The internet has changed the way we as consumers research products and services and make purchasing decisions. This change has tilted the balance in favor of the start-up. Generating awareness of and demand for the solution a start-up offers is no longer relative to the amount of money a marketer spends but rather the ability of that marketer to create and promote captivating content. This ability, referred to as inbound marketing, can have two very real benefits for today’s start-up; pulling in buyers for your solution and interest from potential partners/investors to fuel growth.
A text book example of a start-up leveraging inbound marketing to generate buyers for their solution on a virtually non-existent budget is Rock Content (http://rockcontent.com). As co- founder Diego Gomes (@dttg) notes, “In our first month we generated over 1000 leads. On the second month we closed 3 customers from these 1000 leads. 12 months later we were generating over 12,000 leads/month.” What has been the foundation of Rock Content’s inbound lead generation and customer acquisition? SEO optimized blog content creation and the promotion of downloadable e-books through search and social media.
The visibility and demand generated for a start-up from potential customers doubles as a pull-factor for attracting potential investors. A valuable bi-product of inbound marketing is the continuous development of revenue producing assets. An optimized page of content or established social media following can generate organic traffic for years. A downloadable guide or webinar can continue to generate inbound leads for the lifetime of your business. These assets perpetually increase the gravity of awareness and credibility for a start-up not only with buyer of your product, but also with buyers of shares in your business.
Think of a valuable piece of content or an inbound lead base as the bricks laid through sweat equity invested in building your house of business. One blog or inbound lead is only as valuable as one brick, but compound those bricks to a wall, those walls to a house, that house to mansion. Over time you will have built the equity of your business into a highly valuable castle of page one organic placement for hundreds of keywords, Linked-in contacts in the thousands, Facebook fans in the tens of thousands, Twitter followers in the gazillions and a home-grown inbound leads base that can continuously be mined for future business.