A recent Tuesday Challenge described the difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing. Obviously, we all want our target market to reach out to us and inquire about our products and services. Let me start this by defining Inbound: “attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful – not interruptive. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines and social media.
The key word is content (we are preparing a content marketing section for our education section), and learning the details of content marketing is critical for its implementation. I know that there are millions and millions of web sites and an equal number of blogs being posted every day. The key is how to stand out in all that clutter.
Having a loyal following is key to business success. The establishment of this “loyal following” is a little like building a data base. The main difference is that you are not selling a product/service but offering relevant and helpful information. Your target market needs help and your passion should be to help that target market, be it business to business or business to consumer. Once you have built a loyal and dedicated following, then your product or service will be well received.
Inbound marketing is not an instant gratification marketing system. The first step is to know what is relevant and helpful to your target market. Without this basic information as the foundation for your inbound marketing efforts, you are merely throwing your fishing line into the water without any bait. If your passion is to help and provide that relevant information, you must first know the pain points of your target market. The best way I know to get firsthand information is to ask. You can search the internet for the pain points of your market, but that will never be as good as you obtaining the information yourself.
Obtaining the information can be accomplished through focus groups, having a booth at a trade show and not selling your product/service but asking questions, offering a class and having the participants fill out a “pain point” questionnaire. With this research you can start the dissemination of this content through blogs, social media, and any other outreach method. The goal is to build a following before you start selling. As you get contact information on your followers, you now have a ready and willing audience that you can continue to help, and also show how your product/service will make their lives better.
Focus on being productive instead of busy. Tim Ferris
Comments are closed