The buzz surrounding inbound marketing just keeps getting louder and louder. Consequently, you start to wonder why you have not yet adopted this marketing strategy yourself.
If indeed this marketing strategy boasts a larger return on your investment, then it is unquestionably something you should not be missing out on.
In this article, we’ll be looking into what exactly inbound marketing entails, how to utilize inbound marketing strategy and how marketing automation can help your process.
And perhaps, if you have a business or provide a service and you’ve been contemplating including inbound marketing in your marketing strategy, this article will be able to help ease your process.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating valuable content that solves the problem of the user or consumer.
It aims to establish trust in your brand and foster a long-term relationship with customers.
Inbound marketing can be established via channels such as Search Engine Optimization, and social media, and by marketing content in creative ways that increase traffic and promote engagement.
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
Just as the name suggests, inbound marketing involves using owned media (online property owned and managed by a brand ) to market content to potential customers while Outbound involves actively pushing this content to customers.
While inbound marketing can involve creating a media library with a ton of helpful resources for your audience, outbound marketing is associated with advertising, holding social media campaigns, or cold calling.
The inbound market can hold an advantage over outbound marketing as it attracts customers by providing them with content relevant to them. This allows the buyer to feel in control of their decision to purchase a product or not. On the other hand, outbound marketing can be forceful as it ambushes customers with content that they might not always want.
Who Uses Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a very important strategy for the growth of your business. So, it should be used by everyone interested in building a trustworthy relationship with customers.
This applies to you whether you own a small business or if you own a large business.
Although inbound marketing can do wonders for your business, it is important to understand the cost, resources, and time that is involved in inbound marketing.
How Does It Work?
Inbound marketing is entirely based on giving your audience what they want when they need it. Because inbound marketing involves creating content at different stages of a buyer’s journey, relevant information found in one stage of a buyer’s journey can lead to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
In the attract phase, optimized blogs, social selling, and running paid ads will be very important. Once these start bringing in regular traffic, your audience begins to convert to leads and eventually sales.
With your delight strategy in place, your customers can further advance this process by promoting your organization and bringing in more traffic.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
There are many benefits to inbound marketing. Some of these are:
Inbound marketing positions you in front of customers who require your products or services.
Marketing can be a costly endeavor. It involves pumping resources into marketing strategies with the hopes of converting. Inbound marketing increases your return on investment as it has a lower cost per lead, especially when compared to outbound marketing.
With inbound marketing, customers are free to locate your content organically and if found helpful, they are free to decide whether to purchase or not. This establishes you as an expert and reinforces to your customers that you are trustworthy.
Great Learning Opportunity
Inbound marketing grants you the opportunity to have an open line of communication with your customers. This level of engagement is a great learning opportunity because you have first-hand knowledge of what your customers appreciate and how you can serve them better.
The Inbound Marketing Methodology
Each customer is at a different stage in their buyer’s journey and the inbound marketing methodology involves creating content that caters to each of these stages.
Here’s how to utilize each step in the methodology with:
This stage involves gaining the attention and focus of your target audience by creating content that draws them to your content. This is your opportunity to let your audience in on who you are as a brand and how you can help them.
It is important to optimize your content by using effective keywords related to your products. Furthermore, an effective SEO strategy will position your content on the Search Engine Results page hence, making it easy for your audience to find you.
You’ve managed to attract your target audience, great! Now, you need a strategy to convert them into leads and convince them to use your services.
Getting a hold of customers’ contact information is key in this stage. You can encourage them to share this by offering exclusive content in exchange for their contact information. This exclusive content could be in the form of an e-book or even a coupon code.
You can get started on converting audience to leads by:
- Using sign-up forms: this encourages users to fill in their information. This sign-up form should have slots for their name, email address, and possibly other details. Ensure that the sign-up form is simple and easy to fill out.
- Call to Action: If your prospects are interested in your brand and the products you offer, how do they know the next step to take? CTAs will hold their hand and guide them to the next action they need to take.
- Have an effective landing page: When your audience follows a CTA or clicks on an ad, they should be directed to a landing page. Ensure your landing page is optimized to encourage your audience to sign up or subscribe.
This stage involves the necessary process of leading your lead to make a sale.
This can be achieved by employing an effective CRM tool or automated emails.
With the help of effective marketing automation software, you can set up automated emails tailored to each lead at their point of need to guide them to purchase a product.
Your relationship with a buyer should not just end at the close of a sale. The goal is to foster a long-term relationship, hence, the journey continues even after selling.
The delight stage also involves keeping your customers so happy that they would be interested in promoting your business.
This can be achieved by:
- Hosting video conferences or live events that provide information that your audience would find useful
- Let your customer know that you value their opinion. Conduct surveys where they can give input on your products.
Marketing Automation for Inbound Marketing
Marketing automation is software designed to help marketers through their inbound marketing process.
It is useful to a marketer because it can provide the marketer with information about leads and equip them with the information necessary to convert those leads to sales.
Marketing automation can be done to carry out different tasks across different channels.
It also includes analytical tools which can give insight into your content performance and engagement. This can in turn help inform your strategy going forward.
Below is a list of tasks marketing automation can carry out for you :
- Track user behavior
- Email automation
- Build landing page
- Built-in or integrated CRM
Types of Inbound Marketing
There is a surge in the amount of video content consumed in recent times. Research has shown that marketers that implement video content into their strategy can pull 66% more leads than marketers who don’t use video content.
Video can be incorporated into many types of content. It can be incorporated into blogs and social media content.
Search has always been one of the primary ways people have sourced information. Writing well-informed, relevant, and entertaining pieces is an effective marketing strategy.
It is important however to have a good knowledge of SEO to create written content that is visible to an audience that needs it. SEO, however, should not be your only focus.
Combine SEO best practices with content that answers searcher’s questions for a great blog.
A pillar page is a page that contains every aspect of a topic with in-depth information. Pillar pages are very helpful to your audience who require in-depth knowledge of a topic. Additionally, it helps to improve your topical authority.
Ebooks are a great way to provide highly valuable content for your audience. With ebooks, you get the opportunity to provide in-depth solutions to a peculiar problem. A popular form that this inbound marketing type can take is by creating how-to guides.
Social media is a powerful tool for inbound marketing. Creating video content and written content that are shareable can do wonders for your outbound marketing.
Although sharing valuable creative content on social media is important, engagement strategies should also be employed to make the most of social media for your inbound marketing.
If you are having a product launch or making a huge change to your organization. A press release is one effective way to get the word out. Embrace inbound marketing channels and push the word out there through effective social media campaigns.
An abundance of words to relay information can get overwhelming. Investing in the graphic to relay a message or simplify information can be a great plus to your inbound marketing strategy.
Using newsletters to nurture leads can be quite an effective strategy. Writing valuable newsletters are a good way to remind your customers that you’re still interested in them and can be of help to them in the future. You need to convince your reader that you’re worth the space on their email list. Exclusive offers could also be shared in your newsletters. This establishes that you value your reader’s subscription
Podcasts are a great way to provide value in a fun and entertaining way. This can be a critical tool in the process of fostering a long-term relationship with your client.
Webinars are a great tool to use in your inbound marketing strategy.
Organizing a free webinar for your audience establishes trust between you and your audience because they have the opportunity to see your face and connect with your personality while receiving valuable information that is helpful to them.
Why Should I Use Inbound Marketing?
You don’t want to miss out on all the benefits you could glean from inbound marketing.
The best part is no matter what your budget is, you could always create an effective inbound marketing strategy and reap the benefits of your investment.
Take Advantage of Inbound Marketing!
Inbound marketing is a great tool for the growth of your business over time, especially when combined with outbound marketing.
You do not need a high budget, to get started on your inbound marketing strategy. Ensure to keep the inbound marketing methodology in mind when creating your strategy.
Marketing automation is a great software that is sure to make your experience easier. Get started on brainstorming content. You’ve got several content types to choose from and enjoy the ride.