If you’ve ever invested in the stock market (through your 401k, IRA or by purchasing retail), you’ve probably seen the exponential growth models associated with sustained investments and compounding interest. The idea is that in 30 or 40 years a modest regular investment in the market will result in a portfolio many times greater than what you’ve invested.
Investing in marketing isn’t something you would normally think about as having an exponential growth model associated with it, but that’s because the way that many have been marketing their companies is deeply rooted in the past. Moreover, getting a return on an investment that has virtually no cost associated with it seems even more farfetched. But in this case, it couldn’t be closer to reality.
So what exactly costs nothing but delivers a dividend? Content. You probably heard as early as 2013 that content is king, but maybe you didn’t fully latch onto the idea. Here’s how it works:
- You write an article that provides VALUE to your target audience.
- Someone in your target audience (who has no idea you exist) searches the Internet for ANSWERs to a question.
- Your article shows up high in search results because it’s RELEVANT.
- Your new visitor now knows you exist and you have the OPPORTUNITY to market your services to them.
- MULTIPLY this by the population of the world who could be a prospect and you’ll have a decent number of visitors each month.
- Write more VALUABLE articles and duplicate the process, growing your visitors month over month.
So, it sounds easy – and it is. The key is in understanding what your audience actually finds valuable and devising a strategy to keep those visitors interested and engaged. In a nutshell this is called inbound marketing. Businesses that have adopted an inbound marketing strategy see 54% more leads on average than businesses that solely invest in traditional marketing. Moreover, these companies realize an average annual savings of $20,000.
I once heard a podcast interview with S. Anthony Iannarino, a very successful sales consultant and founder of TheSalesBlog.com, in which he told a story about his own efforts to create content and generate leads which I will summarize here:
Iannarino decided in 2009 that he was going to write an article on his website each and every day of the week, 365 days a year. He did this without fail, with the exception of his two-week summit to the top of Mt. Everest. One day another sales consultant (who knew Iannarino was widely successful) called and chastised him for giving away free valuable information on his website – information he should be charging for. Obviously, the guy didn’t know anything about inbound marketing (until 2009, the term wasn’t widely used) because he asked Iannarino where he was getting all of his business. The reality was, he was getting it from the Internet.
While you don’t necessarily have to write an article every day, you can see that as you amass a library of content that provides value to the people you are interested in getting in front of, the number of visitors who will find their way to your website each month multiplies over time.
A successful inbound marketing strategy takes into account that you must cultivate a relationship with each stranger who is introduced to your content, taking care to deliver the right information at the right time of the buyer’s journey. Over time, you will build trust and turn strangers into promoters. Here is what the big picture of inbound marketing looks like:
If you feel like now might be a good time to start earning greater returns on your own marketing investments, reach out to our team for a consultation below. We deploy 21st Century marketing solutions to help companies realize exponential growth.