What began as a trend, then matured into a movement, has now by 2016 become more or less the standard for marketing. According to the numbers, inbound marketing is three times as likely to see a higher Return-on-investment (ROI) than outbound. What does that mean for you as a small business leader trying to stay competitive without an extensive marketing team? Actually, it might be easier than you think. You know the ins-and-outs of your business and industry. You can brainstorm at least ten different relevant topics for your customers off the top of your head, even if you don’t have the time to write them yourself. These ideas, when realized by an engaging writer and strengthened with SEO best practice keywords, tags and links, can create the inbound flow of customers you’re looking for.
Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” The pithy axiom applies to marketing in this day and age as well. Finding leads is hard enough--you need to make sure you are found by the customers who are already looking for you. With pay per click ads, your business’ advertisement will only show up when certain keywords or phrases are searched. Even better, you only pay when it works--hence the name. Furthermore, if your business sells exclusively local, you can target your ads directly to where your buying power resides. So, show up you will, and without ever wasting resources.
While it’s not too difficult to create an inbound flow through blogs and ads, the inbound marketing philosophy requires a lead nurturing strategy to convert these leads into sales. Unlike a sales call, cold, warm, or hot, the customer doesn’t make the purchase once the interaction is complete. In fact, he or she may see your advertisement, or visit your website and blog multiple times before making a purchase. For small businesses, you may think a lead-nurturing software is outside the realms of your budget. Given the widespread use of the service in 2016, it’s not.
Sure, there’s a new aesthetic expectation a site must meet just to be considered trustworthy. But in 2016, it’s more important that your site is set up to direct leads through a buyer’s cycle, and ultimately, to convert them into sales. From its branding and design, to the logic of its organization, to specific call-to-action pages, an effective website is a marketing and business game-changer--if you can execute it correctly.
Is 2016 the year you achieve a successful marketing strategy?