Look beyond ads and offers as a marketing and advertising tool

When was the last time you switched on the TV to see an ad? Or open the newspaper to see the ads or turn on the radio to listen to that great ad? Never right? Then why are you running after ads and offers and spending tons of money on them?
If the above statement has made you curious and you want to understand what next in the changing marketing landscape then read on for a solution.
Remember ads and offers in news feeds on social media or ads that show up on other websites receive at best 1-3% Click through (CTR).


Traditional Marketing and Advertising

When you run campaigns aimed at increasing sales you are actually targeting the Push based marketing model. And any seasoned marketing professional will help you understand the efforts and finances involved in making a push based model successful. In a push based model you are betting your money on the fact that your target market is always ready to buy your product and they have a constant need. Well this might be correct with a fast moving consumer product (FMCG) segment but hardly true in other segments.
In the present rapidly changing Digital Marketing world you have a lot of tools, processes and channels which traditional marketing did not offer and can help you look beyond the push based marketing model. You can execute campaigns aimed at generating curiosity in your product or campaigns where you can understand the needs of your target market and filter out or slot leads according to their maturity status in your lead funnel.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is what you should invest in instead. The power of search engines is immense. Something that is unmatched by any other channel in the digital space. You have to understand the fact that a customer journey starts with a search/quest for a solution to their problem. They might or might not be prepared to make a purchase decision at this stage. This is where Inbound marketing strategy comes into picture and helps you setup your funnel.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing in simple words is attracting potential leads and branding your business with the help of content.
Givers gain
You need to create content around solutions for the problems that your target audience might be facing and would be actively searching for online. For example Flintobox created content around child development, parenting and child engagement for their activity box products.
How do you implement Inbound marketing

Step 1: Identify Topics

identify topics for marketing

Identify topics that relate to your target market. Problems they are looking solutions for. For example if you are a grocery store or super market or an online store, you could publish recipes. That will be a great way to attract people as they would be looking for recipes.
At this stage you would also need to look at search engine optimization (SEO) for each of these content so that your content is discover able.

Step 2: Content plan

Create a content plan and calendar. Identify various entry points to your funnel. For example you are a weight loss product supplier. You create a series of blogs around how to live healthy or basic tips for weight loss.

Step 3: Content Offer

Create a content offer to engage them. Let’s say that you have created an awesome blog and want to engage them. Create a quiz that the users can signup to take or an ebook that the users can download after signing up.
This will ensure that you get contact details of your leads.

Step 4: Engage your leads

Do not go all out and pitch for your services just as yet. Once you have their email ID’s go ahead and run an email campaign. Send them a series of steps or invite them for a webinar or seminar. This will help you filter out the noise and know how many leads are warm.

Step 5: Pitch for your product or service.

You should have a well-defined lead funnel and offer your product or services to them. They would be more likely to purchase as they would be making an informed decision and would be making a purchase from someone they trust and follow.

Step 6: Reengage your users

This step is very important. You need to look for testimonials and ratings. Moreover you need to stay in touch to ensure that they repeat their purchase.

So should I not do any ads at all?

Well you could run paid contents with your content. You could have campaigns on Social media, Google AdWords Search ads and the likes.

Look beyond ads and offers as a marketing and advertising tool [Summary]

1. Identify Topics
2. Content plan
3. Content Offer
4. Engage your leads
5. Pitch for your product or service
6. Reengage your users

inbound marketing beyond ads

Want to learn 15 great tips for small business marketing? Read our blog here.
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