Inbound marketing is a term you've probably heard of, but weren't sure how it could benefit you. In a nutshell, this form of marketing brings the customer to you instead of you reaching out to the customer.
By providing relevant, valuable content, you gain the customer's attention, keep them engaged, build trust and provide them with the products or services they need.
Anyone can get started with this form of marketing at any time – no matter the size of your business or the size of your budget.
If you've yet to get on the inbound marketing bandwagon, here are five benefits you're missing out on:
1. Expand Your Reach and Audience
Inbound marketing allows you to expand your reach and audience. Unlike with conventional outbound marketing, you have more control over who sees your content and target a specific audience, particularly with PPC.
With inbound marketing, you're reaching out to the right people – people who already want what you're offering – rather than throwing your advertisement in front of a large audience who may not want your offerings.
The ability to better target potential customers typically leads to a higher ROI because your content gets in front of the right people.
The right content can drive leads to a business of any size and on a shoe-string budget. The costs of creating, publishing and hosting your content are minimal compared to traditional outbound marketing channels, like television and radio.
Inbound marketing gives the "little guy" a chance to compete with the bigger fish in the sea without having to break the bank.
3. Improve Brand Awareness
Increased sales and lower costs are important, but they aren't the only marketing goals companies hope to achieve. Building brand awareness can attract organic leads in the future.
Companies can make use of blogging, social media, infographics, slideshows, video and other media to educate consumers. Offering valuable content that viewers appreciate will make them remember your brand and may persuade them to become a customer in the future.
4. Build Credibility and Trust
When building brand awareness through education, you also establish yourself as a leader in the industry. As an authority in the field, you start to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
Trust can also be developed in another way. Consumers do not want to be bombarded with advertisements and offers. By offering nothing but valuable information – and not a hard sell – consumers will trust that you're not necessarily in it just to get a sale and are passionate about what you do.
Consumers will be less reluctant to buy if they know that your company is reputable, a leader in the field and a trustworthy brand.
5. The Results are Long-Lasting
The effects of inbound marketing are long-lasting because the relationships that you build with potential and current customers are ongoing.
If you can establish trust with a customer and give them reasons to return to your brand through valuable content, you can forge a lasting relationship that brings future sales.
Blogging and SEO efforts will also provide lasting results. The effort put into frequent blog posting, social media updates and using effective SEO practices will (hopefully) improve your rankings. Building a strong foundation and building up that credibility will pay off in the long-term and continue paying off for the foreseeable future.
Inbound marketing requires quite a bit of effort in the beginning, but these benefits make it worth the commitment. Gaining credibility and trust with consumers helps ensure that they come back in the future if you can satisfy their needs.
And because it's a cost-effective form of marketing, inbound marketing is accessible to all businesses – yes, even you small business owners.
Working with a professional who specializes in inbound marketing can help get your strategy off the ground, so you start seeing results sooner.