What is your approach when advertising your product or service?
There are two basic types of marketing – inbound and outbound. The focus of each is different and they involve different strategies and techniques.
Outbound marketing, might, also, be referred to as interruption marketing, involves getting your marketing message to the largest number of people possible through advertising, cold calling, direct mail and other aggressive techniques that interrupt people in their daily lives.
A big majority of prospects no longer respect this style marketing. Outbound marketing is an interruption of the customers normal routine and thus makes them wonder, "why are you bothering me". Outbound marketing tries to reach consumers through general media advertising as well as through in-person contact. Depending on the venue, the approach can be extremely broad (radio and TV advertising), thoroughly personal (face-to-face meetings), or “impersonally personal” (cold-calling or blanket emails). Through each outbound method, sales leads are generated and then followed up by internal sales teams that continually try to contact the prospect to sell them their product or service.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, does not feel like marketing. With inbound marketing, you provide valuable content like whitepapers, infographics, blog posts, news releases, etc. that help attract your ideal customer as they search for what they want. It’s not “selling” in the traditional sense, so it’s more appealing to those who hate the image of an aggressive salesman and may feel uncomfortable pushing their message.
This change in buying behavior requires businesses to re-think how they go to market, and optimize the methods they use to be sure that they will get found by buyers using search engines, blogs, reviews, and social media.
A key part of getting found, while doing your "inbound marketing", is making sure you show up on the first page of a Google search. The lazy marketer’s approach to doing this is to purchase pay by the click advertising. However most people ignore the paid ads, so to be really effective, you will need to perfect your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) skills.
SEO requires you to develop great content that your buyers will find sufficiently interesting, different or insightful, to the point that they will want to leave a comment in your blog or share the content to their social network. When your readers comment about your content on-line, using tools like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc., they spread the word virally to other readers and broaden your reach. These comments lead to links back to your site, which leads to more interest and ever increasing page ranking in the search engines.
To be successful at this, you will need to keep the content fresh. Traditional web sites don’t work in this regard, because they don’t change often enough. What is needed is a personal blog that you update regularly with fresh and informative information.
Your blog cannot simply be a sales pitch for your product, it needs to be about topics that your prospects care about, have an interest and probably did a search for this particular topic. The tone could be educational; or humorous; or controversial. But above all it needs to be highly engaging and relevant to them.
Like most things that are good for us in life, SEO requires work and patience before it will payback. So it can be tempting to take shortcuts, and just use SEM (search engine marketing such as paid search ads). However when inbound marketing is done right, the results will continue to build, and you will start to grow your own audience, and own your own traffic.
An extremely powerful way to create inbound traffic and qualified leads is to use a free product or service that provides all the tools needed to run an efficient campaign. A great new platform designes especially for the entrepreneur is a site named Markethive.com. Markethive.com is a "neural social communications platform" that is free to join and integrates all the tools you need such as your own personal Blog, auto-responder, email broadcast system, leads generation system, leads management system, news feed for continual member communication, profile page for personal brand and much, much more.
Once you have great content you will want to find ways to drive the maximum traffic to that content. In the last couple of years there has been some powerful networks emerge to help with this process in the social media space. Get yourself accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, and join in the conversation. Start by listening. Watch what people are talking about in your topic areas, and take note of their interests. Once you have an idea of how the conversation works join in. Be careful not to take a sales stance approach to promote your products, as that will rapidly lose your audience for you. However you can draw your audience in with url’s that link to your blog posts and other non-sales oriented content.
To get prospects to pay attention to you, you will first need to understand what they care about. Read their Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Linkedin comments, etc. and try to get inside their minds. Try to determine what appeals to them, or what has clearly turned them off. Then prepare your pitch, and use social media to engage with them.