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Part I: Tone and Direction Matter with Inbound Marketing Services

Why does your company need inbound marketing services? Your business is unique. You have something exceptional to share. You know it, your current clients know it, but how do you convey that to your prospects and target market?

More often than not, when a company considers marketing options, they start planning to “reach out” to their prospects. Advertising is usually the first plan of action. Put an ad in “XYZ” publication or start a Google campaign. Perhaps the next consideration is to attend networking events to meet with potential clients.

While advertising and events are valid forms of communication, they aren’t examples of inbound marketing services.  Why is it important that your marketing services be inbound?

Inbound marketing services are defined as marketing efforts that drive traffic and attention to your company with your target audience.

Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s all about tone and direction.

Well, consider the networking events and advertising you were considering a few paragraphs back. While online ads (and even offline ones) can drive traffic to a website, ad content is notoriously directed to the reasons your company is better than the others, in other words, ads talk about your business.

When you or your staff attend events, chances are the conversations you have will rotate around who you are, what you do, and why the person you’re speaking with needs your expertise.

See the similarity?

As a general rule, both ads and events lend to the companies speaking about themselves.  The tone of the communication is “ME” centric. Think about the last old-school sales guy who crossed your path. He comes on too strong is overly verbose and tends to not let you get a word in edgewise- even to tell him you MIGHT actually be interested in his product. Unless your prospects like the sensation of being steamrolled, it’s time to change the tone and direction of your marketing message.

Inbound marketing is all about THEM – and THEIR needs. The entire content strategy behind inbound marketing services is educational, informative, and customer-centric: what they want from you, how you can help them, etc.

By directing your message towards the needs of your target market, you turn the focus from how great your company is to WHY they need to turn to you in their time of need instead of the other guy. You’re no longer talking about “ME”, but about “YOU”.

The ultimate goal of inbound marketing services is to initiate and establish relationships and trust by demonstrating empathy, stewardship, and assistance. To put it simply, inbound marketing represents your expertise and willingness to educate your target audience to their benefit. Over time that trust factor with your company could turn that prospect into a lead, but that takes lead nurturing, which we’ll talk about in the next blog.

Remember, the objective of a marketing plan is to drive leads. You don’t have a website for the sake of it, nor do you invest in marketing efforts to tell the world how great you are. You are investing in leadership potential, and that requires inbound marketing, which comes in many forms and offers a multitude of lead options. (Also in the next blog.) And from nurtured leads come sales.

Want to learn how to drive your inbound marketing services more effectively? Check back next week…

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