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What is Inbound Marketing and How Does it Work?

InboundMarketing

“Marketing” means doing all sorts of things to get the word out about your business and attract customers. You might advertise, join networking groups, adjust your brand to be more appealing, and more.

One form of marketing you may have heard is called Inbound Marketing. This is the idea that you can help potential customers find you while they are early in the search process. The idea is to create awareness, make sure they know about your brand, then turn them into a lead, and finally, convert them to a customer. Inbound Marketing is like hunting; instead of spraying interrupting advertising messages, you’re going out and laying bait, luring customers to you.

Inbound Marketing is strongly tied to content marketing. Consumers are either actively or passively seeking information or entertainment. If done correctly, you can build a relationship with them by sharing useful and interesting content. That relationship will lead to sales.  

However, this content can’t be too salesy, or it won’t work. The material must educate, inspire, entertain, or inform. Most of all, the content must be relevant.

 When it works, Inbound Marketing leads to:

  • More organic website traffic
  • An increase in leads
  • Social engagement

How to Make Inbound Marketing Work

Inbound marketing is a series of actions or steps, and content is just one of them. For it to work, you’ll need to set up a funnel correctly. As part of your process, make sure to:

  • Prepare your sales team - Some of the leads will be cold because they weren’t really searching for your product or service. That’s OK. Part of the idea is to begin warming them up for later. But your sales team needs to prepare for this, knowing that you won’t close every deal and that you might need to leave prospects alone for awhile and come back.
  • Inform people - Entertaining content will engage, but it might not actually help if no one knows what you do. Have you seen a commercial and thought, “Wow that’s great. But I have no idea what the company does?” You want to avoid that.  
  • Stand out - There’s a lot of content out there. If you sound the same as everyone else, you’re going to blend in.  
  • Get noticed - Smaller companies sometimes struggle with this approach because they just don’t have enough engagement to make it work.

Inbound Programs
There are many (expensive!) programs out there claiming to help you with your inbound marketing campaign. They come with fancy dashboards and help generate content. However, we feel smaller businesses in Raleigh and Cary are better served by a more nuanced approach from a local marketing firm. We can help you set up tools to generate content and track leads. Contact us for more information.

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