Inbound Marketing is a term that becomes more and more popular these days. For a very good reason. This article will tell you the reason, provides a good overview about Inbound Marketing and what it does for your customers to eventually grow your business.
SO WHY INBOUND MARKETING?
First and foremost – because Outbound Marketing is broken.
People are tuning out of traditional marketing, disruptive tactics. While you may think disruption is necessary and something positive, let’s have a closer look at people's behaviour. It shows that the old marketing playbook is broken: 94% skip TV ads, 91% unsubscribe from eMail, 27% never open a direct mail, 200M are on the “Do not call list” in the United States and you just think about yourself - do you want to be advertised?
Do you want to be advertised?
Well, even if your answer to this question is "It depends", you still need the feeling you have not wasted time and have been entertained or got value out of your attention.
And this is where Inbound Marketing enters the game.
WHAT IS INBOUND MARKETING?
Simply put, Inbound Marketing is a permission-based type of organic marketing. It does not require you and your business to find your audience and target them.
The audience finds you.
BUT HOW DOES IT WORK?
By using Content Marketing methods, generating content that is helpful to your audience and provides value.
Simply by not trying to sell. Act like a publisher, not like an advertiser!
It is marketing people can love.
Why? Because it offers the right content at the right time and the right place. Just as people want it. And without getting interrupted.
It’s the only marketing that's left.
Content Marketing is the only marketing that’s left.
When marketing professor, blogger and bestseller author Seth Godin once said this sentence, he meant that there is so many disruptive advertising people will only pay attention to marketing that is adding value to them. As a marketing organisation, this means only focussing on your audience's needs and not on your products and services. Not yet, at least.
BUT HOW DOES THE AUDIENCE FIND US?
Organically. By optimising content to the search behaviour and interest of your customers. You find out what is interesting and relevant to your audience, inform and educate them. And don't sell to them. Yet.
AND THEN? ONCE I MADE A STRANGER A VISITOR?
In short, you convert your visitors to leads, make those leads your customers and delight your customers to retain them and keep them happy. Probably in such a way they even promote you and your business to others!
INBOUND MARKETING IS CONTENT MARKETING ON STEROIDS
In addition to Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing is data-driven and adds the conversion part to marketing. It lets you get to know your audience in a more detailed way and makes the impact of your content publishing activities measurable.
HOW DOES INBOUND MARKETING HELP IN DETAIL?
There are 4 major marketing needs Inbound Marketing will support you with:
1. Getting traffic
- With the help of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and optimising content to your audience's key search terms.
- By publishing your content on social media channels - preferably organically and not paid.
2. Getting leads
- By placing calls-to-action in your publications. For instance, in your blog posts, that drive your audience to Landing pages that will offer content that of such a high value for it is worth for them to give some information about themselves in return. Like their name and eMail address.
- This information will allow you to reach out to your leads and provide them with more valuable, helpful content and get them more interested in your company's products and services.
3. Getting customers
- The better you know your audience the more you will understand their needs and behaviours. By using Marketing Automation techniques and sending eMails containing content that serves these needs you will learn when the time is right to pick up the phone and start your selling process.
- Provide your sales team with more intelligence on your visitors. By handing over those sales qualified leads your salespeople will be able to make more effective sales calls.
4. Analysing your activities
- With this step by step process and the right tool setup in the background you will be able to measure the success of your activities, the impact of your content and information. You will be able to measure the effectiveness of your conversion activities and eventually how much revenue you get out of your marketing spend. You will be able to start measuring the Return on Investment (ROI)
IS IT REALLY SO EFFECTIVE?
Looking at statistics it shows that the Cost of an Inbound Lead is 61% lower than the cost of an outbound lead. And 65% of marketers say that generating leads is their priority while 33% say that traditional advertising is losing importance. There is a high number of case studies available that will show you the impact in your industry or service area.
HOW DO I GET IT STARTED?
First and foremost – By getting to know your audience.
All your marketing efforts and activities will be more effective and efficient if you serve your audience's needs and address their challenges. By offering content that educates and adds value.
By directing your audiences to your content hub.
Even if you have high number of fans and followers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other mainstream platforms, you should aim to get traffic onto your owned assets. By creating a content hub you invite people into your world, letting them experience your expertise, the great value you can offer. Additionally, you will be able to get to know them better by tracking their behaviour, not relying on non-transparent metrics from 3rd party platforms and measuring the impact yourself.
By delighting your audience.
By creating content that adds value for them. And never stop. That is how you start a long-lasting relationship with your audience that appreciates your content and expertise a lot. And that is what it is about. You are the expert, they seek out for help.
Learn more – become more of an expert in your field
A side benefit for you and your business is that by creating this content yourself or with your expertise and support, you will learn about your field of expertise in more detail. With every published article, with every eBook, with every infographic, podcast or video.
With the analytical tools at hand you will learn what attracted the visitors at the very beginning of your relationship. And what made them eventually become your customers by selling your product or service.
And in the end, that's what is all about!
Inbound Marketing is there to meet your business objectives.
Credit: © Markus Spiske/Unsplash