When I speak with most small/mid-sized business owners, my first question is often “what is your current marketing strategy?”
8 times out of 10, their response is “Well, we haven’t really done much marketing in the past – we haven’t really had to”. The other 20% of the time their response is littered with words like purchasing lists, mass mailing, trade shows and my favorite – cold hard sales. In other words, the majority of SMB’s spend the majority of their marketing budget on outbound marketing – or marketing that sends a message out to the masses and hopes for a response. Don’t get me wrong, elements of outbound marketing may be a beneficial component of a company’s marketing plan, but wouldn’t you rather put your marketing dollars to a campaign designed to have leads come to you?
Inbound Marketing, or marketing that is designed to get your company ‘found’ by your target audience is not the way of the future…it is the way of the present. Using your website as the nucleus, inbound marketing utilizes tools like Search Engine Optimization (organic search), Pay-Per-Click (paid search), Social Media and Retargeting to position your business on the computer screen of your target audience. I am yet to meet a business owner that doesn’t start to glow when they hear the phrase “pre-qualified leads”. Think about it: imagine you’re a gourmet coffee manufacturer in New Jersey. You can purchase a list, do a mailing, exhibit at trade shows, send sales people door-to-door, make cold calls OR you can have an inbound marketing campaign that targets your potential customers at the precise moment they are looking for you – even if they don’t know it yet!
You can start by leveraging Pay Per Click Advertising to display ads at the top of search engine when someone searches “Gourmet Coffee” (which, by the way, is done 40,500 times per month according to Google’s traffic estimator). They only see your ad if they are looking for someone like you, and you only pay if they decide to click through to your website! Once you’ve got them on your website, it is time for that pretty new bundle of code to go to work. But what if they leave the site without making a purchase? No need to fear – your inbound marketing plan has this covered. You’ve got a Site Retargeting campaign in place that cookies users that left without making a purchase and continues showing them banner ads while they venture off to other websites. This keeps your brand on their mind, and eventually reignites their interest in your product – and a purchase is made.
What I am getting at is simple. You can continue to search for a needle in a haystack…or you can make the needle come to you.
Let’s get started. Schedule a free consultation today.
Written By: Eric Krattenstein
Vice President, Internet Marketing