If you're anything like my 90-year-old grandmother, you've been muting the TV when commercials come on for years. You may also be using these 5 minute breaks during the Walking Dead or [insert sporting event here] to use the restroom or pour yourself another drink. You may even be grabbing your smart phone or tablet and browsing Twitter and Facebook to see what people are saying about the very thing you're watching. What I'm getting at is that very few people are paying attention to commercials these days, so why are traditional marketing agencies still getting hired? They obviously haven't heard about the benefits of an inbound marketing agency.
What's Inbound Again?
Again, if my 90-year-old grandmother would rather sit in silence than even hear a commercial, what makes these companies think millenials aren't doing the same thing in ignoring them? They may not be hitting the mute button, but they are definitely grabbing for their phones. Facebook has over 1 billion users, Twitter has over 300 million, and mobile browsing accounted for 51% of internet usage in 2015, with the number of mobile users eclipsing desktop in 2015. So yeah, people are using their smartphones and social media, which is exactly why two of inbound's key areas are social media and mobile optimization.
For a refreseher on inbound marketing, allow me to copy and paste directly from the Verge Pipe Media resources page. Inbound marketing is about creating and sharing meaningful content with the world. It’s about creating content specifically designed to appeal to your targeted audience which attracts qualified prospects to your business and, ideally, keeps them coming back for more. When people need something, they go searching for it, and if your content is valuable, they will come to you as long as they can easily find you. With Inbound Marketing, you set up a path for your customers to easily find you. In fact, it should be hard for them not to find you. In short, Inbound Marketing is sharing valuable content with the world and letting customers find you.
What that entails is pushing out informative content consistently, distributing it on your blog and social media channels, and making sure it is all optimized so that when someone Googles your brand or your industry, searches for you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or what have you, they see all of this great content and respect your brand as a knowledgable resource in the field. Doesn't this already sound better than a billboard and a TV commercial? Why would you try to convince someone to buy something they don't want or need in the first place? Inbound makes both the marketer's and the consumers' lives easier by building a path for the consumer to follow on their own terms.
Why an agency?
An agency can get you started in the right direction on the path to inbound. It all sounds easy enough, but there's a lot more that goes into an inbound marketing strategy than you might think. Allow an agency to get you started. After all, they have three things that you most likely won't have from the start:
- An Inbound Toolbox
- Data, not guess-timates
Experience is straightforward. An inbound marketing agency like Verge Pipe Media has been doing it for years. You can't teach experience, so let an agency that has it lend you theirs to get started on this journey.
An Inbound toolbox consists of marketing/sales/CRM software, social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.), SEO tools (WordPress and Google Webmaster Tools if your marketing software doesn't include this), employees, cameras/film editing software/film crew, canva/Adobe, and more. While you can get most of these things on your own, software, employees and a film crew and cameras are not cheap. With visuals such an important part of the inbound equation today, its essential to your strategy, which is why an agency is a safe bet.
Lastly is data, not guess-timates. Allow me to put it like this... You have two options for your marketing agency. Agency A can tell you that they put a billboard up on the busiest road in town, have a radio spot on the most popular classic rock station and a 30 second ad on the local 6 o'clock news. Agency A can't tell you how many people actually saw these ads and were compelled to follow up with your company.
Agency B can tell you that exactly 2.4 thousand people saw your Facebook post last Tuesday, 250 people clicked on it, 30 people told their friends about it by sharing it, and 65 people liked or commented on it. Then, Agency B can tell you how many people were led to your website from this post, how long the average time spent on the page was, and what other pages they viewed or content they downloaded during this time. Agency B can do this for any time period and any posts on any platforms that your brand has an account on. They can then use this data to better plan out their posting strategy for the future to attract more interactions from your target audeince.
You tell me, of the two, which one would you rather have helping you out? If you like the sound of Agency B, then you selected Verge Pipe Media! Learn more about what we do and how the inbound methodology can help your brand today.