Inbound marketing sounds great, doesn’t it?
After all, what could be better? Put the word out about your products, services and expertise, and watch customers come to you, ready to do business.
That’s what inbound marketing seeks to do. And that’s why it should be part (major or otherwise) of your marketing mix going forward.
Where to start?
1) Consider some of the top tactics for inbound marketing:
• Content marketing (blogs, white papers, articles, speaking engagements, more)
• Social media
• Search engine optimization (SEO) both organic and pay-per-click (PPC)
• Remember that marketing techniques traditionally thought of as outbound can be inbound as well. For example, media relations, in which your stories are in the press, online and off, is the earliest form of what’s now called “content marketing”
2) Select a “team” of approaches that plays together well. Repetition of your key message points through different tactics, and building familiarity through continued presence in multiple venues, helps assure your inbound marketing is a winner.
3) Make sure you deliver a meaningful message. Content marketing and social media should usually be less overtly promotional than traditional outbound marketing. But make sure prospects know what you can do for them, and make sure they care about what you offer. Don’t be so subtle that prospects don’t hear what you really need to say.
4) Track your results. Track all the relevant metrics you can, from readership to clicks to purchase inquiries. Make sure you monitor your budget so that you assign your dollars where they best support the business goals you’ve set.
5) Integrate outbound marketing as well. Traditional outbound marketing is alive, well and effective. It reaches where content marketing may not be able to go (that is, reaching out find prospects before they even start looking for a topic, solution or brand) and can either make the sale or soften the prospects to be receptive to inbound marketing.
6) Inbound and outbound, but not hidebound. At vSA we believe that the very best marketing is integrated marketing. With a well-crafted mix of inbound and outbound, you will capture the most – and the best – opportunities out there.
Editor’s note: This post was first published on vSA Blog, which focuses on marketing, management, entrepreneurship, and the occasional commentary on whatever strikes the team.
Michelle van Schouwen is president of van Schouwen Associates, LLC (vSA), a B2B marketing company based in Longmeadow, MA. The company is known for vSALaunch, its proprietary, modular and scalable system for B2B marketing launches, as well as its expertise in integrated marketing for B2B.