If you’ve been in business for a while, chances are you’ve done some marketing. The old (and still viable) model of marketing is to get your message out to your audience, “Outbound Marketing.” Outbound marketing consists of advertisements, cold calls, emails and any method where the information is sent out.
Inbound Marketing is a strategy where you setup your marketing materials in a way where a prospect would come to it on their own. You accomplish this by making stellar content first and foremost. You want to make blog posts and e-books that people will find useful, this puts you in a place of trust with the consumer and presents you as an authority in your industry.
Content is king with inbound marketing. Your entire inbound marketing campaign should be built starting with your content and working outwards from there.
First, make a blog. You want your blog consistently publishing helpful content that people will want to read. Your blog posts shouldn’t just revolve around your company and the products or services it offers. Instead, identify problems or questions people have in your industry or with the type of product you’re offering.
If your product primarily targets people who enjoy fishing, write about fishing in general. Make posts about different seasons in different parts of the country or world. Post news on fishing tournaments. If people are going to your site to read these posts, you gain exposure, and you’ll be viewed as a professional in the industry.
Blogs aren’t the only way to get shopper’s attention and give them valuable information. Start creating great, information dense e-books or white papers. Blogs are great to get the ball rolling, but, downloaded content can be traded to website visitors for little bits of information, like an email address, age, or where they live.
When you are offering content in exchange for a person’s information, make sure it appears to be an even trade. Chances are a prospect won’t spend two minutes giving you a lot of information for an infographic they’ll consume very quickly. However, a prospect may give you a considerable amount information for a 15-page e-book or a 10-minute video presentation. Then, you have a brand new lead.
Social media is another pillar of inbound marketing. Chances are you have at least one social media account you keep up with, so do your potential leads.
Get active in social media or on forums. Get your brand out there and communicating with the public. This channel is a great way to promote your business as well as the content you are creating. A prominent social media presence will also help you build traffic for your website and your blog.
Email is far from new and cutting-edge, but it’s still very popular and used by everyone everywhere.
We’re not talking about blasting advertisements to as many inboxes as humanly possible, that’s outbound marketing. Inbound marketing email consists of, you guessed it, awesome content. If you can get people to sign up for your email list, they will want more than advertisements to keep you in their inbox and out of their spam folders.
Use email to let people know about new blog posts, the new e-book you made, short, digestible tips and factoids and the occasional special offer. If you are handing out special offers only to email subscribers, you’re bound to build a great, powerful email list. Make sure to find a good balance of quality information and special offers, emails that get sent out and never opened do you no favors.