Today’s marketing strategies have basically wiped out outbound marketing tactics and have warmly embraced the inbound marketing way. Gone are the days of expensive, multiplatform advertising monopolized by giant corporations. Today, even then newest startups have a chance to leverage their efforts thanks to the low risk, high return promises of inbound strategies.
With all this hype about inbound marketing, it’s almost unnatural not to know what it’s all about. In this article, we’ll walk you through the very core of inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing: Definition
Inbound marketing uses valuable, compelling content that attracts visitors even before they are sales ready. It’s the inbound way to reach quality prospective candidates prior to the purchasing plan or decision. Using inbound principles, you can lead, nurture, and convert prospects into new consumers more efficiently than costly, time-consuming outbound methods.
Inbound Marketing: Principles
One of the main driving principles of inbound marketing is ‘customer-focus.’ Since inbound marketing turns your efforts towards drawing in clients rather than reaching out to cold market, identifying the needs and wants of your consumers is a priority. Conducting extensive market research that involves purchasing behaviors, preferences, and similar behaviors is an important part of creating a buyer persona.
Aside from being customer-oriented, inbound marketing should uphold valuable and interesting content that caters to niche-specific topics and questions. This is the very essence of inbound marketing; visitors should gravitate towards your business through the content you offer.
Engagement is critical principle that sets inbound marketing apart from outbound marketing. While the outbound method merely throws out efforts to get noticed by the general public, inbound marketing plans and measures the engagement through strategizing, analyzing conversion paths, and building sales pipelines and funnels.
Being organized comes naturally with inbound marketing; it has phases to follow and methodologies to apply in certain order. Inevitably, businesses that use inbound marketing will create a sound, organized system for their marketing operations.
Inbound Marketing: Phases
Inbound marketing can be broken down into four phases. Each phase comes with an opportunity to screen and filter the responses, successfully narrowing down the otherwise chaotic mob into an organized pool of potential leads and customers.
In the attract phase, you provide the right content to the right people when they are looking for it—or even before they start digging. This is possible with the use of self-published blogs, guest posts, and various social media engagements.
Next is the convert phase where you transform visitors into leads by engaging them. This is done usually by starting conversations, opening up forms, and offering free meetings and consultations. It’s highly suggested that you make use of customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to handle existing and potential customers efficiently.
When you’ve successfully converted the right leads, your next step is to transform them into clients. This is known as the close phase. This is where lead nurturing and marketing automation becomes crucial. This is also the stage where you would want to employ pipeline management and social media or email strategies.
Closing leads isn’t the end of your in inbound marketing efforts; it’s a cycle that ends with a satisfied pool of customers. When you provide information and solve your customers’ issues with your services or products plus outstanding customer service, you’re effectively turning patrons into promoters, leads into loyal consumers.
Inbound Marketing: Methods
Inbound marketing methodology runs in different—but overlapping—methods that include SEO, content marketing (i.e. blogging), social media marketing, email marketing, and web development.
SEO is an integral part of the inbound approach as it helps your site be better understood by Google crawl bots for indexing. The more your site successfully satisfies the algorithms, the higher your SERP ranking. The higher your SERP ranking, the greater your chances for organic traffic and—consequently—lead conversion and closing.
Going by the principles of the inbound approach, content accounts for most of the value your business brings to its consumers. Blogs offering grade-A content not only reel in visitors and increase leads; they also heighten awareness regarding your brand as well. Content marketing has proven effective with 55% of marketers across industries setting it as a top priority in their strategies.
Going social is also part of a solid inbound marketing, most especially in this age where all of the generations—from Gen Z up to the baby boomers—have social media accounts. Engaging with your demographic and diversifying your content to fit several social media platforms should help you get the value out and grab their curiosity.
Although regarded by many as an old and overused stratagem, email marketing remains a part of many businesses inbound approach. Why? Email usage is growing; 2014 alone saw an estimated 4.1 billion active email accounts, and that number is projected to grow to 5.6 billion by the end of the decade.
Inbound marketing continues to thrive at the height of ecommerce. It’s part of every marketers successful story; one that can be yours, given proper execution and marketing grit. Go the inbound way and tap the right people to help.