As consumers grow more savvy, they grow more weary of constantly being sold to. Advertising is everywhere, and it is so predominant, that some people are beginning to tune it out completely. More flyers, postcards and brochures are hitting dustbins before they are read. Technology like PVRs and the internet are making TV ads less effective. Finding new customers is getting harder, so why not let them find YOU. Inbound marketing is all about making your business easily found by consumers who are looking for your services, and are ready to buy now. Read more to find out some basic tips you can use to help your business get found.
- Blog, blog, blog – If you want to build your personal or business brand then you should be blogging. Having a blog is an important inbound marketing step for two reasons. First, it is a branding tool. You will be getting your or your businesses' name out on the internet and branding yourself as an authority. Secondly, a blog increases your businesses' 'findability' in the search engines. Every single blog post you make has a chance to individually rank in the search engines. If you have a blog with 200 posts, that is essentially a 200 page website. That will give you way more opportunities to be found online.
- Focus on quality content – Whether you create content for your website, blog, to capture leads or share on social networks, you need to put out quality stuff. You want to make sure every piece of content you put out (even if it is a simple Tweet) is targeted towards your market and it is helpful or interesting. Filling a blog with spammy posts or duplicate content is not good for the search engines or your readers. You want to brand yourself an expert, not a spammer.
- Use video and images – By our nature, humans are very visual creatures. If you want to grab someone's attention then video or audio is a great place to start. Those can stimulate multiple senses and keep people around the extra time you need to hook them in.
- Be careful with self promotion – Of course you want to promote yourself, but one of the benefits of inbound marketing is attracting customers without pitches and in their face advertising. The theory is if you produce useful content people will look for your services. Remember that. For example, when you are using Twitter, your answers to people's questions and your helpful hints should far outweigh your self- promotional links. You can still promote yourself of course, just do not go overboard.
- Use the right platforms – If you are going to be in inbound marketing you need to use the right platforms. You want to be where the people can find you. We mentioned a blog as the best way to get some Google love, but you also want to get your name where the people are. Where are they? If they are on the internet they are very likely social networking. With hundreds of millions of users between them why would not you have a Twitter or Facebook presence?
Inbound marketing is only going to be getting hotter in the coming years. If you are committed to blogging quality media rich content, and tapping into the most popular social networking sites, you will certainly see an improvement in your bottom line. Embrace inbound marketing today and watch your profits soar in the future.