THE VIRTUALAF™ blog

Leveling the Playing Field

You’re starting out in an industry dominated by companies bigger than yours, with marketing budgets way beyond what you can dream of. You know your brand has something special to offer, but you don’t know how to get word about your product to its potential consumers without breaking the bank.

Inbound marketing, which allows you to compete with major players in your field without spending the kind of money those organizations command, can make it happen.

Effective doesn’t mean expensive

As numerous recent studies have indicated, social media advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach a potential customer base. Users are generally more open to advertisements in a social context, when they’re thinking more about how cute the pictures of their niece’s new baby are than how companies like yours are out to reach their eyeballs.

Not to mention that, with inbound marketing strategies, you’re creating content that gives users value and builds awareness of your brand without being a direct sales pitch—and, as users who enjoy that content share it organically, you get free advertising.

Best of all? Advertising on social media is the cheapest strategy going.

Size doesn’t (always) matter

Inbound marketing also allows you to target highly specific audiences. Instead of taking out a billboard that might be seen by 1,000 people in a day, to only 80 of whom its message is actually relevant, Facebook’s advertising tools will allow you to make sure that the only people who see your ad are the people who might be interested in your product—and you can narrow the field by using a huge range of factors, including not just age and income demographics but also recent life events (i.e. a move, an engagement, a medical issue) and demonstrated interests (such as artisanal jams, medieval music, or deep-sea fishing). So your campaign doesn’t have to be huge—it just has to be specific.

And the principle of specific reach over broad-spectrum advertising applies to your company’s website, too. You don’t have to get a team of developers to build you a lead-generating machine from scratch; you can get professional-level lead ecommerce and lead generation sites by using WordPress and similar platforms. It’s all about knowing what tools to use, what kinds of user behavior to measure, and what to tweak once you’ve got that data.

The magic word: Value

One of the fundamental principles of inbound marketing holds that you’re more likely to get customers (and keep them) if you’re providing them with some kind of valuable content, in addition to the actual product you have on offer. You’re trying to carve out a niche with a unique offering and build a loyal following, not drown out the message your major (i.e. generously-funded) competitors are sending.

Focus on what you have to offer, and how you can communicate that offer most effectively. Big companies dominate, but emerging companies earn loyalty—and loyalty is the very thing inbound marketing is designed to help you cultivate. If you can use its techniques and principles to find people who think like you and offer them content and goods or services of value, you’ll be leveraging exactly the tools you need to compete with the best and biggest organizations in your field.

Not sure what inbound marketing is, or how to put its magic to use? Your virtual marketing department at Social Link can fix that.

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