Inbound Marketing, if executed properly, will drive traffic to your website. According to Wikipedia:
“Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers. This sense is related to relationship marketing and Set Godin’s idea of permission marketing. David Meerman Scott recommends that marketers “earn their way in” (via publishing helpful information on a blog etc.) in contrast to outbound marketing where they used to have to “buy, beg, or bug their way in” (via paid advertisements, issuing press releases in the hope they get picked up by the trade press, or paying commissioned sales people, respectively).”
And how do you “earn your way in”? By providing relevant, interesting, maybe even humorous information to your target audience. Not just at your website, but also at your social media sites. Don’t push market – “buy, beg or bug your way in”, instead pull your target audience in to your website by offering valuable incentives.
Just what is a valuable incentive?
For example: A free eBook, a series of written emails, or a series of videos on a subject that would be interesting and informative to your target audience.
Say you are a Realtor specializing in First Time Home Buyers, you could offer an eBook on the steps you need to take to get ready to buy that first home; Clean up your credit, Get Pre-approved, Contact a Realtor, Decide on your must-haves, Make sure you have enough cash on-hand, etc.
Install this free product at your website, your facebook business page, and link to it when you post at all of your social networks.
Another example: Offer free virtual events – free webinar, teleseminar, host a radio show, or streaming video.
In my case, I am a Marketing Specialist, so I could host a couple of free training webinars a month, helping people learn how to reach out to their target market online.
Again, install links to your website wherever you post an announcement of your event; Facebook, LinkedIn, Meet-up, Craigslist, etc. You can also send out direct mail and email announcements.
Final example: Live events – Seminars, Guest Presentations, Chamber Events, Meet-ups, etc.
Go out and meet the people ‘belly to belly’. Host a group meeting once a month, offer to be a guest presenter, host a live seminar, etc.
Hand out business cards, fliers and brochures, just make sure that all of your handouts have your website address on them. And, if you market the event through direct mail or email, don’t forget to include your website address and/or a hot link back to your website.
The first example – free products at your website (or facebook business page), take a bit of time to set up, but after that require very little maintenance.
The second example – virtual events, also take a bit of time to set up, but can be recorded and shared over and over again at your website and in social networking posts pointing back to your website.
The third example – live events, require a significant amount of time to plan and set up (unless you are an attendee or presenter for someone else’s event), and this type of event can also be video recorded and shared, over and over again with links pointing back to your website.