Aside from their outdated nature, ever notice the intrusiveness of billboards, commercials, mailings, and cold callings upon your personal life? The telemarketer who calls during a dinner hour, those obsessive mailings to transfer cable services, and the relentlessly redundant television and radio ads that always seem to break cherished moments of relaxation?

Well…find solace in the fact you’re not alone. These old dog outbound techniques are quickly losing popularity amongst the consumer population due to this very reason. Let’s just come out and say it…they’re sowing the seeds of their own destruction.

Enter the new arena of inbound marketing, where marketing techniques base themselves around drawing an audience into a brand. It’s a less aggressive and less forward way of marketing, and for small businesses without an extensive marketing budget, it’s a key method for getting the most bang for your buck.

This blog post is part of Your Definitive Guide to Lead Generation blog series.

Here are 5 essential inbound strategies your business should utilize:

 

Offer a Complimentary E-Book or Guide...

...that is directly related to your business. Keeping in mind this shouldn’t just be nonsensical text overly-saturated with SEO. Offer REAL information, guidelines and assistance to anyone interested in the topic at hand. It'll legitimize your business while coaxing your leads though the next phase of the buyer’s journey.

 

Identify with Your Brand and Build a Personality

Today it’s nearly impossible to separate yourself from your business. So why not run with it? This is especially true for small businesses and startups. Consumers like a personal touch on an otherwise impersonal product or service. Own an outdoor athletic company, write a daily lifestyle blog. Opening a brewery? Why not offer reviews of various beer styles in order to present yourself as an authority on the subject?

 

Engage, Engage, Engage with Your Audience

Create a viral interactive experience with your social media audience. Consumers like a business with personality. So get social! Ask questions, answer inquiries and fire back with posts and personalized campaigns that get your audience sharing and fired-up. Embrace the hashtag, share content with others in the social media ecosystem, and keep up to date with current trends. Use these methods to editorialize with authority and you’ll stand out amongst the fray.

But be sure you are connecting with the right audience where they hang out. To do this you must know who your buyer personas are. 

 

Download your free guide to creating buyer personas for your business

 

Multimedia is Your Friend

What better way to draw your audience even further into your brand than through multimedia? Try publishing a webinar (educational in nature) on a certain product or service in which your business specializes. Or a webisode series based around a campaign launch of a product or service. Again, have a style and tone to your brand. Consumers tend to base their interests around whether or not they identify with a brand, so find your niche and promote it!

 

Blogging

More than ever, thanks to Google search algorithm tactics, the importance of blogging cannot get stressed enough. In short, the more your business blogs, the greater the likelihood you’ll be found. Embed specific keywords in your industry into posts and offer quick, informative tidbits in bite-sized chucks. Coming off as a relevant source only helps expand your company’s message.

The relative nature of inbound allows for multiple solutions for any industry. These baseline techniques however can get your business the initial exposure needed to determine further strategy.

How do you see yourself using Inbound Marketing for your business? Let us know by commenting below. And for more facts about inbound marketing in general, check out this article.

And if you want to get started with inbound marketing, we have your free Introduction to Lead Generation guide, which comes with a bonus campaign checklist to help you launch your first inbound marketing campaign.

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