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A Short Primer on Inbound Marketing For Small Businesses by Mike Giannulis

Inbound Marketing, Mike Giannulis, Generate Inbound Leads, steps in inbound marketing, Know Your Target Markets

Small companies must find the most effective marketing strategies because they do not have the resources of large-scale enterprises to implement a full-scale marketing campaign that can be expensive. Many entrepreneurs who own small companies don several hats – besides being the founder CEO, they are also the marketing head because most small businesses are either scantily manned or one-person shows.   

Gone are the days when small businesses could survive on word of mouth, which used to be the only effective means of publicity. It does not help the business to grow, and mere survival does not guarantee longevity.  Growth is the only factor that can ensure business longevity. Small business owners must implement a different marketing plan that can provide speedy growth by giving an edge in competition.

Not having a marketing plan can bleed companies to death as it can never achieve the growth necessary to keep the business moving from strength to strength. Marketing helps to create, maintain, and grow a customer base that provides the strength to take on the competition headlong. The marketing efforts keep expanding the customer base that helps to take the business to the next level. According to Michael Giannulis, small businesses must create a cost-effective and robust marketing campaign that includes some of the most effective marketing techniques like inbound marketing, video marketing, email marketing, and social marketing.

To create some marketing strategies with minimal or no spending, keep reading this article.

Inbound Marketing as Viewed by Mike Giannulis

The most effective marketing technique should allow business owners to take their business to the doorsteps of customers instead of waiting for customers to search for the business. The most talked-about marketing technique that can help to achieve the goal is to implement inbound marketing, which consists of creating a framework ideal for bringing customers to your website. Inbound marketing thrives on pulling customers by creating content that generates engagement and offers some value to customers that help them to accomplish their goals.  Attracting customers, engaging them, and finally delighting them are the steps in inbound marketing.

First, to implement inbound marketing, identify the section of the audience to target, followed by mapping out the channels that help to attract customers and then create suitable content and messaging that can engage and delight customers. Using analytics, you can review the performance for continually learning and updating your strategy based on the results you get.

Know Your Target Markets and Personas

Knowing your customer as much as you can help create the most impacting marketing campaign as you know how to craft your messaging and strategy better. At the same time, you must know your target market that you can define by narrowing down your audience to the level that helps to choose the marketing channels and start defining the buyer persona for content creation and messaging.

To build a buyer persona, first, create a typical customer persona that serves as a template.  To build a buyer persona, you must gather lots of data using several techniques like customer interviews, surveys, digital analytics, live chat, and user testing.  Once you create a buyer persona, delve deeper into knowing more about their taste, behavior, likes, and dislikes, and how they interact with brands. Find out the type of content they find useful, the influencers they depend on, what kind of language they prefer, and their places.

The answers will help create the right messaging and choose the right channels for connecting with the target audience. So it is important that you do research correctly. Get the help of a professional if you are uncertain about how to begin.

Ascertain the Channels and Tactics

Having done identifying the target audience and market, it is time to choose the marketing channels from various offerings like SEO, blogging, social media, branding, Facebook ads, referral, and virality. The type of business influences the choice of channel. Some channels are not compatible with some types of business, and some other channels though suitable might require too much effort and risk to gain traction. This could make you choose some other high impacting channel that is friendlier. For example, social media channels would be no good for marketing lawn care services just as it would not help the cause of any business that offers translation services.

To identify your channel try to find out how your customer buys the product. For lawn care products, customers rely more on searching for the businesses for which SEO and search ads are perfect for connecting to them.

Create Content

Any marketing channel needs some messaging strategy, and the effectiveness of the channel depends on how well you execute on messaging. You might choose SEO and blogging for your marketing as it allows you to compete with bigger players with high chances of winning most of the time on parameters like quality and content. The next question that you would face is what you should blog about. The blogging should revolve around the ‘pillar content’ that represents the main topic you want to rank for, and there would be some supporting or ‘cluster content’ that supplement the main topic.

If ‘personalization’ is the topic of your ‘pillar content,’ then you would need several blog posts covering topics about techniques of personalization, examples of personalization, tools that help in personalization, and how to measure ROI from personalization. All such content is ‘cluster content,’ which enriches the pillar content and provides additional information to the audience.

Remember that content creation begins from the product, which provides the cues for the appropriate and relevant content. The process of content creation must start by defining the product page and then come with ideas for high traffic ‘pillar page’. Having ascertained the topic of the pillar page, start breaking down the idea to create several blog posts that stay connected to the main topic, and provide additional information.

Soon you should see traffic flowing, and your focus will then shift to find out ways of leveraging the traffic for generating leads and conversions.


More on this topic:

10 Powerful Tips to Help You Generate More Inbound Leads

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