Getting new customers is tough, not to mention expensive right? So how can you go about trying to get in front of as many people as possible by spending as little as possible?
That's how inbound marketing came to be. Instead of going out and paying to find new customers, new customers come to you.
Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers,makes the company easy to be found,and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.
It's becoming the biggest way to get new customers, especially if you don't want to spend a bunch of bucks spending on pay-per-click to be in front of people who want to buy your product.
Sounds cool right? I've run companies where we spent upwards of $200k/month with PPC and it got us a bunch of great customers. But at my new business dashboard startup Dasheroo, we want to hold off as much as possible before we spend that kind of money...if ever.
So what are the positive things about inbound marketing we really relate to?
You Are the Expert
If you're running a successful business I'm going to go out on a limb and figure you understand your industry and you're one of the best at what you do. And you've probably spent a good amount of years getting to where you are. How do you use this to your benefit? Show people that you can provide value instead of just selling them.
Kim Garst founder and CEO of Boom! Social, a personal branding and social media business consulting firm has a blog that she regularly contributes to. Kim shares what she knows and she affiliates herself with people who are also experts at what they do. Kim asks them to contribute to the blog as well. This gives her readers a wider perspective on social media marketing and establishes Kim as a center of all things social selling.
Kim's blog has real value too. So take the lesson; give people value through content you produce, articles you write or infographics you get distributed. This way when they do need a solution they'll come looking to you because you're the expert.
Show A Human Side
Gone are the days of stodgy business marketing, no matter what you're selling. People want to know what the story of the company is they're doing business with and they want to know the "voice" of the company. People want to affiliate themselves with like-minded companies and to do that you need to open up a bit.
Ted Rubin, famous for his book Return on Relationship, is one of the most "real" people you can know.
From Ted's site: "Trust is built upon interaction, when you're true to your word, authentic, and genuine. To build relationships online, you (as a brand or individual) have to offer value in return. Be it via valuable information or personal introductions, engagement and interaction will remain key."
I was lucky enough to engage with him on social media and I asked him if he was going to be in San Francisco. Ted responded back, told me the date and we met for a cocktail to talk about social media business. He was open to my request and we connected during a business function he was attending. It was an awesome hour. (I sure hope he thought so too!)
In the digital world people still want to know who they're doing business with so make sure you tell your story, talk about yourself and your company and ask your followers about who they are and what makes them tick. Don't forget to answer those LinkedIn emails that don't seem like spam, you'll be surprised at the connections you make, the business you bring in and the word of mouth that happens.
Share Your Expertise
There is nothing like sharing a real world example of what you encountered in a situation step-by-step. Some companies feel that sharing information is giving too much away, but you'll be surprised by the credibility it lends when you give this valuable info!
Jon Loomer, founder of Jon Loomer Digital, who has a blog for advanced Facebook Ads Marketing, does an amazing job talking about how he uses Facebook Ads, his results, tools he uses and what he did great or could have done better. It's an amazing site, his personal image is all over it and you really feel like he's the go-to guy for all things Facebook Ads related.
And he's the go-to guy because he "shows" you how he did it along with the trials and tribulations it took him to get to where you might need to be. By the way his story is chilling. I want to do business with him!
Inbound marketing isn't rocket science but it isn't a slam dunk either. You still need to spend a lot of hours making your company known through blogs, email newsletters, SEO and content marketing. You need to provide value to your readers and you need to become the go-to in your industry. Go get 'em!