Are you intimidated by the new buzz words popping up everyday? Are you wondering where to start and how far in to get? Do you groan every time someone asks you if you have Pinned, Tagged, Tweeted, Friended, etc?
The scope of advertising and marketing is changing and it is changing fast. How are you as a busy business owner supposed to keep up with it all much less manage it?
This blog is the first in a series that intends to answer at least some of your questions regarding business marketing techniques. More over we are going to give you some tools to navigate the ever-changing waters of current business marketing trends. I want you to walk away with distilled version of what is out there and an idea of what is going to be effective for your industry and even your business. To begin I want to introduce what may be a new concept in marketing.
Introduction to Inbound Marketing.
As I mentioned before the whole face of marketing, the way we interact with our clients, our prospects is changing. In fact it has changed right out from under many of us.
No longer is the primary focus on what many are now calling “interruption marketing.” I call this the traditional marketing efforts and it includes TV, radio, direct mail, print ads, and many things that ‘interrupt’ our lives. Think about it like this: You are listening to your favorite radio station, it’s a sunny day, the snow is melting, the roads are dry, and you are cruising down the highway and your work week is done. Does everyone have that picture in their head? It’s a good moment. Then suddenly the station cuts to a commercial about a new consulting company promising better workflow management and a smoother hiring process. There’s nothing wrong with this. But suddenly everything from work comes crashing back down and your moment has been interrupted. You may remember that consulting firm favorably, but then again you might not.
How about this example? It’s the season finale of your favorite TV show. There’s ten minutes left in the program. What’s coming? We all know; there has to be the cliffhanger commercials, right? Especially if it is a popular show, sometimes there’s almost 10 minutes of commercials for 5 minutes of the finale. Do you really watch these commercials or are they just an irritant. An interruption? If you record your shows like me, you just fast forward everything.
There is a better way! Do you really want to be the company that interrupts your prospects’ moment to sell them something? People do not want to be sold! They want to buy, oh yes they want to buy. But we as a culture HATE to be sold.
So what if there was an alternative? What if you could consistently reach your prospects and set yourself up as an expert in your industry? What if you could build a community where you could interact with your clients, vendors and prospects before, during and after they buy or sell to you? What if your company could be the one they turn to when they need your service or product because they already know and trust you? What if you could do this all without spending a small fortune? This is the opportunity “inbound marketing” offers businesses.
According to Gleanster Research 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. Companies that build relationships with their leads over time have the greatest success in turning leads into customers by staying top-of-mind until the lead is ready to buy. Therefore staying connected with contacts through social media, blogging, and other “inbound marketing techniques” is beneficial from a business perspective. The end goal is to get your leads to “raise their hand” and self-select into further engaging with your business.
Inbound marketing uses high quality content to qualify warm leads so that a company knows their material is reaching those who want to hear what they have to say. It is about offering non-promotional, interesting content through blogging, social media, and well written website copy so that when people are ready, you are the one they turn to. It is cultivating leads instead of having to relay so heavily on cold calling, attending trade shows and playing the sales numbers game.
There is a better way to market your business. As a business owner, you no longer have to rely exclusively on the traditional marketing methods who’s results are difficult at best to track.
Check back in two weeks to catch the next installment of Savvy Marketing in our Social Media World.