Eatontown, NJ (PressExposure) February 02, 2011 -- Between evolving consumer needs, shifts in technology and a recovering economy, the techniques that businesses once used to convert prospects into customers are no longer successful. As people become bombarded with sales pitches, they are blocking companies' marketing messages and making purchases on their own terms. Expecting these challenges to continue throughout the New Year, Grass Roots Marketing (GRM) Inc. reports that an integrated inbound marketing approach will be a more effective strategy in 2011.
"The integrated inbound philosophy uses multiple methods of communication that will help you get found by prospective customers that are searching for services like yours," says Kim Masterson, Director of GRM. "Instead of speaking at your prospects, provide them with insightful, valuable content that will give them the answers they seek; positioning your company as a trusted subject matter expert."
As companies implement their marketing plan for 2011, Masterson states that organizations should revamp or include the following communication disciplines into their marketing strategy:
Website Content: A company's website should be a sales machine. If it's not consistently generating leads and revenue, it's time to rethink its value. Businesses often focus too much on the appearance of their website. Instead, they should focus on its function. The company website should be filled with valuable content for its audience including solutions to problems, helpful articles, case studies, blog entries and white papers. Ideally, it should serve as a resource center for its visitors, establishing industry credibility. Remember, a business' website is often the first impression for a prospect, so make sure it's good one.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of improving the number and quality of visitors that come to a company's website from search engines. When an organization's target audience searches for information on sites like Google, Yahoo and Bing, SEO is what helps the website get found. Search engine algorithms basically "decide" which websites will appear first in the search results and an optimized site ranks higher and more frequently.
Social Media: Social media is no longer a trend; it's a standard business practice. From LinkedIn and Blogging, to Twitter and Facebook, social networking sites give businesses the ability to find and nurture qualified leads. Organizations must consistently invest time and effort into social media sites in order to see results. Companies should use these technological outlets to establish credibility and drive back traffic to their websites.
E-mail Marketing: Many businesses make the mistake of mass e-mailing their sales pitch. Like a website, a company's e-mail marketing messages should provide valuable content to its prospects. If a company consistently brands itself as a credible expert, its targets will consider them when they're ready to buy. Email templates should always include links back to a landing page or company website and a clear call to action.
Public Relations: From local newspapers and industry magazines to online publications that reach the masses, writers need information for articles. Companies should build relationships with reporters so that they are the go-to industry expert whenever a quote is needed. An organization's press releases should provide reporters with content they can use such as results from surveys and industry trends. Not only will this get the company's name in target publications, but the business can promote its media inclusions in other marketing materials.
"It's time to adopt an integrated inbound marketing philosophy and switch to a smarter and more effective way to market your product or service," adds Masterson. "By giving the consumer the answers they seek through these programs mentioned, you can position yourself as a valuable resource to someone who's in the market to buy rather than bugging someone for a sale."
GRM is a full-service integrated marketing communications firm that specializes in cost-effective solutions for small to mid-sized businesses. For more information about GRM, please visit http://www.grmwebsite.com or call 800.634.6476.