What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is the process of attracting visitors to your website, and converting website visitors into leads for your business.
Is it the same as SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is integral to Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing requires proper SEO but SEO in and of itself is no longer enough.
How does it work?
There are four main areas:
Publishing (mostly to your website)
Networking (sometimes called content promotion)
Conversion (website visitors are not enough, you need them to take action to become leads)
Lead nurturing (via email)
It sounds complicated? Is it?
Some people love to make it sound that way, and while there are lots of details that need to fall into place, breaking up the activity smaller tasks makes it easy.
I'm reminded of an old joke...
Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time.
Looking at the big picture of what it takes to make this work does feel daunting for some. That's why you break it down into small manageable tasks.
Who can do this for me?
Any number of SEO and Inbound and Content Marketing agencies and consultants can do this for you. Just bear in mind that effective outsourced Content Marketing gets costly.
How much does it cost?
An effective agency that gets results start at about $2,500 per month. I've spoken to some agencies who start at $5,000.
Wow! How do I do it cheaper?
On the one hand, you kind of can't. Publishing is a significant activity. However you have choices on how you pay.
Outsource to an SEO agency or consultant for $2,500+ per month.
Save cash and pay with sweat equity by doing things in house (including writing).
Most popular option: Manage the process in house and hire and manage remote writers. Pay hundreds instead of thousands.
How do some companies quote it cheaper?
To be blunt, by cutting corners.
You may be aware of Small Business SEO Packages priced in the range of $300 to $1,000 a month. When the Internet was less crowded and the Google algorithm was less sophisticated, some of those packages delivered results.
That is no longer the case.
Ranking your website today requires publishing content your desired audience will find to be useful (to help then do things, learn things, or find things).
Can we really do it ourselves?
Anyone who can use email can use WordPress, so yes, you really can do it yourselves. Additionally there are excellent writers in remote parts of the world who generate quality content for much less.
What other small businesses have done it?
We profile a few of them on our Inbound Marketing Success Stories page. They're all small businesses who had success with Inbound Marketing. We have more examples if you need more.
How do we do it?
The basic recipe is easy to understand:
Understand how your customers buy (what steps they go through). This defines your sales funnel.
Publish content to your website your desired customers will find useful.
Promote that content via social media and email.
Walk website visitors through your sales funnel with Calls to Action placed where needed on your website.
Capture leads (names, email addresses, phone numbers, etc).
Follow up with leads with email and phone calls.
Take the next step...