Today I would like to take the time to discuss inbound marketing. The reason I would like to talk about inbound marketing is because I’ve recently been asked to define and explain exactly what inbound marketing really is. Inbound marketing has been taking place for quite some time, but as social media and the Internet continue to grow, the way in which we live our lives and conduct our business will continue to change and evolve as well. Like it or not, change is by and large taking place in the world of Google.
To define inbound marketing, let’s start by defining inbound marketing. According to Wikipedia, inbound marketing is the practice of “advertising a company through blogs, podcasts, videos, eBooks, enewsletters, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand.” Through these various vehicles of electronic information, small businesses can utilize these engines to their fullest potential in order to bring in prospective customers. A popular ‘business2community’ model that works through inbound marketing is illustrated in the following five steps:
1. Attract traffic
2. Convert visitors to leads
3. Convert leads to sales
4. Turn customers into repeat higher margin customers
5. Analyze for continuous improvement
I have to say this is a great definition and an easy way to understand not only what inbound marketing is, but how it works as well. To even breakdown inbound marketing further would result in sucessful and effective diversification of you business’s information avenues through informing the public from areas such as blogs, podcasts, and social media marketing.
I am a firm believer that inbound marketing is crucial for the success of your agency, but you must have a detailed execution plan in place in order to take a prospect and turn he or she into a valued customer. However, with all of this in mind, you cannot disregard the power of including traditional marketing into your overall marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is not new, in fact it has been utilized for quite some time and by businesses far larger than yours or mine. Walmart has successfully used inbound marketing for several years, and I’d say they’re a rather profitable company.
My one challenge to you is this: if you do not have a marketing person in your agency, then putting together a strategy of inbound marketing is going to be very difficult, because these things take time and energy. So if your agency lacks a marketing person, I would highly recommend finding a great young mind and allow them to help you put together that inbound marketing strategy to allow your agency to grow.