If you don’t already have an inbound marketing strategy, then there’s a good chance that you’re missing out on lots of potential business. In fact, if you’re not already implementing an inbound marketing strategy, and your competitors are, there’s a good chance that you’re going to notice them overtaking you in leaps and bounds!
Before you panic too much though, let’s look at what inbound marketing is, and how you can leverage it in your marketing efforts.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a term that describes a marketing system where your customers find you, instead of you going out there, knocking on doors, looking for them.
The system is based on the fact that the Internet is a vast, sprawling information ‘landfill’ rather than a superhighway, and the concept that you can funnel Internet users onto your website by implementing an inbound marketing strategy.
It’s a system that allows you to create content that captures the very market you are looking to enter or retain, and to channel internet users who are looking for the very services and products you decide to your website, or through your front door.
How Does Inbound Marketing Work?
When people and companies develop an inbound marketing strategy, the first thing they do is sit down and think about what their customers and potential customers are likely to be looking for when they are online. In most cases, that will be some form of information, and that’s why a large portion of inbound marketing is based on information marketing.
The next step in inbound marketing is to develop content that answers the questions your customers and prospects are asking, and creating a ‘network’ of that sort of information on the Internet – on your website, on site directories, article directories and elsewhere.
There are technical aspects to the average inbound marketing plan, such as deciding which keywords and phrases to target, and how to go about it, but the crux of any good inbound marketing strategy is to answer the burning questions your prospects are asking. That results in them visiting your website, and from there, they go from being an anonymous Internet user, to a real potential client.
Most people can wrap their heads around the first part of the inbound marketing strategy – getting visitors to their site. Many, however, struggle with the next step, which is to keep them in contact with you.
The secret to good inbound marketing is not to get the most unique visitors to your site, it’s to get a large, steady stream of repeat visitors. That means giving your visitors a reason to stay in contact. Maybe you host an interesting blog about industry news. Maybe you offer a free newsletter, or perhaps you send out special offers.
Whatever it is that you do, a successful inbound marketing strategy relies on finding people who are already interested in what you are selling, channeling them to your site, and then keeping them coming back, over and over again.