Yes. Right out of the gate, Inbound Marketing does work. But like everything else in life, success is largely dependent upon a few key ingredients beginning with a clearly defined objective.
Many companies look at Inbound Marketing as a way to simply accelerate their cold calling efforts. These are the companies that still believe that the only way to generate more revenue is to shake more hands. The concept of Inbound Marketing however is focused on a virtual handshake evolving into a virtual hug. It’s about creating a safe environment for your customer to learn, ponder, and explore at their own pace. For Inbound Marketing to work your customer must believe the content you’re offering has value. They must also believe you have a passion…a purpose…a genuine desire to help solve their problem the best way possible. This means the content you develop answers their questions and provides enough information to lead them to ponder new ideas or considerations. It all begins with great content.
Some companies try to disguise their sales materials as content. Don’t bother! It won’t work! Your customers are too savvy. They know too much. They have access to other competitors content that they are comparing yours against! No. Your content must be factual, original, thought-provoking, specific, and end-result focused. That means you must understand your customers needs; in fact better than they know them themselves.
Once you’ve created killer content be sure to have a system in place that enables you to manage your Inbound Marketing efforts. There are a number of solutions available for companies of all sizes to manage their Inbound efforts without breaking the bank. Check out HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot. Each of these systems have their pros and cons depending on your own objectives. The good news is they all produce great content to help inform you in your decision making process. After all they are in the business of Inbound Marketing.
In summary, Inbound Marketing is about being invited to the party rather than crashing the party with traditional Outbound Marketing activities. It’s permission based. Inbound’s philosophy is to establish virtual credibility and rapport first, before a sales attempt is made. It’s about nurturing. Cultivating. It’s about content. In my next blog I’ll show you some easy ways to great started on creating content that matters to your customers.
Let me know if this was helpful.