What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is about gaining the trust of potential customers by providing free advice insights and solutions to them. So, when they are ready to make a purchase or need a qualified service, they are likely to come back to you because ‘you already have their attention and trust’.
The whole process of inbound marketing is a little different from traditional outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is associated with paid media. In other words, it's the traditional marketing methods, namely, buying email lists, or cell phone numbers, running print ads, cold calling, or buying radio/tv ads. It's like pushing a marketing message out to a large group of random people and hoping they will convert or respond.
A few years ago, marketing was all about these traditional methods until Hubspot introduced us to this new term, "Inbound Marketing." The term inbound marketing was first coined by Hubspot, back in 2006. According to Hubspot, inbound marketing is a “business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.”
Inbound marketing facilitates creating helpful content or providing helpful insights, and solutions to potential customers when they are looking for one. This way, you don’t have to force a customer to watch your ad and end up annoying them in the long run. Customers today have access to in-depth knowledge about the service or product that they want- thus showing ads here and there annoys them instead of converting them.
For example, as a customer, one might hate random emails of different ventures or service providers. Instead of these emails that one never signed up for, one would prefer someone whose content has helped one in solving a problem.
This is where inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing, and this is exactly why everyone prefers inbound marketing these days. In the case of inbound marketing, you don't end up annoying anyone with your marketing gimmicks.
Why would you prefer inbound marketing?
Inbound is a better way to market, a better way to sell, and a much better way to help your customers --all to help your company grow in the long-term.
When you provide helpful information or solutions to your customer, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can eventually Convert, Close, and Delight over time.
On this day, buyers are more empowered. They have access to almost all the information they need, for example, Pricing, review of any product, specs, or review of any service even before buying a product or going for a service.
So, in this sense, inbound marketing is very powerful as it gives you the opportunity to provide your potential customer with exactly what they are looking for.
And this is how you can build trust and the reputation of your brand.
So, it's high time you eliminate outdated "renting marketing" strategies and start implementing inbound marketing strategies instead so that customers get attracted to you without you having to chase them down.
Benefits of inbound marketing
While the result derived from inbound marketing might seem "less" in the short term, it proves to be more fruitful than the traditional marketing ways in the long run.
Here are some benefits that you derive by implementing inbound marketing techniques:
Inbound marketing helps to build trust among potential customers for your brand. The customers start to think of your brand as a trustworthy one, and as we all know, trust is very important for a brand to get loyal customers or convert potential leads into sales.
In inbound marketing, you are not directly selling your service or product; rather, you are providing potential customers with what they actually need. So, basically, you present yourself as a useful and reliable resource rather than pushing sales at every opportunity.
Reaches the right audience and generates quality traffic
If you focus on reaching the right audience by inbound marketing strategy, you will be able to reach potential leads that are more likely to convert into sales. This is more likely to work rather than just spending money to attract customers who are not even likely to convert ever. So, targeting the right audience is more important, and if that's what you want, inbound marketing is the right choice for your business.
No need to rely on one single platform
Unlike traditional outbound marketing techniques, inbound marketing gives you the scope to pursue quality traffic from several sources such as organic search, referrals from other websites or social media, etc. Therefore, it reduces the risk of depending on one single platform.
Needless to say, in this digital era, mass marketing is highly ineffective, and apart from that, it is RISKY and COSTLY. Undoubtedly, this risk and cost derived from mass marketing are unnecessary. On the other hand, with more focused advertising spend on inbound marketing, your business will be able to cut these unnecessary costs and receive higher ROI over time.
Steps to Implement Inbound Marketing for Your Business:
If you want the best result from inbound marketing, you have to implement it in the right way. How to do it? Let’s see the exact process.
1. Identify your target customer
If you want to derive the best results from inbound marketing, the first thing you must do is identify your target customer. Knowing your customer persona or target customer is very important to aid their needs. You need to focus on a buyer persona and make it the basic structure of your entire strategy.
2. Identify the best approach to reach the target customer.
When you are done identifying your target customer group and the buyer persona, it’s time for you to find out the best approach to reach your target customer. You need to understand their needs, their problems, and provide solutions accordingly.
3. Revise your current strategy
Before creating a new plan, have a look at your current marketing strategy and identify the points or sectors that need to be changed. Revise and reshape your marketing strategy according to the demands of your target customer group.
4. The final plan of action
After following the previous stages, you will be able to come up with a final plan of action prepared in detail at this stage.
Stages of inbound marketing strategy
In order to do inbound marketing right, you must have a specific strategy to follow. And when you are thinking of coming up with a strategy to follow, you must know what your customers want before you start.
Nonetheless, there are four basic stages of an inbound marketing strategy. Such as:
- Attract: Attract your visitors by providing the solutions to their problems through your content
- Convert: Convert your visitors into leads
- Close: Transform leads into customers
- Delight: Turn your customers into the promoters of your business
1. Attract your visitors to your content
Once you know everything that you need to know about your target customer, you would like to attract them with the content that they are looking for on your website. This will make them notice you and know about the existence of your brand. This is the first stage, and this stage includes creating content that your customers need, which adds value and making the content reach your target customer in the best way possible.
Now the question is how to make sure that your content reaches the target customer?
The answer is SEO.
There is no alternative to SEO. If you can do search engine optimization of your content right, it will rank high on Google's landing page and boom, there are your customers getting your content right when they are searching for it.
Along with search engine optimization, creating content that adds value or content with quality is also important. Your content must be able to answer your target customer's questions, provide a proper solution or guideline they are looking for, and educate them properly.
In inbound marketing, SEO, and quality content, both are equally necessary to attract the customers to your content. You cannot do with the absence of any one of these two.
2. Convert your visitors into leads
So, when you know that the target customer is interested in your content, what will you do?
You are supposed to make way for them to find more content that they might be interested in.
In other words, converting your visitors into leads.
This is the stage where you collect the contact information of your target customer so that you can engage them. Once you engage them, they will be able to find more content and might realize why they should do business with you or take your service.
Now, how to convert the visitors into leads?
Here are a few tactics:
1. Opt-in forms
2. Call to action
Using opt-in forms can come handy to gather personal data like name, email address, etc. so that you can engage interested visitors and convert them into leads.
Here, in order to optimize for conversions, you must make sure that the opt-in form is easy and simple so that your customer doesn’t find it annoying to fill it up.
A call to action is the visual invitation to convince the visitors to make an action. Call-to-action (CTA) is bold, straight-forward, clear, and, most importantly, action-oriented.
Always keep in mind that the CTA is relevant to the text and destination. Putting CTA recklessly won't make any sense.
3. Transform leads into customers
The whole point of collecting leads is so that you can approach them as they are already interested and show reasons why they should consider taking your service or doing business with you and how it is going to benefit them.
Once you are done collecting leads, you need to reach and communicate with them through the proper media and in the best way possible.
Email marketing can play a very important role here because one of the best and convenient ways to reach your leads is email.
If visitors subscribe to your email list, it means they are interested in your content. Here, your job is to provide them with the content that they are more likely to be interested in.
So, in order to reach your leads, you just have to run email marketing and provide the customers with the content that they are looking for.
On the other hand, sometimes you can market yourself too, through emails.
You can share news where you got featured or customer reviews, etc. That will help your leads to know you a little better.
4. Turn your customers into the promoters of your business.
You need to understand that inbound marketing isn’t only about converting leads into customers.
You make your customers so happy with your service that they will become your promoters and promote your business or brand without even asking for it. It won't cost you a single penny; rather, it will greatly impact building the reputation of your business. If you understand the term "Word of Mouth," you will understand better.
If you delight your customers, they will leave reviews, promote your business, which will help you a lot more to attract leads and convert them into customers.
Here, the question is how to delight your customers?
By keeping the COMMUNICATION GOING
The key tactic is to keep your former customers engaged, sharing news, or keeping them updated. Interact with the customers as much as you can and communicate from time to time; this will help build a strong relationship and turn such customers into a loyal customer base.
1. Customer Support
Offering excellent customer support is a MUST. Even though it can be challenging sometimes, but trust us on this, there's no alternative. Nowadays, customers seek a quick solution to any issues they are facing with your service, so keeping that in mind to provide fast and effective customer service is necessary.
2. Social Listening
Your customers are talking about you, leaving reviews here and there, or maybe singing your praises without even tagging you. So, what can you do to know how your customer feels about your service? You can listen to them. Wondering how? Well, use social listening tools to listen to what they are talking about, what they think about your brand.
If your customers aren't leaving reviews, don't hesitate to reach them to know about their experience with you or any feedback that they might have.
This will help you to grow, improve, and understand your target customers better.
It's time to stop blindly throwing promotional messages and emails. Instead of taking such big risks with a lesser possibility of working out, it's better to focus on building long-lasting relationships as well as building trust and a positive reputation for your business, brand.
Temporary shoot up in sales is meaningless in the long run; rather, the strategy should be long-lasting.
Inbound marketing is simple, clear, and focused. And the best part is inbound marketing is here to stay and will become more prevalent, developed, and effective with time. So, are you ready to give it a thought? Are you ready to switch to this modern marketing strategy? If you are looking for inbound marketing tools such as CRM software then visit GoodFirms' CRM software page.
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