Over the next few weeks, I’d like to share articles in a series that is focused on one major theme: How companies in the printing industry can use inbound marketing to grow their business. Here is Part 1!
Every business dreams of those “easy” sales. The sales where customers virtually fall into your lap. Don’t we all want to find that customer who nods at everything we say, knowing that we are the experts and the best solution to their needs? The reality is you likely work hard for every customer you get to that point of the sale. But what if that hard work really involved laying the ground work so that over time, those customers really do fall into your lap?
With inbound marketing, you can lay that groundwork to establish your business as a resource, as a wealth of information and the right solution to your target market’s needs. And while it takes some work, it does not require the outlay of cash that many other marketing strategies take, such as massive ad campaigns.
In traditional marketing, you send your message out to the masses. And hopefully, it gets to your target market and that target market responds. With inbound marketing, you are still sending a message out, but it’s less intrusive and much more authentic. Think about it: when you go to a party, do you want to seek out all the cool kids and chat them up, hoping they will like you? Or would you like to be the cool kid and have everyone come to you?
Attracting Leads to Your Business
By providing relevant and interesting content, you become the cool kid. Your target market wants to get to know you. They want to read your articles. They want to download your audio tips. They want to watch your video clips. As you develop your content and make it accessible in various formats, you get your name and expertise in front of your target market in various ways.
Or course, you do have to make sure your content is optimized for the search engines. You want your informational pieces to be found via free searches. This doesn’t mean you stuff your content with fluff and keywords over and over again. In fact, doing so will turn a potential customer off. You have to find the right balance between using those keywords while providing relevant and readable information.
How Social Media Fits In
Inbound marketing also embraces the use of social media to get noticed. You should be sharing your information across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on. Your target market isn’t going to be hanging out in one place. They’re laughing at the latest tweet. Checking out the most recent status update. Sharing that video clip. By establishing your business identity via several social media platforms, you get the chance to seize the interest of many more potential customers, and continue to establish your business as a resource. Another benefit is the ability to interact with those in your target market on a more personal level. Social media invites dialogue and interaction. By being responsive as well as proactive with your information dissemination, you are becoming the friendly resource that your target market wants to work with.
Inbound marketing isn’t for the lazy business. It takes time. It takes knowledge. It takes dedication. You need to provide good, quality content. You need to be search engine friendly and keyword wise. And you need to establish your business identity across multiple social media platforms. But in the long run, inbound marketing can take your business sales to a whole other level.