What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing

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For the last 5 or 6 years Bloggers and Internet Marketers have been trying to identify the best ways to make money online.  What they have found to be the most effective has developed a name:

Inbound Marketing.

If you are wondering what inbound marketing is and how you can make use of it, you have come to the right place! I am going to give you everything you need to know in order to start strategizing how you can use inbound marketing.

First, so that you can truly understand, let’s talk about marketing for a minute.

What is Marketing?

At its most basic level, Marketing is the assortment of tasks involved in making people aware of you and educating them as to why they should do business with you.

Marketing and Sales are very similar. In fact, you could say that a sales person makes people aware of your business and educates them as to why they should do business with you as well.

The true difference between sales and marketing is: Marketing can be automated and measured.

That means, as should be obvious, successful sales people actually do marketing.

Two Types of Marketing

There are two types of marketing: push and pull. With push marketing, you are broadcasting messages, like specials, sales, coupons, etc. out to your list. Your list could contain leads, prospects, customers, subscribers, etc.

After a while, your list will become familiar with your name as you push these messages out, but what will they think about you? What mindshare, or brand, will you build in their minds?

If you are constantly pushing products in their face, they may either ignore most of your messages, or tune out completely.

But what if you were regularly sending information and News?

What if you gave valuable content that pulled your list in?

This is the essence of Inbound Marketing. Really, it’s a new name for pull marketing. With pull marketing, you are directing the conversation in a way that attracts the customer in to learn more about what you have to offer. Before the Internet, one of the best ways to accomplish this was through PR – articles about your company written by your local newspaper.

These types of articles educated the consumer, while enticing them to learn more about you without overtly selling, or pushing, a product.

Inbound Marketing is Educating!

Inbound marketing is educating the consumer. Giving them information. That’s what attracts them!

If I notify you of important, need-to- know information, like this article, then when you come and consume this information, you feel grateful and appreciative of my service to you. You feel as if I am developing a relationship with you and you are more likely to respond to me, start a conversation, and learn more about how we can help you grow your business and make a lot more money in a step-by-step manner.

Does that sound fantastic!

The more information you broadcast, the more your list will think of you as an expert in your industry. You will be top of mind.

Your audience tires quickly of continuous hyped up messages and promotions. I know, I’ve tried and learned that lesson the hard way. If you want to actually grow a list of fans, you have to educate and entertain them – get them responding and interacting with you and your company.

How Do You Use Inbound Marketing?

Start brainstorming ideas on information that you can share with your audience that would train, educate, inform, entertain, and amuse them.

Figure out how you can deliver that information. Maybe a blog post will work, maybe a .pdf, or a podcast would be better.

You will know based on the amount and type of information you are sharing.

Some of your options are tweets, facebook, and linkedIn status updates; blog posts, videos, podcasts, .pdf’s, webinars, seminars, and training courses.

Your goal is to become a publisher of information. “Give till it hurts!” Is the common advice.

The benefits of this are enormous!

First, you have to break out of your habitual thinking. You can’t think conversations are one-to-one anymore, now you have to think one-to-many. But when I say many, I mean thousands and thousands upon thousands and thousands.

You can be an expert in your industry and not gain much notoriety, but when you solidify your place as an expert in your industry using the Internet, you are expanding your reach beyond your industry, you are actually attaining celebrity … developing authority … gaining trust.

Then, you are the obvious choice for whatever you are selling.

Why?

Because your list has become followers, and those followers have begun to like and trust you – they know you and they have a relationship with you.

What About You?

What are your thoughts about inbound marketing? Have you been using it? What have you noticed, or learned? Let us know in the comments below.

About Michael Miller

Michael Miller is the owner of Mindwhirl.com, a sales and marketing coaching and training company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Michael’s mission is helping small business owners understand, and organize their marketing so they can make money and grow.

Mindwhirl helps business owners plan and implement effective, profitable marketing campaigns and sales programs.

If you need more sales, we know how to get leads and grow businesses. Call us today at (404) 858-3105, or email me at mmiller@mindwhirl.com.

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