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Increasingly, small businesses are flocking to inbound marketing. And for good reason: the effectiveness of this philosophy finds proof in return on investment, which makes it an attractive option especially for businesses with a limited marketing budget.

But of course, the inbound approach can only be effective when done correctly. So if you’re serious about focusing on a pull rather than a push philosophy, here are 4 best practices to get started with inbound marketing for small business.

1) Think it Through

Inbound marketing is more than just lead generation. It’s a wholesome approach that should affect the entirety of your marketing strategy, particularly in the digital realm. Put simply, you can only be successful if all of your efforts – from generating awareness of your business and generating leads to nurturing these leads, completing the sale, and post-sales follow ups – are part of an integrated approach to marketing.

The one thing you need to avoid is cognitive dissonance. When your users receive mixed messages about your brand and products anywhere within their journey through your sales funnel, they’ll be much less likely to convert. By thinking your strategy through from beginning to end, you can minimize that cognitive dissonance and improve your chances of success.

2) Focus on Content

Like, REALLY focus on content. All inbound marketing tactics in some way rely on content marketing to draw visitors to the website and convert them into the leads. But only the most successful efforts actually take that content seriously.

Your content, from your social media platform and your blog to your emails, should be more than just thinly veiled sales pitches for your business. Instead, you should focus on creating content that is actually helpful and relevant to your audience, which will make them much more likely to turn into leads and ultimately customers.

3) Encourage Virality

Good content naturally lends itself to virality, the process in which audiences like it so much that they share it with their peers. Of course, achieving this state is highly desirable, increasing your business and content exposure without any additional efforts on your part.

But content doesn’t share itself. To make sure that your audience does not keep your content to themselves, encourage them to share it with their friends – either through direct, sharing-related calls to action, or by offering easy opportunities to hit a email or share button to your audience’s social media network of choice.

4) Delight Your Leads

The wholesome nature of inbound marketing we mentioned above means that you should emphasize communication with your leads. Lead generation is a crucial part of any organizational inbound method, but if those leads do not convert into paying customers, it will be worth little. So to make sure you don’t get off to a great start before sputtering over the finish line, you should place an emphasis on delighting your leads.

To start, your leads should instantly receive the content they signed up for via email. Research shows that if you wait even one hour to follow up with your leads, you are seven times less likely to turn them into customers. But delighting your leads shouldn’t stop there; instead, you should follow up regularly with relevant content that might be of interesting to them, nudging them closely toward the sale. You may even want to think about lead-exclusive sales and offers to work toward that goal.

Following these best practices, you can help your inbound marketing efforts turn from a daunting challenge into a rousing success. Even lead management doesn’t have to be difficult – with our CRM software, you can make sure that you take a wholesome approach to inbound marketing, delighting your leads on their way to becoming valuable return customers. Contact us today to learn more!

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