Inbound marketing: You've probably heard this phrase thrown around quite a bit lately, and it's absolutely beneficial to your overall marketing plan.
No matter what field you're in or the size of your business, you're going to be able to use inbound marketing to your advantage. Here's what you need to know:
What is inbound marketing?
First, you need to understand how inbound marketing is different from outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is the more traditional "interruption" marketing. It's cold calling, direct mailings, billboards, magazine ads and other more aggressive advertising techniques to bring in leads.
Inbound marketing is a more organic approach to bringing in leads. It focuses on creating high-quality, shareable content through blogging, videos, infographics and newsletters. The idea is to create content that will build trust with your audience. It allows potential customers to find you via content that offers something valuable.
How does inbound marketing work?
For example, let's say you create an amazing blog post about the year ahead in the manufacturing industry. Your goal isn't to fill an entire post with all the reasons people should buy your product or work with your company that year. Instead, in this example, you'd be creating a post with your look at what will be big in your industry over the next year.
This does a couple things. It shows the reader that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy in your field, and it allows them to share the post with others. Even if they're not interested in your service or product right now, down the line, they'll remember your name.
The more high-quality and engaging content you share, the easier it is for potential clients to find you.
Inbound marketing can also help you bring in more qualified clients. If you cater the content to interest the sort of client you typically like to work with, then you increase the chances of that "dream client" finding you.
How can you implement inbound marketing?
Your website is going to be the foundation for a successful inbound marketing campaign, and there are a few areas to look at:
-Blog - Using a blog on your site is an amazing way to publish and share your own content. Even if you can only update it once a week, it's a great platform to start creating top-notch content. It also serves as a great resource for clients.
-SEO - SEO stands for "search engine optimization." This deals with optimizing your content so that it comes up in search engines. Using keywords, headline tags and strategic links, you can help your content come up higher in search engines.
-Social Media - Your social media sites are a built-in audience for you to share all of that fantastic content you're creating, so really work on consistently sharing what you create.
-Pages - The pages on your website should be optimized as well. This way, whenever people search for your specialty, your site will pop up on their search engine.
Don't assume that you have to throw all your outbound marketing efforts out the window if they're working for you. Outbound and inbound marketing can play well together if they're implemented correctly, so as you're setting up your new content marketing strategy, try combining the old and new for a well-rounded campaign.