Take a step into the world of marketing and understand how blogging can be a powerful marketing tool.
So. Now that we have established that our goal with this chapter is to understand how blogging works as a marketing function, why don’t we take a few minutes to talk about marketing as a whole.
To put it very, very simply – Marketing has changed in the last decade. The world of business has moved past its obsession with TV ads, billboards and newspaper advertisements into the world of digital marketing and advertising.
Digital marketing has brought on a huge shift, in that you no longer need to spend a ton of money putting up a billboard on the highway, just hoping your target audience will drive by and see it. Instead, you can just reach out to your exact target customer at a fraction of that cost, digitally.
This was a drastic shift for the world of brands in general because businesses could now take their message straight to the people on the devices closest to them. Would you spend a million dollars on a TV ad if you could reach a thousand of your perfect customers digitally for far less?
However, a few years into the big digital bloom, a new kind of marketing began to emerge on the internet. One that was far more effective than any form before, and amazingly, one that was FREE!!
Yup - you heard that right - FREE.
Now you might be thinking – what form of marketing is free? Well, let’s keep that a secret for a bit longer and look at an example.
Say you want to go fishing and you need to buy fishing gear. What is literally the FIRST THING you would do?
You would google 'fishing gear'.
Here’s what your search should show -
Basically a bunch of stores that you can buy fishing gear from. Great! But would you actually get in your car and drive to one of these spots?
No! You would scroll down and begin to do your own research. As you scroll down, you’ll see an Amazon page, a Decathlon page, a Flipkart page and so on. Let's click on Decathlon.
Here, you see a bunch of fishing gear from Decathlon –rods, coats, reels, hooks and so on.
You click on this rod right here and begin checking it out, looking at the different images and specifications and all of that.
Let's stop right here for a minute. Take a look at where you are - You are a potential fishing equipment customer inside Decathlon's website looking at a fishing rod that you are considering buying. Did Decathlon pay money to get you here? No! You literally walked right into their store without them having to pay a dime, and you are the perfect customer.
And this is what we call Inbound marketing. Why inbound? Because customers come to your website instead of you going to them.
Now, if Decathlon had run ads on Facebook pushing people to check out their fishing gear that would be……? That’s right, Outbound Marketing.
Good job. You learnt two new marketing terms without falling asleep. I hope.
Now you might ask: how is someone coming to your website on their own, a result of marketing? You didn't really do anything to get them there.
Well, the fact is that Inbound traffic is in fact a result of marketing and it takes a lot of effort to get people to come to your website. Let me explain how.
If you take a minute to think about it - you didn't just happen to stumble upon Decathlon's website. If you retrace your steps, you’ll see you ended up here because Decathlon's website showed up when you searched for fishing gear.
But what did it actually take for Decathlon's website to show up? After all, searching for fishing gear alone gives you 4 Billion results and let’s be honest, when was the last time you went on to page 2 of your google search results?
It’s either the first page or nothing. If you’re on the second page of your search results you must be really, really desperate.
So what does it take to get your page onto the first result of a search query?
One word: SEO. Or three, if we want to get boring and call it Search Engine Optimization.
It's basically the art of building your website or web page in a way that will get Google to show your results right up top. Yes, this might sound super simple but it's actually quite tricky.
Why are we telling you all this? Because blogging plays a very big role in a website's SEO and in driving traffic. So, while we won't be diving into the whole world of blogging, we will teach you how to drive traffic to your website by getting your blog up there in search results.
In essence, blogging is a very important inbound marketing tool. It helps bring people to your website, often without spending a single dollar in ad money.
And that’s a small crash course on inbound vs outbound marketing. We’re just getting warmed up here with this course on blogging for business so I’ll see you in the next episode.