What is marketing in general?
In case you were looking for a definition of what marketing is, you can read 72 descriptions here. This will actually help you when marketing your business.
I get it, you want the quick and straightforward answer, but I’m giving you 3 different definitions.
Because I believe you shouldn’t rely on one opinion when marketing your business, but see the different angles too.
From the easiest to the more complex one, here are my top 3 favorite definitions of marketing:
Definition 1: Marketing your business is meeting the needs of your customer at a profit. – Philip Kotler, known as the “Father of modern marketing.”
Definition 2: Marketing is creating compelling experiences that connect with people. It creates a desire to share with others. – Saul Colt, Head of Magic – Fresh books.
Definition 3: Marketing is an ongoing communication exchange with customers. The process educates, informs, and builds a relationship over time with the customers. The overtime part is vital because trust creates over time. When you have trust, a community forms around products and services. The customers become advocates, loyal evangelists, repeat customers, and often, friends. – Renee Blodgett – CEO/Founder, Magic Sauce Media.
The difference between inbound and outbound marketing
Inbound marketing is about attracting customers by providing relevant and valuable content. The content falls under 3 major categories: written, audio, and video.
Potential customers move closer to buying your offer because you provide valuable content.
Outbound marketing is reaching out to potential clients and engaging them without waiting.
Notice the difference, in inbound marketing, you have trust and authority. In outbound marketing, you don’t.
Examples of inbound strategies:
- Search engine optimization
- Search engine marketing
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- E-mail marketing (done right)
Examples of outbound strategies:
- TV or radio advertisements
- Newspaper advertising
- Press releases
- Direct mail
In this guide, we are covering 5 examples of inbound marketing. We don’t recommend outbound marketing because you don’t have leverage if you do it.
The 4 P’s of marketing
Before going into the channels that businesses use, I want to take the time to speak about the 4 Ps of marketing.
People forget about marketing principles, and they focus too much on the channels.
If you don’t want to lose money on your marketing campaigns, don’t neglect this section of the article.
The “P’s of marketing” are 4 elements, and if you don’t have a component in place, the product will fail.
It doesn’t matter if the product or service is promising, as long as you don’t have the 4 P’s in place, it will fail.
Here are the elements:
Product: It’s crucial to understand all the problems the product is attempting to solve.
Price: If a product’s price is higher or lower than its perceived value, then it will not sell. This is why it is imperative to understand how a customer sees what you are selling.
Promotion: The channel you are using must be suitable for the product, the price, and the end-user.
Place: This is how the product will be provided to the customer. Distribution is a critical element of placement.
If you would like to do a bit more research about the 4 P’s of marketing, you can do so here.
Why online marketing is more effective than offline marketing
A lot of businesses still use traditional marketing without levering the internet.
There is a crucial difference between traditional and online marketing.
It’s called tracking.
In traditional marketing, you can’t track the results.
In online marketing, you can track everything.
From a marketing point of view, what do you like best?
- Spend $1,000 and don’t know how much you make.
- Spend $1,000 and see precisely where the money went and the results generated.
I’ll go with option B any day.
If a business has only 1 traditional marketing channel active, tracking is simple.
The problem is when you add another channel.
When you have more than 1 channel in traditional marketing, you lost your ability to track.
In online marketing, no matter what strategy you are using, it can always be tracked.
Let’s assume you have a marketing agency and you have 2 different strategies in place for new clients.
A: Cold emailing
B: Paid advertising
When it comes to cold emailing, you can use email software that allows you to track open rates, replies, etc. When it comes to advertising, you have all the data ready for analysis inside the dashboard.
That’s why online marketing is better than traditional marketing.
Top 5 inbound methods for marketing your business
The order of the list is not essential.
Each channel has it’s pro’s and con’s and serve the goals of the business in different ways.
We cannot recommend the “best” channel for everyone without knowing crucial information:
- When you need the clients (time frame)
- How much are you going to invest
- Your expectations
- Your willingness to put in the hours and work
- Your subjectivity – you might favor a channel over another one
- Your industry
- Your products/services
The channel or channels used in your marketing must match your business.
Here are the channels:
1.Search engine optimization:
When business owners think about online marketing, they usually think about SEO first.
SEO is the process of ranking the web pages from your website in Google. When people search for specific keywords, your business is present in the results.
The end result of SEO is organic traffic to your website, which you can convert into leads and sales.
There are over 200 algorithms from Google that get to decide which website they should rank.
If you would like to see the entire list, here you go.
Don’t let that list overwhelm you.
If you don’t have one channel for marketing already, we don’t recommend doing SEO.
Because SEO takes time, and you are looking at spending $1,000+ per month for the next 6 months until you see ROI.
Friendly advice: Do not waste time on learning SEO, it will take you ages. Spend your time learning or doing something else.
If you still want SEO to increase your organic traffic, hire a professional who knows how to do it.
2.Search engine marketing (PPC):
In simple words, search engine marketing is when you run ads with Google or other search engines.
This is one of our favourite ways for marketing your business.
Ads will appear on the top of the search for people who entered specific keywords.
The most common approach is to run an ad and direct people to a squeeze page. The only goal of that page is to capture e-mails in exchange for something valuable.
It’s also common to see landing pages that show a massive discount on their products or services.
The type of ad will depend on your product, target customer and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
SEM is a proven way to drive traffic and sales before you’ve built a loyal audience.
It’s also a great marketing strategy for MVPs (minimal viable products) to test your offer or product.
If you would like to learn more about SEM, here’s a beginner’s guide.
3.Social media marketing:
Social media marketing is the process of gaining traffic through social media sites.
Every social media site is different and requires its own strategy.
Knowing your target customer will help you understand where you should engage.
The best thing about social media is that it provides a lot of data.
You can use the data to understand customer’s behavior, their choices, and beliefs.
- SMM allows you to build an audience faster than you otherwise would through SEO.
- SMM also gives your future SEO campaign a boost because of the traffic.
Google will see that your website is getting traffic from trusted sources. In return, Google increases the trust with your website, giving you more traffic.
If you want to take advantage of social media marketing, then start here.
It takes a while for social media, SEO, and content marketing to start delivering results.
So while you’re waiting, you can pay to get your content seen by your target customers.
The blog post you’re reading right now is an example of content marketing.
We developed this piece of content to provide you with valuable information for free.
When you give a lot of value without asking for anything in return, people take notice of that.
They start to trust your brand more and are more likely to buy your services or products.
That’s all content marketing is.
Content marketing is the heart and soul of inbound marketing.
It’s a long-term strategy focused on the relationship with the potential customer.
How is this achieved? By providing relevant, educational, and entertaining informational content consistently.
To do content marketing the right way, you need to understand your target customers. Know what they are searching for, such as the keywords typed into search engines.
If you want to give content marketing a try, here is a simple guide on starting with the strategy.
Email marketing is one of the best ways for marketing your business.
- For every $1 spent on email marketing, $44 is made in return (ROI) according to this study.
- 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel for revenue generation.
It works so great because it allows you to create an intimate form of communication.
- It allows you to nurture a close relationship with potential clients.
- It allows you to show off your personality.
- It allows you to understand your customers better
- It will enable you to present a compelling offer for them.
The best part is that you own the email list. If you do Facebook advertising, your account could be banned at any time. With email marketing, you control the asset.
If you want to learn more about email marketing, you can check this article.
How to put everything together
If you think about the bigger picture, it’s hard to do everything.
The worst part is that you can’t do it all yourself.
Truth to be told, you shouldn’t.
You should be focusing on marketing your business and closing sales, not drumming up new leads.
- Hire someone in-house, but can you afford to pay a salary plus benefits? Even if you could, one person is not suited for all this.
- Hire a bunch of freelancers. You need to keep track of them, manage them. Staying on top of multiple contracts from Paypal to Upwork…
It becomes messy, fast.
So why not hire one company to do it all for you?
That’s where Lead Engine comes in. That’s why Lead Engine was born.
- We handle your inbound marketing campaign and your outbound sales calls.
- We track the progress of both campaigns to close deals and increase your revenue.
If you want to learn more, you can watch this training video.