Inbound marketing 101 explained at Zachary Chamber luncheon _lowres

Advocate staff photo by STACY GILL -- Jared Broussard, founder of Blink Jar Media, explains the concept of inbound marketing to attendees of the Zachary Chamber's monthly Lunch and Learn series June 3 at the Americana YMCA in Zachary.

Blink Jar Media founder Jared Broussard explained inbound marketing, which he described as a fancy term for marketing a business online, to attendees of a business networking luncheon on June 3.

As a former broadcast and traditional advertising executive, Broussard shared his knowledge as the guest speaker of the Zachary Chamber’s Lunch and Learn series held monthly at the Americana YMCA.

“It seems like every day there’s a new platform for delivering information in the digital world and it can be difficult to cut through all the clutter,” Broussard said.

He began his presentation by saying there’s nothing wrong with traditional advertising such as print (newspaper and magazine), TV and radio.

“They’re still effective, but if your marketing approach doesn’t change, you run the risk of not being found by your potential consumer,” he said.

Marketing changed drastically from 1950 to 2000 and again from 2000 to 2015.

“There’s been a huge shift in the way companies reach their audience in the last 20 years,” Broussard said. “Pre-2000, companies were in control and consumers were coming to them because there was no source for research or information. But now, with the Internet, the consumer has all the control at their fingertips.”

He said the average consumer is exposed to more than 5,000 messages in a day, something he calls “paralysis by analysis.”

“How do local businesses react to their customers who have morphed over time or become more savvy? How does a local company become relevant to its customers?” Broussard said. “The answer is, you embrace them.”

Broussard shared the Blockbuster and Netflix case study as an example.

“In 2005, Blockbuster was valued at about $8 billion, and Netflix was using the postal service to distribute DVDs and didn’t seem to have a chance,” Broussard said.

By 2010, Blockbuster lost $518 billion and filed for bankruptcy, while Netflix gained leadership of the industry by running a well-executed operation and streaming movies online, he said.

“Netflix executives understood that an emerging technology was rapidly changing the delivery of movie rentals,” Broussard said. “Blockbuster sat in a boardroom and passed on buying Netflix, saying that in its research, people still wanted to still feel a movie in their hands. Bottom line, their research was wrong and they didn’t know their consumer.”

To be successful, you must have a plan to embrace and that involves ZMOT — Zero Moment of Truth — the time between the print, television or radio ad and the store visit.

“It’s the research on that car, house or trip when ZMOT takes place at an intense level,” Broussard said. “While that intense level of research is going on, where is your business during that time? Is your company’s information available, or available like it’s the year 1999? In a nutshell, that’s inbound marketing — taking your company’s information and leadership and marketing it.”

He said it’s also about attracting people, not annoying them, and it all starts with a Web presence.

The four main steps to successful inbound marketing are creating content, optimizing it, promoting it and then converting and analyzing it.

There is no better branding tool for a company than content creation, which can come in the form of blogging, videos, white paper, eBooks or podcasts, Broussard explained.

To optimize content, it can be listed via search engine optimizations or pay-per-clicks. High ranking on a Google search page can be achieved by having your business do something, such as create content, vs. the business that does nothing or that’s become stagnant or stale by creating nothing.

“It signals to Google that you have something fresh, and since Google controls about 77 percent of all searches, you can improve your company’s relevancy through its content,” Broussard said. “A ranking is based on fresh content and being consistent about it.”

After content has been created and optimized, it’s time to promote and amplify it, he said.

“Studies show that 93 percent of consumers expect companies to have a presence on social media, while another study shows that a number of businesses say that Facebook has been critical in increasing sales drastically,” Broussard said.

The final step is converting and/or analyzing content.

“If you don’t have the metrics to follow it or software to measure it, it’s all for naught. Be your own Amazon, your own publisher. That’s what we tell our clients,” Broussard said.