Receiving results from inbound marketing is the goal of almost any small business, but is often difficult to achieve.

It’s much more cost effective and beneficial to have customers or clients coming to you instead of your marketing team going in search of them.

However, many small business owners and managers don’t know how to establish an effective inbound marketing approach.

Know What’s Current

Just because something was popular when you started your small business, it doesn’t mean it’s still effective.

For example, it was only a few years ago that everyone was using email lists for marketing.

Many people have unsubscribed from email lists because they just don’t have time to sort through all of those messages. Of those who are still subscribed, many of them never open or read their emails.

If you want people to learn about your business and become interested in what you offer, you have to use methods that appeal to them.

Today’s customers are on social media or reading SMS messages.

How long those methods remain popular is still to be determined, but your marketing team must stay updated on which avenues are currently the best, realizing it can change quickly.

Stand Out

Because of the massive amounts of information and content available, yours has to be different to stand out.

Why should someone follow your blog as opposed to someone else’s? What makes your social media channel worth following?

You must have that “wow” factor with your content that keeps people talking. Otherwise, they’ll scroll right past it and on to another page that impresses them more.

One way to make your content stand out is by using information or questions from your current customers.

As the article, “Inbound Marketing Tips from an Expert,” says, answering questions from clients helps ensure your content is relevant. Relevant content will stand out to your targeted audience.

Continue to Measure

Don’t overlook the importance of analytics.

Take the time to review reports and read information that tells you how your various marketing channels are doing. Don’t stop there: try to figure out the “why” behind the numbers.

For example, if you see your Facebook page is doing well, but your blog has almost no response, ask yourself why.

It may be because your audience enjoys spending time on social media with no time to read blog posts. However, it could be because your blog isn’t addressing their needs.

When analyzing your data, you have to know what you’re focusing on.

Are you looking at conversions or do you want to see how many people are sharing your content? Is your focus on gaining new customers or increasing activity with current customers? When you know your goals, you will recognize which data is most important to your business.

Inbound marketing can provide valuable results with a cost-effective strategy. However, it only yields a high return if it works.

Develop a solid strategy and continue to re-evaluate your inbound marketing strategy to ensure it is meeting your needs.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including social media and running a small business.