I've been working at Bright Inbound for a little under six months now, so I guess you could call me the ‘new kid on the block’ - where 'the block' = inbound marketing. In August this year I dove head first into my inbound marketing accreditation and became fascinated with the whole process of inbound. With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you all my experiences and first impressions of the world of inbound marketing.
Over the next few weeks I intend to share with you all the most interesting facets of inbound marketing from the perspective of a self-described internet junkie.
The whole concept of inbound marketing is so successful because of its direct measurability. Inbound, as opposed to outbound marketing techniques, offers immediate feedback and results on the content you share with your customers and your wider audience. And, while social media is only a small piece of the inbound puzzle, I really think it’s one of the most fascinating pieces. It's definitely something we, as marketers and business owners need to be taking full advantage of. It’s the new final frontier. Even newer than space.
As the social media addict that I am, I had never considered the extent to which businesses can (and do) utilize social media until completing my inbound certification. From the initial stages of the inbound marketing methodology, social media is a crucial tool for marketers, helping to convert visitors to leads, to close sales and furthermore to delight customers post-sale.
Luke Farr reports here that digital marketing (of which social media is a huge part) is growing at a rate far greater than any other marketing platform, and is even set to overtake TV marketing spending by 2019.
Some of the most interesting factoids surrounding social media and its uses for business are its post-sale ‘social monitoring’ capabilities. Beyond being able to track trends associated with your brand and industry, it is a simple and cost-effective way to stay connected with your customers and segment your audience.
According to The Social Times, the average internet user spends almost two hours on social sites every single day, with Facebook far outweighing any other platform. This figure is truly staggering. Marketers now have a far greater potential to reach the right people, and they’re just a click away. You’d be mad to miss the opportunity that social media presents for your business.
I spoke to a friend of mine, a marketing and social media coordinator in the beauty industry, about the extent to which social media has taken over her role and the marketing industry as a whole:
“Social media is definitely a big piece of the marketing puzzle now, it lets us engage with our buyer personas on a personal, one-to-one level, while also helping us locate personas we didn’t even know existed,” she said.
“Another benefit of social media is that it provides immediate results. While more traditional marketing channels may take a while to see real results, it’s relatively easy for someone in my line of work to understand and gather analytics and results and compare them to that of our competition.”
Simply put, social media is a pretty big deal. And not just because it’s the perfect place to share photos of your dog with the world (as I do). While social media is an important piece of the inbound philosophy, one thing to remember is that the social media practice that works for one company will not necessarily deliver the same results for another. B2C businesses might find success through less formal channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, while many B2B buisinesses will benefit from utilising professional networks like LinkedIn.