Entrepreneurship

An Introduction to Inbound Marketing for Startups

Indian Startup arena is booming; no one has doubts about it. You open the news portals any given day and you can find at least couple of investment or funding stories covered there.

It’s an exciting time for all the entrepreneurs and wannabe ones too. According to NASSCOM report 2014, there are around 3100 startups in India and Bangalore leading the pack with 28%. 

Also Read: How to start a small business in india with low investment

But one thing which is merely paid attention to is what percentage of these startups survive the competitive business world out there. When I searched for that statistics, I only could find vague statistics for that. Most of the startups find it really tough to compete in heavily populated niches.

So I did some research on reasons for failure for startups (out of curiosity) and find following as the reasons for it.

  • Wrong Team (Many of the times)
  • No or Bad Marketing (Most of the times)
  • Bad execution (Most of the times)

And there are several other reasons too; but these were mentioned by most of the startups who have tried and failed.

Since I am no expert on leadership or business strategies, let me focus on the second reason which is Marketing. Most of the startups get uncomfortable when the topic of Marketing pops up. Many of them think building an awesome product is enough and product will sell itself. Wrong!!! If that was the case, several startups would have been successful by now.

You can read my article on Why Marketing is important for Startups here (I don’t want to go there now).

So we all know Marketing is important now; but again it’s a tricky area. Marketing can be an expensive ball game too. But most of the startups are bootstrapped and still in search of funding and investors.

What to do now?

I recommend to all startups (on this planet) INBOUND MARKETING.

You must be asking- What now?

Inbound Marketing is the marketing methodology for coming years. It is the opposite of outbound marketing, which we all think as Marketing in India.

So what’s the difference between outbound and inbound marketing?

If you do a google search on Inbound Marketing, you will find huge number of answers for that. But here is my explanation of the same for you.

Inbound Marketing is a logical methodology where you grab attention of your prospects without interrupting them, attract them to the RIGHT place (Your website), convert them into leads and finally into customers. It’s the opposite of interruption marketing (outbound) which is not the right way to do marketing these times.

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Let me give some examples:

Outbound Techniques Inbound Techniques
Advertising Search Engine Optimization
Purchased Email List Social Media Marketing
Cold calling Content Development
Commercials Blogging
Print Collaterals Analytics

So if you have a look at outbound techniques, they are all expensive affairs for any star
tup. Meanwhile, Inbound techniques are all DIY (Do-it-Yourself) activities and will not burn a hole in your pocket.

Having said all that, Inbound is not a simple magical formula. It requires dedication, some amount of creativity and learning attitude. But trust me, it is the BEST marketing methodology for startups and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs).