This topic could ignite some debate, since it depends who you ask (a marketer, a content producer or digital strategist) you might get a slightly different answer as to which is more important: an Inbound Marketing Strategy or Content Marketing. Truthfully, they should work hand in hand, but there is an emphasis on both in their own respect. Here is a quick breakdown of both, and when and where you need them.
Inbound Marketing (bringing prospect buyers IN) is the practice of pulling people into your site for a strategic purpose, typically e-commerce. It consists of a systematic approach that includes:
- Paid Ad Words
- Email Nurturing Programs
- Landing Pages (with optimized call-to-actions)
- Focused Search Engine Optimized Content (SEO)
- Social Media (paid and organic)
- Data collection and analytics
When all elements are firing and systems are connected the Inbound methodology is a powerful digital marketing framework. Typically mid to large scale businesses have a digital team to manage their online strategy, and is heavily pay-to-play.
Think of Content Marketing as creating opportunities for people to learn about you, build trust without directly selling to them, and for you to become an authority in your own rights on your product or business. You can do this through:
- Relevant and valuable content (blogs, photos, videos)
- Social Media
- SEO Rich Website
- Grow your email lists by offering valuable content
Smaller businesses may not have the resources to manage the day-to-day to keep the engine going, nor the budgets the bigger players do. But the good news is they can start with a grass-roots approach.
Where to start
If you’re a small business owner and don’t know where to start, you can break it into a manageable phased approach through one or all of the following:
- Create a basic website. Or, if you have an older website, redesign to be mobile friendly.
- Start blogging. You can easily add a blog to your website, and commit to writing at least 1-2 posts each month. Post it on your social media accounts and give audiences a reason to come back to your website.
- Choose one or two social platforms best suited for your product and manage them well, rather than spreading yourself too thin.
Still don’t have the time? Outsource to a local writer or freelancer, or put it out there on your social media network to gain recommendations.