If you are a marketer or an entrepreneur than you must have heard about Inbound Marketing. But what exactly is Inbound marketing, how does it work, how is it different from digital marketing and what can inbound marketing do for your business? These are some of the questions we will explore today.
Simply put- Inbound marketing is the process of attracting the attention of prospects, via content creation, before they are even ready to buy! Got that? No? Let’s try to simplify it and unravel the mystery around it.
All of us are consumers and we are constantly surrounded by ads about products telling us their benefits and asking us to buy the product. But as a consumer do you always look at an ad and decide “Great! let me go get that now!”. As a consumer, you are more empowered. The web provides instant information. You can click through details of a product, compare it with others in the same category, read reviews about a product or service and THEN you can make a choice. This makes it more difficult to “rent consumer attention”. Add to this the fact that as of December 2016 236 million internet users have active adblockers. This is where Inbound Marketing comes in.
So what Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is more of an approach than it is a list of tactics. Inbound marketing works by attracting the right type of traffic to your product/service- the people who will be the most likely to buy what you’re selling. According to HubSpot, which coined the term “inbound marketing” back in 2006, the strategy consists of four stages
- Attract: In this first stage, you attract a potential consumer by using content and popping up on search engine results.
- Convert: 2nd stage of inbound marketing requires the conversion of the visitors into leads
- Close: Once you have attracted the right leads, it time to convert them into consumers. Show your consumers how your product/ service can meet their requirements.
- Delight: This is often the most ignored stage of inbound marketing, but it’s essential to ensure that you keep the new consumers acquired happy and turn them into your advocators
Is Inbound Marketing right for my business?
Absolutely yes! Size of the business is irrelevant. If the inbound strategy is applied properly any business would see the benefits. Here are some ways in which you can use Inbound marketing to generate leads.
- Content, Content & more Content. This is the cornerstone of any inbound marketing strategy. Create and distribute meaningful content. With content marketing, you are creating, sharing interesting, relevant, and consistent content that adds value to your leads and customers. Your content has to be informative and compelling, not promotional and don’t forget to be consistent in your content generation. This content can be in any format
- Blogs & Articles
- Images and Infographics
- Videos, animations, presentations
- Whitepaper, E-books, case studies
- Email: Believe it or not but if email marketing is done right then it’s a very effective tool. It is inexpensive and integrates well into marketing plans that have lean budgets. The key to good email marketing is delivering personalized and highly-targeted content to a well-segmented consumer base. It’s a great tool for nurturing leads and current customers.
- Don’t forget to be Social. Reach out to your consumers via the numerous social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn. Just know this that it’s not important to be on each and every channel. Select the channel where your potential consumers are likely to hang out. Put out content to engage and don’t forget to respond to queries, comments and feedback.
- Don’t forget SEO. Most consumers begin their online journey with a search engine. So, make sure that you have optimized your content and website for search engines. Also, remember that consistency and quality equal better rank in the search engines.
- Call to Action is necessary to convert your leads. A CTA should be exactly that, a clear call asking your leads to take a specific action.
Inbound marketing is a great solution for businesses trying to expand & grow or become more profitable. Its methodology enables you to generate traffic and leads, acquire new customers and provide positive ROI analysis to help you grow your business more profitably.