If you’re reading this article, you may have found out about a concept called inbound marketing because your current promotions didn’t work as expected.
Wordstream.com, an Adwords advertising firm, defines inbound marketing as “any kind of marketing that reaches customers when they go looking for something to buy.” On the other hand, outbound marketing is like going around the neighborhood placing fliers on everyone’s doorstep, whether or not they want something. The result?
It goes in the fireplace or the recycling bin. Online it’s about the same: people don’t want to read the email and simply delete it.
Inbound marketing is any kind of material that isn’t overtly promotional: it can be an educational ebook, a series of Youtube videos or even a set of simple quote graphics shared on Pinterest – without an overt sales pitch.
Most importantly, the content isn’t delivered traditionally – there is no paid advertising, no email marketing, and certainly no product pitch.
In quite a few cases, however, the brand or domain name is credited at the bottom of the piece.
Applying the concept of inbound marketing
How do we go about creating worthwhile inbound marketing material without spending money? Let’s consider this fictional illustrative example:
A plumber with blog decided to create a simple fix-it guide for homeowners. It visually explains 3 or 4 scenarios that occur with common faucet leaks.
He created the faucet graphics with pen and sticky notes.
Then he snapped photos with his smart phone, added a bit of color to the diagram in a simple photo editor.
Lastly, he placed his company logo and phone number at the bottom, with a catchy call to action – “Call for advice – I’m an experienced plumber”.
His graphic took him 2-3 hours to prepare without a graphic designer, market researcher, writer or marketing specialist.
How did he do it?
First he did online research in forums. He took notes from his own customers who had faucet leaks.
33 Valuable Lessons for Affiliate Marketers:
He then applied his personal experience and knowledge to write a brief how to article.
This article was then used to fill out a simple graphic using Microsoft Excel’s diagram function.
For him, being rather clumsy with computers, it was faster and easier to use Excel or Powerpoint than to learn Photoshop.
After placing the logo, call to action and a phone number – he uploaded the graphic and pasted the article to his blog.
The graphic went at the top of the article and is a link back to his services section of the website.
Sharing is up to you
The graphic was shared on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr – but it didn’t have to be.
It gained a few likes at first but was unsuccessful, overall.
After many months, the graphic got tons more pins and was saved to many people’s computers via Google images search results.
As a result, he got a few leads. This was from just a single graphic.
Make useful content at low cost
He continues his efforts with similar graphics every time he gets an idea or a customer makes a suggestion or asks a question from him regarding his craft.
He didn’t have a thousand dollars to spend on outbound marketing, so he took personal experience and a bit of research, with extremely simple software, created a valuable piece of educational content.
And it was worth more than the 3 or so hours he spent on making it – the graphic helped introduced many people to his website and expertise.
Before Finding out the right material to create
What would benefit your prospective customer?
First, we need to know a bit about them. You may wish to hire a market researcher to learn about your prospects. Or you may wish to examine the comments on a competitor’s site.
The concerns those commentators have will likely be the concerns you should address in your material.
To begin, you must know at least a few things about your prospects: age, gender, occupation, interests, needs, how much they really need to know, and as much as you possibly can know.
Then begin to tailor the piece to their benefit.
Basic tools for simple inbound marketing materials
- Microsoft Powerpoint – Basic Videos
- Microsoft Excel – Diagram Creation
- Canva – Neat Simple Infographic Creation
1. Identify need of your visitors.
2. Identify all content already on Google images.
3. Research, take notes and compile sources list.
4. Write or order article 1200 words around research.
5. Create graphic – simple, logo at bottom and top.
6. Insert Call to action, phone and url with logo.
7. Tweet, Facebook post, pin, Tumblr and other social services.