As a small business owner, have you ever visited a site offering you an e-book containing insider tips on how to increase your sales or something similar? Sometimes, such site doesn’t even ask you your name or email address. All you need to do to access the e-book is to tweet about the e-book. That’s all.
Indeed, Inbound Marketing can take many forms – often the simplest ones. Tweeting about the free e-book to download it for free only takes you seconds – a tweet looks so modest. However, what if 100 others do the same – tweet to download the e-book? What about the followers of those 100 who tweeted also interested in the e-book? In a short moment, the free e-book download has become viral.
What if the e-book contains more than the promised insider tips – i.e. product highlights, contact information, coupon codes, and so on? And ultimately, what about bringing people who download the free e-book to a landing page in which you offer something they can’t refuse, and all they need is to (finally) lave their e-mail address in the newsletter signup form? What about offering outstanding newsletter which offer actionable steps on how to improve your business’ bottom line – delivered to your email inbox every week?
The above, my friend, is Inbound Marketing in action.
Successful Inbound Marketing campaigns offer something which people actually love, ultimately to get you customers and get your business website found on the web. From the illustration above, a question remains: Is it really possible to create marketing people love?
The short answer is yes – it’s very much possible. Don’t take my words for it – experts say so. But you might be interested in the long answer. Why? It’s because what makes people fall in love with your marketing material is your secret sauce.
What is the secret sauce in Inbound Marketing?
The secret sauce comes in the form of the following ingredients: Articles, videos, slides, infographics, white papers, blog posts, podcasts, and so on.
“Inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing” – Wikipedia
Just like a great chef, your job as a business owner is to orchestrate your team members to create content… not only content, but also content plus strong call to action; strong reasons for prospects to like you, even love you – and keep returning for more content from you.
And just like a good restaurant, when you get returning customers, you win. How so? Well, they will be your customers-slash-evangelists. When an evangelist says something, people tend to listen.
I’m not saying this because I’m an expert. I am actually an Inbound Marketing apprentice. I run websites. I know SEO. But I suck at marketing as a whole.
I rely too much on SEO, and I pay my reliance dearly. I created content for search engines first and my audience second. I was wrong. So wrong. Why?
My content should be for real people, not search engine bots! If they like it, they will share it. When they share it, you will eventually enjoy SEO benefits. It’s that simple.
Okay, let’s go back to the secret sauce.
There is actually a guideline on how to make marketing sauce. For a starter, you can follow the guide. However, along the way, you need to create your own secret sauce. You need to find what will work for you, simply because there’s nobody else know your business better than you.
Okay. So here’s what I am doing and planning to do.
- Blog posting – on-site and off-site
- Creating videos and publish them on video sites like YouTube
- Creating slides and publish them on document sharing sites like SlideShare
- Blog commenting on industry-leading sites
- Creating lists on list sites like list.ly
- Online community engagement
- Mentor others
- Offer advices on forums
- Offer more freebies and special offers to our own community.
- … and there are more things I plan to do. Busy, busy, busy.
So, is it possible to create marketing that people love?
When you have discovered your secret sauce, you are on your way. Knowing what to offer, how to convert visitors into leads, and how to create outstanding content days in and days out are some of your ingredients.
So, how about you – what do you do to launch a marketing campaign which actually people love?
Inbound marketing resources you simply can’t miss
To help you develop “lovable” marketing campaigns, here are the resources which have helped me gain better understanding about Inbound Marketing, as well as aided me in devising a plan for the future.
HubSpot released this valuable resource (free!) containing inbound tactics and strategy shared by more than 3,000 marketers worldwide – this is truly something which can give you a closer look at Inbound Marketing.
Yet another great free resource from HubSpot; this e-book will teach you how to piece together the main components of a holistic marketing campaign.
The differences between inbound and outbound marketing, explained in an infographic. This is not a new infographic (it has been around since 2011) but the wisdom shared is still relevant today.
Marketo offers a wealth of resources from which you can learn about Inbound Marketing tactics and strategies. You can also find downloadable whitepapers and checklists – all available for free.
If you have more resources, please share them with us in the comment section.