Inbound Marketing 101: 3 Steps to Start
Any small business needs successful advertising. Without customers, there is no business, and without effective advertising that gets your name out to the public, you won’t have customers. People can’t go to a business if they never hear about it. As a result, professionals need to focus on using advertising to bring in new clients. There are many kinds of ads you can use, but the most recent trend has been to use your knowledge as your advertising. This is known as inbound marketing. This form of marketing not only helps to get your name out there and create awareness that your business exists, but also demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, giving proof that customers can benefit from dealing with your business.
Showcase Your Expertise
A marketing plan emphasizing inbound marketing needs to showcase your expertise, which will vary depending on the profession. Create a blog on your website and populate it with posts that are informative and educational, giving a brief survey of the subjects in a few paragraphs. This will showcase how much you know, presenting you as a reliable expert in your professional field without actively selling as you are offering helpful information. It will also give prospective customers an idea of what kinds of questions you’re specifically able to help them with.
What can you post? There’s a lot of possibility here. If you’re a doctor, you can give information about common health problems, while a lawyer may discuss common legal issues. Financial planners might write about investment options. No matter what the subject, make sure it has a simple, strong headline that will grab the reader’s attention. “How to Reduce Your Chances of a Heart Attack,” or “How to Outperform the Stock Market” are great examples of headlines that will immediately draw prospects’ interest and give them an instant cue to know what you’re talking about and if they’re interested.
Once you’ve drawn people’s interest with these quick hit posts, you need to go deeper. Have full reports that are more detailed and elaborate available as downloadable guides for the people who engage with your content (kind of like this one on LinkedIn Marketing). Offer these in exchange for an email address and/or a phone number, which will allow you to contact that person later with relevant offers. While the original posts may just be a few paragraphs, these guides give you additional room to provide more information about the topic, and should be paired with details about your business. Include a call-to-action at the end of the guide with a way for someone to contact you if they’d like your help.
Create Specific Channels
You need to have a way of tracking the success of your posts, so you can know which topics are effective. This goes for both the original blog posts as well as the detailed guides you have for people who make an initial response. Tools like Google Analytics and social media are great for seeing hits and how people are finding your content and will also measure many online conversions. You can also tie each guide to a specific offer—a coupon code or a specific method of contacting you—so that you can measure responses offline. If you tell people to ask for a specific report, you can tell how many people ask for it; if you tell people to call you, you can measure how your call volume changes.
Keep the Conversation Going
When someone downloads your guide and gives you an email address, add them to your email list and stay in contact with them. Add them to a drip marketing campaign targeted at their specific download or give them a call to make By presenting yourself as an expert, communicating a steady stream of information, and effectively channeling customer responses, you’ll create a strong advertising campaign in no time.
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