Squad Talk

What is Inbound Marketing?

Though the term “inbound marketing” can certainly be considered a current buzzword, it’s so much more than that. In fact, inbound marketing is the primary method for building an online business. Unlike traditional marketing strategies that use ads (television, radio, billboards, etc.) and other similar promotional materials, inbound marketing draws people in to your company organically by capturing their interest through company-created Internet content. There are a variety of online venues that help drive traffic to a business: search engines, blog posts, podcasts, photos, videos, newsletters, and social media platforms.

Because companies are able to target their specific audience using content and shared information on social media, small businesses with small to no marketing budgets are better able to compete with larger businesses. Photos, online posts, and blogs can quickly spread via word-of-mouth and “sharing,” reaching new customers on multiple platforms—which reinforces brand awareness and an inherent trust in the service/product because it was shared by friends and family. Also, both customer feedback is easily found online through reviews, comments, and new content being posted by customers so it’s easy for potential customers to compare your services/products to your competitors. Unfortunately, this instant access to customer feedback is a double-edged sword: if your company lacks in customer service or if current customers aren’t satisfied with your service/product, potential customers will know.

There are some negatives to using inbound marketing that will need to be considered when planning a marketing campaign. Most notably is that only those potential customers who choose to view content related to your company will see it. Computer users are used to having their inbox and Facebook feeds full of marketing material and are expert at ignoring what they don’t want to see, which ultimately limits the audience of any social media marketing campaign. To counter this, companies need to consistently ensure that they are providing engaging content that attracts their attention, adds value, and is informative. Cultivating a positive relationship with customers will ensure they continue to be customers—and share your marketing content via social media for you.

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