I’m often asked to explain how inbound marketing works. Inbound Marketing is marketing that attracts people TO you. It’s content people love so they come to you to see, read, download. A good example is if I own a travel company that specializes in family vacations. Now i don’t want to scream from the mountain top, “hire me!”. Nor do I want to flood the airwaves, phone lines or mail boxes with information on “why you should hire me!” Rather, let’s take the “inbound” approach in 4 simple steps.
1. Blog. We will begin by bogging an article on our website. Your website is your home base and is where you want to drive all traffic. But we will not blog about our prices or our travel packages or why we’re the best to hire. No. We’ll write an article of interest to our ideal buyers. For example, “The top 3 places to vacation with your kids in Florida!”.
2. Promote this article. Now that we have our blog post written and a snazzy graphic to match, let’s use social media to let people know about it. We’ll do this on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ with the proper hashtags of course. Let our social followers know it’s on our site with an easy link to get there to read.
3. Now that our audience is on our website and reading this article (and we’ll use stats to track the activity!) we want to give them a “call to action”. aka Something To Do! Now we’re not selling just yet! Next we may offer something free if they just “sign up” to get it. Sign up meaning submitting their email address. This could be something like, “Get your free ‘must have packing list’ for traveling with kids!”
4. Thank you. We’ll thank them for downloading our free gift and invite them to look around our website.
5. We now have the email address of someone who we can assume has kids, has a desire to vacation with them, and is probably entering the shopping stage of their journey for planning such a trip. And that customer, is starting to view you as a friend and as an expert in your field. At this point, we can email this lead and continue the sales process. The “inbound” sales formula has a 100% higher rate of conversion of a lead to a sale over “outbound”. It’s easy to see why!