I don't mind saying that some days inbound marketing just feels like too much hard work. "But Dave", I hear you say, "you run an inbound marketing agency, how can you say that?". Well, I'm not saying I find inbound hard work, I love it because I love helping people, I'm saying I sometimes find it hard trying to convince others about its merits. I'll explain.
The Inbound Philosophy In A Nutshell
Inbound marketing is a process whereby you establish who your customers are and the problems they are trying to solve. From there you create content to attract them to your website and once you've done that you encourage engagement. Here's a simple example.
Let's say you sell quality second-hand cars. You start by creating buyer personas or profiles of your ideal customers. Let's say one persona looks something like this. Note it would be more detailed than below but you'll get the idea.
Name: John Smith
Age: 35 - 55
Job: Mechanical/Project Engineer
Income: £40k - £50k
Hobbies: Cycling, football
Current issue: Wants to upgrade from a Ford Mondeo to a top marque car (Merc/BMW/Jaguar) but can't decide on new or second hand, petrol or diesel, manual or automatic, cash/HP/PCP and several other things.
So, as the owner of the garage, you have some choices to make. Do you:
- Hire a bunch of people to cold call in the hope of finding John(s). In other words, go fishing.
- Run TV and magazine ads in the hope of finding John(s).
- Create content John(s) will find when using Google or social media platforms.
In ours and many other people's view, cold calling is dead. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't but if it's not dead its days are numbered. TV and magazine ads can still be effective if done right, but given how people consume TV these days, on demand, pausing live TV etc it's a bit hit and miss but potentially powerful if you nail it.
So what about inbound?
1 in 50 People Need Some Help in the Showroom
Remember what I said in a recent blog post about only 1 in 50 people visiting a garage needing help? Think about that, only 1 person in 50 visiting the salesman who sold me a car needed help choosing theirs. The rest knew what they wanted and simply needed Matt to find it for them. I was one of the 49.
This paints a very clear picture in my view. It illustrates perfectly that anyone taking the time to educate people about what car to buy, how to buy it, what fuel to go for and so on stands a better than average chance of getting engagement from potential customers. This is because if your website has helpful content, people will discover it while they are doing their research and this simple fact increases your chances of being in their minds when they reach for their wallet.
As the saying goes, it's not rocket science.
So Why Is Selling Inbound Marketing Hard Work?
In my view, many people think there's a silver bullet that people like us know about that catapults websites up the Google™ search rankings. They think that because we know how SEO works, we can make their zero effort web pages work for them. It's simply not the case and even though there are firms who will take your cash, promising great rankings and all that comes from that, they're lying to you, stop falling for it.
Over To You
As I've said many times, if you get