Inbound marketing for business is a methodology that uses your website to engage people who are online and searching for something. Inbound strategy helps you develop content that gets you to the top of the search results. Then with a great website and some intuitive software, those web visitors become engaged with you as it relates to your business category.
Changing from traditional media to inbound marketing is easier than most companies think. All of the efforts that drive prospects to your business also drive them to your site and to your content. Inbound marketing will help you use what you have built to attract and engage people who could be doing business with you.
There are 5 questions that I would ask if I were thinking about and inbound strategy:
1. Is inbound marketing right for your organization?
Inbound marketing is right for you if your customer base is actively interested in your industry and searching on-line. If you are interested in on-line searches for your industry, go to Google’s Adword Tool and input some common search phrases. While you are there, see how your company stacks up in the search rankings.
As a general rule inbound marketing is a great match for business to business marketers and it is getting great reviews in the non-profit world.
2. Is your plan accountable?
Are you currently measuring the number of leads and new customers from your current campaign?
Any media campaign can be accountable. You can measure very specific very broad business.
3. What are your traffic and revenue numbers?
These numbers give you more power than anything you do in marketing. If you do not know, you can apply a basic traffic modeling equation to your current business. In the simplest form it looks like this:
4. How much budget should I shift?
If you are only applying traditional marketing and advertising activities to grow your business start an inbound marketing strategy by setting some goals for your website.
How many customers will I need from my website to contribute to my growth goals? The most impressive thing about inbound marketing is that it benchmarks and measures and has complete accountability. If you do not currently have analytics on your site, get them on right away so you can start measuring.
5. Do I have the right staff?
If you want people who are searching for your business category to find you, you need content. Content is the the magic pixie dust of inbound marketing. Content is also where most marketers fall down. If you cannot commit to the time and resources to create content that people are searching for, you simply have no chance of success.
The best news is that there are lots of writer networks and helpful guides to get you the right content in a hurry.
6. Do I have the will to win?
Turning your website into a lead generation/sales department will take strategy, software tools, and lots of content. It will also take some coordinating tools like:
- keyword list
- content plan
- offer plan
- social media plan and posting calendar
- blogging plan and calendar
But, with today’s automated software options, the technical set up is minimal and a good inbound consultant can give you a great strategy and content support. With a blend of you and your staff and/or consulting support, you have everything you need to build an inbound marketing machine.
Business happens on the web. Today people search for everything. Could you do more business if you were present when your customers are searching? Maybe that is the most important question. The rest is just good solid strategy and planning.