What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing refers to marketing that brings clients ‘in’ when they decide they are ready. It is not actively pursuing clients when they aren’t ready with cold calls, radio commercials, or billboards. (We refer to that as Interruptive Marketing). In some cases, these can alienate potential clients. That great billboard you just purchased might be ‘just another billboard’ because that potential client did not need you today. So when the client realizes they have a problem or pain that they need to solve, how do they find your firm?
There are many forms of inbound marketing but the most popular are informative blogs or articles (like this one), seminars or presentations, SEO and the lesser known PPC (Pay-per-click). Yes, I said PPC.
SEO and PPC: Together?
SEO and PPC are becoming increasingly more similar because both are context driven. When doing a commercial search, (what you do when you type a product into a search engine, for example ‘Appliances for Sale in Atlanta’) what do you see? A list of highlighted companies provided through their PPC efforts as well as the ‘organic’ results in which is the most relevant to your search. Thus giving your company 2 chances to show up in front of an audience that needs your service or product.
Clicking on either the PPC advertisement or the organic result involves the customer coming to you, coming ‘in’ to your business for a specific product or service. Inbound Marketing is defined by the flow of your marketing. SEO and PPC have the same goal- to give pertinent information to the searcher when they want it. PPC doesn’t always succeed but the same can be said for SEO. You are bringing people into your website and in front of you – it’s up to your website to sell them from there.
Content is King
Blogs, describing your services, describing your products, ‘why should I use your product’, ‘who is your service for’ and on and on…. all of these need to be written out.
Inbound marketing is content driven. Almost anything that is considered content is a form of inbound marketing. You need to write content that people will love, is relevant, and that is in the right place. A big part of good content is increasing your position in search engine results and making your website more relevant for the services that you provide. Having great content will help land you higher in the search, which puts you in the front of more potential clients. This gives you a higher chance of getting that elusive click- grabbing the readers attention (with great teasers) and pulling them ‘in’.
Content needs to be fresh and have both quantity and quality. This will ensure that you are expanding your net to grab people’s attention and make them want to use your services. It also helps search engines see you as relevant- since it is somewhat assumed that people who produce a lot of content must have something to say. The goal of good content is to get potential clients to find you. Good content generates links to your website which is a form of online referral work as well as puts you in front of more potential clients. If you need that opportunity to draw a customer into you and find you – you need good content!
Overall, Inbound Marketing is about building relationships. Introduce yourself, make yourself available, and easy to find. Show potential clients the benefits of working with your business. You want to pull people ‘in’ by your quality content and use that to start driving your business.
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