Juggling a StartUp is not easy.
Your startup isn't going to market itself, and it's certainly not going to define itself. You are on your own, and the million dollar question of the day is, "how will you take it to market?" Actually, there are many million dollar questions. Another good one is," how do you know your product or service offering is where it should be when you take it to market?"
An inbound startup marketing strategy can actually help you figure out answers to both of these important questions, and I'm going to tell you why with these 8 compelling reasons:
Why Inbound #1 - Understanding Your Market
There is nothing more valuable than market intel received first-hand, but for a startup you don't have the luxury making a lot of mistakes, which means you rely more on research and what other people tell you.
But what if I told you that inbound is reactive and interactive, which means you'll be able to refine your mission and vision as you go? It's true. By connecting through blogging and social media, you can see front and center whether you're reaching your audiences AND capturing their attention. With SEO you can see how those contribute to developing organic traffic.
In addition, once they arrive to your website, if they are bouncing right away, something needs to be changed. You can use PPC advertising to gage your efforts, but using them alone won't tell you the whole story. See, with inbound you install automatic lead conversion paths, and if they don't work, then you know that something is either wrong with your deliverable or your ability to communicate it.
Why Inbound #2 - Testing Before Investing
So you're rolling out something completely groundbreaking and new, and although you have faith in your vision and abilities, you don't know with 100% certainty that it's going to work. By "it," we of course mean your product/service viability AND your ability to sell it.
By using inbound marketing methodologies such as blogging and deploying a keyword (SEO) strategy, you'll be able to test new ideas and pain points before pouring your most valuable resource (sweat equity) into its full development. (Want to explore our professional SEO services? Click HERE)
Why Inbound #3 - Building Your Network
Network is everything. Collaboration is everything. Even if you're bootstrapping it as a sole practitioner you can find like-minded partners who will help you navigate through this important part of your journey by connecting with them through social media - not to slam cold-call messages into their inboxes, but to ACTUALLY network. In addition, as your company grows, you're going to want to hire and attract people you can trust and who understand you and your mission.
With inbound you deploy serious social media managment programs, so you can rub shoulders with folks you respect and one day may partner with. When you have a real marketing engine behind you, people take you a lot more seriously. Seriously.
Why Inbound #4 - Pivot
You have to pivot and rebuild often as you take off. Having live feedback and seeing how your content marketing takes hold or misses the mark helps you understand when it's time to do so and how to do it.
What is content marketing? Simple, with inbound you create and make available content that your targets should consider to be valuable. For example, we have an ebook that breaks down inbound marketing holistically and logically, relating it directly to startup companies. We have others as well, catering to education, staffing, CPA firms, and public companies. In addition, we have ebooks that get granular with different elements of the inbound mantra, like social media, blogging, and SEO...
Over time we noticed certain trends, which took the guess-work out of deciding where to divert resources so we could build our pipeline and fill it with low-hanging fruit as well as long-term possibilities. Let's just put it this way, Orange Pegs Media today is a distant cousin from when we started because of this valuable intel, and we're better for it.
Why Inbound #5 - Earning While Learning
A business is not a business unless you're making money, and inbound marketing wants you to find viable paying customers. As you grow your business and evolve it into the company of your dreams, you need to fuel it with cash.
Inbound will put you in front of opportunities that will become more refined, consistent, and valuable as you go. It's your job to close the deals, but the right inbound strategy will deliver opportunities to your doorstep even during those 4 hours of sleep you may or may not get every night.
Why Inbound #6 - It Mixes Well with Outbound/Cold Calling
I know I talk a lot about how to stop cold calling using inbound, but it isn't an overnight sensation. You have to build trust with your audience AND the search engines, so it takes time. Cold calling, on the other hand, has immediate gratifcation if you dump enough resources into it.
Think of it this way - cold calling is like eating junk food. It makes you feel good... at first. But as soon as you stop eating it, you feel terrible. And if it's all you ever eat, you're going to feel terrible all the time except those fleeting moments it hits your lips. Inbound is like eating a healthy, balanced diet. At first it's hard because you don't get that immediate gratification like you do with the donuts, which you CRAVE. However, if you stay committed, your body and mind will thank you, and it gets easier over time.
Splurging on a piece of pie or scoop of ice cream when your diet is 90% healthy gives you balance between feeling good all the time and having that immediate gratification. It's how we mix inbound with outbound and stay happy.
Why Inbound #7 - It Works for you 24/7/365
YOU work in your sleep, and so should your marketing. With pure broadcast advertising and outbound-only focus, when you take your foot off the gas, even for a second, the whole thing stops. When you stop cold-calling to take a few days off to spend with your family, your company takes time off too. When your PPC ad stops running, your web traffic dies... instantly.
However, with Inbound, your blogs are out there popping up in search query results, your forms are capturing new leads, and people are interacting with you on social media even when you check out or your salesperson quits.
Where else, besides within yourself, are you going to find that kind of dedication?
Why Inbound #8 - It Won't Kill Your Budget
A full page ad in the New York Times will cost you between $50,000 and $100,000 or more for ONE run on ONE day. Then you have to pay the creative agency that put it together. Sure, the New York Times has a huge audience, and it's likely to generate some nice traffic, but what happens the next day, and is it going to pay for itself? It's quite an expensive gamble for a start-up.
With inbound, there is an initial investment for the digital media management tools, and then a retainer for the talent to run it. But the marketing is with you forever. Your blogs are yours, the content is yours, and prospects will find them for years to come. This is marketing that works for you 24/7/365, remember, and it's so laser focused that the traffic you generate is meaningful. You don't know who is going to see your ad in the Times, and you have no way to accurately measure it's efficacy, nor converting those eyes into leads.You cross your fingers and hope there isn't a headliner that steals your thunder and that the right people are paying attention that particular day.
Like I said, building a business is hard:
There are twists and turns and decisions to be made every day. Inbound marketing can help you find your voice, establish your brand presence, and generate viable leads, providing feedback and transparency, so you know your money is going to work for you.