What is Inbound Marketing and How Can it Help Indian SMEs Get More Business Online?
Inbound marketing is the art of pulling in people to your brand than pushing your brand to people. Inbound marketing is gaining momentum all over the world for one reason – it is extremely effective and in several ways better than outbound marketing.
Guy Kawasaki famously said “If you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.”
So how can an Indian SME go about doing Inbound marketing? Let us take the example of our own company, Exotel. We publish blog posts on our blog like the one you are reading right now.
You may have arrived at this blog post through a search engine, a link shared by your friend on social media or email. But you came here to read this article… we did not push this article to you. Now you are here on Exotel’s website and you are more likely to check out what we have to offer and may be you will become our customer one day! 🙂
When any brand publishes useful content for their target audience, then that brand pulls in people to them. Inbound marketing is not just limited to the internet. Even in the offline world, one can do inbound marketing.
For example, an Interior Design company can publish an article on best practices for interior design in their local newspaper or magazine and they would get more branding than if they had paid for an advertisement on that same magazine. A hospital can conduct a free seminar on general health tips and invite people from their locality. This would help their brand spread in a very powerful way.
Inbound marketing is now widely used because internet and blogging has made it much easier for brands to become publishers without the huge costs of setting up a publication channel. Open source blogging platforms and content management systems like WordPress.org has made it very easy for anyone to publish content on their website. In fact, this blog is based on the WordPress platform!
The content need not be limited to written content on a blog. You can also publish videos on your YouTube channel and get visitors to your website from there. You can spread links to your content on your various social media channels.
So, instead of paying for advertising on various content channels and getting visitors, you create a content channel yourself. The visitors that you attract are more likely to check out what you have to offer and request for more information. When people request for information and you call them back – it is several times more effective and also ethical than getting a database of phone numbers and cold calling potential prospects.
There are more benefits to inbound marketing. Apart from getting free visitors to your website, you also get a chance to understand your ideal customer and their needs. Blogging is a conversation. You start the conversation with an audience and based on their responses (comments, social sharing etc.) you get you understand your audience better. Understanding your audience helps you to craft your offering (product or service) in a way that best suits them.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start doing inbound marketing today!
If you have any questions about inbound marketing you can leave them in the comments below…
[Image Credit: Hubspot.com]