All the talk about inbound marketing is exciting.
The purpose of inbound marketing is that you get customers to come to you in a way that isn’t interruptive.
This means that you are there when your customers are searching for information or you’re there when someone your customer knows shares information with them (referral).
If you’re looking to implement inbound strategies for your business then we’ve got 9 ways you can get your customers to come to you without you having to interrupt them.
1. Contribute To Outside Articles
The biggest thing with a brand new inbound marketing effort is the fact that you have no audience and you need to build your audience.
The only way to build your audience is to get access to those that have an audience.
One way to do that is to contribute to other articles. Provide your insight and help someone else create an amazing piece of content. You could be listed as a co-author or you could simply add your quotes in the article.
2. Participate In Panels
Panels of experts do things like videos and speak at conferences. They provide answers to common questions.
The conference of the panel host has the audience of your target customers. You provide knowledge, tips and other insight and get access to the audience. It’s a chance to introduce your brand to people that are looking for information.
3. Do Interviews
Blog owners and website owners are starved for good content. Interviewing is one of the classic forms of content creation. Newspapers and magazines have been doing it for decades and most interviews are very interesting for readers.
Instead of listening to a writer talk about how things are the readers get insight from an expert (you).
4. Invest In Social Media Equity
Lots of people out there are talking about social media.
The truth is we’re all trying to figure it out.
Lately I’ve been thinking about social media and I still think it has something important to offer people. The biggest thing seems to be how people interact with the information they know about each other.
It’s about seeing that your friends purchased a song or that your friends are watching a video or purchased a shirt. It’s about seeing what experts or celebrities purchased something.
What does this mean right now?
It means that it’s likely going to be worthwhile to invest in building social media followings. Don’t pay for followers. Don’t run contests and give things away to build your following.
Create something your customers want or need. Give them a reason to follow you on social media.
This will build your social media equity (followers and reputation), which will help you in the future when social becomes a huge part of the online buying experience.
5. Create A Video Series
Video is really blowing up online. People are watching video on their computers, tablets and smartphones. The trend has video consumption increasing at a high rate in the coming years.
People are looking for information of all kinds and their preferred channel for that information is video.
A video series is a way to provide your target customers with the information they are looking for. It would be ideal to host it on your own property (website) so you own the content.
But to grow that you’ll need to invest in other audiences like YouTube where people can discover and share your video series.
6. Build A Standalone Email Newsletter
Many of these items involve providing content or information for your customers.
In order to embrace inbound marketing you have to accept that information is now part of the product or service you offer. The product and service is no longer enough to win over customers even if you think it’s the best out there.
Your customers want more information. They want to know why you do what you do before they purchase and they want information to rationalize their purchase from you after they make the purchase.
In the case of a newsletter, it’s still a viable channel to reach people.
Nearly 100% of people that use the web have an email address and check their inbox regularly.
Getting access to a person’s inbox is huge. Creating a unique newsletter will give people a reason to share the content with others encouraging them to subscribe (getting them to come to you).
7. Participate In Or Build A Community Forum
Forums are another dinosaur in the online world, but they are as popular as ever.
Forums started in the early days of the Internet because people could connect and share information. It’s a simple concept, but it still works incredibly well today.
You can participate in someone else’s forum because they’ll have a waiting audience. In the meantime you can build your own forum, but that will take some time and effort.
You’ll probably have to create 50 accounts and talk to yourself for a few months until you build up content for people to find via search.
8. Create A Photo Series
Photos might not be as popular as videos, but they’re still very popular.
You have text, video and photos or images. Creating a photo series is another way to give people the content they crave. As you build your profile you’ll get people sharing your photos with others.
That’s how you get people to come to you.
We’re always partial to blogging. We feel it’s the best way to get your customers to come to you. They are online (right now) searching for information on search engines and on social media.
If you want to be there as the answer to the questions your customers are asking you have to create content. Blogging is a great way to publish regular content that answers customer questions and gets them to come to your website without you having to interrupt them.
Image: Brian Jeffery Beggerly