Get a ticket on the Inbound Train!
Not that long ago marketing messages were pretty much a one way street. Think about it – television ads, radio, direct mail, it was all one way, pushed out at consumers – in essence, outbound messaging. Thanks to the evolution of the internet and the adoption of use and access by consumers, traditional marketing models have been forced to change. Now what we see are communities engaged in dialogue; conversations. Customers seeking out businesses, reading referrals, and asking questions as tweets and as Facebook posts. The conversations are two-way and interactive.
If old techniques can be viewed as intrusive, then the new techniques are organic, free-form and inviting. This doesn’t mean throw what you know about marketing out the window, it just means some adjustments and adaptations are in order. It’s the responsibility of today’s marketer to keep providing value, entertainment and certainly education. It’s through this commitment of earning the trust of the consumer that inbound marketing can flourish.
Integrating inbound marketing tactics isn’t as hard as it may sound. Some simple steps (a few which you might already be doing) will set you up in the right direction. First, content is king. As long as its relevant content, it’ll remain king. Blogging is almost an expected means to deliver your content, and it creates more opportunities for consumers, clients and customers to find you via search engines. Also take the time to investigate if your blog and its theme is compatible with mobile devices and tablets. According to HubSpot, blogging can bring you as much as 55% more traffic! More traffic = more opportunities to engage your community.
Photos and videos are also great additions to a blog post – a product demonstration, an interview with a figure in your industry, photos of something you’re working on or launching soon. Share the blog posts through social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Impact Branding & Design recently released a chart stating that companies incorporating social media in their inbound marketing program saw 63% increase in the effectiveness of their marketing. And 2/3 of all US internet users participate in some type of social network, so unless you missed the lesson in ‘relevant content’, you’re almost sure to participate in these figures as well.
One of my clients is committed to actively engaging in social media: “If we’re not engaging, we feel we’re missing a huge opportunity! Our soul and passion is to help professional image capturers put their best foot forward and engaging in social networks with them helps us deliver what they need to succeed”, says David Drum, Director of Business Development at H&H Color Lab.
If you visit the H&H Color Lab blog, you’ll see they post a barrage of helpful topics, tutorials and ideas at least twice weekly. Of course the headlines and body copy are carefully written to encourage higher SEO rankings. Their Facebook business page has become a quasi-customer service portal, with photographers asking for help and receiving instructions, guidance or resolution within a short period of time. It’s not uncommon to see customer kudos posted on the H&H Color Lab Facebook wall when they receive their order.
Listen in as David and I talk about his 42- year old company’s social media and inbound marketing efforts.
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