Inbound-Marketing

Inbound Marketing: A Cost Effective Way for Small Businesses

Marketing strategies, techniques, trends and methods have changed rapidly and for the better over years. These changes have expanded the horizon of inventions in this space and has strengthened the customer-brand relationship.

While deriving the term ‘marketing’ from a Latin word ‘ mercatus’ nobody knew that this strategy would be so important for every brand as it is today. Dating back to the1900s, promotions happened mainly in form of pamphlets, display and announcements. These methods were used to create awareness about particular events happening in towns or for introduction of new commercial goods like fruits, vegetables, beauty products and so on. Marketing can be divided into several types but if broadly classified it is mainly of two types – Outbound and Inbound.

What is Outbound Marketing?

If observed closely it includes all forms of traditional tactics  namely; print ads, television, radio, newspaper, trade shows or exhibitions, direct mails amongst others. Analytics project the efficiency of outbound marketing to be limited to certain set of audiences and is not technologically savvy. Here a lot of assumptions are relied on.

  • Audience are based on a wide spectrum of profiling. Thus X amount of money spent here, doesn’t boost conversions as expected or to the mark.
  • As outbound is mainly traditional, it doesn’t include the new forms of technology platforms like social media, digital, mobile and so on into its radar. Hence, leaving behind a major chunk of audience who undoubtedly are the future.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing also largely known as content marketing involves everything that ‘outbound’ effortlessly looks over –

  • Blogs
  • Social media channels
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Email
  • Webinars
  • Infographics

It rightly focuses on the new age media and promotion mediums where the profiled audience spend most of their time today. Unlike outbound, it doesn’t ask for attention aggressively. It is carefully segmented and targeted. It awaits to be found by its audience to offer valuable inputs and insights in exchange. In simple words, it is a source of free traffic.

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Benefits

By incorporating inbound marketing, small business can:

Reach Relevant Audiences

Displaying huge billboards and distributing ads in public dailies will not be as effective as online ads. This is because your audience viewing billboards would not be targeted intentionally whereas, your targets would be active on some social media sites. With micro targeting, you can reach out to specific audiences who can understand your brand and your valued offerings.

Save Huge chunk of Money

One half page print ad can cost you a fortune and now just imagine getting your product out in the market in every daily possible! You can turn the tables around and earn a fortune by just including this strategy in your promotional plan. Though it takes more effort than simply buying a newspaper ad, its per lead costs run way lower than traditional marketing.

Increase Search Organically

In order to get listed on Google’s first page, coming up with relevant and fresh content is a must. When you produce search optimized content on regular basis and receive social media attention, your ranking will shoot up. Choosing apt keywords is crucial.

Prompt Business Decisions & Actions

Using inbound you will get quick and on the spot insights of how your online or digital campaign is performing. Depending on these results as the owner of your business you can take prompt actions to change or enhance your campaign for better business.

Build Loyal Customers

People will like, share and purchase your products or services if you interact with them constantly by putting new products, offers, coupons, discounts and providing exceptional customer services. Time and again it has been proven that customers who are linked to your social media handles are more likely to be loyal. Denote the above as benefits or hacks to increase business, inbound marketing is the type to opt for. You might be the owner of a small, medium or large business, these benefits apply successfully to all.

Social-Media-Marketing-Strategy

The Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Your Business

There was a time when social media was considered by some as a passing fad. Something that “the kids” were using that businesses could never really benefit from. Over time, the skeptics were proved wrong. There are over 3 billion internet users—and over 2 billion of them have active social media accounts. Popular social platforms have become marketing giants, offering businesses valuable data about their customers and a (mostly) free way to reach them. The jury has spoken: social media for business is no longer optional.

If you’re wondering how social media can benefit your business, look no further. We’ve outlined key points below.

1) Increased Brand Awareness :

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Social media is one of the most cost-efficient digital marketing methods used to syndicate content and increase your business’ visibility. Implementing a social media strategy will greatly increase your brand recognition since you will be engaging with a broad audience of consumers.

To get started, create social media profiles for your business and begin interacting with others. Get employees, business partners, and sponsors to “like” and “share” your page. Simply having people interact with your content will increase brand awareness and begin building your reputation as a business. Each post that is shared will be introduced to a new network of individuals, which can lead them to becoming potential customers, and the more people who know about your business, the better.

By investing only a few hours per week, over 91% of marketers claimed that their social marketing efforts greatly increased their exposure. There is no doubt that by simply having a social media page your brand will benefit, and with regular use it can generate a wide audience for your business.

2) More Inbound Traffic :

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Without marketing your business on social media, your inbound traffic is limited to your usual customers. The people familiar with your brand are likely searching for the same keywords you already rank for. Without utilizing social media as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll have much more difficulty reaching anyone outside of your loyal customer circle.

Every social media profile you add to your marketing mix is a gateway to your website, and every piece of content you post is another opportunity to acquire a new customer. Social media is a melting pot of different types of people with varying backgrounds and behaviors. With different people come different needs and different ways of thinking.

Syndicating your content on as many platforms as possible allows these individuals to organically reach your business. For instance, perhaps someone in an older demographic of consumers will search for your website using a particular keyword on Facebook, but a millennial could begin their search by using a different social media platform entirely, because they search for products totally differently. By marketing on social media you can effectively open your business to a wider variety of versatile consumers all over the world.

3) Improved Search Engine Rankings :

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Although posting on social media might get your business some site traffic, more effort than that is required to see significant success. Search engine optimization is very important for achieving higher page rankings and obtaining traffic to your business website. While social media doesn’t directly increase search engine rankings, Social Media Examiner states that more than 58% of marketers who have been using social media for one year or longer still see improved search engine rankings. Being able to rank in the top positions for your keywords will revolutionize your traffic and continue to generate positive results for your business.

Let’s face it, everyone uses Google to find information, and they likely won’t navigate past page 1 because their answer normally is on the first page of results. If your business website isn’t ranked towards the top of search engine results, you should probably adjust your search engine optimization strategy.

To give yourself the best chance of ranking better through social media, create high quality content that integrates your targeted keywords. Content such as blogs, infographics, case studies, business information, and employee photos will make your business’s social media profile intriguing and credible. Once you begin posting quality content, you’ll begin to build a social media community where followers will “like” and “share” your content. Most importantly, it gives you more opportunities to get in front of industry influencers who will write about your business and provide links back – which will help to directly increase search engine rankings.

4) Higher Conversion Rates :

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With increased visibility, your business gains more opportunities for conversion. Every blog post, image, video, or comment may lead viewers to your company’s website and increase traffic. Social media marketing allows your business to give a positive impression through a humanization factor. When brands are interactive by sharing content, commenting, and posting statuses on social media, it personifies a brand. People prefer to do business with other people, rather than companies.

Over 51% of marketers claimed that taking the time to develop relationships with consumers showed positive results in sales. The better impression you make on a visitor, the more likely they are to think of your business when the need for your product or services arises.

Studies have also shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. When a brand is interactive online, consumers who follow your brand’s accounts often begin to more completely trust the credibility of your business.

People use social media platforms to stay connected to their friends, family, and communities. Since people are already talking, why not throw your brand into the mix? More likely than not, they’ll mention your brand to a friend when your products or services are needed, overall providing your business with social proof of its quality. As reported by Social Media Examiner, about 66% of marketers saw lead generation benefits by using social media platforms at least 6 hours per week. Putting your brand in an atmosphere where people are sharing, liking, and talking, can only improve the conversion rates on your existing traffic.

5) Better Customer Satisfaction :

Social media is a networking and communication platform. Creating a voice for your company through these platforms is important in humanizing your company. Customers appreciate knowing that when they post comments on your pages, they will receive a personalized response rather than an automated message. Being able to acknowledge each comment shows that you are attentive of your visitors’ needs and aim to provide the best experience.

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Every customer interaction on your business’s social media accounts is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your compassion for your customers. Whether an individual has a question or a complaint, social media allows you to address the matter using interpersonal dialogue. A brand devoted to customer satisfaction that takes the time to compose personal messages will inherently be viewed in a positive light, even if responding to a customer complaint.

6) Improved Brand Loyalty :

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One of the main goals of almost all businesses is developing a loyal customer base. Considering that customer satisfaction and brand loyalty typically go hand in hand, it is important to regularly engage with consumers and begin developing a bond with them. Social media is not just limited to introducing your brand’s products and promotional campaigns. Customers see these platforms as a service channel where they can communicate directly with the business.

The millennial generation is known for being the most brand loyal customers of all. Born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s, millennials are the largest generation in US history -– and will soon completely consume the market. Studies show that this segment of customers is 62% more loyal to brands that directly engage with them on social media. Since these technology natives require communication with their brands, businesses must implement social media marketing to get the attention of their most influential consumers.

7) More Brand Authority :

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Customer satisfaction and brand loyalty both play a part in making your business more authoritative, but it all comes down to communication. When consumers see your company posting on social media, especially replying to customers and posting original content, it makes you appear more credible. Regularly interacting with customers demonstrates that your business cares about customer satisfaction, and is available to answer any questions that they might have. Satisfied customers are eager to spread the word about a great product or service and they usually turn to social media to express their opinion.

Having customers mention your business on social media will advertise your business, and show new visitors your value and brand authority. Once you obtain a few satisfied customers who are vocal about their positive purchase experience, you can let the advertising be done for you by actual customers who enjoyed your product or service.

8) Cost-Effective :

Social media marketing is possibly the most cost-efficient part of an advertising strategy. Signing up and creating a profile is free for almost all social networking platforms, and any paid promotions you decide to invest in are a relatively low cost compared to other marketing tactics. Being cost-effective is such an advantage because you can see a greater return on investment and retain a bigger budget for other marketing and business expenses.

If you decide to use paid advertising on social media, always start small to see what you should expect. As you become more comfortable, fine tune your strategy and try increasing your budget. Just by spending a small amount of time and money you can significantly increase your conversion rates and eventually get return on investment on the money you initially invested.

9) Gain Marketplace Insights :

One of the most valuable advantages of social media is marketplace insight. What better way to know the thoughts and needs of your consumers than by directly talking to them? By monitoring the activity on your profiles,, you can see customer’ interests and opinions that you might not otherwise be aware of if your business didn’t have a social media presence.

Using social media as a complementary research tool can help gain information that will aid you in understanding your industry. Once you gain a large following, you can use additional tools to analyze the demographics of your consumers. Another insightful aspect of social media marketing is the ability to segment your content syndication lists based on topic, and identify which types of content generate the most impressions. These tools give you the ability to measure conversions based on posts on various social media platforms to find the perfect combination for generating revenue.

10) Thought Leadership :

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Posting insightful and well-written content on your social media is a great way to become an expert and leader in your field. There is no one way to become a thought leader – it requires work that can be supported by online networking tools. To establish yourself as an expert, be sure to utilize social media platforms and build your presence.

Be communicative, connect with your audience, share content, and promote your authority. When your social media campaign is aligned with other marketing efforts, your skills will be highlighted and followers will look up to you. Being able to directly connect with your customers creates a relationship that they will value, allowing you to become a notable influencer in your field.

Get started on social to grow your business

Social media has a treasure trove of benefits to help you grow your business. By using it to learn more about your customers, engage with your audience, and extend your brand reach, you’ll be converted before you know it.