You are used to traditional marketing but people are talking about inbound marketing. With traditional marketing, you pursue your customers. With inbound marketing, you get your customers to come to you. Because they come to you willingly, they are prequalified.
Traditional marketing versus inbound marketing
Traditional marketing: Because of the way in which traditional marketing is set up, it covers impressions and interruptions. That means that everything is covered: advertising space, air time, mailing lists, etc. The concept is that you spend as much money as possible to make sure that you beat out your competition.
Inbound marketing: At the heart of inbound marketing is content and relationships. Inbound marketing allows everyone to succeed in business and based on the principle of persistence, consistency, creativity, and interaction. With inbound marketing, you don’t need to make a huge financial investment in order to make it succeed. You do, of course, have to make an investment but it is an investment of time, effort, and consistent publication and syndication. Because inbound marketing is relatively new, it is still evolving and changing, although the general principles have been established for a while.
When you are thinking about your social media strategy using inbound marketing, there are several steps that you should follow.
- Establish your brand and make sure that you are able to differentiate it from other brands on the market
- Build (or have built) a web presence that is content centric
- Try and consider the “big picture” as much as possible. If you can, try to imagine how it will impact everyone, not just your particular target audience
- Have established goals and objectives in mind when you first begin to implement your marketing strategy. The more successful you marketing strategy is, the more successful your business will be on the whole
- Keep a specific budget in mind for your online marketing strategy
- Set milestones and timelines and specific responsibilities and action items
- Use one or more the analytics tools to have a constant understanding of how well your online marketing efforts are doing
In addition to taking the initial steps to set up your online marketing strategy, there are several steps that you should take to maintain your strategy over time.
- Project a marketing strategy over the next year for your brand, content, search capabilities, and web presence
- Chart your business’s activities, including task lists, tactics, timelines, and allotments of time and money
- Examination of keywords and key phrases to make sure that you are using the most effective ones for your target audience
- A calendar that includes budgets, timing for blog articles, case studies, eBooks, white papers, videos, and webinars
- Dashboard for social media activities, including groups, forums, blogs, and online networks
- A database for opportunities to deliver presentations to people (face to face)
Inbound marketing is an extremely powerful and effective marketing approach that is driving the success of many different businesses around the world today. If you feel that your business will benefit from this particular marketing approach, you should learn as much as possible about how to use it most effectively and efficiently for your particular business. Because inbound marketing has not been around nearly as long as traditional marketing, many people are skeptical about putting in the effort for something that may or may not work (in their minds). You will see that it is totally worth the effort. It is important to continue to be flexible and to keep an open mind when it comes to building your business. Remember that you will be getting your customers to come to you willingly and eagerly. What could be better than that for your business?
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.