Ran Mullins By Ran Mullins • January 12, 2016

Inbound Marketing: It’s About Presence

When building a brand’s inbound marketing, the diverse array of methods can threaten to undermine the efficiency of your efforts and spend. The answers to the questions of where, when, and what can seem uncertain.                

Inbound revolves around engagement, but engagement springs chiefly from an active brand presence. You’ve taken the first steps by amassing landing pages, social media profiles, and blog posts, but how does that activity shift from shouting into the void to earnest engagement?  

curved_arrow-red-1.pngBe at the forefront of the conversation  

The flow of inbound content cannot stop, lest the brand lose the attention of its visitors and its reputation as a consistent source of information. Because of that constant flow of output, not every piece of content can be a perfect, crystallized piece of brilliant insight or commentary. Sometimes you need to just publish something your brand may have talked about several times before.

But what elevates the content and turns a decent month of posts and communiques into a potent one is timeliness. Knowing what the people your brand wants to attract are talking and thinking about should help generate ideas for inbound content and its voice.

Presence is being the person at a party who breaks the silence and starts a real conversation. That requires having some expertise and the knowledge of what the audience wants to hear about and discuss.

It’s the same with attractive, potent inbound content: Know something about the subject, know what people want to hear, share your knowledge, and enjoy the honest engagement with fans and prospects that comes from it.


curved_arrow-red-1.pngPosting content is not the end of the conversation

The word “conversation” is key. A true conversation doesn’t entail one person stating something and then walking away as the other processes it.

It’s not so much about replying to every comment that comes your way, but a great brand presence relies so much on collecting data, identifying useful or important interactions, and making the brand’s awareness of these interactions known to the people providing them. This, in turn, further informs what forms your inbound content should take and what topics it should cover.

Trust must be built up between the brand and those whom its content reaches. Those who encounter your inbound content have to feel like they are interacting with a living, breathing person and not a content-spitting supercomputer.


curved_arrow-red-1.pngAbove all, the presence is real and tangible

Modern marketing has understood that marketing and the sales funnel work better in the context of a relationship. Both parties in a relationship look to benefit from it. Obviously, on a company’s end, it’s about bringing more customers into the fold. But those same customers want a benefit and often one beyond any perceived edification they may get from purchasing.

Therein lies the “realness” of a goodinbound campaign—providing people the subtler benefits. For some that comes from fulfilling social needs like learning or discussing ideas with others, for others it’s the enjoyment of the content and the entertainment or pleasurable diversion it provides. Whatever form it might take, it makes the brand’s presence in a person’s life beneficial.

With that good will built up, the presence of the brand moves outside of the sales funnel and becomes an aspect of a person’s everyday life. Good content sticks with a person, stays in their mind, and shows up in their conversations and social media presence. From there, it can have wider reach and greater efficacy with those faithful visitors carrying those thoughts—and by extension, the brand—out into the wider world. Rbookend2.jpg