I see businesses around me spending a major chunk of their advertising budgets on marketing activities like TV Advertisements, Cold Calling, Press Releases and a plethora of others. Although these ads do work and do bring in results to businesses, they are certainly expensive and do not assure that the leads would culminate into customers.
In addition, for Small Businesses and Startups, the budget for these is a big concern. Small businesses, after all, need to make sure that each penny is spent wisely. Small businesses need sales while maintaining their budget and for that need leads with much better quality at a much lower cost.
Along the same lines, I herein present before you a blog dedicated to all those Small Businesses that can bloom with a fountain of youth called ‘Inbound Marketing’.
Before coming to why is inbound marketing important for small businesses, it’s very important to understand what is Inbound Marketing?
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a strategy that incorporates many forms of marketing elements like Blogging, SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing and others. Unlike Outbound Marketing, wherein you reach out customers and try to inculcate a lure of your products and services in their minds, Inbound Marketing works the opposite. Inbound Marketing affines a prospect to the product or service thus making the conversion of a prospect into a loyal customer, quite easy.
How can Inbound Marketing work for a Small Business?
Now, let’s assume that you have an institute that trains people for IELTS examination. How would inbound marketing work for a business like this?
The first step is to ‘be seen’ or in other words, your target audience should know that your brand exists in the market.
This strategy will help you get more visitors on your website and would make your website successful in the long run. There are a variety of methods that can help you spread the word out.
Blogging plays a very crucial role in gaining relevant traffic for a website. Studies suggest that on average, companies which are into blogging generate 55% more leads than those who are not in the trade.
With blogging comes the need for subtle marketing. Advertising outrightly could be perceived as effrontery and fall detrimental to the enterprise. Readers always want to read a piece that provides value addition to their knowledge. You could either provide what the readers seek or something that would be pertinent to the matter they seek or at least something that is engaging and entertaining to them. After a satisfactory engagement, a blogger could seek to direct the readers to ‘call to action’ or direct them to the pages, sites or advertisements that the blogger wants them to see and engage with.
For example, let us consider an IELTS teaching institute that wishes to have leads from blogging. Ideally, this institution should have blogs pertinent to the institute’s area of interest. Such an institute could blog about methods to study and crack the examination, share tips and tricks for an easy achievement, cite testimonials and thus evoke in a reader a quest to participate in the mentioned venture. Thus the IELTS institution can produce double benefits from such a feature— create leads out of the inspired readers and generate interest amongst others, garnering benefits from goodwill and awareness.
Further, inspiring blogs get shared organically. Blogging thus generates a large base of prospects and inspired marketers.
SEO is not just a term but a leitmotif that all entrepreneurs revere.
I bet there’s no modern entrepreneur who doesn’t wish to pursue benefits from this.
SEO is an excellent way to get organic traffic to a website in the long run. Any person looking for a product or service looks up on a search engine (Like Google) for it. After Google displays its results on Search Engine Results Page (SERP), the person clicks on one of the many websites that appear.
SEO generates, for you, prospects who themselves have searched for the keywords that relate to your business. This way your prospect walks himself into your encampment. Thus the inclination of the prospects to turn into customers is much higher with SEO than most other strategies, as the person has oneself searched for a product or service you provide. SEO helps you get your website ranked on various keywords and phrases based on many factors like content, backlinks, and others.
Social Media or other Web 2.0 based platforms form a great way for people to interact with each other. Today, there are around 3.196 billion people who use social media and this number amounts to 42% penetration. That clearly states that half the world population is yet to hop on the bandwagon of the social media. Thus social media necessarily amounts to being a major player in brand exposure. Besides, on social media, the users themselves share the content that interests them and forms a healthy plinth for purely organic but robust reach.
As tacit, if the content you share on your Social Media networks is attracting readers and visitors and gains the attention of people, your brand would benefit from it.
A Simple post on Social Media has the power to make a brand viral.
Now, as we complete the first step of Inbound Marketing, which is to get found, we move to the next — Converting.
Converting Website Vistors
You indeed would gain cornucopia of traffic on your website through blogs, search engine optimization, plethora of social media and others. However, none of these would culminate into any ‘gain’ if the prospect is left unconverted into a customer.
To convert that traffic into your loyal patron base, you need to follow the following of steps, which will ensure your website can convert visitors.
- Call To Action – One of the most important things which need to be on any website, which aims to do business online is ‘call to action’. Without the use of CTA your website would be merely a blog. A Call to Action can be anything which compels a visitor to complete an action. It can be a call now button, a buy now button, a signup form or any other premise for you to secure a customer.
- Remarketing – Remarketing involves reaching out to the people who have already engaged with your brand before. It can be through Email Marketing, Messaging, Re-marketing Ads etc. Remarketing has a high conversion rate and can work very efficiently for almost all businesses.
Now, the big question, should you choose Inbound Marketing or Outbound Marketing for your business?
Inbound Marketing or Outbound Marketing?
There is no definite answer to whether you should choose inbound marketing or outbound marketing. I would recommend choosing a combination of both.
Outbound marketing has the power to provide a flow of leads to the business. You don’t need to depend on the visitors for this.
Whereas, in the case of inbound marketing, the customer wants to work with your Business. The quality of leads is at a very high level and it is much easier to convert.
So, what do you think about Inbound Marketing? Do you believe these are important for small businesses?
Let me know your views in the comments below!
Barney Smith is an Entrepreneur and a Digital Marketing Expert. Certified from
a variety of marketing schools and companies, Barney aims to help the world of
businesses get more business and helps them acquire clients easily.