What is inbound marketing?– Explainer for small business
You have an amazing business. And like any business owner you want more clients to know you and to buy from you.
How can you do this?
Well, there are the traditional marketing tools such as promotions, running ads online, on TV or on Radio This approach is all about selling your products and telling buyers who you are and why they should choose you…and only you.
I’ll give you 3 seconds to come up with two main disadvantages of this marketing strategy.
Okay, so first it’s expensive for a small business owner. Secondly, it’s hard to place your ad in front of the right person who is just about to buy a product or service that you sell.
So What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is all about creating valuable content that will attract your audience to engage with your brand. Let’s for a moment let’s assume you own a hardware store.
Tom, who lives close to your store, wants a new lawnmower that starts with the push of a button. He goes on the web, and searches for the “Best lawnmowers of 2018 and what to look for when buying one.” At number one on the search results on Google or Bing is your blog article “A list of the best lawnmowers of 2018”.
It’ll address Tom’s pressing problem, educate him about the features he should consider, and leave him feeling like an expert.
Just before Tom leaves your web page, there is a ‘call-to-action’ at the bottom of the article for a Free Guide on Gardening Equipment. All he needs to get the guide is to fill his first name and email address in a form. Tom does a quick value assessment –and decides that the free guide is something useful to have.
Congratulations you‘ve just done some incredible inbound marketing!
Using the power of valuable, informative content, you’ve attracted a stranger to your site and made him a visitor. Using a ‘call-to-action’, you have transformed him from a visitor into a lead or prospect (when he gave his email). The last leg is transforming Tom into a customer.
In the following months, you might send Tom a couple of emails with useful content about mowers and landscaping. Finally, one bright morning, when Tom is ready to buy his lawnmower, he turns to your business which he ha grown to know and trust.
He’s so delighted with the exceptional service that he becomes an evangelist for your brand. Anyone looking for suggestions on the best hardware store in town will hear from Tom.
On social media, there is a picture of him sitting on a lush lawn beside the new mower he just got from you. He also writes a positive review of your business online.
And that’s inbound marketing in action. It’s all about creating quality content that delivers value to your target audience, and as a result, attracts them to your brand.
– Inbound marketing is a customer first approach
– Your content exists to teach and help people make better decisions
– Know your ideal customer –who they are as an individual, what makes them tick, problems they might face in the buyer’s journey and their goals and motivations.
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