06 Dec Inbound Marketing Should Be More Than Just Blogs and Social Media
On the outside, inbound marketing looks like a lot of work backed by a bunch of crossed fingers. You write a few blog posts, throw out some links on social media and wait–hopefully–for the leads to start pouring in through your website.
In reality, this strategy encompasses so much more than just some random content–or even really targeted content–and hope.
When we started the transition into an inbound marketing agency earlier this year, an ad manager for a local media asked me “what Mississippi businesses can use that?” He had a valid question. The internet encompasses the entire world, not just our little corner of it in North Mississippi. For many Mississippi businesses, especially local retail businesses, social media along with some traditional media can be used effectively to drive traffic to their location.
Thanks to the internet Mississippi businesses (and Alabama businesses and Tennessee businesses and business all over the world) can reach audiences anywhere any time. The key is to have an effective presence that reaches people when they are searching for your product and are ready to buy.
Don’t Stop at the Top
We recently sat down with a manufacturer that attends multiple trade shows each year and returns with a number of potential leads. They already had leads, but needed a follow up strategy. Inbound marketing allows a company to educate those leads, who are already interested in the company, and work them through the sales “funnel”. While the leads may not originate from organic search traffic, they can be nurtured through emails, blogs and some strategically scheduled phone calls.
The purpose behind this strategy isn’t simply to increase leads. You can do that through a variety of methods. Those leads are just the top of the funnel. If you stop there, you’ll have a lot of interest and very few actual customers. Following up on those leads in a timely way is key to seeing increased sales.
Use the Data
As we mentioned earlier, email plays a vital role in moving a lead through the sales funnel but so does well-timed phone calls. Imagine if you could see all the pages your lead has visited on your website before you make that sales call? You could tailor your conversation to their specific needs. Without that information you’re flying blind.
Inbound marketing isn’t just about the content, it’s about using that content to gather the data you need to meet your customers’ needs better and to market your company better.
You can gather data that allows you see what geographic areas are most interested in your products. What types of companies and what person at those companies seem most interested in your product. Who is actually buying. Imagine how much better you can target new products and new messages if you had that information.
Implement the Strategy
This strategy starts by deciding exactly what you want to do. Companies should have those goals before buying any advertising–traditional or online. The strategy then decides who you want to target and creates messaging specific to that target. And finally, you decide to include a call to action with every message. How much stronger would your traditional marketing be with a strategy like that? Unlike traditional media, inbound marketing doesn’t just play in one market. This strategy can tie together your entire marketing plan.The same calls to action you use in your online marketing and social media marketing can be used here to drive them to your physical location or to your website where they will learn more and you can earn their trust.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this strategy is a one-trick pony. Implementing the strategy across all your marketing plans can tie together your plans with your goals and set your company up for incredible growth.