Mel is our Partner Strategy & Delivery Manager and also a CIM Chartered Marketer, a testament to her commitment to excellence in the field. But Mel’s contributions don’t stop at the office door. Beyond her professional endeavours, she leads an active life as a qualified run leader and dedicated volunteer. Her experience in these roles has streamlined her leadership and teamwork skills, making her an invaluable asset when it comes to collaborating on projects and ensuring their success. She also has a deep passion for the construction industry. Her love for this field goes beyond professional curiosity – it’s a genuine fascination. Her sharp insights, strategic thinking, and knowledge have made her a backbone in our team’s ability to drive results for clients in this industry. While orange might be a vibrant and energetic colour for some, for Mel, it’s a colour that isn’t to her taste. But that’s just another piece of her individuality that makes her such a fascinating member of our team. Mel will make sure that we can approach marketing challenges from all angles and deliver outstanding results for our clients.
Posted on 15/05/2023 by Melanie Comerford
Why Your Small Business Needs Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a highly effective marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes, but especially for small businesses with limited resources. When done right, inbound marketing can help you attract more leads, generate more sales, and build a stronger brand. And the best part is, inbound marketing is a cost-effective way to take your business to the next level.
What is inbound marketing for small businesses?
Let’s start by covering what inbound marketing is first of all. Essentially, inbound is a term used to describe any marketing methodology where customers come to you to find helpful content or services. Traditionally marketing was outbound, meaning that a business would target customers first through channels such as email campaigns, cold calling and physical advertising.
Inbound takes a totally different approach and relies on generating useful content or services that act as solutions to a customer’s problem. Solutions come in all shapes and sizes and could be simply providing an integral piece of information during the awareness stage, or providing a product or service during the decision stage.
So what is inbound for small businesses?
Inbound marketing is a widely effective marketing strategy for smaller businesses as it allows them to grow organically with a relatively low spend. SMEs don’t have the same level of resources as established brands and will most likely have a smaller workforce.
Inbound ticks a number of different boxes that are crucial to the successful growth and development of a small business. It generates a higher quality of lead than outbound, is far more cost-effective and helps to build authority and brand awareness.
How inbound marketing can work for your small business
Inbound marketing isn’t intrusive
The truth is that there are millions of companies worldwide, many of which will be offering the services and products that you do. These companies are competing against each other to take up as much of the market as possible. This often leads to fatigue in consumers as they are constantly inundated with advertisements through online, television, radio and print channels.
The beauty of inbound marketing is that your customers seek out your business when they’re ready. Not only does it make it a far more efficient form of marketing but it helps to avoid oversaturating consumers too.
It supports your SEO strategy
Inbound marketing fits alongside your SEO strategy as you can generate helpful pieces of content for your users. Content is the sweet spot where SEO and inbound meet as SEO enables your inbound marketing campaign to flourish. After all, users need to be able to find your content when searching for it. By producing well-written and informative content, you will improve your rankings, increase traffic and maximise lead generation.
Become a thought leader
In today’s competitive business landscape, it is more important than ever for small businesses to establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. By sharing their expertise and insights through all forms of online content, inbound marketing can help small businesses position themselves as experts and build trust with potential customers. This can lead to increased brand awareness, website traffic, and sales.
Inbound is more efficient
Small businesses don’t have the same level of resources as larger, more established brands. This means that you have to be savvy with your marketing strategy and look for ways to maximise your ROI. Inbound is a very efficient form of marketing as the users that are coming to your website are already looking for a solution to their problem. Inbound channels typically generate a higher quality lead because of this.
If you want to learn more about inbound marketing and how you plan, create and execute your own strategy, download our essential guide to inbound marketing today.
The best inbound marketing tactics for your small business
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a highly effective inbound marketing channel and there are estimated to be 4.7 million social users worldwide – and this figure is growing all the time! It allows you to reach more potential customers, increases brand awareness and is a fantastic platform to form long-term relationships with your customers.
Create a social media plan – Our first tip is to generate a social media plan well in advance and avoid posting at the last minute. Creating a comprehensive plan will relieve any stress that comes as a result of thinking about a post at the very last minute. You can then use a scheduling platform to set a time and date on which to post your content. Planning ahead with your socials means that you can dedicate a block of time to writing posts, meaning that you’re not getting pulled away from your business throughout the day.
Build a community – One of the most unique aspects of social media is the two-way communication that it allows for between brand and customer. Small businesses can benefit hugely from building an online community and having back-and-forth dialogue with customers. Interact as much as you can online, answer questions and respond to any comments where necessary. Even a simple ‘thank you’ for leaving a positive review will build a loyal customer base that is more likely to return in future.
Stay up to date with trends – Social media trends develop all the time and it’s up to you to stay switched on to any that are relevant to your business. Trends allow you to ride a wave of popularity as you generate content that resonates with your audience at a given time. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t attempt to jump on every social trend there is – always keep it relevant to your target audience.
Blogs and Articles
Businesses can benefit from incorporating a consistent blogging strategy into their marketing plan. It will give you more authority within your field and, when used alongside SEO tactics, will boost your visibility online and increase your traffic.
Know your niche – Rule number one; know your subject. This sounds obvious but you should have a clear focus on what content you want to write and stick to it, as this will help guide you in creating useful content for your customers. This doesn’t mean you have to keep it the same – thinking outside the box and producing content that fits into a wide range of sub-topics is a great way to keep things fresh. It also avoids covering the same content over again which can harm your SEO.
Carry out comprehensive keyword research – Blogging is nothing without the right keyword research. This all-important step helps you target your content to what your customers are searching for online and enables them to find your content in the SERPs (search engine results page).
Keyword research works differently for smaller businesses and it’s not as simple as getting straight to the no.1 ranked spot on Google. The likelihood is that you won’t be able to compete at this early stage so you need to be more savvy with your strategy. Target longer-tail keywords that are less competitive for the best results early on.
Video marketing continues to dominate the web as is a more natural and engaging way to consume information. When we watch a video, we are able to see and hear the person who is speaking, which helps us to connect with them on a more personal level. Videos are also more likely to be shared on social media, which can help you reach a wider audience. Connecting with an audience and growing brand awareness are two absolutely essential and inexpensive steps for small businesses.
Utilise video to tell your story – Your story is what makes your business unique and sets you apart from competitors. It is also what will connect with your customers on a deeper level. Small businesses should utilise the personal nature of video and use it to form strong, meaningful connections with customers. Be sure to focus on your mission (what is your business’s purpose? What are you trying to achieve?), your values (what are the core values that guide your business?) and your passion (what are you passionate about? What drives you to do what you do?).
Showcase your products – Did you know that 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching some kind of branded video online? Video is a hugely effective way of showcasing your products or services and enables a customer to see your offerings firsthand. As a small business, you should dedicate resources to developing ‘how to videos’ and ‘product explainer videos’. This allows your customers to see how your product or services work, how they benefit them and ultimately whether they should invest.
Email marketing is essential for small businesses as it allows you to manage your customers and keep them coming back. Email marketing has the highest ROI of all forms of marketing, making it a great channel for businesses with limited resources.
Build stronger customer relationships – Email campaigns are the perfect channel for small businesses that want to build stronger relationships with their customers. They allow you to interact with customers and share non-sales-related content. Provide a monthly newsletter that focuses on any useful information that your customers might want to hear about. By offering a story or advice alongside your usual promotional emails, you can help to strengthen your customer relations and build all-important trust.
Create personalised content – Once you have a list of subscribers, you can start sending them targeted emails by utilising a CRM. This means sending emails that are relevant to their interests and needs. You can segment your list by demographics, interests, or purchase history to ensure that you’re sending the right messages to the right people, at the right time.
One of the best ways to get your customers to interact with your emails is to offer them exclusive deals and discounts. This will show them that you value their business and that you’re willing to give them a little something extra. Little extras like this will help to build strong customer relations and return customers.
SEO has the ability to increase your online visibility and grow your business. Whether it’s on or off-page SEO strategies, small businesses can benefit greatly from utilising an SEO strategy.
Don’t forget to make a user-friendly website – A user-friendly website is essential for small businesses in today’s digital age. A well-designed website can help businesses to attract new customers, build relationships with existing customers, and increase sales. A user-friendly website is one that is easy to navigate, has clear and concise information, and is visually appealing. It is also important to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet.
Build links – Link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO so small business owners should dedicate time to building high-quality links – even if it’s just a short amount of time every month. The more sites that link to your website, the better you will perform in the SERPs. Email businesses and offer a link-for-link exchange – but remember; one link from a high-quality source within your niche is worth more than many links from lesser-quality sources.
Supercharge your small business with Loop Digital
Here at Loop Digital, we offer completely bespoke inbound marketing strategies that are adapted depending on the needs and requirements of our clients. Our talented team are experts in inbound and have extensive experience in SEO, content marketing, email marketing and social media.
Contact Loop Digital today to see how we can take your business to the next level.
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