What Is Inbound Marketing and Why Small Businesses Must Use It
Small businesses have a unique situation in which they have to ensure they are using the proper marketing techniques. Small businesses are not big corporations that have millions of dollars to spend on advertising and various marketing techniques, thus a small business must ensure that the marketing they do utilize is working for them. Inbound marketing is becoming one way for small businesses to invest time into their marketing technique to ensure they are reaching their clients.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is basically utilizing the power of the Internet in order to reach customers. The small business can use social media, videos, pod-casts, blogs, white papers, email newsletters and other basic content marketing in order to show their customers why their small business is the choice for them.
The role of the customer has changed drastically over the years. Direct advertising is no longer as helpful and useful as it once was. Customers no longer want to see a product or service being shoved at them, they want to know why the product is for them, why they should buy it from you, and other helpful information to help the customer make a decision. Customers want information, and they want a lot of information in order to make a decision. Without this information, chances are customers will not choose your product or service. Thus, inbound marketing is becoming a necessary marketing tool for any small business.
How Inbound Marketing Works
The hows of inbound marketing is really endless, as a small business can utilize this method in several different formats. For the purpose of showing how this can be related to a small business, consider these examples:
1. A blog that details your company and your insider information on the product or service you offer. Through doing this you develop a relationship with readers, and chances are when readers are in need of this product or service, your business will be where they turn.
2. Email Newsletters provide a way to stay in contact with current customers and are a great tool for showcasing new products or services. This helps to develop the customer business relationship through constant contact.
3. Social Media allows a business to have a firm grasp on their customers and opens the lines of communication even more between the business and customers. This can serve as a promotional feed for new services or products being offered, but also helps to put a face and brand on the business.
4. Videos on YouTube or the like can be a great way to put a face to your business and develop more personal contact with customers and potential customers.
The whole idea of inbound marketing is to be where your customers are. You can answer questions via social media, engage in interesting conversations on your blog feed with customers, and the like. This is making your business readily available to customers so that any information can be directly given to the customer, increasing the likelihood of making a sale.
Why A Small Business Must Use Inbound Marketing
After knowing what inbound marketing is and how this is achieved, many small businesses wonder if this is the right approach for them. The truth is that inbound marketing never hurts a business, it can only help. Here are a few benefits that a business will see with this marketing method:
1. This is a very cost effective way of marketing as most businesses do not have to pay for posting their content marketing on their website, through social media or the like. It simply means devoting time to this method. This means that any sales that are a direct result from this marketing is pure profit for the business.
2. This improves your customer relations which is only going to improve the brand and reputation of the small business.
3. Opens up the consumer base for your business dramatically as most people are using the Internet to find information on products and services they are interested in.
Last Notes on Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is not a marketing technique that flourishes overnight. It does take time to post content online that is going to be helpful for your customers, and is not something that needs to be rushed. However, once content is posted online, there is a continuous flow of customers from this, when it is done right. The key to starting any inbound marketing goals is to start slow and continue to build on the content you deliver. The content should always be valuable to the reader in some way, and show that thought and consideration for the customer was put into the content. After perfecting this, the small business will find that inbound marketing has proven to be effective and will continue to use this for years to come.