Are you still using print, radio, or TV to promote your business? Traditional marketing methods like these don’t make the impact they once did. That doesn’t mean they don’t work anymore. They do. But they’re costly and they eat away at your profits. So using a different way to produce leads may be in order—a way that’s powerful, productive, and cost-effective.
Enter Inbound Marketing. It’s a proven marketing approach that uses the Internet to draw in consumers. The most effective way of generating leads over the Internet, inbound marketing is powerful and productive. It’s not only a better lead generator than traditional marketing, it’s also easier to do and 62% percent cheaper than traditional marketing, as this survey points out.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
If you’re skeptical about inbound marketing, below are some stats that may change your mind. They show that more and more consumers are using the Internet to make purchases.
- 61% of global Internet users research products online. (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012)
- 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012
- 86% of consumers stated that using a search engine allowed them to learn something new or important that helped them increase their knowledge. (Pew Research Center, Search Engine Use 2012)
- 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, with 61% of those searches resulting in a purchase. (Search Engine Watch)
These stats give you an idea of the enormous opportunity that exists for inbound marketers. But to tap it, you need to generate content.
Content Is The Key
Content is the key to inbound marketing. But creating ordinary content won’t do. It must be educational, informative, and engaging. In other words, it must be remarkable. And it must align with consumers’ needs and interests. Remarkable content that’s aligned with consumers’ needs and interests draws buyers in like flies to honey, giving sellers the chance to convert prospects into customers and advocates.
But creating remarkable content is only the beginning. You also have to distribute it widely using multiple online strategies. Using multiple strategies enables you to contact consumers when and how they want to be contacted. More important, it boosts your content’s cost-effectiveness, so you get more for your money.
Below are six proven strategies you can use to distribute content widely:
- White Papers: Offer white papers free online in exchange for consumers’ email addresses. It’s a proven way to generate leads. White papers are 8-10 page pieces analyzing industry trends and challenges that show how consumers benefit from your products and services.
- Articles: Writing articles using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and publish them in article directories to build credibility with your target market. Search engine optimization is a web publishing technique that increases web page visibility and traffic
- Blog Posts: Turn your white papers into a series of blog posts. Like SEO Articles, blog posts help build credibility with your target market by imparting useful information.
- Podcasts: Develop short podcasts based on the content in your articles and white papers and distribute it through mobile channels. This article provides eight unique podcast strategies that help build business.
- Videos: Produce a series of short videos using your content and publish them on YouTube. Exposure on YouTube is powerful currency.
- E-book: Create an E-book using the content from your white papers, articles, and blogs posts. Then publish it on sites like Amazon.com. E-books educate, inform, and build authority with your target market.
These six inbound marketing strategies can help distribute content widely and generate leads. The next step is converting those leads into customers. Since the same triggers drive all our actions, that might be simpler than you think. The secret to doing it is giving prospects what they want. Do this and you stand a great chance of converting even the toughest of prospects into a customer.
So if traditional media isn’t working the way you’d like, try inbound marketing. It’s among the most effective way small businesses have of marketing products and services to their target markets. More important, it’s among the most effective ways small businesses have of increasing revenues and boosting profitability. Isn’t that what business is all about?