If you’re running a business, every single second needs to be spent wisely and inbound marketing can be an enormous time saver for small business owners. The premise of inbound marketing operates around driving the customers to you rather than spending a lot of wasted effort flailing around in outbound marketing. Here are a few examples of how inbound tactics can free up your attention so you can better devote your time to core business needs.
Outbound vs. Inbound
Developing an outbound ad campaign takes a lot of effort and a lot of capital. You’ll spend gobs of time coming up with something catchy, making sure the copy sounds just so, landing the perfect graphics team, and purchasing the ideal time slot for your target market. Unfortunately, your target market now owns DVRs, so they can skip the commercial, and they listen to their iPods so they won’t have to hear radio ads.
An inbound campaign, on the other hand, is geared toward those customers who are already looking for a business that does exactly what you do and are just trying to make the decision about which one is right for them. Doesn’t this audience seem like an easier sell? With inbound marketing, the goal is to make sure your site is found by those who are looking for it. Once customers find you, the business sells itself. Clearly this is a lot less work than outbound marketing attempts and, as an added bonus, it’s also far more effective.
The amount of time you’ll need to devote to ensure a successful inbound marketing campaign will vary, depending on your goals. Gaining lots of traffic will take a greater investment, as will hiring a more experienced marketing team. However, the ROI for inbound efforts is leaps and bounds higher than it is for outbound marketing. Because inbound marketing is more efficient, every dollar and minute spent will have a much greater impact, plus the strategies take less time and money overall to put into effect.
For example, blogging is often touted as one of the key elements in achieving inbound traffic. Writing a few hundred words for a blog post can take a writer half an hour. For a video blog, this drops down to just minutes. Yet once this investment has been made, it won’t need to be repeated. The blog entry will continue to garner traffic long after its initial posting, right along with every other blog entry. The more pages you gain with relevant content, the more visible your site will become to search engines. That half-hour of writing will pay for itself again and again as your traffic increases.
Dedicating just an hour a day to your inbound marketing campaign can make a world of difference in its success. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, feel free to delegate it to one of your trusty underlings or hire an outside company. Ultimately, this takes much less time than what you’d spend on outbound marketing efforts, and with a far higher ROI. For a minimal amount of effort, your inbound marketing efforts will be able to effectively target your most likely customers: the ones who are already out there looking for a business just like yours.
Written by David Kaufer
David Kaufer is Founding Partner and Chief Dynamic Office in Kaufer DMC. He’s also a huge Oregon Ducks & Microbrew nut, Dad of awesome 8 year-old twin boys, husband, and big Sustainability and Autism advocate.