It’s almost 2014, and marketing has come a long way. Small mom and pop stores have Facebook pages, marketing strategies are available to everyone and mobile marketing is blowing up. Inbound marketing is the hot method for most businesses and companies to get ahead in the digital world. Since its boom in 2006, companies shifted from buying ads and constantly searching for leads for their product to generating effective content that would draw in a potential customer. From both ends of the spectrum, this was a “win-win” situation, as the product was advertised organically.
Ultimately, in order to successfully incorporate inbound marketing methods, there are a couple of great lessons to consider. To be a company that leads an outstanding campaign through inbound marketing, take a glimpse at five lessons to guide your success:
Lesson 1: Know Thyself
This lesson derives from “Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview.”
As a marketer, find your strengths and see how you can use your skills to attract potential clients. This means, find something unique about yourself or your approach to marketing a brand. Think about the popular Steve Jobs question, “What do you want people to think when they visualize your brand?” Make sure it sets you apart from other companies. Maybe it’s how your products influence the lives of consumers or how your company excels at customer service. At the end of the day, remember that your brand reflects you. Therefore, take pride in your efforts and keep in mind your customers are top priority. You want them to relate and respond to your product.
Lesson 2: Create a Customer Culture
“People want to have their voices heard. When you give them that and respect what they have to say, they are more engaged, and that makes them more productive.” Traci Fenton Wordblu
Just as Fenton suggests, keep your clients at the top of your list of priorities. One of the best ways to utilize inbound marketing is to let your customers feel like they are a part of your brand and its successes. Make sure your customers and staff feel like they are an important aspect of your company and the larger experience.
As a result, you will generate more loyalty and traffic for your brand. Encourage to contribute ideas, challenge methods and ask important questions. You can create a friendly customer community when you are open to feedback and reflect this openness both offline and on social networks. In doing so, you can get the right feedback and ideas from your customers just by tapping into their interests. In the long run, this can help boost your sales and increase traffic.
Lesson 3: Fuel Organic Content
Similar to generating customer interest and listening to others, generating unique and creative content will also help to fuel traffic and interest in your brand. The goal is to develop inbound links and blogger coverage that is influential and authoritative. If you’re a B2B marketer, you may be thinking, “That sounds great, but my client is in a boring industry. It’s impossible to create great organic content—viral media is like playing the lottery.”
Consider the following two examples of infographics – one of the most popular forms of inbound marketing:
- CJ Pony Parts – Tale of the Tolls (more than 1,000 shares!)
- 12 Palms Recovery Centers – Which Jobs Lead to Substance Abuse (3,174 page views!)
These examples show how your industry does not limit your inbound marketing creative potential. Feel free to ask about creative ideas for what you may think is a “boring” client industry, and I’ll respond with my ideas in the comments below.
Lesson 4: Respond and Get Results
Customer service presents inbound marketing opportunities if you know where to look for them. To know where to look, you must be engrossed in social media trends and networks, such as Reddit. Consider this example where a sales representative for a beef-jerky company capitalized on a general, public complaint about beef-jerky prices by providing a special discount.
His presence on Reddit and timely response to a market complaint turned into more than $32,000 in net sales.
Lesson 5: Practice, Patience and Persistence with Blogging
Tiffany Sauder, President of Element Three, reflects on how her implementation of a blog for a client proved to be a huge success in just one quarter. This is what she did:
- Wrote 46 blog posts (16 per month)
- Traffic increased by 500 percent from previous year
- Generated 87 leads
- Gained two new customers
The most important lesson from this study is blogging takes patience to see notable results. And most of all, inbound marketing practices are risks. But with practice, patience, and persistence, success is attainable.
What lessons have you uncovered from inbound marketing case studies like these? Share your insight in the comment section!
Photo Credit: Wikipedia