Inbound Internet Marketing Brings In Prospects At Lower Cost
Traditionally most businesses have used outbound marketing. In other words yellow pages, newspaper ads, magazine ads, billboards, radio, cable TV, posters, flyers and many more of the ‘usual suspects’. In virtually every case, the response from traditional advertising is declining and the ROI is decreasing.
There are a number of reasons for the decline, ranging from ad overload to people spending more time on different media, especially on the internet and using a range of devices from desktop computers to smart phones.
Today, smart businesses are using inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is lead generation using content, social media and a targeted web presence instead of advertising to everybody hoping to find the right prospect. That means connecting with prospects when they are actually looking for your product or service. Inbound prospects connect with your marketing messages and are more ready and willing to buy immediately. These days you can find out exactly what your perfect customer needs and deliver what they want more easily and at less cost than ever before.
The key to connecting with your prospects is to have a well-designed internet marketing website which speaks directly to potential customers. Not only must it be designed right from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, but it must deliver value to the prospect so that they are pre-sold on your product or service.
Put Yourself in Your Prospect’s Shoes
Sorry about the internet marketing buzz words, but just think how you would act if say you had a toothache. Would you have been noting down dentist phone numbers off radio ads or newspaper ads, just in case you ever needed a dentist? No, the only time you would be interested in dentist information is when you actually need one. I bet if your toothache was bad, you would sit down, look for a few dentists locally, read what they had to say, understand their treatment options, check their reviews and then call to make an appointment ASAP. All can be provided via inbound internet marketing (except for the phone call!).
Of course the dentist was just an example, but the same principle applies whether we are looking for a new car, a tax accountant, a new roof, lawn service or minor surgery – in fact just about every product or service you can think of these days. Whether B2C (Business to Consumer) or B2B (Business to Business), everyone does their homework first using the internet.
Attracting Potential Customers
Once you have a good idea of your typical customer, you can create interesting content that will attract them to your business and be interested in what you have to say. Identifying with their problems and providing solutions to these problems in an educational way has been proven to work best. The solutions can be delivered via a website, blog or social media.
For more immediate results, using a combination of inbound marketing and a limited amount of targeted outbound marketing working together is the most powerful combination. Since most people with an immediate need will use a search engine, that is the best place to start. Customers looking for solutions will type what they are looking for into a search engine, so ensuring your website is found via organic traffic and (PPC) Pay Per Click advertising is the key to attracting new customers.
Due to the nature of the internet, many people do their homework before choosing a company to do business with, and are not always ready to transact immediately. So it is vital to ask the visitor for their contact details (ideally phone and email address) so you can keep providing them with valuable content that they will be interested in. Most people are not so willing to give out their contact details, so you need to provide them with something of perceived value in exchange. This is also a great opportunity to show how well you can serve a potential customer’s needs.