When you think of a salesperson, you might picture a man in a suit with a briefcase pounding the pavement, going from business to business trying to sell his product or service. Perhaps you think of direct mailers, but so many of those mailers get thrown in the trash without even a glance. Consumers are bombarded with sales tactics and marketing ploys. So, what can you do, as a local business owner, to set yourself apart?
The simple answer is Inbound Marketing.
But what is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is an overall strategy that involves several different components:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO),
- Social Media,
- Email Marketing, and
- Landing Page Optimization.
Today, marketing platforms are more about having the customer come to you instead of you going to them. Focus on your strengths. Sell problem resolution, not a product or service. Our lives are busy, now complicated with handheld devices and our allegiance to them. Consumers don’t want to read lengthy ad copy nor do they have time to listen to your sales pitch.
If you do manage to catch a few minutes of a person’s time, the local s/he will undoubtedly be silently thinking, “But what can this do for ME? How can this product/service make MY life easier?”
The Three Keys to Inbound Marketing
The key to inbound marketing involves:
- A responsive website with relevant, fresh content,
- A blog that has at least one article published per week, and
- Social media marketing schedule.
Responsive and Fresh
Does your website look outdated or drab? If so, it is time to revamp. Choose a color scheme that will appeal to your customers’ senses while also providing relevant and current information. Make sure your website is responsive. You want to be sure people can access your site on their desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Write blog articles that provide information to your customers and potential clients. Be a resource on which they can rely for the most up-to-date information.
Studies have shown that when businesses blog once a week, 67% will pick up a new customer through their blog. Even more interesting is when businesses blog multiple times a week, 92% will gain a new customer through their blog. Consumers are looking for information! So if you want them to pay attention to you, you need to provide content pertinent to their needs.
For example, if you own an auto body shop, you should be posting articles about the cost of auto body repairs, what to do when you get into an accident, and important tips about how to navigate an insurance claim. Potential customers will come back to you time and again for information, and eventually many of them will have you top of mind when they need auto body services. Be a resource to the community and they will come to you.
Getting Social With It
As for social media, you should be sharing your content on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. A recent study of marketers shows that 77% think Facebook works best for B2C marketing, while 51% think LinkedIn is the way to go for B2B marketing. Whether you have a website for your business or not, people are likely talking about you online on sites like Google+ and Yelp. Only you can provide the most truthful information about your business. Don’t let an angry consumer define your business. Have a social media presence and respond to any reviews, good or bad.
Cost For Customers
If all of this isn’t enough to convince you, let’s talk dollars. The average cost per lead for traditional outbound marketing is $373. Like we said, a lot of that can be attributed to flyers and mailers that no one is reading anyway. In contrast, the average cost per lead for an inbound marketing strategy is $143. That’s 61% less than traditional marketing. A way to marketing that works better AND costs less! How could you pass that up?
This article originally appeared on WSI Connect’s blog.
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