It’s a media and marketing rich world out there. Your prospects are squeezed for time and know how to use the Internet to get the information they need without having to engage with your sales team.  This means that your job as a business owner doesn’t start with finding leads; it starts with helping leads find you. That’s where inbound marketing comes in.

There are many definitions for inbound marketing. Here’s mine:

Inbound marketing is the process of helping prospects find your company – often before they’re even looking – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference, leads and revenue.

Inbound marketing relies on relevant content to inform your potential customers across multiple online channels, so that you can begin to engage them. This is when their protective, anti-marketing shields are down. At this time you aren’t interrupting them, you’re entertaining them.

Content: An Inbound Marketing Pillar

To succeed at inbound marketing you need to create good content. That means knowing what’s relevant to your future customers and giving it to them in a way that’s easy to digest. The content must be easy to share and not too salesy. It can take many forms, including webinars, whitepapers, ebooks, videos, articles and more, and it can be posted on your site, shared via blogs, social media — wherever your target market might find you.

If you don’t have the time to create such content, you can turn to outside content providers (such as myself), who can put together a plan that’s taylor made for your business. Such plans will take a look at your business, what makes it different, and decide not only what channels you should be creating content for, but also often, and their subject matter.

Improve Inbound Marketing with SEO and Social

At its core inbound marketing is about making it easier for people to find you. Two ways of doing that are with search engine optimization and regular social media posting.

Search engine optimization can be a long process, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a basic keyword strategy in place, and optimizing the pages and images on your site to fit that strategy, can go a long way toward improving your Google search rankings.

Likewise, understanding what you want to get out of social media can help you focus your efforts on platforms that are right for you, and improve your inbound marketing returns in the process.

The higher your site ranks in organic search results, the more likely someone will be to find that rich content and share it via social media outlets. This is why it’s so important to have a steady stream of relevant content.

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