It’s not a secret — more people start with an online search to find what they need than ever before. With over four billion people online, there should be plenty of opportunities for people to find and engage with your brand.
But are they?
Unless you’re dedicating time, effort, and some cold, hard cash to grow your business, probably not.
We’ve talked with many small businesses that put up a website and wait patiently for customers to start pouring in. But it doesn’t work that way. If you want to successfully drive traffic and engagement to your website, it’s crucial to develop an inbound marketing strategy.
The good news is that, with a little bit of effort, anyone can develop an inbound marketing strategy that works.
Let’s dive into why inbound marketing needs to be a priority for your business.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a business methodology that works to attract customers through engaging content. Think about it this way – you want to provide your potential customers with value before they enter your sales funnel. Inbound marketing can help you do that.
The good news is, you’ve probably seen plenty of these strategies in action – or have done them yourself. If you’ve ever written a blog or an eBook, you’ve done inbound before.
Other inbound marketing tactics include:
- YouTube videos
- Social media posts
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
Inbound marketing can help flip the script on traditional marketing campaigns and help you form a better relationship with prospective customers.
Why SMBs Need Inbound Marketing to Generate Leads
Here’s the thing: your digital-loving customers need to see you everywhere online.
If prospective customers can’t find you online, they aren’t going to see you as a legitimate business.
As a small business, you have to put yourself out there to generate more leads. That’s precisely why small businesses have to do inbound marketing to stay relevant.
Here’s why SMBs like yours need to get on the inbound bandwagon.
1. It’s Cost-Effective
Maintaining a blog is a lot cheaper than spending money on traditional marketing like radio or TV ads.
Don’t believe us? Studies show inbound marketing costs 60 percent less than outbound methods.
Get the same amount of business for 40 percent of the cost. If that doesn’t perk your ears up, it’s time for another cup of coffee, because those numbers are staggering.
2. Inbound is Always Relevant
Outbound marketing can sometimes feel intrusive. Whether it’s a billboard, cold call, or TV advertisement, you’re trying to talk to customers when they aren’t ready to engage with you.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, can be informative, relevant, and timely. It can build genuine enthusiasm for your brand from your customers.
Customers seek you out with inbound marketing. That means they’re already more likely to buy from you in the first place.
Avoid the guesswork that comes with qualifying leads; inbound marketing does it for you.
3. Reach Anyone, At Any Time
Inbound marketing is always working for you. Your website doesn’t go home for the weekend or take vacations. Inbound marketing is always there for customers to enjoy, 24/7.
The great thing about inbound marketing is that it isn’t limited to geography. You might be a small, local business in Poughkeepsie, but with a good inbound strategy, you can reach new customers in China.
How’s that for scaling?
Inbound substantially increases your reach to bring in more customers, no matter the time or location. It’s a big asset in our connected, sleepless global age.
4. Competition-Proof Your Business
SMBs fear competition, and with good reason. One savvy competitor can steal thousands of dollars of revenue away from you.
But a basic inbound marketing strategy can help you competition-proof your business.
Think about it: your competitors can try copying your process and product, but they will have a harder time copying your identity.
Inbound marketing efforts like blogs and videos build authority for your small business. Even if you’re competing with larger businesses, inbound evens the playing field by showing your personality to potential leads online.
5. Inbound Marketing Is Measurable and Repeatable
Some people say its impossible to measure the output from an inbound marketing strategy, but that’s just a myth.
In fact, inbound marketing is extremely measurable. And as we all learned in science class, things that are measurable are repeatable.
You’re going to have to test and experiment to find what works. But thanks to robust reporting tools, you’ll know precisely what’s working and where you need to shift gears.
The Bottom Line
Every business wants to grow, but it’s extra important for SMBs. Get away from outbound strategies and embrace inbound. It’s cheaper, more effective, and customers prefer it. Get better quantity and quality of leads for your business with better inbound marketing.