Inbound marketing seem to be a must to every business, Cameroon business inclusive. We had  been following closely the business trends and growth in the digital industry in Cameroon.  With many innovative startups coming up every day, at the moment the markets still looks  empty as businesses find it difficult to use these innovations.

I have been particularly attracted to the ‘’Inbound Marketing ‘’ Strategies.
Let us still answer the questions     ‘’what is Inbound Marketing?’’
Inbound marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. Inbound marketing considers content marketing, blogging, social media marketing and search engine optimization.
   Before implementing inbound marketing strategies in your business, the following should be looked upon. 

A.               The Market  of Today is the not the Same like that of  Yesterday

We have to accept with no doubt that marketing has changed. Buyers today are more educated that before. Take for example a product like a mobile phone. Before someone goes to the market to buy, he will try to find out what type of phone is the best ‘’best mobile phones’’, why he should buy among others. With a successful inbound strategy, you can get such people, thanks to keyword ranking.  This does not mean we should abandon our old strategies. Businesses should not stick to one marketing strategy if they want success, growth and ROI. 
  In summary here is what you need to know
i.                   In the marketing of yesterday, there were few sellers than today.
ii.                 Also, there is much information available to the buyer today than yesterday.
iii.              Companies use to focus on sales since sellers determined the purchasing power. In today’s marketing the purchasing power is  controlled by the buyers. As such companies must tend to focus on marketing , inbound marketing included.
B.                Inbound Marketing Brings Clients to You.
While outbound strategies require you to move to the client , inbound marketing does the reverse.    By using inbound marketing strategies,  You  get customers who are interested in knowing about your product.
By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more. Inbound marketing exploits   the buyers’ journey which   involves three stages
v awareness,
v consideration and
v Decision.
How is this Possible?
Clients can come to you using comment section in a post you have posted on your websites. They can also be attracted to you by using your contact page, calling a phone number on your site or using a subscription /sign up form in your website after going through an appealing content ( text, video, info graphic  etc).  These are some of the things inbound marketers put in place to improve marketing and lead generation.
C.             Consider Inbound Marketing as  Long Term
I would have rather put the title of this article as ‘’ Three things you need to know about inbound Marketing’’.  Some   businesses expect results within a few weeks after hiring an inbound marketing expert. This is very wrong and can kill the moral of the inbound marketer.  If  you have an existing website with content, inbound marketers can implement SEO  techniques which will bring you results in a month. However, if you have a new website or a website with no content, expect results from the third month.   
A good implemented inbound technique is a life investment paid for once.   Take for example a company selling school bags in Cameroon that successfully get a top position on Google for the keyword
‘’buy school bag’’.   So far as someone uses this keyword in his/her search, you website will always show up. This keyword will always attract clients to your website which can be converted to client as long as your website remains in good state.
Instead of being worried about what has been sold, businesses that have hired an inbound marketer should always verify if the inbound marketer is doing the following:
i.                   Is Content being produced? What I mean here are things like Press releases, RSS feed, videos, emails, images, guides, live stream, webcast, manuals   among others. Ensure that the content produced is also original.
ii.                 Which keyword are you ranking?
One important component of SEO is keyword ranking. Verify that the inbound marketer is not just optimizing your website for any keyword. The keyword should be competitive   or reflect your brand or product. In all it should be able to bring the clients you need.
iii.              Are leads being generated?
    After an inbound marketing campaign, you might take time to ask your inbound marketer if leads are being generated. Leads here simply mean people who provide their emails or phone numbers   on your website or social media. With social media marketing, those who comment and like can be consider leads since you can contact or interact with them after they have commented or like your post. Leads are very important for your business, if you want to succeed with inbound techniques and in particular email marketing.  
D.              Go Beyond Inbound Strategies
As earlier mentioned inbound marketing is a cheap and long term investment that can change the phase of your business.  However, we might want sale after 24 hours  or  every hour in a day. The whole concept of today is termed ‘’Digital Marketing’’.  Below are some strategies that can give you immediate results.
i.                   You can do a pay per click (PPC) campaign on websites,social media like; facebook; twitter and linked, Google and more.  It is very important to hire an expert  to do this for you.
ii.                 Bulk SMS marketing campaign. Bulk sms marketing involves sending   SMS  clients or potential customers  with the aim of maintaining new clients, driving sale and acquiring new one. With  the Ransbiz SMS system I have personally tested these with some businesses in Cameroon dealing with floral products, traveling agencies, fashion products, pressing and more.
iii.            Google Adword
This is a special type of digital marketing technique which businesses can use to advertise their business on Google and other websites that are part of the Google Display network. These techniques involves pay per click(PPC),pay per 1000 impression (CPM), Cost per Acquisition (CPA) among others. It is an effective method since you pay only when an action you selected had been achieved.   With PPC you pay only when someone click on your ad.
Recommended starting budget is $500. You might also need to pay the person in charge of your campaign. I charge 14% of the advertisement budget.
iv.              Don’t abandoned the outbound marketing strategies
Don’t think that the inbound marketer has come to your company to give you ‘’oxygen’’. Inbound marketing is done to increase sales. It is an addition to your marketing techniques. You should not forget about the other techniques you had been suing to drive sales.   

In all, we have seen what inbound marketing is all about in brief and what to consider when getting into inbound marketing.  The four things mentioned are:
1. Changes in buying habits and marketing
        2. Considering inbound Marketing as a long term investment
         3. Well implemented inbound techniques will attract clients to you instead of you going to look for client.
           4. Using digital marketing as a whole

Considering this will keep your business in a good state and you will stand out to testify the good things modern technology has done. Encourage your inbound marketer and don’t expect sales after 4 days !!!!. Your inbound marketing prepares you for the big sales and viral marketing.
Are you using inbound  marketing strategies?
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