Back before things like social media and websites existed, the approach to business promotion was far different than the tactics used today. Cold-calling, billboards, radio and television ads, and spammy snail mail were all the rage, and all involved reaching out to possible consumers. This strategy may have worked decades ago, but research has found it both costly and ineffective for today’s industry. NewsCred research states that 86% of people now skip television commercials and 44% of direct mail is thrown away and never opened. It all comes down to this – people want to be in control of the content that they receive.
So where does inbound marketing fit into the strategy that works for today’s consumers? Inbound marketing switches focus from the marketer to the customer, giving the customer full control of the content they interact with. Rather than going out to retrieve these interactions, you create trust and engagement to your customer base through attention-grabbing and customized content. You aren’t fishing for customers anymore; they’re finding you on their own terms and interacting with your company. Research from Digital Marketing Pro states that businesses can generate leads through inbound marketing with just 1/3 of the cost of traditional outbound marketing. 78% of consumers believe that companies that provide custom content are interested in building a good relationship with them.  Instead of frustrating customers with ads, offer valued content and education of your product.
So where does your strategy for inbound marketing start? There are quite a few avenues, but the 4 main options include social media, blogging, SEO, and emails/newsletters. Your strategy will depend on the company or product you promote, but let’s dive into each strategy and how they can improve your business approach.
There are a variety of social media outlets – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat to name a few. With a smaller business, it’s unlikely that you’ll have time to manage multiple accounts unless you have a social marketing team. Outsourcing is a cost-effective option, but if you can’t fit this into your budget pick one or two that work with the kind of content you promote and go from there. According to a 2015 study from Digital Marketing Magazine, a jaw-dropping 74% of consumers look to social media before they make a purchase decision. So a little engagement can go a long way!
Did you know companies with an active blog produce 97% more leads?  You can use blog posts to educate users and ‘shape’ their opinion of your company. The more custom content you create, the more your readers will view your company as an authority in that subject, leading to more trust and in the long run, more sales.
You want your company to be easily found online. If you have great content and imagery but no one’s seeing it, all your hard work will be in vain. Effective SEO can significantly boost traffic and ROI, all-the-while increasing brand awareness and trust. While cold-calling may still be effective for you business, it costs 61% more than generating leads through an inbound strategy like SEO. 
EMAILS / NEWSLETTERS
Building your email list may take a while when it’s coming from your website or blog, but at least you know they’re dedicated customers who are genuinely interested in your business and success. Easily keep them informed on any updates, and send them coupons to drive in-store and online sales. They feel like they’re a part of the company.
When it comes to success through marketing, the internet has leveled the playing field. Even business with a smaller margin of profit or just in the process of starting-up can promote online with very little spending. Inbound marketing is here to stay, and it’s important to adopt this strategy as a key part of your business plan. Not sure where to start on your road to online success? Contact InnerVoice Group today for a custom quote and information on the best avenue for you business to take, whether that’s through social media, content creation, SEO or emails.