Inbound marketing is a digital marketing strategy that allows you to gain more traffic, more online traffic, and better consumer engagement through organic sources. Inbound marketing is all about minimizing the interruptions for your consumers so they can reach you better. This helps maximize the number of visitors to your site, who are interested in seeking out the products and services you are selling.
Any organization, anywhere in the world can easily undertake inbound marketing to effectively benefit their operations. All you need to do is understand how inbound marketing works.
What is it?
When it comes to inbound marketing, it is concerned altogether with getting all your web content to reach your consumers, as and when they need it. In order to do this, you will be required to create for your organization a good online presence, that is not restricted to just having an official website. You will also need to focus on getting online presence from social media, video sharing websites, blogging platforms and other content-sharing sites you can think of.
Apart from focussing on creating an online presence, you will also need to get into the technical aspects of SEO in order to make sure your content is getting great views across search engines and at the same time acquiring analytical skills to assess your online consumer engagement.
Even though inbound marketing and SEO are a part of the same path, they are not quite the same!
Despite all the SEO strategies that are used when it comes to making inbound marketing work, and even though these strategies often overlap, they are not the same. They are not synonymous. The main focus of SEO is to ensure your website appears on all the right spots at the right time when people are looking for it!
However, inbound marketing is focused greatly on being found on the desired channels, where your customers are bound to engage with you the most. These channels are the connections that help your site visitors get the content you have to offer. This valuable content, therefore, reaches your target audience when they desire the same.
Inbound marketing, therefore, seeks all your industrial knowledge and use it to feed your target audience content value. They can rely on your content, solve whatever issues they have and make their lives much better. What SEO does here is to make your content visible easily on online sources, but it is not the only digital marketing solution you require. Inbound marketing along with SEO is what you require as a complete facet of online promotion for your brand. They cohesively create something that your audiences are going to end up cherish and engage with!
The distinct character of Inbound Marketing
Before inbound marketing came into the picture, organizations and marketing gurus were focussed on traditional marketing. They advertised their brand as widely as possible. But, it did not end up well in the long run, since it is now replaced by digital marketing because of the fact that traditional marketing was not able to offer the value people desired.
Inbound marketing makes it easier for consumers and organizations to get in touch with each other with the help of online interactions and content sharing. Content that is helpful for them and is relevant to them, feeding them value in their daily life is something they crave. Inbound marketing just makes it easier for these people to find it better, without any interruptions that were a huge concern with conventional marketing means.
Inbound marketing words through four different ways:
- The official websites
- Blog sites
- Search engines
- Social media platforms
Sharing relevant and valuable content on these websites makes it easier for the audience to trust you better, know your brand value and ideals better and have faith in your business better. It restores the credibility of your brand it trying to gain.
Inbound marketing works better than anything else because:
- Over 80% of people skip the advertisements they see on their screens
- Over 90% of people unsubscribe from promotional emails and newsletters
- Over 200 million people have a Do Not Call activated on their personal phone numbers
- And lastly, over 45% of people do not even open the direct emails they receive from brands
Inbound marketing is therefore not just valuable in terms of consumer engagement and satisfaction, but also in terms of revenue generation.
The methodology behind inbound marketing works on four major levels:
Attracting your target audience is how it starts. The right traffic from the right sources is what your business is looking for. Inbound marketing is just going to make this process easier. The ideal consumers are going to be your ideal audience.
The right consumers will end up being happier when they are attracted by the quality content you are going to post. To attract the right consumer base, it is important that you are able to create a persona of your targeted audience. The persona you create is going to determine all your consumers in terms of their desires, their needs, their requirements, the challenges they face, their objectives, their personal information, their demographics, and much more. Your business runs mostly around fulfilling these needs.
Once you have managed to attract your potential customers your way, the next step you are about to face is converting them. Converting them into leads is something you need to focus on. You can do this by getting in touch with your audiences and deriving their personal as well as demographic information.
This contact information can be derived from the consumers with the help of helpful, informational content in various forms. This content could be in the form of social media posts, videos, blogs and articles, listicles and checklists, eBooks, whitepapers, newsletters and much more.
Once you have managed to attract the right number of customers and converted them into the right leads, you are supposed to close them as your customers.
Closing the deal with your potential consumers is what is going to actually make them your actual customers. Effectively using your marketing tools to accomplish this goal is something you need to focus on in this step.
After you have managed to put in all the hard work of attracting your potential consumers, converting them and ending up closing the deal, you are now supposed to finally delight them.
How do you delight your consumers?
Well, you do it by sharing value with your consumers and giving them a nice experience overall. This usually ends up with you getting a good word of mouth on the online spectrum.
The whole concept of inbound marketing is technically based on delighting your customers at every single step with qualitative content. No matter what stage your customers are at, potential or otherwise, your customers are truly the kings and you need to do whatever it takes to sell them your products and services. If they are happy, they are going to promote your brand name all across the globe, giving you an edge in this competitive world.
When does it actually work?
Inbound marketing works in two major scenarios.
- For organizations with a long business cycle
- For organizations with highly valued products
In the first scenario, inbound marketing works in a highly specialised manner. It relies on selling your products to your target audience, which sometimes is a difficulty for the buyers to choose from. This complexity arises from the overall complexity of the products you are selling.
Buyers can sometimes not evaluate the importance and overall advantages the products and services could provide to them, which is where inbound marketing helps. Having a long and pretty complex buying cycle offers your buyers with the right opportunities and you with the right amount of leads by giving them value. Your potential customer needs the insight to make a better decision, which inbound marketing does!
Inbound marketing helps you here by spreading the word about your products and the benefits it can provide to your consumers in the long run. You only need to figure out a way in which your product and your brand name is being talked about, which can be easily done with the help of inbound marketing.
The second scenario deals with figuring out a way to sell your highly valued products. Having a wide range of products that are too valuable could lead to a situation wherein consumers end up being confused about a lot of factors. It is difficult for them to comprehend the features and benefits without external help. You can be that external help!
All you need to do is figure out a way to promote yourself through content. You could rely on informative and educational content, put in some inbound marketing strategies and generate better leads to garner more sales and more revenues.
There is a lot of material to read and go through when it comes to inbound marketing, but what inbound marketing books and guides might not tell you are the practical aspects. People love marketing and marketing loves people! Having the right inbound marketing strategy, followed by the right SEO and digital marketing strategy is relevant on multiple levels for your business. Making the right efforts in the right direction, with the right strategy, without wasting a dime is something you need to look forward to. Your organization can reach the right people at the right time, all you need to do is focus on the right inbound marketing strategies!