The invention of the internet and the explosive growth it has enjoyed is impacting almost every facet of our personal and professional lives. As more and more individuals have easy online access through computers and smartphones, they find themselves turning to their computers for research, education and entertainment. Businesses and industries are slowly becoming aware that selling their products and services require a whole new method of marketing to potential customers. Work at home moms (WAHMS) mompreneurs, and anyone who is building a home-based business have a wonderful opportunity to use inbound marketing to attract new customers.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing refers to marketing directed at internet users who have performed an action that will bring them to your site. While outbound marketing is effectively cold calling, or contacting a large number of people in the hopes that a few will want to buy your product, inbound marketing targets consumers who are already looking for something that you offer. These internet users are likely to be interested in what an inbound marketer is offering, and in sales terminology they are considered pre-qualified leads. Inbound marketing is more likely to deliver leads that will convert into customers for the products or services you offer as they were already searching for words in these areas that led them to your site.
5 Keys to a Successful Professional Inbound Marketing Plan
- SEO for good page ranking. SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the single-most important term of all inbound marketing. In simple terms, SEO refers to activities that best position a website to rank high in a search engine’s results. If you are selling handcrafted belts in the northwest United States, you want to be on the first page of web results when a potential customer types “handcrafted belts in Seattle, Washington” into the Google or Bing search engine. (This is much easier to explain than to actually accomplish.) The next four keys all strive to improve SEO.
- Fabulous content. Work-at-home moms need to market their businesses by having a website. Then, we must constantly update our website or page with fresh and well-written blog content. The text should include three, four and five word terms that potential customers or clients would search for online. There is an art to writing compelling and SEO-targeted content that will attract new readers and potential customers without triggering red flags from the search engines. A good web content writer that is familiar with SEO will be able to use a suitable percentage of keywords, or search terms to help improve the page ranking of the site. The last thing a good inbound marketing program should do is to make a site too commercial or stuffed with keywords provides value to the reader. A business owner may blog about recent inspirations, road-trips, methods of creating new products, or upcoming public appearances or giveaways.
- Outstanding images, fantastic video clips and downloadable material options. This is absolutely essential for work-at-home moms with craft-based businesses. Not only can artists showcase their creativity, we can potentially earn money by charging minimal amounts to download patterns. Links to YouTube videos with step-by-step instructions are another popular inbound marketing tool.
- Interactive Features – A great tool to keep a site current and to provide the opportunity for inbound links from other sites or social platforms is to make the site interactive. Of course, users will only want to comment on content if it is in fact worthy of discussion. Users who find compelling content of value, and who are excited to see what the website offers are likely to want to discuss and remark on the site. Offer the ability to accept comments and questions from fans and users through a comment box at the end of each blog post. Provide an email address to “Contact Us.” Set up a forum where fans can interact with each other, and offer real-time communication through a chat function. The potential for future collaboration with other artists or peers providing complimentary services through interactive features online is a largely unexplored area of inbound marketing, and one that could change the way work-at-home moms do business in the future.
- Complete integration with popular current social media platforms. As of early 2012, these include such sites as such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, reddit, and digg. Remember, the ultimate goal of a great inbound marketing program is to increase the visitors to the site and convert those visitors to fans and ultimately paying customers. One of the best ways to increase the pag erank (how high it ranks in an internet search) of a site is to have incoming links from other credible and high ranking websites directing traffic to your site. Twitter tweets and Facebook postings can spread the marketing word like wildfire. Russell Crowe tweeted about the Canadian band Walk Off the Earth in January 2012, and within two weeks the indie band’s YouTube videos had well over 30 million hits, as well as numerous offers for record deals, live gigs, and even an appearance on the Emmy award-winning American talk show Ellen. The power of social media as word-of-mouth advertising cannot be overlooked, and is one of the best tools of inbound marketing.Whether you call yourself a small business owner, entrepreneur, work-at-home mom, mompreneur or solopreneur, inbound marketing is one of today’s most effective and cheapest ways to promote your business. Spend some time learning about it, and explore inbound marketing software options. If you don’t want have the time or inclination to do your own, consider hiring an inbound marketing consultant to put together a solid plan to grow your business.
What is your most effective inbound marketing technique? Leave a comment below and let us know!