Small business owners are getting fed up. “Enough is enough,” I hear them say. “Stop telling me I don’t know what inbound marketing is. I know what it is, I just don’t have the time for it. I have a business to run, I can’t spend ten to twenty hours a week dilly-dallying with blogs and social media.”
I talk to small business owners all day long and that’s the most common response I hear. Originally, I made the mistake of pitching them as though they didn’t know what inbound marketing was and how it applied to their business.
But I was wrong. Yes, some small business owners still don’t know what inbound is, but more often then not, the business owners I encounter on a day-to-day basis understand what it’s about. They simply tell me they don’t have the time to properly come up with and execute an inbound strategy that will lead to sustaining success. Or, they don’t have the money to pay for someone else to do it.
Is it possible then, that while most business owners know that they should have some sort of inbound strategy, that because the results take time, that it doesn’t seem like an immediate need?
The problem with that theory is the same as going to the gym. Let’s say you’re 25 pounds overweight and your doctor has told you to shed those extra pounds. You know you need to go the gym and change your diet, but when you start going and eating better, the pounds remain. Even after a month, you still weigh the same. You can either quit, stick to the strategy you originally came up with, or refine your strategy to optimize your results.
One of those options guarantee that the weight will stay. The same goes for your inbound strategy. Doing nothing is choosing to remain stagnant. If you don’t do anything, your marketing plan will never improve.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing:
1. Higher ROI:
Because inbound marketing is done online, it is significantly lower than advertising in the traditional sense of buying commercials and full-page ads. The structure of old marketing was based on getting your company into the limited amount of space available. Now, the space is unlimited. That’s why you need to provide content that builds the trust and rapport with a potential customer, which will build your authority and knowledge.
2. Convert More Sales and Leads:
By using inbound marketing, your leads will already have shown a need for the products or services your company provides. Of course, not every lead is going to be ready to buy, or even qualified to buy, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be eventually. Nurturing leads, even if they aren’t quite ready or qualified, is another aspect of inbound marketing. Instead of cold calling until you find someone with a need, properly executed, inbound marketing allows the leads to come to you.
3. New Markets and Targeted Audience:
As opposed to being confined to a certain radius, both in scope of area and of services, inbound marketing allows you to target specific audiences, no matter their physical location. As mentioned on Digital Marketing Pro, in a blog post by Alex Chris titled, 5 Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Small Businesses, you can target multiple products or services specifically to people that are searching for them. If, for instance, you’re an inbound marketer who offers email marketing and blogging services, you should have numerous blog posts about each topic. That way, if someone is searching for one but not the other, your site will come up for both searches, increasing your visibility.
4. Long Lasting:
As mentioned in a post about social media marketing, there is not time limit on how long you have to promote your content. A good blog post can be promoted on Twitter or other social media sites weeks and months later. A good Whitepaper or eBook can be relevant for years. Plus, as long as you maintain your schedule, you will always be building and adding new content that also doesn’t have a shelf life.
5. Builds Brand Awareness and Brand Authority:
This is the ultimate goal of inbound marketing: present your company and brand as the authority in your industry. This will gain the trust of visitors that you are reliable to provide what you promise and a good experience with your product or services. Customers buy on emotion. Show them that you understand their concerns, that you are more of an educator than a salesman, and that they can trust you. Then, they are more likely to buy from you.
Small Business Benefit from Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is daunting and time-consuming, but as the buying process has changed, your small business has to stay ahead of the curve or be left behind. Millennials are now the country’s largest demographic, and we’ve all seen their iPhones glued to their hand. The goal of advertising has always been to promote your business where your customers are. The venue has changed, go meet them there.
Of course, this strategy doesn’t work overnight, but as long as you and your team stay on strategy, you will reap the rewards of more qualified leads, creating a higher ROI, and promoting your brand as an authority.
We are living in a new world. The businesses who adapt, will succeed and those that don’t will be left behind. The best way to promote your business is to create your company’s story and share it with the world. Be unique, be yourself, and let the world know that you are the authority.
Create Your Story, Promote It, and Perfect Your Strategy
How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency
Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Small Businesses
SEO vs. SEM
What is Inbound Marketing?
What is a Landing Page?
SEO and Optimized Content
Inbound Marketing Services
Social Media Marketing
Generate more leads through properly structured content. Copyright Mike D. O’Brien 2016