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Do I Need an Inbound Marketing Plan for my Business?

by Guest Author 15 May 2019 11:31

Inbound marketing is revolutionizing the way companies interact with customers. Before, businesses had to rely solely on outbound advertising methods to reach their customers, which meant sending out a barrage of messages about the product that may or may not be welcome. It was the equivalent of the bothersome salesperson knocking at your door trying to sell you something you did not need. Inbound marketing forever changed the relationship between businesses and customers. Why is inbound marketing so effective?

Instead of companies always reaching out to the customers, customers come to you — when you have the right strategy in place. Here's how it works:

Your business provides valuable content for consumers about topics related to your industry. These topics can range from any of the following:

  • Blog posts on any aspect of your product or service
  • General education articles relating to your industry
  • In-depth white papers on a product
  • Webinars about how to do something related to your industry/product

These are only a few ideas of the type of content you can offer on your website. The consumer who is researching for information about a problem that relates to your industry will gain value from your website. As you provide helpful information, you gain the trust of consumers. When it comes time to purchase the product, you have developed a relationship with them and the sale comes more readily. Inbound marketing then is a method that draws the customer "in." Forbes puts it like this, "As brands began to see the value in creating content that brought their customers to them, inbound marketing grew."

The Value of Outsourcing Inbound Marketing

Even though, in theory, the process sounds simple, it does require a strategy to make it work. If you just begin posting any type of content with no thought for the buyer's journey, buyer personas, web design, and search engine optimization (SEO), then it is just throwing your work to the wind. Outsourcing this crucial part of your business is a good investment and is sure to bring great dividends. By outsourcing your inbound marketing you will only pay for the work that is done instead of paying a regular employee full-time, and you hire a professional who is an expert in this area.

How to Select Your Outsourcing Agency

Choosing your outsourcing agency is just as important as getting one. You want to ensure that the place you partner with is a full-service agency that is equipped to do it all. Some responsibilities of an effective agency include:

  • Developing a strategic marketing plan
  • Analysis of the competition to better position you
  • Execution of marketing strategy
  • Measure the results and adjust accordingly

Developing an inbound marketing strategy is one way to ensure your business stays up to date.

Four Strategic Business Analysis Tips for Small Business Owners

by Guest Author 8 May 2019 07:59

If you're looking for some effective Business Analysis strategy for next year, you need look no further. We have got some great ideas on this subject for 2018 and beyond.

To take your business to the next level, try the following analysis:

DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS STRENGTHS

The first step with any business analysis is to determine what your current strengths are. With any strength, you don't want to hide it under that proverbial bushel. Rather, you want to maximize it so you get the most optimal effect from it. As the saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it. This adage definitely applies to maximizing your business's strengths. Business strengths can come in many forms. For instance, you and your business may excel at providing outstanding customer service or perhaps you have access to the best technology in the industry. Whatever your business strengths are, highlight and maximize them!

DON'T UNDERESTIMATE YOUR WEAKNESSES

Here the idea is to not overlook or underestimate where your business weaknesses lie but rather to identify those areas of your business that demand remedying. Business weaknesses can range anywhere from your location, outdated equipment or technology, staffing problems etc. Your business weaknesses can get in the way of your growth if you do not address them. The good news is that these business weaknesses are within your control and can be changed.

EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES THAT EXIST WITHIN THE MARKETPLACE

If your business truly plans to grow, it is highly important to keep your eyes and ears open for different market opportunities. Market opportunities can come in many forms. For example, there may be the opportunity of a favorable economy, reduced interest rates, or changing rules and regulations affecting your business. All of these things can be opportunities that you and your business can capitalize on.

BE AWARE OF ANY THREATS TO YOUR BUSINESS GROWTH

Lastly, it's critically important to be aware of any potential threats in the marketplace to your company's growth and development. For instance, are there any market trends or consumer behavior that you need to be mindful of that may derail or slow down your growth goals. Are there any new competitors in the market? Are consumer needs and expectations changing? All of these things you and your business need to be aware of in the coming years.

If you want to know more about business analysis, we here at Valley Yellow Pages can help.

5 Entrepreneurial Skills You Should Adopt Immediately!

by Guest Author 24 April 2019 06:52

To get inside the mind of a successful entrepreneur, you need to exhibit the behaviors of one. That only comes from learning and implementing the proper skills involved. What works for one person may not work for everybody, but continual trial and error will uncover a variation that works for you.

Here are 5 skills that help entrepreneurs get clients, gain respect, and earn a good reputation.

Staying flexible

Have you ever heard of the stubborn entrepreneur creating a profitable business? Sticking to your guns is not going to give you the best "shot" at success. Be open-minded to new ideas while staying true to your core values. The proper balance breeds a quality business that encourages exciting opportunities.

Appreciating others

You may not see appreciation as a skill, but it's one many employers lack. Always show appreciation for the accomplishments of everyone in your company, no matter how small. It takes a good leader to recognize greatness in every individual's contribution. Sending out thank-you cards, hosting an annual dinner party, or simply giving someone a handshake and saying thank you builds strong partnerships that will last a lifetime.

Having a growth mindset

Stagnation is the death of any company. If you're willing to try new things, also be willing to find the good when those things don't work as intended.

A growth mindset, as coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, is one that believes constant effort improves performance. This way of thinking puts the control in your hands and gives you the mental stamina necessary to keep pushing through the tough times. Don't think your situation can't change; you can shift the direction of your company when you can learn to substitute the words "I failed" with "l learned."

Communicating well

Poor communication snuffs out a potentially great business venture. Without the ability to effectively convey your ideas, your company's goals can't be met and you won't see the results you wanted. Always properly think through what you're about to say before you say it, even if that means writing it down beforehand.

If you notice you still struggle, watch videos, read books, or try taking a course in communication. Continued education is not something to fluff off. It can help you in all kinds of relationships, both professional and personal.

Being Honest

There's nothing more attractive to an employee or customer than an honest company. Establishing trust comes from putting yourself, your goals, and your flaws forward even at the risk of criticism. At the end of the day, if you're not honest about what you represent, how will you know how to properly conduct business?

While you can't learn honesty, you can try to understand yourself better. Take some time to personally develop your goals and your needs as you continue your journey. The next time you find a gray area, inject it with a little authenticity.

Change is a part of every business's DNA. The skills listed above are changes you can make now to improve the effectiveness of your leadership style. It may take a while to put them all into effect, but over time, your business will benefit (and so will you!)

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