Suzanne Carter is the business development manager for website design and development company Limelight Online Ltd. To find out more visitwww.limelightonline.co.nz
As every business owner knows, an effective marketing strategy is key to promoting your services/products in order to grow your customer base and your revenue.
Traditionally, marketing has taken the form of print and radio advertising, seminars, emails to mailing lists and tele-marketing. This is called outbound marketing as you are pushing your products and services out to your target market.
Inbound marketing focuses on driving relevant traffic to your website, converting that traffic to leads, and finally, turning those leads into sales. Relevant traffic is driven to your website through an effective content marketing strategy, social media and effective search engine optimisation techniques.
This form of marketing is built on the belief that if companies provide valuable content and information to buyers on a regular basis, buyers will ultimately reward those companies with their business and loyalty. Inbound marketing strategies provide a stronger impact by using online channels and in most cases, for significantly less spend. One of the main inbound marketing strategies is content marketing.
Content marketing is the art of communicating with prospective and existing customers without selling. Instead of pitching or attempting to persuade someone to buy your product or hire your services, you’re delivering information that educates buyers and makes them more intelligent.
Instead of developing ads designed to interrupt customers, you’re looking to create targeted, useful and relevant content for your audience using a variety of mediums including (but by no means limited to):
Blogs. Write an informative blog that addresses a particular hot topic. Guest blogging is also a good idea to get your business name and brand known. It also builds your brand trust and credibility.
Videos. Produce a short video explaining how to use one of your products or provide an answer to a problem consumers in your industry might be having.
Podcasts. A podcast is like a radio show but instead of being broadcast live it is recorded then distributed online e.g. via your website.
Enewsletters. Put together a mailing list of your customers and potential customers and send them monthly short but informative newsletters.
White papers. Publish a white paper on a particular topic that is impacting your industry.
Webinars. Webinars are essentially web based seminars, so either arrange one with guest speakers or be a guest
It is recommended that you do your research first to find out which channels your target market is most actively
Any content you produce must be of a high quality and relevant to your business services or products and to your customers’ needs. You may need to hire the services of a professional copywriter to help you with getting the quality, relevance and tone right.
Once produced, your great content needs to be distributed and shared. This is where social media comes in. Get people engaging you – talking about your content, sharing it with their friends and followers, commenting on it.
It also must not be understated that content marketing is a very effective way of generating traffic, links and referrals to your site. All this will help your website perform well in the search engines which again increase your chances of being found by people looking for what your business offers.
Inbound marketing can build brands, drive engagements and, ultimately, lead to vital conversions. For these reasons, no company — no matter how big or small — can afford to ignore its benefits.
However, it doesn’t happen overnight! As with any marketing strategy patience is most definitely a virtue.
So focus on building connections and relationships via social media, produce amazing content and make sure that you communicate it and distribute it effectively.