How can Inbound Marketing help your business?

by Stephanie Weber

in Web Marketing

There are many terms for marketing your business using the web – Internet Marketing, Web Marketing and Online Marketing to name but a few.

But “Inbound Marketing” seems to be the latest term that is gaining recognition, with people interested in what it is and how it can help them.

Inbound Marketing is the process of bringing warm, qualified leads into your sales funnel rather than proactively searching outward to cold, niche targets in large volumes.

Traditional “outbound marketing” is focused on outbound methods such as cold calls, print advertising, attending tradeshows, business networking etc. The point behind these techniques is to get in front of cold leads and warm them up to the point where they would try your product or service.

This form of marketing is largely a numbers game – you know that you have to get in contact with a large number of people before one of them would be interested and make a purchase. This method can be inefficient if not properly targeted, as well as expensive. The main issue being that it causes marketers to waste precious time getting in contact with hundreds, if not thousands of people who may have had no interest in their offering.

Due to it’s lower costs, which is clearly important during an ongoing recession, Inbound Marketing is becoming more popular as not only marketers, but also small business owners, look for efficient and affordable ways to acquire new leads. Some of the most popular Inbound Marketing techniques are blogging, using social media to build authority and awareness, search engine optimisation, online advertising and webinars.

All of these inbound methods pre-qualify the leads that discover your business, so you can be sure that your message is greeting meeting with interest rather than trying to educate and warm up outbound contacts.

How Can You Use Inbound Marketing?

The most important part of a successful inbound marketing strategy is creating great content that will bring people into your sales process. Another important factor is ensuring that you have a site that is optimised to convert leads into sales and engages visitors once they land on your website.

One of the most popular methods to accomplish this goal is by keeping an updated blog, (just like this one). By creating great content, you’ll rise in organic search results, create linkable content, and educate your audience. The search engines love to see fresh new, relevant content being added to your website, and rewards you accordingly with improved rankings.  So adding new content regularly should take place in addition to any search engine optimisation you are already paying for.

All of these outcomes will help you bring in warm leads that have been pre-qualified through a Google search for relevant terms (keywords), or by reading similar content that links to you (backlinks).

In addition to blogging, there are many other forms of great content to create that will bring interested visitors. Hosting webinars, posting videos, and offering free e-books for download will all attract leads that are interested in your services and are eager to engage in a conversation with you about your business.

Whilst using these techniques will save you money, build your authority and generate leads, it is a longer process than outbound marketing, as it takes time to rank your website and build great content that generates interest. So patience and commitment for the long haul is required. You won’t be the top Google result for desired terms overnight and your first webinar may only have a few people register, but by making a long-term commitment to inbound marketing you will see results.

This commitment requires that you create quality content for your website on a regular basis, engage with people through social media, and invest in search engine optimisation and online advertising  to bring organic and paid traffic to your site.

Another way of viewing the differences between inbound and outbound marketing is that the former uses pull marketing techniques whereas the latter is a form of push marketing. As it is always easier to convert a prospect that recognises the need for your services into a client, the benefits of inbound marketing are that once you have the qualified lead in your sales funnel it should be easier to convert them.

However, that’s not to say that outbound marketing techniques should be ignored. The ultimate aim is to have your sales funnel constantly filling up and this can be best achieved by a combination of marketing strategies and techniques being used.

To discuss your current marketing efforts and how we can help you bring in new qualified leads through Inbound or Outbound Marketing, call us now on 0203 286 0230.

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