Inbound marketing is a strategy in which interested customers will find your website online by their own accord. In traditional (outbound) marketing, strategies such as cold calling, spam emails, and pop-up ads are common. These strategies are increasingly growing out of date; cold calling is blocked by caller ID, spam emails are stopped by spam filters, and pop-ups are blocked by adblock. The way marketers have grown to adapt to these new technologies is to create content for their customers to discover. This is done through search engine optimization, blogging, social media outreach, and pay per click advertising.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a common term you will hear around any digital marketing firm. In short, it is the process of increasing the visibility of a website on a search engine’s results. Appearing higher up on a google search result can make or break a website’s traffic. With any given search result, 60% of the organic clicks go to the first three links. Getting to the top of search results is kind of a big deal. There are a lot of ways to optimize your website for a search engine, the most prevalent is to make sure your potential customers are searching for your website using the same language you are. For example, you are running a cracked smartphone screen repair website and someone wants to fix their cracked iPhone screen. If your service is called “cracked smartphone screen repair” and your potential customer is searching “fix cracked iphone screen”, they may never find your website.
Social Media Outreach
A great number of large companies are realizing that social media and relevant articles can be a great tool to interact with customers. Almost any given organization has a Facebook and Twitter that is constantly posting relevant articles, commercials, and giveaways. A common phrase you might hear is: “content is king”. It means that putting out consistent content and interacting with customers in a friendly way will greatly increase the traffic to your website.
Coming in as an intern, I thought blogging was a fad that ended years ago. As it turns out, I was completely wrong. Personal blogging is extremely popular today, primarily in professional manner. Personal fashion blogs like “StyleGirlfriend” and “Cupcakes and Cashmere” are quickly turning into businesses. Blogs that analyze sports and fantasy sports leagues have also grown significantly. It all comes down to producing unique and consistent content, which in turn will yield much higher results. If you search vague keywords like “coffee”, you will get results strictly from the largest websites. However, if you create unique blog posts like “The Top 5 Indie Coffee Shops in San Francisco”, you are more likely to be found in a search.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click advertising (PPC) is a method of paying for advertisements to appear when someone searches for your exact, chosen keywords. In essence, this strategy is like buying site traffic. The keywords you can buy are sold like an auction, where you bid what you want to pay for one ad click. PPC can be effective when one bids on low-competition keywords. If we go back to our coffee shop example, a lot of larger companies will show up if you just search “coffee”, but very few people will have bid on “Indie Coffee Shops in San Francisco”.
These concepts barely scratch the surface in the world of digital marketing. There are countless new softwares, concepts, and strategies that are being implemented everyday and yet these basic concepts always stay relevant as a fantastic foundation to build on. No one will expect you to come into your first internship with endless knowledge, so my advice is to bring a positive attitude and an eagerness to build on the basics. Learn about our other positions and let us know if you’re interested!