There is a reason why so many small businesses are using inbound marketing to increase their sales and leads online;  it is so effective at generating leads and sales at a low cost. Now, I know a lot of you will say that inbound is not free and yes, you would be correct but it can be done on a budget if you are a small business.

Time is the biggest expense for small businesses

I run a small business and I know that time is not a luxury most small businesses have as you are wearing so many different hats that getting time to do your own marketing can seem an impossible task. Not only don’t you have the time, you also may not know how to do inbound marketing effectively.

In this article I will teach you how to get started with inbound marketing on a very small budget. If you don’t have the time to invest at least 10 hours a week into this, then I don’t want to waste your time you would be better hiring an inbound marketing agency to do the work for you. Stargazer can help you do this, prices start at £1,500 per month, excluding marketing automation software.

If however you do have the time to invest then this article will get you started.

Defining a content strategy

First things first, if you do not already have one you need to get a blog installed onto your website. I would recommend WordPress as it’s easy to use and install. It has a famous 5 minute install that you can follow here.

Check with your hosting providers as many have one click installation for WordPress. One I would recommend is Heart Internet. Depending on which software you use for your website some can have a blogging plugin added to them, however they vary in quality. If you can, go with WordPress.

Now you have your platform all you need is content to add to it. At this stage you may be wondering what to write about. The best way to get started is to sit down with your sales teams, marketing teams or other employees and brainstorm questions and problems you get asked every day from your customers.

You will be surprised with the amount of questions you will come up with. These questions will form the basis of your content. You now need to create blog posts around these questions. Make sure they are in depth and would be something really helpful to your potential customers.

Promote your business on social networks

By creating this content you should now start to show up in search for low volume related keyphrases. These may be low volume but are very relevant to your business.

Aside from search, social media networks are a great way for you to spread your content.  Lee Odden once said “Great content is only great when it is shared and consumed.”

Promoting your content on social media each day can really help boost traffic to your blog. This can be a daunting task when you first start out because you will be talking to yourself for the most part but stick with it, try following some of the people who follow your competitors on Twitter as some may follow you back. Try sharing other great blog posts you find as this will encourage people to share your content.

How marketing automation brings it all together

This is one cost you cannot get away from but is a cost that will be worth it in the end. As you are a small business you can get excellent marketing automation from Infusionsoft for around £140 a month. This software will become invaluable in the coming months and will really save you time.

Infusionsoft will allow you to create landing pages and lead nurturing campaigns that will really take your marketing to the next level. For more information on this read “discover 7 inbound marketing buzzwords every business should understand”. Inbound marketing for small business is here to stay.

Now it’s your turn

If you think inbound marketing is right for your small business why not try reading some of these great inbound marketing books.

What are the biggest marketing challenges your business faces? We would love to know in the comments below.

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