What Is Inbound Marketing And Why Do You Need It?
Consumers today are more empowered. With information in the palm of their hands, a potential customer can access reviews, details, and fair pricing about products and services before making the purchase. The internet provides buyers the ability to share and compare wherever and whenever, putting the ball in their court when it comes to sales.
Did you know: 90% of information that exists today on the web was created in the last 2 years? This is evidence in how quickly our digital age of information abundance is growing.
Inbound marketing is a strategy that utilizes various forms of pull marketing to attract new business and convert leads into a sale. It is a powerful form of marketing because customers are given the solutions that they are looking for when they need it. It builds awareness, increases reputation, fosters trusts, and positions your company as the authority in your niche.
What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
Traditional outbound marketing efforts interrupts the buyer to place the product or service in front of them (ie. TV commercials, radio ads, door to door sales, telemarketing), whereas inbound marketing attracts customers through tactics where prospects can find your company.
Simply put, inbound marketing leads your audience to the water, instead of dragging them kicking and screaming. This leads to a stronger influence in their buying decisions and makes sales conversions easier.
Wondering why your old school marketing efforts aren’t attracting more customers?
What are examples of inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is an ecosystem that works together in a holistic approach to generate, nurture, and convert leads. Without one, the ecosystem chain is broken and efforts are useless. No single inbound marketing approach works well on its own and a process of the following will optimize your inbound marketing strategy:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is an essential part of an effective inbound marketing strategy. Using effective keywords combined with a well-designed website and content makes a significant difference in moving your company at the top of search results. This helps your audience find you and increases the number of your leads coming in.
As one of the most popular and effective inbound marketing efforts, blogging can play a critical role in attracting the right audience and potential customers. Each blog is essentially a new page for Google to “crawl” so the more consistent and more blogs you publish the more authority you will build.
A modern company that doesn’t utilize social media leaves money on the table. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok and LinkedIn are significant in providing potential clients value, educating your market to groom them to become clients, maintaining communication with existing customers and enhancing your service component, and growing your know-like-trust factor. You can also use social media to qualify your leads, build sales funnels, and do market research with your audience so that by the time they do come to your website, they become more ready to buy.
By far one of the fastest growing marketing mediums today. Video can be a powerful tool to generate leads, attract your ideal client, and build a stronger connection to your audience than text.
One of the original forms of inbound marketing, email continues to be an effective way to nurture your audience and move them through the buying process.
Keep in mind that these are just a few examples of inbound marketing tools along with eBooks, webinars, live training, and more. Any vehicle you use where you share valuable content is an opportunity to apply inbound marketing practices.
How to create an effective inbound marketing campaign?
When utilized effectively, a proper inbound marketing campaign can be extremely beneficial for your company in:
- Building brand awareness and loyalty
- Influencing future purchases when your customer is ready
- Moving your cold audience through the buying process
- Increasing social media presence and engagement
- Fueling search engine optimization efforts
- Generating leads with a more cost-effective approach
To build an inbound marketing campaign that will deliver results, there are 5 key elements to focus on.
1. Understand your audience
People respond to content in different ways, so it’s integral to define your ideal client and tailor your content accordingly. Think of it as posting a Facebook entry about dogs in a forum dedicated to sea animals. Your content can include fancy bells and whistles, but if it’s not reaching the right people, your efforts are futile.
2. Build your funnel
How do prospects engage with your brand and how does it look like for each stage of the funnel? How will you warm up your cold audience and convert your warm audience through to a sale?
Every company is different and all funnels aren’t built the same. Here’s an example of a funnel that moves the buyer down the line:
Awareness: Social media, SEO, website, video marketing
Build interest: Email nurturing, lead magnets, live webinars, free training
Convert: Sales call
Retain: Customer relationship management, follow-ups, email nurturing
3. Define your value proposition
Your value proposition describes your offer. In short - what is your product or service and why should your customer care? How does it address their needs, solve their problems, and sets you apart from the competition? Defining your value proposition helps create your messaging by knowing your prospects’ pain points, which then allows you to effectively communicate your solution.
By far the most important part of the campaign is execution. Remember - all of the above does not need to be perfect for you to take action. You can execute and tweak as you get to know your audience better, improve your funnel, and make changes to your offer as you go. The point is to start.
5. Measure, analyze, and refine
The final stage in an effective inbound marketing campaign is to decide what tools you will use to measure and analyze your efforts. Some important questions to ask are:
- What are my SMART goals for this campaign?
- How do I measure my campaign’s success?
- What approach will I take to analyze and report my findings?
- Where can I improve and what elements can I tweak?
There are many elements to a successful and holistic inbound campaign, but the key thing to remember is you don’t have to get it all perfect. All you need is simply a place to start. Then track, measure, make adjustments, and try again.
Inbound marketing is, without a doubt, the present and the future of marketing. For our team at Chirp Media, it’s why we are so passionate about working with our clients to help them grow and build their business by attracting the right people who are ready to buy versus spending our time convincing someone to work with us.
If you’re ready to start building your inbound marketing strategy that is tailored specifically to your business, get in touch with us. We are ready to answer your questions!
Article by Richard Walsh
As a certified inbound and content marketer, Richard believes in the need to create high-quality compelling content, that drives engagement and interaction. Richard has been developing brands and high-quality web experiences since 2001. Book a meeting with Richard to talk about your branding and marketing efforts.