Anyone who is promoting their business is familiar with the concept of “Outbound Marketing”. They might not even know that this is the formal term but Outbound Marketing is the traditional way of marketing your business. “The techniques used are print adverting, ads on TV and radio, telemarketing, direct mail and email and many more. These forms of marketing are perceived as an interruption to customers. As an example, when you are watching your favorite TV program you are often interrupted by ads. Outbound marketing means customers are at the receiving end. They are not in control.”
The opposite of this and the purpose of the post is Inbound Marketing.
Many of you might have heard the term “Inbound Marketing” but for those of you that have not, it is essentially getting the customers to come to you. This involves “discovering where potential customers are searching, positioning yourself correctly so they’ll find you and letting them discover whether you have what they are looking for”.
So how do you get discovered naturally and have customers come to you? Well, I have put together what I think are 10 Great Rules for Inbound Marketing that you can use in your business.
Rule #10 – Blog about things that solve your customers problems – People will see the value in your advice and your business. You may think you are giving away free consulting but if people don’t know you how will they know you are an expert and worth talking to?
Rule #9 – Optimize your web sites – SEO is critical so that search engines can locate our sites and our articles easily
Rule #8 – Market Your Content to Where your Readers Are – Submit your content to social bookmarking and social networking sites. We also submit our sites to blog directories and our articles to article directories
Rule #7 – Create an “Inbound Hub” – This means setting your website up like a “hub” for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through the search engines, through the blogosphere, and through the social media sites.
Rule #6 – Use Social Networking Sites for actual networking – There are many other social network sites out there beyond Facebook that focus on niche areas. This allows you to build focused networks with others in those respective niches and interests
Rule #5 – Employ Analytics – Your hard work needs to have some result and you need to know if things are working. The easiest way to do this is to employ metrics technologies like Google Analytics, Hubspot and Radian6.
Rule #4 – Make it easy to buy – Give visitors to your site the information that will help in their decision making process.
Rule #3 – Get that prospect’s name – There are many clever ways to drop in their name and email to keep updated on information. Sounds easy and at this point in web technology, it is but most people
Rule #2 – Provide methods for visitors to make inquiries or purchases – You would be surprise how many web sites FAIL at this portion of the web site. Heck, you spent all that money on a web site and someone can’t fill in a form or quickly ask a question. SEE RULE #4 on Make it EASY TO BUY.
Rule #1 – Give some stuff away – This might sound trite or even cheap but this actually brings all previous nine rules to a focus point. Create an e-book, or a podcast, maybe even a video series. This relates to capturing info and leveraging all the rules together so a potential customer can easily find you, see that you have something of value they can use in exchange for some basic info (email and name) which shows them how much of an expert you are and how easy it is to buy and hire your company.
Any other rules I missed?
These are my 10 rules for implementing an inbound marketing program with customers, is there anything I missed or should add? Leave a comment.Google+