Still doing marketing the old “outbound” way — direct mail, trade shows, ads in the Yellow Pages and in the ever-shrinking local newspaper? Is it working for you? Is it cost effective? According to research, the answer is…NO!
Social media “inbound” marketing is another story. The fact is that social media not only dramatically increases response rates, conversions, overall communications and long term “goodwill”, but the overall cost of inbound marketing is nearly 1/3 that of outbound methods. In short, it’s much more cost effective and yields greater long term results.
While social media marketing can take on many forms, small business owners that give it a try report stellar results:
• Nearly 60% of business blogs report a direct conversion and new customers exclusively from the blog and of those business owners that blog daily, over 90% report new clients solely from the blog. In fact, business blogs are listed as a critical area of importance by over 80% of business owners!
• Over 60% of business owners have acquired a new customer from the use of B2B site LinkedIn, and well over 70% (approaching 80%) have acquired new customers via Facebook.
• Over 60% report social media is now a major source of new business and/or client leads while over 50% report direct mail has decreased in both value and leads.
The best inbound marketing consists of having all your online channels clearly branded, search engine optimized, and in sync with each other: your blog, your social networks, your mobile website, and your pages on the local search sites. (And actively managed to keep them fresh.) It takes some time and effort to get it all working and running smoothly, but the writing is on the wall.
This guide can help you get started: “Using Social Media to Build Local Business”