Have you heard the buzz lately about inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is the process of using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. It seeks to attract new visitors, educating and entertaining them, so that when they’re ready to make a purchase, you’re the first company they go to. It may be right away, or may be months from now- inbound marketing is all about spending the time to be your industry’s thought leader.
You can read more about the inbound marketing methodology from HubSpot. As a small business owner, what you need to know is that it works. Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old “outbound” marketing methods of buying ad space, buying email lists, making phone calls, and hoping for new customers, this type of marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be.
#1 Consumers are Avoiding Sales People
Many people don’t like salespeople, and haven’t for a long time. What’s different now is that they actually have the option to avoid them. Decades ago, a salesperson could open a phone book, call a random list of customers, and have a reasonable chance of success to land sales. Customers no longer want to be interrupted and sold while they are trying to go about their daily life, if they can even be contacted at all.
People are taking measures to avoid this by filtering emails, blocking calls, and simply ignoring junk mail to make sure that they don’t receive any solicitations from marketers. A phone book doesn’t list cell phone numbers at all, so that method of trying to find new customers is basically gone.
#2 Information is Available Online
The reason customers are able to avoid salespeople now is that they don’t need them to find out about new products and services anymore. The reason for that- the internet. People no longer have to wait and hear information about a big sale coming up from a radio ad. Now, people can go online and find information direct from the manufacturer, as well as read third party reviews of the specific product. Because of this, the power in the relationship between salesperson and consumer has shifted to the consumer. Instead of being dismayed by this, use it to your advantage. When they do their research online, make sure it’s your company they’re finding!
#3 It’s Data Driven
It isn’t just guessing what people want to read about and writing a bunch of blogs. With the right inbound marketing team, your marketing efforts will be a data-driven strategy. Far more than just a new website, a proper inbound marketing strategy means you’re gearing your content toward the right people, collecting information on your Leads, and connecting with those most like to convert to being a full-fledged customer. This kind of effort will save you money and time, plus make your customers a whole lot happier.
#4 You’ll Want to Bring in Professionals
If you decided to remodel your office space, would you just add it to the list of things your current employees do? No way! You’d bring in a professional contractor and his team to get the remodeling job done right. That’s exactly what you should do with inbound marketing as well. The concept is fairly simple, but actually going about it- creating a strategy, researching keywords, writing new content, and filtering these Leads to your sales team- is something that’s best handled by an inbound marketing agency with experience. Keep you and your staff members focused on your day-to-day jobs and let marketing professionals handle bringing in new potential customers.
Too many small businesses today still rely heavily on blanketing the area with flyers, cold calls, and other forms of “outbound marketing” to drive their marketing efforts, despite many studies confirming these efforts are becoming less effective. Because these outdated forms of advertising cost so much and help you so little, the ROI on these efforts is downright dismal. Don’t waste your marketing budget on old fashioned efforts or try to do inbound marketing yourself. Bring in the experts!
Reach out to the Mariposa team today and let’s have a conversation about your marketing goals. We can help get you on the right track to digital success.
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