As you begin on your journey to found and build your own business, you will sooner or later need a marketing strategy to attract customers and grow your brand presence. For many entrepreneurs, that can be problematic. Marketing is inherently expensive, and you will come across so many articles providing tips and tricks that you might not know which advice to follow.
Here’s one that might be more actionable than most others: make inbound marketing a core part of your entrepreneur journey. If you embrace this relatively new but immensely successful concept from the beginning, you can build your entire business around the core philosophy of this type of digital marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
In its comprehensive definition of inbound marketing, Forbes.com points out a number of staples of this philosophy: it occurs in the digital space, focuses on creating high-value content for your target audience, and aims to generate quality leads for further, more targeted efforts.
Inbound marketing, in other words, is a way to help potential customers find you, rather than pushing out your marketing message to an audience that might never be interested. As a result, it’s a perfect compliment to the entrepreneurial process. In fact, here are 5 reasons to embrace inbound marketing as early as possible in building your business.
1) Grow Your Credibility
In today’s digital environment, audiences across industries are becoming cynical toward advertising of any kind. Millions are installing ad blockers, requiring new ways to reach through the clutter and get your brand in front of your desired customers. That’s especially the case for a new business that no one knows about yet.
Inbound marketing, then, offers you a way to accomplish just that. If you create high-quality content designed specifically for your target audience, and find effective way to get that content in front of your potential customers, you will have their attention.
Marketers who rely on traditional ‘push’ advertising tend to lack that credibility, while those embracing content and inbound marketing increase theirs. The business blog of Pinnacle Furnished Suites is a perfect example of a company sharing information that’s not necessarily promotional in order to build their credibility.
2) Create a Comprehensive Online Presence
Going into 2017, your website should be much more than a simple, static online billboard. Instead, it needs to be a comprehensive resource for your target audience to learn about both your product or service and the industry in which you operate.
Oseco’s website, for example, offers more than just information about its manufacturing products and services. In addition, it also provides news updates, case studies, and a variety of guides about its products that are relevant and helpful to anyone in the industry. Through effective search engine optimization, this content helps Oseco be found easily by potential customers.
That’s what inbound marketing is all about. Instead of creating an online billboard, you create a comprehensive online presence that will become the center of your marketing efforts. If you can turn your website into a treasure trove of resources for your audience, and then draw attention to it using SEO and social media marketing, your audience will visit – and convert.
3) Generate Sustainable, Quality Leads
Depending on your industry, you probably need to approach and engage with potential customers long before they actually make a buying decision. How do you make sure that these members of your target audience enter your database for further, more targeted communication?
Lead generation may be the core benefit of inbound marketing. If you can give your website visitors something of value (such as long-form content or a webinar registration) in return, they will gladly return the favor by giving you their contact information. Now, you can engage in more comprehensive email marketing and lead nurturing efforts, knowing that your recipients have expressed at least some interest in your company.
4) Jump Your Competition With a Head Start
Breaking into an industry is difficult. But it’s much easier if you use a marketing strategy that most of your competitors haven’t yet fully embraced. Though inbound marketing has repeatedly been shown to be more successful and generate higher ROI than more traditional methods, it’s only slowly gaining acceptance among small businesses.
By embracing the philosophy, you can get ahead of your competition. If you’re the only one in your niche to present yourself as a valuable resource using the above strategies, you will occupy a space in the minds of your audience that will be difficult to top. Consider Voicebase, which has embraced a more resource and education-oriented approach to marketing than most of its competitors and has benefited significantly as a result.
5) Embrace Your Customers’ Needs
Finally, inbound marketing allows you to embrace the unique needs of your customers. Rather than building your marketing strategy from the inside, you will be more open to listening to your customers, and deliver content that’s designed to help them succeed.
As a result, you will gain valuable insights into the minds of your audience, which can be applicable even beyond marketing. As a new and growing business, you will probably have to make regular adjustments to your product and service over time. Inbound marketing offers you an inherent opportunity to learn about your audience in a way that can help guide these types of adjustments.
In short, inbound marketing is a unique fit for entrepreneurs looking to set themselves apart from their competition and accelerate their business growth from the beginning. Thanks to the above reasons, embracing the philosophy from the start of your business can give you the boost you need to succeed both immediately and long-term.