As the costs of paid advertising continue to skyrocket while response rates fall, more small business owners are looking to inbound marketing to prospect for new customers and keep their existing customers engaged.
Inbound marketing – sometimes referred to SEM, SERP, or organic marketing – is about creating content that will attract qualified, motivated customers to your website. Instead of shooting (ads) into the dark to find potential clients, you look for them through search engines, and engage them with strong link titles and descriptions.
The statistics show that 95% of all consumers do some level of online search before purchasing non-essential goods (yes, that’s jewelry, though how anyone could think of jewelry as non-essential is beyond us!). And they’re not searching terms like “diamonds” or “designer jewelry” – those are the search terms of pre-2006. Instead, people are searching for very specific terms and ideas.
Inbound marketers create new content every week (the smart ones create new content every day) that contain all the possible phrases that someone may search for. They incorporate those ideas and phrases in thoughtful articles and product descriptions. For website visitors looking for something to read, the articles and product descriptions enrich their web-shopping experience. For searchers looking for something special, those phrases bring them to relevant products and pages that answer their queries.
Inbound marketing results tend to start slowly and build. In the first few months of creating rich, relevant content, you won’t see a lot of traffic. But over time, that traffic builds exponentially. In a few years’ time, your rich content will serve as a constant source of new potential customers.
Even if you are doing paid advertising strategies, you would be wise to consider the benefits of building a strong inbound marketing effort. The long-term traffic benefits can ultimately offset some (even much) of the cost of outbound marketing, and deliver a more qualified, engaged customer to your site or your store.