What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is about attracting people to your business by first of all creating exciting and interesting content. This can be done through blogs, keywords or social publishing to attract your target customer. When someone engages directly with your company (by visiting your website for example) they should already be inclined to like your products. This means they are already on the way to becoming loyal customers. Inbound marketing is all about building trust and long-lasting relationships with people in a more human and personal way.
Attract, Engage, Delight
Hubspot is at the cutting edge of Inbound Marketing and they base their model around 3 principles – attract, engage and delight.
The first step is to create content that will reach your target audience and provide them some value. This content could take many forms, such as posts on social media, blog articles or product offers. For instance, you might publish a how-to guide for one of your products, or some customer reviews and testimonials, or info about your latest promotions and discounts. The trick is to create content that people will organically engage with as they browse the internet and go about their day to day lives.
Inbound Marketing is about building long term relationships with people. You are not tricking people into visiting your business – they are there because they want to be – but you still need effective engagement strategies to make sure they stick around. Try establishing exemplary customer service by making sure that any inbound calls you get are handled by friendly and helpful advisors. Use conversational bots or online chat on your website so that customers can have their queries answered promptly. Work on selling solutions rather than products. With this, you can set up a mutually beneficial relationship and provide value to your potential customers.
Delighting Inbound strategies are needed to ensure that customers remain satisfied long after they have made a purchase. It is important to continue to support your customers after they have bought your product. By using carefully constructed surveys and by asking for and incorporating their feedback you continue to delight your customer. Make sure that people remain satisfied with your products by asking for feedback 6 months after purchase. Use social media to check what people have been saying about your newest bestseller and provide them with info about new products and answer any queries they might have.
Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing
The world of marketing is changing. Outbound marketing techniques are becoming less and less effective. People are becoming more resistant to the traditional marketing tactics: 94% of TV audiences now skip ads; 91% of people unsubscribe from email; 27% of direct mail is never opened; 200m people are on the Do Not Call list. We are all becoming a bit more jealous of our time and a bit savvier when it comes to avoiding unwanted ads. To attract new customers these days, companies need to think differently, and this is where inbound marketing comes in. Inbound marketing provides content that customers want to read and actively engage with. People
appreciate the chance to engage with content on their terms, in their own time, rather than being bombarded by spam emails or having their day interrupted by a cold call.
Examples of Inbound Marketing
Social Media: Posting content on social media is an extremely effective way to attract new customers. If you can pique someone’s interest while they casually browsing their newsfeed, you take that first step to building a mutually beneficial relationship. If you are a food or drinks company, for instance, post photos of your products looking especially delicious and new customers are sure to come flocking.
Blog: People engage with companies on a deeper level by following their blog posts. There is a lot of competition out there, so if a blog is to be successful it needs to be full of fresh and engaging ideas. It’s a good idea to use colours and images, animated graphics, and exquisite designs to make the blog more interesting. The writing also needs to attract people’s attention, whether it be through humour, or a personal touch, or by displaying a unique voice.
Video: People love to consume information through video these days – it’s fun and it requires less effort than reading. A great way to foster engagement is to use videos to tell stories about people who represent your brand. Companies are moving away from traditional tv adverts to create more personal and genuine videos to connect with their customers. Videos can be posted in places where there is a lot of traffic such as on social media channels or Youtube.
Microsite: Creating an exciting multimedia experience with your website can help to spark interest in your products. You can use videos, quizzes, and other interactive elements to draw people in and get across your message in a fun and unobtrusive way.
Construct an Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy
With Inbound Marketing, it is important to create effective marketing to sales funnel. It would be a waste if you had wowed people with your content and it didn’t lead to anything further. Remember the three principles – attract, engage and delight. Once you attract people to your website, you need CTAs, lead flows, and landing pages to make sure that marketing leads to sales. Then you need strategies to make sure that people remain satisfied with your services. You can use email and marketing automation to continue to keep in touch with your customers.