Inbound Marketing: 9 Reasons Why It Is Better For Small Business
Inbound marketing has several advantages over traditional forms of marketing. Inbound marketing is a fusion of marketing methods that helps you attract customers naturally or organically to your business. It helps you draw customers to your website by providing valuable content and information.
Online search on Google and other search engines has become the primary way customers find new products and services online. According to estimates by Search Engine Land, there are over 3 billion searches on Google every day. This adds up to 1 trillion searches on Google per year.
Inbound marketing uses search marketing, content marketing, social media marketing and other methods to gain customer attention. Customers find your business while seeking information. Customers seek you out naturally using inbound marketing methods.
This differs from traditional outbound marketing methods like TV and radio ads that are predominantly used today. With outbound marketing, you try to get customer attention using expensive advertising methods that are not always successful.
Inbound Marketing Methods
Inbound Marketing uses several methods to help you attract customers naturally. It helps your business gain customer attention by providing valuable content and information.
With inbound marketing, customers are attracted to your business because they are seeking the information that you provide. They find the information they are looking for on search engines or social media and click through to your website.
Here are the methods used for inbound marketing:
• Search Marketing – SEO(Search Engine Optimization) & PPC (Pay Per Click)
• Content Marketing – Blogs, Books, Videos, Webinars, EBooks, Infographics
• Social Media Marketing
• Opt-in email newsletters
• Public Speaking
• Word Of Mouth
Outbound marketing Methods
Outbound Marketing is the traditional form of marketing that is commonly used today. In this method, ads are shown to a large number of customers who may or may not be interested in the products or services.
Customers are increasingly using caller id, ad blockers and “do not call” lists to shut out ads that they do not want to see. This is reducing the effectiveness of these marketing methods in reaching customers.
Common Outbound Marketing methods include:
• TV and radio ads
• Newspaper, magazine and print ads
• Cold calls
• Banner and display ads
• Pop-up ads
• Trade show booths
• Paid email lists
9 Reasons Why You Should Use Inbound Marketing For Your Small Business
Here are 9 reasons why inbound marketing is better than outbound marketing for promoting your small or medium business.
1. Inbound Marketing is less expensive to implement than Outbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing is less expensive to set up than outbound marketing. You don’t have to run expensive TV ads or launch expensive advertising campaigns.
Your primary investment is time, creativity and any expenses to make your website mobile friendly and SEO optimized. You have to provide engaging blog content and keep your social media accounts updated.
Here are some tips on how you can implement inbound marketing for your business.
Ensure that you have a mobile friendly website with a responsive design. Most online searches on Google today take place on mobile devices, not on desktops. Your website is the foundation of your online marketing strategy. It has to be mobile friendly to perform well on smartphones.
Use Search Marketing. Search marketing methods include SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads like Google Adwords.
When customers are searching online on Google or other search engines, they type in products or services they are looking for. The Google search results pages (SERPs) provide a list of relevant links that match their search.
When the customer clicks on your website link on the Google search results pages, they are sent to your website or blog. If you are running Adwords PPC ads, relevant ads are shown on the Google search pages for that search. Clicking on the ads will take the customer to the landing page on your website.
Optimize your website for SEO. SEO optimization of your website is critical for performing well on Google search rankings. Your website or blog article needs to come up on the top pages of the search results so that customers can find you. SEO takes time and effort but the payoff is well worth it.
Use Content Marketing. Start a blog on your website and publish articles regularly, at least once a month. A content management system like WordPress makes posting blog articles quick and easy. These articles should be about topics that interest your target customers. Posting on a regular schedule will also result in customers making repeat visits to your website to check out your blog.
Provide webinars and YouTube videos. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Publish helpful videos on YouTube for your customers. Provide webinars on topics of interest. This is a great way to attract additional traffic to your site.
Use Social Media Marketing (SMM). Set up social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others. You do not have to have an account on every social media platform, just the ones that are relevant to your business. Post on your social media accounts regularly and engage with your customers.
2. Customers you reach with inbound marketing are highly targeted
Customers who reach out to you are searching online for products or services that you offer. They are already interested in your products and services.
Since these customers are in your target market, this increases the customer conversion rate. These customers will convert quickly into leads and sales.
Start an opt-in newsletter on your website. Start a newsletter for customers to subscribe to. Give them something of value like an eBook in exchange for their email addresses. This allows you to keep in touch regularly through your newsletters.
3. The Cost of customer acquisition is much lower with inbound marketing
The cost of acquiring customers is much lower with inbound marketing than with outbound marketing.
According to Hubspot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report,
inbound marketing leads cost 61% less than outbound.
With inbound marketing, your marketing expenses are lower and your customer conversion rate will be higher. Targeted customers who have built trust in your business are likely to convert faster into leads and sales.
4. Inbound Marketing has a higher long-term value.
With inbound marketing, you continue to reach customers over the long term. Customers continue to visit your blog and website to read new articles. You need to keep your blog updated with fresh content. They stay connected with you on social media and opt-in newsletters.
With outbound marketing, you are no longer reaching customers after your ads have stopped running. Once the ads have stopped, customers forget about them. Those ads have a shorter life span and interest value for customers.
5. Inbound Marketing is less competitive
Inbound Marketing has less competition. A majority of companies are still focused on outbound marketing.
According to Hubspot, 90% of marketers still use outbound marketing.
6. Inbound Marketing efforts build with time
Inbound marketing takes time to set up properly. It takes time to set up a blog and publish blog posts regularly. It also takes time to build up your website’s SEO and search engine rankings.
However, this investment of your time pays off in the long term. Your blog and website rankings build up with time. Soon, you are getting more traffic and reaching more targeted customers consistently.
7. With Inbound Marketing, you are making a personal connection
With inbound marketing, your connection with customers is more personal and human. They are engaging directly with you on your blog, website and social media. They are reading your content and engaging with you directly. This builds up trust and credibility.
With Outbound marketing, you are largely a faceless business with an ad on TV or a banner ad. Customers are flooded with so many ads that they are using caller id, ad blockers and “do not call” lists to shut out ads. It will take customers longer to connect with your business on a personal level and build trust with outbound marketing.
8. With inbound marketing, customers come to you for information
With Inbound Marketing, you are providing valuable content and customers are seeking you out. They are giving you permission to market to them.
Put contact forms and clear calls to action on your website. Make it easy for customers to connect with you.
Contrast that with outbound marketing methods of flooding customers with ads they don’t care about.
9. Inbound Marketing helps you build a personal brand
As a business owner, inbound marketing helps you build a personal brand. Your blog articles, social media profiles and public speaking are helping you promote your personal brand, as well as your company brand.
Speak publicly on your areas of expertise. Take opportunities to speak publicly on your areas of expertise. This establishes you as an expert in your field and builds trust and credibility. It also attracts more potential clients to your website and social media profiles.
Ask customers for referrals. Word of Mouth marketing is a tried and true way of getting more customers. Delight your customers and they will refer you their friends.
An Inbound Marketing strategy is important for small to medium businesses. It is less expensive to set up and get started without a large budget.
Your biggest investment is time. It does take time, patience and commitment to get a blog started, to post regularly on social media and keep your website optimized for SEO.
However, Inbound Marketing has a higher long-term payoff than traditional outbound marketing methods. Your investment grows with time. Your ROI with inbound marketing will be much greater in time than with traditional outbound marketing.
Add inbound marketing to your marketing strategy today and increase your customer connections, leads and sales.
• Moz Academy, What Is Inbound Marketing? https://moz.com/academy/what-is-inbound
• Brian Halligan, Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing, https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/2989/Inbound-Marketing-vs-Outbound-Marketing.aspx#sm.000qwimnt9ejeas10n21om5cy4t7i
• Jayson DeMers, How Much Money Do You really need to build an inbound marketing strategy? http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/09/22/how-much-money-do-you-really-need-to-build-an-inbound-marketing-strategy/#2a80eaa254d6
• Danny Sullivan, Google still doing at least 1 trillion searches per year, http://searchengineland.com/google-1-trillion-searches-per-year-212940
• Melissa Miller, Inbound Leads cost 61% less than outbound leads, https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31555/Inbound-Leads-Cost-61-Less-Than-Outbound-New-Data.aspx#sm.001dd3dzu10phfhuquz2hc9os9fs0
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Gold Mango Design LLC. helps small and medium businesses establish a strong online marketing presence. Our digital marketing services include Responsive or Mobile Friendly Web Design, WordPress Web Design, SEO or Search Engine Optimization and Adwords PPC services. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com for an estimate.