There is a lot of talk around the major blogs about inbound marketing. As a strategy, inbound marketing plain and simply rocks. It’s easily the most superior method of marketing your business there is. The problem is that few people are bothering to explain what inbound mrketing is or giving you any sort of primer on how to do it -- so that’s what I’m going to do now.
First, a definition: Inbound Marketing is the convergence of content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization (from my article What Is Inbound Marketing).
Going one step farther, inbound marketing is all about turning yourself into the undisputed authority in your market. It’s about becoming so overwhelmingly recognized in your market that people will literally line up to do business with you over and above anyone else, at the same time that you’re charging many times more than anyone else.
Outbound marketing is about advertising. The problem is that anyone can advertise anything they want and say nearly anything they want as long as they have the money.
However, in Gaining Attention In An ADD World I show how (and why) it is that people don’t trust advertisers or advertising. I also talk about how little attention there is. Outbound marketing is about trying to stand in a crowd and scream at people, “pay attention to me,” and they really don’t want to do anything of the sort.
It’s like trying to convince someone that says they hate green eggs and ham to try just one bite. While doing that might work in a children’s story, in real life it requires immense effort and spending -- and many times it isn’t worth it.
The benefit to outbound marketing, however, is that you can place your advertising order, and that’s it. It’ll run on its own without your having to put forth any more effort.
Let's flip that around. Inbound marketing is about deserving attention. It’s about you becoming an undisputed authority in your market. People listen to what you have to say and buy what you have to sell, because they want to, not because you’re convincing them they should.
Inbound marketing will get you many more customers, and they'll spend much more -- at the same time, you aren’t really spending any money at all on your marketing efforts.
Begin by creating great content that is of help to your market, posting it to your blog, and then sharing it out through every social network that you can (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Quora, and so on).However, marketing this way does come with its own price. Marketing this way takes time and effort, and more than a little of each. Becoming an authority in your market means doing what it takes to demonstrate your expertise every day. It means putting yourself out there and helping your market. It means explaining the differences between one product and another, explaining how to best use things or do them. Like I said, it means that you helpHowever, it’s not simply the creation of content; it’s the creation of great content. It means creating text blog posts and videos that are put up on YouTube and put onto your blog as well.
Now, what “great content” means varies somewhat from one market to the next. In a nutshell, however, it means answering every question a customer has ever asked and placing that on your blog for your customers and potential customers. It means teaching your market about things they should know (but don’t know to ask), and pitfalls to avoid.
Again, you need to create this content as text and as video.
In many markets, Google and Bing will see your constant postings to your blog as the creation of an authority site for your market, helping you to generate overwhelming top search rankings. That will further establish your position as the top expert in your market. It will also give you the lion's share of the traffic, and therefore sales.
The reason this is the case is that most purchases start with research. The person helping to answer questions and make it easy for a customer to make buying decisions will find that they are overwhelmingly also the person from whom people will buy.
You can see your profits climb thanks to a "perfect storm:" at the same time you're increasing your profits, you're reducing advertising expenditures and getting more customers and greater respect from other players in your market.