What is Inbound Marketing?
Social media, blogs, and search engines are powerful marketing tools. They extend the reach of your business and ensure that potential customers find you. Content that is beneficial to your customer base means that you are fulfilling a need that people have. This establishes trust and credibility for your business and is the cornerstone of Inbound Marketing.
Outbound can be considered the classic style of marketing. It involves pushing the product or service to the potential customers. Inbound is a little more organic, it is about the customer finding your business via their search. Where outbound will traditionally use channels such as T.V, magazine or even direct mail, inbound focuses on quality content via your digital channels.
There are four stages of the methodology of inbound:
Attract | Convert | Close | Delight
The basis of this idea is to have people find your business. From here, you turn them into customers and eventually have them tell others how amazing you are.
How Can Inbound Marketing Propel Your Company into Success?
With the exception of Superbowl commercials, very few people enjoy advertisements. We can all agree that ads are annoying, especially when they pop-up unannounced in places they aren’t welcome. Inbound marketing removes this issue. People can’t get frustrated by ads if they are seeking them out. A Superbowl ad looks to throw its product against a wall to see what sticks. Inbound filters the audience to those already looking for the product. Understanding the intent of the consumer by gathering information about the individual ensures you are selling to an audience more likely to purchase.
Some key points to remember:
- Putting your business in front of the right target audience leads to them finding you
- An essential element of the process is performance evaluation
- Analysing your blogs and posts to ensure that the content you are creating is useful for your customers
- Inbound marketing is based on an understanding of who the customer is and what they are looking for
- Customer engagement is a crucial part of the process
- Creating a positive experience for your audience helps with word-of-mouth and builds trust
Customer base aside, inbound marketing will help you with time management and affordability. Rather than spending time on a cold call strategy or advertising to people who are not in need of your product, you can put your efforts into having leads come to you from a target audience who are already looking for your services. The inbound strategy can be a lower cost alternative which allows you to tailor your marketing team to more specific tasks.
What’s The Difference Between Content and Inbound Marketing?
Interestingly, Inbound and Content Marketing need each other to be successful. We’ve spoken a lot about Content already, the attraction of potential customers through engaging and helpful content relevant to your business. It is a faction of Inbound Marketing which also includes the use of things like web design and mailing lists.
When a buyer decides they are interested in a product or have a problem that requires a service they will begin to gather information. They will assess and research their option and then decide on a product or service and vendor. During the early stages of the journey, the content will be informative. It could be an eBook, whitepaper or instructional video, anything that will assist the consumer in their research. During the decision process, consumers will benefit from case studies, data sheets, and FAQs. Upon selection, free trials, discount codes or demo videos will help to complete the transaction. Keep in mind that Inbound Marketing is reliant on high traffic to determine its success and content is the bait!
As technology changes, marketing strategies also must evolve. You may notice the advertisements in your Facebook feed are now eerily related to your current interests. A perfect example of how account-based marketing is developing.
Instagram is another example of how marketing has changed as technology evolves. Initially, Instagram ads were very subtle, with companies paying high profile accounts to place their products within posts. Now you see the advertisements as blatant ads in your feed designed to look like something you are already following.
Predicting what marketing trends will be popular in the future can be as easy as aligning them to the latest technological advances (check the list of features on a new release phone for example). Smart and unique marketing approaches to these new outlets will always work well. You never know what could be next to go viral!
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