Inbound Marketing has become increasingly popular over the years, and with good reason!
Let’s look at what exactly Inbound Marketing is and how you can implement it within your business.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a strategic approach to creating content your potential customers are interested in.
Content that offers solutions to their problems – or solutions to issues they may not know they have until you point them out!
Using content in this way aims to foster a relationship with your audience and develop a connection that will convert a follower into a client for your business.
Simply put, you want to offer value at every stage of their interactions with you.
Inbound marketing is effective across multiple channels – the most obvious being social media. Other activities to consider are email marketing campaigns, blog articles, and website copy, to name but a few.
Let’s examine how inbound marketing could work in your business.
3 Simple Ways Inbound Marketing Can Work For You
Let’s start with Social Media.
Love it or hate it, social media marketing is vital in today’s “always on” world and will help your business achieve substantial reach with little to no costs (apart from your time, of course, or unless you spend money on advertising!). Social Media will help you to foster the “know, like and trust” model within your business. You may have heard this term before, but if you haven’t, it means buyers are more likely to buy from a company they know and trust.
Social Media allows you to connect with potential buyers by creating tailored content to target their pain points with your business solution. To further enhance the message, follow up with a specific CTA (Call to Action) that directs readers to the next stage of your sales funnel. For example, ‘Follow for more tips’, ‘Click the link below’ or ‘Drop me a dm’.
CTA’s can be delivered as direct instructions or casual suggestions depending on what you feel will work better with your audience.
My second example is email marketing.
In this instance, the folks on your mailing list have already shown a direct interest in you and your company, so they are what I call “warm leads”. As they have already signed up for your newsletter, there is more chance that your carefully crafted content will go directly into their Inbox.
Email marketing is also great for enticing a purchase with exclusive offers. You may have seen these in action, for example, “use this code when purchasing (only available to subscribers)”.
Another example is something you’re reading right now.
Blogging on your website is not only great for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) but, if done consistently, will get your website and business in front of people who are looking for the solutions you provide.
Once readers have landed on your website or blog, you can invite them to ‘subscribe to your newsletter’ or create a registration pop-up advertising your next event or webinar.
Is Inbound Marketing Effective?
Now that we have seen a few examples of what Inbound Marketing can look like, you may ask yourself, is it effective?
As I mentioned, once buyers trust your brand, they are more likely to buy from you.
A well-thought-out content marketing strategy can help build this trust and, in the long term, will add revenue to your bottom line.
Here are a few stats I found to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
- Companies that apply inbound marketing strategies can generate as much as 126% more leads than those that don’t.
- Leads gathered through inbound marketing have a higher conversion rate. For example, leads gained through SEO have a close rate of 14.6% compared to just 1.7% with outbound marketing.
- Campaigns that integrate multiple channels have enjoyed a 90% higher customer retention rate than single-channel marketing strategies.
These figures show that when incorporated into your marketing strategy, Inbound Marketing can generate more leads with a higher chance of conversion and a better lifetime value.
What Does an Inbound Marketing Strategy Look Like?
So, now that you know the value of Inbound Marketing, the next area to look at is how to implement one for your business.
Most strategies focus on 3 or 4 stages – this graphic from Neil Patel illustrates the stages nicely:
Let’s look at each of these stages in a little more detail:
Attract – This is where your content comes into play. You need to create content that will draw your audience in. That may mean using multiple pieces of content across various channels to amplify your message and reach the audience you seek.
Convert – Adding a powerful CTA tells your readers what you want them to do next – sign up for an email, attend an event, or download a brochure.
Close – In some instances, a sale will close quickly. In others, it may have been left unfinished for whatever reason. Adopting cart abandonment emails, retargeting visitors to your website, and sending reminder emails are all ways to send gentle reminders and help seal the deal!
Delight – Never underestimate the importance of ensuring your clients are happy and are getting the value you promised them. Not only does this build brand loyalty, but it will encourage clients to advocate on your behalf, becoming brand ambassadors. We all know how likely we are to purchase from a recommended business. It’s the ultimate marketing goal!
So, What’s Not Great About Inbound Marketing?
I’ve talked a lot about the advantages of Inbound Marketing, but there are some disadvantages you may want to keep in mind before kick-starting your own Inbound Marketing Strategy.
- It does take time. Identifying your buyers’ needs, targeting the right buyer personas, and ensuring you deliver the “right” content on the “right” platform at the “right” time can be time-consuming!
- It can be tricky to measure your ROI (Return on Investment). Even though you’re creating great content, it doesn’t mean you will instantly get the leads you’re looking for. You may find that multiple pieces of content will be needed across different channels before you start to see leads come into your sales funnel. This can make tracking a bit tricky.
- It’s very noisy out there, and competition can be fierce! Finding the right message and producing something that stands out from “all the rest” can be challenging.
All this aside, I believe incorporating Inbound Marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy will serve you better in the long run and is much more suited to today’s buyers and how we all consume information.
The main thing to remember is quality over quantity.
If you produce one killer blog every two months, that’s much better than hashing out the “same old, same ol’” every week.
What’s The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
So, what is the difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
In a nutshell, Inbound marketing is pulling customers in with messages, blogs, and emails that resonate with them – that make sense to them.
In contrast, Outbound Marketing pushes messages out and covers the more “traditional” marketing activities like TV and radio ads, events, and direct mail campaigns. As a result, outbound Marketing is an excellent way to start a conversation with potential buyers.
Inbound marketing is most certainly a powerful element of every marketing strategy. It is also very effective when combined with outbound marketing initiatives.
However, before starting any marketing activities, you must understand what you want to achieve, whom you are talking to and what resources you’re working with.
If you think your business could benefit from an Inbound Marketing strategy, let’s grab a virtual cuppa and have a chat.
Drop me an email at Lissa@dynamicmarketing.ie
And be sure to check out my website for some more of my insights into the wonderful world of B2B marketing!