Guy Kawasaki said it best: “If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.” Well said, Guy! I agree, wholeheartedly.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is marketing a product or service through the use of blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, permission-based email, whitepapers/reports, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and more.
Rather than forcing your finely-tuned marketing message upon unsuspecting individuals, why not pull interested prospects closer to your brand? Inbound marketing uses clever tactics to draw interested customers in, rather than casting a wide net.
As a small business owner, you can’t afford a “spray-and-pray” marketing approach. With inbound marketing, you earn your way in, rather than buying or begging your way in.
Why is Outbound Marketing Losing its Appeal?
With outbound marketing, a company initiates the conversation and blasts its message out to an audience. Some examples of outbound marketing include ads (TV, print, and radio) and direct marketing (cold calling and telemarketing).
Unfortunately, a few “spammy” marketers ruined it for everyone. They abused the system. They speed-dialed us at dinnertime. They inundated us with a sea of uninteresting marketing messages. And people grew tired of it! (Can you blame them?) Your customers are busy. They don’t have time for unwanted interruptions.
While outbound marketing is still effective, depending on the tactic, this approach doesn’t necessarily make sense for small businesses on a tight budget.
Can you afford to hire a full sales and marketing team? Mass marketing is expensive. Do you have the budget to cast a wide net, or would more focused efforts fit better? What if you could make it easier for interested prospects (who are ready to buy) to find you, rather than searching for them?
Sure, inbound marketing sounds nice, but how do you get from idea to action? Where do you go from here? Here are a few steps you need to take:
1. Set Goals & Objectives
What are you trying to achieve? Are you launching a new product or service? Are you trying to boost up your website visits? Are you building an email list? Before you implement your inbound marketing campaign, get clear on what you’d like to achieve.
2. Select Inbound Marketing Tactics
Now that you know what you’re shooting for, which tactics and strategies will get you there? Do you know what each tool can help you achieve? Here are a few examples of inbound marketing tools and tactics to choose from:
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Leveraging Clever Content (eBooks, videos, whitepapers, webinars, etc.)
3. Evaluate Costs & Timing
You know what you’re shooting for, and you have a rough idea of which tools will get you there. Now, what sort of budget can you set aside? How much time will you need to invest?
4. Decide What to Outsource
What resources can you utilize internally, and what can you outsource? Are you an expert at implementing the methods you chose, or will there be a big learning curve? As a small business owner, there’s a good chance you’re juggling a lot of tasks. Can you do it all yourself? Hiring a marketing consultant is a good option if you need to bring in additional expertise.
Are you looking for more tips to develop a comprehensive inbound marketing campaign? You can download a free eBook Using Inbound Marketing to Achieve Winning Results to get a head-start.