When you think of the word marketing you associate it mostly with advertising and that someone is trying to sell their product to you. People in today’s digital society are becoming increasingly exposed to various types of advertising and encouraged to constantly buy new products or services. It is an outdated way of doing advertising and people do not like being forced into buying products. It is more productive and profitable instead to listen to customers and understand their needs, therefore inbound marketing is more effective to work by.
What does inbound marketing consist of?
For you to get visitors and followers you need to create content that is relevant to your audience. Therefore, content marketing is an important part of inbound marketing. You give your visitors relevant information that they like to read, and that is helpful for their various challenges. However, it is important that the content is optimized for the search engines so that people can easily find it online. Think about the keywords you use and where you pick your sources.
Social media is important to use because you have the chance to show your followers what is going on within the company and to create a dialogue with your audience. Social media gives your business a “human face” outward. Using a sound social media strategy and posting relevant and interesting content will get your business more exposure.
photo from: Gavin Llewellyn
Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?
When we think of traditional marketing, we usually think of advertising on television, radio and newspapers. This kind of marketing is also called outbound marketing and is considered by most people to be intrusive and disruptive. To get more leads, people who are interested in your product or service, the obvious choice is to start working with inbound marketing. There are countless amounts of statistics that show the benefits of inbound marketing, below are some of them:
- Over 60% more cost effective than traditional marketing.
- 82% of all marketers that blog have a positive ROI.
- Properly implemented Inbound marketing is ten times more efficient to convert leads into becoming customers.
- Inbound Marketing gives you over 50% more leads than outbound marketing.
- 80% of decision makers in a company prefer to receive business information through articles rather than regular ads.
Inbound Marketing methodology
Inbound marketing has become the obvious choice to work by because the digital market is constantly expanding. By adapting your content to your audience, you get a better chance to convert potential visitors to become customers. This also creates a natural relationship between buyers and sellers. For you to succeed in acquiring customers, there are four steps in inbound marketing that show how to convert a stranger to become a potential buyer. These four steps are:
- Attract: To succeed in attracting people to your website, you must first know the audience you are targeting. This makes it easier to find potential leads that you can then convert to become satisfied customers. Knowing the “buyer persona“, who your customer is, is necessary for your business to succeed. Find out what their goals, challenges and problems are to be able to reach out to them the right way.
Once you know your company’s “buyer persona” start doing blogs, SEO and social media to reach out to this appropriate audience with the right communication. Remember that your website is your digital storefront, optimize it for your target audience.
- Convert: Once you have attracted a lead to your website it is important that you nurture the lead to eventually convert them into a customer. You do this by trying to get them to sign up to your newsletter, complete a survey, use the “Call-to-Action”, for example, to get them to download an e-book.
- Close: When you come to this stage in the inbound process, it is important that your lead becomes a customer. By using the right marketing tools, you can be sure to convert a lead to a customer. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) facilitates this by providing you with details of your contacts so that you will have all the information to engage with potential buyers on their preferred channels.
An e-newsletter is another tool that is effective. When a visitor chooses to sign up for your newsletter or clicks on a call-to-action, it is important that you can provide your lead relevant content. It increases the chances that they become clients. Marketing automation is the process of optimizing your email marketing. Depending on where your lead is coming from, you can create content that reflects their personalized interests.
- Delight: Inbound marketing is about creating long-term relationships, not only with customers but also with visitors and leads. The hope is that your satisfied customers will spread their experience with others and continue to give you repeat business, statistics show that returning customers spend 67% more than new customers.
Striving to be better is important and it might be good to let your visitors or customers fill out a questionnaire, showing that you care about their opinion. Keep up to date about what is good and what can be improved. Also, keep in touch with your followers on social media to know what they like and dislike. It is essential that your company has a “human face” to constantly communicate with your audience.
Inbound marketing is the obvious choice to work by. Instead of you as a marketer constantly trying to push the customer to buy something, it is better to let the customer come to you when they are ready. Creating content that responds to your customers’ problems and needs is effective in establishing long-term relationships that are beneficial to both parties.
If you are curious or want to know more about how effective inbound marketing can be for your business, feel free to leave a comment.