September 3, 2013

InboundDo you know the difference between outbound marketing and inbound marketing? Outbound marketing includes things like email blasts, outsourced telemarketing, pay-per-click advertising, trade shows, and seminar series. These are “outbound” marketing techniques because you are pushing your message out to as many prospects as you can and hoping you reach some of them. Most people are riddled with these types of advertising “interruptions” on a daily basis and are getting better and better at blocking them and tuning them out. Inbound marketing, by contrast, means that you create and distribute relevant content that your target audience will find without your direct involvement. A social media presence, your blog, YouTube videos, and white papers are examples of inbound marketing.

Starting An Inbound Marketing Campaign

Outbound marketing to a large group of people who are all trying to avoid you is a bit like beating your head against a brick wall. Instead, develop your inbound marketing so that people who are already shopping in your industry will find you naturally. These days you should be investing much more of your marketing efforts on inbound techniques. Done right, this can attract visitors organically to your website through social media and search engines.

Understand Your Targets

Your goal is to get visitors to your website, but before you can develop content that will attract them, you need to know who they are. Determine which customers you are trying to reach by analysing your past customers. What do they have in common? You can use these shared traits to target new customers. For example, if your analysis shows that a lot of your past customers come from a specific social media site and fall under a certain age group and gender, you can use this information to create content that appeals to the specific demographic.

Plan Your Actions

Now that you know who your target audience is, you can decide on the best inbound marketing approach. This could include things like what type of content to create, providing a way to subscribe to your email list, creating relevant videos, or sharing your content on social media websites.

Don’t Forget To Distribute

Once your content is complete, get it out there so people can find it. Be proactive by finding the social networks your target audience frequents the most. Become an active member of these communities. Take the time to share content other than your marketing pieces and be an involved, respected member. And ask “power users” – authorities in the industry – to share your content with their followers.

Measure Your Success

Make sure your results are measurable – for continued success, you’ll want to know which actions drew the most customers. Use the available conversion rate tracking tools to monitor your results so you’ll know whether your efforts are paying off – and which ones – so you don’t waste your time and so that you can maximise your results in the future.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy


(Image: Flickr)

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