For many startups, marketing is at the bottom of the to-do list. With the myriad of daily tasks on their lists, marketing just isn’t a priority for some startups.
Why isn’t it? Here are just a few of the reasons entrepreneurs give for not being ready to market their company:
- “I don’t need it – my products will sell themselves.”
- “I’ll hire someone to do it later.”
- “I don’t want to annoy people.”
- “I have no idea where to start, so I won’t right now.”
If any of these comments sound like you, we’re here to provide you with a guide to inbound marketing and explain how it can work for you.
What is inbound marketing? Inbound marketing focuses on attracting people to your startup. It helps you because you achieve long-term leverage through inbound marketing.
Wikipedia defines inbound marketing as:
Marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.
What sets inbound marketing apart from traditional marketing? It’s different because it involves you sharing something of value instead of propelling your products to the consumer.
What’s the best way to be successful at inbound marketing? It’s to create content that is helpful, interesting and intriguing.
Here’s a guide to inbound marketing for startups:
Inbound marketing involves creating online content in the form of web pages, blog articles and social media posts that are optimized so you get found by potential customers.
You need to understand your sales funnel and what triggers people to purchase your product. Then, you’ll tailor content and promotions for potential customers.
How it Works
Inbound marketing works like this:
- You attract people to your website through your blog, social media and keywords.
- You convert customers through calls-to-action, landing pages, forms and contacts.
- You close your leads by nurturing them through email and social media.
- You create brand ambassadors through content, social media, email and more calls-to-action.
How You Do It
Inbound marketing involves content creation. Content exists in several formats and includes blog articles, ebooks, webinars, links through social media postings and more.
To do it well and create efficient content, your startup should promote frequent, quality blogging. Here are a few examples of great content ideas:
- How-to articles
- List-based articles
- FAQ articles
- Curated content from outside sources
Optimize Marketing Channels
For effective inbound marketing, you want all of your marketing channels in sync. When promoting content, do it in various ways and on your website, blog and through your social media channels.
For example, if you are launching a new cookbook, you can share chapter excerpts, recipes and cooking tips on your social media channels, blog, website and through email marketing.
For inbound marketing to work, you have to start with your website. It should be attractive, mobile-friendly and easily navigable. You should have well thought out content with calls to action in numerous places.
In addition, you’ll want to set up your website with a blog. The easiest way to do this is with the content management system, WordPress.
Next, you’ll want to establish your startup on social media. Create your identity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn for Business, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram for starters.
When creating your social media business pages, a good rule of thumb is to use the same main cover and profile (logo) images so you create a cohesive, easily recognizable brand on all of them. They should emulate your website’s look as well.
You’ll want to start an email list. Include a sign up on your website and social media channels.
Once these three things are done, you can create a content marketing plan that includes curating and writing content for your blog, social media and email marketing.
Start with these inbound marketing strategies sooner than later. Don’t use any of those excuses we mentioned early in this article.
Inbound marketing needs to move to the top of your to-do list. Your startup will reap the benefits.
Start your online marketing now and as your startup grows, you can gradually increase your budget to accommodate new online strategies and increase your content.
Are you wondering how you’ll stay on top of inbound marketing? Wishing someone would take the reins and lead your social media efforts? Learn more about our services and how we can help you stay on top of your inbound marketing by driving your social media channels for you.