Inbound Marketing is the strategic creation of content to increase targeted visitors to an offer on the web.
It can include video, articles and any other kind of content that someone can create to help them be found and encourage people to take action.
Inbound Marketing is simple for people that have been doing Internet Marketing in the past, but can seem like a lot of voodoo to someone that has only ever had up a basic webpage. Let me spell out how to do Inbound Marketing in a simple, step by step plan.
- Have a great call to action. When someone lands on your website, they are not necessarily going to call you or buy your product. Create a good call to action – maybe with a free give away – that will collect information and turn your visitor into a lead. For example, I offer a free lead generation course.
- If you know your call to action is good, then you need to start building bridges from the big Internet world into your call to action. This is a critical step: Identify the problem your product solves and think about what people are searching on to create content that will rank high and attract attention. Do keyword research to find those words that are not too difficult to get but have good traffic.
- Create a business blog and hire someone to do blog writing if you cannot do it. This is going to be your inbound marketing engine that will generate a steady flow of leads for you. Make sure your business blog software is designed for automatic seo and is 100% ROI focused.
- Create Content Often – The search engines love fresh, relevant content. If you set it up and forget it, you will not be very likely to have an Inbound Marketing success. The trick is to keep building and growing your effort, which is why business blogging is the best Inbound Marketing technique today.
- Know your sales funnel – Leads are just where you start. Make sure you know how your online lead generation feeds into the sales process and do not drop the ball on leads that are coming in daily once things get going.
Find Out More: Inbound Marketing with Business Blogs
Ultimately, there is more than one way to measure Inbound Marketing results.
Inbound marketing is the intentional creation of information/content to draw targeted people into your information portal. It may be a blog or a website.
So measurement #1 is increased traffic.
But effective Inbound Marketing draws in targeted traffic, not just general traffic. So how many people are taking advantage of your call to action? If it is a low number, your Inbound Marketing may not be targeted very well or your call to action may not be attractive to the market. One way to know this is by looking at the search engine keywords people are using to find your site. If the keywords are good and seem to be the right target, then your call to action needs improved. If you are not getting good keywords, your content is not targeted or optimized.
Measurement #2 is leads from that call to action.
Measurement #3 is actual sales. This may take longer to track, but is your Inbound Marketing effort generating sales results?
Your Inbound Marketing strategy may have some other outcomes you want to target and measure as well, such as growing lists.
When I say grow a list, I mean a lot of things. Email list, twitter followers, faceBook friends and RSS subscribers are all different kinds of lists that you can grow with Inbound Marketing.
If you assign a value to each of these things, you can then estimate the ROI on your Inbound Marketing – be sure to include the time you spend writing.
If you are comparing options for your online marketing spend, here is a comparison between local directory listings and inbound marketing.
A local directory listing is usually a webpage that shows off your company.
Local directories usually do a nice job of helping local people find your company – maybe in your main topic. They are usually fairly low cost and are a good inbound link to have to your site.
Inbound Marketing can accomplish the same thing, but is has a little more diversity. With Buzzoodle’s Inbound Marketing program you will attract people that are looking for a solution to their problem. The very same problem your company solves. Because it optimizes more content for your topic and is always trying to close the sale, Inbound Marketing will perform much better than a local directory listing.
That does not not mean you should not do local directories. The more top 10 spots you can lock down in a search engine, the better. If you are thinking about using a local directory and you have the funds to spare, it will not hurt and will help some. But if you are serious about lead generation from targeted prospects, you should look at a focused Inbound Marketing Strategy.
My guess is as good as yours on the economy in 2009. OK, maybe your guess is better than mine, but this is my blog, not yours.
Many businesses have cut back on marketing over the last year or more. Many reports show that investing in marketing during an economic downturn is a great investment. But I am not going to beat that drum – if you are short on cash you have to do what you have to do.
But if you live in the North – as I do – you know what a Spring Thaw looks like. The day seems like Summer even though it is 38 degrees because of what you are used to. And the water starts slowly dripping off then end of the icicles.
With some positive things in the news about the economy, it is like that first day of thaw. There will still be more cold snaps and it is certainly not Summer yet, but good things are on the way.
Which brings me to your marketing. If you did cut back on marketing for a while, now is the time to really think about increasing your visibility again. As soon as people feel like the worst is over, they are going to splurge a little bit because they have been holding back for a long time.
Our new Inbound Marketing product is going so well that I have already begun to spend a little more than I was spending. I even visited a new restaurant (new to me) because of their marketing – I’d really cut back on eating out for a while.
Sure, my new found optimism is related to a new marketing product – but that new product is the result of the economy. We were forced to look at simplifying our offer and creating the highest value possible.
Marketing is not a situation where you want to jump in after everyone else is in there. You want to be early and stand out in people’s minds. Today is the optimal time to pump up your marketing. If you are interested in online visibility, request our demo of how to make it easier for buyers to find you.
If that is not right for you, then find what is right. Now is the time.
Quick note – I am rolling out some new things and you might want to visit my Inbound Marketing Blog.
Inbound Marketing is just one of the things I am hearing it called. Also Magnetic Marketing, Pull Marketing…
The basic concept is to make it VERY easy for people that need your product or service to find you and to buy from you.
We have had great success with clients on this approach and we are currently transitioning Buzzoodle to be exclusively an Inbound Marketing Solution.
The sites are still a bit rough as they are being added to and updated, but things are going well so far and since I consider websites eternal works in progress, I might as well tell you about it now.