Everyone has heard the old saying in business Location, location, location. Well, the saying still stands but as a small business owner you need to understand it differently. With the increased use of technology, today it is more important than ever before that your business has a top location on a search engine, for example Google, Bing or Yahoo among others. In other words, it is important for your startup business to be easily found online.
Here we need to define the meaning of a few terms. Outbound (Traditional) Marketing is a marketing strategy for finding customers by building brand awareness through advertising and promotion. As an antonym, Inbound Marketing focuses on optimizing the chances you get found by customers.
Consumers have the power to search online for the companies and products that interest them. Your small startup business should take advantage of the fact that there are people out there looking for a business just like yours. Let them find you! Just think of how often you as a customer have searched Google and have discovered product and services that you desire.
Traditional marketing techniques the way they were taught in colleges and universities still work today but might be too expensive for a startup. And it is possible that they might not reach your target audience. The reason behind the weakening strength of the traditional outbound marketing is that we all, as customers, have gotten increasingly better at managing to avoid and block them. The following statements are not to say that all outbound marketing efforts fail, in fact not at all, but in order to get the point across, here are a few examples: when I watch TV I dont get to see the commercials I have a TiVo; when I listen to the radio, I use the satellite radio or I pay for commercial free radio; not to mention that advertising e-mails rarely manage to make it past the spam filters; lately junk mail heads straight for the recycling bin, and against the cold calls I use my Caller ID. Outbound marketing has proven to be an increasingly difficult way to reach potential customers, might be found intrusive and can often be relatively expensive for your startup.
What is Inbound marketing and how to make it work for your small business? Simply send your message to the people who are already your customers, to your suppliers and partners. Target the people that actually care. Let them spread the word until your message reaches your target customers who are ready to buy. You can use the increasing popularity of the social media outlets, Google, other search engines and the blogosphere. In other words spread the word where you know it is going to be heard and where people are interested in hearing what you have to offer. Your future customers are searching the web for businesses just like yours. Your Inbound strategy will allow them to become part of your online audience, to stumble upon your business, to find you and to come to you.
If you are reading this blog post chances are that you have a small startup business and you have limited means of promoting it, so promote it where it counts. Use your blog, social media and search engines to create an Inbound marketing strategy that would be not only be inexpensive but also delicate way to influence your target audience. Use the influence you have created and make it a permanent asset to your business.
Check back at our blog for tips on how to build a strong marketing strategy for your startup.