In our effort to keep you informed we have had our writer demystify the newest buzz word on the web "inbound marketing". In this insightful article you will find out what it is, how to do it, and why it is so important to your business growth in today's world.
President, Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics
Harness the Power of Inbound Marketing to Attract Customers to Your Website
by Jan Stewart, exclusively for Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics
There's a new kid on the marketing team and he's not only changing the rules, he's playing a whole new ball game. Inbound marketing is leveling the playing field, allowing small-scale entrepreneurs and start-ups to go toe-to-toe with the big leagues and score. Fast, fun and cheap, inbound marketing is an entrepreneur's marketing dream. Learn to harness the power of inbound marketing and you can quickly move your company from farm team to major league.
Still a rookie in the marketing world, inbound marketing currently accounts for just 10% of most marketing budgets with outbound marketing chewing up the 80% lion's share of available advertising dollars. Over the next year or two, however, marketing gurus expect that ratio to be turned upside down. The exponential expansion of Facebook (500 million active users and counting) as a primary communication venue and the growing proliferation of mobile communication via smartphones (90% of Americans have cell phone contracts and 60% use smartphones) is driving the shift from traditional outbound to internet-focused inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, white papers, eBooks, forums, webinars, RSS feeds - is internet based and search engine driven. Unlike outbound marketing - newspaper and magazine advertisements, television and radio ads, cold calls, direct mail campaigns, email spam, trade shows - that reaches out to consumers, casting a wide net in the hopes of snaring a few paying customers; inbound marketing uses search engine optimization techniques (SEO) to target and pre-qualify consumers who are actually interested in purchasing your product and pulls these potential customers in, directing them to your website.
A successful inbound marketing program is three pronged:
- Informative and useful content is created
and published on your website in the
form of website content, blogs, white
papers, video clips, forums, webinars,
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is
utilized to increase the ranking of your
content with popular search engines,
making it easier for consumers to find.
- Social media is used to spread your content to potential customers.
Not only has inbound marketing proven to be more effective in connecting to interested customers and producing useful targeted leads, it's cost-effective. There is no charge to launch a Facebook page or use Twitter.
According to a Hubspot survey of 231 marketing professionals, the cost of an outbound lead is $332, whereas the cost of an inbound lead is only $134, a 60% reduction. Inbound marketing also has a longer shelf life that outbound marketing efforts.
Media ads are only effective during the week or month of publication or airing, pay-per-click ads are effective only as long as you continue to pour money into them; but blogs, white papers and videos live on the Internet forever and can be recycled via social media again and again, maximizing your marketing investment.
An added bonus is that inbound marketing removes the interruption onus that burdens outbound marketing. Where outbound marketing interrupts consumers by pushing its message, uninvited, into their lives; inbound marketing attracts interested consumers motivated to embrace its message - and your product.
In effect, inbound marketing shifts control of brand message distribution from your business to consumers. While it can be difficult to relinquish that control, business owners who embrace inbound marketing will find the benefits to be considerable.
Each time your brand is mentioned, recommended, shared or linked to on a social networking site such as Facebook, it carries the personal endorsement of the individual who is passing it along, increasing your marketing impact and, because of the personal connection, making your product even more enticing to the people on that individual's friend list. Inbound marketing expands the reach and impact of every marketing dollar you invest. Don't be left in the dust; join the inbound marketing team today.
About the Writer Jan Stewart
Jan Stewart is a professional writer for Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics, a family owned Los Angeles based fulfillment firm. She writes exclusively for Strategies for Success on topics of business tips, how to promote your business online, and establishing your brand in the marketplace.
A Medallion Client Case Study: A Startup and Test Marketer's Dream
Randy had a new exercise product to sell. He contracted with a large fulfillment center that had high minimums. Just starting out, Randy couldn't justify the fulfillment costs for the new product.
Fulfillment fees weren't just eating into his profit; they were gobbling it whole and starting to nibble on his limited capital! Randy was starting to think he'd have to deep six the whole project and write the new product off as a loss. He had put a lot of time, effort and money into developing his new product. For Randy, it was a labor of love and getting his product to market was the realization of a dream. Mounting fulfillment fees were about to quash that dream.
Then Randy discovered Medallion's Flat Rate Fulfillment Starter Program. With Medallion's 60-day program for startups, you get our full service fulfillment program at a deeply discounted price. It's perfect for startups, test marketing new products, testing new product lines, direct TV advertising or infomercial sales of new items. You can concentrate on sales while we handle account set up, order processing services, credit card processing, customer service, shipping, warehousing and merchandise return processing – all for a low flat rate that makes it easy to determine your return on investment.
It was a perfect fit for Randy. With Medallion's support Randy could afford to nurse his product through the initial introduction and test marketing phases while building product recognition and sales. Because he could afford to nurture his product, Randy's product took off and test period sales exceeded his expectations. Today sales are booming and Randy has moved from startup to full service fulfillment to handle the increased sales volume.
We started Medallion 25 years ago and understand what it means to follow your dream. We initiated our Flat Rate Fulfillment Starter Program to make it financially feasible for individual entrepreneurs like Randy to pursue their dreams. We believe in the entrepreneurial spirit that built America, and Medallion's Starter Program is one way we support the men and women who embody that spirit. At Medallion we're willing to take the risk with you, help you grow your business and realize your dream. Contact us today to find out more details about this innovative new program.