Do you want to drive more traffic to your website with efficient targeting of your audience? Then inbound marketing may be your missing piece. Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO, shared
“People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction.”
You want to grow your online community, build a loyal customer following and do all you can to avoid becoming a dinosaur. This is where inbound marketing can make a difference to your small business. Understand the importance of inbound marketing and why you should be investing more in this approach.
The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing
We will start with classic outbound marketing for those that want a clearer understanding of the distinction between inbound and outbound marketing. Billboards, television ads, and print advertisements are the traditional forms of advertising used in outbound marketing to create awareness of a product or service and the motivation to purchase.
Inbound marketing began with the start of new technology and digital communications. Inbound marketing uses the internet and social media platforms to engage the audience. Social media, directory marketing, listing management, paid advertisements, emails, blogging, newsletters–essentially all communications that can be delivered using the internet—fall into the inbound marketing realm.
There are differences between the two types of marketing beyond that of delivery method. Outbound marketing is often called “interruption marketing” for a good reason. The traditional form is an attempt by marketers to reach as many people as possible (and interrupt them – telemarketers come to mind here). It is expensive to run a television ad campaign. Therefore a message is selected to appeal to the masses potentially. Prospects do not consent in any way to being the recipient of such advertising.
Inbound marketing, this approach, also known as “permission marketing,” is more tailored in targeting audiences and messages. It is often more effective and less costly than traditional methods. Inbound marketing invites customers to come to you with messages sent to parties likely to be interested and find them of value. Inbound marketing allows for natural organic reach to potential customers when content is well-optimized and high-quality. Pay-per-click allows marketers to reach a target audience effectively with less expense than a print campaign.
The Benefits of Inbound Marketing
When we look at research about inbound and outbound marketing, one finds:
There is a higher close rate for inbound efforts. Inbound leads generated using SEO have a 14.6 percent close rate. In comparison, outbound leads only showed a 1.7 percent close rate.
Outbound marketing is more expensive per lead. It costs 61 percent MORE per lead for outbound marketing than in inbound marketing efforts. Outbound marketing also may involve additional costs such as printing, mailing, and production of collateral.
Inbound marketing campaigns still require considerable effort to pull off effectively. However, there are fewer costs involved in the production; mistakes can be corrected even later in messaging (unlike outbound collateral). A business will close more leads in an audience already interested in the product or service. Although corporations and larger-sized businesses often continue with traditional outbound marketing forms, they also incorporate the benefits of inbound. Small businesses and entrepreneurs, often with little to no marketing budget, can stay lean and grow an audience using effective inbound strategies.
An Easy First Step
One of the easiest ways to add inbound marketing to your marketing mix is to fully control and build out your business’s listings across ALL available local directories. This goes far beyond just having the correct NAP (name, address, and phone number) synchronized and locked. Adding business videos, images, menus, hour, and more markets to customers searching for your services already.
Listing Builder and Reputation Management tools from LOCALSYNC can help you get there quickly and inexpensively. Learn more about how controlling how your business appears online affects your bottom line.
Ingredients for Your Secret Sauce
Any good sauce needs a solid base. What techniques should you consider adding to your inbound marketing mix? A good sauce will delight the taste buds and make you go for seconds even when you feel full. It is the same with inbound marketing. Once a prospect clicks on a single posting, you want them to continue consuming your content and taking those all-important next steps toward conversion. It would help if you considered what you want your audience to experience from your final product. Are we talking a traditional marinara, a spicy arrabbiata, or something all your own?
Effective inbound marketing approaches can help you attract more of your target audience. HubSpot put together a SlideShare of 32 Enviable Marketing Examples that might provide some inspiration. It covers examples for social media, blogging, video, microsites, and email. The whole idea here is to get the juices flowing and expand how you think about and apply inbound marketing techniques to your specific industry, brand, product, or service.
In addition to listing management, we believe that the recipe for online success also includes social marketing, reputation management, online advertising, and building online trust. This is why we combine all of these tools into one easy-to-use online dashboard to help local businesses take advantage of inbound marketing to help get more customers.
When you specialize in a product, such as Chobani, Instagram could be a useful addition. Experiences and products that can easily elicit emotions with strong visual elements do well on Instagram and even Pinterest. Food, drink, clothing, and travel-oriented businesses may want to consider the best ways to present an experience around the products or services they offer.
Even B2B companies can include storytelling elements and invite the audience to engage. Microsoft is such an example with their Microsoft Stories. Create visual elements in your blog and customize the experience that you deliver to your readers.
Everyone that you know has probably used a box of tissues. How can you differentiate and emotionally engage your audience with a familiar product? Check out Kleenex and their video, “Best Friends.” Interestingly enough, there is a lack of explicit advertising of the product, but the pull of the story might make you reach for a tissue.
What do you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy? Inbound marketing can help you realize your goals. Remember the importance of appealing to a person behind any of your messages. According to Dr. Seuss:
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Need a Recipe for Success?
You need to change your approach.
It is probably one of the main reasons you are reading this blog and researching various digital marketing topics. LOCALSYNC helps local businesses by developing affordable online marketing tools, business management tools, turnkey business websites, and training to help local businesses succeed online.
Need help or want us to do it for you? No problem. Just email us to get started.