A few years ago, outbound marketing techniques were used to gather leads and make sales. Today, it isn’t nearly as effective as it once was. Why? The number of sales messages people are exposed to each day through pay-per-click, email marketing, cold calling and other types of advertising are growing. Because the internet is so flooded with these methods of marketing, the message often falls on deaf ears. People are somewhat “immune” to it, so to speak. This is why today, it is essential that you have an inbound marketing plan.
What is inbound marketing? Essentially, it is a process in which valuable, informative content is created and distributed across the web, so that prospective new customers learn about your business without you taking the “pushy car salesman” approach. In general, people don’t like to be sold to. Inbound marketing lets your potential customers FIND YOU, instead of vice-versa.
So, what are the steps for a successful inbound marketing plan?
Identify your target audience. . Who are the people you want to reach, and where do they gather online? It’s important that you understand the particular characteristics your audience shares so that you can identify them and tailor your content to their needs.
Determine the action you want your audience to take. For some marketers, it’s not about a sale, it’s more about building a targeted list of leads. When developing your content, always include a call to action. What this call is depends on your motives. For instance, an example call to action is having people who enjoy your content share it on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter; viral sharing generates interest through word-of-mouth!
Create viral content. Content isn’t always text-based; videos are a great way to share content as well. Determine whether your target audience prefers written content or video. For instance, if most of your target audience is on YouTube, you’ll probably have more success creating a video instead of a white paper or article. Know your audience!
Be sociable. Social media is one aspect of inbound marketing you don’t want to ignore! Choose the social networks where you see the most action from your potential customers and become a valued member. Get involved in the discussions; engage with your audience. It’s also important to remember that while you want to share your own content, you want to share others’ as well.
Last but certainly not least, measure your success. Online, it’s important that you analyze the results of what you’re doing, whether it’s outbound or inbound marketing. Without thorough analyzing, there is no way to know what’s working!Google+