This post originally appeared on exploreB2B.
Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about companies catching on to new marketing methods. Businesses want to know: How do we connect with our audience? What is the best way to enhance engagement, build loyalty, and increase retention? Which tools are the best to use to achieve all of these goals and more?
Geoffrey James (Inc. contributor) claims that the rules that dictated marketing a decade ago are now stale and dry. Cold calling, mass messaging, and generic advertisements no longer appeal to modern consumers who crave personal connection and a face behind the brand. In a nutshell, one-way communication is no longer going to cut it in the interactive digital world in which we now live.
Inbound vs. Outbound
The new and old marketing strategies are distinguished by “inbound” and “outbound” marketing. Inbound marketing involves attracting customers to you with all the colors of a blooming peacock –rather than bombarding them with junk mail. Advances in technology (spam filters alone) make the rude interruption that is outbound marketing obsolete and ineffective in terms of cost and conversion rates. If you want to turn leads into loyal customers, focus inbound marketing efforts on the following three areas:
- Blogging: Create and share useful, relevant, and interactive content that aligns with your customers’ needs and interests.
- SEO: Optimize your pages with relevant keywords to make your content readily but organically available for buyers when they search.
- Social media: Engage with customers and encourage feedback using these real-time customer service tools.
In all, don’t market at a person, but incite a conversation. Draw customers to you with creative and quality content. Supplement with stories, jokes, and interactive media. Ask and respond to questions, and address your customers’ needs to keep them coming back for more.
- Photo Pin: Components of Inbound Marketing, Gavin Llewellyn