Your Small Business Needs Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing, or any form of online marketing for that matter, has pros and cons just like your traditional avenues for marketing. Inbound marketing takes considerable time and on most instances the leads do not generate over night. The biggest pro of inbound marketing however, is that your leads are pre-qualified. Almost 100% of your leads will be people looking for a particular product or service and by searching Google or other search engines, your name, website, product or service has the potential to show up in rankings. What does this mean? When you allow people to choose you or your business you become more than just a provider you become a source of knowledge or expertise in your field. Let’s give you an example of how this could work in real life. You blog about fashion design and because you own a boutique you are very knowledgeable about fashion. Since you have been blogging about fashion and have used several relevant terms to people searching for fashion tips, hot trends or local clothing, you begin to climb in organic search rankings. Emails and phone calls begin to trickle in (inbound) from people asking about your store and clothing. Since they have taken the time to search and find numerous articles you have written about fashion and clothing you stock in your store, people begin to visit your store or website looking for the hottest outfits. Why? Because they know your store carries certain brands due to in the inbound marketing efforts of blogging about those brands. This happens all over the world and can be used for any product or service. When you are able to provide valuable content and cast your pole in the consumer pond, your business is extending its hand to those that are in need of your product or service. You’re generating exposure through inbound marketing efforts to do the selling for you. Your not picking up the phone to cold call people during dinner. When you give your customers the opportunity to find you they are not only interested in your product or services but they will also be more willing to open their wallets. One of the biggest cons of internet marketing or inbound marketing is that it takes time. By time I mean months, perhaps longer. It truly depends on how focused your efforts are and how saturated your area of expertise may be with other businesses. There are certainly no shortage of clothing stores so it’s imperative that you separate your store and clothing from the rest. If your clothing is more expensive than the Gap, be prepared to explain to the customer why and what makes your clothing different from the Gap. Internet marketing works the best for niche businesses so giving an explanation on why your clothes or services are more expensive and sometimes declining business is all a part of the process. You don’t need to make every sale for every customer that contacts; in fact I would recommend saying no every so often if you feel the customer does not believe in your businesses services. The companies that are able to bridge the communication gap between consumers and providers are the companies that succeed. Eventually you will find out that it will become necessary to implement some form of inbound marketing to cast your business pole.

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