By now, you've probably heard the phrase 'inbound marketing', right? But what does that really mean? How does one get started with inbound marketing?
As a business leader, you likely spend your entire day juggling a million tasks—you're dealing with vendors, keeping employees happy, and putting out unexpected fires that arise. Of course, you can't do any of this if you don't have customers coming through your door. That's where inbound marketing comes into play.
Let's take a second to step back and talk about what inbound marketing is so we can talk about how it can grow your business.
What is Inbound Marketing?
If you think about the olden days, a company would put a million postcards out into the universe and hope one or two people would call for an appointment. There's also the old adage of the door-to-door vacuum salesperson, whereby someone would literally scour neighborhoods in hopes that one person would say, "YES!" to the product he or she was peddling. That's outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing puts your brand in front of a group of people who didn't know you were coming and may not have a care in the world about your product or services in hopes that just a handful of people bite. In other words, you take your brand to people.
Inbound marketing, however, brings people to you.
The idea behind inbound marketing is that you create and distribute content that's relevant and valuable to your potential customers so they see you as an authority in your industry.
Once they've gleaned a bit of knowledge from your campaigns, they'll knock at your door and ask for the products and services you have to offer because they know your brand is the brand to trust.
Let's Get Started with Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing has a lot to do with content. It's all about the videos you create, the blogs you write, and the social posts you share.
When you want to make friends with the search engines, you have to adhere to great keyword placement so the algorithms know what your business is offering to people who might search for certain phrases on their search engines. This means you have to write compelling headlines to attract attention, use keywords that help the search engines know when to send searchers your way, and make the most of your digital footprint by creating profiles and pages that speak to the skills your company offers.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Do Your Research
The inbound marketing process is comprised of four main elements:
- Attracting an audience
- Converting people into customers
- Closing the deal
- Delighting people so they stay loyal to your brand
You need to do a little research to figure out how people are becoming aware of other companies that offer the products and services that you provide. This will help you create content that attracts the most qualified leads when you begin your campaigns. You'll want to know how they compare and consider products like yours and what goes into their final buying decisions.
You can learn a lot by examining your competitors' websites and social posts. Here are some questions for you to consider when doing your research.
- What keywords are they using?
- What type of content are they putting out into the world?
- Which blogs and social posts are getting the most engagement, either via shares or likes?
2. Selecting the Right CRM
CRM stands for customer relationship management. CRM software can help your business achieve optimal levels of customer centricity. The key is finding the right tool for your unique business.
You need to find a CRM platform that suits your business's needs and requirements, and it's important to know that not all CRMs are created equal.
There are some important factors to consider when you're choosing your CRM, such as the ROI it will deliver, if the vendor is experienced and reputable, whether you get to take the software on a test run before you commit, and whether it's a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a service) solution or a software that actually needs to be installed on your devices.
Each of these decisions can impact the way a CRM works for your business.
3. Starting Small
You can't change the world in a day; you have to start small. Begin by choosing a few things, then build from there. Here are some ideas:
- Blog. Blogs are pretty essential these days. Not only do they help you get the word out about what you do, but they allow you to sprinkle in keywords and give you content you can share on social media.
- Create landing pages. Landing pages help drive traffic to your website and encourage people to take action based on the product, service, or offer you advertised.
- Learn about lead scoring. Lead scoring is the process of giving each lead a value (usually in the form of numerical points) so you can figure out how valuable each lead is to your business.
- Embark on nurture campaigns. Nurture campaigns are email initiatives that talk to your potential customers at the various stages they're in within the buyer's journey. They're intended to educate, build awareness, and create relationships with your audience.
If you're still feeling overwhelmed, Adrilan can help! Reach out to our team to learn how we can bolster your inbound marketing efforts right away!