It's now old news that social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is the buzz in marketing and new business development. As a result, BSCs, like many other businesses, are trying figure out how to use it for tangible results.
However, because social media is still relatively new there's a lot of confusion and anxiety around it. That newness leads to wasted time and money trying to learn social media that's still defining itself, or missing opportunities by taking no actions at all. Understanding social media's place in the big picture is a good place to start to make sense of it all.
Here we go.
Social media is one of three categories that make up inbound marketing. The others are content (blogs, ebooks, white-papers, etc.) and search (keywords searched in Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). Inbound marketing is a group of techniques and programs that engage buyers before they buy, developing a relationship about value before trying to sell. This puts sellers (BSCs) in positions of influence when the buyer is ready to buy. Inbound marketing is 62% more cost-effective per lead than traditional methods and better at targeting buyers (HubSpot’s “The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing“). However there's a catch to inbound marketing, buyers must first give permission for ongoing, online interaction with sellers, which is also called opting-in.
In contrast to inbound marketing is traditional outbound marketing. Outbound you know as advertising, promotions, and PR and its typically inefficient (low success rates of 1-3%) and more costly per lead than inbound marketing. Buyers don't give permission to being contacted. Sellers spend lots of money on interruption marketing, which is what ads and direct hard selling pitches really are.
For a brief overview of both types of marketing read Revenue-IQ's Outbound & Inbound Marketing
If inbound marketing is so great, why would anyone continue with ads, promotions and other outbound marketing?
Well, social media and inbound marketing can't do it all. They need help launching their programs. They need help getting buyers to notice them that very first time so they can sign up. Otherwise sellers' online presence goes unnoticed and ignored. There's a secret to launching inbound marketing and it doesn't seem to get mentioned online.
There's a Secret Trigger to Inbound Marketing and unless it's used, social media and online marketing efforts flounder.
That secret is using outbound marketing techniques (ads, promotions, collateral materials, direct mail, etc.) to enlist buyers to opt-in. It's necessary to use traditional outbound marketing to launch the power of inbound marketing, such as social media. Ads and promotions help sellers raise their hands online and get noticed by buyers. Once buyers see the value a seller can bring, they'll happily give their permission to engage with that the seller. And online that permission and engaging conversation is done through social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook - as well as through email subscriptions and RSS feeds to sellers' blogs. For more information read Revenue-IQ's The Secret
Trigger to Inbound Marketing.
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