I love the Olympics. To see world-class athletes giving their all in pursuit of their dreams is both powerful and inspiring. I suddenly become enthralled in sports that I would normally never watch. Sure, I may not know all the rules - but if there’s an Aussie involved, I ride every bump with them.
I was watching a replay of Australian swimmer Kyle Chalmers win his gold medal last week, and it occurred to me that there is an intrinsic link between the Olympics and Inbound Marketing.
It sounds crazy, right?
But when you consider that both are rewards for continuous effort, hard work and dedication, the two share distinct parallels.
I think it’s an important lesson for any small business embarking on the Inbound Marketing journey. Like a swimmer completing lap after lap in the pool, the results won’t always be immediate. But with hard work and genuine commitment, you will eventually see reward for effort.
The Inbound Marketing philosophy is based on creating helpful and valuable content. Common offers include helpful articles, in-depth eBooks, webinars, and vouchers. In encouraging interaction with your content, the Inbound approach turns a stranger into a prospective customer, and builds trust in your brand.
The best offers are ones that connect with the needs and motivations of your prospective customers. It addresses their pain points, their most common questions, their purchasing criteria and solves their problems.
Search is one of the leading ways that people can find information, products and services today. As the morbid meme states, “The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results.”
Luckily, the effort needed to create useful content does not go to waste – search engines, constantly on the lookout for active sites and original content, pick up on the consistent updates and publication of new information, whether it’s a blog, or new landing pages.
Combining the content with a savvy keyword strategy means that over time, an Inbound-focused business will see their organic search rankings for their preferred keyword grow, as search engines catalogue your growing library of content that is relevant to the topic.
Social media is another major resource consulted by people trying to find information, and can have a big influence on the brands they choose. But for many businesses, social media can be a major challenge drain on time and resources.
The content created as part of Inbound Marketing is great for social media, by making your posts useful and insightful for your social media followers. People are more likely to Like, Share, and Follow your business on social media platforms if you publish relevant and timely information that they find helpful.
A core part of Inbound Marketing is getting to know who your customers are. This process of discovery and testing creates refined models of how your potential customers behave, the actions that lead them to you, and to the closing of the deal.
This model is constantly being refined, as new insights from various analytical sources provide a clearer picture of what works, and what doesn’t. Our approach to content and strategy responds to this refinement, resulting in better targeted and more effective approaches.
This insight into customers is invaluable – savvy businesses are able to leverage the same knowledge to refine their sales approaches and business strategies.
Let’s take a moment to think about advertising. In the traditional model, once advertisements are booked and the creative is submitted, your message is static - vulnerable to sudden change and the whims of a distracted audience. And once the advertising stops, well so does your ability to reach your target market.
Yet Inbound Marketing allows your business to produce evergreen content, generating leads and conversions long after your content has been published.
A tweet can be sent in seconds. A Facebook post in a minute. A blog article in less than an hour. Inbound Marketing can be real-time, giving you greater control over your messages and allowing you to respond to emerging issues, crisis, trends and even government announcements.
Pounding the pavement and relentless cold calls are a thing of the past. And that makes sense – today’s connected consumers are much more proactive in searching for what they want.
Inbound Marketing taps into consumer behavior today. By ensuring your website hosts content that people are searching for, and putting enticing offers together, you can make your website do the grunt work for you, 24/7.