Attention small business owners and anyone else looking to sell the world something — you are at the vanguard of a revolution. If that sounds dramatic, it’s because it is. But we are serious when we say that sales and advertising strategies are evolving in their popularity, and if you want to stay relevant, you want to be aware of the trends.
It used to be that people could get all their leads and business from “outbound marketing” or “interruption marketing” techniques. This is the marketing of the door-to-door Avon lady, junk mail, the telemarketer, the Fucillo used car ads on public access — basically any sort of marketing that interrupts a person during their daily routine. The scatter shot strategy of annoying the majority of the population in the hopes that your ad content will make it in front of the right person is an outmoded strategy today. What’s more, it’s over two times as expensive as the modern, more-popular inbound marketing techniques.
What is inbound marketing? Well, if outbound marketing is stuffing your message like buckshot into a sawed off shotgun, then inbound marketing is more like going fishing. A good inbound marketing agency will put your message out there in strategic, targeted ways, and the fish will be attracted to the message, rather than bombarded by it. If this metaphor is getting a little abstract for you, let’s walk through some of today’s more popular inbound marketing techniques:
1. Multi-platform social media engagement
Where once tenacious, outbound salespeople would show up at county fairs and niche shows, the modern salesperson just needs to master websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get leads. In fact, the modern consumer prefers low-pressure, indirect marketing techniques that allow them to self-engage with content and gather information they want. Liking a product or a company on Facebook, following information on Twitter, and casually browsing photos of a good or service on Instagram is fully 54% more effective than the old exhibitionist ways. In speaking of web content…
2. Excellent Web Design
If your business doesn’t have a website, then you’re behind the curve, plain and simple. Your web presence is the cornerstone of any inbound strategy, and says most of what you’re going to convey to a consumer about your brand. In fact, the majority of internet shoppers make snap judgments about the quality of your services and your professionalism by how good your website is, so it’s important that it be visually appealing, streamlined, and user-friendly.
3. Search Engine Optimization
If your website is the bait, then SEO strategy is the super awesome X-ray map that helps you get to where the fish are. Good inbound marketing companies are also SEO companies, meaning that they have experience tailoring your web presence to jive with the algorithms of popular search engines like Google and Bing. This is extremely important in an environment where most consumers turn to these sites while doing product research and don’t scroll past the first page of results!
For sure, getting the hang of inbound marketing can be a challenge if you’re just getting acquainted with technological ad methods. However, it’s well worth the effort, since with the internet, you have more power over your brand than ever before at historically low costs. Inbound marketing is the new frontier, and we want you to find your place on the horizon.