We’ve already talked about outbound marketing in a previous blog, now let’s talk about the other twin — inbound marketing. Just like outbound, inbound marketing is a powerful strategy that aligns your company’s goals with the customer’s desired experience, and it can be used by any organization, regardless of size.
However, inbound marketing won’t be much of a powerhouse if you don’t know what it is, what it’s for, and what you can do with it. So, we created this little guide to tell you the most important things you need to know to get you started on inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a buyer-centric approach to marketing. It’s a business methodology aimed at attracting customers by creating valuable, personalised content.
What makes it powerful is that it’s dynamic, cost-efficient, and highly engaging. Usually, the inbound method leverages your (the seller’s) understanding of fitting buyer personas and uses that knowledge to pinpoint the buyer’s pain points. Once you know what your buyer persona is presumably agonizing over, you swoop in with a solution to their dilemma, usually through enticing engagement and content.
Although problem-solving is an important part of your content, you also want your inbound marketing executions and strategies to educate customers and entertain them at the same time.
In our previous blog, we said that the line between inbound and outbound marketing is murky and full of overlaps. That should’ve been the end of it, but of course, a terminological clarification might be in order if you’re new to this.
Inbound marketing uses a host of quality content like blogs, SEO, social media, video content, infographics, podcasts, newsletters, eBooks, and a whole lot of other things to promote your website and business. The point of inbound marketing is to create and distribute valuable content that appeals to your customers.
In other words, you’re giving them something that they want. This, in turn, pulls them closer to your business and converts them into true brand advocates (hopefully).
In contrast, outbound marketing relies on more traditional approaches, such as cold calling, direct mail, radio and television ads, trade shows, and telemarketing. It’s often viewed as interruptive and intrusive as it often relies on ‘forcing’ customers to pay attention to you.
There are different inbound marketing strategies (which deserve a blog post of their own, stay tuned!) that will help you market to your target audience: attracting strategies, engaging strategies, and delighting strategies.
Attracting strategies are aimed at drawing your buyer personas through content like ads, blogs, social media content, the works.
Meanwhile, engaging strategies work towards interacting with audiences in a way that makes them want to have a long-lasting relationship with your brand. Usually, this is where email marketing, lead management, and customer service would fit. Finally, there are delighting strategies. It’s not enough to attract and educate customers; you also want to keep them happy and satisfied with you long after their purchase.
This can be done by offering after-sales support through smart content, social media listening, assistive chatbots and surveys, among others.
Inbound marketing is so efficient as it accounts for different stages of a buyer’s journey. Attractive strategies invite people in, engagement strategies keep them hooked, and delighting strategies nurtures the relationship you’ve built with them throughout the buying cycle.
Perhaps most important of all is the win-win situation it creates as it doesn’t just benefit you; it serves your customers as well. As you attract and convert more customers, customers also get what they want from the relationship: useful content delivered in the forms that serve their needs.
Inbound marketing may feel like a shot in the dark for you, but it doesn’t have to be now that you have the foundational knowledge to make it work. If you’re still feeling unsure, we have other posts about inbound marketing that should help you get a better grasp of everything inbound.
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