What does your marketing budget look like? Is it lean, and accounted for down to the penny? Are you working on a shoestring budget? Or do you have money to burn? No matter what your marketing budget looks like, it’s important to use your dollars wisely. You want to spend them on activities that more than earn their keep. But don’t forget there are plenty of things you can do that don’t have to cost you money. What they will cost you is time and effort, but they can be well worth it, if you do it right.
Inbound marketing is not about spending advertising dollars, creating the next eyeball popping direct mail piece or whipping out a news release. Inbound marketing is all about having your audience come to you. They find you and hopefully fall in love with your information and business personality.
There’s nothing wrong with spending some money when it comes to your company’s marketing efforts. However, isn’t it nice when you get those leads all on your own merit? That’s how inbound marketing works. You get attention not by paying for it, but by earning it.
It’s not easy. Your audience won’t just drop in your lap. (Though of course that’s what we all wish for anyway). This is something you have to work for. You can’t just “hang out” online and think that your target market will head your way. This takes effort. This takes time and important groundwork to make sure you attract people…but not just any people, the “right” people – your target audience.
It’s going to take a combination of things to get it all in gear. You need to integrate search engine optimization (SEO) and social media to get the most out of your inbound marketing efforts. Start by providing relevant content to your audience. And use the keywords and phrases that your audience uses to search for this content in your uploaded materials. This will help you get those results in the Google, Bing and Yahoo searches. And, as you encourage sharing of your terrific content; you will be gaining more inbound links to your site. Another feather in your SEO cap.
Don’t forget the importance of not just placing content on your site, but also of working the social media profiles you’ve built. Social media helps get your content in front of different audiences. Post your latest video on YouTube and Facebook. Tweet about that latest marketing tip. Join that discussion on LinkedIn. All of these things will encourage interaction and get you started on that very important connection with your target audience.
Again, all of this doesn’t cost you a dime. There are no “pay per blog post” or “pay for inbound links” costs to drain your budget. This is all about working your website and social media profiles to generate interest and spark dialogue. And that will lead to the development of relationships with your future customers.