Inbound marketing is a powerful means to amplify your marketing efforts – even if your budget is tight. In fact, any investment in inbound marketing pays off, with companies enjoying considerably higher ROI from their inbound marketing spend than they do from outbound tactics.
Unfortunately, many businesses are put off adopting the practice due to the misconception that for inbound to work, you need to commit to a costly inbound marketing platform. While inbound and marketing automation platforms are extremely useful, they’re not essential.
The good news? There are a number of tactics you can start to use right now (that don’t cost an arm and a leg).
Here’s how you can begin to harness the power of an inbound marketing campaign today with a small marketing budget:
Embrace content marketing
The premise of the inbound methodology is to pull consumers towards you via relevant, valuable information. To begin attracting the right target market, you need to provide them with content that will educate and solve their most pressing challenges. This practice is known as content marketing, and can be implemented via several tactics: blogging, social media campaigns and email marketing. You might very well be doing all of these already – but if they’re not working together towards the same end goal, you might well be wasting your time.
Small businesses are particularly suited to content marketing. If you’re interacting with every part of the business and every part of the buyer journey, you know almost everything there is to know about your customers needs. You’re ideally positioned to create expert-level content your customers are desperate to read. Add a touch of strategic promotion and you can establish your brand as an industry thought leader.
(Not sure if you’re attracting the right leads? Click here to download our complete guide to lead qualification)
Kick off your inbound marketing campaign with a blog
While you may already have a blog languishing somewhere on your site, chances are it’s infrequently updated and, when it is, the content focuses solely on your product. It’s time to switch gears. Your target consumer doesn’t want to hear a stock standard marketing spiel – they want to read information that’s interesting to them, that answers questions they have about their challenges (as it relates to your product), and ultimately, is helpful to them. That said, a blog alone won’t attract traffic or pique interest among your target consumers – you need to promote your posts via social media.
Get strategic about your social media campaigns
Every business has some kind of social media presence. Unfortunately, many of these accounts—whether they’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and the like—don’t fulfill any sort of marketing goal. Sure, being present on social media is important, but that’s merely the first step. Your social strategy has to align with your overall inbound marketing campaign: to draw people to your brand via relevant, informative content. Interaction with your audience is just as crucial, so reply to every single comment or mention – even if (especially if) they’re negative. Social media has galvanized the power of word of mouth, and few things are more damaging to a brand than ignoring your audience. Lastly, make sure every.single.post has a call to action. This could direct them to a blog, to download an asset or to provide you with feedback – each of which are important steps in your inbound marketing campaign.
Optimise your website for SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is simple in theory: include a couple of industry or product-related search terms and sit back and watch as traffic spikes. The reality is not quite as straightforward – but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to do, or unsuitable for those working with small marketing budgets. Begin by doing thorough keyword research. Often, the words or phrases you think will have high search volumes don’t, or the keywords you want to rank for have extremely high competition. So, when it comes to identifying the keywords that will be of most use to your inbound marketing campaign and product, research is crucial. Once you’ve pinpointed these terms, ensure your homepage, blog content and relevant landing pages are optimised accordingly.
Tailor your email marketing according to your inbound goals
Email marketing can be a powerful tool, and won’t eat into your already small marketing budget. Your target market doesn’t want to be bombarded with emails that aren’t relevant to them, especially if all you talk about is yourself. Email marketing in the context of inbound is essentially another iteration of content marketing. Sort your leads and existing customers into workflows, and then create personalised emails accordingly.
When used in conjunction with each other, the above tactics form a solid foundation for your inbound marketing campaign, especially if you’re limited to a small marketing budget.
To learn more about how small businesses are using inbound marketing download our slidedeck, ‘7 Powerful Inbound Marketing Charts’.