make the mistake of only dipping your toes in the water when it comes to inbound marketing. You will need to put a lot of time and effort into the process of building a relationships with your viewers before it results in a large growth of loyal customers.
Inbound marketing is a process that will take time to develop and will require your full dedication.
Why Inbound Marketing Works
Connecting with your audience on a personal level builds a relationship. This isn't possible with outbound marketing. Outbound marketing includes mailers, billboards, TV ads, and print ads. Inbound marketing approaches viewers with custom created email newsletters, content marketing, blog posts, infographics, social media, podcasts and more.
Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Statistics from 2014:
- 87% of consumers say online content impacts their vendor choice (B2B Marketing Insider)
- 43% of consumers are turned off by “blatantly self-promotional” marketing approaches (B2B Marketing Insider)
- 63% of consumers are more influenced to purchase by blogs than magazines (Marketing Query)
- 57% of marketing professionals say they have gotten new customers through their blogs (LeadersWest Digital Marketing Journal)
Inbound Marketing: The Relationship Factor
All this data should be pointing you to the growing necessity for your company to be completely immersed with inbound marketing. Consider the needs of your customers and tailor-fit your advances to them. You will find that by providing value and addressing concerns, your customers will rely on you when it's time to make a decision to purchase.
5 Tips to Shift Your Inbound Marketing into High Gear
1. Create a marketing strategy – Take time to consider your target audiences and how they are best approached.
2. Map out a timeline – Plan projects up to 12 months ahead of time, considering holidays and major events for your business that you can cover and discuss in your content.
3. Create or update your website – you will need a sleek landing page with regularly updated blog to attract customers and keep them on your site.
4. Generate content – Ask: is it engaging, riveting, informative, or sensational to my target audience? Always address your customers' questions, fears. When you're promoting anything, make it about ideas and inspiration, not yourself.
5. Map your success – According to HubSpot, ROI shouldn’t even be considered for the first 6 months. Track your numbers and set goals for achieving higher engagement levels with your audience. Keep track of what works so that next year you can adjust accordingly.
Inbound marketing often creates a kind of spider web; expanding in size and content, drawing in new customers along the way. A head-first dive into inbound marketing will need to happen for the first 6 months before numbers and success rates should be considered. Trying to evaluate too quickly will result in an inaccurate view of how your inbound marketing is really working for your target audience.
Creating a Strong Brand Presence
Finally, it is important to note that your online presence can make or break your company. A weak, unmanned presence will only serve to show your visitors that you are not equipped to handle their business and will undermine any trust they may have in you.
- Respond to all customer complaints with polite professionalism.
- Set a regular schedule for updating your blog at least 1-5 times a week.
- Keep your social media accounts regularly manned and active.
- Don’t be afraid to share relevant content from other sources. You don’t always have to produce the content you share with your viewers.
Many companies hire a full-time employee to handle this large task and seek outsourced help. Depending on the size of your company, you may want to hire a company to help with the technical end, or outsource your inbound marketing strategy completely. Whichever way you choose to go, make sure you employ a full-time approach to get serious results in months instead of years.