Inbound marketing is the ideal marketing strategy for startups. It’s a malleable approach that can be tailored to your audience and your goals, one which maximizes the reach of technology while getting the most out of your marketing dollar.
How does it do this? Inbound marketing works in a digital world because it’s not just about getting exposure or building trust with potential customers or establishing identity. It’s about ALL of those things and more. In particular, here’s what inbound marketing does:
What is your brand’s identity? By identity, we mean both visual iconography and general message/value proposition. If you haven’t figured that out yet, then you should back up a step and take care of it. Once you do, the question then focuses on establishing that identity. In other words, does the public associate your logo, value, message, and name all together?
Inbound marketing can help make that happen. Because inbound marketing utilizes content creation, every part of an inbound strategy provides brand reinforcement. Each view and share is another opportunity to cement your brand and message to someone, so the stronger your inbound marketing strategy, the more you’ll establish your identity.
From there, you’ll truly begin to steer the public’s perception of your brand.
Propagates Your Marketing Further
Inbound marketing starts with content creation. The more content you create, be it a video, article, or infographic, the larger the inbound footprint is. But the great thing about inbound marketing is that each generated piece can be used for something else in your marketing strategy.
For example, let’s say you start with a video. That video by itself will get indexed by search engines. The next step is to promote that video on your social media channels. After that, you can write a blog post responding to some of the questions/feedback on the video. That post can also be shared on yours and others’ social media channels, and can be followed up with an infographic featuring highlights from that video. The information and research for one piece of marketing content has now created more pieces, all of which can be circulated to create a large link footprint.
“Buzz” in the business world is both a defined and esoteric concept. Buzz refers to the amount of cumulative chatter and reputation floating around your identity and your business. But does buzz come from social media? Search engine footprint? General awareness? The size of a marketing blitz? In reality, it’s all of those combined. Good buzz takes your identity and message and brings it into the collective consciousness of the public. By achieving this, people start to know about your brand even if they don’t know the details.
Inbound marketing helps to build buzz by allowing you to control the message. Through inbound marketing, you’ll shape the direction by creating content and distributing it through social media and your search engine footprint. By pushing these messages forward, you’ll soon be able to sync up your message and your perceived identity, and that will build the buzz you want.
What Do You Need Inbound Marketing To Be?
Those are the primary benefits of inbound marketing, but what else can it do? Ramping up a major product launch? That can be the focus of your content. Need to build bridges with customers? Engage via social media. Looking to recruit new talent? Inbound marketing can establish who you are and also put the call for talent out there.
In fact, the best part about inbound marketing is that it can be a strategy that adapts to your needs over time. You just need to put in the time and effort to steer the ship.
Marc Apple is a Strategist at Forward Push and VP of Marketing Strategy for the San Francisco American Marketing Association.