As marketing of online businesses becomes more and more competitive, you need to expand your marketing strategy to include inbound as well as outbound marketing. Clear as mud? Well, you are definitely clear about what constitutes outbound marketing – well established ways such as sending emails to your database and using pay-per-click advertising. In this marketing approach the onus is on you to send out your message to individuals in the hope it finds a receptive ear. But often people’s in-boxes are stuffed full of messages and offers, so your email might not get a look in. In today’s social society, embrace some inbound marketing techniques.
‘But what on earth is inbound marketing?’ I hear you say. Well imagine a marketing world where new clients actively seek you out. Sounds enticing, hey! Examples of inbound marketing include posting a promotional video on YouTube, issuing white papers and posting on social media networks. Inbound marketing then works by a process called viral sharing – no, not an unpleasant, contagious disease, but the analogy has come about because your message will get passed on – and passed on again – and passed on again. And the end result is that more and more people will be interested in your business.
The main objective for inbound marketing is to get people onto your website. To get the best out of your inbound marketing campaign, consider these pointers to get you started.
Clients – decide which clients you want to target for a specific campaign. Consider those who have responded to previous marketing campaigns. If you know you have followers on Twitter, then create your inbound campaign for these individuals.
Message – define your message and visuals - for YouTube a video is of course a necessity; for other social networks, choose an image to grab attention in addition to the words. Make sure the business website address is plain to see.
Call to action - be very clear about what the reader needs to do next, for example “share” or “like” – both of these actions increase viral marketing, as do great offers that people will want to share with friends.
Deliver - post your message on your identified sites. You don’t need to post on every single social media site if you know your selected audience doesn’t use them.
Interact – to encourage your readers to share your content, make sure you come across as a a well rounded authority in your business - share relevant third party news items and ask for people’s opinions.
Helping hand –if you have links with influential people in your target market, ask them to share your content with their own followers. Everyone benefits from some help.
Once the campaign is up and running, use Google Analytics to monitor where new clients to your website have come from – and hopefully you will find that your inbound marketing campaign is the root of your success.