Along with SEO, inbound marketing is one of the big buzzwords in marketing this year. As Google tightens up its algorithms to prevent manipulation and spam, more and more businesses are turning to inbound marketing to help them generate revenue and get found by the customers who are looking to spend.
What is Inbound?
Marketing techniques can be split into two camps: outbound and inbound. Basically, inbound marketing can be summarised as non-intrusive; unlike outbound marketing, you don’t need to display a huge banner or use a megaphone to get noticed.
Inbound marketing is becoming increasingly popular because of its links with SEO, lower costs and opportunity for creative and dynamic elements. It’s thought of as modern when compared to outbound, although both have their place.
How Do I Get Started?
Here’s a simple summary plan of your first steps in inbound marketing.
Sort Your SEO
Perhaps the most important building block for a good inbound marketing campaign is a well optimised website. It doesn’t just help with search engine positioning. It’ll also make your website contents easier to find, so it’ll complement everything else you do.
Build a Blog
Everyone knows regular content is the key to satisfying the search engines. It’ll also help you build authority in your niche. You can try publishing blogs via social media, posting guest blogs rich with unique content, or even creating videos. Whatever you do, make sure your content offers something really interesting – and publish frequently.
Market With Mail
Mailing lists have a bad reputation thanks to spammy outbound marketing techniques, but an email list is still a very valuable tool. Don’t be scared of inviting people to sign up so that you can build a valuable list of interested leads. Then, offer your email list subscribers value in the form of a discount, some unique content or valuable extras and freebies.
Once you’ve established your campaign, get your brand name (or your own name) noticed. Write a book; ebooks are great providing you’re willing to give them away for free, but a print book is even better. Build a healthy Google+ profile, spend time networking on LinkedIn and snap up opportunities to get your name and face known. Even if you’re not directly promoting your business, the fact that you’re visible means people are developing a connection with you from afar.
Making the Switch to Inbound
For several years, we’ve been told that advertising is the key to marketing online. It’ll take some time for that to be reversed. The sooner you adopt inbound marketing methods and embrace them, the further ahead you’ll be when your competitors catch on.
The key to developing your inbound marketing campaign is to look for customers and help them to find you – don’t force your message in front of them. Before you know it, you’ll be generating sales leads at a fraction of the price you paid before.
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