If you want to build a business, you need paying customers.
So how do you bring customers to your brand?
But here’s the problem: not everyone has the big budget to spend on advertisements.
On the other hand, you must be starting out, and you may not have a product or service yet. But you would like to build and grow your audience with low cost methods.
My friend, I give you blogging: the best audience builder of the 21st century.
And I don’t just mean text based blogging, now days blogging can also mean:
- Vlogging or video creation
- Podcasting or audio content
- Live videos and broadcasts
No matter how you call it, blogging is a fine way to grow a faithful audience around you or your brand.
I read other people’s blogs.
Reading other people’s blogs have helped me be what I am today. Their experiences, advice and tips helped me build a successful online business.
Blogging is a form of inbound marketing, which can actually out perform traditional advertisement methods.
Inbound Marketing, What?
When you create useful content and put it out online, people consume it. If they find it useful, they will come back for more and soon they will turn into loyal followers or subscribers.
Usually brands need to pay for ads to reach their audience. Facebook ads, YouTube video ads, pop-up ads, banner ads, adsense ads are examples of traditional internet marketing.
But as an internet user I find these ads annoying!!
I am watching my favorite videos and suddenly a 30 sec ad pops up into YouTube I can’t even skip.
I am scrolling through my Facebook feed and suddenly some ad pops up into my face.
That’s what I HATE!
Okay I know, ads can be a very good way to reach out to more people but the truth is, more and more people are starting to ignore ads just like me.
Now days an ad has to appear 7 times in-front of me just to make me notice it.
Inbound marketing brings the idea to create content which people truly love and enjoy.
Creating helpful and informative blog articles, videos, ebooks, podcasts actually help people get to know about you and your brand.
When you help a person solve a problem for free, they will be more than willing to share the solution with a friend.
The more you help your audience, the more you will become an expert in their eyes. And sooner or later they are going to buy what solution you have to offer to them for their problems.
This is how the inbound marketing methodology works:
I find useful content via Google search, Facebook feed and on various blogs and forums as a recommended resource. Just like me, millions of people are looking for solutions online.
Here you have the chance to use your free blog articles, videos, ebooks and free content to attract the right kind of audience into your website
Then once they start to consume your content, you can convert them into leads. You can convert them using email newsletters, Facebook fans, YouTube subscribers, podcast subscribers etc.
After you got your leads, it’s time for you to provide better content and support to your audience. Here you can offer them special offers to your products and services. At this point it will be easier to sell them.
At the end of the inbound marketing funnel, you are left with people who have purchased from you. Now your job is to delight them with more information and helpful tips through emails, blog posts and video content. If you do this step well, they will become your raving fans and promoters.
Compare inbound marketing with traditional marketing methods and you will notice that it’s a better form of promotion both for you and for your audience. You are providing valuable and helpful content which will stick to your platform.
If you spend money for a banner ad, you will of course reach a large number of people, but your money and creativity spent on that ad won’t be there after the campaign is over. By creating content, you are planting a seed on your platform. Over the next few years this content will attract and close tons of new people into your brand.
In many cases you can actually save a lot of money if you know how to create your own content for your website. That’s what I am doing for many years in my own websites.
So here are some key takeaways:
- Writing a blog, creating content is a form of marketing which can bring huge returns in the long run
- Blogging is a form of marketing which does not annoys your prospects if done right
- Top marketers and blogging gurus are giving away free content on purpose to build a large and loyal following, so they can sell to you later
- Inbound marketing can be cost effective when you are trying to promote your business
So there you have it!
Building content is no longer limited to text articles only, now you can create videos, audio podcasts, books, ebooks and even live videos. I wrote a piece about this some time ago in my old blog: 16 types of blog content other than text posts -which you should definitely read!
Your Action Plan:
- Pick a topic around your expertise or your brand which has lots of problems you can solve
- Decide a platform (blog, videos or podcast) and start creating content on a regular basis
- Build a subscription method like a mailing list or facebook group and convert your visitors
- Start creating a product or service aimed at your audience and sell it
- Delight your audience with more helpful content
- Repeat the process
If you want to learn more about the inbound marketing methodology, head over to Hubspot Academy and take a free inbound marketing course. If you pass the test, you will receive a shiny certificate like this:
Now let me hear back from you,
Are you planning to start your own blog or content platform?
What’s it going to be? Please leave your website links in the comment and I will check them out and reply you with my short review.
The best insightful comment will receive a .COM domain name to use for your website from me as a prize! (comment by the end of this month to be eligible)
So go ahead, write a cool comment in this post and don’t forget to share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google plus.