Unlike traditional marketing or “interruption” marketing that jumps out at anyone like ghouls at a haunted house, inbound marketing or “content” marketing is like finding a book club in your area that only reads from your favorite genre.
That’s because inbound marketing is all about drawing people in that already want to engage your services and need answers or opportunities. But you can only provide what your clients need when you utilize all of the tools available:
- A beautiful and engaging website
- Informative and instructional content
- An active social media presence
- Mastering Google My Business to make search engines work for you
With this quick guide you’ll learn how these tools engage, counsel, answer questions, and encourage exploration with your ideal customer; in essence, create awareness of your business and allow the customers to pull up a chair and stay awhile.
A Clean and Navigable Website
Every business is basically required to have a website—where else will your customers land with their search queries? However, just having a website isn’t enough: your site is both the finish line and the starting line for your customers, so it must engage and inform them in a way that’s attractive and easy to navigate.
Your website should have a structured design that incorporates multiple elements such as text, photos, and videos and is uniform throughout your site. The uniformity allows the customer to understand your style of presenting information and acclimate quickly to navigating through every page. Your customer will also appreciate this later on when they decide to go back and reference what they've learned on your site.
You should also remember to cover the basics: have clear header topics, drop down menus, and a search bar that allows you and your potential clients to find anything on the site.
Content That Informs and Delights
Inbound marketing, as previously noted, is also considered “content” marketing—your content is really the meat and potatoes of your marketing and sales strategy. Content can include a blog, videos, photos, podcasts, and Ebooks—by diversifying your content, you’re allowing all types of your “ideal customer” to find you and your service offerings.
Thinking in these terms—a customer “finding” you—you have to realize that internet searches are questions. Your content, not necessarily your specific products and services, is the answer. That’s why you see content headings like “5 Ways To ____” and “Your Helpful Guide to Understanding ____.” These titles, whether attached to media or a blog, answer the question of “How do I ____?” or “What’s the best way to ____?” or even “Why the heck is ____?” If you gear your content to answer the questions your ideal customer may have, then they are more likely to have you pop up in their search. Whether or not they meant to look for you, they’ve found you!
Be a Social Media Star
Nothing helps bring awareness to your business more than social media. There are few among us who don’t have some social media that we visit daily, so if your business isn’t present, you’re doing yourself a disservice and losing out on free advertising. The best part of social media is that you can engage with multiple age groups and give a personal touch to your company all in one space.
Depending on your target audience, you may tend to engage more with one social media platform than another, but it doesn’t hurt to have some sort of presence across multiple platforms.
Make sure whatever the presence level that it’s consistent: customers will immediately lose interest in your company if they stumble upon your twitter feed, and nothing has been updated in months. Customers don’t care if your following is strong on Instagram; all they see is a half-baked attention grab from a company that isn’t worth their time. All this to say: if you can’t devote a regular stream of engagement on a specific platform, then ditch it because a dead profile will only hurt you.
Google My Business: How It Works for You (For Free!)
If content is the meat and potatoes, then Google is the stove that keeps you cooking. Google My Business is a free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool that’s set up to allow every company—big or small—to provide accurate information about where, how, and when you conduct business.
Google is a company that understands awareness better than almost any other brand except for maybe Qtip and Bandaid. We’ve all said a version of “just Google it” to mean “find it online,” and with Google My Business you can set yourself up for success by inputting the crucial data that works with their results algorithms.
If you didn’t know already, Google’s newest update favors businesses close to a client's location, which gives the niche and small businesses a fighting chance. Given how integrated smartphones have become in our daily lives, our location is usually known unless specifically blocked. Once you’ve updated your hours, address, website, and contact information with Google My Business, you’ve instantly increased your property management "brand awareness."
Just because inbound marketing doesn’t aggressively attack potential clients doesn't mean you can’t do your best to get your company’s name out there! As a HubSpot Platinum Agent, we at Rent Bridge understand that optimizing your content, social media, and website for brand awareness isn’t always intuitive, so we put together an incredible blog series all about marketing! Start with part one: "Property Management Marketing Campaigns: The Power of Research."