The increase in technology has not only changed the way we live our lives it has also significantly changed the way we do business. Where billboards, phonebooks, radio ads, and direct mail once reigned supreme, a new online marketing form has emerged. Some call it digital marketing, others call it content marketing but we like to call it inbound marketing.
Insurance agents, medical professionals, lawyers, CPAs, and other professionals are being told to jump on the inbound marketing band wagon. Is it worth it though? How effective is it really? Questions like these are important and you should ask them before jumping into any marketing campaign.
To answer your questions, here is a story of how effective inbound marketing really can be, but before reading on ask yourself this question. How effective are the billboards, phone book ads, and other direct marketing tactics you use?
The story of Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan was asked by a couple of his friends if he would be willing to work in their swimming pool company they recently started. They were busy out in the field so they needed someone to run it for them.
In 2008, pool stores across the country were having major issues selling pools. Marcus felt as though their business had lost control of their marketing. In his search for a way to save the business, he came across inbound marketing.
They began blogging and soon their website became the #1 pool company website. To this day his blog has generated millions of dollars in revenue.
Like Marcus Sheridan, many brick and mortar stores have seen explosive growth because of inbound marketing; however it is not a magic pill. It took work to educate themselves and to pump the content out but the point is that if it can work for a new pool professional, it can work for a seasoned professional like you.
Why you need inbound marketing to succeed
If you have attempted to jump into inbound marketing you may have been scared away by the incredible amount of platforms available and options you have. Do you blog, do you do this SEO stuff on your website, do you use pay-per-click on Google, do you really have to be on every social media site? Inbound marketing can be very scary for professionals. As a professional however, it is important to get out of your comfort zone – without doing so you might not survive.
No matter what we think about technology, the decision process for a purchase has changed. People are going online to educate themselves about products, they are searching for services online and they are even purchasing more and more services online. Let’s take a look at some of the common services once searched for in the yellow pages:
As you can tell by looking at the visual from Google AdWords, there are 110,000 monthly searches for insurance, 135,000 monthly searches for a dentist and over 60,000 monthly searches for a lawyer. This does not include the thousands of people searching for long tail keywords such as business insurance, auto insurance, family dentist, Medicaid dentist, defense lawyer, bankruptcy lawyer and so on.
No matter how much we want to ignore it, the online trend is growing. Even giants like Walmart are watching their online purchases grow. The only question is will you use inbound marketing to succeed or will you be the next brick and mortar store to be ignored?