Inbound Marketing

Marketing Mindset Shift [PART 5]: Inbound Marketing 101

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Okay! You have your channel of choice, ready to make a commitment to yourself and, more importantly, your audience. Before digging into your schedule and the content you will create, let’s talk run through the basics of Inbound Marketing.

The concept of inbound marketing, which was birthed in the age of the internet, essential means this: unlike traditional marketing – where you seek your customers and interrupt them by way of TV and print ads, radio, etc – you create highly valuable content – for the sole purpose of being helpful – and you make that content available FOR FREE. Crazy right!? Why would you slave away on content of tremendous value only to give it away for free? Well, when you host a dinner party do you charge your guests at the door? Of course not! But why would you give something of value to complete strangers?

inbound marketing

Well thanks to the world wide web, most of this information is available anyway if we look hard enough right? So why not make our businesses the messengers and creators of this super helpful info? Why not boost our visibility and position ourselves as authorities within our industry space? Creating thoughtful content does the following:

  • It builds trust. By providing value and actionable takeaways consistently you are staying top of mind and showing your customers that you’re there to help and provide assistance – putting your company on the shortlist
  • Helps with positioning and influencer status
  • Leads customers and interested parties back to your website
  • Gives your SEO and Google ranking a boost
  • Will continue to bring traffic to your site— essentially working for you and your business while you sleep.
  • It’s super cheap!

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Inbound Best Practices

  • Always add value. Always have your clients and customers top of mind. How can you provide easy-to-read information that they can apply to their pain points straight away?
  • Make sure that it’s easily consumable. Incorporate photos, bulleted lists, pull quotes and short paragraphs to ensure that your articles are a pleasure to read.
  • Entertain, educate, engage. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through! And experiment with media of all sorts: video, audio, Facebook live
  • Stay true to the 80/20 rule. In a nutshell, you should only be talking about yourself 20% of the time. This includes promotions, services that you offer, client testimonials and the like. The other 80% should be dedicated to helping others by sharing interesting (relevant) content, providing helpful information and entertaining your audience. Be true to your brand, your voice and what feels right.

Google Juice

Google Juice

Google juice = content. Unique content, the kind that you create, is worth its weight in gold. Here’s why:

  • It shows your audience that you care-–that you care enough to take the time every week/month to be helpful and contribute to important thoughts, issues, concepts within your industry
  • It feeds the Google monster! Your rankings on Google and other search engines will improve dramatically if you are adding regular content. Not only will you stay top of mind with your customers but Google will reward you for it.
  • I’ve touched on this before, but positioning is huge. Let’s say you’ve just received a word of mouth referral. What’s the first thing they do? Google you and your business! What if they’re investigating results in an article written by you on the exact topic they need help addressing. How powerful and validating is that?!
  • Consistency is key. So once you’ve decided to start building your digital assets, make sure that you’re in it to win it. Get on a schedule and stick to it! Social media and content creation is a long game so again, check in with your long terms goals and perhaps find an accountability partner to keep you on track. I promise you that if you stay on track, remain focused and are patient with the process, you will experience an uptick in quality leads and doors you didn’t even know existed will begin to open.
“Unique content on the behalf of your business is worth its weight in gold.”

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Now I know that some of you are out there thinking, “I have nothing to say!”

My response to this argument is: this couldn’t possibly be true. I’d like to start with a series of questions:

  • Has anyone ever asked you for feedback or advice?
  • Is there a topic, or a range of topics, within your industry that you know well?
  • Do you have opinions on said topics?

If your answer is “yes” to all of the above, then you’re good to go. All you need is a little practice, some structure and you’ll be on your way!

Don’t knock it until you try it. You might really enjoy it, find it cathartic etc. The key is blocking non-negotiable time every week.

And that ends our 5-part Marketing Mindset Shift series! Whew! Is that information overload? Make sure to check the previous blogposts in case you missed them!

 

Helpful Links:

Digital Marketing: Getting Started

Marketing Mindset Shift [PART 2]: What’s the Point of Digital Marketing?

 

About the Author

Tara Johnson

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Tara has been a web and print designer for 10 + years and a photographer for over 15. She began AlchemyThree because she saw a need for a more complete, thoughtful and innovative digital marketing experience for businesses of all sizes.

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